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D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader
than the flood ? The fairest grant is the necessity; Look, what will serve is fit: ’tis once, thou lovesi; And I will fit thee with the remedy. I know we shall have revelling to-night; I will assume thy part in some disguise, And tell fair Hero I am Claudio ; And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart, And take her hearing prisoner with the force And strong encounter of my amorous tale : Then, after, to her father will I break; And the conclusion is, she shall be thine : In practice let us put it presently. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-A Room in Leonato's House.
Where is my
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, meeting. Leon. How now, brother? cousin, your son ? Hath he provided this music ?
Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you strange news, that you yet dreamt
Leon. Are they good ?
Ant. As the event stamps them; but they have a good cover; they show well outward. The prince and count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley in my orchard, were thus overheard by a man of mine : the prince discovered to Claudio that he loved my niece, your daughter, and
to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and, if he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly break with you of it.
Leon. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?
Ant. A good sharp fellow; I will send for him ; and question him yourself.
Loon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till it appear itself;--but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you, and tell her of it. [Several persons cross the stage.] Cousins, you know what you have to do.—0, I cry you mercy, friend : go you with
and I will use your skill.—Good cousin, have a care this busy time.
SCENE III.-A Roor in Leonato's House.
Enter DON JOHN and CONRADE.
Con. What the good-year, my lord ! why are you thus out of measure sad ?
D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds, therefore the sadness is without limit.
Con. You should hear reason.
D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?
Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance.
D. John. I wonder that thou, being (as thou say’st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am : I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests ; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure ; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on
no man's business ; laugh when I am merry, and
i claw no man in his humour.
Con. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it without control
You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta’en you newly into his grace; where it is impossible you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.
D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any; in this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied that I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clos; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my mouth I would bite; if I had my liberty I would do my liking : in the mean time, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me.
Con. Can you make no use of your discontent?
D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here?
Enter BORACH.O. What news, Borachio ?
Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leonato ; and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
D. John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for a fool that betroths himself to unquietness ?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hard.
D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ? Bora, Even he.
D. John. A proper squire ! And who, and who? which way looks he?
Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
D. John. A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was smoking a musty-room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference : I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero for himself, and having obtained her give her to count Claudio.
D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove food to my displeasure. That young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him any way 1 bless myself every way: you are both sure, and will assist me ?
Con. To the death, my lord.
D. John. Let us to the great supper : their cheer is the greater that I am subdued : 'would the cook were of my mind !-Shall we go prove what's to be done? Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship.
[Exeunt. ACT II.
SCENE I.-A Hall in Leonato's House,
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HIERO, BEATRICE, and
Ant. I saw him not.
Beat. How tartly that gentleman
looks! I never can see him but I am heart-burned an hour after.
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition.
Boat. He were an excellent man that were made just in the mid-way between him and Benedick; the one is too like an image, and says nothing ? and the other too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.
Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in count John's mouth, and half count John's melancholy in signior Bcnedick's face,
Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world,-if he could get her good will.
Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she's too curst.
Beat. Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's sending that way: for it is said, God sends a curst cow short horns : but to a cow too curst he sends none.
Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you no horns.