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Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.
Beat. Do, do, he'll but break a comparison or two on me ; which, peradventure, not mark'd, or not laugh'd at, strikes him into melancholy, and then there's a fartridge wing fav’d, for the fool will eat no supper that night. We must follow the leaders. [Mufick within. Bene. In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.
[Exeunt. Manent John, Borachio, and Claudio. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it: the ladies follow her, and but one visor remains.
Bora. And that is Claudio ; I know him by his Bearing John. Are you not Signior Benedick! Claud. You know me well, I am he.
John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamour'd on Hero; I pray you, diffuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth; you may do the part of an honest man in it.
Claud. How know ye, he loves her ?
Bora. So did I too, and he swore he would marry her to night. John. Come, let us to the banquet.
[Exeunt John and Bor. Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear this ill news with the ears of Claudio. 'Tis certain so, the Prince wooes for hiinself. Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love ; Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues, Let every eye negotiate for it self, And trust no agent ; beauty is a witch, Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. This is an accident of hourly proof, Which I mistrusted not. Farewel then, Heró.
your own busi.
Bene. Even to the next willow, about ness, Count. What fashion will you wear the garland of? about your neck, like an Usurer's chain ? arm, like a Lieutenant's scarf ? you must wear it one way, for the Prince hath got your Hero.
Claud. I wish him Joy of her.
Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover; so they fell bullocks : but did you think, the Prince would have served you thus ?
Claud. I pray you, leave me.
Bene. Ho! now you strike like the blind man ; 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the Post. Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you.
[Exit. Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowle ! now will he creep into sedges. But, that my Lady Beatrice should know me, and not know me! the Prince's fool! ha? it may be, I go
under that Title, because I am merry; yea, but so I am apt to do myself wrong: I am not so reputed. It is the base (tho' bitter) disposition of Beatrice, that puts the World into her person, and so gives me out; well, I'll be reveng'd as I may.
Enter Don Pedro. Pedro. Now, Signior, where's the Count? did you fee him?
Bene. Troth, my lord, I have play'd the part of lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a warren, I told him (and I think, told him true) that your Grace had got the Will of this young lady, and I offer'd him my company to a willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to be whipt.
Pedro. To be whipt! what's his fault ?
being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, shews it his companion, and he steals it.
Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust, a transgression ? the transgression is in the stealer.
Bene. Yet it had not been amiss, the rod had been made, and the garland too ; for the garland he might have worn himself, and the rod he might have be. ftow'd on you, who (as I take it) have stol'n his bird's nest.
Pedro. I will but teach them to fing, and restore them to the owner.
Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.
Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you ; the gentleman that danc'd with her, told her she is much wrong'd by you.
Bene. O, she misus'd me past the indurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have answer'd her ; my very visor began to assume life, and scold with her; she told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the Prince's jelter, and that I was dúller than a great thaw; (6) hudling jest upon jeft, with such impassable conveyance upon me, that I stood like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me; se speaks Poniards, and every word stabs ; if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her, she would infect to the North-Star ; I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgress’d; she would have made Hercules have turn'd Spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her, you shall find her the infernal Até in good apparel. I would to God, some Scholar would conjure
(6) - budling jeft upon jest, with such impoffible conveyance, upon me.] Thus all the printed Copies ; but I freely confefs, I can't possibly understand the Phrase. I have ventur'd to substitute impassable. To make a Pass (in Fencing,) is, to thrust, push : and by impaffable, I presume, the Poet meant, that me push'd her jests upon him with such Swiftness, that it was impossible for him to pass them f, to parry chem.
her ; for, certainly, while she is here a man may
Enter Claudio, Beatrice, Leonato and Hero.
Grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the flightest errand now to the Antipodes, that you can devise to fend me on ; I will fetch you a tooth-picker row from the farthelt inch of Afia; bring you the length of Prefter John's foot ; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard ; do you any ambaffage to the pigmies, rather than hold three words conference with this harpy ; you have no employment for me?
Pedro. None, but to defire your good company.
Bene, O God, Sir, here's a dish I love not. not indure this Lady Tongue.
Pedro. Come, Lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.
Beat. Indeed, my Lord, he lent it me a while, and I gave him ufe for it, a double heart for a single one ; marry, once before he won it of me with falle dice, therefore your Grace máy well fay, I have lost it.
Pedro. You have put him down, Lady, you have put him down.
Beat. So I would not he should do me, my Lord, left I fould prove the mother of fools. I have brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
Pedro. Why, how. now, Count, wherefore are you fad ? Claud. Not fad, my
Lord. Pedro. How then fick ? Claud. Neither, my Lord.
Beat. The Count is neither fad, nor fick, nor merry, nor well; but civil; Count, civil as an orange, and fomething of that jealous complexion.
Pedro. I'faith, Lady, I think your blazon to be true: though I'll be sworn, if he be fo, his conceit is false. VOL. II.
Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and fair Hero is won ; I have broke with her father, and his good will obtained ; name the day of marriage, and God give thee joy.
Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes : his Grace hath made the match, and all grace say, Amen, to it.
Beat. Spesk, Count, 'tis your cue
Claud. Silence is the perfectelt herald of joy ; I were but little happy, if I could say how much. Lady, as you are mine, I am yours : I give away myself for you, and doat upon the exchange.
Beat. Speak, Coafin, or (if you cannot) ftop his mouth with a kiss, and let him not Ipeak neither.
Pedro. In faith, Lady, you have a merry heart.
Beat. Yea, my Lord, I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy Side of care ; my coufin tells him in his car, that he is in her heart.
Claud. And so she doth, cousin.
Beat. Good Lord, for alliance ! thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sun-burn'd ; I may fit in a corner, and cry beigb bo! for a hásband.
Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.
Beat. I would rather have one of your Father's getting: hath your
Grace ne'er a brother like you ? your Father got excellent husbands, if a maid could cone by them.
Pedro. Will you have me, Lady ?
Beat. No, my Lord, unless I might have another for working days ; your Grace is too coftly to wear every day; but, I beseech your Grace, pardon me, I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
Pedro. Your filence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you ; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.
Beat. No, sure, my Lord, my mother cryd; but then there was a star danc'd, and under that I was born. Cousins, God give you joy.
Leon. Neice, will you look to those things I told
you of ?