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We'll fit the kid fox with a penny worth.
Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that Song again.
Balth. O good my Lord, tax not so bad a voice To flander musick any more than once.
Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency,
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will fing;
Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come;
Balth. Note this before my notes,
Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks, Note, notes, forsooth, and noting.
Bene. Now, divine air ; now is his foul ravish'd ! is. it not strange, that sheeps guts should hale fouls out of mens bodies ? well, a horn for my money, when all'& done.
The SON G.
Sigh no more, ladies, high
To one thing confiant never :
And be you blith and bonny ;
Into bey nony, nony.
Of dumps fo dull and beavy;
Since summer was firf leafy.:
Pedro. By my troth, a good Song.
Pedro. Ha, no ; no, faith ; thou fing'st well enough for a shift.
Bene. If he had been a dog, that should have howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him ; and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief: I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
Pedro. Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthazar ? I pray thee, get us some excellent mufick ; for to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamberwindow.
Balth. The best I can, my lord. [Exit Balthazar.
you told me of today, that your Neice Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick ?
Claud. O, ay; stalk on, ftalk on, the fowl fits. I did never think, that lady would have loved any
Leon. No, nor I neither ; but most wonderful, that she should so doat on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seem'd ever to abhor. Bene. Is't poslible, fits the wind in that corner ?
[ Afide. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it, but that she loves him with an inraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.
Pedro. May be, the doth but counterfeit.
Leon. O God ! counterfeit ? there never was counterfeit of paffion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of passion fhews she?
Leon. What effects, my lord ? the will fit you, you! heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
would have thought, her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
Leon. I would have sworn, it had, my lord ; especi. ally against Benedick.
Bene. [Afide.] I should think this a gull, but that the white bearded fellow speaks it; knavery cannot, fure, hide himself in such reverence.
Claud. He hath ta'en th' infection, hold it up. [Afide.
Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Bene. dick ?
Leon. No, and fwears she never will; that's her torment.
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, so your daughter says: shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?
Leon. This says fhe now, when she is beginning to write to him ; for (he'll be up twenty times a night, and there will fe fit in her smock, 'till the have writ a sheet of paper; my daughter tells us all.
Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. O, - when she had writ it, and was reading it over, the found Benedick and Beatrice between the Sheet.
Leon. (9) O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at herself
, that she should be fo immodest, to write to one that, she knew, wou'd flout her: I measure him, says she, by my own Spirit, for I should fout him if he writ to me ; yea, though I love him, I should.
(9) 0, she tore the Letter into a thousand half-pence ;] i. c. in. to a thousand pieces of the same bigress. This is farther explain'd by a Passage in As you like it;
There were none principal; tbey were all like one anot ber as half-pence are.
In both places the Poet alludes to the old Silver Penny which had a Crease running Cross-wife over it, fo that it might be broke into two or four equal pieces, half-pence, or farthings.
Claud. Then down upon her knees the falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; O sweet Benedick! God give me patience !
Leon. She doth indeed, my daughter says fo; and the ecstasie hath fo much overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid, she will do desperate outrage to her, self ; it is very true.
Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.
Claud. To what end ; he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worfe:
Pedro. If he should, 'it were an Alms to hang him ; The's
's an excellent sweet lady, and (out of all suspicion) the is virtuous.
Claud. And she is exceeding wise:
Leon. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in lo tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that blood hath the victory ; I am sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.
Pedro. I would, she had beftow'd this dotage on me ; I would have dafft all other respects, and made her half myself; I pray you, tell Benedick of it; and hear what
Leon. Were it good, think you!
Claud. Hero thinks, furely she will die ; for she says, she will die if he love her not, and the will die ere the make her love known; and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will bate one breath of her accufom'd. crossness.
Pedro. She doth well; if she fhould make tender of her love, 'tis very possible, he'll scorn it ; for the man, as you know all,' hath a contemptible spirit.
Claud. He is a very proper man,
Pedro. He doth, indeed, shew some sparks that are like wit.
Leon. And I take him to be valiant.
he will say.
of quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a christian-like fear.
Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep peace ; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.
Pedro. And so will he do, for the man doth fear God, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large jefts he will make. Well, I am sorry for your
Neice : shall we go seek Benedick, and tell him of her love ?
Claud. Never tell him, my lord ; let her wear it out with good counsel.
Leon. Nay, that's impoflible, she may wear her heart out first,
Pedro. Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter ; let it cool the while. I love Benedick well ; and I could wish he would modestly examine himself, to see how much he is unworthy to have to good a lady.
Leon. My Lord, will you walk ? dinner is ready.
Claud If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.
[Afide. Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for her, and that must your daughter and her gentlewomen carry ; the sport will be when they hold an opinion of one another's dotage, and no such matter ; that's the Scene that I would see, which will be merely a Dumb Show ; let us send her to call him to dinner. Afide.] [Exeunt.
Benedick advances from the Arbour. Bene. This can be no trick, the conference was fadly borne ; they have the truth of this from Hero; they seem to pity the lady ; it seems, her affections have the full bent.' Love me! why, it must be requited : I hear, how I am censur'd; they say, I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her ; they lay too, that the will rather die than give any fign of affection. I did never think to marry
I must not seem proud happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending : they