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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 slander 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 fcul ravish'd! is it not strange, that sheeps guts should hale souls out of mens bodies ? well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
Sigh no more, ladies, figh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
To one thing constant never :
And be you blith and bonny ;
Into hey nony, nony.
Of dumps fo dull and heavy;
Pedro. By my troth, a good Song.
Pedro. Ha, no ; no, faith ; thou sing'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, doft 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.
Pedro. Do so: farewel. Come hither, Leonato; what was it you told me of to day, that
Neice Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? Claud. O, ay;
ftalk on, stalk on, the fowl fits. I did never think, that lady would have loved any. man.
Leon. No, nor I neither ; but most wonderful, that she should so doat on Signior Benedick, whom she hatit in all outward behaviours seem'd ever to abhor. Bene. Is’t poffible, 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, she doth but counterfeit.
Leon. O God ! counterfeit ? there was never counterfeit of passion came so near the life of paffion, as she discovers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shews she? Claud. Bait the hook well, this fish will bite, [Afide,
Leon. What effects, my lord ? she 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; especially against Benedick.
Bene. [Afde.] I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it; knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.
Claud. He hath ta'en th' infection, hold it up. [Afide,
Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?
Leon. No, and swears she never will ; that's her torment.
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, fo 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 she now, when she is beginning to write to him ; for she'll be up twenty times a night, and there will she 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 fheet.
Leon. (9) O, the tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at her self, that she should be so immodest, to write to one that, she knew, wou'd flout her: I measure him, says she, by my own Spirit, for I fhould flout him if he writ to me, yea, though I love him, I should.
(s) 0, she tore the Letter into a thousand half-pence ;] i. e. into a thousand pieces of the same bigness. This is farther explain’d, by a Passage in As you like it ;
There were none principal; they were all like one another as half-pence are.
In both places the Poet alludes to the old Silver Peony which had a Crcafe running Cross-wife over it, so that it might be broke into two or four equal picces, half pence, or farthings.
Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses ; O fweet Benedick! God give me patience!
Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter fays fo; and the ecllafie hath fo much overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid, she will do desperate outrage to her felf; it is very true.
Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by fome other, if fhe will not discover it.
Claud. To what end ? he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.
Pedro. If he should, it were an Alms to hang him ; she's an excellent sweet lady, and (out of all suspicion) she is virtuous.
Claud. And she is exceeding wise.
Leon. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in fo 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 my self; I pray you, tell Benedick of it; and hear what he will fay.
Leon. Were it good, think you?
Claud. Hero thinks, surely she will die; for she says, the will die if he love her not, and he will die ere the make her love known; and she will die if he woo her, rather than the will bate one breath of her accuftom'd crossness.
Pedro. She doth well; if she should make tender of het love, 'tis very possible, he'll scorn it ; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.
Cland. He is a very proper man:
Pedro. He doth, indeed, shew fome sparks that are like wit.
Leon. And I take him to be valiant.
of quarrels you may say he is wife; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a christian-like fear.
Leon. If he do fear God, he muft 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 fome 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 impossible, she may wear her heart out firft.
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 so 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 truit 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 meerly 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 my self proudly, if I perceive the love come from her ; they lay too, that she will rather die than give any sign 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