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Pedro. Well, as time shall try; in time the favage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The lavage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and set them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted ; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good horse to hire, let them fignify under my liga, Here you may see Benedick the marry'l man.

Claud. If this thould ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.

Pedro. Nay, if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice *, thou wilt quake for this shortly.

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.

Pedro. Well, you will temporise with the hours; in the mean time, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leo. nato's, commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him at supper; for indeed he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almoft matter enough in me for such an emballage, and so I commit you

Cloud. To the tuition of God: From my house, if I had it,

Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick.

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your discourse is fometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but lightly beaited on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so I leave yoll.

Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me gcod.

Pedro. Niy love is thine to teach, teach it but liow,
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Any hard leflon that may do thee good.


* Besides that Venice is as remarkable for freedoms in amorous intrigues as Cyprus ivas of old, there may be a farther conjedure why this expresion is here uled. The Italians give to each of their principal cities a particular distinguithing title, as, Roma la santa, Napoli la gentile, Genoa la superba, cc. and among the rest it is Venitia la ricca, Venice the wealthy. A sarcasm, therefore, scenis to be here implied, that money goveros love.

fon, my

Claud. Hath Leonato


Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir;
Doit thou affect her, Claudio?

Claud. O my Lord,
When you went onward in this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a soldier's

That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love;
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant; in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate defires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is;
Saying, I lik’d her ere I went to wars.

Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
And tire the hearer with a book of words:
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,
And I will break with her: and with her father,
And thou shalt have her: was't not to this end
That thou began'st to twist so fine a story?

Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complexion !
But left my liking might too fudden seem,
I would have falv'd it with a longer treatise.
Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the

The fairelt grant is the necessity;
Look, what will serve, is fit; 'tis once, thou lov'st;
And I will fit thee with the remedy,
I know, we shall have revelling to-night;
I will affume 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.



Re-enter Leonato and Antonio.

Leon. How now, brother, where is my cousin your fon? hath he provided this music?


Ant. He is very busy about it; but, brother, I can tell you news that

you yet dream'd not of. 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 discover'd to Claudio, that he lov'd


niece your daughter, and meant 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 fend for him, and question him yourfelf.

Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till it appear it felf: but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the letter prepared for answer, if peradventure this be true; go you and tell her of it. Coufins, you know what you have to do. [Several cross the stage here.] 0, I cry you mercy, friend, go you with me, and I will use your ikill; good cousin, have a cart this busy time.



Changes to an apartment in Leonato's house.

Enter Don John and Conrade. Conr. What the good-jer, my Lord, why are you thus out of meafure fad?

John. There is no measure in the occalion that breeds it, therefore the fadness is without limit.

Conr. You should hear reason.

John. And when I have heard it, what bleffing bringeth it?

Conr. If not a present remedy, yet a patient suffer


Yoln. I wonder, that thou (being, as thou fay'it thou art, born under Saturn) goeft 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; Neep when I am drowsy, and . tend on no mau's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.

Conr. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it without controlement. You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta’en you newly into his grace, where it is impoflible 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.

John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be disdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from

any: in this (though I cannot be said to be a Aattering honett man) it must not be deny'd but I am a plain dealing villain; I am trusted with a muzzel, and infranchised with a clog, 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

aiter me.

Conr. Can

make no use of your

discontent? John. I will make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? What news, Borachio?

Enter Borachio. Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper; the Prince, your brother, is royally entertain’d by Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.

John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betrothes himself to unquietness?

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
John. Who, the most exquisite Claudio ?
Bora. Even he.

John. A proper Squire! and who, and who? Which way looks he?

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.

John. A very forward March chick! How come you to this?


Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoking a musty room, comes me the Prince and Claudio hand in hand in sad conference. I whipt behind the arras, and there heard it agreed upon, that the Prince should woo Hero for himself; and having obtain’d her, give her to Count Claudio.

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, I bless myself every way; you are both sure, and will affift


Conr. To the death, my Lord.

John. Let us to the great supper; their cheer is the greater that I am subdu'd; would the cook were of my niind! Shall we go prove what's to be done?

Bora. We'll wait upon your Lordship. [Exeunt.


A hall in Leonato's house.
Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret,

and Ursula.

Leon. AS not Count John here at supper?
Ant. I saw him not.

Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can Ite him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after.

Hero. He is of a very melancholy difpofition.

Beat. 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 tatling.

Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick'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 fo fhrewd of thy tongue. Ant. In faith, she's too curs'd.


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