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ACT I
Sc. I

259

270

my Lord,

CLAUD. To the tuition of God: From my house (if I

had it)
D. PEDRO. The Sixth of July: Your loving friend,

Benedick.
BENE. Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your

discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and
the guards are but slightly basted on neither : ere you
flout old ends” any further, examine your conscience:
and so I leave you. .

[Exit BENEDICK. Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me good. D. PEDRO. My love is thine to teach ; teach it but how,

And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn

Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
CLAUD. Hath Leonato any son, my Lord ?
D. PEDRO. No child but Hero, she's his only heir :

Dost thou affect her, Claudio ?
CLAUD.

O
When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye,
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 desires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is,

Saying I lik’d her ere I went to wars.
D. 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 begann'st to twist so fine a story?
CLAUD. How sweetly do you minister to Love,

That know Love's grief by his complexion !
But lest my liking might too sudden seem,

I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise.
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 lov’st,

280

a

290

2 tags from letters and scraps from plays.

i trimmed.

3 settled once for all.

ACT I
Sc. I

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.

300

[exeunt.

SCENE II. LEONATO's House.

Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO his Brother.

LEON. How now, Brother? Where is my cousin, your

son? 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 shew well outward. The Prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleach’d'alley in my orchard, were thus overheard by a man of mine : the Prince discover'd to Claudio that he lov'd my 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 wito that told you this? ANT. A good sharp fellow : I will send for him, and

question him yourself. LEON. 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 prepar'd 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. O, I cry you mercy, Friend; go

I you with me, and I will use your skill. Good Cousins, have a care this busy time.

[exeunt. I close-hedged.

14

? brains.

ACT I
Sc. III

SCENE III. The Same.

8

Enter John the Bastard and CONRADE his Companion. 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, go'st 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

; clawo no man in his humour. Con. Yea; but

you

must not make the full show of this till you may do it without controlment. 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 true 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
disdain'd 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 but I am
a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle,
and enfranchis'd 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 meantime let me be that I am, and seek not to

alter me.
Con. Can you make no use of your discontent?

3 dog-rose.

23

34

1

pox.

2 flatter.

D. JOHN. I make all use of it, for I use it only.

comes here? What news, Borachio?

Who ACT I

Sc. III

40

on ?

50

Enter BORACHIO.
BORA. I came yonder from a great supper; the Prince,

your brother, is royally entertain’d by Leonato; and

I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
D. John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief

What is he for a fool that betroths himself to
unquietness ?
BORA. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
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 Leo-

nato. D. John. A very forward March-chick! How came 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. 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, I 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.

63

[exeunt. 1 with burning juniper.

2 earnest.

ACT II
Sc. I

ACT II

Scene I. LEONATO's House.

9

Enter LEONATO, his Brother, his Wife, HERO his Daughter,

BEATRICE his Niece, and a Kinsman.
LEON. Was not Count John here at supper ?
ANT. I saw him not.
BEAT. How tartly that gentleman looks ! I never can

see him but I am heart-burn'd an hour after.
HERO. He is of a very melancholy disposition.
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 tattling. 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 so shrewd of thy tongue. Ant. In faith, she is 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 ? BEAT. Just, if He send me no husband : for the which

blessing I am at Him upon my knees every morning and evening. Lord! I could not endure a husband with

a beard on his face: I had rather lie in the woollen.3 LEON. You may light upon a husband that hath no beard. BEAT. What should I do with him ? dress him in my

apparel, and make him my waiting gentlewoman? He that hath a beard is more than a youth; and he

3 (1) in blankets, or (2) in my shroud.

2

22

i shrewish.

2

cross.

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