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a husband with a beard on his face; I had rather lie in the woollen.
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 be that hath no beard, is less than a man : and he that is more than a youth is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him. Therefore, I will even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.
Leo. Well then, go you into hell ?
Beat. No; but to the gate; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and say, Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids : so deliver I up my, apes, and away to Saint Peter for the heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long:
Ant. Well, niece, [To Hero.] I trust, you will be ruled by your father.
Beat. Yes, faith ; it is my cousin's duty to make courtesy, and say, Father, as it please you :--but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, Father, as it please me.
Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband
Beat. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be over-mastered with a piece of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of
way. ward marl? No, uncle, I'll none : Adam's song are my brethren; and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.
Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you : if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.
Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if
you be not woo'd in good time : if the prince be too important, tell him, there is measure in every thing, and so danee out the answer.
For hear me, Hero; wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a measure full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
Beat. I have a good eye, uncle: I can see a church by day-light.
Leon The revellers are entering ; brother, make good room. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar;
Don John, Borachio, Margaret, Ursula, and others, masked.
D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend ?2
Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and especially, when I walk away.
D. Pedro. With me in your company?.
Hero. When I like your favour : for God defend,3 the lute should be like the case !
D Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.
Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd.
Takes her aside.
Marg. So would not I, for your own sake ; for I have many ill qualities.
Bene. Which is one ?
(2) Lover. (3) Forbid
Marg. I say my prayers aloud, Bene. I love you the better; the hearers may Marg. God match me with a good dancer: Balth. Amen. Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, when the dance is done - Answer, clerk.
Balth. No more words; the clerk iş answered.
Urs. I know you well enough; you are signior Antonio.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless you were the very man : Here's his dry hand up and down ; you are he, you are he.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urs. Come, come ; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue bide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an end.
Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so.
Beat. That I was disdainful,--and that I had my good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales ;-Well, this was signior Benedick that said so.
Bene. What's he?
Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible! slanders : none but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his vil. lany; for he both pleaseth men, and angers them,
and then they laugh at him, and beat him: I am sure,
he is in the fleet; I would he had boardedl me. 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 marked, or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partridge's wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. (Music within.] We must follow the leaders.
Bene. In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning. [Dance. Then exeunt all but Don John,
Borachio, and Claudio. D. 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 2
D. John. Are not you signior Benedick?
D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love: he is enamoured on Hero ; I pray you, dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth : you may do the part of an honest man in it.
Claud. How know you he loves her?
Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would marry her to-nigbt. D. John. Come, let us to the banquet.
[Exeunt Don John and Borachio. Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. 'Tis certain so ;—the prince woos for himself. Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love :
(2) Carriage, demeanour.
Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues ;
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own business, count. What fashion will you wear the garland' of ? About your neck, like a usurer's chain? or under your 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 sell 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 Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave
you. [Erit. Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowl! 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, the bitter dise position of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out. Well, I'll be re venged as I may.