Imatges de pÓgina
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that he brought me up, I likewife give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invifible baldrick, all women fhall pardon me; because I will not do them the Wrong to mistrust any, I will do myfelf the Right to truft none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor.

Pedro. I fhall fee thee, ere I die, look pale with love. Bene. With anger, with fickness, or with hunger, my lord, not with love: prove, that ever I lose more blood with love, than I will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house for the fign of blind Cupid.

Pedro. Well, if ever thou doft fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.

Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and fhoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and call'd Adam. (3)

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

Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the fenfible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and fet them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted;

(3) And he that hits me, let him be clap'd on the Shoulder, and call'd Adam.] But why should he therefore be call'd Adam ? Perhaps, by a Quotation or two we may be able to trace the Poet's Allufion here. In Law-Tricks, or, Who would have thought it, (a Comedy written by John Day, and printed in 1608) I find this Speech,

I have beard, Old Adam was an honeft Man, and a good Gardiner loved Lettice well, Sallads and Cabbage reasonable rwell, yet no Tobacco; -Again, Adam Bell, a fubftantial Outlaw, and a paffing good Archer, yet no Tobaconift.

By this it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of day was of Reputation for his Skill at the Bow. I find him again mentioned in a Buriefque Poem of Sir William Davenant's, called, The long Vacation in London; and had I the Convenience of confulting Afcham's Terophilus, I might probably grow fill better acquainted with his

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and in fuch great letters as they write, Here is good Horfe to hire, let them fignify under my Sign, Here you may jee Benedick the marry'd man.

Claud. If this fhould ever happen, thou would't be horn-mad.

Pedro, Nay, if Cupid hath not fpent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this fhortly.

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.

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

Bent. I have almoft matter enough in me for fuch an embaffage, and fo I commit you

Claud. To the tuition of God; from my houfe, if I had it,

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

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your difcourfe is fometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but flightly bafted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your confcience, and fo I leave you. [Exit. Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me good. Pedro. My love is thine to teach, teach it but how,

And thou shalt fee how apt it is to learn
Any hard leffon that may do thee good.

Claud. Hath Leonato any fon, my lord?

Pedro. No child but Hero, fhe's his only heir
Doft thou affect her, Claudio?
Claud. O my lord,

When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a foldier'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 foft and delicate Defires,

All

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 doft love fair Hero, cherish it,

And I will break with her, and with her Father:
And thou fhalt have her: was't not to this end,
That thou began'ft to twift fo fine a story?

Claud. How fweetly do you minifter to love,
That know love's grief by his complection!
But left my liking might too fudden feem,
I would have falv'd it with a longer treatife.

Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the flood? The fairest grant is the neceffity;

Look, what will serve, is fit; 'tis once, thou lov'st;
And I will fit thee with a remedy.

I know, we shall have revelling to-night;

I will affume thy part in fome difguife,
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;

And in her bofom I'll unclafp my heart,
And take her hearing prifoner with the force
And ftrong encounter of my amorous tale:
Then, after, to her father will I break;
And the conclufion is, fhe fhall be thine;
In practice let us put it presently.

Re-enter Leonato and Antonio.

[Exeunt.

Leo. How now, Brother, where is my coufin your fon? hath he provided this mufick?

Ant. He is very bufy about it; but, brother, I can tell you news that you yet dream'd not of.

Leon. Are they good?

Ant. As the event ftamps them, but they have a good cover; they fhow well outward. The Prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley in my orchard, were thus over-heard by a man of mine: The Prince difcover'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

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 fharp fellow; I will fend 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 prepared for anfwer, if peradventure this be true; go you and tell her of it: Coufin, you know what you have to do. [Several cross the Stage here.] O, I cry you mercy, friend, go you with me and I will use your skill; good Coufin, have a care this bufy time [Exeunt. SCENE changes to an Apartment in Leonato's Houfe.

Conr.

Enter Don John and Conråde.

Hat the goo-jer, my lord, why are you

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thus out of measure fad ?

John. There is no measure in the occafion 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 prefent remedy, yet a patient fufferance.

John. I wonder, that thou (being, as thou fay'ft thou art, born under Saturn) goeft about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mifchief: I cannot hide what I am: I must be fad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jefts: eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leifure; fleep when I am drowfy, and tend on no man's bufinefs; 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 ftood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace, where it is impoffible

you

you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself; it is needful that you frame the feafon 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 difdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, (though I cannot be faid to be a flattering honeft man) it must not be deny'd but I am a plain-dealing villain; I am trufted with a muzzel, and infranchifed with a clog, therefore I have decreed not to fing 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 alter me.

Conr. Can you make no use of your difcontent?

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 ferve for any model to build mischief on ? what is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietness?

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.

John. Who, the most exquifite 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 to know this?

forward March chick! How come you

Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was fmoaking a mufty room, comes me the Prince and Claudio hand in hand in fad conference: I whipt behind the Arras, and there heard it agreed upon, that the Prince should woo Hero for himfelf; and having obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.

John. Come, come, let us thither, this may prove

food

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