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Beat. Do, do; he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not mark'd, or not laugh'd at, strikes him into melancholy and then there's a partridge-wing fav’d, for the fool will eat no supper that night. We must follow the leaders. [Music within.
Bene, In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.
[Exeunt. S CE N E III. Manent John, Borachio, and Claudio. 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 Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it; the ladies follow her, and but one visor remains.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
John. Are you not Signior Benedick?
John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamour'd on Hero: I pray you, diffuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth; you may do the part of an honest man in it.
Claud. How know ye he loves her ?
Bora. So did I too, and he swore he would marry her to-night. John. Come, let us to the banquet.
[Exeunt John and Bor, Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear this ill news with the ears of Claudio, 'Tis certain so, the Prince wooes for himself. Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love ; Therefore all hearts in love use your own tongues ! Let every eye negotiate for itself, And trust no agent; beauty is a witch, Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. This is an accident of hourly proof, Which I mittrusted not. Farewel then, Hero!.
Enter Benedick, Bene. Count Claudio ?
Claud. Yea, the fame.
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own business, Count. What fashion will you wear the garland of? about your neck, like an 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.
Bené. Why, that's fpoken like an honest drover; fo 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 fole your meat, and you'll beat the poft Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave
you. [Exit. Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowle ! now will he creep into fedges. 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; yeż, but so I am apt to do myself wrong. I am not fo reputed. It is the base (tho? bitter) difpofition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out; well, I'll be revenge'd as I may.
SC EN E IV. Enter Don Pedro. Pedro. Now, Signior, where's the Count ? did you fee him?
Bene. Troth, my Lord, I have play'd the part of Lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a warren, I told him, (and I think I told him true), that your Grace had got the will of this young lady; and I offer'd him my company to a willow-tree, either to make him a garland, as being forsaken ; or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to be whipt.
Pedro. To be whipt! what's his fault?:31 Rusti
Bene. The flat tranfgreffion of a fchool-boy; who, being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, fhews it his companion, and he steals it. Pedro.
Wilt thou make a trust, a transgression ? The tranfgreflion is in the stealer.
Bene. Yet it had not been amiss the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself, and the rod he might have bestow'd on you, who (as I take it) have stoln his bird's nest.
Pedro. I will but teach them to fing, and restore them to the owner.
Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you fay honestly.
Pedro The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you ; the gentleman that dance'd with her told her, she is much wrong'd by you,
Bene. “O, she misus’d me past the indurance of a 66 block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would “ have answer'd her; my very visor began to assume “ life, and scold with her; she told me, not thinking " I had been myself, that I was the Prince's jefter, and 66 that I was duller than a great thaw; huddling jest “ upon jest, with such impassable conveyance upon me, $6 that I stood like a man at a mark, with a whole ar
my shooting at me : fhe speaks poniards, and every so word stabs. If her breath were as terrible as her " terminations, there were no living near her; she “ would infect to the north-star."
I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that idam had left him before he transgressed : she would have made Hercules have turn'd fpit; yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her, you shall find her the infernal Até in good apparel. I would to God fome fcholar would conjure her; for, certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a fanctuary, and people fin upon purpofe, because they would go thither; fo indeed all disquiet, horror, and perturbation follow her.
S CE N E V.
Bene. Will your Grace command me any service to the world's end ? I will go on the flightest errand now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me on: I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the farthest inch
of Asia; bring you the length of Prester John's foot; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard, do you any ambassage to the pigmies, rather than hold three words conference with this harpy. You have no em ployinent for me?
Bedro. None, but to desire your good company.
Bene, O God, Sir, here's a dish I love not. I cannot endure this Lady Tongue.
Pedro. Come, Lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick
Beat. Indeed, my Lord, he lent it me a while, and I gave
him use for it, a double heart for a single one; marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore
may well say I have lost it. Pedro. You have put him down, Lady, you have put him down.
Beat. So I would not he should do me, my Lord, left I should prove the mother of fools. I have brought
nt Claudio, whom you sent me to seek. Pedro. Why, how now, Count, wherefore are you fad? Claud. Not fad,
Lord, Pedro. How then? fick? Claud. Neither, my Lord.
Beat. The Count is neither fad, nor fick, nor merry, nor well; but civil, Count, civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.
Pedro. I' faith, Lady, I think your blazon to be true; though I'll be sworn, if he be fo, his conceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and fair Hero is won; I have broke with her father, and his good-will obtained; name the day of marriage, and God give thee joy.
Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes : his Grace hath made the match, and all grace say Amen to it.
Beat. Speak, Count, 'tis your cue.
Claud. Silence is the perfecteft herald of joy; I were but little happy if I could say how much. Lady, as you are mine, I am your's; I give away myself for you, and doat upon the exchange.
Beat. Speak, cousin, or (if you cannot) stop his mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak neither.
Pedro. In faith, Lady, you have a merry heart.
Beat. Yea, my Lord, I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care; my cousin tells him in his ear, that he is in her heart.
Claud. And so she doth, cousin.
Beat. Good Lord, for alliance! thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sun-burn'd; I may fit in a corner, and cry Heigh ho! for a husband.
Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.
getting. Hath your Grace ne'er a brother like you? your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.
Pedro. Will you have me, Lady?
Beat. No, my Lord, unless I might have another for working days; your Grace is too costly to wear every day: but I beseech your Grace pardon me, I was born to speak all mirth, and no matter.
Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you ; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.
Beat. No, sure, my Lord, my mother cry'd ; but then there was a star danced, and under that I was born. Cousins, God give you joy.
Leon. Niece, will you look to those things I told you of ? Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle: by your Grace's par
S CE N E VI.
Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my Lord ; she is never fad but when she sleeps ; and not ever fad then; for I have heard my daughter fay, she hath often dream'd of unhappiness, and wak'd herself with laughing.
Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
I.eon. O, by no means, the mocks all her wooers out of suit. Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick.