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Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what
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 fupper that night. We must follow the leaders. [Mufick within. Bene. In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.
Manent John, Borachio, and Claudio. obn. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it: the ladies follow he., ,nd but one visor remains.
Bora. And that is Claudio ; I know him by his Bearing.
John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamour'd 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 ye, he loves her ? John. I heard him swear his affection.
Bora. So did I too, and he swore he would marry her to-night. John. Come, let us to the banquet.
[Exeunt John and Bora, 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 their own tonguese Let every eye negotiate for itself, And truit no agent; beauty is a witch, Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. This is an accident of hourly proof, Which I miftrusted not. Farewel then, Hero !
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 muf 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 ; lo they fell bullocks : but did you think, the Prince would have served you thus ?
Claud. I pray you, leave me.
Bene. Hol now you strike like the blind man; 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post..
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
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 (tho’ bitter) disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out ; well, I'll be reveng'd as I may.
Enter Don Pedro. Pedro. Now, Signior, where's the Count ? did you see 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, 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?
being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, shews it his companion, and he steals it.
Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust, a tranfgreffion ? the transgression 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 beftow'd on you, who (as I take it) have stol'n his bird's neft.
Pedro. I will but teach them to fing, and restore them to the owner.
Bene. If their finging answer your faying, by my faith, you say honestly.
Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you ; the gentleman, that danc'd with her, told her she is much wrong'd by you.
Bene. O, she misus'd me past the indurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have answer'd her; my very vifor began to affume life, and fcold with her; she told me, not thinking. I had been myself, that I was the Prince's jefter, and that I was duller than a great thaw ; (6) huddling jeft upon jest, with such impassable conveyance upon me, that I food like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me; she speaks Poynards, and every 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 Adam had left him before he transgress'd ; she would have made Hercules have turn'd Spit, 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, some scholar would conjure
(6) huddling jest upon jest, with such impossible conveyance, upon m:] Thus all the printed Copies ; but I freely confefs, I cannot poffibly understand the Phrase. I have ventured to substitute impaflioble. To make a Pafs (in Fencing,) is, to thrust, push : and by impassable
, I presume, the Poet meant, that the pushed her jefts upon him with such Swiftness, that it was imponible for him to pass them off, to parry them,
her; for, certainly, while she is here a man may live quiet in hell as in a sanctuary, and people fin upon purpose, because they would go thither; so, indeed, all difquiet, horror, and perturbation follow her.
Enter Claudio, Beatrice, Leonato and Hero.
Pedro. Look, here she comes.
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 Afia; bring you the length of Prester John's foot; fetch you a hair cff the great Cham's beard; do you any ambassage to the pigmies, rather than hold three words conference with this harpy; you have no enployment for me?
Pedro. None, but to desire your good company:
I cannot indure this Lady Tongue.
Pedro. Come, Lady, come; you have loft 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.
Beat. So I would not he should do me, my Lord; left I should prove the mother of fools : I have brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
Pedro. Why, how now, Count, wherefore are you sad?
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. l'faith, Lady, I think your blazon to be true ; though I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is false. Vol. II.
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 perfectest herald of joy; I were but little happy, if I could say how much. Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give a way 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 fpeak 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 coufin tells him in his ear, that he is in her heart.
Claud. And so she doth, cousin.
Bcat. 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.
Beat. I would rather have one of your Father's getting: hath your Grace ne'er a brother like you? your Father got excellent Hiusbands, if a maid could come by them.
Pedro. Will you have me, Lady?
Biat. 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 beit becomes you ; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour. - Beat. No, sure, my Lord, my mother cryd; but then there was a star danc'd, and under that I was born. Confins, God give you joy.
Leon. Niece, will you look to those things I told