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Claud, Yea, the fame.
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own bus fness, 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.
Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover; fo they fell bullocks : but did you think the Prince would have served you thus ? Claud. I
pray you Bene. Ho! 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 1 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 (thu' bitter) disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her perfon, and so gives me out; well, I'll be reveng'd as I may.
SCENE 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 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 ?
Bene. The flat tranfgression of a school-boys who, being overjoy'd with finding a bird's neft, fhews it his companion, and he ftcals it,
Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust, a tranfgretion! TE tranfgreffion is in the Healer.
Bane. Yet it had not been amiss the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn bimself, and the rod he might have bestow'd on you, who (as I take it) have stol’n his bird's nest.
Pedro. I will but teach them to fing, and restore. them to the owner.
Bene. If their singing anfwer your saying, 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 visor began to assume life, " and scold with her; she told me, not thinking I had s been myself, that I was the Prince's jefter, and that I
duller than a great thaw; huddling jeft upon jest, “ with such impassable conveyance upon me, that I 66 stood like a man at a mark, with a whole army “ shooting at me : fhe speaks poniards, and every word
If her breath were as terrible as her termi.
S C Ε Ν Ε V.
Bene. Will your Grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the slightest errand nowy to the Antipodes that you can devise to fend me on : I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the fartheft inch
of Alia; bring you the length of Prefter 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 employment for me? .
Pedro. 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 ufe for.it, a double heart for a single one; marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore your Grace may well fay 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 Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
Pedro. Why, how now, Count, wherefore are you sad ?
Claud. Not fad, my Lord,
Beat. The Count is neither fad, nor sick, nor mer ry, 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. 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 fay Amen to it.
Beat, Speak, Count, 'tís your cue.
Claud. Silence is the perfecteit 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 car, that he is in her heart.
Claud. And so she doth, coufin.
Beat. Good Lord, for alliance ! thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sun-burn'd; I may 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 get: ring. Hath your Grace ne'er a brother like you? your father got
excellent huibands, 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 coitly 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, fure, my Lord, my mother cry'd; but then there was a star danc'd, and under that I was born. Cousins, God give you joy.
Leon. Niece, will you look to thofe things I told you
[Exit Beatrice. S CE N E VI. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-fpirited lady.
Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my Lord; she is never fad' but when she fleeps; and not ever sad then; for I have heard my daughter say, she hath often drcam'd of unhappiness, and wak'd herself with laughing.
Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
Leon. O, by no means, she mocks all her wooers out of fuit.
Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick,
Leon. O Lord, my Lord, if they were but a week marry'd, they would talk themselves mad.
Pedro, Count Claudio, when mean you to go, to church?
Glaud. To-morrow, my Lord; time goes on crutches, till love have all his rites.
Leon. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a just seven-night; and a time too brief ioo to have all things answer my mind.
Pedro. Come, you take the head at so long a breathing; but I warrant thee, Claudio, the time thall not go dully by us. I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules's labours; which is, to bring Signior Be. nedick and the Lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection the one with the other. I wouid fain have it a match; and I doubt not to fashion it, if you three will but minister such aslistance as I shall give you direction.
Icon. My Lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights watchings. Claud. And I, my Lord. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?
Hero. I will do any modeft office, my Lord, to help my cousin to a good husband,
Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know. . Thus far I can praise him, he is of a noble ftrain, of approv'd valour, and confirm’d honesty, I will teach you how to humour your cousin, that she shall fall in love with Benedick, and I, with your twa helps, will fo practise on Benedick, that in despight of his quick wit, and his queasy ftomach, he fall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer, his glory Mall be ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in with me, and I will tell you my drift,
[Exeunt. S CE N E VII,
Changes to another apartment in Leonato's house,
Enter Don John and Borachio. John. It is so, the Count Claudio shall marry the daughter of Leonato.
Bera. Yea, my Lord, but I can cross it.