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Bene. Is't come to this, in faith ? hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with sufpicion ? shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again ? go to, i'faith, if thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays : look, Don Pedro is return’d to seek you.
S C E N E IV.
Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John. Pedro. THAT Secret hath held you here, that
follow'd not to Leonato's house? Bene. I would your Grace would constrain me to tell. 1: Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.
Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as i a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on my
allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance:-he is in love; with whom? now that is your Grace's part: mark, how short his answer is, with Hero, Leonato's short-daughter.
Claud. If this were so, fo were it uttered.
Bene. Like the old tale, my lord, it is not so, nor 'twas not fo; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.
Claud. If my paffion change not shortly, God for[bid it should be otherwise.
Pedro. Amen, if you love her, for the Lady is very well worthy.
Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my Lord. 1 Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought.
Claud. And, in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine.
Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speak mine.
Claud. That I love her, I feel.
Bene. That I neither feel how she should be loved, por know how she should be worthy, is the opinion
that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.
Pedro. Thou waft ever an obstinate heretic in the despight of beauty.
Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in the force of his will.
Bene. That a woman conceiv'd me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldric, all women shall pardon me; because I will not do them the Wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the Right to trust none: and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor.
Pedro. I shall see 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
with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house for the Sign 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 shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and call'd * Adam.
Pedo. Well, as time shall try; in time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.
Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and fet them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted ; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good Horse to hire, let them signify under my Sign, Here you inay see Benedick the marry'd the man.
* Adam Bell, at that time famous for Archery. Mr. Theobald.
Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'ft be horn-mad.
Pedro. Nay, if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
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 supper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.
Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for such an embassage, and so I commit you
Claud. To the tuition of God; From my house, if I had it,
Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick.
Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly bafted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so I leave you.
S CE N E V.
Claud. O my lord,
you went onward on this ended action,
Have left their places vacant; in their rooms
Pedro. Thou wilt be a lover prefently,
Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
your son? hath he provided this music?
Ant. He is very busy about it; but, brother, I can tell you news that you yet
dream'd not of. Leon. Are they good?
Ant. As the event stamps 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 discover'd to Claudio, that he lov'd my neice your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and if he found her accordant, he meant 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 sharp fellow; I will send 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 answer, if peradventure this be true; go you and tell her of
it: Cousins, you know what you have to do. (Several I cross the Stage here.] 0, I cry you mercy, friend, go you
with me and I will use your skill; good Cousin, have a care this busy time.
Changes to an Apartment in Leonato's House.
Enter Don John and Conrade. Conr. HAT the good-jer, my lord, why are
you thus out of measure sad? John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.
Conr. You should hear reason.
John. And when I have heard it, what Blessing bringeth it?
Conr. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance.
John. I wonder, that thou (being, as thou fay'st thou art, born under Saturn) goeft about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief: I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drow