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joy could not sew itself modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.
Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer than those that are so wash'd. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping !
Beat. I pray you, *is Signior Montanto return'd from the wars or no?
Mej. I know none of that name, Lady; there was none such in the
army Sort. Leon. What is he that you ask for, Neice ? Hero. My Cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua. Mel. O, he's return'd, and as pleasant as ever he
Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challengd Cupid at the flight; and my Uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscrib’d for Cupid, and challeng'd him at the bird-bolt. I
pray you, how many hath he kill'd and eaten in these wars? but how many hath he kill'd? for, indeed, I promis'd to eat all of his killing
Leon. Faith, Neice, you tax Signior Benedick too much ; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
Mej. He hath done good service, Lady, in these
Beat. You had mufy victuals, and he hath holp to eat it; he's a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an excellent stomach.
Mes. And a good soldier too, Lady.
Beat. And a good soldier to a lady? but what is he to a lord ?
Mel. A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stufft with all honourable virtues.
* is Signior Montanto return'd] Montante, in Spanish, is a huge twohanded-sword, given, with much Humour, to one, the Speaker would represent as a Boafter or Bravado.
Beat. It is so, indeed: he is no less than a stufft man: but for the stuffing,—well, we are all mortal. Leon. You inust not, Sir, mistake my
there is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her; they never meet, but there's a skirmish of Wit between them.
Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by That. In our last conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man govern'd with one: So that if he have * wit enough to keep himself from harm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse ; for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion now? he hath every month a new sworn brother.
Mef. Is it possible?
Beat. Very easily poffible; he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.
Mej. I fee, Lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
Beat. No; an he were, I would burn my Study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil ?
Mes. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.
Beat. O lord, he will hang upon him like a disease; he is sooner caught than the peftilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio, if he have caught the Benedick; it will cost him a thousand pounds ere he be cur'd.
* wit enough to keep himself warm,] But how would that make a difference between him and his Horse? We should read, Wit enough to keep himself from harm. This suits the fatirical Turn of her Speech, in the Chara&er she would give of Benedick; and this would make the Difference spoken of. For 'tis the Nature of Horses, when wounded, to run upon the Point of the Weapon. Vol. II.
Pedro. meet your trouble: the fashion of the
Mej. I will hold friends with you, Lady,
S C E N E II.
world is to avoid coft, and you encounter it.
Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your Grace; for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly: I think, this is your daughter.
Leon. Her mother hath many times told me fo.
Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child..
Pedro. You have it full, Benedick; We may guess by this what you are, being a man: truly, the lady fathers herself; be happy, lady, for you are like an honourable father,
Bene. If Signior Leonato be her Father, she would not have his head on her shoulders for all Mefina, as like him as she is.
Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick ; no body marks you.
Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet living?
Beat. Is it possible, Disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it, as Signior Benedick ? Courtesy itself must convert to Disdain, if you come in her presence.
Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat; but it is certain, I am lov'd of all ladies, only you excepted ; and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none.
Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious fuitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your Humour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man fwear he loves me.
Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate scratcht face.
Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.
Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.
Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer: but keep your way o‘God's name, I have done.
Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know
you of old.
Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato, -Signior Claudio, and Signior Benedick, my dear friend, Leonato hath invited you all; I tell him, we shall
stay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays, · fome occasion may detain us longer ; I dare swear, he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.
Leon. If you swear, my Lord, you shall not be for3 sworn.- Let me bid You welcome, my lord, being
reconciled to the prince your brother; I owe you all duty.
John. I thank you; I am not of many words, but
I thank you.
Leon. Please it
your Grace lead on? Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together. [Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio.
BENEDICK, didit thou note the daughBene. I noted her not, but I look'd on her. Claud. Is she not a modest young lady?
Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment? or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Claud. No, I pr’ythee, speak in sober judgment.
Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks, she is too low for an high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise; only this commendation I can afford her, that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.
Claud. Thou think'st, I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou lik’ft her.
Bene. Would you buy her, that you enquire after her ?
Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel ?
Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into; but speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter? come, in what key shall a man take you to go in the Song?
Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that I ever look'd on.
Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I fee no such matter; there's her Cousin, if she were not polles with such a Fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of Máy doth the last of December : but I hope, you have no intent to turn husband,
Claud. I would scarce trust myself, tho’I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.