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We'll fit the kid fox with a penny worth.

Pedro Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that Song again
Balth. O good my Lord, tax not fo bad a voice
To flander musick any more than once.

Pedro. It is the witness ftill of excellency,
To put a strange face on his own perfection;
I pray thee, fing; and let me woo no more.
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will fing;
Since many a wooer doth commence his fuit
To her he thinks not worthy, yet he wooes ;
Yet will he fwear, he loves.

Pedro Nay, pray thee, come;

Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.

Balth. Note this before my notes,

There's not a note of mine, that's worth the noting. Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks, Note, notes, forfooth, and noting.

Bene. Now, divine air; now is his foul ravish'd! is it not ftrange, that fheeps guts fhould hale fouls out of mens bodies? well, a horn for my money, when all's done.

The SON G.

Sigh no more, ladies, figh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in fea, and one on shore,
To one thing conftant never :
Then figh not fo, but let them go,
And be you blith and bonny ;
Converting all your founds of woe
Into hey nony, nony.

Sing no more ditties, fing no mo
Of dumps fo dull and heavy;
The frauds of men were ever so,
Since fummer was firft leafy:
Then figo no fa, &c.


Pedro. By my troth, a good Song.

Balth. And an ill finger, my lord.

Pedro. Ha, no; no, faith; thou fing'st well enough for a shift.

Bene. If he had been a dog, that fhould have howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him; and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief: I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.

Pedro. Yea, marry, doft thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee, get us fome excellent mufick; for to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamberwindow.

Balth. The best I can, my lord. [Exit Balthazar. Pedro. Do fo: farewel. Come hither, Leonato; what was it you told me of to day, that your Neice Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick?

Claud. O, ay;

ftalk on, ftalk on, the fowl fits. I did never think, that lady would have loved any


Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so doat on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours feem'd ever to abhor.

Bene. Is't poffible, fits the wind in that corner ?

[Afide. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that the loves him with an inraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.

Pedro. May be, fhe doth but counterfeit.

Claud. Faith, like enough.

Leon. O God! counterfeit? there never was counterfeit of paffion came fo near the life of paffion, as the discovers it.

Pedro. Why, what effects of paffion fhews she?

Claud. Bait the hook well, this fifh will bite. [Afide. Leon. What effects, my lord ? fhe will fit you, you! heard my daughter tell you how.

Claud. She did, indeed.

Pedro. How, how, I pray you? you amaze me: I

B. 5


would have thought, her fpirit had been invincible against all affaults of affection.

Leon. I would have fworn, it had, my lord; efpecially against Benedick.

Bene. [Afide.] I fhould think this a gull, but that the white bearded fellow fpeaks it; knavery cannot, fure, hide himself in fuch reverence.

Claud. He hath ta'en th' infection, hold it up. [Afide. Pedro. Hath fhe made her affection known to Benedick?

Leon. No, and fwears fhe never will; that's her tor


Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, fo your daughter fays: fhall I, fays fhe, that have fo oft encounter'd him with fcorn, write to him that I love him?

Leon. This fays fhe now, when the is beginning to write to him; for fhe'll be up twenty times a night, and there will she fit in her fmock, 'till the have writ a fheet of paper; my daughter tells us all.

Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, ber a pretty jeft your daughter told us of.

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Leon. O, when she had writ it, and was reading it over, the found Benedick and Beatrice between the fheet.

Claud. That

Leon. (9) O, fhe tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at herself, that she should be fo immodeft, to write to one that, fhe knew, wou'd flout her: I meafure him, fays fhe, by my own Spirit, for I fhould flout him if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.

(9) O, he tore the Letter into a thousand half-pence; i. e. into a thoufand pieces of the fame bigrefs. This is farther explain'd by a Paffage in As you like it;

There were none principal; they were all like one anotber as half-pence are.

In both places the Poet alludes to the old Silver Penny which had a Crease running Cross-wife over it, fo that it might be broke into two or four equal pieces, half-pence, or farthings.


Claud. Then down upon her knees fhe falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curfes; a fweet Benedick! God give me patience!

Leon. She doth indeed, my daughter fays fo; and the: ecstafie hath fo much overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid, she will do desperate outrage to her felf; it is very true.

Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by fome other, if the will not difcover it.

Claud. To what end? he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worfe

Pedro. If he fhould, it were an Alms to hang him ; fhe's an excellent fweet lady, and (out of all suspicion) fhe is virtuous.

Claud. And fhe is exceeding wife.

Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick.

Leon. O my lord, wildom and blood combating in fo tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that blood hath the victory; I am forry for her, as I have just caufe, being her uncle and her guardian.

Pedro. I would, fhe had beftow'd this dotage on me ; I would have dafft all other refpects, and made her half myself; I pray you, tell Benedick of it; and hear what he will fay.

Leon. Were it good, think you

Claud. Hero thinks, furely the will die; for fhe fays, fhe will die if he love her not, and fhe will die ere fhe make her love known; and fhe will die if he woo her, rather than the will bate one breath of her accustom❜d. crofsnefs.

Pedro. She doth well; if the fhould make tender of her love, 'tis very poffible, he'll fcorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit..

Claud. He is a very proper man,

Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness. Claud. 'Fore God, and, in my mind, very wife. Pedro. He doth, indeed, fhew fome fparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

Pedro. As Hector, I affure you; and in the managing


of quarrels you may fay he is wife; for either he avoids them with great difcretion, or undertakes them with a christian-like fear.

Leon. If he do fear God, he muft neceffarily keep peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.

Pedro. And fo will he do, for the man doth fear God, howfoever it seems not in him, by fome large jests he will make. Well, I am forry for your Neice: shall we go feek Benedick, and tell him of her love? Claud. Never tell him, my lord; let her wear it out with good counfel.

Leon. Nay, that's impoffible, fhe may wear her heart out first.

Pedro. Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter; let it cool the while. I love Benedick well; and I could wish he would modeftly examine himself, to fee how much he is unworthy to have fo good a lady.

Leon. My Lord, will you walk? dinner is ready. Claud If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.

[Afide. Pedro. Let there be the fame net fpread for her, and that muft your daughter and her gentlewomen carry ; the sport will be when they hold an opinion of one another's dotage, and no fuch matter; that's the Scene that I would fee, which will be merely a Dumb Show; let us fend her to call him to dinner. [Afide.] [Exeunt.

Benedick advances from the Arbour.

Bene. This can be no trick, the conference was fadly borne; they have the truth of this from Hero; they seem to pity the lady; it feems, her affections have the full bent. Love me! why, it must be requited: I hear, how I am cenfur'd; they fay, I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; they fay too, that he will rather die than give any fign of affection. I did never think to marry must not seem proud happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending: they



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