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and with her Father,
was't not to this end,

All prompting me how fair young Hero is;
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.
Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
And tire the hearer with a book of words:
If thou doft love fair Hero, cherish it,
And I will break with her
And Thou shalt have her:
That thou began'ft to twist so fine a story?
Claud. How fweetly do you minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complection!
But left my liking might too fudden feem,
I would have falv'd it with a longer treatise.
Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the
flood?

The faireft grant is the neceffity;

Look, what will ferve, is fit; 'tis once, thou lov'ft;

And I will fit thee with the remedy.

I know, we shall have revelling to night;
I will affume thy part in fome difguife,
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;
And in her bofom I'll unclafp my heart,
And take her hearing prisoner with the force
And strong encounter of my amorous tale :
Then, after, to her father will I break;
And the conclufion is, fhe fhall be thine;
In practice let us put it presently.

Re-enter Leonato and Antonio.

[Exeunt.

Leon. How now, Brother,, where is my Coufin your fon? hath he provided this mufick?

Ant. He is very bufie about it; but, brother, I can tell you news that you yet dream'd not of.

Leon. Are they good?

Ant. As the event ftamps them, but they have a good cover; they show 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

to take the present time by the top, and inftantly break with you of it.

Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this? Ant. A good fharp fellow; I will fend for him, and question him your self.

Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, 'till it appear it felf: but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for anfwer, if peradventure this be true; go you and tell her of it: Coufins, you know what you have to do. [Several cross the Stage here.] O, I cry you mercy, friend, go you with me and I will use your skill; good Coufin, have a care this bufie time. [Exeunt. SCENE changes to an Apartment in

Conr.

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Leonato's House.

Enter Don John and Conrade.

Hat the good-jer, my lord, why are you thus out of measure fad ?

WH

John. There is no measure in the occafion that breeds it, therefore the fadness is without limit.

Conr. You should hear reason,

John. And when I have heard it, what Bleffing bringeth it?

Conr. If not a present remedy, yet a patient fufferance.

John. I wonder, that thou (being, as thou fay'ft thou art, born under Saturn) goeft about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mifchief: I cannot hide what I am I must be fad when I have cause, and fmile at no man's jets; eat when I have ftomach, and wait for no man's leifure; fleep when I am drowfie, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.

Conr. Yes, but you must not make the full show of this, 'till you may do it without controlement; you have of late ftood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace, where it is impoffible

you

you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make your felf; it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.

John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be difdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, (though I cannot be faid to be a flattering honeft man) it must not be deny'd but I am a plain-dealing villain; I am trusted with a muzzel, and infranchised with a clog, therefore I have decreed not to fing in my cage: if I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the mean time let me be that I am, and feek not to alter me.

Conr. Can you make no use of your discontent? John. I will make all ufe of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? what news, Borachio?

Enter Borachio.

Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper; the Prince, your brother, is royally entertain'd by Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.

John. Will it ferve for any model to build mischief on? what is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietnefs?

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.

John. Who, the most exquifite Claudio?

Bora. Even he.

John. A proper Squire! and who, and who? which way looks he?

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leo

nato.

John. A very forward March chick! how come you to this?

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Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was fmoaking a mufty room, comes me the Prince and Claudio hand in hand in fad conference: I whipt behind the Arras, and there heard it agreed upon, that the Prince fhould woo Hero for himfelf; and having obtain'd her, give her to Count Claudio.

John. Come, come, let us thither, this may prove

food

food to my displeasure: that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him any way, I blefs my felf every way; you are both fure, and will affift me.

Conr. To the death, my lord.

John. Let us to the great fupper; their Cheer is the greater, that I am fubdu'd; 'would the cook were of my fhall we go prove what's to be done? Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship.

mind!

[Exeunt.

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SCENE, a Hall in Leonato's House.

Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice,
Margaret and Urfula.

W

LEONATO.

AS not Count John here at Supper?
Ant. I faw him not,

Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after.

Hero. He is of a very melancholy difpofition.

Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the mid-way between him and Benedick; the one is too like an image, and fays nothing: and the other too like my lady's eldest fon, evermore tatling.

Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick's face

Beat. With a good Leg, and a good foot, Uncle, and mony enough in his purfe, fuch a man would win any woman in the world, if he could get her good Will.

Leon. By my troth, Neice, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be fo fhrewd of thy tongue.

Ant.

Ant. In faith, she's too curft.

Beat. Too curft is more than curft; I fhall leffen God's fending that way; for it is faid, curft Cow short horns; but to a Cow too

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God fends a curft he fends

Leon. So, by being too curft, God will fend you no horns.

Beat. Juft, if he fend me no husband; for the which Bleffing I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening: Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face, I had rather lye in woollen.

Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.

Beat. What fhould I do with him? dress him in my apparel, and make him my waiting gentlewoman? he that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man ; and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is lefs than a man, I am not for him: therefore I will even take fix pence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.

Leon. Well then, go you into hell,

66

Beat. No, but to the gate; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with his horns on his head, and fay, get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you "to heav'n, here's no place for you maids." So deliver I up my apes, and away to St. Peter, for the heav'ns ; he fhews me where the batchelors fit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.

Ant. Well, Neice, I truft, you will be rul'd by your father. [To Hero. Beat. Yes, faith, it is my Coufin's duty to make curtfie, and fay, Father, as it pleases you; but yet for all that, Coufin, let him be a handfome fellow, or elfe make another curtfie, and fay, Father, as it pleafes

me.

Leon. Well, Neice, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.

Beat. Not 'till God make men of some other metal than earth; would it not grieve a woman to be over

mafter'd

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