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being overjoy'd with finding a bird's neft, fhews it his companion, and he steals it.

Pedro. Wilt thou make a truft, a tranfgreffion? the tranfgreffion is in the stealer.

Bene. Yet it had not been amifs, the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself, and the rod he might have beftow'd on you, who (as I take it) have ftol'n his bird's neft.

Pedro. I will but teach them to fing, and restore them to the owner.

Bene. If their finging answer your faying, by my faith, you say honestly.

Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you; the gentleman that danc'd with her, told her fhe is much wrong'd by you.

Bene. O, the mifus'd me paft the indurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have anfwer'd her; my very vifor began to affume life, and fcold with her; fhe told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the Prince's jefter, and that I was duller than a great thaw; (6) hudling jeft upon jest, with fuch impaffable conveyance upon me, that I ftood like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me; the speaks Poniards, and every word ftabs; if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her, fhe would infect to the North-Star; I would not marry her, though fhe were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he tranfgrefs'd; the would have made Hercules have turn'd Spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her, you fhall find her the infernal Até in good apparel. I would to God, fome Scholar would conjure

(6) budling jeft upon jeft, with fuch impoffible conveyance, upon me.] Thus all the printed Copies; but I freely confefs, I can't poffibly understand the Phrafe. I have ventur'd to fubftitute impaffable. To make a Pafs (in Fencing,) is, to thrust, push and by impaffable, I prefume, the Poet meant, that the push'd her jests upon him with such Swiftnefs, that it was impoffible for him to pass them off, to parry them.


her; for, certainly, while fhe is here a man may live as quiet in hell as in a fanctuary, and people fin upon purpofe, because they would go thither; fo, indeed, all difquiet, horror, and perturbation follow her.

- Enter Claudio, Beatrice, Leonato and Hero.

Pedro. Look, here she comes.

Bene. Will your Grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the flightest errand now to the Antipodes, that you can devise to fend me on; I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the fartheft inch of Afia; bring you the length of Prefter John's foot; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard; do you any ambaffage to the pigmies, rather than hold three words conference with this harpy; you have no employment for me?

Pedro. None, but to defire your good company.

Bene. O God, Sir, here's a difh I love not. I cannot indure this Lady Tongue.

Pedro. Come, Lady, come; you have loft 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 fingle one; marry, once before he won it of me with falfe dice, therefore your Grace may well fay, I have loft it.

Pedro. You have put him down, Lady, you have put him down.

Beat. So I would not he fhould do me, my Lord, left I fhould prove the mother of fools. I have brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.

Pedro. Why, how now, Count, wherefore are you fad?

Claud. Not fad, my Lord.

Pedro. How then? fick?
Claud. Neither, my Lord.

Beat. The Count is neither fad, nor fick, nor merry, nor well; but civil, Count, civil as an orange, and fomething of that jealous complexion.

Pedro. I'faith, Lady, I think your blazon to be true: though I'll be fworn, if he be fo, his conceit is falfe. VOL. II.




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, 'tis your cue

Claud. Silence is the perfecteft herald of joy; I were but little happy, if I could fay how much. Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you, and doat upon the exchange.

Beat. Speak, Coufin, or (if you cannot) ftop 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 fide of care; my coufin tells him in his ear, that he is in her heart.

Claud. And fo fhe doth, coufin.

Beat. Good Lord, for alliance! thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am fun-burn'd; I may fit in a corner, and cry heigh ho! for á husband.

Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.

Beat. I would rather have one of your Father's


getting hath your Grace ne'er a brother like you? your Father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by


Pedro. Will you have me, Lady?

Beat. No, my Lord, unless I might have another for working days; your Grace is too costly to wear every day; but, I beseech your Grace, pardon me, I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.

Pedro. Your filence 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 ftar danc'd, and under that I was born. Coufins, God give you joy.

Leon. Neice, will you look to thofe things I told you of?


Beat. I cry you mercy, Uncle: by your Grace's pardon. [Exit Beatrice. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited Lady. Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, Lord; my she is never fad but when the fleeps, and not ever fad then; (7) for I have heard my daughter fay, fhe hath often dream'd of an happiness, and wak'd herfelf with laughing.

Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a huf band.

Leon. O by no means, the 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?

Claud. To-morrow, my Lord; time goes on crutches, 'till love have all his rites.

Leon. Not 'till Monday, my dear fon, which is hence a just seven-night, and a time too brief too, to have all things anfwer my mind.

Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time fhall not go dully by us. I will in the Interim undertake one of Hercules's labours, which is, to bring Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection the one with the other; I would fain have it a match, and I doubt not to fashion it, if you three will but minifter fuch affiftance as I fhall give you direction.

Leon. My Lord, I am for you, though it coft me ten nights watchings.

(7) For I bave heard my daughter fay, She bath often dream'd of unhappiness, and wak'd berself with laughing.] Tho' all the Impreffions agree in this Reading, furely, 'tis absolutely repugnant to what Leonato intends to say, which is this; "Bea❝trice is never fad, but when the fleeps; and not ever fad "then: for fhe hath often dream'd of something merry, (an "happiness, as the Poet phrafes it,) and wak'd herself with "laughing."

B 2


Claud. And I, my Lord.

Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?

Hero. I will do any modeft office, my Lord, to help my Coufin to a good husband.

Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefulleft 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 Coufin, that the fhall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your two helps, will fo practise on Benedick, that in defpight of his quick wit, and his queafie ftomach, he fhall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer, his glory fhall be ours, for we are the only Love-Gods; go in with me, and I will tell you my drift. [Exeunt. SCENE changes to another Apartment in Leonato's House.


Enter Don John and Borachio.

John. T is fo, the Count Claudio fhall marry the Daughter of Leonato.

Bora. Yea, my Lord, but I can cross it.

John. Any bar, any crofs, any impediment will be medicinable to me; I am fick in displeasure to him; and whatsoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine. How canft thou cross this marriage?

Bora. Not honestly, my Lord, but fo covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me.

John. Shew me briefly how.

Bora. I think, I told your lordship a year fince, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting-gen

tlewoman to Hero.

John. I remember.

Bora. I can, at any unfeasonable inftant of the night, appoint her to look out at her Lady's chamber-window.


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