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Bene. Would you buy her, that you enquire after her?

Claud. Can the world buy fuch a jewel?

Bene. Yea, and a cafe to put it into. But speak you this with a fad 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 fhall a man take you to go in the Song?

Claud. In mine eye, fhe is the fweeteft lady that I ever look'd on.

Bene. I can fee yet without fpectacles, and I fee no fuch matter; there's her Coufin, if she were not poffeft with fuch a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of May doth the laft of December: but I hope, you havé no intent to turn husband, have you? Claud. I would fcarce truft myself, tho' I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.


Bene. Is't come to this, in faith? hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with fufpicion; fhall I never fee a batchelor of threefcore again? go to, i'faith, if thou wilt needs thruft thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and figh away Sundays': look, Don Pedro is return'd to seek you.

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Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John.

: Pedro. What fecret hath held you here, that you follow'd not to Leonato's house?

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Bene. I would, your Grace would conftrain me to tell. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be fecret as a dumb man, I would have you think fo; but on my alliegiance, mark you this,-on my allegiance.-He is in love. With whom?-now that is your Grace's part. Mark how fhort his anfwer is-with Here, Leonato's fhort daughter.

Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered 7.

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord, it is not fo, nor 'twas not fo; but, indeed, God forbid it fhould be fo. Claud. If my paffion change not shortly, God forbid it fhould be otherwife.

Pedro. Amen, if you love her, for the Lady is very well worthy.

Glaud. You fpeak this to fetch me in, my Lord. Pedro. By my troth, I fpeak my thought. Claud. And, in faith, my Lord, I fpoke mine. Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speak mine.

Claud. That I love her, I feel.

Pedro. That he is worthy, I know.

Bene. That I neither feel how the fhould be loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the Лtake.

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Pedro. Thou waft ever an obftinate heretick in the defpight of beauty.


Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in the force of his will.

Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that the brought me up, I likewife give her moft humble thanks; but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invifible baldrick, all women fhall pardon me; because I will not do them the Wrong to miftruft any, I will do my felf the Right to truft none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a batchelor.

Pedro. I fhall fee 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 lofe more blood with love, than I will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a balladmaker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-houfe 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 fhoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the fhoulder, and call'd Adam.



but in the force of his will] Alluding to the definition of a Heretick in the Schools. WARBURTON.

9 but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead,] That is, I will wear a horn on

my forehead which the bun the

may blow. A recheate is

found by which dogs are called back. Shakespeare had no mercy upon the poor cuckold, his born is an inexhauftible fubject of merriment.

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Pedro. Well, as time fhall try; in time the favage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the fenfible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and fet them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted; and in fuch great letters as they write, Here is good Horfe to hire, let them fignifie under my Sign, Here you may fee Benedick the marry'd man.

Claud. If this fhould ever happen, thou would'st 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 fupper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almoft matter enough in me for fuch an embaffage, and fo I commit you

Claud. To the tuition of God; From my houfe, if I had it,

Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick.

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your

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difcourfe is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but flightly bafted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and fo I leave you.

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Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me good.

Pedro. My love is thine to teach, teach it but how, And thou fhalt see how apt it is to learn

Any hard leffon that may do thee good.
Claud. Hath Leonato any fon, my lord?

Pedro. No child but Hero, fhe's his only heir;
Doft thou affect her, Claudio?
Claud. O my lord,

When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a foldier's eye;
That lik'd, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love;
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant; in their rooms
Come thronging foft and delicate Defires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is;
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.

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

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,

4-ere you flout old ends, &c.] Before you endeavour to diftinguish your felf any more by antiquated allufions, examine whether you can fairly claim them fer your own.

This I think is the meaning: or it may be understood in another sense, examine, if your sarcasms do not touch yourself.

I would

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