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Urs. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong. She cannot be so much without true judgment (Having so swift and excellent a wit As she is prized to have) as to refuse So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.
Hero. He is the only man of Italy, Always excepted my dear Claudio.
Urs. I pray you be not angry with me, madam, Speaking my fancy; Signior Benedick, For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour, Goes foremost in report through Italy.
Hero. Indeed he hath an excellent good name.
Urs. His excellence did earn it ere he had it.When are you married, madam ?
Hero. Why, every day ;-to-morrow. Come,
I'll shew thee some attires; and have thy counsel Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.
Urs. She's limed, I warrant you; we have caught her, madam.
Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps: Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
[Exeunt Hero and Ursula.
BEATRICE advances. Beat. What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much? Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu !
No glory lives behind the back of such. And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee;
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand: If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band: For others say thou dost deserve; and I Believe it better than reportingly. Exit.
Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touched with love : if he be sad, he wants money.
Bene. I have the tooth-ache.
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
D. Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ache ?
Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he that has it.
Claud. Yet, say I, he is in love.
D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises: as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, as, a German from the waist downward, all slops; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet: unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.
Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o' mornings; what should that bode?
D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's.
Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.
Leon. Indeed he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
D. Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: can you smell him out by that?
Claud. That's as much as to say, the sweet youth 's in love
D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face?
D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.
Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops.
D. Pedro. Indeed that tells a heavy tale for him : conclude, conclude, he is in love.
Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.
D. Pedro. That would I know too; I warrant, one that knows him not.
Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and in despite of all, dies for him.
D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards.
SCENE II.-A Room in LEONATO's House.
Enter Don Pedro, CLAUDIO, Benedick, and
LEONATO. D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then I go toward Arragon.
Claud. I 'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.
D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to shew a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bowstring, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him: he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.
Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache. -Old signior, walk aside with me; I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.
[Exeunt BENEDICK and Leonato. D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
Claud. 'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another, when they meet.
Enter Don John. D. John. My lord and brother, God save you. D. Pedro. Good den, brother. D. John. If your leisure served, I would speak
he holds you well; and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage : surely, suit ill spent, and labour ill bestowed.
D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?
D. John. I came hither to tell you: and, circumstances shortened (for she hath been too long a talking of), the lady is disloyal.
Claud. Who? Hero?
D. John. Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.
Claud. Disloyal ?
D. John. The word is too good to paint out her wickedness; I could say, she were worse; think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not, till further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamberwindow entered, even the night before her wedding-day; if you love her then, to-morrow wed her ; but it would better fit your honour to change your mind.
Claud. May this be so?
D. John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess not that you know: if you will follow me, I will shew you enough; and when you have seen more and heard more, proceed accordingly.
Claud. If I see anything to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow,—in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.
D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.
D. Pedro. In private ?
D. John. If it please you :-yet Count Claudio may for what I would speak of concerns him.
D. Pedro. What's the matter?
D. John. Means your lordship to be married to-morrow?
[To Claudio. D. Pedro. You know he does.
D. John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.
Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.
D. John. You may think I love you not; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest: for my brother, I think
D. John. I will disparage her no farther, till you are my witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue shew itself.
D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned !
D. John. O plague right well prevented!
Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the Prince's watch.
Verg. Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.
Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable ?
1st Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Sea-. coal; for they can write and read.
Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal: God hath blessed you with a good name: to be a wellfavoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.
2nd Watch. Both which, master constable,
Dogb. You have; I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give
SCENE III.-A Street.
Enter DOGBERRY and Verges, with the Watch. Dogb. Are you good men and true ?
Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation, body and soul.
God thanks, and make no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that
when there is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch; therefore bear you
the lantern. This is your charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man stand, in the Prince's name.
2nd Watch. How if he will not stand ?
Dogb. Why then, take no note of him, but let him go; and presently call the rest of the watch together, and thank God you are rid of a knave.
Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the Prince's subjects.
Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none but the Prince's subjects.—You shall also make
no noise in the streets ; for, for the watch to babble and talk, is most tolerable and not to be endured.
2nd Watch. We will rather sleep than talk; we know what belongs to a watch.
Dogb. Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should offend: only have a care that your bills be not stolen. Well, you are to call at all the alehouses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
2nd Watch. How if they will not?
Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are sober; if they make you not then the better answer, you may say they are not the men you took them for.
2nd Watch. Well, sir.
Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought Dogb. If you meet a thief, you may suspect there would a scab follow. him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man: Con. I will owe thee an answer for that: and and for such kind of men, the less you meddle now forward with thy tale. or make with them, why the more is for your Bora. Stand thee close, then, under this penthonesty.
house, for it drizzles rain ; and I will, like a true 2nd Watch. If we know him to be a thief, .
drunkard, utter all to thee. shall we not lay hands on him?
Watch. [Aside.] Some treason, masters; yet Dogb. Truly, by your office you may; but I stand close. think they that touch pitch will be defiled: the Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don most peaceable way
do take a John a thousand ducats. thief, is to let him shew himself what he is, and Con. Is it possible that any villany should be steal out of your company.
so dear. Verg. You have always been called a merciful Bora. Thou shouldst rather ask if it were man, partner.
possible any villany should be so rich; for when Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones will; much more a man who hath any honesty may make what price they will. in him.
Con. I wonder at it. Verg. If you hear a child cry in the night, Bora. That shews thou art unconfirmed: thou you must call the nurse, and bid her still it. knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat,
2nd Watch. How if the nurse be asleep, and or a cloak, is nothing to a man. will not hear us?
Con. Yes, it is apparel. Dogb. Why then, depart in peace, and let the Bora. I mean, the fashion. child wake her with crying: for the ewe that Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion. will not hear her lamb when it baes, will never Bora. Tush! I may as well say the fool's the answer a calf when it bleats.
fool. But seest thou not what a deformed thief Verg. 'Tis very true.
this fashion is ? Dogb. This is the end of the charge. You, Watch. I know that Deformed; he has been constable, are to present the Prince's own per- a vile thief this seven year; he goes up and down son: if you meet the Prince in the night, you like a gentleman : I remember his name.
Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody? Verg. Nay, by 'r lady, that I think he cannot. Con. No; 't was the vane on the house.
Dogb. Five shillings to one on’t, with any Bora. Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed man that knows the statues, he may stay him : thief this fashion is? how giddily he turns about marry, not without the Prince be willing : for, all the hot bloods between fourteen and five-and indeed, the watch ought to offend no man; and thirty? sometime fashioning them like Pharaoh's it is an offence to stay a man against his will. soldiers in the reechy painting; sometime, like Verg. By 'r lady, I think it be so.
god Bel's priests in the old church-window; Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good sometime, like the shaven Hercules in the night : an there be any matter of weight smirched worm-eaten tapestry, where his codchances, call up me : keep your fellows' coun- piece seems as massy as his club? sels and your own, and good night.—Come, Con. All this I see; and see that the fashion neighbour.
wears out more apparel than the man. But art 2nd Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge: not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that let us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me and then all to bed.
of the fashion ? Dogb. One word more, honest neighbours: I Bora. Not so, neither: but know that I have pray you, watch about Signior Leonato's door ; to-night wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero's genfor the wedding being there to-morrow, there is tlewoman, by the name of Hero; she leans me a great coil to-night. Adieu : be vigilant, I be- out at her mistress's chamber-window, bids me [Exeunt DogBERRY and Verges. a thousand times good-night.-—I tell this tale
vilely:-I should first tell thee, how the Prince, Enter Borachio and CONRADE.
Claudio, and my master, planted and placed, and Bora. What, Conrade!
possessed by my master, Don John, saw afar off Watch. Peace, stir not.
[Aside. in the orchard this amiable encounter. Bora. Conrade, I say !
Con. And thought they Margaret was Hero? Con. Here, man, I am at thy elbow.
Bora. Two of them did, the Prince and
may stay him.