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MCCII ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
count John's mouth, and hall count John's melancholy in scignior Benedick's face,
Deut. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world, --if he could get her good will.
Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Int. In faith, she is too curst.
Beut. Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's sending that way: for it is said, God sends a Curst cor short horns; but to a cow too curst he sends none.
Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you no homs. Beat. Just, if he send me no husband for the
: which blessing, I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening : Jord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face; I had rather lie in the woollen.
Lron. You may light upon a husband that hath no beard.
Brut. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel, and make him my waiting gentlewoman? Ile 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 less 1 ገ , than a man, I am not for him. Therefore I will even tihe sixpence in carnest of the bear-herd, and lead his
apes into bell.
Lcon. Pell, then, go vou into hell?
Beut. Vo; but to the gate; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and sav. Get you to huren, Beatrice, get you to heaven ; here's no place for you maids : so deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the heavens; he show's me where the bachelor's sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Int. Well, niece, [To Hero.] I trust you will be ruled by your father.
Deat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make
courtesy, and say, Father, as it please you :— but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, Father, as it please me.
Leon. Well, niece, 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 overmastered with a piece of valiant dust? To make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl ? No, uncle, I'll none : Adam's sons are my brethren; and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred. Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you ; if the
; prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.
Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not wooed in good time: if the prince be too important, tell him, there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer. For hear me, Hero; wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace; the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical ; the wedding, mannerly-modest
, as a measure full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
Beat. I have a good eye, uncle ; I can see a church by day-light.
Leon. The revellers are entering ; brother, make good room.
Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BALTHAZAR;
Don John, BORACHIO, MARGARET, URSULA, and others masked.
D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend ?
1 Importunate. 2 A measure, in old language, besides its ordinary meaning, signified also a dance.
Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, especially, when I walk away.
D. Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero. When I like your favor; for God defend, the lute should be like the case !
D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.?
Hero. Why, then, your visor should be thatched.
[Takes her aside. Bene. Well, I would you did like me.
Marg. So would not 1, for your own sake; for 1 have many ill qualities.
Bene. Which is one ?
Bene. I love you the better; the hearers may cry,
Marg. God match me with a good dancer!
Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, when the dance is done!-Answer, clerk.
Balth. No more words; the clerk is answered.
Urs. I know you well enough; you are seignior
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless you were the very man: here's his dry hand up and down; you are he, you are he.
Ant. At a word I am not.
Urs. Come, come; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he; graces will appear, and there's an end.
| Alluding to the fable of Baucis and Philemon in Ovid.
Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so ?
Beat. That I was disdainful,—and that I had my good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales ; Well, this was seignior Benedick that said so.
Bene. What's he?
Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester; a very dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders: none but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleaseth men, and angers them, and then they laugh at him, and beat him: I am sure he is in the fleet: I would he had boarded me.
Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him
what you say.
Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night.
[Music within. We must follow the leaders.
Bene. In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.
[Dance. Then exeunt all but Don John,
Borachio, and CLAUDIO. D. John. Sure my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it: the ladies follow her, and but one visor remains.
1 This was a term for a jest-book in Shakspeare's time, from a popular collection of that name, about which the commentators were much puzzled, until a large fragment was discovered in 1815, by the Rev. J. Conybeare, Professor of Poetry in Oxford.
Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.
D. John. Are not you seignior Benedick?
D. John. Seignior, you are very near my brother in his love: he is enamored on Hero; I pray you, dissuade him from her; she is no equal for his birth : you may do the part of an honest man in it.
Claud. How know you he loves her?
Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would marry
[Exeunt Don John and BORACHIO.
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own
Claud. I wish him joy of her.
1 Blood signifies amorous heat or passion.