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Claud. To the tuition of God: From my house, (if I had it)—
D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick.
Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not: the body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither; ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so I leave you. [Exit BENEDICK. Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me
D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach; teach it but how,
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord?
D. Pedro. No child but Hero; she's his only heir Dost thou affect her, Claudio?
O, my lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it;
And I will break with her, and with her father,
Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the flood?
The fairest grant is the necessity: 1
Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once, thou lov❜st;
I know we shall have revelling to-night;
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart,
SCENE II. A Room in Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO.
Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, your son? Hath he provided this music?
Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed
Leon. Are they good?
Ant. As the event stamps them; but they have a good cover; they show well outward. The prince and count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleashed 3 alley in my orchard, were thus much overheard by a man of mine. The prince discovered to Claudio, that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and, if he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly break with you of it.
Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this?
1 Mr. Hayley proposes to read, "The fairest grant is to necessity;" i. e. "necessitas quod cogit defendit.”
2 i. e. once for all.
3 Thickly interwoven.
Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for him, and question him yourself.
Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till it appear itself:-but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you, and tell her of it. [Several persons cross the stage.] Cousins, you know what you have to do.-O, I cry you mercy, friend; you go with me, and I will use your skill:-good cousins, have a care this busy time. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. Another Room in Leonato's House.
Enter DON JOHN and CONRADE.
Con. What the goodjere, my lord! Why are you thus out of measure sad?
D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.
Con. You should hear reason.
D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?
Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient suffer
D. John. I wonder, that thou, being (as thou say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend to no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humor.
Con. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it without controlment. You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace; where it is impossible you should take true root, but by the fair
weather that you make yourself: it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.
D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any; in this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied that I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing 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 seek not to alter me.
Con. Can you make no use of your discontent? D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? What news, Borachio?
Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended
D. John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietness?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio?
D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? Which way looks he?
Bord. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
D. John. A very forward March chick! How came you to this?
Bord. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was
1.1 canker is the canker-rose, or dog-rose. "I had rather be a neglected dog-rose in a hedge, than a garden-rose if it profited by his culture."
2 Model is here used in an unusual sense; but Bullokar explains t Model, the platforme, or form of any thing."
smoking a musty room,' comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference: I whipped me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero for himself, and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio.
D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove food to my displeasure; that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way. You are both sure, and will assist me?
Con. To the death, my lord.
D. John. Let us to the great supper; their cheer is the greater, that I am subdued: would the cook were of my mind!-Shall we go prove what's to be done?
Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship.
SCENE 1. A Hall in Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others.
Leon. Was not count John here at supper?
Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him, but I am heart-burned an hour after.
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. 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 says nothing; and the other, too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.
Leon. Then half seignior Benedick's tongue in
1 The neglect of cleanliness among our ancestors rendered such precautions too often necessary.