Signior Leonato, truth it is, good Signior,
Your neice regards me with an eye of favour.

Leon. That eye my daughter lent her, 'tis moft


Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. Leon. The fight whereof, I think, you had from


From Claudio and the Prince; but what's your will?
Bene. Your anfwer, Sir, is enigmatical;
But for my will, my will is, your good will
May ftand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
I' th' ftate of honourable marriage;
In which, good Friar, I fhall defire your help.
Leon. My heart is with your liking.
Friar. And my help.



Enter Don Pedro and Claudio, with Attendants.

Pedro. Good morrow to this fair affembly.
Leon. Good morrow, Prince; good morrow,
: Claudio,

We here attend you; are you yet determin'd
To day to marry with my brother's daughter?
Claud. I'll hold my mind, were fhe an Ethiope.
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the Friar ready.
[Exit Antonio.
Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick; why, what's the

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That you have fuch a February-face,
So full of froft, of storm and cloudiness?

Claud, I think, he thinks upon the favage bull: Tufh, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold, And fo all Europe fhall rejoice at thee;

As once Europa did at lufty Jove,
When he would play the noble beast in love.


Bene. Bull Jove, Sir, had an amiable low, And fome fuch ftrange bull leapt your father's cow; And got a calf, in that fame noble feat, Much like to you; for you have just his bleat.



Enter Antonio, with Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, and Urfula, mask'd.

Claud. For this I owe you; here come other recknings.

Which is the lady I muft feize upon?

Ant. This fame is fhe, and I do give you her. Claud. Why, then fhe's mine; Sweet, let me fee your face.

Leon. No, that you fhall not, 'till you take her hand

Before this Friar, and fwear to marry her.

Claud. Give me your hand; before this holy Friar, I am your husband if you like of me.

Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife.


And when you lov'd, you were my other husband. Claud. Another Hero?

Hero. Nothing certainer.

One Hero dy'd defil'd, but I do live;
And, furely, as I live, I am a maid.

Pedro. The former Hero! Hero, that is dead! Leon. She dy'd, my lord, but whiles her flander liv'd.

Friar. All this amazement can I qualifie.
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell thee largely of fair Hero's death:
Mean time let wonder feem familiar,
And to the chappel let us presently.

Bene. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?


Beat. I answer to that name; what is your
Bene. Do not you love me?

Beat. Why, no, no more than reason,

Bene. Why, then your Uncle, and the Prince, and Claudio, have been deceiv'd; they fwore, you did. Beat. Do not you love me?

Bene. Troth, no, no more than reason.

Beat. Why, then my Coufin, Margaret and Urfula, Have been deceiv'd; for they did fwear, you did.

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Bene. They fwore, you were almoft fick for me. Beat. They fwore, you were well-nigh dead for


Bene. 'Tis no matter; then you do not love me? Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompence.

Leon. Come, Coufin, I am fure, you love the gen


Claud. And I'll be fworn upon't, that he loves


For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting fonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.

Hero. And here's another,

Writ in my Coufin's hand, ftolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts; come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.


Beat. I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great perfuafion, and partly to fave



2 I would not deny you,, &c.] Mr. Theobold fays, is not this mock-reafoning? She would not deny him, but that she yields upon great perfuafion. In changing the Negative I make no doubt but I have retriev'd the poet's humour: and fo changes not into yet. But is not this a Mock Critic? who could not fee that the plain obvious fenfe of the common reading was this, I cannot find in my heart to deny you, but for all that I yield, after having stood out great perfuafions to fubmiffion. He had faid, I take thee for

your life; for as I was told, you were in a confump


Bene. Peace, I will ftop your mouth.

[Killing ber. Pedro. How doft thou, Benedick, the married man?

Bene. I'll tell thee what, Prince; a College of witcrackers cannot flout me out of my humour: doft thou think, I care for a fatire, or an epigram? no: "if a "man will be beaten with brains, he fhall wear no"thing handsome about him;" in brief, fince I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can fay against it; and therefore never flout at me, for what I have faid against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclufion; for thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinfman, live unbruis'd, and love my coufin.

Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgell'd thee out of thy fingle life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of queftion, thou wilt be, if my Coufin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends; let's have a Dance ere we are marry'd, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.

Bene. First, o' my word; therefore, play, mufick. Prince, thou art fad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife; there is no staff more reverend than one tipt with


pity, the replies, I would not deny thee. i. e. I take thee for pity too: but as I live I am won to this compliance by importunity of friends. Mr. Theobald by altering not to yet makes it fuppofed, that he had been importunate, and that he had often denied; which was not the cafe.


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Enter Mellenger.

Melf. My Lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,

And brought with armed men back to Meffina. Bene. Think not on him 'till to morrow: I'll devise thee brave punishments for him. Strike up, [Dance. [Exeunt omnes.



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