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Leon. That eye my daughter lent her, 'tis moft true. Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her.
Leon. The fight whereof, I think, you had from me,
In which, good Friar, I fhall defire your help.
Friar. And my help.
Enter Don Pedro and Claudio, with Attendants.
Pedro. Good morrow to this fair affembly.
Leon. Good morrow, Prince; good morrow, Claudie, 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 she an Ethiope. Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the Friar ready.
[Exit Antonio. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick; why, what's the matter,
That you have fuch a February-face,
So full of froft, of ftorm 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;
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 ?
Anto. This fame is. fhe, and I do give you her.
Claud. Why, then she's mine; Sweet, let me fee your face.
Legn. No, that you fhall not, 'till you take her hand Before this Friar, and swear 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.
[Unmasking And when you lov'd, you were my other husband.. Claud. Another Hero? (22)
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;
And to the chappel let us presently.
Bene. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?
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 Couín, Margaret and Urfula, Have been deceiv'd; for they did fwear, you did.
(22) Claud. Another Hero!
Nothing certainer :
One Hero dy'd; but I do live,
And furely as I live I am a Maid.] Befides that the laft Line but One wants a whole Foot in Measure, it is as defective in the Meaning: For how are the Words made out? One Hero dy'd, and yet that Hero lives, but how is She then another Hero The Supplement, which I have reftor'd from the old Quarto, folves all the Difficulty, and makes the laft Linereasonable,
Bene. They fwore, you were almost fick for me. Beat. They fwore, you were well-nigh dead for me. 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 gentle
Claud. And I'll be fworn upon't, that he loves her ; For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting fonnet of his own pure brain,
Hero. And here's another,
Writ in my Coufin's hand, ftolen from her pocket,
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.
(23) Beat. I would yet deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great perfuafion, and partly to fave your life; for as I was told, you were in a confumption.
(24) Bene. Peace, I will ftop your mouth.
[Kiffing her. 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
(23) I would not deny you, but by this good day I yield upon great perfuafion, &c.] Is not this ftrange Mock-reasoning in Beatrice? She would not deny him, but that She yields upon great Perfuafion. By changing the Negative, I make no doubt but I have retriev'd the Poet's Humour.
(24) Leon. Peace, I will stop your Mouth.] What can Leonato mean by This?" Nay, pray, peace, Neice; don't keep up "this Obftinacy of Profeffions, for I have Proofs to stop your "Mouth." The ingenious Dr. Thirlby agreed with me, that this ought to be given to Benedick, who, upon faying it, kisses Beatrice and this being done before the whole Company, how natural is the Reply which the Prince makes upon it?
How doft thon, Benedick? the married Man, Befides, this Mode of Speech, preparatory to a Salute, is fa miliar to our Poet in common with other Stage-Writers.
think,. I care for a fatire, or an epigram? no: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handfome about him; in brief, fince I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpofe 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 cousin.
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. Firft, o' my word; therefore, play, mufick. Prince, thou art fad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife; there is no ftaff more reverend than one tipt with horn.
Me. My Lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, And brought with armed men back to Mefina.
Bene. Think not on him 'till to morrow: I'll devife thee brave punishments for him. Strike up, Pipers. [Dance. [Exeunt omnes.