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A Room in Leonato's House.

URSULA, Friar, and Hero.
Friar. Did I not tell


she was innocent ? Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who ac

cus'd her
Upon the error that you heard debated :
But Margaret was in some fault for this;
Although against her will, as it appears
In the true course of all the question.

Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforç'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it. Leon. Well

, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves; And, when I send for you, come hither mask’d: The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me :-You know your office, brother; You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies.

Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd counte



Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. Friar. To do what, signior?

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. Leon. That eye my daughter lent her ; 'Tis most

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


From Claudio, and the prince: But what's your

will ?
Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical :
But, for my will, my will is, your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the estate of honourable marriage ;-
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

Leon. My heart is with your liking.

And my help.
Here comes the prince, and Claudio.
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with Attendants.
D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.
Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow,

We here attend you; are you yet determin'd
To-day to marry



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. D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's

the matter, That you

have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull:Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold, And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;

opa did at lusty Jove, When he would play the noble beast in love.

Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low: And some such strange bull leap'd your father's

cow, And got a calf in that same noble feat, Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

As once

your face.

Re-enter Antonio, with the Ladies masked. Claud. For this I owe you: here comes other

reckonings. Which is the lady I must seize upon ?

Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her. Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me see Leon. No, that you shall 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 lived, I was your other wife:

(Unmasking. And when you loved, you were my other husband.

Claud. Another Hero !

Nothing certainer :
One Hero died defil'd; but I do live,
And, surely as I live, I am a maid.

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander

Friar. All this amazement can I qualify;
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell

you largely of fair Hero's death : Mean time, let wonder seem familiar, And to the chapel let us presently.

Bene. Soft and fair, friar.- Which is Beatrice? Beat. I answer to that name; [Unmasking.

What is your will ? Bene. Do not you love me? Beat.

No, no more than reason, Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince,

and Claudio, Have been deceived; for they swore you did.


Beat. Do not you love me?

No, no more than reason. Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and

Ursula, Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did.

Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead Bene. 'Tis no such matter :--Then, you do not

love me? Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the

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

for me.


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

And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. Å 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 persuasion; and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption. Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth.

[Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married

man? Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my

humour : Dost thou think I care for a satire, or an epigram?


my cousin.

No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him : In brief, since I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.

- For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love

Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer ; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my

cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends :- let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.
Bene. First, o’my word; therefore, play, mu-

sick. Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife; there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.

Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta’en in

flight, And brought with armed men back to Messina.

Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow, I'll devise thee brave punishments for him. -- Strike up, pipers.

[Dance. Exeunt.

1 Because.

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