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We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth.
Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that Song again.
Balth. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To flander mufick any more than once.
Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency, To put a strange face on his own perfection; 1
pray thee, fing; and let me woo no more.
Balib. Because you talk of wooing, I will fing;
Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come;
Balth. Note this before my notes,
Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks, Note, notes, forsooth, and noting,
Bene. Now, divine air; now is his foul ravish'd ! is it not ftrange, that sheeps guts should hale fouls out of men's bodies? well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
Sigh no more, ladies, high no more,
Men were deceivers ever ;
To one thing constant never :
And be you blith and bonny;
Into hey nony, nony.
Sing no more ditties, fing no mo,
Of dumps fo dull and heavy;
Since Jummer was first leafy:
Pedro. By my troth, a good Song.
Pedro. Ha, no, no, faith; thou fing'ft well enough for a shift.
Bene. If he had been a dog, that should have howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him; and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
Pedro. Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthazar ? I pray thee, get us some excellent mufick; for to-mor. row night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamberwindow.
Balih. The best I can, my lord. [Exit Balthazar.
Pedro. Do fo : farewel. Come hither, Leoneto; what was it
you told me of to-day, that your Niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? Claud. O, ay ;
stalk on, stalk on, the fowl sits. I did never think, that lady would have loved any
Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so dat on Signior Benedick, whom the hath in all outward behaviour feem'd ever to abhor. Bene. Is't posible, fits the wind in that corner ?
[ A fide. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an inraged affection, it is paft the infinite of thought.
Pedro. May be, le doth but counterfeit.
Leon. O God! counterfeit ? there was never counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she difcovers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of passion fhews she?
Leon. What effects, my lord ? she will fit you, you heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
would have thought, her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
Leon. I would have sworn, it had, my lord ; especially against Benedick.
Bene. [Afde.] I should think this a gull, but that the white bearded fellow speaks it ; knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.
Claud. He hath ta’en th' inffection, hold it up. Afide,
Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick ?
Leon. No, and swears she never will; that's her torment.
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, so your daughter says: shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?
Leon. This says she now, when fhe is beginning to write to him; for she'll be up twenty times a' night, and there will she fit in her smock, 'till she have writ a sheet of paper; my daughter tells us all. Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper,
remember a pretty jeft your daughter told us of.
Leon. O, when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.
Leon. (9) O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at herself, that the should be so immodist, to write to one that, he knew, wou'd flout her: I measure him, says the, by my own Spirit, for I fhould flout him if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.
(9) 0, me tore the Letter into a thousard half-pence;] i. e. into a thousand pieces of the same bigness. This is farther explained by a Paffage in As you like it.
There were none principal; they were all like one another as half-pence are.
In both places the Poet alludes to the old Silver Penny which had a Crease running Cross-wise over it, so that it might be broke into two or four equal pieces, half-pence, or farthings.
Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curles; O sweet Benedick ! God give me patience !
Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter fays so; and the ecstasy bath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afraid, she will do desperate outrage to herself; it is very true.
Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.
Claud. To what end? he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.
Pedro. If he should, it were an Alms to hang him ;, she's an excellent sweet lady, and (out of all fufpicion) the is virtuous.
Claud. And she is exceeding wise.
Leon. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that blood hath the victory; I am sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.
Pedro. I would, she had bestow'd this dotage on me; I would have dafft all other respects, and made her half, myself; I pray you tell Benedick of it; and hear what he will say.
Leon. Were it good, think you ?
Claud. Hero thinks, surely the will die ; for the says, she will die if he love her not, and she will die ere she make her love known; and she will die if he won her, rather than she will bate one breath of her accustom'd crossness.
Pedro. She doch well; if she should make tender of her love, 'tis very possible, he'll scorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.
Claud. He is a very proper man.
Pedro. He doth, indeed, thew fome sparks that aro. like wit. · Leon. And I take him to be valiant. Pedro. As Heclor, I assure you; and in the managing