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Enter Don PedRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and
LEONATO. D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then I go toward Arragon.
Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.
D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bowstring, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him: he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.
Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love: if he be sad, he wants money,
Bene. I have the tooth-ach.
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
D. Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ach?
Bene. Well, Every one can master a grief, but he that has it.
Claud. Yet say I, he is in love.
appear he is.
D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises ; *as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once. Una less he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it
Claud. 'If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o' mornings; What should that bode?
D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's? Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seeni with him; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls. *Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a béard.
D. Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: Can you smell him out by that ? :
Claud. That's as much as to say, The sweet youth's in love.
D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face? D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.
Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops.
D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: Conclude, conclude, he is in love.
Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him. D. Pedro. That would I know too; I warrant, one that knows him not.
Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.
Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach. Old signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to these hobby-horses must not hear.
[Exeunt BENEDICK- and LEONATO:
D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
Claud. 'Tis even so: Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another, when they meet.
Enter Don JOHN.
D. John. If it please you ;- yet Count Claudio may hear; for what I would speak of, concerns him
D. Pedro. What's the matter?
D. John. Means your lordship to be married tomorrow?
[To CLAUDIO. D. Pedro. You know, he does.
D. John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.
Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, discover it.
D. John. You may think, I love you not; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest: For my brother, I think, he holds you well; and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage: surely, suit ill spent, and labour ill bestowed !
D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?
D. John. I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortened, (for she hath been too long a talking of,) the lady is dişloyal.
Claud. Who? Hero?
D. John. Even she ; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.
Claud. Disloyal ? D. John. The word is too good to paint out her wickedness; I could say, she were worse ;
you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamber-window entered; even the night before her wedding-day: if you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it would better fit your honour to change your mind.
Claud. May this be so ?
D. John. If you dare not trust that you see, con: fess not that
will follow me, I will show you enough ; and when you have seen more, and heard more, proceed accordingly.
Claud. If I see any thing to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow; in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.
D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.
D. John. I will disparage her no farther, till you are my witnesses : bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself. D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned ! Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting!
D. John. O plague right well prevented! So will you say, when you have seen the sequel.
Enter DOGBERRY and VERGES, with the Watch. Dogb. Are you good men, and true ?
Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation.
Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the prince's watch.
Verg. Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.
Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable?
1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal ; for they can write and read.
Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal. Heaven hath blessed you with a good name: to be a wellfavoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.
2 Watch. Both which, master constable,
Dogb. You have; I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, make no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch ; therefore bear you the lantern: This is your charge; You shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's name.
2 Watch. How if he will not stand ?
presently call the rest of the watch together, and thank heaven you are rid of a knave.
Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the prince's subjects.
Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none but the prince's subjects: – You shall also make no noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble and talk, is most tolerable, and not to be endured.
2 Watch. We will rather sleep than talk; we know what belongs to a watch.
Dogb. Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should offend: only, have a care that your bills be not stolen :- Well, you are to call at all the alehouses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed,
* Weapons of the watchmen,