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Pedro, and the Count Claudio, alone; tell them, that you know, Hero loves me ; intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio, (as in a love of your brother's honour who hath made this match ;) and his friend's reputation, (who is thus like to be cozen'd with the femblance of a inaid,) that you have discover'd thus ; they will hardly believe this without trial; offer them instances, which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber-window; hear me call Mar. garet, Hero ; hear Margaret term me Borachio; and bring them to see this, the very night before the intended wedding ; for in the mean time I will fo fashion the matter, that Hero shall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truths of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousy shall be call'd assurance, and all the preparation overthrown.
John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practice ; be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
Bora. Be thou constant in the accusation, and my conuing fhall not shame me. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.
SCEN E changes to Leonato's Orchard.
Enter Benedick, and a Boy.
Boy. Signior. Bene. In my chamber window lies a book, bring it bither to me in the orchard. Boy. I am here already, Sír.
[Exit Boy. Bene. I know that, but I would have thee hence, and here again.-I do much wonder, that one man, feeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laught at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love ! and sucii a man is Claudia. I have known, when there was no musick with him
but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Claud. Yea, my good lord ; how still the evening is,
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself?
Claud. O very well, my lord; the mufick ended,
Pedro. Come Balthazar, we'll hear that song again.
Balth. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To flander musick any more than cace.
Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency, To put a strange face on his own perfection ; I pray thee, fing; and let me woo no more.
Balth. Becaule you talk of wooing, I will fings
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 soul ravish'd ! is it not strange, that theep's guts should hale souls oas of mens bodies ? well, a horn for my money, when alles done.
Men were deceivers ever ;
To one thing constant never :
And be you blith and bonny ;
Into hey nony, nony.
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
Since summer was first leafy :
Pedro. Ha, no, no, faith ; thou fing't well enough for a thift,
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-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamber window. Balth. The best I can, my lord.
[Exit Balthazar. Pedro. Dofo: farewell. Come hither, Leonato; what was it you told me of to day, that your Niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? Claud. O, ay ;
-- talk on, stalk on, the fowl fitsa I did never think, that lady would have loved any man.
Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that the should fo doat on Signior Benedick, whom she hath. in all outward behaviours seem'd ever to abhor.
Bene. Is't poffible, fits the wind in that corner? [ Afide
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 past the infinite of thought.
Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Leon. O God! counterfeit ? there was never coun terfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as the di covers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shews she?
Leon. What effects, my lord ? fhe will fit you, you, heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed..
Pedro. How, how, I pray you ? you amaze me: I. 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 thould think this a. gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it; knavery cannot, furc, hide himself in-such reverence, B5
Claud. He hath ta'en th' infection, 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 the now, when she 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 Mheet of paper; my daughter tells us all.
Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. 0,- when she had writ it, and was reading it over, the found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.
Leon. (11) O, she tore the letter into a thousand half. pence; rail'd at herself, that she should be so immodeft, to write to one that, the knew, wou'd flout her: I measure him, says she, by my own spirit, I should flout him if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.
Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, cui ses; O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!
Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter fays fo; and the ecstacy hath so much overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid, the 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 ;
(11) 0, sbe sore the letter into a thousand half-pence ;] i. e. into a thousand pieces of the fame bigness. This is farther explain'd by a passage in As you like it;
There were none principal; tbey were all like one anoiber as half-pence are.
In both places the poet alludes to the old silver penny which had a creafe running cross-wife over it, so that it might be broke into two or four egu cus, half-per or farthings.