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I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.

Bene. God keep your ladyship fill in that mind! fo fome gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate scratcht face.

Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.

Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer; but keep your way a God's naine, I have done.

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.

Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato, --Signior Claudio, and Signior Benedick, -my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all ; I tell him, we shall ttay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays, fome occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite ; but prays from his heart.

Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn. --Let me bid you welcome, my lord, being reconciled to the prince your brother; I owe you all duty.

John. I thank you; I am not of many words, but I
Leon. Please it your Grace lead on?
Pedro. Your hand, Leonato we will go together.

[Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Sigo nior Leonate?

Bene. I noted her not, but I look'd on her.
Claud. Is she not a modeft young lady?

Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment ? or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a profeffed tyrant to their sex?

Claud. No, I pr’ythee, speak in sober judgment.

Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks fhe is too low for an high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a

great

thank you.

A 5

great praise; only this commendation I can afford her, that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome ; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.

Claud. Thou think'st, I am in sport; I pray thee, tell ine truly how thou lik'st her.

Bene. Would you buy her, that you enquire after her? Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel?

Bene, Yea, and a case to put it into; but speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter? come, in what key shall a man take you to go in the song ?

Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that I ever look'd on.

Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I fee no such matter; there's her Cousin, if she were not poffeft with such a Fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of May doth the last of December : but I hope, you have no intent to turn husband, have

you

? Claud. I would scarce truft myself, tho’I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.

Bene. Is't come to this, in faith? hath not the world one man, but he will wear his

cap with suspicion? Thall I never see a bachelor of threescore again ? go to, i' faith, if thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays: look, Don Pedro is return’d to seek you.

Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that you fol. low'd not to Leonato's house?

Bene. I would, your Grace would constrain me to tell. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think fo; but on my allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance:---he is in love; with whom? now that is your Grace's

part : mark, how short his answer is, with Hero, Leonato's Mort daughter.

Claud.

Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered.

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord, it is not so, nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.

Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise.

Pedro. Amen, if you love her, for the Lady is very well worthy.

Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my Lord.
Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought.
Claud. And, in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine.

Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speak mine.

Claud. That I love her, I feel.
Pedro. That she is worthy, I know.

Bene. That I neither feel how she should be loved, nor know how she thould be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the itake.

Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretick in the despight of beauty.

Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in the force of his will.

Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her molt humble thanks: but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women Mall pardon me ; because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor.

Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.

Bene. With anger, with fickness, or with hunger, my lord, not with love : prove, that ever I lose more blood with love, than I will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house for the Sign of blind Cupid.

Pedro. Well, if ever thou doft fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument. Bere. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and call?d Adam. (3)

shoot

Pedro. Well, as time shall try; in time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The savage bull may, but if ever the sensible Benedick, bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and set them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted ; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good Horse to hire, let them signify under my fign, Here you may fee Benedick the marry'd man.

Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.

(3) And be that bits me, let him be clap'd on the faculder, and cali'd Adam ] But why should be therefore be call'd Adam? Perhaps, by a quotation or two we may be able to trace the poet's allusion here. In Law-Tricks, or, Wbo would bave thought it, (a Comedy written by Jobr Day, and printed in 1608) I find this speech.

I have beard, Old Adam was an bonest Man, and a good Gardiner ; lov'd Lettice well, Salads and Cabage reasurable well, yet no Tobacco ;Again, Adam Bell, a fubftantial Outlaw, and a paffing good Archer, yet, 710 Tobacconift.

By this it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of day was of reputation for his skill at the bow. I find him again mention'd in a burlesque poem of Sir William Davenast's, call’d, The long Vacation in London.

Now lean Attorney, that his cheese
Ne’er par’d, nor veres took for fees,
And aged Proctor, that controuls
The feats of Punk in court of Pauls,
Do each with solemn oath agree
To meet in fields of Finsbury:
With loins in canvas bow.case tied,
Where arrows stick with mickle prde;
With hats pinn’d up, and bow in hand,
All day mot fiercely there they ftand,
Like ghosts of Adam, Bell, and Clyn.me ;

Sol fets, for fear they'll shoot at him. By the pafiage, which I have above quoted from Law-Trieks, 'ris plain, Sir Wilian's editor has falsely pointed the last line but one ; we must correct it thus;

Like ghosts of Adam Bell, and Clymme ; 'Tis this wight, no doubt, whom our author here alludes to: and had I the convenience of consulting Ascham's Toxopbilus, I might Biobably grow better acquainted with his history.

Pedre. I leave you.

Pedro, Nay, if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.

Pedro. Well you will temporize with the hours; in the mean time, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's, commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail hica at fupper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for such an embafrage, and so I commit you

Claud. To the tuition of God; From my house, if I had it.

Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick. Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly baited on neither : ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so

[Exit. Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me god,

Pedro. My love is thine to teach, teach it but how, And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn Any hard lesson that may do thee good.

Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ?

Pedro. No child but Hero, fe's his only heir :
Doft thou affect her, Claudio ?

Claud. O my lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd

upon

her with a soldier's eye ;
That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love;
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant; in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate Desires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is ;
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.

Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
And tire the hearer with a book of words :
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherim it,
And I will break with her: and with her Father,
And thou shalt have her: was't not to this end,
That thou began'it to twist so fine a story?

Cland,

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