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to Saint Peter for the heavens; he shows me 50 where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.

Ant. [To Hero] Well, niece, I trust you will be ruled by your father.

Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy and say 'Father, as it please you.' But yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsy and say 'Father, as it please me.'

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day 60 fitted with a husband.

Beat. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren; and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.

Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know 70

your answer.

Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not wooed in good time: if the prince be too important, tell him there is measure in every thing and so dance out the answer. For, hear me, Hero: wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerlymodest, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; 80 and then comes repentance and, with his bad legs,

74. important, importunate.

ib. measure, a slow and stately dance.

77. cinque pace, a dance of five steps.

80. ancientry, old-fashioned


falls into the cinque pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.

Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. Beat. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by daylight.

Leon. The revellers are entering, brother: make
good room.
[All put on their masks.

URSULA, and others, masked.

D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend?

Hero. So you walk softly and look sweetly and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and especially when I walk away.

D. Pedro. With me in your company?

Hero. I may say so, when I please.

D. Pedro. And when please you to say so? Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend the lute should be like the case!

D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.

Hero. Why, then, your visor should be thatched.

D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love.

[Drawing her aside.

Balth. Well, I would you did like me.

Marg. So would not I, for your own sake; for I have many ill qualities.

Balth. Which is one?

97. favour, features.

ib. defend, forbid.

99. Philemon. The story of Jupiter's visit to the cottage of Philemon and Baucis was told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, and

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known to Shakespeare in any case, through Golding's translation. These three last speeches of Hero and Don Pedro form a rhyming couplet in the metre used by Golding.

Marg. I say my prayers aloud.

Balth. I love you the better: the hearers cry, Amen.

Marg. God match me with a good dancer!
Balth. Amen.


Marg. And God keep him out of my sight when the dance is done! Answer, clerk.

Balth. No more words: the clerk is answered. Urs. I know you well enough; you are Signior Antonio.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head.

Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.

Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless you were the very man. Here's his dry hand up and down you are he, you are he.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urs. Come, come, do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an end.

Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so?
Bene. No, you shall pardon me.

Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are?
Bene. Not now.

Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good wit out of the Hundred Merry Tales :' -well, this was Signior Benedick that said so.

Bene. What's he?

Beat. I am sure you know him well enough.
Bene. Not I, believe me.

123. dry hand, a sign of cool and temperate blood.

123. up and down, altogether, exactly.

125. At a word, in a word.

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135. Hundred Merry Tales,' a popular sixteenth-century collection of humorous anecdotes (reprinted by Hazlitt in Shakespeare Jest Books, 1864).


Beat. Did he never make you laugh?
Bene. I pray you, what is he?

Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders: none but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleases men and angers them, and then they laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in the fleet: I would he had boarded me.

Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell 150 him what you say.

Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure not marked or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. [Music.] We must follow the leaders.

Bene. In every good thing.

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.

[Dance. Then exeunt all except Don
John, Borachio, and Claudio.

D. John. Sure my brother is amorous on Hero and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it. The ladies follow her and but one visor remains.

Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.

D. John. Are not you Signior Benedick?

Claud. You know me well; I am he.


D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love: he is enamoured on Hero; I pray 170 you, dissuade him from her: she is no equal for

149. boarded, accosted.

his birth you may do the part of an honest man in it.

Claud. How know you he loves her?

D. John. I heard him swear his affection. Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would marry her to-night.

D. John. Come, let us to the banquet.

[Exeunt Don John and Borachio.

Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick,
But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio.
'Tis certain so; the prince wooes for himself.
Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:

Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate for itself

And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch

Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.

This is an accident of hourly proof,

Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, Hero!

Re-enter BENEDICK.

Bene. Count Claudio?

Claud. Yea, the same.

Bene. Come, will you go with me?

Claud. Whither?

Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own business, county. What fashion will you wear the garland of? about your neck, like an usurer's chain? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf? You must wear it one way, for the prince hath got your Hero.

Claud. I wish him joy of her.

Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drovier:

195. county, count.

197. usurer's chain, the golden




chain worn about the neck by rich merchants,

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