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the lady fathers herself:1—Be happy, lady! for you are like an honourable father.
Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she . would not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, as like him as she is.
Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; no body marks you.
Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain ! are you get living?
Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat:-But it is certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted : and I would I could find in iny heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.
Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.
Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind ! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched 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 o' God's name; I have done.
Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.
_ fathers herself:] This phrase is common in Dorsetshire : “ Jack fathers himself;" i. e. is like his father.
D. 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 stay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays, some 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.
D. John. I thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank you.
Leon. Please it your grace lead on?
D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together. [Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO.
Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of signior Leonato?
Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her.
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 professed tyrant to their sex?
Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment.
Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a 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 thinkest, I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou likest her.
Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire 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 ;8 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 ever I looked on.
Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no such matter: there's her cousin, an she were not possessed with 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 trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
Bene. Is it come to this, i'faith? Hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with suspicion?' Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again? Go to, i'faith; an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is returned to seek you.
Re-enter Don Pedro. D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that you followed not to Leonato's?
Bene. I would, your grace would constrain me to tell.
D. 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 so; but on my allegiance,-mark you this, on my allegiance :
6 — the flouting Jack;] Jack, in our author's time, was a term of contempt.
' - wear his cap with suspicion?] That is, subject his head to the disquiet of jealousy.
-He is in love. With who?-now that is your grace's part.-Mark, how short his answer is :With Hero, Leonato's short daughter.
Claud. If this were so, so 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.
D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady is very well worthy.
Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine.
Claud. That I love her, I feel.
Bene. That I neither feel how she should be loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.
D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretick in the despite 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 most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an
: That That she her,
Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered.) i. e. If I had really confided such a secret to him, he would have blabbed it in this manner.
? — but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead,] That is, I will wear a horn on my forehead which the huntsman may blow. A recheate is the sound by which dogs are called back. Shakspeare had no mercy upon the poor cuckold, his horn is an inexhaustible subject of merriment. Johnson.
invisible baldrick, all women shall 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.
D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
Bene. With anger, with sickness, 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 balladmaker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house, for the sign of blind Cupid.
D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.
Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat,3 and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam.*
D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try:
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 sign,– Here you may see Benedick the married man.
Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.
in a bottle like a cat,] In some counties in England, a cat was formerly closed up with a quantity of soot in a wooden bottle, (such as that in which shepherds carry their liquor,) and was suspended on a line. He who beat out the bottom as he ran under it, and was nimble enough to escape its contents, was regarded as the hero of this inhuman diversion. Steevens.
*— and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam.] Perhaps Adam Bell, a famous archer.
5 In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.) A line from The Spanish Tragedy, or. Hieronymo, &c.