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ANOTHER ROOM IN LEONATO'S HOUSE.
Enter Don John and Conrade.
Con. What the goujere, my lord! why are you thus out of measure sad?
D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit. Con. You should hear reason.
D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?
Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance.
D. John. I wonder, that thou being (as thou say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests: eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.
Con. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it without controlment. You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace; where it is impossible you should take true root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.
D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood
to be disdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage: If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the mean time, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me.
Con. Can you make no use of your discontent? D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? What news, Borachio?
Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the prince, your brother, is royally entertain'd by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
D. John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietness?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks he?
Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
D. John. A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoking a musty room, comes me the prince and
Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference: I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero for himself, and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio.
D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove food to my displeasure: that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way: You are both sure, and will assist me?
Con. To the death, my lord.
D. John. Let us to the great supper; their cheer is the greater, that I am subdued: 'Would the cook were of my mind!-Shall we go prove what's to be done?
Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.
A HALL IN LEONATO'S HOUSE.
Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, and
Leon. Was not count John here at supper?
Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after. Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the mid-way between him and Benedick: the one is too like an image, and says nothing; and the other, too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.
Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in count John's mouth, and half count John's melancholy in signior Benedick's face,—
Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world,—if he could get her good will.
Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she is too curst.
Beat. Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's sending that way; for it is said, God sends a curst cow short horns; but to a cow too curst he sends
Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you no horns.
Beat. Just, if he send me no husband; for the which blessing, I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening: Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face; I had rather lie in the woollen.
Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.
Beat. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a beard, is more than a youth; and he that hath no beard, is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him: Therefore I will even take six-pence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.
Leon. Well then, go you into hell?
Beat. No; but to the gate: and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and say, Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids: so deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Ant. Well, niece, [To Hero] I trust, you will be ruled by your father.
Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make courtesy, and say, Father, as it please you:-but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, Father, as it please me.