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Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula,
Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear, you did. Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for
Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
Bene. 'Tis no such matter:-Then, you do not love me?
Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompence. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves her; For here's a paper, written in his hand, A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, Fashion'd to Beatrice.
And here's another, Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.
Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts!-Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.
Beat. I would not deny you;-but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth.—
[Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married man?
Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour:
Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said. against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruis'd, and love my cousin. Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgell'd thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.
Bene. Come, come, we are friends:-let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.
Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.
Bene. First, o'my word; therefore, play, musick.— Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife: there is no staff more reverend than one tipp'd with horn.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,
And brought with armed men back to Messina. Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up, pipers. [Dance. [Exeunt.