Bea. No, and he were, I would burne my study. But I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the diuell? Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio

Beat. O Lord, he will hang vpon him like a disease: he is sooner caught then the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God helpe the noble Claudio, if hee haue caught the Benedict, it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cur'd

Mess. I will hold friends with you Lady

Bea. Do good friend

Leo. You'l ne're run mad Neece

Bea. No, not till a hot Ianuary

Mess. Don Pedro is approach'd.

Enter don Pedro, Claudio, Benedicke, Balthasar, and Iohn the bastard.

Pedro. Good Signior Leonato, you are come to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to auoid cost, and you encounter it

Leon. Neuer came trouble to my house in the likenes of your Grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remaine: but when you depart from me, sorrow abides, and happinesse takes his leaue

Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly: I thinke this is your daughter

Leonato. Her mother hath many times told me so

Bened. Were you in doubt that you askt her? Leonato. Signior Benedicke, no, for then were you a childe

Pedro. You haue it full Benedicke, we may ghesse by this, what you are, being a man, truely the Lady fathers her selfe: be happie Lady, for you are like an honorable father

Ben. If Signior Leonato be her father, she would not haue his head on her shoulders for al Messina, as like him as she is

Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, signior Benedicke, no body markes you

Ben. What my deere Ladie Disdaine! are you yet liuing? Beat. Is it possible Disdaine should die, while shee hath such meete foode to feede it, as Signior Benedicke? Curtesie it selfe must conuert to Disdaine, if you come in her presence

Bene. Then is curtesie a turne-coate, but it is certaine I am loued of all Ladies, onely you excepted: and I would I could finde in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truely I loue none

Beat. A deere happinesse to women, they would else haue beene troubled with a pernitious Suter, I thanke God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that, I had rather heare my Dog barke at a Crow, than a man sweare he loues me

Bene. God keepe your Ladiship still in that minde, so some Gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate scratcht face

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

Bene. Well, you are a rare Parrat teacher

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

Ben. I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer, but keepe your way a Gods name, I haue done

Beat. You alwaies end with a Iades tricke, I know you of old

Pedro. This is the summe of all: Leonato, signior Claudio, and signior Benedicke; my deere friend Leonato, hath inuited you all, I tell him we shall stay here, at the least a moneth, and he heartily praies some occasion may detaine vs longer: I dare sweare hee is no hypocrite, but praies from his heart

Leon. If you sweare, my Lord, you shall not be forsworne, let mee bid you welcome, my Lord, being reconciled to the Prince your brother: I owe you all duetie

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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