Iohn. I thanke you, I am not of many words, but I thanke you

Leon. Please it your grace leade on? Pedro. Your hand Leonato, we will goe together.

Exeunt. Manet Benedicke and Claudio.

Clau. Benedicke, didst thou note the daughter of signior Leonato? Bene. I noted her not, but I lookt on her

Claud. Is she not a modest yong Ladie? Bene. Doe you question me as an honest man should doe, for my simple true iudgement? or would you haue me speake after my custome, as being a professed tyrant to their sexe? Clau. No, I pray thee speake in sober iudgement

Bene. Why yfaith me thinks shee's too low for a hie praise, too browne for a faire praise, and too little for a great praise, onely this commendation I can affoord her, that were shee other then she is, she were vnhandsome, and being no other, but as she is, I doe not like her

Clau. Thou think'st I am in sport, I pray thee tell me truely how thou lik'st her

Bene. Would you buie her, that you enquier after her? Clau. Can the world buie such a iewell? Ben. Yea, and a case to put it into, but speake you this with a sad brow? Or doe you play the flowting iacke, to tell vs Cupid is a good Hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare Carpenter: Come, in what key shall a man take you to goe in the song? Clau. In mine eie, she is the sweetest Ladie that euer I lookt on

Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no such matter: there's her cosin, and she were not possest with a furie, exceedes her as much in beautie, as the first of Maie doth the last of December: but I hope you haue no intent to turne husband, haue you? Clau. I would scarce trust my selfe, though I had sworne the contrarie, if Hero would be my wife

Bene. Ist come to this? in faith hath not the world one man but he will weare his cap with suspition? shall I neuer see a batcheller of three score againe? goe to yfaith, and thou wilt needes thrust thy necke into a yoke, weare the print of it, and sigh away sundaies: looke, don Pedro is returned to seeke you.

Enter don Pedro, Iohn the bastard.

Pedr. What secret hath held you here, that you followed not to Leonatoes? Bened. I would your Grace would constraine mee to tell

Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegeance

Ben. You heare, Count Claudio, I can be secret as a dumbe man, I would haue you thinke so (but on my allegiance, marke you this, on my allegiance) hee is in loue, With who? now that is your Graces part: marke how short his answere is, with Hero, Leonatoes short daughter

Clau. If this were so, so were it vttred

Bened. Like the old tale, my Lord, it is not so, nor 'twas not so: but indeede, God forbid it should be so

Clau. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise

Pedro. Amen, if you loue her, for the Ladie is verie well worthie

Clau. You speake this to fetch me in, my Lord

Pedr. By my troth I speake my thought

Clau. And in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine

Bened. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speake mine

Clau. That I loue her, I feele

Pedr. That she is worthie, I know

Bened. That I neither feele how shee should be loued, nor know how shee should be worthie, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me, I will die in it at the stake

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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