Ped. What need y bridge much broder then the flood? The fairest graunt is the necessitie: Looke what will serue, is fit: 'tis once, thou louest, And I will fit thee with the remedie, I know we shall haue reuelling to night, I will assume thy part in some disguise, And tell faire Hero I am Claudio, And in her bosome Ile vnclaspe my heart, And take her hearing prisoner with the force And strong incounter of my amorous tale: Then after, to her father will I breake, And the conclusion is, shee shall be thine, In practise let vs put it presently.


Enter Leonato and an old man, brother to Leonato.

Leo. How now brother, where is my cosen your son: hath he prouided this musicke? Old. He is very busie about it, but brother, I can tell you newes that you yet dreamt not of

Lo. Are they good? Old. As the euents stamps them, but they haue a good couer: they shew well outward, the Prince and Count Claudio walking in a thick pleached alley in my orchard, were thus ouer-heard by a man of mine: the Prince discouered to Claudio that hee loued my niece your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance, and if hee found her accordant, hee meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly breake with you of it

Leo. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this? Old. A good sharpe fellow, I will send for him, and question him your selfe

Leo. No, no; wee will hold it as a dreame, till it appeare it selfe: but I will acquaint my daughter withall, that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if peraduenture this bee true: goe you and tell her of it: coosins, you know what you haue to doe, O I crie you mercie friend, goe you with mee and I will vse your skill, good cosin haue a care this busie time.


Enter Sir Iohn the Bastard, and Conrade his companion.

Con. What the good yeere my Lord, why are you thus out of measure sad? Ioh. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds, therefore the sadnesse is without limit

Con. You should heare reason

Iohn. And when I haue heard it, what blessing bringeth it? Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance

Ioh. I wonder that thou (being as thou saist thou art, borne vnder Saturne) goest about to apply a morall medicine, to a mortifying mischiefe: I cannot hide what I am: I must bee sad when I haue cause, and smile at no mans iests, eat when I haue stomacke, and wait for no mans leisure: sleepe when I am drowsie, and tend on no mans businesse, laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humor

Con. Yea, but you must not make the ful show of this, till you may doe it without controllment, you haue of late stood out against your brother, and hee hath tane you newly into his grace, where it is impossible you should take root, but by the faire weather that you make your selfe, it is needful that you frame the season for your owne haruest

Iohn. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, then a rose in his grace, and it better fits my bloud to be disdain'd of all, then to fashion a carriage to rob loue from any: in this (though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man) it must not be denied but I am a plaine dealing villaine, I am trusted with a mussell, and enfranchisde with a clog, therefore I haue 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 meane time, let me be that I am, and seeke not to alter me

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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