Borachio. And that is Claudio, I know him by his bearing

Iohn. Are not you signior Benedicke? Clau. You know me well, I am hee

Iohn. Signior, you are verie neere my Brother in his loue, he is enamor'd on Hero, I pray you disswade him from her, she is no equall for his birth: you may do the part of an honest man in it

Claudio. How know you he loues her? Iohn. I heard him sweare his affection

Bor. So did I too, and he swore he would marrie her to night

Iohn. Come, let vs to the banquet.

Ex. manet Clau.

Clau. Thus answere I in name of Benedicke, But heare these ill newes with the eares of Claudio: 'Tis certaine so, the Prince woes for himselfe: Friendship is constant in all other things, Saue in the Office and affaires of loue: Therefore all hearts in loue vse their owne tongues. Let euerie eye negotiate for it selfe, And trust no Agent: for beautie is a witch, Against whose charmes, faith melteth into blood: This is an accident of hourely proofe, Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore Hero. Enter Benedicke.

Ben. Count Claudio

Clau. Yea, the same

Ben. Come, will you goe with me? Clau. Whither? Ben. Euen to the next Willow, about your own businesse, Count. What fashion will you weare the Garland off? About your necke, like an Vsurers chaine? Or vnder your arme, like a Lieutenants scarfe? You must weare it one way, for the Prince hath got your Hero

Clau . I wish him ioy of her

Ben. Why that's spoken like an honest Drouier, so they sel Bullockes: but did you thinke the Prince wold haue serued you thus? Clau. I pray you leaue me

Ben. Ho now you strike like the blindman, 'twas the boy that stole your meate, and you'l beat the post

Clau. If it will not be, Ile leaue you. Enter.

Ben. Alas poore hurt fowle, now will he creepe into sedges: But that my Ladie Beatrice should know me, & not know me: the Princes foole! Hah? It may be I goe vnder that title, because I am merrie: yea but so I am apt to do my selfe wrong: I am not so reputed, it is the base (though bitter) disposition of Beatrice, that putt's the world into her person, and so giues me out: well, Ile be reuenged as I may. Enter the Prince.

Pedro. Now Signior, where's the Count, did you see him? Bene. Troth my Lord, I haue played the part of Lady Fame, I found him heere as melancholy as a Lodge in a Warren, I told him, and I thinke, told him true, that your grace had got the will of this young Lady, and I offered him my company to a willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being forsaken, or to binde him a rod, as being worthy to be whipt

Pedro. To be whipt, what's his fault? Bene. The flat transgression of a Schoole-boy, who being ouer-ioyed with finding a birds nest, shewes it his companion, and he steales it

Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust, a transgression? the transgression is in the stealer

Ben. Yet it had not been amisse the rod had beene made, and the garland too, for the garland he might haue worne himselfe, and the rod hee might haue bestowed on you, who (as I take it) haue stolne his birds nest

Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and restore them to the owner

Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith you say honestly

Pedro. The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrell to you, the Gentleman that daunst with her, told her shee is much wrong'd by you

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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