Bene. O she misusde me past the indurance of a block: an oake but with one greene leafe on it, would haue answered her: my very visor began to assume life, and scold with her: shee told mee, not thinking I had beene my selfe, that I was the Princes Iester, and that I was duller then a great thaw, hudling iest vpon iest, with such impossible conueiance vpon me, that I stood like a man at a marke, with a whole army shooting at me: shee speakes poynyards, and euery word stabbes: if her breath were as terrible as terminations, there were no liuing neere her, she would infect to the north starre: I would not marry her, though she were indowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgrest, she would haue made Hercules haue turnd spit, yea, and haue cleft his club to make the fire too: come, talke not of her, you shall finde her the infernall Ate in good apparell. I would to God some scholler would coniure her, for certainely while she is heere, a man may liue as quiet in hell, as in a sanctuary, and people sinne vpon purpose, because they would goe thither, so indeed all disquiet, horror, and perturbation followes her. Enter Claudio and Beatrice, Leonato, Hero.

Pedro. Looke heere she comes

Bene. Will your Grace command mee any seruice to the worlds end? I will goe on the slightest arrand now to the Antypodes that you can deuise to send me on: I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the furthest inch of Asia: bring you the length of Prester Iohns foot: fetch you a hayre off the great Chams beard: doe you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather then hould three words conference, with this Harpy: you haue no employment for me? Pedro. None, but to desire your good company

Bene. O God sir, heeres a dish I loue not, I cannot indure this Lady tongue. Enter.

Pedr. Come Lady, come, you haue lost the heart of Signior Benedicke

Beatr. Indeed my Lord, hee lent it me a while, and I gaue him vse for it, a double heart for a single one, marry once before he wonne it of mee, with false dice, therefore your Grace may well say I haue lost it

Pedro. You haue put him downe Lady, you haue put him downe

Beat. So I would not he should do me, my Lord, lest I should prooue the mother of fooles: I haue brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seeke

Pedro. Why how now Count, wherfore are you sad? Claud. Not sad my Lord

Pedro. How then? sicke? Claud. Neither, my Lord

Beat. The Count is neither sad, nor sicke, nor merry, nor well: but ciuill Count, ciuill as an Orange, and something of a iealous complexion

Pedro. Ifaith Lady, I thinke your blazon to be true. though Ile be sworne, if hee be so, his conceit is false: heere Claudio, I haue wooed in thy name, and faire Hero is won, I haue broke with her father, and his good will obtained, name the day of marriage, and God giue thee ioy

Leona. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes: his grace hath made the match, & all grace say, Amen to it

Beatr. Speake Count, tis your Qu

Claud. Silence is the perfectest Herault of ioy, I were but little happy if I could say, how much? Lady, as you are mine, I am yours, I giue away my selfe for you, and doat vpon the exchange

Beat. Speake cosin, or (if you cannot) stop his mouth with a kisse, and let not him speake neither

Pedro. In faith Lady you haue a merry heart

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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