Beatr. Yea my Lord I thanke it, poore foole it keepes on the windy side of Care, my coosin tells him in his eare that he is in my heart

Clau. And so she doth coosin

Beat. Good Lord for alliance: thus goes euery one to the world but I, and I am sun-burn'd, I may sit in a corner and cry, heigh ho for a husband

Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one

Beat. I would rather haue one of your fathers getting: hath your Grace ne're a brother like you? your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them

Prince. Will you haue me? Lady

Beat. No, my Lord, vnlesse I might haue another for working-daies, your Grace is too costly to weare euerie day: but I beseech your Grace pardon mee, I was borne to speake all mirth, and no matter

Prince. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry, best becomes you, for out of question, you were born in a merry howre

Beatr. No sure my Lord, my Mother cried, but then there was a starre daunst, and vnder that was I borne: cosins God giue you ioy

Leonato. Neece, will you looke to those things I told you of? Beat. I cry you mercy Vncle, by your Graces pardon.

Exit Beatrice.

Prince. By my troth a pleasant spirited Lady

Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her my Lord, she is neuer sad, but when she sleepes, and not euer sad then: for I haue heard my daughter say, she hath often dreamt of vnhappinesse, and wakt her selfe with laughing

Pedro. Shee cannot indure to heare tell of a husband

Leonato. O, by no meanes, she mocks all her wooers out of suite

Prince. She were an excellent wife for Benedick

Leonato. O Lord, my Lord, if they were but a weeke married, they would talke themselues madde

Prince. Counte Claudio, when meane you to goe to Church? Clau. To morrow my Lord, Time goes on crutches, till Loue haue all his rites

Leonato. Not till monday, my deare sonne, which is hence a iust seuen night, and a time too briefe too, to haue all things answer minde

Prince. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing, but I warrant thee Claudio, the time shall not goe dully by vs, I will in the interim, vndertake one of Hercules labors, which is, to bring Signior Benedicke and the Lady Beatrice into a mountaine of affection, th' one with th' other, I would faine haue it a match, and I doubt not but to fashion it, if you three will but minister such assistance as I shall giue you direction

Leonato. My Lord, I am for you, though it cost mee ten nights watchings

Claud. And I my Lord

Prin. And you to gentle Hero? Hero. I will doe any modest office, my Lord, to helpe my cosin to a good husband

Prin. And Benedick is not the vnhopefullest husband that I know: thus farre can I praise him, hee is of a noble straine, of approued valour, and confirm'd honesty, I will teach you how to humour your cosin, that shee shall fall in loue with Benedicke, and I, with your two helpes, will so practise on Benedicke, that in despight of his quicke wit, and his queasie stomacke, hee shall fall in loue with Beatrice: if wee can doe this, Cupid is no longer an Archer, his glory shall be ours, for wee are the onely louegods, goe in with me, and I will tell you my drift. Enter.

Enter Iohn and Borachio.

Ioh. It is so, the Count Claudio shal marry the daughter of Leonato

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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