Leon. If hee doe feare God, a must necessarilie keepe peace, if hee breake the peace, hee ought to enter into a quarrell with feare and trembling

Prin. And so will he doe, for the man doth fear God, howsoeuer it seemes not in him, by some large ieasts hee will make: well, I am sorry for your niece, shall we goe see Benedicke, and tell him of her loue

Claud. Neuer tell him, my Lord, let her weare it out with good counsell

Leon. Nay that's impossible, she may weare her heart out first

Prin. Well, we will heare further of it by your daughter, let it coole the while, I loue Benedicke well, and I could wish he would modestly examine himselfe, to see how much he is vnworthy to haue so good a Lady

Leon. My Lord, will you walke? dinner is ready

Clau. If he do not doat on her vpon this, I wil neuer trust my expectation

Prin. Let there be the same Net spread for her, and that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry: the sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of anothers dotage, and no such matter, that's the Scene that I would see, which will be meerely a dumbe shew: let vs send her to call him into dinner.


Bene. This can be no tricke, the conference was sadly borne, they haue the truth of this from Hero, they seeme to pittie the Lady: it seemes her affections haue the full bent: loue me? why it must be requited: I heare how I am censur'd, they say I will beare my selfe proudly, if I perceiue the loue come from her: they say too, that she will rather die than giue any signe of affection: I did neuer thinke to marry, I must not seeme proud, happy are they that heare their detractions, and can put them to mending: they say the Lady is faire, 'tis a truth, I can beare them witnesse: and vertuous, tis so, I cannot reprooue it, and wise, but for louing me, by my troth it is no addition to her witte, nor no great argument of her folly; for I wil be horribly in loue with her, I may chance haue some odde quirkes and remnants of witte broken on mee, because I haue rail'd so long against marriage: but doth not the appetite alter? a man loues the meat in his youth, that he cannot indure in his age. Shall quips and sentences, and these paper bullets of the braine awe a man from the careere of his humour? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a batcheler, I did not think I should liue till I were maried, here comes Beatrice: by this day, shee's a faire Lady, I doe spie some markes of loue in her. Enter Beatrice.

Beat. Against my wil I am sent to bid you come in to dinner

Bene. Faire Beatrice, I thanke you for your paines

Beat. I tooke no more paines for those thankes, then you take paines to thanke me, if it had been painefull, I would not haue come

Bene. You take pleasure then in the message

Beat. Yea iust so much as you may take vpon a kniues point, and choake a daw withall: you haue no stomacke signior, fare you well. Enter.

Bene. Ha, against my will I am sent to bid you come into dinner: there's a double meaning in that: I tooke no more paines for those thankes then you took paines to thanke me, that's as much as to say, any paines that I take for you is as easie as thankes: if I do not take pitty of her I am a villaine, if I doe not loue her I am a Iew, I will goe get her picture. Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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