Beat. O God helpe me, God help me, how long haue you profest apprehension? Mar. Euer since you left it, doth not my wit become me rarely? Beat. It is not seene enough, you should weare it in your cap, by my troth I am sicke

Mar. Get you some of this distill'd carduus benedictus and lay it to your heart, it is the onely thing for a qualm

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thissell

Beat. Benedictus, why benedictus? you haue some morall in this benedictus

Mar. Morall? no by my troth, I haue no morall meaning, I meant plaine holy thissell, you may thinke perchance that I thinke you are in loue, nay birlady I am not such a foole to thinke what I list, nor I list not to thinke what I can, nor indeed, I cannot thinke, if I would thinke my hart out of thinking, that you are in loue, or that you will be in loue, or that you can be in loue: yet Benedicke was such another, and now is he become a man, he swore hee would neuer marry, and yet now in despight of his heart he eates his meat without grudging, and how you may be conuerted I know not, but me thinkes you looke with your eies as other women doe

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keepes

Mar. Not a false gallop. Enter Vrsula.

Vrsula. Madam, withdraw, the Prince, the Count, signior Benedicke, Don Iohn, and all the gallants of the towne are come to fetch you to Church

Hero. Helpe me to dresse mee good coze, good Meg, good Vrsula. Enter Leonato, and the Constable, and the Headborough.

Leonato. What would you with mee, honest neighbour? Const.Dog. Mary sir I would haue some confidence with you, that decernes you nearely

Leon. Briefe I pray you, for you see it is a busie time with me

Const.Dog. Mary this it is sir

Headb. Yes in truth it is sir

Leon. What is it my good friends? Con.Do. Goodman Verges sir speakes a little of the matter, an old man sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as God helpe I would desire they were, but infaith honest as the skin betweene his browes

Head. Yes I thank God, I am as honest as any man liuing, that is an old man, and no honester then I

Con.Dog. Comparisons are odorous, palabras, neighbour Verges

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious

Con.Dog. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poore Dukes officers, but truely for mine owne part, if I were as tedious as a King I could finde in my heart to bestow it all of your worship

Leon. All thy tediousnesse on me, ah? Const.Dog. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more than 'tis, for I heare as good exclamation on your Worship as of any man in the Citie, and though I bee but a poore man, I am glad to heare it

Head. And so am I

Leon. I would faine know what you haue to say

Head. Marry sir our watch to night, excepting your worships presence, haue tane a couple of as arrant knaues as any in Messina

Con.Dog. A good old man sir, hee will be talking as they say, when the age is in, the wit is out, God helpe vs, it is a world to see: well said yfaith neighbour Verges, well, God's a good man, and two men ride of a horse, one must ride behinde, an honest soule yfaith sir, by my troth he is, as euer broke bread, but God is to bee worshipt, all men are not alike, alas good neighbour

Leon. Indeed neighbour he comes too short of you

Con.Do. Gifts that God giues

Leon. I must leaue you

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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