Const. I leaue an arrant knaue with your worship, which I beseech your worship to correct your selfe, for the example of others: God keepe your worship, I wish your worship well, God restore you to health, I humblie giue you leaue to depart, and if a merrie meeting may be wisht, God prohibite it: come neighbour

Leon. Vntill to morrow morning, Lords, farewell.


Brot. Farewell my Lords, we looke for you to morrow

Prin. We will not faile

Clau. To night ile mourne with Hero

Leon. Bring you these fellowes on, weel talke with Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.


Enter Benedicke and Margaret.

Ben. Praie thee sweete Mistris Margaret, deserue well at my hands, by helping mee to the speech of Beatrice

Mar. Will you then write me a Sonnet in praise of my beautie? Bene. In so high a stile Margaret, that no man liuing shall come ouer it, for in most comely truth thou deseruest it

Mar. To haue no man come ouer me, why, shall I alwaies keepe below staires? Bene. Thy wit is as quicke as the grey-hounds mouth, it catches

Mar. And yours, as blunt as the Fencers foiles, which hit, but hurt not

Bene. A most manly wit Margaret, it will not hurt a woman: and so I pray thee call Beatrice, I giue thee the bucklers

Mar. Giue vs the swords, wee haue bucklers of our owne

Bene. If you vse them Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for Maides

Mar. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I thinke hath legges.

Exit Margarite.

Ben. And therefore will come. The God of loue that sits aboue, and knowes me, and knowes me, how pittifull I deserue. I meane in singing, but in louing, Leander the good swimmer, Troilous the first imploier of pandars, and a whole booke full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose name yet runne smoothly in the euen rode of a blanke verse, why they were neuer so truely turned ouer and ouer as my poore selfe in loue: marrie I cannot shew it rime, I haue tried, I can finde out no rime to Ladie but babie, an innocent rime: for scorne, horne, a hard rime: for schoole foole, a babling rime: verie ominous endings, no, I was not borne vnder a riming Plannet, for I cannot wooe in festiuall tearmes: Enter Beatrice.

sweete Beatrice would'st thou come when I cal'd thee? Beat. Yea Signior, and depart when you bid me

Bene. O stay but till then

Beat. Then, is spoken: fare you well now, and yet ere I goe, let me goe with that I came, which is, with knowing what hath past betweene you and Claudio

Bene. Onely foule words, and thereupon I will kisse thee

Beat. Foule words is but foule wind, and foule wind is but foule breath, and foule breath is noisome, therefore I will depart vnkist

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sence, so forcible is thy wit, but I must tell thee plainely, Claudio vndergoes my challenge, and either I must shortly heare from him, or I will subscribe him a coward, and I pray thee now tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in loue with me? Beat. For them all together, which maintain'd so politique a state of euill, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them: but for which of my good parts did you first suffer loue for me? Bene. Suffer loue! a good epithite, I do suffer loue indeede, for I loue thee against my will, Beat. In spight of your heart I think, alas poore heart, if you spight it for my sake, I will spight it for yours, for I will neuer loue that which my friend hates

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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