Clau. And Ile be sworne vpon't, that he loues her, For heres a paper written in his hand, A halting sonnet of his owne pure braine, Fashioned to Beatrice

Hero. And heeres another, Writ in my cosins hand, stolne from her pocket, Containing her affection vnto Benedicke

Bene. A miracle, here's our owne hands against our hearts: come I will haue thee, but by this light I take thee for pittie

Beat. I would not denie you, but by this good day, I yeeld vpon great perswasion, & partly to saue your life, for I was told, you were in a consumption

Leon. Peace I will stop your mouth

Prin. How dost thou Benedicke the married man? Bene. Ile tell thee what Prince: a Colledge of witte-crackers cannot flout mee out of my humour, dost thou think I care for a Satyre or an Epigram? no, if a man will be beaten with braines, a shall weare nothing handsome about him: in briefe, since I do purpose to marry, I will thinke nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it, and therefore neuer flout at me, for I haue said against it: for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion: for thy part Claudio, I did thinke to haue beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, liue vnbruis'd, and loue my cousin

Cla. I had well hop'd y wouldst haue denied Beatrice, y I might haue cudgel'd thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer, which out of questio[n] thou wilt be, if my Cousin do not looke exceeding narrowly to thee

Bene. Come, come, we are friends, let's haue a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wiues heeles

Leon. Wee'll haue dancing afterward

Bene. First, of my word, therfore play musick. Prince, thou art sad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife, there is no staff more reuerend then one tipt with horn. Enter. Mes.

Messen. My Lord, your brother Iohn is tane in flight, And brought with armed men backe to Messina

Bene. Thinke not on him till to morrow, ile deuise thee braue punishments for him: strike vp Pipers.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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