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when there was no musick with him but the drum and fife ; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe: I have known, when he would have walked ten mile afoot, to see a good armour ; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man, and a soldier ; and now is he turn'd orthographer ; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and see with these eyes? I cannot tell ; I think not: I will not be sworn, but love
may transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair; yet I am well: another is wise; yet I am well : another virtuous; yet I am well : but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.
Enter Don PedRO, LEONATO, and CLAUDIO, D. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this musick ? Claud. Yea, my good lord:--How still the even
ing is, As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony !
D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid him
self? Claud. O, very well, my lord: the musick ended, We'll fit the kid-fox? with a penny-worth.
Enter BALTHAZAR, with musick. D. Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song
D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency,
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing:
Nay, pray thee, come:
Note this before my notes, There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting. D. Pedro. Why these are very crotchets that he
speaks ; Note, notes, forsooth, and noting! [Musick.
Bene. Now, Divine air ! now is his soul ravished! --Is it not strange, that sheep's guts should hale souls out of men's bodies ?-Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
7 Young or cub-fox.
Balth. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceirers ever ;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
blith and bonny ;
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
Then sigh not so, &c.
D. Pedro. Ha? no; no, faith ; thou singest well enough for a shift.
Bene. [Aside.] An he had been a dog, that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him : and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
D. Pedro. Yea, marry; [To CLAUDIO.]--Dost thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee, get us some ex
cellent musick ; for to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamber-window. Balth. The best I can, my
lord. D. Pedro. Do so: farewell. [Exeunt BALTHAZAR and musick.] Come hither, Leonato : What was it you told me of to-day? that your niece Beatrice was in love with signior Benedick ?
Claud. O, ay:-Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits. [Aside to PEDRO.] I did never 'think that lady would have loved any man.
Leon. No, nor I neither ; but most wonderful, that she should so dote on signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor. Bene. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner ?
[Aside. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an enraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.9
D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Leon. O God! counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.
D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she?
[Aside. Leon. What effects, my lord! She will sit you, You heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
9 Beyond the power of thought to conceive.
me: I would have thought her spirit had been in-
; especially against Benedick.
Bene. [Aside.] I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence. Claud. He hath ta'en the infection; hold it
[Aside. D. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?
Leon. No; and swears she never will: that's her torment.
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: Shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him? Leon. This
she now when she is beginning to write to him: for she'll be up twenty times a night; and there will she sit in her smock, till she have writ a sheet of paper :-my daughter tells us all.
Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. O!-When she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?
Leon, O! she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence ; railed at herself, that she should be so immodest to write to one that she knew would fout her : I measure him, says she, by my own spirit; for I should flout him, if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.