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ACT V. Scene II. 


Leonato's orchard.

Enter Benedick and Margaret [meeting].

 BENE.

Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands
by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

 MARG.

Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?

 BENE.

In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come
over it; for in most comely truth thou deservest it.

 MARG.

To have no man come over me? Why, shall I always keep below
stairs?

 BENE.

Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth--it catches.

 MARG.

And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, 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 give thee the bucklers.

 MARG.

Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our own.

 BENE.

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

 MARG.

Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think hath legs.

 BENE.

And therefore will come

Exit Margaret.

 

[Sings] The god of love,
That sits above
And knows me, and knows me,
How pitiful I deserve--
I mean in singing; but in loving Leander the good swimmer,
Troilus the first employer of panders, and a whole book full of
these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly
in the even road of a blank verse--why, they were never so truly
turn'd over and over as my poor self in love. Marry, I cannot show
it in rhyme. I have tried. I can find out no rhyme to 'lady' but
'baby'--an innocent rhyme; for 'scorn,' 'horn'--a hard rhyme; for
'school', 'fool'--a babbling rhyme: very ominous endings! No,I
was not born under a rhyming planet, nor cannot woo in festival
terms.

Enter Beatrice.

 

Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I call'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 go, let
me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath
pass'd between you and Claudio.

 BENE.

Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

 BEAT.

Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul
breath, and foul breath is noisome. Therefore I will depart
unkiss'd.

 BENE.

Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so
forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee plainly, Claudio
undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly hear 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 love with me?

 BEAT.

For them all together, which maintain'd so politic a state of
evil that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with
them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love
for me?

 BENE.

Suffer love!--a good epithet. I do suffer love indeed, for I
love thee against my will.

 BEAT.

In spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor heart! If you
spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours, for I will never
love that which my friend hates.

 BENE.

Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

 BEAT.

It appears not in this confession. There's not one wise man
among twenty, that will praise himself.

 BENE.

An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that liv'd in the time of
good neighbours. If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb
ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monument than the bell
rings and the widow weeps.

 BEAT.

And how long is that, think you?

 BENE.

Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter in rheum.
Therefore is it most expedient for the wise, if Don Worm (his
conscience) find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet
of his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for praising
myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is praiseworthy. And now
tell me, how doth your cousin?

 BEAT.

Very ill.

 BENE.

And how do you?

 BEAT.

Very ill too.

 BENE.

Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I leave you too, for
here comes one in haste.

Enter Ursula.

 URS.

Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's old coil at home.
It is proved my Lady Hero hath been falsely accus'd, the Prince
and Claudio mightily abus'd, and Don John is the author of all,
who is fled and gone. Will you come presently?

 BEAT.

Will you go hear this news, signior?

 BENE.

I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried thy
eyes; and moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.

Exeunt.

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