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Boy. I am here already, Sir.
Bene. I know that-but I would have thee hence, and here again. [Exit Boy.]I do much wonder, that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedicates his behavious to love, will, after he hath laught at fuch fhallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love! and fuch a man is Claudio. I have known, when there was no mufick with him but the drum and the fife and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe; I have known, when he would have walk'd ten mile afoot, to fee a good armour; and now will he lye ten nights awake, carving the fafhion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain, and to the purpofe, like an honest man and a foldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer, his words are a very fantastical banquet, juft fo many ftrange difhes. May I be fo converted, and fee with these eyes? I cannot tell, I think not. I will not be fworn, but love may transform me to an oyfter; but I'll take my oath on it, 'till he have made an oyfter of me, he fhall never make me fuch a fool: one woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wife, 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 he fhall be, that's certain; wife, 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 fhall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the Prince and Monfieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour. [Withdraws.
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Pedro. Come, fhall we hear this musick?
As hufh'd on purpose to grace harmony!
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself? Claud. O very well, my lord; the mufick ended, We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth.
Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that Song again. Balth. O good my lord, tax not fo bad a voice To flander mufick any more than once.
Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency, To put a ftrange face on his own perfection; Ι pray thee, fing; and let me woo no more.
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will fing; Since many a wooer doth commence his fuit To her he thinks not worthy, yet he wooes; Yet will he fwear, he loves.
Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come;
Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.
Balik. Note this before my notes,
There's not a note of mine, that's worth the noting. Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks, Note, notes, forfooth, and noting.
Bene. Now, divine air; now is his foul ravifh'd!is it not strange, that sheeps guts fhould hale fouls out of men's bodies?-well, a horn for my mony, when all's done.
The SON G.
Sigh no more, ladies, figh no more,
Sing no more ditties, fing no mo
Of dumps fo dull and heavy; The frauds of men were ever so, Since fummer was first leafy: Then figh not so, &c. Pedro. By my troth, a good Song. Balth. And an ill finger, my lord. Pedro. Ha, no; no, faith; thou fing❜ft well enough for a fhift.
Bene. [afide.] If he had been a dog, that fhould have howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him; and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mifchief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
Pedro. Yea, marry, doft thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee get us fome excellent mufick; for to morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamber-window.
Balth. The best I can, my lord. [Exit Balthazar. Pedro. Do fo: farewel. 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; ftalk on, ftalk on, the fowl fits. [afide to Pedro.] I did never think that lady wouldhave loved any man.
Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should fo doat on Signior Benedick, whom the hath in all outward behaviours feem'd ever to abhor.
Bene. It's poffible, fits the wind in that corner? Afide. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that the loves him with an inraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.
5 but that he loves him with an inraged affection, it is paft the INFINITE of thought.] It is impoffible to make Senfe and Grammar of this fpeech. And the reafon is, that the two beginnings of two different fentences
Pedro. are jumbled together and made one. For-but that he loves him with an inraged affection,is only part of a sentence which fhould conclude thus,-is most certain. But a new idea ftriking the fpeaker, he leaves this fen
Pedro. May be, fhe doth but counterfeit.
Claud. Faith, like enough.
Leon. O God! counterfeit there was never coun terfeit of paffion came fo near the life of paffion, as fhe discovers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of paffion fhews fhe? Claud. Bait the hook well, this fish will bite. [Afide. Leon. What effects, my lord? she will fit you, you heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
Pedro. How, how, I pray you? you amaze me: I would have thought, her fpirit had been invincible against all affaults of affection.
Leon. I would have fworn, it had, my lord; efpecially against Benedick.
Bene. [Afide.] I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow fpeaks it; knavery cannot, fure, hide himfelf in fuch reverence.
Claud. He hath ta'en th' infection, hold it up. [Afide.
tence unfinished, and turns to another,It is past the infinite of thought-which is likewife left unfinished; for it fhould conclude thus to say how great that affection is. These broken disjointed fentences are ufual in converfation. However there is one word wrong, which yet perplexes the fenfe, and that is INFINITE. Human thought cannot furely be called infinite with any kind of figurative propriety. I fuppofe the true reading was DEFINITE. This makes the paffage intelligible. It is paft the DEFINITE of thoughtit cannot be defined or conceived how great that affection is. Shake Speare ufes the word again in the fame fenfe in Cymbeline.
For Idiots, in this cafe of favour, would
Be wifely DEFINITE.
i. e. could tell how to pronounce or determine in the cafe. WARE.
Here are difficulties raised only to fhew how eafily they can be removed. The plain fenfe is, I know not what to think otherwife, but that she loves him with an enraged affection: It (this affection) is paft the infinite of thought. Here are no abrupt flops, or imperfect fentences. Infinite may well enough ftand; it is ufed by more careful writers for indefinite: And the speaker only means, that thought, though in itself unbounded, cannot reach or estimate the degree of her paffion.
Leon. No, and fwears the never will; that's her
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, fo your daughter fays: fhall I, fays fhe, that have fo oft encounter'd him with fcorn, write to him that I love him onbo (Leon. This fays fhe now when she is beginning to write to him; for fhe'll be up twenty times a night, and there she will fit in her fmock, 'till the have writ a fheet of paper-my daughter tells us all.
Claud Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jeft your daughter told us of in rebook. when she had writ it, and was reading it over, the found Benedick and Beatrice between the fheet,bent.
19 Claud. That
1. Leon. :, fhe tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at herself, that she should be fo immodest, to write to one that, the knew would four wher: I meafure him, fays fhe, by my own Spirit, for, I fhould flout him if he writ to me yea, though I love him, I fhould.
op 7 *ad
Claud. Then down upon her knees fhe falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curfes ; O fweet Benedick! God give me patience ma
Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter fays fo; and the ecftacy hath fo much overborne her, that my daughter is fometime afraid, fhe will do defperate outrage to herfelf; it is very true.