1. Scene I. Before LEONATO'S House.
O! he is returned, and as pleasant as ever he was.
He set up his bills here in Messina and challenged Cupid at the flight;
and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and
challenged him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he killed
and eaten in these wars?
But how many hath he killed? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his
Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with
you, I doubt it not.
He hath done good service, lady, in these wars.
You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it; he is a very
valiant trencher-man; he hath an excellent stomach.
And a good soldier too, lady.
And a good soldier to a lady; but what is he to a lord?
A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all honourable
It is so indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man; but for the
stuffing,--well, we are all mortal.
You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a kind of merry war
betwixt Signior Benedick and her; they never meet but there's a
skirmish of wit between them.
Alas! he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict four of his five
wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one! so
that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a
difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the wealth that
he hath left to be known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion
now? He hath every month a new sworn brother.