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Enter Hero, Margaret and Ursula.

OOD Margaret, run thee into the parlour,
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice,

Proposing with the Prince and Claudio ;
Whisper her ear, and tell her I and Ursula
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
Is all of her; say that thou overheard'st us,
And bid her steal into the pleached bower,
Where honey-fuckles ripen'd by the sun
Forbid the sun to enter; like to favourites
Made proud by Princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it: there will the hide her,
To listen to our purpose; this is thy office,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.

Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant, presently. (Exit.

Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk muft only be of Benedick;
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit.
My talk to thee must be how Benedick
Is fick in love with Beatrice; of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hear-say: now begin.

Enter Beatrice, running towards the arbour.
For look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs
Close by the ground to hear our conference.
Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish



Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait;
So angle we for Beatrice, who e'en now
Is couched in the woodbine coverture;
Fear you not my part of the dialogue.

Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear-lose nothing
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.
No truly, Ursula, she's too disdainful,
I know her spirits are as coy and wild,
As haggards of the rock.

Urs. But are you sure
That Benedick loves Beatrice so intirely?

Hero. So says the Prince, and my new-trothed Lord.
Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, Madam?

Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it ;
But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick,
To wish him wrastle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Urs. Why did you fo? doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon ?

Hero. O God of love! I know he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to à man:
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Mis-prizing what they look on, and her wit
Values it self so highly, that to her
All matter elfe seems weak; she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so felf-indeared.

Urf. Sure I think fo;
And therefore certainly it were not good
She knew his love, left she make sport at it.

Hero. Why, you speak truth. I never yet faw man,
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur’d,
But she would spell him backward ; if fair-fac’d,
She'd swear the gentleman should be her lifter;



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If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antick,
Made a foul blot; if tall, a launce ill-headed;
If low, an 4 laglet' very vilely cut;
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
If filent, why, a block moved with none.
So turns she every man the wrong side out,
And never gives to truth and virtue that
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.

Urs. Sure, fure such carping is not commendable.

Hero. No, for to be so odd, and from all fashions,
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable.
But who dare tell her fo? if I should speak,
She'd mock me into air ; 0, she would laugh me
Out of my felf, press me to death with wit.
Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire,
Consume away in fighs, waste inwardly;
It were a bitter death to die with mocks,
Which is as bad as 'tis to die with tickling.

Urs. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will say.

Hero. No, rather I will go to Benedick,
And counsel him to fight against his passion.
And truly I'll devise some honest Nanders
To stain my cousin with; one doth not know
How much an ill word may impoison liking.

Urs. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
(Having so sweet and excellent a wit,
As she is priz'd to have) as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as Benedick.

Hero. He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.

Urs. I pray you, be not angry.with me, Madam,
Speaking my fancy; Signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.

Hero. Indeed he hath an excellent good name.
Urs. His excellence did carn it ere he had it.

4 agat . . , old edit. IVari, emenda

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When are you marry'd, Madam ?

Hero. Why, every day, to-morrow; come, go in, I'll shew thee some attires, and have thy counsel Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. [Madam.

Urs. She's ta’en, I warrant you; we have caught her,

Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps; Some Cupids kill with arrows, fome with traps. [Exeunt.

Beatrice advances.
Beat. What fire is in my ears ? can this be true?

Stand I condemn’d for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt farewel, and maiden pride adieu!

No glory lives behind the back of such. And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee,

Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand; If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee

To bind our loves up in a holy band. For others say thou dost deserve, and I Believe it better than reportingly.


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safe me.

Leonato's House. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato. Pedro. Do but stay 'till your marriage be confummate,


and then I go toward Arragon. Claud. I'll bring you thither, my Lord, if you'll vouch

Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new 1 gloss of your marriage, as to thew a child his new

coat and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company, for from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him; he hath a heart as found as a bell, VOL. I.



and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
Leon. So say I; nethinks you are sadder.
Claud. I hope he is in love.

Pedro. Hang him truant, there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love ; if he be fad, he wants mony.

Bene. I have the tooth-ach.
Pedro. Draw it.
Bene. Hang it.
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ach!
Leon. Which is but a humour, or a worm.

Bene. Well, every one can master a grief but he that has it.

Claud. Yet say I he is in love.

Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises, as to be a Dutch man to-day, a French man to-morrow; unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it to appear he is.

Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs; he brushes his hat a-mornings: what should that bode?

Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's ?

Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuft tennis-balls.

Leon, Indeed he looks younger than he did by the loss of a beard.

Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet; can you smell him out by that?

Claud. That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.

Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face?

Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which I hear what they say of him.


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