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D. Pedro. In every thing but in loving Benedick. Leon. O! my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.

on me;

D. Pedro. I would she had bestowed this dotage I would have daff'd 10 all other respects, and made her half myself: I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will say.

Leon. Were it good, think you?

Claud. Hero thinks surely she will die for she says she will die if he love her not; and she will die ere she make her love known; and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breath of her accustomed crossness.

D. Pedro. She doth well: if she should make tender of her love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible" spirit.

Claud. He is a very proper man.

D. Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness.

Claud. 'Fore God, and in my mind very wise. D. Pedro. He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

D. Pedro. As Hector, I assure you: and in the managing of quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a most Christian-like fear.

Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily

10 To duff is the same as to do off, to doff, to put aside. 1 That is, contemptuous. The active and passive adjectives were often used indiscriminately.


keep peace if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.

D. Pedro. And so will he do; for the man doth fear God, howsoever it seems not in him by sme large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for your niece: Shall we go seek Benedick, and tell him of her love?

Claud. Never tell him, my lord: let her wear it out with good counsel.

Leon. Nay, that's impossible; she may wear her heart out first.

D. Pedro. Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter let it cool the while. I love Benedick well; and I could wish he would modestly examine himself, to see how much he is unworthy to have so good a lady.

Leon. My lord, will you walk ? dinner is ready. Claud. [Aside.] If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.

D. Pedro. [Aside.] Let there be the same net spread for her; and that must your daughter and her gentlewomen carry. The sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such matter; that's the scene that I would see, which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send

her to call him in to dinner.

[Exeunt Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO. Bene. [Advancing from the arbour.] This can be no trick: The conference was sadly borne.12 They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady: it seems, her affections have their full bent. Love me! why, it must be requited I hear how I am censur'd: they say I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from

12 Seriously carried on.

her they say, too, that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did never think to marry:

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-I must not seem proud. - Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending. They say the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness: and virtuous; 'tis so, I cannot reprove it and wise, but for loving me: - by my troth, it is no addition to her wit; -nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have rail'd so long against marriage: But doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. Shall quips, and sentences, and these paper bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour! No: The world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married. Here comes Beatrice By this day, she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.



Beat. Against my will, I am sent to hid you come in to dinner.

Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains. Beat. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take pains to thank me: if it had been painful, I would not have come.

Bene. You take pleasure, then, in the message ? Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choke a daw withal: have no stomach, signior? fare you well.

- You


Bene. Ha! " Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner;" - there's a double meaning

in that. “I took no more pains for those thanks, than you took pains to thank me;" — that's as much

as to say, Any pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks. If I do not take pity of her, I am a

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villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew: I will go get her picture.





Hero. Good Margaret, run thee to 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-suckles, ripen'd by the sun, Forbid the sun to enter; like favourites.

Made proud by princes, that advance their pride Against that power that bred it :-There will she hide her,

To listen our propose. This is thy office ;
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.

This is from the French propos, signifying talk, conversation. A few lines below we have the noun, " to listen our propose," bearing the same sense. In the latter case the folio reads purpose; but nere, as in almost every instance where the two copies differ, the reading of the quarto seems preferable.


Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, pres


[Exit. Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come, As we do trace this alley up and down, Our talk must 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 sick in love with Beatrice: Of this matter Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,

That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;

Enter BEATRICE, behind.

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 their golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait :
So angle we for Beatrice; who even 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 is too disdainful;
I know her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock.


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But are you sure,

That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?

Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord. Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam ?

2 The haggard is a wild hawk. Latham, in his Book of Falconry, says, -Such is the greatness of her spirit, she will not admit of any society until such a time as nature worketh." See Twelfth Night, Act iii. sc. 1, note

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