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for she'll be up twenty times a-night; and there will she fit in her smock, 'till she have writ a sheet of paper : my daughter tells

us all.

Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.

Leon. O, when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?

Claud, That.

Leon. O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at herself, that she should be so immodest, to write to one that she knew would Aout her: I measure him, says she, by my own spirit; for I should Aout him if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.

Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; o sweet Benedick! god give me patience!

Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter says so; and the ecstasy hath so much overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself; it is very true.

Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.

Claud. To what end? he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.

Pedro. If he should, it were an alms to hang him: she's an excellent sweet lady, and, out of all suspicion, she is virtuous.

Claud. And she is exceeding wise.
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.

Pedro. I would, she had bestow'd this dotage on me; I would have dofft 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
Vol. I.



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 accustom'd crossness.

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 contemptuous fpirit.

Claud. He is a very proper man.
Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness.
Claud. ʼFore god, and, in my mind, very wise.
Pedro. He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.
Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

Pedro. As Hector, I assure you; and in the managing of quarrels you may see he is wise; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a christian-like fear." Well, I am sorry for your neice: Ihall we go see 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 firft

. 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. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.

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


let us send her to call him in to dinner. [Exeunt.

a christian-like fear. Leon. If he do fear god, he must necessarily keep peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.

Pedro. And fo will he do, for the man doth fear god, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large jefts he will make. Well, &c.


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Benedick advances from the arbour.
Bene. This can be no trick; the conference was fadly born:
they have the truth of this from Hero; they seem to pity the lady;
it seems, her affections have the full bent. Love me! why, it must
be requited: I hear how I am censur’d; they say, I will bear my-
self proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; they say too,
that she will rather die than give any sign of affection - I did
never think to marry - 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 to 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
marry'd. Here comes Beatrice : by this day, she's a fair lady;
I do spy fome marks of love in her.

Enter Beatrice.
Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.
Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you


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

Bene. You take pleasure then in the message ?
Beat. Yea, just so much as you may

upon a

knife's point, and choke a daw withal: you have no ftomach, fignior; fare

Exit. Nnn 2



you well.

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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 are as easy as thanks. If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain ; if I do not love her, I am a Jew; I will go get her picture.


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Continues in the garden.
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.

OOD Margaret, run thee into the parlour ;

There shalt thou find 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 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 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

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Is fick in love with Beatrice: of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,

That only wounds by hear-say: now begin : in; if I do not

Enter Beatrice, running towards the arbour.
For look, where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground to hear our conference.

. 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

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?

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

Urs. Why did you so? 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 a man:
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice :
Dirdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprising what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly, that to her


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