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I may

say, the lady is fair ; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness : and virtuous ;

'cis 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. 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 quipps 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 batchelor, 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 fpy 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


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, juft so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choak a daw withal:.


have no ito. mach, Signior; fare you well.

[Exit. 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 easie 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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SCENE continues in the Orchard.

Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.


OOD Margaret, run thee into the parlour,
There shalt thou find my Coufin 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 ; fay, that thou overheard'It 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 our Propose ; this is thy office,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.

Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant, prefently. [Exit.

Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatriçe 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-fay : now begin.

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

Ursu. The pleasant'it angling is to see the fish


Cut with her golden oars the filver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait ;
So angle we for Beatrice, who e'en now
Is couched in the woodbine-coverture ;

you not my part of the dialogue.
Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
Of the false fweet bait that we lay for it.
No, truly, Ursula, fhe's too disdainful ;
I know, her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggerds of the rock.

Ursu. But are you fure,
That Benedick loves Beatrice fo intirely?

Hero. So says the Prince, and my new-trothed lord.
Ursu. 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 with him wraftle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Ursu. 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 deferve
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.
Disdain and Scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Mil-prizing what they look on;

and her wis
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 self-indeared.

Ursu. 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 saw man,
How wife, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd,
Bat the would fpell him

backward ; if fair-fac'd, She'd swear, the gentleman should be her fifter ; If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antick, Made a foul blot; if tall, a launce ill-headed ;


If low, an Aglet very vilely cuti (10)
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds ;
If silent, why, a block moved with none.
So turns she every man the wrong out,
And never gives to truth and virtue That,
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.

Ursu. Sure, sure, 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 so ? if I should speak, She'd mock me into air ; O, she would laugh me Out of myself, press me to death with wit. Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire, Consume away in fighs, waste inwardly; It were a better death than die with mocks, Which is as bad as 'tis to die with tickling.

Urfu. Yet tell her of it ; hear what she will fay.

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

Ursu. O, do not do your Cousin such a wrong
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
(Having so swift and excellent a wit,
As she is priz’d to have) as to refuse

(10) If low, an Agat'very vilely cut : ] But why an Agat, if low? And what Shadow of Likeness between a little Man and an Agat? The Ancients, indeed, used this Stone to cut in, and upon ; but most exquisitely. I make no queftion but the Poet wrote ;

an Aglet very vilely;cut;: An Aglet was the Tag of those Points, formerly so much in Fashion. These Tags were either of Gold, Silver, or Brass, according to the Quality of the Wearer; and were commonly in the Shape of little Images ; or at least had a Head cut at the Extremity, as is seen at the End of the Start of old-fashi. on'd Spoons. And as a tall Man is before compar'd to a Launce ill-beaded; ro, by the same Figure, a little Man is very aptly liken'd to an Aglet ill cut,

Mr. Warburton,


So rare a gentleman as Benedick.

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

Ursu. 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.
Urfu. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.
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.

Ursu. She's lim'd, I warrant you ; we have caught her, Madam.

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

[Exeunt. Beatrice, advancing. 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 doft love, thy kindness thall incite thee

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

[Exito S CE N E, Leonato's House.

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick and Leonato.

DO but say 'till your marriage be confummate,
Claud. I'll bring you thither my lord, if you'll vouch-
Pedro. Nay, That would be as great a foil in the new


. I and then ga I toward Arragox


fafe me.

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