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

[Afide. Pedro 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 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 Show; let us fend her to call him to dinner.

(Afde.] Exeunt.

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SCENE X. Benedick advances from the Arbour. Bene. THIS can be no trick, the conference was

sadly borne; 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 myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; they say too, that she will rather die than give any sign of affe&tion.— 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 wife, but for loving me by my tróth, 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 ihe 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 huinour ? no: the world must be peopled. When I said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I

should

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 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, Í 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 : you have no ftomach, 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 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. [Exit.

ACT. III.

SCENE I.

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

HERO.
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-suckles, ripen'd by the Sun,

G4

Forbid

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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
To listen our Purpose; this is thy office, [her,
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 mesit.
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.

Ursu. 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. [thing

Hero. Then go we hear her, that her car lose no-
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.-
No, truly, Ursula, she's too disdainful;
I know, her fpirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock.

Ursu. But are you sure,
That Benedick loves Beatrice so 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

To wish him wrastle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Ursu. 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 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,
Mis-prizing what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly, that to her
All matter else seems weak; she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so felf-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 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 sister;
If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antic,
Made a foul blot; if tall, a launce ill-headed ;
* If low, an Aglet very vilely cut;
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds ;

* If low, an Agat very vilely cut;] But why an Agat, if low? For what Likeness between a little Man and an Agat? The Ancients, indeed, used this Stone to cut upon; but very exquisitely. I make no Queition 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. The French call them aiguillettes. Mezeray, speaking of Henry IIld's Sorrow for the Death of the Princess of Conti, says, --- portant meme sur les aiguillettes de petites tetes de Mort. And as a tall Man is before compar'd to a Launce ill-headed; so, by the same Figure, a little Man is very aptly liken'd to an Aglet ill-cut.

side out,

If filent, why a block moved with none.
So turns she
every man the

wrong
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 ; 0, 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.

Ursu. 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 honeft slanders To stain

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 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.

Ursu. 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 fome attires, and have thy counsel Which is the best to furnish me, to-morrow..

Ursu.

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