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Claud. He hath ta'en th' infection, hold it up. [Afide. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick? Leon. No, and swears she never will; that's her torment.

Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, fo your daughter says : shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him ?

Leon. This says she now, when she is beginning to write to him ; 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 jeit your daughter told us of.

Leon, 0, --when she had writ it, and was reading it over, the found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.

Claud. That,

Leon. (11) 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, wou'd flout her: I meafure him, says she, by my own fpirit, for I should flout 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!

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

Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by some oher, if she will not iscover 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;

(11) O, she tore the letter into a thousand half-pence;] i. e. into a thousand pieces of the same bigness. This is farther explain'd by a passage in its you like it ;

There were none principal; they were all like, one another as half.,

-pence are.

In both places the poet alludes to the old silver penny which had a crease running cross-wise over it, so that it might be broke into two ør four equal pieces, half-pence, or far things,


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, wildom 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 dafft 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. Here thinks, surely she will die; for he says, she will die if he love her not, and she will die ere the make her love known; and she will die if he woo her, rather than the will bate one breath of her accustom't croisnefs.

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

Claud. He is a very proper man.
Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness.
Claud. 'Fore God, and, in my mind, very wise.

Pedro. He doth, indeed, thew some sparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

Pedro. As Hestor, I assure you ; and in the managing of quarrels you may say he is wife; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with 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 so will he do, for the man doth fear God, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large jefts, he will make. Well, I am sorry for your Nicce : 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 impoflible, she may wear her heart out first.

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.

[Afide. 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 Show ; let us send her to call him to dinner. [ Afde.] [Exeunt.

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 cenfur'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 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 witnels: and virtuous; --?tis so, I cannot reprove it: and wise, but fir loving

by ny troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor no great arguinent 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 againit marriage; but doth not the a petite alter ? a man loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his age. Shall quipps and feniences, and these paper-bulle:s of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour? no: the world mutl be peopled. When I said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I iilauld live 'till I were marry’d. Here



comes Beatrice : by this day, she's a fair lady; I do spy some 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 thank:, 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 choak a daw withal: you have no ftomach, Signior; fare you well.

[Exit. Eene. Ha! againft 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

that's as much as to lay, any pains that I take 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 few; I will go get her Picture.


me ; for

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SCENE continues in the Orchard.

Enter Hero, Margaret and Ursula.

OOD Margaret, run thee into the parlour,
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'it us ;
And bid her steal into the pleached Bower,
Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the Sun,

Forbid the Sun to enter; like to Favourites,
Made proud by Princes, that advance their pride
Againlt 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, 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
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 ítream,
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 haggerds of the rock.

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

Hero. So says the Prince, and my new-trothed lcrd.
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 it.

Ursu. Why did you so? doth not the Gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,



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