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Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull | Bene. Troth, my lord, I have playe the part of fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slan- lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a ders: none but libertines delight in him; and the lodge in a warren; I told him, and, I think, I told commendation is not in his wit, but in his vil-him true, that your grace had got the good will of lainy; for he both pleaseth men, and angers them, this young lady; and I offered him my company to and then they laugh at him, and beat him: I am a willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being sure he is in the fleet; I would he had boarded me. forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him to be whipped. what you say.

Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partridge' wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. [Musick within.] We must follow the leaders.

Bene. In every good thing.

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.

[Dance. Then exeunt all but Don John, Borachio, and Claudio. D. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it: The ladies follow her, and but one visor remains.

Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.

D. John. Are you not signior Benedick?
Claud. You know me well; I am he.

D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love: he is enamour'd on Hero; I pray you, dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth: you may do the part of an honest man in it.

Claud. How know you he loves her?
D. John. I heard him swear his affection.
Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would
marry her to-night.

D. John. Come, let us to the banquet.

[Exeunt Don John and Borachio.
Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick,
But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio.-
Tis certain so;-the prince woos for himself.
Friendship is constant in all other things,
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate for itself,

And trust no agent: for beauty is a witch,
Against whose cl.arms faith melteth into blood.
This is an accident of hourly proof,
Which I mistrusted not: Farewell therefore, Hero!
Re-enter Benedick,

Bene. Count Claudio?
Claud. Yea, the same.

Bene. Come, will you go with me?
Claud. Whither?

Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own business, count? What fashion will you wear the garland of? About your neck, like an usurer's chain? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf? You must wear it one way, for the prince hath got your Hero.

Claud. I wish him joy of her.

Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover; so they sell bullocks. But did you think, the prince would have served you thus ?

Claud. I pray you, leave me.

Bene. Ho! now you strike like the blind man ; 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.

D. Pedro. To be whipped! What's his fault? Bene. The flat transgression of a school-boy; who, being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, shows it his companion, and he steals it.

D. Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgression ? The transgression is in the stealer.

Bene. Yet it had not been amiss, the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself; and the rod he might have bestow'd on you, who, as I take it, have stol'u his bird's nest.

D. Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and re. store them to the owner.

Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.

D. Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you; the gentleman that danced with her, told her, she is much wrong'd by you.

Bene. O, she misused me past the endurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have answer'd her; my very visor began to assume life, and scold with her: She told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the prince's jester; that I was duller than a great thaw; huddling jest upon jest, with such impossible convey. ance, upon me, that I stood like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me: She speaks poniards, and every word stabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no liv. ing near her, she would infect to the north star. I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed: she would have made Hercules have turned spit; yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her: you shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I would to God, some scholar would conjure her; for, certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell, as in a sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose, because they would go thither; so, indeed, all dis quiet, horror, and perturbation follow her.

Re-enter Claudio, Beatrice, Leonato, and Hero.
D. Pedro. Look, here she comes.

Bene. Will your grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the slightest errand now to the Antipodes, that you can devise to send me on; I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the farthest inch of Asia; bring you the length of Prester John's foot; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard; do you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather than hold three words' conference with this harpy: You have no employment for me?

D. Pedro. None, but to desire your good company. Bene. O God, sir, here's a dish I love not; I can not endure my lady Tongue. [Exit.

D. Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of signior Benedick.

single one: marry, once before, he won it of me with false dice, therefore your grace may well say,

Beat. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me a while; Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. [Exit. and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his Bene. Alas! poor hurt fowl! Now will he creep into sedges. But, that my lady Beatrice should know me, and not know me! The prince's fool! I have lost it. Ha! it may be, I go under that title, because I am merry.--Yea; but so; I am apt to do myself wrong: I am not so reputed: it is the base, the bitter disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may.

Re-enter Don Pedro.

D. Pedro. Now, signior, where's the count; Did you see him?

D. Pedro. You have put him down, lady, you have put him down.

Beat. So I would not he should do me, my lord, lest I should prove the mother of fools. I have brought count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek. D. Pedro. Why, how now, count? wherefore are you sad?

Claud. Not sad, my lord.
D. Pedro. How then? Sick?

Claud. Neither, my lord.

Hero. I will do any modest office, my lord, to Beat. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor help my cousin to a good husband. merry, nor well: but civil, count; civil as an D. Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefuiorange, and something of that jealous complexion. lest husband that I know: thus far can I praise D. Pedro. I'faith, lady, I think your blazon to be him; he is of a noble strain, of approved valour, true; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his con- and confirmed honesty. I will teach you how to ceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy humour your cousin, that she shall fall in love with name, and fair Hero is won; I have broke with Benedick-and I, with your two helps, will so her father, and his good will obtained: name the practise on Benedick, that, in despite of his quick day of marriage, and God give thee joy! wit and his queasy stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer; his glory shall be ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in with me, and I will tell you my drift. [Exeunt.

Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes; his grace hath made the match, and all grace say Amen to it!

Beat. Speak, count, 'tis your cue.

Claud. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much.Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away. myself for you, and dote upon the exchange.

Beat. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak, neither. D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart. Beat. Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care:-My cousin tells him in his ear, that he is in her heart.

Claud. And so she doth, cousin.

Beat. Good lord, for alliance-Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sun-burned; I may sit in a corner, and cry, heigh-ho! for a husband.

D. Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one. Beat. I would rather have one of your father's getting: Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.

D. Pedro. Will you have me, lady?

Beat. No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days; your grace is too costly to wear every day: But, I beseech your grace, pardon me; I was born to speak all mirth, and no matter. D. Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

Beat. No, sure, my lord, my mother cry'd; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.-Cousins, God give you joy!

Leon. Niece, will you look to those things I told

you of?

pardon.

Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle.- By your grace's [Erit Beatrice. D. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady. Leon. There's little of the melancholy element In her, my lord: she is never sad, but when she sleeps; and not ever sad then; for I have heard my daughter say, she hath often dreamed of unhappiness, and waked herself with laughing.

D. Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.

Leon. O, by no means; she mocks all her wooers out of suit.

D. Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick. Leon. O lord, my lord, if they were but a week married, they would talk themselves mad.

D. Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to go to church?

Claud. To-morrow, my lord: Time goes on crutches, till love have all his rites.

Leon. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a just seven-night; and a time too brief too, to have all things answer my mind.

D. Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing; but I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall not go dully by us; I will, in the interim, undertake one of Hercules' labours; which is, to bring signior Benedick and the lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection, the one with the other. I would fain have it a match; and I doubt not but to fashion it, if you three will but minister such assistance as I shall give you direction.

Leon. My lord, I am for you, though it cost me

en nights' watchings.

Ciaud. And I, my lord.

D. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?

SCENE II.-Another Room in Leonato's House. Enter Don John and Borachio.

D. John. It is so; the count Claudio shall marry the daughter of Leonato.

Bora. Yea, my lord, but I can cross it.

D. John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be medicinable to me: I am sick in displeasure to him; and whatsoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this marriage?

Bora. Not honestly, my lord: but so covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me.

D. John. Show me briefly how.

Bora. I think, I told your lordship, a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting-gentlewoman to Hero.

D. John. I remember.

Bora. I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber-window.

D. John. What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?

Bora. The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you to the prince your brother; spare not to tell him, that he hath wronged his honour in marrying the renowned Claudio (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero.

D. John. What proof shall I make of that?

Bora. Proof enough to misuse the prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato: Look you for any other issue?

D. John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing.

Bora. Go then, find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro and the count Claudio, alone: tell them, that you know that Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to the prince and Claudio, as-in love of your brother's honour who hath made this match; and his friend's reputation, who is thus like to be cozened with the semblance of a maid,-that you have discovered thus. They will scarcely believe this without trial offer them instances; which shall bear no less likelihood, than to see me at her chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me Borachio; and bring them to see this, the very night before the intended wedding: for, in the mean time, I will so fashion the matter, that Hero shall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truth of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousy shall be call'd assurance, and all the preparation overthrown.

D. John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, will put it in practice: Be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.

Bora. Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.

D. John. I will presently go learn their day o marriage. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.-Leonato's Garden.
Enter Benedick and a Boy.

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Boy. I am here already, sir.

Bene. I know that;-but I would have thee hence, and here again. [Exit Boy.]-1 do much wonder, that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love: And such a man is Claudio. I have known, when there was no musick with him but the drum and fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe: I have known, when he would have walked ten mile afoot, to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man, and a soldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair; yet I am well another is wise; yet I am well: another virtuous; yet I am well but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.

Rich, she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll

never look on her; mild, or come not near me;

noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.

[Withdraws.

Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio.

D. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this musick? Claud. Yea, my good lord;-How still the evenAs hush'd on purpose to grace harmony! [ing is, D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself?

Claud. O, very well, my lord: the musick ended, We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.

Enter Balthazar, with musick.

D. Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song again.

Balth. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To slander musick any more than once.

D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency, To put a strange face on his own perfection:I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.

Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing: Since many a wooer doth commence his suit To her he thinks not worthy; yet he wooes; Yet will he swear, he loves.

D. Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come: Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument, Do it in notes. Balth.

Note this before my notes, There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting. D. Pedro. Why these are very crotchets that he speaks;

Note, notes, forsooth, and noting!

[Musick. Bene. Now, Divine air! now is his soul ravished! -Is it not strange, that sheeps' guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?--Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.

Balthazar sings. I.

Balth. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more ;
Men were deceivers ever;

One foot in sea, and one on shore;
To one thing constant never:

Then sigh not so,

But let them go,

And be you blithe and bonny;

Converting all your sounds of woe
Into, Hey nonny, nonny.

II.

Sing no more dittier, sing no mo
Of dumps so dull and heavy ;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so, &c.

D. Pedro. By my troth, a good song.
Balth. And an ill singer, my lord.

Claud. Ha? no; no, faith; thou singest well enough for a shift.

Bene. [Aside.] An he had been a dog, that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him : and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.

D. Pedro. Yea, marry; [to Claudio.]-Dost thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee, get us some excellent musick; for to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamber-window. Balth. The best I can, my lord.

D. Pedro. Do so farewell. [Exeunt Balthazar and musick.] Come .hither, Leonato: What was it you told me of to-day? that your niece Beatrice was in love with signior Benedick?

Claud. O, ay :-Stalk on, stalk on the fowl sits. [Aside to Pedro.] I did never think that lady would have loved any man.

Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so dote on signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor.

Bene. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

[Aside. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an enraged affection,-it is past the infinite of thought. D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit. Claud. 'Faith, like enough.

Leon. O God! counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.

D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she? Claud. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.

[Aside. Leon. What effects, my lord! She will sit you,You heard my daughter tell you how. Claud. She did, indeed.

D. Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me: I would have thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.

Leon. I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially against Benedick.

Bene. [Aside. I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it knavery cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence. Claud. He hath ta'en the infection; hold it up. [Aside. D. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick.

Leon. No; and swears she never will: that's her torment.

Claud. 'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: Shall I, says she, that have so oft encountered 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 sit 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 half-pence; railed at herself, that she should be so immodest to write to one that she knew would flout her: I measure him, says she, by my own spirit: for I should flout him, if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.

H

Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses;-0 sweet Benedick! God give me patience! Leon. She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the ecstacy hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself; It is very true.

D. 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.

D. Pedro. An 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.

D. Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Bene

dick.

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. D. Pedro. I would, she had bestowed this dotage on me; I would have daff'd 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 makes her love known and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breadth 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.

L'on. 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 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 some large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for your niece: Shall we go see Benedick, and tell him of her love?

Cland. 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'll 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 so good a lady.

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 have some odd quirks and remnants of wit
broken on me, because I have railed 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.
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, 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:-You have no stomach, signior; fare you well. [Exit.

Bene. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you come 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 pic

ture.

ACT III.

SCENE 1.-Leonato's Garden.

[Exit.

Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.
Hero. Good 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,
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 purpose: This is thy office,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.

Leon. My lord, will you walk ? dinner is ready. Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, preClaud. If he do not doat on her upon this, I will sently. [Exit. [Aside. never trust my expectation. Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come, D. Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for As we do trace this alley up and down, her: and that must your daughter, and the gentle. Our talk must only be of Benedick: woman carry. The sport will be, when they hold When I do name him, let it be thy part one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such To praise him more than ever man did merit : matter; that's the scene that I would see, which My talk to thee must be, how Benedick will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her to call him in to dinner.

Is sick in love with Beatrice: Of this matter [Aside. Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made, That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato. 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 their full bent. Love me why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say, I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive

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 her 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.-
[They advance to the bower.
No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;
I know, her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock.

Urs.

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? 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 :
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprising 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 self-endeared."

Urs.

Sure, I think so;

And therefore, certainly, it were not good
She knew his love, lest 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-faced,
She'd swear, the gentleman should be her sister;
If black, why, nature, drawing of an antick,
Made a foul blot: if tall, a lance ill-headed,
If low, an agate very vilely cut:

If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
If silent, why, a block moved with none.
So turns she every man the wrong side out;
And never gives to truth and virtue, that
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.

[able.

Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendHero. No not 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 sighs, waste inwardly : It were a better death than die with mocks; Which is as bad as die with tickling.

Urs. 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 honest slanders
To stain my cousin with: One doth not know,
How much an ill word may empoison liking.

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

Urs. 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. Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.When are you married, madam?

Hero. Why, every day ;-to-morrow: Come, go in ; I'll show thee some attires; and have thy counsel, Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.

Urs. She's lim'd I warrant you; we have caught her, madam.

Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps: Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. [Exeunt Hero and Ursula.

Beatrice advances.

Beat. What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true? Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much? Contempt, farewell! 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 dost love, my kindness shall incite thee To bind our loves up in a holy band: For others say, thou dost deserve; and I Believe it better than reportingly.

[Exit.

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D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him: he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
Leon. So say I; methinks, you are sadder.
Claud. I hope, he be in love.

D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love: if he be sad, he wants money.

Bene. I have the tooth-ach.

D. Pedro. Draw it.

Bene. Hang it!

Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.

D. Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ach? Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm? Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he that has it.

Claud. Yet, say I, he is in love.

D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, as, a German from the waist downward, all slops; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet: Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.

Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o' mornings; What should that bode ?

D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's? Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.

Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did by the loss of a beard.

D. Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: Can you smell him out by that?

Claud. That's as much as to say, The sweet youth's in love.

D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.

Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face ? D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.

Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops. D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude, conclude, he is in love.

Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.

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