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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.
Aside. D. 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 one an opinion of 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 in to dinner.
[Aside. [Exeunt Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO.
BENEDICK advances from the arbour. Bene. This can be no trick: The conference was sadly borne 14.—They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections have their full bent 15. Love me! why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: 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;
14 Seriously carried on.
15 Steevens and Malone assert that this is a metaphor from archery, saying that the full bent is the utmost extremity of exertion. Surely there is no ground for the assertion! It was one of the most common forms of expression in the language for inclination, tendency; and was used where it is impossible there could have been any allusion to the bending of a bow, as in these phrases from a writer of Elizabeth's age: 'The day inclining or bending to the evening, '— Bending to a yellow colour.? Mr. Pye has justly observed, that the technical terms of archery were then too well known to be misapplied; to bend the bow is to fasten the string to the horns that it may be ready for drawing, and the more the bow was bent the less would its energy be.'
'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,
bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his hu. mour; 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.
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. [Erit.
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 picture.
[Exit. VOL. II.
SCENE I. Leonato's Garden.
Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA. Hero. Good 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 favourites, Made proud by princes, that advance their pride Against that power that bred it :--there will she
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 you, 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 sick in love with Beatrice: Of this matter Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made, That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;
Proposing is conversing, from the French Propos, discourse, talk.
2 The folio reads purpose. The quarto propose, which appears to be right. See the preceding note. Though Mr. Reed has shown that purpose was sometimes used in the same sense.
Enter BEATRICE, behind.
Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
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 4 wrestle with affection, And never to let Beatrice know of it.
Urs. Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman
3 A hawk not manned, or trained to obedience; a wild hawk. Hagard, Fr. Latham, in his Book of Falconry, says: 'Such is the greatness of her spirit, she will not admit of any society until such a time as nature worketh,' &c. So, in The Tragical History of Didaco and Violenta, 1576 :
• Perchance she's not of haggard's kind,
Nor heart so hard to bend,' &c. 4 Wish him, that is, recommend or desire him. So, in The Honest Whore, 1604:
• Go wish the surgeon to have great respect,' &c.
Deserve as full”, as fortunate a bed,
Hero. () God of love! I know, he doth deserve
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 8: if tall, a lance ill-headed; If low, an agate very vilely cuto:
5 So, in Othello :
• What a full fortune does the thick lips owe.' What Ursula means to say is, 'that he is as deserving of complete happiness as Beatrice herself.'
7 Alluding to the practice of witches in uttering prayers, i. e. misinterpret them. Several passages, containing a similar train of thought, are cited by Mr. Steevens from Lily's Euphues :
8 A black man here means a man with a' dark or thick beard, which is the blot in nature's drawing.
9 An agate is often used metaphorically for a very diminutive person, in allusion to the figures cut in agate for rings, &c. Queen Mab is described, “In shape no bigger than an agate stone on the forefinger of an alderman.' See note on K. Henry IV. Part II.