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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.1
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,
Misprising2 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-fac'd, She'd swear, the gentleman should be her sister;

(1) A species of hawk. (2) Undervaluing.

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If black, why, nature, drawing of an antic,
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 purchase1h.
Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.

Hero. 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; 0, 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 in 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,2 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 ?

(1) Ready. (2) Conversation.

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. SCENE II.-- A room in Leonato's house. En

ter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato.

D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then I go toward Arragon.

Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.

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 bowstring, and the little hangman dares 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.

(1) Ensnar'd with birdlime..

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 tomorrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, as a German from the waist downward, all slop;i 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 bim 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.

(1) Large loose breeches.

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

Ciaud. 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.

D. Pedro. That would I know too; I warrant, one that knows him not.

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.

D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards.

Bere. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach.Old signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.

[Exeunt Benedick and Leonato. D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

Claud. 'Tis even so: Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another, when they meet.

Enter Don John. D. John. My lord and brother, God save you. D. Pedro. Good den, brother. D. John. If your leisure served, I would speak D. Pedro. In private ?

D. John. If it please you ;-yet count Claudio may bear; for what I would speak of concerns him.

D. Pedro. What's the matter?

D. John. Means your lordship to be married to-morrow?

[To Claudio. D. Pedro. You know he does.

with you.

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