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D. 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.

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.—They have the

truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady; it seems her affections have their a 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 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 ; 't is a truth, I can bear them witness : and virtuous't is 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 bave 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.


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 in to dinner "—there's

Their. So the quarto; the folio, the.

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.

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HERO. Good Margaret, run thee to 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 honeysuckles, 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 a : This is thy office,

Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
MARG. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.
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 ;


Enter BEATRICE, behind. For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs

Close by the ground, to hear our conference.
URS. The pleasantest 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 14

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:

Purpose. So the folio; the quarto, propose. The accent must be placed on the second syllable of purpose. The words have the same meaning-that of conversation and were indifferently used by old writers. In the third line of this scene we have,

Proposing with the prince and Claudio.” In Spenser,

“ For she in pleasant purpose did abound.”

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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 map :
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.

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 would swear the gentleman should be her sister;
If black <, why, Nature, drawing of an antic,
Made a foul blot: if tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an agate d 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.
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 would mock e me into air ; 0, she would laugh me
Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,




She would swear. This has been turned into she 'd swear, to suit the mincing rhythm of the commentators.

Blackas opposed to fair-swarthy.

Agate. In · Henry IV., Part II.,' Act I., Scene 2, Falstaff says of his page, “ I was never manned with an agate till now.” Agates were cut into various forms, such as men's heads. See Note on the passage in 'Henry IV.'

She would mock. Changed also to she'd mock by modern editors.

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