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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 bis 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;
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.

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

W Alluding to the practice of witches in uttering prayers. STEEVENS. 8

Our author has himself, in another place, compared a very little man to an egate “ Thou whorson inanırake, (“ays Falstaff to his page ,) thou art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels. I never was so man'd with an agale till now." Hero means no more than this : " If a man be low, Beatrice will say,

tbat be is as dimioutive and upbappily formed as an ill-cut agate."

It appears from the passage just quoted, that agates were commonly word in Shakespeare's time. MALONE. 8

Vol. III.

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, l'll devise some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with : One doth not know,
How much an ill word may empoison liking.

Urs. 0, 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 prizid 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 ber,

madam. Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by baps : Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

[Exeunt Hero and URSULA.

Beatrice advancing 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 band ;) [3] This word seems here to signify discourse, or the powers of reasoning

JOHNSON (4) Alluding to a proverbial saying of the common people, that their ears buro,

JOHNSON (5] This image is taken from falconry. She had been charged with being

when others are talking of them.

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. Enter 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 bow-string, and the little hangmano dare not shoot at him : he hath a heart as sound as å 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 wild as haggards of the rock ; she therefore says, that wild as her heart is, she will tame it to the hand. JOHNSON (6) This character of Cupid came from the Arcadia of Sir Philip Sidney:

" Millions of yeares this old drivell Cupid lives;
* While still more wretch, more wicker he doth prove :

“ Till now at length that Jove him office gives,
" (At Juno's suite, who much did Argus love)

** In this our world a hangman for to be
* Or all those fooles tbat will have all they see.” FARMER.

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 fancys 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 hatb 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 bim.

Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit ; which has now crept into a lute string and now governed by stops.

D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a beavy 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.

(7) So. in Greene's Farewell to Folly, 1617: “ We are almost as fantastic as the English gentleman that is painted with a pair of sheers in his hand, as not being resolved after what fashion to have his coat cut." Again, in The Seven deadly Sinnes of London, by Thomas Decker, 1606 : " for an Englishman's sute is like a traitor's bodie that hath been hanged, drawne, and quartered, and is set up in severall places: bis codpiece is in Denmarke; the collor of his dublet and the belly, in France : the wing and narrow sleeve, in Italy : the short waste hangs ouer a Dutch botcher's stall in Utrich; his huge sloppes speaks Spanish : Polonia gives him the bootes, &c -and thus we mock euerie pation, for keeping one fashion, yet steale patches from euerie one of them, to peece out our pride; and are now laughing-stocks to them, because their cut so scurvily becomes us." STEEVENS.

Slops are large loose breeches, or trowsers, worn only by sailors at present. [8] Here is a play upon the word fancy, which Shakespeare uses for love as well as for humour, caprice, or affectation. JOHNSON.

[9] Love-songs in our author's time were generally sung to the music of the lute. So, ip King Henry IV. P. I:

"-as melapeboly as an old lion, or a lover's lute." MALONE

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

Bene. 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.

[Exe. Bene, and Leon. 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 with you. D. Pedro. In private ?

D. John. If it please you ;-yet count Claudio may hear ; 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. D. John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.

Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, discover it.

D. John. You may think, I love you not ; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I will now manifest: For my brother, I think, he holds you well ; and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage : surely, suit ill spent, and labour ill bestowed !

Ď. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

D. John. I came hither to tell you ; and, circumstances shortened, (for she hath been too long a talking of,) the lady is disloyal.

Claud. Who? Hero ?

D. John. Even she ; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.

Claud. Disloyal ?

D. John. The word is too good to paint out her wickedness ; I could say, she were worse ; think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamber-window entered; even the night before her wedding-day : if you love her then, to-morrow wed her ; but it would better fit your honour to change your mind

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