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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


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,
Mifprizing what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly, that to her
All matter elle seems weak; she cannot love;
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so felf-endeared.

Urf. 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 faw man, How wife, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd, But she would spell him backward. If fair-faced, • She'd swear the gentleman should be her fifter; • If black, why, nature, drawing of an antic, · Made a foul blot; if tall, a launce ill-headed ; * If low, an aglet very vilely cut; * If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds; • If filent, 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.

Urf. Sure, sure, fuch carping is not commendable,

Hero. No; for 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 fighs, waste inwardly;
It were a better death than die with mocks,
Which is as bad as ’tis to die with tickling:

Urf. Yet tell her of it ; hear what she will say..
Hero. No, rather I will go to Benedick,


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And counsel him to fight against his paflion.
And, truly, I'll devise fome honest flanders
To stain my cousin with; one doth not know
How much an ill word may impoison liking.

Urf. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
(Having fo swift and excellent a wit
As she is priz'd to have), as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as Benedick.

Hero. He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.
Urf. I pray you be not angry with me,

Speaking my fancy; Signior Benedick,
For fhape, for bearing, argument, and valour,
Gces foremost in report through Italy.

Hero. Indeed he hath an excellent good name.

Urf. His excellence did earn it ere he had it. When are you marry'd, Madam ?

Hero. Why, every day; to-morrow; come, go in, I'll shew thee some attires, and have thy co!insel Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.

Urf. She's lim'd, I warrant you; we have caught her, Madam.

Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps ; Some Cupids kill with arrows, fome with traps.

[Exeunt. Beatrice, advancing. Beat. What fire is in my ears ? can this be true ?

Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much! Contempt, farewel ! 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 doit love, thy 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. Leonato's house. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato.

Podro. I do but itay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I toward Arragon,


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

Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a foil in the new glofs of your marriage, as to shew a child his new coat, and forbid hinn 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 håth twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him: he hath a heart as. found 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 fadder.
Claud. I hope he is in love.

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

Bene. I have the tooth-ach.
Pedro. Draw it.
Bene. Hang it.
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
Pedro. What ! figh for the tooth-ach !
Leon. Which is but a humour, or å worm.
Bene. Well, every one can master a

grief but he that has it.

Glaud. Yet say I, he is in love:

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 ; a “ German from the waste downward, all flops; 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 to

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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 ?

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 stuff'd tennis-balls,

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

Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet; can you fmell him out by that?

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

Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face?

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 lute-string, and now govern'd by stops

Pedro. Indecd that tells a heavy tale for him. Con. clude he is in love.

Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.

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

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions, and in despightof all, dies for him.

Pedro, She shall be bury'd with her face upwards.

Bene. Yet is cris no charm for the tooth-ach. Old Signior, walk aside with me; I have study'd eight or nine wise words to fpeak to you, which these hobbyhorfos miult 110t hear. Exeyint Benedick and Leonato.

Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

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

SCENE III. Enter Don Johni
John, My Lord and brother, God save you.
Pedro. Good den, brother.
John. If your leisure fery'd, I would speak with you,
Pedro, In private ?

John. If it please you ; yet Count Claudio may hear; for what I would speak of, concerns him,

Pedro. What's the matter?
John. Means your Lordship to be marry'd to-mor-

[To Claudio, Pedro. You know he does,

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John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.

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

John. You may think 'I love you not; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifeft; for my brother, I think, he holds you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage ; furely, suit ill spent, and labour ill bestow'd !

Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

John. I came hither to tell you, and circumstances shorten'd, (for she hath been too long a talking of). the lady is difloyal.

Claud. Who? Hero?

John. Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero. Claud. Dilloyal?

Fohn. 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 fee her chamber-window enter'd, 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.

Claud. May this be so ?
Pedro. I will not think it

you dare not trust that you fee, confess not that you know; if

you will follow me, I will thew you enough; and when you have seen more and heard more, proceed accordingly

Claud. If I see any thing to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow; in the congregation, where I fhould wed, there will I shame her.

Pedro. And as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.

John. I will disparage her no farther, till you are my witnesses ; bear it coldly but till night, and let the issue shew itself.

Pedro. O day untowardly turn'd!
Claud. O mischief ftrangely thwarting!


John. If

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