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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 purpose: 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;

Enter BEATRICE, behind.
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.

Urs. The pleasant’st 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.7
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 intreat 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, Misprisings 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-faced, She'd swear, the gentleman should be her sister;

7 A species of hawks. 8 Undervaluing

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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. 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 commend-

able. 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 ; O, 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 9 and excellent a wit,
As she is prizd 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.

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9 Ready.

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, I'll show thee some attires; and have thy counsel,

; Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. Urs. She's lim'd 2 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.

go in;

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.

1 Conversation.

2 Ensnared with birdlime.

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 hangman dare 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.

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?

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