Enter Beatrice, R. Beatr. (R.) Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.

Bened. (L. c.) Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

Beatr. 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.

Bened. You take pleasure, then, in the message?

Beatr. 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, R. Bened. Ha!“ Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner;"- there's a double meaning in that. “ I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take 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 on her, I am a villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew:-I will go get her picture. [Exit, r,



SCENE 1.-Leonato's Garden. Enter Hero, MARGARET, and URSULA, L. Hero. (R.C.) Good Margaret, run thee into the par

lour, There shalt thou find my cousin, Beatrice ; Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula Walk in the orchard, and our whole discours Is all of her; say, that thou overheard'st us ; And bid her steal into the garden here, 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 MARGARET, R. Hero. (R.) Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come, 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.

Enter Beatrice, R, and retires back on R.
Asidc.] Now begin ;
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.
Urs. (c. Aside.) Fear you not my part of the dia-

logue. llero. (c.) No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful ; I know, her spirits are as coy and wild As haggards of the rock.

Urs. But are you sure,
That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely ?

Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord.
They did entreat me to acquaint her of it:
But I persuaded them, if they loved 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. 0, 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-endear'd.

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 featured,
But she would spell him backward : if fair-faced,
She'd 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 very vilely cul:

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. 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.

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 impoison liking.

Urs. Oh, do not do your cousin such a wrong ;
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
Having so sweet and excellent a wit
As she is priz'd to have, as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.

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.

Urs. She's limed, I warrant you; we have caught her, madam.

[Aside. Hero. [Aside,] If it proves so, then loving goes by

haps': Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

[Exeunt Hero and URSULA, R. Beatrice udvances cautiously. Beatr. 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 hopes up in a holy band : For others say, thou dost deserve ; and I Believe it better than reportingly.

[Exit, R. SCENE II.A Hall in Leonato's House, Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and

BENEDICK, L. Pedro. (c.) I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I toward Arragon.

Claud. [Crossing to R.] I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.

Pedro. (c.) Nay, 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 hanginan 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.

Bened. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
Leon. (L.) So say I ! nethinks you are sadder.
Claud. (R.) I hope, he be in love.

Pedro. Haug 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.

Bened. (L. c.) I have the tooth-ache.
Pedro. Draw it.
Bened. Hang it!
Pedro. What! sigh for the tooth-ache ?
Leon. Which is but a humour, or a worm ?

Bened. Well, every one can master a grief, but he that has it.

Claud. Yet say I, he is in love. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing of old signs ; he brushes his hat o'mornings; what should that bode?

Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: can you smell hiin 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. Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept into a lutestring.

Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude, conclude 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 despite of all, dies for him.

Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards.

Bened. Yet this is no charm for the tooth-ache.-Old Signior, [To LEONATO] walk aside with me ; [Retiring R.] I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.

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

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

Enter Don John, L. John. (c.) My lord and brother, heaven save you! . Pedro. Good den, brother. John. If your leisure served, I would speak with you. Pedro. In private?

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

Pedro. What's the matter?
John. Means your lordship to be married to morrow?
Pedro. You know he does.
John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.

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

John. You may think, I love you not ; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will 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 !

Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

John. I caine hither to tell you, and, circumstances shortened, for she hath too long been a-talking of, the lady is disloyal.

Claud. Who? Hero !

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

Claud. Disloyal !

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 farther warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see ber 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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