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for she'll be up twenty times a-night; and there will she fit in her smock, 'till she have writ a sheet of paper : my daughter tells
Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. O, when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?
Leon. O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at herself, that she should be so immodest, to write to one that she knew would flout her: I measure him, says she, by my own spirit; for I should Aout him if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.
Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; o sweet Benedick! god give me patience!
Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter says so; and the ecstasy hath so much overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself; it is very true.
Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.
Claud. To what end? he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.
Pedro. If he should, it were an alms to hang him: she's an excellent sweet lady, and, out of all suspicion, she is virtuous.
Claud. And she is exceeding wise.
Leon. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that blood hath the victory: I am sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.
Pedro. I would, she had bestow'd this dotage on me; I would have dofft all other respects, and made her half myself: I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will say.
Leon. Were it good, think you?
die if he love her not; and she will die ere she make her love known; and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will bate one breath of her accustom'd crossness.
Pedro. She doth well; if she should make tender of her love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptuous fpirit.
Claud. He is a very proper man.
Pedro. As Hector, I assure you; and in the managing of quarrels you may see he is wise; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a christian-like fear." Well, I am sorry for your neice: Ihall we go see Benedick, and tell him of her love?
Claud. Never tell him, my lord; let her wear it out with good counsel. Leon. Nay, that's impossible; she may wear her heart out firft
. 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.
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 an opinion of one another's dotage, and no such matter; that's the scene that I would see, which will be merely a dumb
let us send her to call him in to dinner. [Exeunt.
a christian-like fear. Leon. If he do fear god, he must necessarily keep peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.
Pedro. And fo will he do, for the man doth fear god, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large jefts he will make. Well, &c.
Benedick advances from the arbour. Bene. This can be no trick; the conference was fadly born: they have the truth of this from Hero; they seem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections have the full bent. Love me! why, it must be requited: I hear how I am censur’d; 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 ; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness : and virtuous; ’tis 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 to have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have rail'd 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 marry'd. Here comes Beatrice : by this day, she's a fair lady; I do spy fome marks of love in her.
Enter Beatrice. Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner. Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you
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
Bene. You take pleasure then in the message ?
knife's point, and choke a daw withal: you have no ftomach, fignior; fare
Exit. Nnn 2
Bene. 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 took pains to thank me : that’s as much as to say, any pains that I take for you are 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.
ACT III. SCENE I.
Continues in the garden.
There shalt thou find cousin Beatrice,
. 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
that. Itok shark me: dhaties
bu ar as eafr a thing
Is fick in love with Beatrice: of this matter
That only wounds by hear-say: now begin : in; if I do not
Enter Beatrice, running towards the arbour.
. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait :
Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord.
Hero. They did entreat me to acquaint her of it;
Urs. Why did you so? doth not the gentleman
Hero. O god of love! I know, he doth deserve