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All matter elfe seems weak: she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endeared.

Urf. Sure, I think so;
And therefore, certainly, it were not good
She knew his love, left 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 launce ill-headed ;
If low, an aglet 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; for to be so odd, and from all fashions,
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable,
But who dare tell her fo? 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 covered fire,
Consume away in fighs, waste inwardly:
It were a bitter death to die with mocks;
Which is as bad as 'tis to 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 fome honest Nanders To stain my cousin with; one doth not know How much an ill word may empoison liking.

Urf. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong. She cannot be so much without true judgment,

(Having (Having so sweet 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.

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 marry'd, 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 ta’en, I warrant you; we have caught her, madam.

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

Beatrice advances.
Beat. What fire is in my 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 heårt 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.




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Leonato's house. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato. Pedro. 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 youchsafe me.

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 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? sigh for the tooth-ach !
Leon. Which 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.

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; unless he have a fancy 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 a-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 smell 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 jefting spirit, which is now crept into a lute-string, and now govern’d by stops —

Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. 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 bury'd with her heels upwards.

Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach. Old fignior, walk aside with me; I have study'd eight or nine wise words to speak to you which these hobby-horses must not hear.

[Exeunt Bene, and Leon. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

Claud. "Tis even so. 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.

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They should be bury'd with their heels upwards was a proverbial saying heretofore in use, and apply'd to those who had met with any piece of fortune very surprizing and very rare.

Vol. I.



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Enter Don John.
John. My lord and brother, god save you.
Pedro. Good den, brother.
John. If your leisure serv’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-morrow?

[To Claudio.
Pedro. You know he does.
John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.
Claud. 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 manifeft; 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
Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

John. I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortend, (for she hath been too long 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 further warrant; go but with me tonight, you shall see 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 fo?
Pedro. I will not think it.
John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess not that you


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