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Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?

Leon. No, and swears she never will; that's her torment.

Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, so your daughter says: shall I, says the, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?

Leon. This says she now, when she is beginning to write to him; for she'll be up twenty times a night, and there will she fit in her fmock, 'cill she have writ a sheet of paper; my daughter tells us all.

Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remem. ber a pretty jest your daughter told us of.

Leon. 0, when she had writ it, and was read. ing it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.

Claud. That

Leon. 6 O, she tore the letter into a thousand half-pence; rail'd at her self, that she should be so immodest, to write to one that, she knew, wou'd flour her : I measure him, says she, by my own Spirit, for I should fout 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 fo; and the ecstasie hach fomuch overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid, she will do desperate outrage to her self; it is very true.

6 0, be tore the Letter into a thousand half-pence ;] i. e. into a thousand pieces of the fame bigness. This is farther explain'd by a Passage in As you like it ;

-There were none principal; they were all like one another as half-pence are.

In both places the Poet alludes to the old Silver Penny which had a Creafe running Cross-wise over it, so that it might be broke into two or four equal pieces, half-pence, or farthings,

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Pedro,

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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 wife.
Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick.

Leon. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in fo 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 dafft all other respects, and made her half my self; I pray you, tell Benedick of it; and hear what he will say.

Leon. Were it good, think you?

Claud. Hero thinks, surely she will die; for she says, she will 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 contemptible spirit.

Claud. He is a very proper man.
Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness.
Claud. 'Fore God, and, in my mind, very wise.

Pedro. He doth, indeed, thew some sparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

Pedro. As Heator, I assure you ; and in the managing of quarrels you may say he is wife ; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a christian-like fear. Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep

peace ;

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peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.

Pedro. And so will he do, “ for the man doth fear " God, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large 6 jefts he will make.” Well, I am sorry for your Neice : shall we go seek 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 first.

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.

Afide. Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for her, and that must your daughter and her gentlewomen 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 meerly a Dumb Show; let us send her to call him to dinner.

[Aside.] [Exeunt.

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Benedick advances from the Arbour. Bene. « This can be no trick, the conference was “ fadly borne; they have the truth of this from Hero; " they seem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections 6 have the full bent. Love me! why, it must be " requited : I hear, how I am censur'd; they say, I

will bear my self proudly, if I perceive the love

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$6 come from her ; they say too, that she will rather s die than give any sign of affection. I did never $6 think to marry-Imust not seem proud-hap

py are they that hear their detractions, and can put 6 them to mending: they say, the lady is fair ; 'tis $6 a truth, I can bear them witness : and virtuous ;" 'tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving

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 mar“ riage ;- but doth not the appetite alter? a man loves " the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his

age. Shall quipps and sentences, and these paper“ bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of 66 his humour? no: the world must be peopled. " When I said, I would die a batchelor, I did not 56 think I should live 'till I were marry’d. . Here

comes Beatrice : by this day, she's a fair lady; I do So spy some marks of love in her.”

Enter Beatrice, Beat. Against my will, I am fent to bid you come in to dinner. Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you

for

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 come.

Bene. You take pleasure then in the message.

Beat. Yea, juft so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choak a daw withal: you have no stomach, Signior; fare

[Exit. 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

you well.

that I take for you is as easie as thanks. If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I do not love her, I am a few; I will go get her Picture. [Exit.

A CT III.

SCENE I.

Continues in the Orchard.

Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.

HERO.
G OOD Margaret, run thee into the parlour,

There shalt thou find my Cousin Beatrice,
Proposing with the Prince and Claudio ;
Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
Is all of her ; fay, 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 to Favourites,

Made proud by Princes, that advance their pride
. Against that power that bred it: there will she hide
To listen our Purpose; this is thy office, [her,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant 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

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