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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.
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,
Mr. Theobald. D 2
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.
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 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; 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.
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
$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
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 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.
Continues in the Orchard.
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.
There shalt thou find my Cousin Beatrice,
Made proud by Princes, that advance their pride
[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