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fay, the lady is fair; 'tis a truth I can bear them witnefs and virtuous; 'tis fo, I cannot reprove it: and wife, 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 fome 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 quipps 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 faid, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live 'till I were marry'd. Here comes Beatrice: by this day, fhe's a fair lady; I do fpy fome marks of love in her.
Beat. Against my will, I am fent to bid you come in to dinner.
Beat. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.
Beat. I took no more pains for thofe thanks, than you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, I would not have come.
Bene. You take pleafure then in the meffage.
Beat. Yea, juft fo much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choak a daw withal: you have no ftomach, Signior; fare you well.
Bene. Ha! against my will I am fent to bid you come in to dinner: there's a double meaning in that. I took no more pains for thofe thanks, than you took pains to thank me; that's as much as to fay, any pains that I take for you is as eafy 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.
SCENE continues in the Orchard.
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Urfula.
HER R O.
WOOD Margaret, run thee into the parlour, There fhalt thou find my Coufin Beatrice, Propofing with the Prince and Claudio; Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula Walk in the orchard, and our whole difcourfe Is all of her; fay, that thou overheard'st us; ́ And bid her fteal into the pleached Bower, Where honey-fuckles, 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 the hide her, To liften our Purpofe; this is thy office,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant, prefently. [Exit. Hero. Now, Urfula, when Beatrice doth come, and down,
As we do trace this alley up
Our Talk muft only be of Benedick;
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praife him more than ever man did merit.
Enter Beatrice, running towards the Arbour.
Urf. The pleafant'it angling is to fee the fish
Cut with her golden oars the filver ftream,
Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lofe nothing
I know, her fpirits are as coy and wild
Urf. But are fare,
That Benedick loves Beatrice fo entirely?
Hero. So fays the Prince, and my new-trothed lord. Urf. And did they bid you tell her of it, Madam ? Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it; But I perfuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick, To with him wraftle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.
Urf. Why did you fo? doth not the Gentleman Deferve as full, as fortunate a bed,
As ever Beatrice fhall couch upon?
Her. O God of love! I know, he doth deferve
As much as may be
yielded to a man:
But Nature never fram'd a woman's heart
All matter elfe feems weak; fhe cannot love,
Urf. Sure, I think fo;
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 faw man, How wife, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd, But he would fpell him backward; if fair-fac'd, She'd fwear, the gentleman fhould be her fifler; If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antick, Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an Aglet very vilely cut; (10)
If fpeaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
Urf. Sure, fure, fuch carping is not commendable. Hero. No; for to be fo odd, and from all fashions, As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable.
But who dare tell her fo? if I fhould speak,
Urf. O, do not do your Coufin fuch a wrong.
As fhe is priz'd to have) as to refuse
(10) If low, an Agat very vilely cut;] But why an Agat, if low? And what Shadow of Likeness between a little Man and an Agat? The Ancients, indeed, ufed this Stone to cut in, and upon; but moft exquifitely. I make no queftion but the Poet wrote;
an Aglet very vilely cut;
An Aglet was the Tag of thofe Points, formerly fo much in Fashion. Thefe Tags were either of Gold, Silver, or Brafs, according to the Quality of the Wearer; and were commonly in the Shape of little Images; or at least had a head cut at the Extremity, as is feen at the end of the Start of old-fashion'd Spoons. And as a tall Man is before compared to a Iance ill-headed; fo, by the fame Figure, a little Man is very aptly liken'd to an Aglet ill-cut,
So rare a gentleman as Benedick.
Hero. He is the only man of Italy, Always excepted my dear Claudio,
Urf. I pray you, be not angry with me, Madam,
For fhape, for bearing, argument and valour,
Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.
Hero. Why, every day; to-morrow; come, go in, I'll fhew thee fome attires, and have thy counsel Which is the beft to furnish me to-morrow.
Urf. She's lim'd, I warrant you; we have caught her, Madam.
Hero, If it prove fo, then loving goes by haps; Some Cupids kill with arrows, fome with traps. [Exeunt.
Beat. What fire is in my ears? can this be true?
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand;
SCENE Leonato's House.
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick and Leonato.
DO but stay 'till your marriage be confummate, and then go I toward Arragon.
Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchfafe me.
Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a foil in the new