Imatges de pÓgina

Pedro. Hath fhe made her affection known to Benedick?

Leon. No, and fwears he never will; that's her


Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, fo your daughter fays: fhall I, fays the, that have so oft encounter'd him with fcorn, write to him that I love him?

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

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

Leon. O,

when fhe had writ it, and was reading it over, fhe found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.

Claud. That


Leon. O, fhe tore the letter into a thoufand half-pence; rail'd at her felf, that the fhould be fo immodeft, to write to one that, she knew, wou'd flout her: I measure him," fays fhe, by my own Spirit, for I should flout him if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.

Claud. Then down upon her knees fhe falls, weeps, fobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curfes; O fweet Benedick! God give me patience!

Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter fays fo; and the ecftafie hath fo much overborn her, that my daughter is sometime afraid, fhe will do defperate outrage to her felf; it is very true.

60, he 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 Paffage 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-wife over it, fo that it might be broke into two or four equal pieces, half-pence, or farthings.

Mr. Theobald.

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Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by fome other, if fhe 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; fhe's an excellent fweet lady, and (out of all fufpicion) fhe is virtuous.

Claud. And fhe 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 forry for her, as I have juft caufe, being her uncle and her guardian.

Pedro. I would, fhe had beftow'd this dotage on me; I would have dafft all other refpects, and made her half my felf; I pray you, tell Benedick of it; and hear what he will fay.

Leon. Were it good, think you?

Claud. Hero thinks, furely fhe will die; for she says, fhe will die if he love her not, and she will die ere the make her love known; and fhe will die if he woo her, rather than fhe will bate one breath of her accuftom'd croffness.

Pedro. She doth well; if she should make tender of her love, 'tis very poffible, he'll fcorn 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 wife. Pedro. He doth, indeed, fhew fome sparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

Pedro. As Hector, I affure you; and in the managing of quarrels you may fay he is wife; for either he avoids them with great difcretion, or undertakes them with a chriftian-like fear.

Leon. If he do fear God, he muft neceffarily 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, howfoever it seems not in him, by fome large "jefts he will make." Well, I am forry for your Neice: fhall we go feek 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 impoffible, fhe 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 wifh he would modeftly examine himself, to see how much he is unworthy to have fo 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 truft my expectation.

[Afide. Pedro. Let there be the fame net fpread for her, and that muft your daughter and her gentlewomen carry; the fport will be, when they hold an opinion of one another's dotage, and no fuch matter; that's the Scene that I would fee, which will be meerly a Dumb Show; let us fend her to call him to dinner. [Afide.] [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 feem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections "have the full bent. Love me! why, it must be "requited: I hear, how I am cenfur'd; they fay, I ❝ will bear my felf proudly, if I perceive the love

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"come from her; they fay too, that fhe will rather "die than give any fign of affection.I did never think to marry-I muft not feem proud-hap



py are they that hear their detractions, and can put "them to mending: they 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 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 fo long against mar"riage; but doth not the appetite alter? a man loves "the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his 86 age. Shall quipps and fentences, and these paperbullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour? no: the world muft be peopled. "When I faid, I would die a batchelor, I did not "think I fhould 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."

Enter Beatrice.

Beat. Againft 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 thofe 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 meffage.

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

[Exit. 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 those thanks, than you took pains to thank me; that's as much as to fay, any pains


that I take for you is as eafie 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.





Continues in the Orchard.

Enter Hero, Margaret, and Urfula.


OOD 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 Urfula
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-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 To liften our Purpose; this is thy office,

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Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.


Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant presently.


Hero. Now, Urfula, 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 muft be, how Benedick
Is fick in love with Beatrice; of this matter

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