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HERO. Good Margaret, run thee to 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; say, that thou overheard'st us;
And bid her steal into the pleached bower,
Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun,
Forbid the sun to enter;-like favourites,

Made proud by princes, that advance their pride

Against that power that bred it :-there will she hide her,

To listen our purpose a: This is thy office,

Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.

MARG. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.

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
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;

Enter BEATRICE, behind.

For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.
URS. The pleasantest angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait :
So angle we for Beatrice; who even now
Is couched in the woodbine coverture:
Fear you not my part of the dialogue.

HERO. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.—


No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;
I know, her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock 14.

But are you sure,
That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?
HERO. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord.
URS. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam ?
HERO. They did entreat me to acquaint her of it:


[They advance to the bower.

Purpose. So the folio; the quarto, propose. The accent must be placed on the second syllable of purpose. The words have the same meaning-that of conversation-and were indifferently used by old writers. In the third line of this scene we have,—

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But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick,

To wish him wrestle with affection,

And never to let Beatrice know of it.

URS. Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,

As ever Beatrice shall couch upon ?

HERO. O God of love! I know he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to a man:
But Nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice :
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprising what they look on; and her wit

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And therefore, certainly, it were not good

She knew his love, lest 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 would swear the gentleman should be her sister;
If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antic,
Made a foul blot: if tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an agate d 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; not to be so odd, and from all fashions,
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable :

But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,


She would mock me into air; O, she would laugh me

Out of myself, press me to death with wit.

Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,


She would swear. This has been turned into she'd swear, to suit the mincing rhythm of the


• Black-as opposed to fair-swarthy.


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Agate. In Henry IV., Part II.,' Act I., Scene 2, Falstaff says of his page, "I was never manned with an agate till now." Agates were cut into various forms, such as men's heads. See Note on the passage in Henry IV.'

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She would mock. Changed also to she'd mock by modern editors.

Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly:

It were a better death than die with mocks ;
Which is as bad as 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 some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with: One doth not know
How much an ill word may empoison liking.
URS. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.

She cannot be so much without true judgment,
(Having so swift and excellent a wit

As she is priz'd to have,) as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as signior 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, argumenta, 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 married, 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 Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. [Exeunt HERO and URSULA.

BEATRICE advances.

BEAT. What fire is in mine ears 15? 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 heart 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.


Argument-conversation. So in 'Henry IV., Part I.:' " It would be argument for a week." Ta'en. So the folio; the quarto, limed.

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SCENE II.-A Room in Leonato's House.


D. PEDRO. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go ward Arragon.

CLAUD. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you 'll vouchsafe me.

I to

D. 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 bowstring, 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 sadder.

CLAUD. I hope he be in love.

D. PEDRO. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touched with love: if he be sad, he wants money.

BENE. I have the tooth-ach.

D. PEDRO. Draw it.

BENE. Hang it !

CLAUD. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.

D. PEDRO. What? sigh for the tooth-ach?

LEON. Where is but a humour, or a worm?

BENE. Well, every one can'a master a grief, but he that has it.

CLAUD. Yet, say I, he is in love.

D. 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; [or in the shape of two countries at once, as, a German from the waist downward, all slops; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet] Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it to appear he is.

CLAUD. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o' mornings: What should that bode?

D. 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 stuffed tennisballs a.

Can. The original copies, cannot.

b Fancy is here used in a different sense from the same word which immediately precedes it— although fancy in the sense of love is the same as fancy in the sense of the indulgence of a humour. The fancy which makes a lover, and the fancy which produces a bird-fancier, each express the same subjection of the will to the imagination.

• The passage in brackets is not found in the folio, but is supplied from the quarto.

In one of Nashe's pamphlets, 1591, we have, "they may sell their hair by the pound, to stuff tennis-balls." Several of the old comedies allude to the same employment of human hair.

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