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Is couched in the woodbine coverture:
Fear you not my part of the dialogue. [nothing
Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.--
[They advance to the bower.
No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;
I know, her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock.

Urs. But are you sure,

That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely? [lord. 10
Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed
Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam
Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it :
But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Bencdick,
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?


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,
5 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,
(IIaving 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, argument, and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.

Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve 20 Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.

As much as may be yielded to a man:
But nature never framed 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
Values itself so highly, that to her

All matter else seems weak: she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endear'd.

Urs. Sure, I think so;

And therefore, certainly, it were not good
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it. [man,
Hero. Why, you speak truth: I never yet saw
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd,
But she would spell him backward': if fair-fac'd,
She'd swear, the gentleman should be her sister;
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:

Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.— When are you marry'd, madam?

[in, Hero. Why, every day,-to-morrow; Come, go I'll shew thee some attires; and have thy counsel, 25 Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.



Urs. She's lim'd', 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.

Beatrice advancing.

Beat. What fire is in mine ears? 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:
40 For others say, thou dost deserve; and I
Believe it better than reportingly.

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. [able.
Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commend-45
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'd 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,
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly;



Leonato's House.


Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick,and Leonato. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then I go toward Arragon.

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

Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to shew a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be

Meaning, as rich a wife. That is, despising. This alludes to the received notion of witches saying their prayers backwards. The antick was a buffoon in the old English farces, with a blacked face, and a patch-work habit. An aglet was the tag of those 'points, formerly so much in fashion. These tags were either of gold, silver, or brass, 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. The French call them aiguillettes. And, as a tall man is before compared to a lance ill-headed; so, by the same figure, a little man is very aptly liken'd to an aglet ill-cut. Argument here seems to mean, the powers or gift of reasoning well. That is, entangled. Alluding to a proverbial saying, that people's ears burn when others are talking of them.



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
bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot
at him; he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and 5
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.

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

Bene. I have the tooth-ach.
Pedro. Draw it.

Bene. Hang it!

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

Pedro. What, sigh for the tooth-ach?
Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm?
Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but
be that has it.

Claud. Yet say I, he is in love.


feight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.

[Exeunt Benedick and Leonato, Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

Claud. 'Tis even so: Hero and Margaret have by this time play'd their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another, when they meet.

Enter Don John.
John. My lord and brother, God save you!
Pedro. Good den, brother.

John. If your leisure serv'd, I would speak with you.

15 Pedro. In private?

John. If it please you:-yet count Claudio may hear; for what I would speak of, concerns him. Pedro. What's the matter?

John. Means your lordship to be marry'd to 20 morrow? [To Claudio.

Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises: 25 as to be a Dutchmanto-day; a Frenchinan 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 ap-30 pears 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?

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 stuff" d tennis-balls.

Pedro. You know, he does.
John. I know not that, when he knows what I


Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, discover it.

John. You may think, I love you not; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest: For my brother, I think, hẻ holds you well; and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage: surely, suit ill-spent, and labour ill-bestow'd!

Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

John. I came hitherto tell you, and circumstances shorten'd, (for she hath been too long a talking 35 of) the lady is disloyal.

Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by 40

the loss of a beard.

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Cland. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now 50 crept into a lute-string, and now govern'd by stops. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude, conclude he is in love.

Cland. Nay, but I know who loves him. Pedro. That would I know too; I warrant, one that knows him not.

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despight of all, dies for him.


Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards. Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach.-60 Old signior, walk aside with me; I have studied

Claud. Who Hero?

John. Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.

Claud. Disloyal?

John. The word is too good to paint out her wickedness; I could say, she were worse; think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see herchamber-window enter'd, even the night before her wedding-day: if you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it would better fit your honour to change your mind. Claud. May this be so? Pedro. I will not think it.--

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John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess not that you know: if you will follow me, I will shew you enough; and when you have seen more, and heard more, proceed accordingly.

Chud. If I see any thing to-night why I should not marry her; to-morrow, in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.

Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her. Pedro. I will disparage her no farther, till you are my witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue shew itself.

That is, all breeches.


Pedro. O day untowardly turn'd! Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting! John. O plague right well prevented! So you will say, when you have seen the sequel.


The Street.

[Exeunt. 5

Enter Dogberry and Verges, with the Watch. Dogb. Are you good men and true? Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation, body and soul."

Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the prince's watch.

Verg. Weil, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.

Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable?

for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for your honesty.

2 Watch. It we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?

Dogb, Truly, by your office, you may; but I think, they that touch pitch will be detid: the most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is, to let him shew himself what he is, and steal out of your company.

1101 Verg. You have always been call'd a merciful man, partner.


1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Sea-20 coal; for they can write and read.

Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal: God hath bless'd you with a good name: to be a wellfavour'd man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.


2 Watch. Both which, master constable,Dogb. You have; I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and inake no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there 30 is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch; therefore bear you the lan-] thorn: This is your charge; you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man 35 stand, in the prince's name.

2 Watch. How if he will not stand?

Dog. Why then, take no note of him, but let him go; and presently call the rest of the watch together, and thank God you are rid of a knave. Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the prince's subjects.

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Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none but the prince's subjects:—You shall also make no noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble 45 and talk, is most tolerable and not to be endur'd.

2 Watch. We will rather sleep than talk; we know what belongs to a watch.

Dogh. Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping 50 should offend: only, have a care that your bills | be not stolen:-Well, you are to call at all the ale-houses, and bid them that are drunk get them to bed.

2 Watch. How if they will not?

Watch. Why then, let them alone till they are sober; if they make you not then the better answer, you may say, they are not the men you took them for.

2 Watch. Well, sir.

Dog. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and,


Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will; much more a man who hath any honesty in him.

Verg. If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse, and bid her still it.

2 Watch. How if the nurse be asleep, and will not hear us?

Dogb. Why then, depart in peace, and let the child wake her with crying: for the ewe that will not hear ber lamb when it baes, will never ans swer a calf when he bleats.

Verg. 'Tis very true.

Dogb. This is the end of the charge. You, constable, are to present the prince's own person if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay him.

Verg, Nay, by 'r Lady, that, I think, he cannot.

Dogb. Five shillings to one on 't, with any man that knows the statues, he may stay him: marry, not without the prince be willing: for, indeed, the watch ought to offend no man; and it is an offence to stay a man against his will.

Verg. By 'r Lady, I think it be so,

Dogb. IIa, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there be any matter of weight chances, call up me; keep your fellows' counsels, and your own, and good night.-Come, neighbour,

2 Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge; let us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.

Dogb. One wordmore, honest neighbours: I pray you, watch about signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night: Adieu, be vigilant, I beseech you. [Exeunt Dogberry and Forges. Enter Borachio and Conrade.

Bora. What! Courade,-
Watch. Peace, stir not.

Bora. Conrade, I say!


Conr. Here man, I am at thy elbow. Bora. Mass, and my elbow itch'd; I thought, there would a scab follow.

Conr. I will owe thee an answer for that; and now forward with thy tale,

Bora. Stand thee close then under this penthouse, for it drizzles rain; and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.

Watch. [Aside.] Some treason, masters; yet 60 stand close.

Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John, a thousand ducats.

A bill was the old weapon of the English infantry,


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An Apartment in Leonato's House.
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula..
Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice,
20laud desire her to rise.

Watch. I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thier these seven years; he goes up and down like a gentleman; I remember his nanje. Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody? Conr. No; 'twas the vane on the house. Bora. Seest thou not, I say, what.a deformed thief this Fashion is? how giddily he turns about all the hot bloods, between fourteen and five-andthirty? sometime, fashioning them like Pharaoh's 25 soldiers in the reechy painting'; sometime, like god Bel's prests in the old church-window; sometinie, like the shaven Hercules in the smirch'd' worm-eaten tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his club?.

Conr. All this I see; and see, that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man; But art not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?


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Bora. Not so neither; but know, that I have to-night wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the name of Liero; she leans me out at her inistress's chamber-window, bids me a thousand times good night-I tell this tale vilely: 40 -I should first tell thee, how the prince, Claudio, and my master, planted and placed, and possessed by my master DonJohn, saw afar off in the orchar.. this amable encounter.

Conr. And thought they, Margaret was Hero: 45 Bora. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio;| but the devil my ma ter knew she was Margaret;} and partly by his oaths, which first possess'd them, partly by the dark night, which die deceive them. but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any 50 sander that Don John had made, away went Claudio enraged; swore he would meet her, as he was appointed, next morning at the temple, and there, before the whole congregation, shame her with what he saw o'er night, and send her 55 home again without a husband.

Watch. We charge you in the prince's name,


Urs. I will, lady.

Hero. And bid her come hither.

Urs. Well.

[Exit Ursulai Marg, Troth, I think, your other rabato were better.

Watch. Call up the right master constable:We have here recovered the most dangerous piece 60

Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.

Marg. By my troth, it's not so good; and I warrant, your cousin will say so.

Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another; I'll wear none but this.

Marg, I like the new tire within excellently, if the hair were a thought browner; and your gown's a most rare fashion, faith. I saw the dutchess of Milan's gown, that they praise so.

Hero. Ö! that exceeds, they say,

Marg. By my troth, it's but a night-gown in respect of your's: Cloth of gold, and cuts, and lac'd with silver; set with pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves, and skirts round, underi orne with a blueish tinsel; but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent fashion, your's is worth ten on't.


Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart exceeding heavy!

Marg. Twill be heavier soon, by the weight of a man.

Hero. Fie upon thee! art not asham'd?


Murg. Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord honourable without marriage? I think you would have me say, saving your reverence,— ju husband? an bad thinking do not wrest true peaking, I'll offend nobody: Is there any harm in-the heavier for a husband? None, I think, it be the right husband, and the right wife; otherwise, 'tis light, and not heavy: Ask my lady Beatrice else, here she comes, Enter Beatrice. Hero. Good-morrow, coz. Beat. Good-morrow, sweet Hero.

! That is, unpractised in the ways of the world. 2i. e. painting discoloured by smoke. 3 Smirch'd i soil'd, obscured. Rabato, froin the French rabat, signifies a neckband; a ruff.


Hero. Why, how now! do you speak in the sick tune?

Beat. I am out of all other tune, methinks.' Marg. Clap us into Light o' love'; that goes without a burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it.

Beat. Yea, Light o' love, with your heels!then if your husband have stables enough, you'll look he shall lack no barns'.

Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that 10 with my heels.

Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill:-hey ho!

Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband? Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H. Marg. Well, an you be not turned Turk', there's no more sailing by the star.

Beat. What means the fool, trow? Marg. Nothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire!

Hero. These gloves the count sent me, they are an excellent perfume.


Another Apartment in Leonato's House. Enter Leonito, with Dogberry and Verges. Leon. What would you with me, honest neigh 5bour?

Dogb. Marry, sir, I would have some confi-
dence with you, that decerns you nearly.
Leon. Brief, I pray you; for you see 'tis a busy
time with me.

Dogb. Marry, this it is, sir.
Verg Yes, in truth it is, sir.

Leon. What is it, my good friends?

Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little of the matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are 15 not so blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest, as the skin between This brows'.

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honester 20than I.

Beat. I am stuff'd, cousin, I cannot smell. Marg. A maid, and stuff'd! there's goodly 25 catching of cold.

Beat. O, God help me! God help me! how long have you profess d apprehension?

Marg. Ever since you left it: Doth not my wit become me rarely?

Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap.-By my troth, I am sick.

Marg. Get you some of this distill'd Carduus Benedictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle. Beat. Benedictus! why Benedictus? you have some moral in this Benedictus.

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could ind in my heart to bestow it all of your worship. Leon. All thy tediousness on me! ha!

Dogb. Yea, an 'twere a thousand times more 30than 'tis: for I hear as good exclamation on your worship, as of any man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it. Verg. And so am I.


Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no mo-
ral meaning; I meant, plain holy-thistle. You may 40
think, perchance, that I think you are in love;
nay, by'r Lady, I am not such a fool to think what
I list; nor I list not to think what I can; nor, in-
deed, I cannot think, if I would think my heart
out o' thinking, that you are in love, or that you 45
will be in love, or that you can be in love: yet
Benedick was such another, and now is he become
a man: he swore he would never marry; and yet
now, in despight of his heart, he eats his meat
without grudging: and how may you be convert-50
ed, I know not; but, methinks, you look with
your eyes as other women do.

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?|
Marg. Not a false gallop.

Re-enter Ursula.

Urs. Madam, withdraw; the prince, the count, signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town, are come to fetch you to church. Hero. Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula


Leon. I would fain know what you have to say. Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, hath ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.

Dogb. A good old man, sir; he will be talking; as they say, When the age is in, the wit is out; God help us! it is a world to see!-Well said, 'faith, neighbour Verges:-well, God's a good man; an two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind:-An honest soul, i' faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread: but, God is to be worshipp'd: All men are not alike; alas, good neighbour!

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.

Dogb. Gifts that God gives.
Leon. I must leave you.

Dogb. One word, sir: our watch have, indeed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship.

Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great haste, as may appear unto you.

Dogb. It shall be suffigance.

Leon. Drink some wine ere you go: fare you


1 An old dance tune so call'd. A quibble between barns and bairns. Love, and turned a renegado to his religion. A Spanish phrase, siguity ing, few words.

' i, e. taken captive by A proverbial expression.

i. e. some secret meaning.
Meaning, it is wonderful to see.


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