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Claud. 'Faith, like enough.
Leon. O God! counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of pas*ion, as she discovers it.
Z). Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she?
Claud. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.
Leon. What effects, my lord! She will sit you,— You heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
D. Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me: I would have thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
Leon. I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially against Benedick.
Bene. \_Aside.'] I should think this a gull, but that the white-Bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence.
Claud. He hath ta'en the infection; hold it up.
D. 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 /, says she, that have so oft encountered him with scorn, write to him that I love him?
Leon. This says she now when she is beginning to write t*> him: for she'll be up twenty times a night: and there will she sit in her smock, till she have writ a sheet of paper:—rny daughter tells us all.
Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. O !—When she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet ?—
Leon. O! she tore the letter into a thousand half-pence; railed at herself, that she should be so immodest to write to one that she knew would flout her: / measure him, says she, 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 she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses;—O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!
Leon. She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the eestacy hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself; It is very true. . D. 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.
D. Pedro. An 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 wise.
D. Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick.
Leon. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so 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.
D. Pedro. I would, she had bestowed this dotage on me; I would have daff'd2 all other respects, and made her half myself: 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: fi?r she says, she will die if he love her not; and she will die ere she makes her love known: and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breath of her accustomed crossness.
1 have dafPd—] To doff is the same as to doff', to do off,
to put aside..
Z>. 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.3
Claud. He is a very proper man.4
D. Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness.
Claud. 'Fore God, and in my mind, very wise.
D. Pedro. He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.
Leon. And I take him to be valiant.
D. Pedro. As Hector, I assure you; and in the managing of quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a most 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.
D. Pedro. And so will he do; for the man doth fear God, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for your niece: Shall we go see 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.
D. Pedro. Well, we'll 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 so good a lady.
J contemptible spirit.] i. e. contemptuous.
* • . a very proper man.] i. e. a very handsome man-.
Leon. My lord, will you walk ? dinner is ready..
Claud. It he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation. [Aside.
D. Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for her; and that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry. The sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such matter; that's the scene that I would see, which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her to call him in to dinner. [Aside.
[Exeunt Don Pkdro, Clauwo, and Leonato.
Benedick advances from the Arbour.
Bene. This can be no trick: The conference was sadly borne.5—They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections have their full bent. Love me! why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say, I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; they say too, that she will rather die than give any sign of affection.—I did never think to marry —I must not seem proud:— Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending. They say, the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness: and virtuous;—tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, 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 have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have railed 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 quips, 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 said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.— Here comes Beatrice: By this day, she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.
5 —— ivas sadly borne.] i. e. was seriously carried on*
Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.
Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for 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 in the message r
Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choke a daw withal:—You have no stomach, signior; fare you well. [Exit.
Bene. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you come to dinner—there's a double meaning in tliat. / 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 easy 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.
VOL. II. U