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Enter Hero, MARGARET, and URSULA.
· Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the par
lour; 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 honey-suckles, 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 propose : This is thy office, Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.
[Erit. 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 ;
• Proposing with the Prince and Claudio:) Proposing is con. versing, from the French word-propos, discourse, talk.
Enter Beatrice, behind.
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
nothing 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? Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed
lord. Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam? Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of
Urs. Why did you so ? Doth not the gentle
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,
Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve
Misprising' what they look on; and her wit
Sure, I think so; .
man, How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd, But she would spell him backward : if fair-faced, 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 agate 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,
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,
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 speak an agate: if tall,"
? Misprising-] Despising, contemning, or undervaluing.