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SCENE I. Leonato's Garden.
Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA.
Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the par
There shalt thou find
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.
[E.rit. 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.
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
? Misprising-] Despising, contemning, or undervoluing,