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D. Pedro. And when please you to say so? Hero. When I like your favour; for God de. fend the lute should be like the case!
which blessing I am at him upon my knees every
Beat. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man; and he that is more than a youth is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him: therefore I will even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and lead his apes into hell. 42 Leon. Well then, go you into hell?
Beat. No; but to the gate; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and say 'Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids' so deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Ant. To HERO. Well, niece, I trust you will be ruled by your father.
Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make courtesy, and say Father, as it please you': but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and sayFather, as it please me.'
Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband. 60 Beat. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren; and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.
Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.
Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not wooed in good time: if the prince be too important, tell him there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer. hear me, Hero: wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerlymodest, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
Leon, Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. Beat. I have a good eye, uncle: I can see a church by daylight.
Leon. The revellers are entering, brother: make good room!
D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within
Hero. Why then, your visor should be thatched.
Marg. And God keep him out of my sight
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head. Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless you were the very man. Here's his dry hand up and down: you are he, you are he.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urs. Come, come; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an end.
Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so?
Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are?
Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders: none but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleases men and angers them, and then they laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in the fleet: I would he had boarded me!
Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.
Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure not marked or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. Music within. Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BAL-We must follow the leaders. THAZAR, Don JOHN, BORACHIO, MARGARET, URSULA, and others, masked.
Bene. In every good thing.
Dance. Then excunt all but Don JOHN,
D. John. Sure my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it. The ladies follow her and but one visor remains.
Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.
D. John. Are not you Signior Benedick?
D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love: he is enamoured on Hero. I pray you, dissuade him from her; she is no equal for his birth: you may do the part of an honest
man in it.
Claud. How know you he loves her? D. John. I heard him swear his affection. Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would marry her to-night.
D. John. Come, let us to the banquet. Excunt Don JOHN and BORACHIO. Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. "Tis certain so; the prince woos for himself. Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love : Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues; Let every eye negotiate for itself And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. is is an accident of hourly proof, Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, Hero!
Bene. Count Claudio?
Bene. Come, will you go with me?
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own business, count. What fashion will you wear the garland of? About your neck, like an usurer's chain? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf? You must wear it one way, for the prince hath got your Hero.
Claud. I wish him joy of her.
Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover so they sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would have served you thus? Claud. I pray you, leave me.
Bene. Ho! now you strike like the blind man : 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.
Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. Bene. Alas! poor hurt fowl. Now will he creep into sedges. But that my lady Beatrice should know me, and not know me! The prince's fool! Ha! it may be I go under that title because I am merry. Yea, but so I am apt to do myself wrong; I am not so reputed: it is the base though bitter disposition of Beatrice that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may. 214
Re-enter Don PEDRO.
D. Pedro. Now, Signior, where's the count? Did you see him?
Bene. The flat transgression of a school-boy, who, being overjoyed with finding a bird's nest, shows it his companion, and he steals it.
D. Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgression? The transgression is in the stealer.
Bene. Yet it had not been amiss the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself, and the rod he might have bestowed on you, who, as I take it, have stolen his bird's nest.
Bene. Troth, my lord, I have played the part of Lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a warren. I told him, and I think I told him true, that your grace had got the good will of this young lady; and I offered him my company to a willow-tree, either to make him a garland, as being forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to be whipped.
D. Pedro. To be whipped! What's his fault?
D. Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and restore them to the owner.
Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.
D. Pedro. The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you the gentleman that danced with her told her she is much wronged by you.
Bene. O she misused me past the endurance of a block: an oak but with one green leaf on it would have answered her my very visor began to assume life and scold with her. She told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the prince's jester; that I was duller than a great thaw; huddling jest upon jest with such impossible conveyance upon me, that I stood like à man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her; she would infect to the north star. I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed: she would have made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her; you shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I would to God some scholar would conjure her, for certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose because they would go thither; so indeed, all disquiet, horror, and perturbation follow her.
Enter CLAUDIO, BEATRICE, HERO, and
D. Pedro. Look! here she comes.
Bene. Will your grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the slightest errand now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me on: I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the furthest inch of Asia; bring you the length of Prester John's foot; fetch you a hair of the Great Cham's beard; do you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather than hold three words' conference with this harpy. You have no employment for me?
D. Pedro. None, but to desire your good company.
Bene. O God, sir, here's a dish I love not: I cannot endure my Lady Tongue. Exit.
D. Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.
Beat. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one: marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.
D. Pedro. You have put him down, lady, you have put him down.
Beat. So I would not he should do me, my lord, lest I should prove the mother of fools.
Beat. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.
D. Pedro. I faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and fair Hero is won; I have broke with her father, and his good will obtained; name the day of marriage, and God give thee joy!
Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes: his grace hath made the match, and all grace say Amen to it!
Beat. Speak, count, 'tis your cue. Claud. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy : I were but little happy, if I could say how much. Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you and dote upon the exchange. Beat. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak neither. D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart. 320 Beat. Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care. My cousin tells him in his ear that he is in her heart.
Claud. And so she doth, cousin.
Beat. Good Lord, for alliance! Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sunburnt. I may sit in a corner and cry heigh-ho for a husband!
D. Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one. Beat. I would rather have one of your father's getting. Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.
D. Pedro. Will you have me, lady?
Beat. No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days: your grace is too costly to wear every day. But, I beseech your grace, pardon me; I was born to speak all mirth and
D. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero? Hero. I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my cousin to a good husband.
D. Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know. Thus far can I praise him; he is of a noble strain, of approved valour, and confirmed honesty. I will teach you how to humour your cousin, that she shall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your two helps, will so practise on Benedick that, in despite of his quick wit and his queasy stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer: his glory shall be ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in with me, and I will tell you my drift. 399 Exeunt.
SCENE II. Another Room in LEONATO's House.
D. John. It is so: the Count Claudio shall marry the daughter of Leonato.
Bora. Yea, my lord; but I can cross it. D. John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be medicinable to me: I am sick in disques-pleasure to him, and whatsoever comes athwart 342 his affection ranges evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this marriage?
D. Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of tion, you were born in a merry hour.
Beat. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. Cousins, God give you joy!
Leon. Niece, will you look to those things I told you of?
Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's pardon. Exit. D. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.
Bora. Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me. D. John. Show me briefly how. Bora. I think I told your lordship, a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting-gentlewoman to Hero.
Bora. Proof enough to misuse the prince, to | her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato. Look you for any other issue?
D. John. Only to despite them, I will endeayour any thing.
I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour. Withdraws. Enter Don PEDRO, LEONATO, and CLAUDIO, followed by BALTHAZAR and Musicians.
Bora. Go then; find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro and the Count Claudio alone: tell them that you know that Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to the prince and Claudio, as-in love of your brother's honour, who hath made this match, and his friend's reputation, who is thus like to be cozened with the semblance of a maid-that you have discovered thus. They will scarcely believe this without trial: offer them instances, which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber-window, hear me call Margaret Hero, hear Margaret term me Claudio; and bring them to see this the very night before the intended wedding: for in the meantime I will so fashion the matter that Hero shall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truth of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousy shall be called assurance, and all the preparation overthrown.
D. John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practice. Be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
Bora. Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame you.
D. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage. Exeunt.
SCENE III.-LEONATO's Orchard.
D. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this music? Claud. Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
Boy. I am here already, sir.
Bene. I know that; but I would have thee hence, and here again. Exit Boy. I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn by falling in love: and such a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe: I have known when he would have walked ten mile afoot to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is he turned orthography: his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not be sworn but love may transform me to an oyster; but I 'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on
Claud. Ol very well, my lord: the music ended,
Balth. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To slander music any more than once.
D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency,
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing;
D. Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks;
Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing!
Enter a Boy.
Music. 60 Bene. Now, divine air! now is his soul ravished! Is it not strange that sheeps' guts should hale
Bene. In my chamber-window lies a book; souls out of men's bodies? Well, a horn for my bring it hither to me in the orchard. money, when all's done.
D. Pedro. Yea, marry; dost thou hear, Bal-prays, curses; 'O sweet Benedick! God give me thazar? I pray thee, get us some excellent music, for to-morrow night we would have it at the Lady Hero's chamber-window.
Balth. The best I can, my lord.
Leon. She doth indeed; my daughter says so; and the ecstasy hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afeard 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, 170
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.
Exeunt BALTHAZAR and Musicians. Come hither, Leonato: what was it you told me of to-day, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? 10 Claud. O ay. Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits. I did never think that lady would have loved any man.
Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful that she should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor.
Leon. No; and swears she never will: that's fear. her torment.
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 daffed all other respects and made her half myself. I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what a' will say..
Leon. Were it good, think you?
Claud. Hero thinks surely she will die; for she says she will die if he love her not, and she will die ere she make her love known, and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will bate one breath of her accustomed crossness.
Leon. O she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; railed at herself that she should be so immodest to write to one that she knew would flout her: 'I 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,
D. 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.
Claud. He is a very proper man.
D. Pedro. He hath indeed a good outward happiness.
Claud. Before 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
Leon. If he do fear God, a' must necessarily keep peace: if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling, 209
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 seek 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 will 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.
Leon. My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready. Claud. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.
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