Page images





which blessing I am at him upon my knees every D. Pedro. And when please you to say so? morning and evening. Lord! I could not endure Hero. When I like your favour ; for God de. a husband with a beard on his face : I had rather fend the lute should be like the case ! lie in the woollen.

D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within Leon. You may light on a husband that hath the house is Jove. no beard.

Hero. Why then, your visor should be thatched. Beat. What should I do with him ? dress him D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. in my apparel and make him my waiting-gentle.

Takes her aside. woman? He that hath a beard is more than a Balth. Well, I would you did like me. youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a Marg. So would not I, for your own sake; for man; and he that is more than a youth is not for I have many ill qualities. me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for Bulth. Which is one ? him : therefore I will even take sixpence in earnest Marg. I say my prayers aloud. of the bear-ward, and lead his apes into hell. 42 Balih. I love you the better : the hearers may Leon. Well then, go you into hell?

cry, Amen. Beat. No; but to the gate; and there will the Marg. God match me with a good dancer! devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns Balth. Amen. on his head, and say “Get you to heaven, Beatrice, Marg. And God keep him out of my sight get you to heaven; here's no place for you when the dance is done! Answer, clerk. maids': so deliver I up my apes, and away to Balth. No more words : the clerk is answered. Saint Peter for the heavens; he shows me where Urs. I know you well enough : you are Signior the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as Antonio. the day is long.

Ant. At a word, I am not. Ant. To HERO. Well, niece, I trust you will be Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head. ruled by your father.

Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless courtesy, and say · Father, as it please you': you were the very man. Here's his dry hand up but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a hand- and down: you are he, you are he. sume fellow, or else make another courtesy, and Ant. At a word, I am not. say · Father, as it please me.'

Urs. Come, come; do you think I do not know Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide fitted with a husband.

60 itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will Beat. Not till God make men of some other appear, and there's an end. metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so ? to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust ? Bene. No, you shall pardon me. to make an account of her life to a clod of way- Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are? ward marl? No, uncle, I'll none : Adam's sons Bene. Not now. are my brethren; and, truly, I hold it a sin to Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had match in my kindred.

my good wit out of the · Hundred Merry Tales.' Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you : Well, this was Signior Benedick that said so. if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you Bene, What's he? know your answer.

Beat. I am sure you know him well enough. Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, Bene. Not I, believe me. if you be not wooed in good time: if the prince Beat. Did he never make you laugh ? be too important, tell him there is measure in Bene. I pray you, what is he? every thing, and so dance out the answer. For Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very hear me, Hero : wooing, wedding, and repenting, dull fool ; only his gift is in devising impossible is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque pace: slanders: none but libertines delight in him; the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and the commendation is not in his wit, but in and full as fantastical ; the wedding, mannerly- his villany; for he both pleases men and angers modest, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; them, and then they laugh at him and beat him. and then comes repentance, and, with his bad I am sure he is in the teet: I would he had legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, boarded me! till he sink into his grave.

Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. him what you say.

Beat. I have a good eye, uncle : I can see a Beat. Do, do : he'll but break a comparison or church by daylight.

two on me; which, peradventure not marked or Leon. The 'revellers are entering, brother : not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and make good room!

then there's a partridge wing saved, for the fool Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BAL- We must follow the leaders.

Music within.

will eat no supper that night. THAZAR, Don JOHN, BORACHIO, MARGARET,

Bene. In every good thing. U'RSULA, and others, masked.

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your them at the next turning. friend?

Dance. Then excunt all but Don John, Hero, So you walk softly and look sweetly

BORACHIO, and CLAUDIO. and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and D. John. Sure my brother is amorous on Hero, especially when I walk away.

92 and hath withdrawn her father to break with D. Pedro. With me in your company ? him about it. The ladies follow her and but Hero. I may say so, when I please.

one visor remains.






161 180

Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by Bene. The flat transgression of a school-boy, his bearing.

who, being overjoyed with finding a bird's nest, D. John. Are not you Signior Benedick? shows it his companion, and he steals it. Claud. You know me well ; I am he.

D. Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgres. D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother sion? The transgression is in the stealer. in his love : he is enamoured on Hero. I pray Bene. Yet it had not been amiss the rod had you, dissuade him from her; she is no equal for been made, and the garland too; for the garland his birth : you may do the part of an honest he might have worn himself, and the rod l:c man in it.

170 might have bestowed on you, who, as I take it, Claud. How know you he loves her ?

have stolen his bird's nest. D. John. I heard him swear his affection. D. Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, ard

Bora. So did I 100; and be swore he would restore them to the owner. marry her to-night.

Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by D. John. Come, let us to the banquet. my faith, you say honestly.

Excunt Don John and BORACHIO. D. Pedro, The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, to you : the gentleman that danced with her But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. told her she is much wronged by you. "Tis certain so; the prince woos for himself. Bene. O! she misused me past the endurance Friendship is constant in all other things of a block: an oak but with one green leaf on it Save in the office and affairs of love :

would bave answered her : my very visor began Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues; to assume life and scold with her. She told me, Let every eye negotiate for itself

not thinking I had been myself, that I was the And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch prince's jester ; that I was duller than a great Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. thaw; huddling jest upon jest with such im. ?lis is an accident of hourly proof,

possible conveyance upon me, that I stood like Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at Hero!

me. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs:

if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, Re-enter BENEDICK.

there were no living near her; she would infect Benc. Count Claudio !

to the north star. I would not marry her, though C'aud. Yea, the same.

she were endowed with all that Adam had left Bene. Come, will you go with me?

him before he transgressed : she would have Claud. Whither ?

190 made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have Bene. Even to the next willow, about your cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk own business, count. What fashion will you not of her ; you shall find her the infernal Ate wear the garland of ? About your neck, like an in good apparel. I would to God some scholar usurer's chain ? or under your arm, like a lieu-would conjure her, for certainly, while she is tenant's scarf? You must wear it one way, for here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a the prince hath got your Hero.

sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose because Claud. I wish him joy of her.

they would go thither; so indeed, all disquiet, Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest horror, and perturbation follow her. drover: so they sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would have served you thus ?

Enter CLAUDIO, BEATRICE, HERO, and (laud. I pray you, leave me.

LEONATO. Bene. Ho! now you strike like the blind man: D. Pedro. Look! here she comes. 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you 'll Bene. Will your grace command me any serbeat the post.

vice to the world's end? I will go on the Claud. "If it will not be, I'll leave you. Erit. slightest errand now to the Antipodes that you

Bene. Alas! poor burt fowl. Now will he can devise to send me on: I will fetch you a creep into sedges. But that my lady Beatrice toothpicker now from the furthest inch of Asia; should know me, and not know me! The bring you the length of Prester John's foot ; prince's fool! Ha! it may be I go under that fetch you a hair of the Great Cham's beard ; do title because I am merry. Yea, but so I am apt you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather than to do myself wrong; I am not so reputed: it is hold three words' conference with this harpy. the base though bitter disposition of Beatrice You have no employment for me? that puts the world into her person, and so gives D. Pedro. None, but to desire your good

Well, I'll be revenged as I may. 214 company
Re-enter Don PEDRO.

Bene. O God, sir, here's a dish I love not: I cannot endure my Lady Tongue.

Erit. D. Pedro. Now, Signior, where's the count? D. Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost Did you see him ?

the heart of Signior Benedick. Bene. Troth, my lord, I have played the part Beat. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile ; of Lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy and I gave him use for it, a double heart for as a lodge in a warren. I told him, and I think his single one: marry, once before he won it of I told him true, that your grace had got the good me with false dice, therefore your grace may will of this young lady; and I offered him my well say I have lost it. company to a willow-tree, either to make him a D. Pedro. You have put bim down, lady, you garland, as being forsaken, or to bind him up a have put him down. rod, as being worthy to be whipped,

Beat. So I would not he should do me, my D. Pedro. To be whipped! What's bis fault? lord, lest I should prove the mother of fools.



me out.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]


I have brought Count Claudio, whom you sent Leon. O Lord ! my lord, if they were but a me to seek.

week married, they would talk themselves mad. D. Pedro. Why, how now, count ! wherefore D. Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to are you sad?

go to church? Claud. Not sad, my lord.

Claud. To.morrow, my lord. Time goes on D. Pedro. How then ? sick ?

crutches till love have all his rites. Claud. Neither, my lord.

Leon. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is Beat. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor hence a just seven-night; and a time too brief merry, nor well; but civil count, civilas an orange, too, to have all things answer my mind. and something of that jealous complexion. D. Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long

D. Pelro. I' faith, lady, I think your blazon to a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the be true; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his time shall not go dully by us. I will in the in. conceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in terim undertake one of Hercules' labours, which thy name, and fair Hero is won; I have broke is, to bring Signior Benedick and the Lady with her father, and his good will obtained; name Beatrice into a mountain of affection the one the day of marriage, and God give thee joy! with the other. I would fain have it a match;

Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and and I doubt not but to fashion it, if you three
with her my fortunes : his grace hath made the will but minister such assistance as I shall give
match, and all grace say Amen to it ! 311 you direction.
Beat. Speak, count, 'tis your cue.

Lcon. My lord, I am for you, though it cost
Claud. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy : me ten nights' watchings.
I were but little happy, if I could say how much. Claud. And I, my lord.
Lady, as you are mine, I am yours : I give away D. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?
myself for you and dote upon the exchange. Hero. I will do any modest office, my lord, to

Beat. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his help my cousin to a good husband.
mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak neither. D. Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhope.

D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry fullest husband that I know. Thus far can I heart.

320 praise him ; he is of a noble strain, of approved Beat. Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it valour, and confirmed honesty. I will teach you keeps on the windy side of care. My cousin how to humour your cousin, that she shall fall tells him in his ear that be is in her heart. in love with Benedick; and I, with your two Claud. And so she doth, consin.

helps, will so practise on Benedick that, in deBeat. Good Lord, for alliance! Thus goes spite of his quick wit and his queasy stomach, every one to the world but I, and I am sun- he shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can burnt. I may sit in a corner and cry heigh-ho do this, Cupid is no longer an archer : his glory for a husband !

shall be ours, for we are ihe only love.gods. D. Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one. Go in with me, and I will tell you my drift. 399 Beat. I would rather have one of your father's

Exeunt. getting. Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.

SCENE II.- Anothur Room in LEONATO's House. D. Pedro. Will you have me, lady?

Enter Don John and BORACHIO. Beat. No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days : your grace is too costly to D. John. It is so: the Count Claudio shall wear every day. But, I beseech your grace, marry the daughter of Leonato. pardon me; I was born to speak all mirth and Bora. Yea, my lord; but I can cross it. no matter.

D. John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment D. Pedro. Your lence most offends me, and will be medicinable to me: I am sick in disto be merry best becomes you ; for, out of ques- pleasure to him, and whatsoever comes athwart tion, you were born in a merry hour. 342 his affection ranges evenly with mine. How

Beat. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried ; canst thou cross this marriage? but then there was a star danced, and under Bora. Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly that was I born. Cousins, God give you joy! that no dishonesty shall appear in me.

Lon. Niece, will you look to those things I D. John. Show me briefly how. told you of ?

Bora. I think I told your lordship, a year Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, pardon.

Erit. the waiting-gentlewoman to Hero. D. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited D. John. I remember. lady.

Bora. I can, at any unseasonable instant of Lcon. There's little of the melancholy element the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's in her, my lord: she is never sad but when she chamber-window. sleeps ; and not ever sad then, for I have heard D. John. What life is in that, to be the death my daughter say, she hath often dreamed of of this marriage ? unhappiness and waked herself with laughing. Bora. The poison of that lies in you to temper.

D. Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of Go you to the prince your brother ; spare not a husband.

to tell him that he hath wronged his honour in Leon. 0 ! by no means; she mocks all her marrying the renowned Claudio, whose estimawooers out of suit.

350 tion do you mightily hold up, to a contaminated D. Pedro, She were an excellent wife for stale, such a one as Hero. Benedick.

D. John. What proof shall I make of that ?






[ocr errors]

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.

[ocr errors]

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.



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!
D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid

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,
We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth.
D. Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that
song again.

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,
To put a strange face on his own perfection, s
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.

Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing;
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
To her he thinks not worthy; yet he wooes,
Yet will he swear he loves.

[blocks in formation]


D. Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks;


Bene. Boy!

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

Boy. Signior.

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.



[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

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.
D. Pedro. Do so: farewell.

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.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

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.


Claud. That.

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

« PreviousContinue »