« PreviousContinue »
Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me: I am now in great haste, as may appear unto you.
we would have them this morning examined | Comes not that blood as modest evidence
Dogb. It shall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well.
Fri. If either of you know any inward impediment, why you should not be conjoined, I charge you on your souls to utter it.
Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Fri. Know you any, count?
Leon. I dare make his answer; none. Claud. O! what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do, not knowing what they do! Bene. How now! Interjections? Why then, some be of laughing, as, ah! ha! he!
Claud. Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me.
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
There, Leonato, take her back again :
Not to be married,
Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.
Claud. I know what you would say: if I have
You'll say she did embrace me as a husband,
I never tempted her with word too large;
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
True! O God!
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother?
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
Claud. To make you answer truly to your name.
Marry, that can Hero: 81
Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my
D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.
I am sorry you must hear: upon mine honour,
D. John. Fie, fie! they are not to be nam'd, | Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron. my lord,
Not to be spoke of;
Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie,
There is not chastity enough in language
Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been,
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for
D. John. Come, let us go. These things, come
Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don JOHN, and
Bene. How doth the lady?
Leon. O Fate! take not away thy heavy hand :
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
For I have only been silent so long,
To start into her face; a thousand innocent
If I know more of any man alive
How now, cousin Hero! Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Fri. There is some strange misprision in the
Bene. Two of them have the very bent of
And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
Leon. I know not. If they speak but truth of her, These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honou
Beat. O! on my soul, my cousin is belied.
In angel whiteness beat away those blushes;
But not for that dream I on this strange course,
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:
Come, lady, die to live: this wedding-day Perhaps is but prolong'd: have patience and endure.
Exeunt Friar, HERO, and LEONATO. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer.
I will make him eat it that says I love not
Beat. Will you not eat your word?
Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest I love thee.
Beat. Why then, God forgive me!
Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice?
Bene. And do it with all thy heart.
Beat. I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.
Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee. 290
Bene. Ha! not for the wide world.
Beat. You kill me to deny it.
Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.
Beat. I am gone, though I am here: there is no love in you: nay, I pray you, let me go. Bene. Beatrice,-
Beat. In faith, I will go.
Bene. We'll be friends first.
Beat. You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy.
Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?
Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O! that I were a man. What! bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,-O God! that I were a man. I would eat his heart in the marketplace.
Bene. Hear me, Beatrice,
Beat. Talk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!
Bene. Nay, but, Beatrice,
Beat. Sweet Hero! She is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.
Beat. Princes and counties! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count, Count Comfect; a sweet gallant, surely! O! that I were a man for his sake, or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.
Beat. You have no reason; I do it freely. Bene. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.
Beat. Ah! how much might the man deserve of me that would right her.
Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship?
Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours. Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as you is not that strange? 269 Beat. As strange as the thing I know not. It were as possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you; but believe me not, and yet I lie not: I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; I am sorry for my cousin,
SCENE II.-A Prison.
Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO.
Beat. Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.
Bene. Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?
Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul. Bene. Enough! I am engaged, I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand, and so I leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account. As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin: I must say she is dead; and so, farewell. Exeunt. 310
Sexton. Which be the malefactors? Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner. Verg. Nay, that's certain: we have the exhibition to examine.
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined? let them come before Master constable.
Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me. What is your name, friend?
Dogb. Pray, write down Borachio. Yours, sirrah?
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
Dogb. Write down Master gentleman Conrade. Masters, do you serve God?
Con., Bora. Yea, sir, we hope.
Dogb. Write down, that they hope they serve God and write God first; for God defend but God should go before such villains! Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves, and it will go near to be thought so shortly. How answer you for yourselves?
Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none.
Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; but I will go about with him. Come you hither, sirrah; a word in your car: sir, I say to you, it is thought you are false knaves.
Bora. Sir, I say to you we are none. Dogb. Well, stand aside. 'Fore God, they are both in a tale. Have you writ down, that they are none?
Dogb. God's my life! where's the sexton? let him write down the prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them. Thou naughty varlet!
Con. Away! you are an ass; you are an ass. Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years? O that he were here to write me down an ass! but masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a householder; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any in Messina; and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses; and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that I had been writ down an ass! Exeunt.
SCENE I.--Before LEONATO's House. Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO.
Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief Against yourself. Leon. I I pray thee, cease thy counsel, Which falls into mine ears as profitless As water in a sieve: give not me counsel; Nor let no comforter delight mine ear But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine: Bring me a father that so lov'd his child, Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine, And bid him speak of patience; Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine, And let it answer every strain for strain, As thus for thus and such a grief for such, In every lineament, branch, shape, and form: If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard, Bid sorrow wag, cry 'hem!' when he should groan, Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me,
But there is no such man; for, brother, men 20
To be so moral when he shall endure
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ.
Leon. I pray thee, peace! I will be flesh and blood;
For there was never yet philosopher
Leon. There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will
My soul doth tell me Hero is belied;
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO.
Leon. Hear you, my lords,-
Are you so hasty now? well, all is one.
Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, Some of us would lie low.
Who wrongs him? Leon. Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou, dissembler, thou.
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
Marry, beshrew my hand,
I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
And she lies buried with her ancestors;
Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.
Claud. Away! I will not have to do with you.
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed: But that's no matter; let him kill one first; 81 Win me and wear me; let him answer me. Come, follow me, boy; come, sir boy, come, follow me.
Ant. Hold you content. What, man! I know
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple:
Leon. But, brother Antony.-
Come, 'tis no matter:
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death;
I will not hear you.
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Come, brother, away.
Ant. Content yourself. God knows I lov'd
And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains,
D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: you are almost come to part almost a fray.
Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old men without teeth.
D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother. What thinkest thou? Had we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.
Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came to seek you both.
Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain have it beaten away. Wilt thou use 70 thy wit?
I will be heard. me of us will smart for it. Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO,
Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an you charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.
Claud. Nay then, give him another staff: this last was broke cross.
D. Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more: I think he be angry indeed.
Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear? Claud. God bless me from a challenge! Bene. You are a villain. I jest not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.
Bene. It is in my scabbard; shall I draw it? D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side? Claud. Never any did so, though very many have been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.
D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thou sick, or angry?
Claud. What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.