« PreviousContinue »
Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.
D. Pedro. What! a feast, a feast? Claud. I' faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf's-head and a capon, the which if I do not carve most curiously, say my knife's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too?
Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily. D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day. I said, thou hadst a fine wit. True,' said she, 'a fine little one.' 'No,' said I, a great wit.' Right,' says she, 'a great gross one.' 'Nay,' said I, 'a good wit.' 'Just,' said she, it hurts nobody.' Nay,' said I, 'the gentleman is wise.' 'Certain,' said she, 'a wise gentleman.' 'Nay,' said I, 'he hath the tongues.' That I believe,' said she, 'for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning: there's a double tongue; there's two tongues.' Thus did she, an hour together, trans-shape thy particular virtues; yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy.
Claud. For the which she wept heartily and said she cared not.
D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet, for all that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly. The old man's daughter told us all. 180 Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.
D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head? Claud. Yea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick the married man!'
Bene. Fare you well, boy: you know my mind. I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour: you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not. My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your company. Your brother the bastard is fled from Messina: you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him.
D. Pedro. He is in earnest.
D. Pedro. Who have you offended, masters, that you are thus bound to your answer? this learned constable is too cunning to be understood. What's your offence?
Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer: do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes: what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who in the night overheard me confessing to this man how Don John your brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you disgraced her, when you should marry her. My villany they have upon record; which I had rather seal with my death than repeat over to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.
Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
Verg. Here, here comes Master Signior Leonato, and the sexton too.
Re-enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, and the Sexton. Leon. Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes, That when I note another man like him, I may avoid him: which of these is he? Bora. If you would know your wronger, look
Impose me to what penance your invention
By my soul, nor I; And yet, to satisfy this good old man, I would bend under any heavy weight That he'll enjoin me to.
Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;
Give her the right you should have given her
And so dies my revenge.
O noble sir!
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me.
Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
No, by my soul, she was not; Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to
Dogb. Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment. And also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they say he wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it, and borrows money in God's name; the which he hath used so long and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake. Pray you, examine him upon that point. 322 Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
D. Pedro. We will not fail.
To-night I'll mourn with Hero.
Leon. To the Watch. Bring you these fellows on.
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.
SCENE II-LEONATO's Garden.
Bene. Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?
Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.
Marg. To have no man come over me! why, shall I always keep below stairs?
Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; it catches.
Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a woman: and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. I give thee the bucklers,
Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of our own.
Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think hath legs.
Bene. And therefore will come.
The god of love,
That sits above,
I mean in singing; but in loving, Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole bookful of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned over and over as my poor self in love. Marry, I cannot show it in rime; I have tried: I can find out no rime to 'lady but baby,' an innocent rime; for 'scorn,' 'horn,' a hard rime; for school,' 'fool,' a babbling rime; very ominous endings. No, I was not Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thank-born under a riming planet, nor I cannot woo ful and reverend youth, and I praise God for you. in festival terms. Leon. There's for thy pains. Dogb. God save the foundation!
Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee. 330 Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which I beseech your worship to correct yourself for the example of others. God keep your worship! I wish your worship well: God restore you to health! I humbly give you leave to depart, and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it! Come, neighbour.
Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES.
· Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.
Ant. Farewell, my lords; we look for you to
Beat. For them all together; which maintained so politic a state of evil that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet. I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Bea'. In spite of your heart, I think. Alas! poor heart. If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.
Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.
Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time of good neighbours. If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monument than the bell rings and the widow weeps.
Beat. And how long is that, think you? Bene. Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter in rheum: therefore is it most expedient for the wise, if Don Worm, his conscience, find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is praiseworthy. And now tell me, how doth your cousin?
Beat. Very ill.
Bene. And how do you? Beat. Very ill too.
Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.
Reads from a scroll.
Done to death by slanderous tongues
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Praising her when I am dumb.
Pardon, goddess of the night, Those that slew thy virgin knight; For the which, with songs of woe Round about her tomb they go. Midnight, assist our moan; Help us to sigh and groan, Heavily, heavily:
Graves, yawn and yield your dead, Till death be uttered,
Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite.
SCENE IV. A Room in LEONATO'S House.
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEA TRICE, MARGARET, URSULA, Friar FRANCIS, and HERO.
Fri. Did I not tell you she was innocent? Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her
Upon the error that you heard debated:
Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves, And when I send for you, come hither mask'd: The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me. Exeunt Ladies, You know your office, brother: You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio.
Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd counte
Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think, Fri. To do what, signior?
Bene. To bind me, or undo me; one of them.
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. Leon. The sight whereof I think you had from me,
From Claudio, and the prince. But what's your
Bene, Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. But, for my will, my will is your good will
That you have such a February face,
Claud. I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
When he would play the noble beast in love.
Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked. Claud. For this I owe you: here come other reckonings.
Which is the lady I must seize upon?
Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her. Claud. Why, then she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.
Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand
Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
I am your husband, if you like of me.
Nothing certainer :
D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead! Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander liv'd.
Beat. They swore that you were well nigh dead for me.
Bene. "Tis no such matter. love me?
Then you do not
Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
Claud. And I'll be sworn upon 't that he loves her; For here's a paper written in his hand, A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, Fashion'd to Beatrice.
Hero. And here's another Containing her affection unto Benedick. Writ in my cousin's hand, stol'n from her pocket,
Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts. Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.
Beat. I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
Bene. Peace! I will stop your mouth.
Kisses her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, a' shall wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it, for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but, in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.
Claud. I had well hoped thou would'st have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a doubledealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.
Bene. Come, come, we are friends. Let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and our wives' heels.
Leon. We'll have dancing afterward. Bene. First, of my word; therefore play, music! Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife there is no staff more reverend 70 than one tipped with horn.
Fri. All this amazement can I qualify: When after that the holy rites are ended, I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death: Meantime, let wonder seem familiar, And to the chapel let us presently. Bene. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice? Beat. I answer to that name. Unmasking.
What is your will?
Bene. Do not you love me?
Have been deceiv'd; they swore you did.
SCENE I.-The King of Navarre's Park.
Enter the KING, BEROWNE, LONGAVILLE, and
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die; a
Berowne. I can but say their protestation over;
King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their As, not to see a woman in that term,
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors, for so you are,
That his own hand may strike his honour down
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Which I hope well is not enrolled there :
O! these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from
Berowne. Let me say no, my liege, an if you
I only swore to study with your grace,
Berowne. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
Beroune. Things hid and barr'd, you mean,
King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.
To know the thing I am forbid to know;