« PreviousContinue »
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. I have brought count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek. D. Pedro. Why, how now, count? wherefore are you sad?
Claud. Not sad, my lord.
D. Pedro. How then? Sick?
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. 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 sun-burned; 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 no matter.
D. Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.
Beat. No, sure, my lord, my mother cry'd; 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
Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's pardon. [Erit BEATRICE. D. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady. Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my lord she is never sad, but when she sleeps; and not ever sad then; for I have heard my daughter say, she hath often dreamed of unhappiness, and waked herself with laughing.
D. Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
Leon. O, by no means; she mocks all her wooers out of suit.
D. Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick. Leon. O lord, my lord, if they were but a week married, they would talk themselves mad.
D. Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to go to church?
Claud. To-morrow, my lord: Time goes on crutches, till love have all his rites.
Leon. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a just seven-night; and a time too brief too, to have all things answer my mind.
D. Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing; but I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall not go dully by us; I will, in the interim, undertake one of Hercules' labours; which is, to bring signior Benedick and the lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection, the one with the other. I would fain have it a match; and I doubt not but to fashion it, if you three will but minister such assistance as I shall give you direction.
Leon. My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights' watchings.
Claud. And I, my lord.
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. [Exeunt.
Enter Don JOHN and BORACHIO.
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 displeasure to him; and whatsoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this marriage?
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.
D. John. I remember.
Bora. I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamberwindow.
D. John. What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?
Bora. The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you to the prince your brother; spare not to tell him, that he hath wronged his honour in marrying the renowned Claudio (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero.
D. John. What proof shall I make of that?
Bora. Proof enough to misuse the prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato: Look you for any other issue?
D. John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing.
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 Borachio; and bring them to see this, the very night before the intended wedding for, in the mean time, 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 call'd 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 running shall not shame me.
D. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.
SCENE III.- Leonato's Garden.
Bene. In my chamber-window lies a book; bring it hither to me in the orchard.
Boy. I am here already, sir.
Bene. I know that;-but I would have thee hence, and here again. [Erit 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 musick with him but the drum and 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.
wont to speak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man, and a soldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer; 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 her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not 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. D. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this musick? Claud. Yea, my good lord;- How still the even ing is,
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
Sing no more ditties, sing no mo
D. Fedro. By my troth, a good song.
Bene. [Aside.] An he had been a dog, that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him: and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
D. Pedro. Yea, marry; [to CLAUDIO.] — Dost thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee, get us some excellent musick; 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. [Ereunt BALTHAZAR and musick.] Come hither, Leonato: What was it you told me of to-day? that your niece Beatrice was in love with signior Benedick?
Claud. O, ay: - Stalk on, stalk on the fowl sits. [Aside to PEDRO.] 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.
Bene. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner? [dside. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what o think of it; but that she loves him with an enraged affection,-it is past the infinite of thought. D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit. Claud. 'Faith, like enough.
Leon. O God! counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.
D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she? Claud. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.
D. Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me: I would have thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
Leon. I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially against Benedick.
Bene. [Aside.] I should think this a gull, but that that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence.
Claud. He hath ta'en the infection; hold it up. [Aside. D. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick.
Leon. No; and swears she never will: that's her torment.
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: Shall I, says she, that have so oft encountered him with scorn, write to him that I love him?
Leon. This says she now when she is beginning to write to him: for she'll be up twenty times a night and there will she sit in her smock, till she have writ a sheet of paper: - my daughter tells us all.
Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. O she tore the letter into a thousand half-pence; 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, prays, curses; - O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!
Leon. She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the ecstacy hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself; It is very true.
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 daff'd all other respects, and made her half myself: I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will say.
Leon. Were it good, think you?
Claud. Hero thinks surely, she will die; for she says, sl. will die if he love her not; and she will die ere she makes her love known: and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breadth of her accustomed crossness.
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. 'Fore 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 fear.
Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.
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 see 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'll 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 doat on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation. Aside.
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, and no such matter; that's the scene that I would see, which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her to call him in to dinner. [Aside. [Exeunt Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO. BENEDICK advances from the arbour. Bene. This can be no trick: The conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of this from
D. Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of Hero. They seem to pity the lady; it seems, her it by some other, if she will not discover it.
affections have their full bent. Love me why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say, I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; they say too, that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did never think to marry- I must not seem proud : Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending. They say, the lady is fair; 'ti. a truth, I can bear them witness: and
virtuous 'tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise but for loving me : By my troth, it is no addition to her wit; -nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have railed so long against marriage: But doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his age: Shall quips, and sentences, and these paper bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour? No: The world must be peopled. When I said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married. Here comes Beatrice: By this day, she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.
Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.
Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains. Beat. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, I would not have come.
Bene. You take pleasure in the message?
Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choke a daw withal: - You have no stomach, signior; fare you well. [Exit.
Bene. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you come to dinner · there's a double meaning in that. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you took pains to thank me — that's as much as to say, Any . If pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks : ·I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew: I will go get her picture. [Erit.
Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA. Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour; There shalt thou find my 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
To listen our propose: This is thy office,
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.
To praise him more than ever man did merit :
Enter BEATRICE, behind.
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Urs. The pleasant's angling is to see the fish
Fear you not my part of the dialogue.
Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
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 it: But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick, To wish him wrestle with affection, And never to let Beatrice know of it.
Urs. Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?
Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve
All matter else seems weak: she cannot love,
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd,
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly:
Urs. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will say.
Urs. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong. She cannot be so much without true judgment, (Having so swift and excellent a wit, As she is priz'd to have,) as to refuse So rare a gentleman as signior Benedick. Hero. He is the only man of Italy, Always excepted my dear Claudio.
Urs. I pray you, be not. angry with me, madam, Speaking my fancy; signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour,
Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name. Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. When are you married, madam?
Hero. Why, every day;-to-morrow: Come, go in ;
I'll show thee some attires; and have thy counsel, Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.
Urs. She's lim'd I warrant you; we have caught her, madam.
Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps : Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. [Exeunt HERO and URSULA.
Beat. What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true? Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much? Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu! No glory lives behind the back of such. And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee; Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand; If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee To bind our loves up in a holy band: For others say, thou dost deserve; and I Believe it better than reportingly.
SCENE II. - A Room in Leonato's House.
Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO.
D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then I go toward Arragon. Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.
D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.
Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love: if he be sad, he wants money.
Bene. I have the tooth-ach.
D. Pedro. Draw it.
Bene. Hang it!
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
D. Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ach? Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm? Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he that has it.
Claud. Yet, say I, he is in love.
D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, as, a German from the waist downward, all slops; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet: Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.
Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o' mornings; What should that bode?
D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's? Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.
Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
D. Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: Can you smell him out by that?
Claud. That's as much as to say, The sweet youth's in love.
D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face? D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.
Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops. D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: Conclude, conclude, he is in love.
Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.
D. Pedro. That would I know too; I warrant, one that knows him not.
Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.
D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards.
Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach. Old signior, walk aside with me; I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.
[Exeunt BENEDICK and LEONATO. D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
Claud. 'Tis even so: Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another, when they meet.