Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

for no man's leisure ; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on 'no man's business ; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.

Conr. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it without controlement. You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta’en you newly into his grace, where it is impossible you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself; it is needful that you frame the feason for your own harvest.

John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be disdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any : in this (though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man) it must not be deny'd but I am a plain-dealing villain; I am trusted with a muzzel, and infranchised with a clog, therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage: if I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the mean time let me be that I am, and seek not to

alter me.

fonr. Can you make no use of your

discontent? John. I will make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? What news, Borachio ?

a

Enter Borachio. Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper ; the Prince, your brother, is royally entertain'd by Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.

John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? what is he for a fool, that betrothes himself to unquietness?

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
John. Who, the most exquisite Claudio ?
Bora. Even he.

john. A proper Squire! and who, and who? which way looks he?

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.

John. A very forward March chick ! How come you to this?

Bura.

Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoking a multy room, comes me the Prince and Claudio hand in hand in fad conference. I whipt behind the arras, and there heard it agreed upon, that the Prince should woo Hero for himself; and having obtain'd her, give her to Count Claudio.

John. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove food to my displeasure: that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow. If I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way; you are both fure, and will assist me.

Conr. To the death, my Lord.

John. Let us to the great fupper; their cheer is the greater that I am subdu'd; would the cook were of

Shall we go prove what's to be done? Bora. We'll wait upon your Lordflip. [Exeunt.

my mind!

A C T II.

SC EN

E I.

WAS

[ocr errors]

A hall in Leonato's house. Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret,

and Ursula. Leon. AS not Count John here at supper?

Ant, I saw him not. Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks ! I never can see him, but I am heart-burn’d an hour after,

Hero. He is of a very melancholy difpofition.

Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the mid-way between him and Benedick: the one is too like an image, and fays nothing; and the other too like my Lady's cldest fon, evermore tatling.

Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick’s face

Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world, if he could get her good-will.

Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a. husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue. Ant. In faith, she's too curs’d.

Beat.

[ocr errors]

*

[ocr errors]

Beat. Too curs’d is more than curs'd. I shall lefsen God's sending that way : for it is said, God sends a curs'd cow short horns; but to a cow too curs'd, he fends none.

Leon. So, by being too curs’d, God will send you no horns.

Beat. Just if he send me no husband; for the which blefling I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening. Lord ! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face, I had rather lie in woollen.

Leon. You may light upon a husband that hath no beard.

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 fixpence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell

Ant. Well, niece, I trust, you will be ruld by your father.

[To Hero. Beat. Yes, faith, it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy, and fay, Father, as it pleases you ; but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handfome fellow, or else make another curtsy, and say, Father, as it pleases ine.

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.

Beat. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmaster'd with a piece of valiant duft ? to make account of her life to a clod of wayward marle ? No, uncle, I'll none;

Adam's sons are my brethren, and, truly, I hold it a fin to match in

my

kindred. into hell. Leon. Well then, go you into hell.

Eeat. No, but to the gate ; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with his horns on his head, and say, Get you to bea

Bea: rice, get you to heav'n, here's no place for you mads. So deliver I up my apes, and away to St. Peter, for the heav'ns; he Thews me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as ihe day is long. Ant. Well, niece, &c. VOL. II. B

Leon.

非 *

ven,

3

Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you; if the Prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your anfwer.

Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good time. If the Prince be too importunate, tell him, there is measure in every thing, and fo dance out the answer : for hear me, Hero, woo-, ing, wedding, and repenting, is a Scotch jig, a meafure, and a cinque-pace; the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding mannerly modest, as a measure, full of state and anchentry; and then comes repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he links into his grave. Leon. Cousin you apprehend passing shrewdly.

Beat. I have a good eye, uncle, I can see a church by day-light.

Leon. The ravellers are entering, brother; make good room.

SCENE II. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar, and

others in masquerade. Pedro. Lady, will you walk with your friend?

Hero, So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am your's for the walk, and especially when I walk away: Pedro. With me in your company

? Hero. I may say so when I please. Pedro. And when please you to say so?

Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, 'the lute should be like the case !

Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.

Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd.
Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love *
Balth. Well, I would you did like me.

Marg. So would not I for your own sake, for I have many ill qualities. Balth. Which is one ?

This seems to be a line quoted from a song or some verses commonly known at that time,

Marg.

Marg. I say my prayers aloud.

Balth. I love you the better; the hearers may cry Amen.

Marg. God match me with a good dancer ?
Balth. Amen.

Marg. And God keep him out of my fight when the dance is done! Answer, clerk.

Balth. No more words, the clerk is answer'd.

Urs. I know you well enough; you are Signior An. tonio.

Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urf. I know you by the wagling of your head.
Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.

Urs. You could never do him fo 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 yotz 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 ?
Bene. No, you shall pardon' me.
Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are ?
Bene. Not now.

Beat: That I was difdainful, and that I had my good wit out of The hundred merry tales; well, this. was Signior Benedick that said fo.

Bene: What's he?
Beat. I am sure you know him well enough.
Bene. Not I, believe me:
Beat. Did he never make you laugh?
Bene. I pray you, what is he?

Beat. Why, he is the Prince's jefter ; a very dull fool, only his gift is in devising impassable flanders. None but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleaseth 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.

Beate

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »