Imatges de pàgina

To wish him wrestle with affection,

And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Urf. Why did you fo? doth not the gentleman Deferve as full, as fortunate a bed,

As ever Beatrice fhall couch upon ?

Hero. O god of love! I know he doth deferve
As much as may be yielded to a man:
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder ftuff than that of Beatrice.
Difdain and fcorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Mifprizing what they look on; and her wit
Values itself fo highly, that to her

All matter elfe feems weak; fhe cannot love,
Nor take no fhape nor project of affection,
She is fo felf-endeared.

Urf. Sure I think fo;

And therefore certainly it were not good
She knew his love, left fhe make sport at it.

Hero. Why, you speak truth. I never yet faw man,
How wife, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd,
But fhe would spell him backward.
• If fair-face'd,
She'd fwear the gentleman fhould be her fifter;
If black, why, nature, drawing of an antic,,
• Made a foul blot; if tall, a launce ill-headed;
If low, an aglet very vilely cut;

If fpeaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
• If filent, why, a block moved with none.'
So turns fhe every man the wrong fide out,
And never gives to truth and virtue that
Which fimpleness and merit purchaseth.

Urf. Sure, fure, fuch carping is not commendable, Hero. No; for to be fo odd, and from all fashions, As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable.

But who dare tell her fo? If I should speak,
She'd mock me into air; O fhe would laugh me
Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,
Confume away in fighs, wafte inwardly;
It were a better death than die with mocks,
Which is as bad as 'tis to die with tickling.
Urf. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will fay..
Hero. No, rather I will go to Benedick,


And counfel him to fight against his paffion.
And, truly, I'll devife fome honeft flanders
To ftain my coufin with; one doth not know
How much an ill word may impoifon liking.

Urf. O, do not do your coufin fuch a wrong.
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
(Having fo fwift and excellent a wit

As fhe is priz'd to have), as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as Benedick.

Hero. He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.

Urf. I pray you be not angry with me, Madam, Speaking my fancy; Signior Benedick,

For fhape, for bearing, argument, and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.

Hero. Indeed he hath an excellent good name.
Urf. His excellence did earn it ere he had it.
When are you marry'd, Madam?

Hero. Why, every day; to-morrow; come, go in, I'll fhew thee fome attires, and have thy counfel Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.

Urf. She's lim'd, I warrant you; we have caught her, Madam.

Hero. If it prove fo, then loving goes by haps; Some Cupids kill with arrows, fome with traps. [Exeunt.

Beatrice, advancing.

Beat. What fire is in my ears? can this be true?
Stand I condemn'd for pride and fcorn so much?
Contempt, farewel! and maiden-pride, adieu !
No glory lives behind the back of fuch.
And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee;

Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand;
If thou dost love, thy kindness fhall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band.
For others fay, thou doft deserve; and I
Believe it better than reportingly.

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Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato.

Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be confum

mate, and then go I toward Arragon.


Claud. I'll bring you thither my Lord, if you'll youchfafe me.

Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a foil in the new glofs of your marriage, as to fhew 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 fole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow-ftring, and the little hangman dare not fhoot at him: he hath a heart as found as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue fpeaks.

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
Leon. So fay I; methinks you are fadder.
Claud. I hope he is in love.

Pedro. Hang him, truant, there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love if he be fad, he wants money.

Bene. I have the tooth-ach.

Pedro. Draw it.

Bene. Hang it.

Claud. You muft hang it first, and draw it afterwards. Pedro. What! figh for the tooth-ach !

Leon. Which is but a humour, or a worm.

Bene. Well, every one can mafter a grief but he that has it.

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Glaud. Yet fay I, he is in love.

Pedro. "There is no appearance of fancy in him, "unless it be a fancy that he hath to ftrange difguifes; as to be a Dutchman to-day, a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the fhape of two countries at once; a "German from the wafte downward, all flops; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet." Unlefs he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it to appear he is.

Claud. If he be not in love with fome woman, there is no believing old figns: he brushes his hat o'mornings; what fhould that bode?

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 Atuff'd tennis-balls.

Leon. Indeed he looks younger than he did by the lofs of a beard.

Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet; can you fmell him out by that?

Claud. That's as much as to fay, the sweet youth's in love.

Pedro. The greateft note of it is his melancholy. Claud. And when was he wont to wafh his face? Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they fay of him

Claud. Nay, but his jefting fpirit, which is now crept into a lute-string, and now govern'd by ftops

Pedro. Indeed that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude he is in love.

Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.

Pedro. That would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions, and in despight. of all, dies for him.

Pedro, She fhall be bury'd with her face upwards.

Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach. Old Signior, walk afide with me; I have ftudy'd eight or nine wife words to peak to you, which these hobbyhorfes mult not hear. [Exeunt Benedick and Leonato. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

Claud. 'Tis even fo. Hero and Margaret have by this play'd their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another when they meet.



Enter Don John.

John. My Lord and brother, God save
Pedro. Good den, brother.


John. If your leisure ferv'd, I would fpeak with you, Pedro, In private ?

John. If it please you; yet Count Claudio may hear; for what I would speak of, concerns him. Pedro. What's the matter?

John. Means your Lordfhip to be marry'd to-morFow?

Pedro. You know he does,

[To Claudio.


John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.

Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you dif

cover it.

John. You may think 'I love you not; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifeft; for my brother, I think, he holds you well, and in dearnefs of heart hath holp to effect your enfüing marriage; furely, fuit ill fpent, and labour ill beftow'd!

Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

John. I came hither to tell you, and circumstances fhorten'd, (for fhe hath been too long a talking of), the lady is difloyal.

Claud. Who? Hero?

John. Even fhe; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.

Claud. Difloyal?

John. The word is too good to paint out her wick ednefs. I could fay fhe were worse; think you of a worfe title, and I will fit her to it; wonder not till further warrant; go but with me to-night, you fhall fee her chamber-window enter'd, even the night before her wedding-day. If you love her, then to-morrow wed her; but it would better fit your honour to change your mind.

Claud. May this be fo?

Pedro. I will not think it


John. If you dare not truft that you fee, confefs not you know; if you will follow me, I will thew you enough; and when you have seen more and heard more, proceed accordingly

Claud. If I fee any thing to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow; in the congregation, where I fhould wed, there will I fhame her.

Pedro. And as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to difgrace her.

John I will difparage her no farther, till you are my witneffes; bear it coldly but till night, and let the iffue fhew itself.

Pedro. O day untowardly turn'd!

Claud. O mifchief ftrangely thwarting!


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