Much Ado about Nothing

A comedy written in 1598 by William Shakespeare

1(stage directions)11[Enter LEONATO, HERO, and BEATRICE, with a Messenger]
211LEONATOI learn in this letter that Don Peter of Arragon comes this night to Messina.
311MESSENGERHe is very near by this: he was not three leagues off when I left him.
411LEONATOHow many gentlemen have you lost in this action?
511MESSENGERBut few of any sort, and none of name.
611LEONATOA victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here that Don Peter hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine called Claudio.
711MESSENGERMuch deserved on his part and equally remembered by Don Pedro: he hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath indeed better bettered expectation than you must expect of me to tell you how.
811LEONATOHe hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of it.
911MESSENGERI have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much that joy could not show itself modest enough without a badge of bitterness.
1011LEONATODid he break out into tears?
1111MESSENGERIn great measure.
1211LEONATOA kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!
1311BEATRICEI pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the wars or no?
1411MESSENGERI know none of that name, lady: there was none such in the army of any sort.
1511LEONATOWhat is he that you ask for, niece?
1611HEROMy cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.
1711MESSENGERO, he's returned; and as pleasant as ever he was.
1811BEATRICEHe set up his bills here in Messina and challenged Cupid at the flight; and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? for indeed I promised to eat all of his killing.
1911LEONATOFaith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
2011MESSENGERHe hath done good service, lady, in these wars.
2111BEATRICEYou had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencherman; he hath an excellent stomach.
2211MESSENGERAnd a good soldier too, lady.
2311BEATRICEAnd a good soldier to a lady: but what is he to a lord?
2411MESSENGERA lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all honourable virtues.
2511BEATRICEIt is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man: but for the stuffing,--well, we are all mortal.
2611LEONATOYou must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her: they never meet but there's a skirmish of wit between them.
2711BEATRICEAlas! he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother.
2811MESSENGERIs't possible?
2911BEATRICEVery easily possible: he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the next block.
3011MESSENGERI see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
3111BEATRICENo; an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now that will make a voyage with him to the devil?
3211MESSENGERHe is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.
3311BEATRICEO Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere a' be cured.
3411MESSENGERI will hold friends with you, lady.
3511BEATRICEDo, good friend.
3611LEONATOYou will never run mad, niece.
3711BEATRICENo, not till a hot January.
3811MESSENGERDon Pedro is approached.
39(stage directions)11[Enter DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and BALTHASAR]
4011DON PEDROGood Signior Leonato, you are come to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it.
4111LEONATONever came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave.
4211DON PEDROYou embrace your charge too willingly. I think this is your daughter.
4311LEONATOHer mother hath many times told me so.
4411BENEDICKWere you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?
4511LEONATOSignior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.
4611DON PEDROYou have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this what you are, being a man. Truly, the lady fathers herself. Be happy, lady; for you are like an honourable father.
4711BENEDICKIf Signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, as like him as she is.
4811BEATRICEI wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick: nobody marks you.
4911BENEDICKWhat, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?
5011BEATRICEIs it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
5111BENEDICKThen is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.
5211BEATRICEA dear happiness to women: they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.
5311BENEDICKGod keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.
5411BEATRICEScratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.
5511BENEDICKWell, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
5611BEATRICEA bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.
5711BENEDICKI would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer. But keep your way, i' God's name; I have done.
5811BEATRICEYou always end with a jade's trick: I know you of old.
5911DON PEDROThat is the sum of all, Leonato. Signior Claudio and Signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him we shall stay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays some occasion may detain us longer. I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.
6011LEONATOIf you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn. [To DON JOHN] Let me bid you welcome, my lord: being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.
6111DON JOHNI thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank you.
6211LEONATOPlease it your grace lead on?
6311DON PEDROYour hand, Leonato; we will go together.
64(stage directions)11[Exeunt all except BENEDICK and CLAUDIO]
6511CLAUDIOBenedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?
6611BENEDICKI noted her not; but I looked on her.
6711CLAUDIOIs she not a modest young lady?
6811BENEDICKDo you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
6911CLAUDIONo; I pray thee speak in sober judgment.
7011BENEDICKWhy, i' faith, methinks she's too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her, that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.
7111CLAUDIOThou thinkest I am in sport: I pray thee tell me truly how thou likest her.
7211BENEDICKWould you buy her, that you inquire after her?
7311CLAUDIOCan the world buy such a jewel?
7411BENEDICKYea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder and Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in the song?
7511CLAUDIOIn mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on.
7611BENEDICKI can see yet without spectacles and I see no such matter: there's her cousin, an she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty as the first of May doth the last of December. But I hope you have no intent to turn husband, have you?
7711CLAUDIOI would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
7811BENEDICKIs't come to this? In faith, hath not the world one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of three-score again? Go to, i' faith; an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it and sigh away Sundays. Look Don Pedro is returned to seek you.
79(stage directions)11[Re-enter DON PEDRO]
8011DON PEDROWhat secret hath held you here, that you followed not to Leonato's?
8111BENEDICKI would your grace would constrain me to tell.
8211DON PEDROI charge thee on thy allegiance.
8311BENEDICKYou hear, Count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumb man; I would have you think so; but, on my allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance. He is in love. With who? now that is your grace's part. Mark how short his answer is;--With Hero, Leonato's short daughter.
8411CLAUDIOIf this were so, so were it uttered.
8511BENEDICKLike the old tale, my lord: 'it is not so, nor 'twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.'
8611CLAUDIOIf my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise.
8711DON PEDROAmen, if you love her; for the lady is very well worthy.
8811CLAUDIOYou speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
8911DON PEDROBy my troth, I speak my thought.
9011CLAUDIOAnd, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.
9111BENEDICKAnd, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine.
9211CLAUDIOThat I love her, I feel.
9311DON PEDROThat she is worthy, I know.
9411BENEDICKThat I neither feel how she should be loved nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me: I will die in it at the stake.
9511DON PEDROThou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the despite of beauty.
9611CLAUDIOAnd never could maintain his part but in the force of his will.
9711BENEDICKThat a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me. Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and the fine is, for the which I may go the finer, I will live a bachelor.
9811DON PEDROI shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
9911BENEDICKWith anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord, not with love: prove that ever I lose more blood with love than I will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house for the sign of blind Cupid.
10011DON PEDROWell, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.
10111BENEDICKIf I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam.
10211DON PEDROWell, as time shall try: 'In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.'
10311BENEDICKThe savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns and set them in my forehead: and let me be vilely painted, and in such great letters as they write 'Here is good horse to hire,' let them signify under my sign 'Here you may see Benedick the married man.'
10411CLAUDIOIf this should ever happen, thou wouldst be horn-mad.
10511DON PEDRONay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
10611BENEDICKI look for an earthquake too, then.
10711DON PEDROWell, you temporize with the hours. In the meantime, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's: commend me to him and tell him I will not fail him at supper; for indeed he hath made great preparation.
10811BENEDICKI have almost matter enough in me for such an embassage; and so I commit you--
10911CLAUDIOTo the tuition of God: From my house, if I had it,--
11011DON PEDROThe sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick.
11111BENEDICKNay, mock not, mock not. The body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience: and so I leave you.
112(stage directions)11[Exit]
11311CLAUDIOMy liege, your highness now may do me good.
11411DON PEDROMy love is thine to teach: teach it but how, And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
11511CLAUDIOHath Leonato any son, my lord?
11611DON PEDRONo child but Hero; she's his only heir. Dost thou affect her, Claudio?
11711CLAUDIOO, my lord, When you went onward on this ended action, I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye, That liked, but had a rougher task in hand Than to drive liking to the name of love: But now I am return'd and that war-thoughts Have left their places vacant, in their rooms Come thronging soft and delicate desires, All prompting me how fair young Hero is, Saying, I liked her ere I went to wars.
11811DON PEDROThou wilt be like a lover presently And tire the hearer with a book of words. If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it, And I will break with her and with her father, And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end That thou began'st to twist so fine a story?
11911CLAUDIOHow sweetly you do minister to love, That know love's grief by his complexion! But lest my liking might too sudden seem, I would have salved it with a longer treatise.
12011DON PEDROWhat need the bridge much broader than the flood? The fairest grant is the necessity. Look, what will serve is fit: 'tis once, thou lovest, And I will fit thee with the remedy. I know we shall have revelling to-night: I will assume thy part in some disguise And tell fair Hero I am Claudio, And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart And take her hearing prisoner with the force And strong encounter of my amorous tale: Then after to her father will I break; And the conclusion is, she shall be thine. In practise let us put it presently.
121(stage directions)11[Exeunt]
122(stage directions)12[Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, meeting]
12312LEONATOHow now, brother! Where is my cousin, your son? hath he provided this music?
12412ANTONIOHe is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamt not of.
12512LEONATOAre they good?
12612ANTONIOAs the event stamps them: but they have a good cover; they show well outward. The prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley in mine orchard, were thus much overheard by a man of mine: the prince discovered to Claudio that he loved my niece your daughter and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance: and if he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top and instantly break with you of it.
12712LEONATOHath the fellow any wit that told you this?
12812ANTONIOA good sharp fellow: I will send for him; and question him yourself.
12912LEONATONo, no; we will hold it as a dream till it appear itself: but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell her of it. [Enter Attendants] Cousins, you know what you have to do. O, I cry you mercy, friend; go you with me, and I will use your skill. Good cousin, have a care this busy time.
130(stage directions)12[Exeunt]
131(stage directions)13[Enter DON JOHN and CONRADE]
13213CONRADEWhat the good-year, my lord! why are you thus out of measure sad?
13313DON JOHNThere is no measure in the occasion that breeds; therefore the sadness is without limit.
13413CONRADEYou should hear reason.
13513DON JOHNAnd when I have heard it, what blessing brings it?
13613CONRADEIf not a present remedy, at least a patient sufferance.
13713DON JOHNI wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou art, born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause and smile at no man's jests, eat when I have stomach and wait 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.
13813CONRADEYea, but you must not make the full show of this till you may do it without controlment. 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 true root but by the fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.
13913DON JOHNI had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be disdained 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 denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle and enfranchised 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 meantime let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.
14013CONRADECan you make no use of your discontent?
14113DON JOHNI make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? [Enter BORACHIO] What news, Borachio?
14213BORACHIOI came yonder from a great supper: the prince your brother is royally entertained by Leonato: and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
14313DON JOHNWill it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for a fool that betroths himself to unquietness?
14413BORACHIOMarry, it is your brother's right hand.
14513DON JOHNWho? the most exquisite Claudio?
14613BORACHIOEven he.
14713DON JOHNA proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks he?
14813BORACHIOMarry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
14913DON JOHNA very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
15013BORACHIOBeing entertained for a perfumer, as I was smoking a musty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand in sad conference: I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed upon that the prince should woo Hero for himself, and having obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.
15113DON JOHNCome, 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 sure, and will assist me?
15213CONRADETo the death, my lord.
15313DON JOHNLet us to the great supper: their cheer is the greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of my mind! Shall we go prove what's to be done?
15413BORACHIOWe'll wait upon your lordship.
155(stage directions)13[Exeunt]
156(stage directions)21[Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others]
15721LEONATOWas not Count John here at supper?
15821ANTONIOI saw him not.
15921BEATRICEHow tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him but I am heart-burned an hour after.
16021HEROHe is of a very melancholy disposition.
16121BEATRICEHe were an excellent man that were made just in the midway between him and Benedick: the one is too like an image and says nothing, and the other too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.
16221LEONATOThen half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick's face,--
16321BEATRICEWith 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 a' could get her good-will.
16421LEONATOBy my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
16521ANTONIOIn faith, she's too curst.
16621BEATRICEToo curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's sending that way; for it is said, 'God sends a curst cow short horns;' but to a cow too curst he sends none.
16721LEONATOSo, by being too curst, God will send you no horns.
16821BEATRICEJust, if he send me no husband; for the which blessing 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 the woollen.
16921LEONATOYou may light on a husband that hath no beard.
17021BEATRICEWhat 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 sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and lead his apes into hell.
17121LEONATOWell, then, go you into hell?
17221BEATRICENo, but to the gate; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and say 'Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids:' so deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
17321ANTONIO[To HERO] Well, niece, I trust you will be ruled by your father.
17421BEATRICEYes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy and say 'Father, as it please you.' But yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsy and say 'Father, as it please me.'
17521LEONATOWell, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.
17621BEATRICENot till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a pierce of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren; and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.
17721LEONATODaughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.
17821BEATRICEThe fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not wooed in good time: if the prince be too important, tell him there is measure in every thing and so dance out the answer. For, hear me, Hero: wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, 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 ancientry; and then comes repentance and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
17921LEONATOCousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
18021BEATRICEI have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by daylight.
18121LEONATOThe revellers are entering, brother: make good room. [All put on their masks] [Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BALTHASAR,] DON JOHN, BORACHIO, MARGARET, URSULA and others, masked]
18221DON PEDROLady, will you walk about with your friend?
18321HEROSo you walk softly and look sweetly and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and especially when I walk away.
18421DON PEDROWith me in your company?
18521HEROI may say so, when I please.
18621DON PEDROAnd when please you to say so?
18721HEROWhen I like your favour; for God defend the lute should be like the case!
18821DON PEDROMy visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.
18921HEROWhy, then, your visor should be thatched.
19021DON PEDROSpeak low, if you speak love.
191(stage directions)21[Drawing her aside]
19221BALTHASARWell, I would you did like me.
19321MARGARETSo would not I, for your own sake; for I have many ill-qualities.
19421BALTHASARWhich is one?
19521MARGARETI say my prayers aloud.
19621BALTHASARI love you the better: the hearers may cry, Amen.
19721MARGARETGod match me with a good dancer!
19921MARGARETAnd God keep him out of my sight when the dance is done! Answer, clerk.
20021BALTHASARNo more words: the clerk is answered.
20121URSULAI know you well enough; you are Signior Antonio.
20221ANTONIOAt a word, I am not.
20321URSULAI know you by the waggling of your head.
20421ANTONIOTo tell you true, I counterfeit him.
20521URSULAYou could never do him so ill-well, unless you were the very man. Here's his dry hand up and down: you are he, you are he.
20621ANTONIOAt a word, I am not.
20721URSULACome, come, do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an end.
20821BEATRICEWill you not tell me who told you so?
20921BENEDICKNo, you shall pardon me.
21021BEATRICENor will you not tell me who you are?
21121BENEDICKNot now.
21221BEATRICEThat I was disdainful, and that I had my good wit out of the 'Hundred Merry Tales:'--well this was Signior Benedick that said so.
21321BENEDICKWhat's he?
21421BEATRICEI am sure you know him well enough.
21521BENEDICKNot I, believe me.
21621BEATRICEDid he never make you laugh?
21721BENEDICKI pray you, what is he?
21821BEATRICEWhy, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders: none but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleases 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.
21921BENEDICKWhen I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.
22021BEATRICEDo, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure not marked or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. [Music] We must follow the leaders.
22121BENEDICKIn every good thing.
22221BEATRICENay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.
223(stage directions)21[Dance. Then exeunt all except DON JOHN, BORACHIO, and CLAUDIO]
22421DON JOHNSure my brother is amorous on Hero and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it. The ladies follow her and but one visor remains.
22521BORACHIOAnd that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.
22621DON JOHNAre not you Signior Benedick?
22721CLAUDIOYou know me well; I am he.
22821DON JOHNSignior, you are very near my brother in his love: he is enamoured on Hero; I pray you, dissuade him from her: she is no equal for his birth: you may do the part of an honest man in it.
22921CLAUDIOHow know you he loves her?
23021DON JOHNI heard him swear his affection.
23121BORACHIOSo did I too; and he swore he would marry her to-night.
23221DON JOHNCome, let us to the banquet.
233(stage directions)21[Exeunt DON JOHN and BORACHIO]
23421CLAUDIOThus answer I in the name of Benedick, But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. 'Tis certain so; the prince wooes for himself. Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love: Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues; Let every eye negotiate for itself And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. This is an accident of hourly proof, Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, Hero!
235(stage directions)21[Re-enter BENEDICK]
23621BENEDICKCount Claudio?
23721CLAUDIOYea, the same.
23821BENEDICKCome, will you go with me?
24021BENEDICKEven to the next willow, about your own business, county. What fashion will you wear the garland of? about your neck, like an usurer's chain? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf? You must wear it one way, for the prince hath got your Hero.
24121CLAUDIOI wish him joy of her.
24221BENEDICKWhy, that's spoken like an honest drovier: so they sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would have served you thus?
24321CLAUDIOI pray you, leave me.
24421BENEDICKHo! now you strike like the blind man: 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.
24521CLAUDIOIf it will not be, I'll leave you.
246(stage directions)21[Exit]
24721BENEDICKAlas, poor hurt fowl! now will he creep into sedges. But that my Lady Beatrice should know me, and not know me! The prince's fool! Ha? It may be I go under that title because I am merry. Yea, but so I am apt to do myself wrong; I am not so reputed: it is the base, though bitter, disposition of Beatrice that puts the world into her person and so gives me out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may.
248(stage directions)21[Re-enter DON PEDRO]
24921DON PEDRONow, signior, where's the count? did you see him?
25021BENEDICKTroth, my lord, I have played the part of Lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a warren: I told him, and I think I told him true, that your grace had got the good will of this young lady; and I offered him my company to a willow-tree, either to make him a garland, as being forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to be whipped.
25121DON PEDROTo be whipped! What's his fault?
25221BENEDICKThe flat transgression of a schoolboy, who, being overjoyed with finding a birds' nest, shows it his companion, and he steals it.
25321DON PEDROWilt thou make a trust a transgression? The transgression is in the stealer.
25421BENEDICKYet it had not been amiss the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself, and the rod he might have bestowed on you, who, as I take it, have stolen his birds' nest.
25521DON PEDROI will but teach them to sing, and restore them to the owner.
25621BENEDICKIf their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.
25721DON PEDROThe Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you: the gentleman that danced with her told her she is much wronged by you.
25821BENEDICKO, she misused me past the endurance of a block! an oak but with one green leaf on it would have answered her; my very visor began to assume life and scold with her. She told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the prince's jester, that I was duller than a great thaw; huddling jest upon jest with such impossible conveyance upon me that I stood like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her; she would infect to the north star. I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam bad left him before he transgressed: she would have made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her: you shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I would to God some scholar would conjure her; for certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose, because they would go thither; so, indeed, all disquiet, horror and perturbation follows her.
25921DON PEDROLook, here she comes.
260(stage directions)21[Enter CLAUDIO, BEATRICE, HERO, and LEONATO]
26121BENEDICKWill your grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the slightest errand now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me on; I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the furthest inch of Asia, bring you the length of Prester John's foot, fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard, do you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather than hold three words' conference with this harpy. You have no employment for me?
26221DON PEDRONone, but to desire your good company.
26321BENEDICKO God, sir, here's a dish I love not: I cannot endure my Lady Tongue.
264(stage directions)21[Exit]
26521DON PEDROCome, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.
26621BEATRICEIndeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one: marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.
26721DON PEDROYou have put him down, lady, you have put him down.
26821BEATRICESo 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.
26921DON PEDROWhy, how now, count! wherefore are you sad?
27021CLAUDIONot sad, my lord.
27121DON PEDROHow then? sick?
27221CLAUDIONeither, my lord.
27321BEATRICEThe count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.
27421DON PEDROI' 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!
27521LEONATOCount, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes: his grace hath made the match, and an grace say Amen to it.
27621BEATRICESpeak, count, 'tis your cue.
27721CLAUDIOSilence 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.
27821BEATRICESpeak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss, and let not him speak neither.
27921DON PEDROIn faith, lady, you have a merry heart.
28021BEATRICEYea, 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.
28121CLAUDIOAnd so she doth, cousin.
28221BEATRICEGood Lord, for alliance! Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sunburnt; I may sit in a corner and cry heigh-ho for a husband!
28321DON PEDROLady Beatrice, I will get you one.
28421BEATRICEI 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.
28521DON PEDROWill you have me, lady?
28621BEATRICENo, 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.
28721DON PEDROYour silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.
28821BEATRICENo, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. Cousins, God give you joy!
28921LEONATONiece, will you look to those things I told you of?
29021BEATRICEI cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's pardon.
291(stage directions)21[Exit]
29221DON PEDROBy my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.
29321LEONATOThere'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.
29421DON PEDROShe cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
29521LEONATOO, by no means: she mocks all her wooers out of suit.
29621DON PEDROShe were an excellent wife for Benedict.
29721LEONATOO Lord, my lord, if they were but a week married, they would talk themselves mad.
29821DON PEDROCounty Claudio, when mean you to go to church?
29921CLAUDIOTo-morrow, my lord: time goes on crutches till love have all his rites.
30021LEONATONot 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.
30121DON PEDROCome, 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.
30221LEONATOMy lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights' watchings.
30321CLAUDIOAnd I, my lord.
30421DON PEDROAnd you too, gentle Hero?
30521HEROI will do any modest office, my lord, to help my cousin to a good husband.
30621DON PEDROAnd 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.
307(stage directions)21[Exeunt]
308(stage directions)22[Enter DON JOHN and BORACHIO]
30922DON JOHNIt is so; the Count Claudio shall marry the daughter of Leonato.
31022BORACHIOYea, my lord; but I can cross it.
31122DON JOHNAny 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?
31222BORACHIONot honestly, my lord; but so covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me.
31322DON JOHNShow me briefly how.
31422BORACHIOI think I told your lordship a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to Hero.
31522DON JOHNI remember.
31622BORACHIOI can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber window.
31722DON JOHNWhat life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?
31822BORACHIOThe 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.
31922DON JOHNWhat proof shall I make of that?
32022BORACHIOProof enough to misuse the prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero and kill Leonato. Look you for any other issue?
32122DON JOHNOnly to despite them, I will endeavour any thing.
32222BORACHIOGo, 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 Claudio; and bring them to see this the very night before the intended wedding,--for in the meantime 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 called assurance and all the preparation overthrown.
32322DON JOHNGrow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practise. Be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
32422BORACHIOBe you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.
32522DON JOHNI will presently go learn their day of marriage.
326(stage directions)22[Exeunt]
327(stage directions)23[Enter BENEDICK]
329(stage directions)23[Enter Boy]
33123BENEDICKIn my chamber-window lies a book: bring it hither to me in the orchard.
33223BOYI am here already, sir.
33323BENEDICKI know that; but I would have thee hence, and here again. [Exit Boy] I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn by failing in love: and such a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabour and the pipe: I have known when he would have walked ten mile a-foot to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is he turned orthography; 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.
334(stage directions)23[Withdraws]
335(stage directions)23[Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO]
33623DON PEDROCome, shall we hear this music?
33723CLAUDIOYea, my good lord. How still the evening is, As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
33823DON PEDROSee you where Benedick hath hid himself?
33923CLAUDIOO, very well, my lord: the music ended, We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.
340(stage directions)23[Enter BALTHASAR with Music]
34123DON PEDROCome, Balthasar, we'll hear that song again.
34223BALTHASARO, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To slander music any more than once.
34323DON PEDROIt is the witness still of excellency To put a strange face on his own perfection. I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
34423BALTHASARBecause you talk of wooing, I will sing; Since many a wooer doth commence his suit To her he thinks not worthy, yet he wooes, Yet will he swear he loves.
34523DON PEDRONow, pray thee, come; Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument, Do it in notes.
34623BALTHASARNote this before my notes; There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.
34723DON PEDROWhy, these are very crotchets that he speaks; Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing.
348(stage directions)23[Air]
34923BENEDICKNow, divine air! now is his soul ravished! Is it not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out of men's bodies? Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
350(stage directions)23[The Song]
35123BALTHASARSigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever, One foot in sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never: Then sigh not so, but let them go, And be you blithe and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into Hey nonny, nonny. Sing no more ditties, sing no moe, Of dumps so dull and heavy; The fraud of men was ever so, Since summer first was leafy: Then sigh not so, &c.
35223DON PEDROBy my troth, a good song.
35323BALTHASARAnd an ill singer, my lord.
35423DON PEDROHa, no, no, faith; thou singest well enough for a shift.
35523BENEDICKAn 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.
35623DON PEDROYea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray thee, get us some excellent music; for to-morrow night we would have it at the Lady Hero's chamber-window.
35723BALTHASARThe best I can, my lord.
35823DON PEDRODo so: farewell. [Exit BALTHASAR] Come hither, Leonato. What was it you told me of to-day, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick?
35923CLAUDIOO, ay: stalk on. stalk on; the fowl sits. I did never think that lady would have loved any man.
36023LEONATONo, nor I neither; but most wonderful that she should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviors seemed ever to abhor.
36123BENEDICKIs't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?
36223LEONATOBy my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it but that she loves him with an enraged affection: it is past the infinite of thought.
36323DON PEDROMay be she doth but counterfeit.
36423CLAUDIOFaith, like enough.
36523LEONATOO God, counterfeit! There was never counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion as she discovers it.
36623DON PEDROWhy, what effects of passion shows she?
36723CLAUDIOBait the hook well; this fish will bite.
36823LEONATOWhat effects, my lord? She will sit you, you heard my daughter tell you how.
36923CLAUDIOShe did, indeed.
37023DON PEDROHow, how, pray you? You amaze me: I would have I thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
37123LEONATOI would have sworn it had, my lord; especially against Benedick.
37223BENEDICKI should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.
37323CLAUDIOHe hath ta'en the infection: hold it up.
37423DON PEDROHath she made her affection known to Benedick?
37523LEONATONo; and swears she never will: that's her torment.
37623CLAUDIO'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?'
37723LEONATOThis 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.
37823CLAUDIONow you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
37923LEONATOO, when she had writ it and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?
38123LEONATOO, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; 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.'
38223CLAUDIOThen down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; 'O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!'
38323LEONATOShe doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my daughter is sometime afeared she will do a desperate outrage to herself: it is very true.
38423DON PEDROIt were good that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.
38523CLAUDIOTo what end? He would make but a sport of it and torment the poor lady worse.
38623DON PEDROAn he should, it were an alms to hang him. She's an excellent sweet lady; and, out of all suspicion, she is virtuous.
38723CLAUDIOAnd she is exceeding wise.
38823DON PEDROIn every thing but in loving Benedick.
38923LEONATOO, 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.
39023DON PEDROI would she had bestowed this dotage on me: I would have daffed all other respects and made her half myself. I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what a' will say.
39123LEONATOWere it good, think you?
39223CLAUDIOHero thinks surely she will die; for she says she will die, if he love her not, and she will die, ere she make her love known, and she will die, if he woo her, rather than she will bate one breath of her accustomed crossness.
39323DON PEDROShe 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.
39423CLAUDIOHe is a very proper man.
39523DON PEDROHe hath indeed a good outward happiness.
39623CLAUDIOBefore God! and, in my mind, very wise.
39723DON PEDROHe doth indeed show some sparks that are like wit.
39823CLAUDIOAnd I take him to be valiant.
39923DON PEDROAs 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.
40023LEONATOIf he do fear God, a' must necessarily keep peace: if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.
40123DON PEDROAnd 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 seek Benedick, and tell him of her love?
40223CLAUDIONever tell him, my lord: let her wear it out with good counsel.
40323LEONATONay, that's impossible: she may wear her heart out first.
40423DON PEDROWell, we will 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.
40523LEONATOMy lord, will you walk? dinner is ready.
40623CLAUDIOIf he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.
40723DON PEDROLet there be the same net spread for her; and that must your daughter and her gentlewomen 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.
408(stage directions)23[Exeunt DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO]
40923BENEDICK[Coming forward] This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady: it seems her 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; 'tis 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.
410(stage directions)23[Enter BEATRICE]
41123BEATRICEAgainst my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.
41223BENEDICKFair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.
41323BEATRICEI took no more pains for those thanks than you take pains to thank me: if it had been painful, I would not have come.
41423BENEDICKYou take pleasure then in the message?
41523BEATRICEYea, 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.
416(stage directions)23[Exit]
41723BENEDICKHa! 'Against my will I am sent to bid you come in 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 pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks. If 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.
418(stage directions)23[Exit]
419(stage directions)31[Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA]
42031HEROGood Margaret, run thee to the parlor; 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 honeysuckles, 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 hide her, To listen our purpose. This is thy office; Bear thee well in it and leave us alone.
42131MARGARETI'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.
422(stage directions)31[Exit]
42331HERONow, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come, As we do trace this alley up and down, Our talk must only be of Benedick. When I do name him, let it be thy part To praise him more than ever man did merit: My talk to thee must be how Benedick Is sick in love with Beatrice. Of this matter Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made, That only wounds by hearsay. [Enter BEATRICE, behind] Now begin; For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs Close by the ground, to hear our conference.
42431URSULAThe pleasant'st angling is to see the fish Cut with her golden oars the silver stream, And greedily devour the treacherous bait: So angle we for Beatrice; who even now Is couched in the woodbine coverture. Fear you not my part of the dialogue.
42531HEROThen go we near her, that her ear lose nothing Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it. [Approaching the bower] No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful; I know her spirits are as coy and wild As haggerds of the rock.
42631URSULABut are you sure That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?
42731HEROSo says the prince and my new-trothed lord.
42831URSULAAnd did they bid you tell her of it, madam?
42931HEROThey did entreat me to acquaint her of it; But I persuaded them, if they loved Benedick, To wish him wrestle with affection, And never to let Beatrice know of it.
43031URSULAWhy did you so? Doth not the gentleman Deserve as full as fortunate a bed As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?
43131HEROO god of love! I know he doth deserve As much as may be yielded to a man: But Nature never framed a woman's heart Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice; Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, Misprising what they look on, and her wit Values itself so highly that to her All matter else seems weak: she cannot love, Nor take no shape nor project of affection, She is so self-endeared.
43231URSULASure, I think so; And therefore certainly it were not good She knew his love, lest she make sport at it.
43331HEROWhy, you speak truth. I never yet saw man, How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured, But she would spell him backward: if fair-faced, She would swear the gentleman should be her sister; If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antique, Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed; If low, an agate very vilely cut; If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds; If silent, why, a block moved with none. So turns she every man the wrong side out And never gives to truth and virtue that Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.
43431URSULASure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
43531HERONo, not to be so odd and from all fashions As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable: But who dare tell her so? If I should speak, She would mock me into air; O, she would laugh me Out of myself, press me to death with wit. Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire, Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly: It were a better death than die with mocks, Which is as bad as die with tickling.
43631URSULAYet tell her of it: hear what she will say.
43731HERONo; rather I will go to Benedick And counsel him to fight against his passion. And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders To stain my cousin with: one doth not know How much an ill word may empoison liking.
43831URSULAO, 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 prized to have--as to refuse So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.
43931HEROHe is the only man of Italy. Always excepted my dear Claudio.
44031URSULAI pray you, be not angry with me, madam, Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedick, For shape, for bearing, argument and valour, Goes foremost in report through Italy.
44131HEROIndeed, he hath an excellent good name.
44231URSULAHis excellence did earn it, ere he had it. When are you married, madam?
44331HEROWhy, 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.
44431URSULAShe's limed, I warrant you: we have caught her, madam.
44531HEROIf it proves so, then loving goes by haps: Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
446(stage directions)31[Exeunt HERO and URSULA]
44731BEATRICE[Coming forward] 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.
448(stage directions)31[Exit]
449(stage directions)32[Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO]
45032DON PEDROI do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I toward Arragon.
45132CLAUDIOI'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.
45232DON PEDRONay, 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.
45332BENEDICKGallants, I am not as I have been.
45432LEONATOSo say I. methinks you are sadder.
45532CLAUDIOI hope he be in love.
45632DON PEDROHang him, truant! there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touched with love: if he be sad, he wants money.
45732BENEDICKI have the toothache.
45832DON PEDRODraw it.
45932BENEDICKHang it!
46032CLAUDIOYou must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
46132DON PEDROWhat! sigh for the toothache?
46232LEONATOWhere is but a humour or a worm.
46332BENEDICKWell, every one can master a grief but he that has it.
46432CLAUDIOYet say I, he is in love.
46532DON PEDROThere is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be a Dutchman today, 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.
46632CLAUDIOIf he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: a' brushes his hat o' mornings; what should that bode?
46732DON PEDROHath any man seen him at the barber's?
46832CLAUDIONo, but the barber's man hath been seen with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.
46932LEONATOIndeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
47032DON PEDRONay, a' rubs himself with civet: can you smell him out by that?
47132CLAUDIOThat's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.
47232DON PEDROThe greatest note of it is his melancholy.
47332CLAUDIOAnd when was he wont to wash his face?
47432DON PEDROYea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.
47532CLAUDIONay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lute-string and now governed by stops.
47632DON PEDROIndeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude, conclude he is in love.
47732CLAUDIONay, but I know who loves him.
47832DON PEDROThat would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.
47932CLAUDIOYes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.
48032DON PEDROShe shall be buried with her face upwards.
48132BENEDICKYet is this no charm for the toothache. 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.
482(stage directions)32[Exeunt BENEDICK and LEONATO]
48332DON PEDROFor my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
48432CLAUDIO'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.
485(stage directions)32[Enter DON JOHN]
48632DON JOHNMy lord and brother, God save you!
48732DON PEDROGood den, brother.
48832DON JOHNIf your leisure served, I would speak with you.
48932DON PEDROIn private?
49032DON JOHNIf it please you: yet Count Claudio may hear; for what I would speak of concerns him.
49132DON PEDROWhat's the matter?
49232DON JOHN[To CLAUDIO] Means your lordship to be married to-morrow?
49332DON PEDROYou know he does.
49432DON JOHNI know not that, when he knows what I know.
49532CLAUDIOIf there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.
49632DON JOHNYou may think I love you not: let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest. For my brother, I think he holds you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage;--surely suit ill spent and labour ill bestowed.
49732DON PEDROWhy, what's the matter?
49832DON JOHNI came hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortened, for she has been too long a talking of, the lady is disloyal.
49932CLAUDIOWho, Hero?
50032DON PEDROEven she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero:
50232DON JOHNThe word is too good to paint out her wickedness; I could say she were worse: think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamber-window entered, 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.
50332CLAUDIOMay this be so?
50432DON PEDROI will not think it.
50532DON JOHNIf you dare not trust that you see, confess not that you know: if you will follow me, I will show you enough; and when you have seen more and heard more, proceed accordingly.
50632CLAUDIOIf I see any thing to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.
50732DON PEDROAnd, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.
50832DON JOHNI will disparage her no farther till you are my witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself.
50932DON PEDROO day untowardly turned!
51032CLAUDIOO mischief strangely thwarting!
51132DON JOHNO plague right well prevented! so will you say when you have seen the sequel.
512(stage directions)32[Exeunt]
513(stage directions)33[Enter DOGBERRY and VERGES with the Watch]
51433DOGBERRYAre you good men and true?
51533VERGESYea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation, body and soul.
51633DOGBERRYNay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the prince's watch.
51733VERGESWell, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.
51833DOGBERRYFirst, who think you the most desertless man to be constable?
51933FIRST WATCHMANHugh Otecake, sir, or George Seacole; for they can write and read.
52033DOGBERRYCome hither, neighbour Seacole. God hath blessed you with a good name: to be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.
52133SECOND WATCHMANBoth which, master constable,--
52233DOGBERRYYou have: I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch; therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's name.
52333SECOND WATCHMANHow if a' will not stand?
52433DOGBERRYWhy, then, take no note of him, but let him go; and presently call the rest of the watch together and thank God you are rid of a knave.
52533VERGESIf he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the prince's subjects.
52633DOGBERRYTrue, and they are to meddle with none but the prince's subjects. You shall also make no noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble and to talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.
52733WATCHMANWe will rather sleep than talk: we know what belongs to a watch.
52833DOGBERRYWhy, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should offend: only, have a care that your bills be not stolen. Well, you are to call at all the ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
52933WATCHMANHow if they will not?
53033DOGBERRYWhy, then, let them alone till they are sober: if they make you not then the better answer, you may say they are not the men you took them for.
53133WATCHMANWell, sir.
53233DOGBERRYIf you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why the more is for your honesty.
53333WATCHMANIf we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?
53433DOGBERRYTruly, by your office, you may; but I think they that touch pitch will be defiled: the most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is and steal out of your company.
53533VERGESYou have been always called a merciful man, partner.
53633DOGBERRYTruly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who hath any honesty in him.
53733VERGESIf you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse and bid her still it.
53833WATCHMANHow if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?
53933DOGBERRYWhy, then, depart in peace, and let the child wake her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats.
54033VERGES'Tis very true.
54133DOGBERRYThis is the end of the charge:--you, constable, are to present the prince's own person: if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay him.
54233VERGESNay, by'r our lady, that I think a' cannot.
54333DOGBERRYFive shillings to one on't, with any man that knows the statutes, he may stay him: marry, not without the prince be willing; for, indeed, the watch ought to offend no man; and it is an offence to stay a man against his will.
54433VERGESBy'r lady, I think it be so.
54533DOGBERRYHa, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there be any matter of weight chances, call up me: keep your fellows' counsels and your own; and good night. Come, neighbour.
54633WATCHMANWell, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.
54733DOGBERRYOne word more, honest neighbours. I pray you watch about Signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night. Adieu: be vigitant, I beseech you.
548(stage directions)33[Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES]
549(stage directions)33[Enter BORACHIO and CONRADE]
55033BORACHIOWhat Conrade!
55133WATCHMAN[Aside] Peace! stir not.
55233BORACHIOConrade, I say!
55333CONRADEHere, man; I am at thy elbow.
55433BORACHIOMass, and my elbow itched; I thought there would a scab follow.
55533CONRADEI will owe thee an answer for that: and now forward with thy tale.
55633BORACHIOStand thee close, then, under this pent-house, for it drizzles rain; and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.
55733WATCHMAN[Aside] Some treason, masters: yet stand close.
55833BORACHIOTherefore know I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.
55933CONRADEIs it possible that any villany should be so dear?
56033BORACHIOThou shouldst rather ask if it were possible any villany should be so rich; for when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will.
56133CONRADEI wonder at it.
56233BORACHIOThat shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a man.
56333CONRADEYes, it is apparel.
56433BORACHIOI mean, the fashion.
56533CONRADEYes, the fashion is the fashion.
56633BORACHIOTush! I may as well say the fool's the fool. But seest thou not what a deformed thief this fashion is?
56733WATCHMAN[Aside] I know that Deformed; a' has been a vile thief this seven year; a' goes up and down like a gentleman: I remember his name.
56833BORACHIODidst thou not hear somebody?
56933CONRADENo; 'twas the vane on the house.
57033BORACHIOSeest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is? how giddily a' turns about all the hot bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty? sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers in the reeky painting, sometime like god Bel's priests in the old church-window, sometime like the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massy as his club?
57133CONRADEAll this I see; and I see that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man. But art not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?
57233BORACHIONot so, neither: but know that I have to-night wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the name of Hero: she leans me out at her mistress' chamber-window, bids me a thousand times good night,--I tell this tale vilely:--I should first tell thee how the prince, Claudio and my master, planted and placed and possessed by my master Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiable encounter.
57333CONRADEAnd thought they Margaret was Hero?
57433BORACHIOTwo of them did, the prince and Claudio; but the devil my master knew she was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them, partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, but chiefly by my villany, which did confirm any slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio enraged; swore he would meet her, as he was appointed, next morning at the temple, and there, before the whole congregation, shame her with what he saw o'er night and send her home again without a husband.
57533FIRST WATCHMANWe charge you, in the prince's name, stand!
57633SECOND WATCHMANCall up the right master constable. We have here recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth.
57733FIRST WATCHMANAnd one Deformed is one of them: I know him; a' wears a lock.
57833CONRADEMasters, masters,--
57933SECOND WATCHMANYou'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.
58133FIRST WATCHMANNever speak: we charge you let us obey you to go with us.
58233BORACHIOWe are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken up of these men's bills.
58333CONRADEA commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, we'll obey you.
584(stage directions)33[Exeunt]
585(stage directions)34[Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA]
58634HEROGood Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire her to rise.
58734URSULAI will, lady.
58834HEROAnd bid her come hither.
590(stage directions)34[Exit]
59134MARGARETTroth, I think your other rabato were better.
59234HERONo, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
59334MARGARETBy my troth, 's not so good; and I warrant your cousin will say so.
59434HEROMy cousin's a fool, and thou art another: I'll wear none but this.
59534MARGARETI like the new tire within excellently, if the hair were a thought browner; and your gown's a most rare fashion, i' faith. I saw the Duchess of Milan's gown that they praise so.
59634HEROO, that exceeds, they say.
59734MARGARETBy my troth, 's but a night-gown in respect of yours: cloth o' gold, and cuts, and laced with silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves, and skirts, round underborne with a bluish tinsel: but for a fine, quaint, graceful and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on 't.
59834HEROGod give me joy to wear it! for my heart is exceeding heavy.
59934MARGARET'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.
60034HEROFie upon thee! art not ashamed?
60134MARGARETOf what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord honourable without marriage? I think you would have me say, 'saving your reverence, a husband:' and bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody: is there any harm in 'the heavier for a husband'? None, I think, and it be the right husband and the right wife; otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy: ask my Lady Beatrice else; here she comes.
602(stage directions)34[Enter BEATRICE]
60334HEROGood morrow, coz.
60434BEATRICEGood morrow, sweet Hero.
60534HEROWhy how now? do you speak in the sick tune?
60634BEATRICEI am out of all other tune, methinks.
60734MARGARETClap's into 'Light o' love;' that goes without a burden: do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
60834BEATRICEYe light o' love, with your heels! then, if your husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no barns.
60934MARGARETO illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.
61034BEATRICE'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; tis time you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill: heigh-ho!
61134MARGARETFor a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
61234BEATRICEFor the letter that begins them all, H.
61334MARGARETWell, and you be not turned Turk, there's no more sailing by the star.
61434BEATRICEWhat means the fool, trow?
61534MARGARETNothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire!
61634HEROThese gloves the count sent me; they are an excellent perfume.
61734BEATRICEI am stuffed, cousin; I cannot smell.
61834MARGARETA maid, and stuffed! there's goodly catching of cold.
61934BEATRICEO, God help me! God help me! how long have you professed apprehension?
62034MARGARETEven since you left it. Doth not my wit become me rarely?
62134BEATRICEIt is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap. By my troth, I am sick.
62234MARGARETGet you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus, and lay it to your heart: it is the only thing for a qualm.
62334HEROThere thou prickest her with a thistle.
62434BEATRICEBenedictus! why Benedictus? you have some moral in this Benedictus.
62534MARGARETMoral! no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning; I meant, plain holy-thistle. You may think perchance that I think you are in love: nay, by'r lady, I am not such a fool to think what I list, nor I list not to think what I can, nor indeed I cannot think, if I would think my heart out of thinking, that you are in love or that you will be in love or that you can be in love. Yet Benedick was such another, and now is he become a man: he swore he would never marry, and yet now, in despite of his heart, he eats his meat without grudging: and how you may be converted I know not, but methinks you look with your eyes as other women do.
62634BEATRICEWhat pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
62734MARGARETNot a false gallop.
628(stage directions)34[Re-enter URSULA]
62934URSULAMadam, withdraw: the prince, the count, Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town, are come to fetch you to church.
63034HEROHelp to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.
631(stage directions)34[Exeunt]
632(stage directions)35[Enter LEONATO, with DOGBERRY and VERGES]
63335LEONATOWhat would you with me, honest neighbour?
63435DOGBERRYMarry, sir, I would have some confidence with you that decerns you nearly.
63535LEONATOBrief, I pray you; for you see it is a busy time with me.
63635DOGBERRYMarry, this it is, sir.
63735VERGESYes, in truth it is, sir.
63835LEONATOWhat is it, my good friends?
63935DOGBERRYGoodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest as the skin between his brows.
64035VERGESYes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living that is an old man and no honester than I.
64135DOGBERRYComparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
64235LEONATONeighbours, you are tedious.
64335DOGBERRYIt pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find it in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.
64435LEONATOAll thy tediousness on me, ah?
64535DOGBERRYYea, an 'twere a thousand pound more than 'tis; for I hear as good exclamation on your worship as of any man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.
64635VERGESAnd so am I.
64735LEONATOI would fain know what you have to say.
64835VERGESMarry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.
64935DOGBERRYA good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they say, when the age is in, the wit is out: God help us! it is a world to see. Well said, i' faith, neighbour Verges: well, God's a good man; an two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind. An honest soul, i' faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread; but God is to be worshipped; all men are not alike; alas, good neighbour!
65035LEONATOIndeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
65135DOGBERRYGifts that God gives.
65235LEONATOI must leave you.
65335DOGBERRYOne word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship.
65435LEONATOTake their examination yourself and bring it me: I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you.
65535DOGBERRYIt shall be suffigance.
65635LEONATODrink some wine ere you go: fare you well.
657(stage directions)35[Enter a Messenger]
65835MESSENGERMy lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband.
65935LEONATOI'll wait upon them: I am ready.
660(stage directions)35[Exeunt LEONATO and Messenger]
66135DOGBERRYGo, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacole; bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol: we are now to examination these men.
66235VERGESAnd we must do it wisely.
66335DOGBERRYWe will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's that shall drive some of them to a non-come: only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication and meet me at the gaol.
664(stage directions)35[Exeunt] [Enter DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, LEONATO, FRIAR FRANCIS,] CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, HERO, BEATRICE, and Attendants]
66541LEONATOCome, Friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards.
66641FRIAR FRANCISYou come hither, my lord, to marry this lady.
66841LEONATOTo be married to her: friar, you come to marry her.
66941FRIAR FRANCISLady, you come hither to be married to this count.
67041HEROI do.
67141FRIAR FRANCISIf either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoined, charge you, on your souls, to utter it.
67241CLAUDIOKnow you any, Hero?
67341HERONone, my lord.
67441FRIAR FRANCISKnow you any, count?
67541LEONATOI dare make his answer, none.
67641CLAUDIOO, what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do, not knowing what they do!
67741BENEDICKHow now! interjections? Why, then, some be of laughing, as, ah, ha, he!
67841CLAUDIOStand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave: Will you with free and unconstrained soul Give me this maid, your daughter?
67941LEONATOAs freely, son, as God did give her me.
68041CLAUDIOAnd what have I to give you back, whose worth May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
68141DON PEDRONothing, unless you render her again.
68241CLAUDIOSweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness. There, Leonato, take her back again: Give not this rotten orange to your friend; She's but the sign and semblance of her honour. Behold how like a maid she blushes here! O, what authority and show of truth Can cunning sin cover itself withal! Comes not that blood as modest evidence To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear, All you that see her, that she were a maid, By these exterior shows? But she is none: She knows the heat of a luxurious bed; Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
68341LEONATOWhat do you mean, my lord?
68441CLAUDIONot to be married, Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.
68541LEONATODear my lord, if you, in your own proof, Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth, And made defeat of her virginity,--
68641CLAUDIOI know what you would say: if I have known her, You will say she did embrace me as a husband, And so extenuate the 'forehand sin: No, Leonato, I never tempted her with word too large; But, as a brother to his sister, show'd Bashful sincerity and comely love.
68741HEROAnd seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
68841CLAUDIOOut on thee! Seeming! I will write against it: You seem to me as Dian in her orb, As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown; But you are more intemperate in your blood Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals That rage in savage sensuality.
68941HEROIs my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?
69041LEONATOSweet prince, why speak not you?
69141DON PEDROWhat should I speak? I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about To link my dear friend to a common stale.
69241LEONATOAre these things spoken, or do I but dream?
69341DON JOHNSir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
69441BENEDICKThis looks not like a nuptial.
69541HEROTrue! O God!
69641CLAUDIOLeonato, stand I here? Is this the prince? is this the prince's brother? Is this face Hero's? are our eyes our own?
69741LEONATOAll this is so: but what of this, my lord?
69841CLAUDIOLet me but move one question to your daughter; And, by that fatherly and kindly power That you have in her, bid her answer truly.
69941LEONATOI charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
70041HEROO, God defend me! how am I beset! What kind of catechising call you this?
70141CLAUDIOTo make you answer truly to your name.
70241HEROIs it not Hero? Who can blot that name With any just reproach?
70341CLAUDIOMarry, that can Hero; Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. What man was he talk'd with you yesternight Out at your window betwixt twelve and one? Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.
70441HEROI talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.
70541DON PEDROWhy, then are you no maiden. Leonato, I am sorry you must hear: upon mine honour, Myself, my brother and this grieved count Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain, Confess'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in secret.
70641DON JOHNFie, fie! they are not to be named, my lord, Not to be spoke of; There is not chastity enough in language Without offence to utter them. Thus, pretty lady, I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
70741CLAUDIOO Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been, If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart! But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell, Thou pure impiety and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, And never shall it more be gracious.
70841LEONATOHath no man's dagger here a point for me?
709(stage directions)41[HERO swoons]
71041BEATRICEWhy, how now, cousin! wherefore sink you down?
71141DON JOHNCome, let us go. These things, come thus to light, Smother her spirits up.
712(stage directions)41[Exeunt DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, and CLAUDIO]
71341BENEDICKHow doth the lady?
71441BEATRICEDead, I think. Help, uncle! Hero! why, Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!
71541LEONATOO Fate! take not away thy heavy hand. Death is the fairest cover for her shame That may be wish'd for.
71641BEATRICEHow now, cousin Hero!
71741FRIAR FRANCISHave comfort, lady.
71841LEONATODost thou look up?
71941FRIAR FRANCISYea, wherefore should she not?
72041LEONATOWherefore! Why, doth not every earthly thing Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny The story that is printed in her blood? Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes: For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die, Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches, Strike at thy life. Grieved I, I had but one? Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame? O, one too much by thee! Why had I one? Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes? Why had I not with charitable hand Took up a beggar's issue at my gates, Who smirch'd thus and mired with infamy, I might have said 'No part of it is mine; This shame derives itself from unknown loins'? But mine and mine I loved and mine I praised And mine that I was proud on, mine so much That I myself was to myself not mine, Valuing of her,--why, she, O, she is fallen Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea Hath drops too few to wash her clean again And salt too little which may season give To her foul-tainted flesh!
72141BENEDICKSir, sir, be patient. For my part, I am so attired in wonder, I know not what to say.
72241BEATRICEO, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
72341BENEDICKLady, were you her bedfellow last night?
72441BEATRICENo, truly not; although, until last night, I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
72541LEONATOConfirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger made Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron! Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie, Who loved her so, that, speaking of her foulness, Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her! let her die.
72641FRIAR FRANCISHear me a little; for I have only been Silent so long and given way unto This course of fortune [--] By noting of the lady I have mark'd A thousand blushing apparitions To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames In angel whiteness beat away those blushes; And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire, To burn the errors that these princes hold Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool; Trust not my reading nor my observations, Which with experimental seal doth warrant The tenor of my book; trust not my age, My reverence, calling, nor divinity, If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here Under some biting error.
72741LEONATOFriar, it cannot be. Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left Is that she will not add to her damnation A sin of perjury; she not denies it: Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse That which appears in proper nakedness?
72841FRIAR FRANCISLady, what man is he you are accused of?
72941HEROThey know that do accuse me; I know none: If I know more of any man alive Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, Let all my sins lack mercy! O my father, Prove you that any man with me conversed At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death!
73041FRIAR FRANCISThere is some strange misprision in the princes.
73141BENEDICKTwo of them have the very bent of honour; And if their wisdoms be misled in this, The practise of it lives in John the bastard, Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.
73241LEONATOI know not. If they speak but truth of her, These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour, The proudest of them shall well hear of it. Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, Nor age so eat up my invention, Nor fortune made such havoc of my means, Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends, But they shall find, awaked in such a kind, Both strength of limb and policy of mind, Ability in means and choice of friends, To quit me of them throughly.
73341FRIAR FRANCISPause awhile, And let my counsel sway you in this case. Your daughter here the princes left for dead: Let her awhile be secretly kept in, And publish it that she is dead indeed; Maintain a mourning ostentation And on your family's old monument Hang mournful epitaphs and do all rites That appertain unto a burial.
73441LEONATOWhat shall become of this? what will this do?
73541FRIAR FRANCISMarry, this well carried shall on her behalf Change slander to remorse; that is some good: But not for that dream I on this strange course, But on this travail look for greater birth. She dying, as it must so be maintain'd, Upon the instant that she was accused, Shall be lamented, pitied and excused Of every hearer: for it so falls out That what we have we prize not to the worth Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost, Why, then we rack the value, then we find The virtue that possession would not show us Whiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio: When he shall hear she died upon his words, The idea of her life shall sweetly creep Into his study of imagination, And every lovely organ of her life Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit, More moving-delicate and full of life, Into the eye and prospect of his soul, Than when she lived indeed; then shall he mourn, If ever love had interest in his liver, And wish he had not so accused her, No, though he thought his accusation true. Let this be so, and doubt not but success Will fashion the event in better shape Than I can lay it down in likelihood. But if all aim but this be levell'd false, The supposition of the lady's death Will quench the wonder of her infamy: And if it sort not well, you may conceal her, As best befits her wounded reputation, In some reclusive and religious life, Out of all eyes, tongues, minds and injuries.
73641BENEDICKSignior Leonato, let the friar advise you: And though you know my inwardness and love Is very much unto the prince and Claudio, Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this As secretly and justly as your soul Should with your body.
73741LEONATOBeing that I flow in grief, The smallest twine may lead me.
73841FRIAR FRANCIS'Tis well consented: presently away; For to strange sores strangely they strain the cure. Come, lady, die to live: this wedding-day Perhaps is but prolong'd: have patience and endure.
739(stage directions)41[Exeunt all but BENEDICK and BEATRICE]
74041BENEDICKLady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
74141BEATRICEYea, and I will weep a while longer.
74241BENEDICKI will not desire that.
74341BEATRICEYou have no reason; I do it freely.
74441BENEDICKSurely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.
74541BEATRICEAh, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her!
74641BENEDICKIs there any way to show such friendship?
74741BEATRICEA very even way, but no such friend.
74841BENEDICKMay a man do it?
74941BEATRICEIt is a man's office, but not yours.
75041BENEDICKI do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?
75141BEATRICEAs 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. I am sorry for my cousin.
75241BENEDICKBy my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
75341BEATRICEDo not swear, and eat it.
75441BENEDICKI will swear by it that you love me; and I will make him eat it that says I love not you.
75541BEATRICEWill you not eat your word?
75641BENEDICKWith no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest I love thee.
75741BEATRICEWhy, then, God forgive me!
75841BENEDICKWhat offence, sweet Beatrice?
75941BEATRICEYou have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I loved you.
76041BENEDICKAnd do it with all thy heart.
76141BEATRICEI love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.
76241BENEDICKCome, bid me do any thing for thee.
76341BEATRICEKill Claudio.
76441BENEDICKHa! not for the wide world.
76541BEATRICEYou kill me to deny it. Farewell.
76641BENEDICKTarry, sweet Beatrice.
76741BEATRICEI am gone, though I am here: there is no love in you: nay, I pray you, let me go.
76941BEATRICEIn faith, I will go.
77041BENEDICKWe'll be friends first.
77141BEATRICEYou dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy.
77241BENEDICKIs Claudio thine enemy?
77341BEATRICEIs 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 market-place.
77441BENEDICKHear me, Beatrice,--
77541BEATRICETalk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!
77641BENEDICKNay, but, Beatrice,--
77741BEATRICESweet Hero! She is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.
77941BEATRICEPrinces 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.
78041BENEDICKTarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.
78141BEATRICEUse it for my love some other way than swearing by it.
78241BENEDICKThink you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?
78341BEATRICEYea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.
78441BENEDICKEnough, 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.
785(stage directions)41[Exeunt] [Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; and] the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO]
78642DOGBERRYIs our whole dissembly appeared?
78742VERGESO, a stool and a cushion for the sexton.
78842SEXTONWhich be the malefactors?
78942DOGBERRYMarry, that am I and my partner.
79042VERGESNay, that's certain; we have the exhibition to examine.
79142SEXTONBut which are the offenders that are to be examined? let them come before master constable.
79242DOGBERRYYea, marry, let them come before me. What is your name, friend?
79442DOGBERRYPray, write down, Borachio. Yours, sirrah?
79542CONRADEI am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
79642DOGBERRYWrite down, master gentleman Conrade. Masters, do you serve God?
79742CONRADE[with Borachio] Yea, sir, we hope.
79842DOGBERRYWrite 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?
79942CONRADEMarry, sir, we say we are none.
80042DOGBERRYA marvellous witty fellow, I assure you: but I will go about with him. Come you hither, sirrah; a word in your ear: sir, I say to you, it is thought you are false knaves.
80142BORACHIOSir, I say to you we are none.
80242DOGBERRYWell, stand aside. 'Fore God, they are both in a tale. Have you writ down, that they are none?
80342SEXTONMaster constable, you go not the way to examine: you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.
80442DOGBERRYYea, marry, that's the eftest way. Let the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's name, accuse these men.
80542FIRST WATCHMANThis man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain.
80642DOGBERRYWrite down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother villain.
80742BORACHIOMaster constable,--
80842DOGBERRYPray thee, fellow, peace: I do not like thy look, I promise thee.
80942SEXTONWhat heard you him say else?
81042SECOND WATCHMANMarry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully.
81142DOGBERRYFlat burglary as ever was committed.
81242VERGESYea, by mass, that it is.
81342SEXTONWhat else, fellow?
81442FIRST WATCHMANAnd that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly. and not marry her.
81542DOGBERRYO villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.
81642SEXTONWhat else?
81742WATCHMANThis is all.
81842SEXTONAnd this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away; Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner refused, and upon the grief of this suddenly died. Master constable, let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato's: I will go before and show him their examination.
819(stage directions)42[Exit]
82042DOGBERRYCome, let them be opinioned.
82142VERGESLet them be in the hands--
82242CONRADEOff, coxcomb!
82342DOGBERRYGod's my life, where's the sexton? let him write down the prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them. Thou naughty varlet!
82442CONRADEAway! you are an ass, you are an ass.
82542DOGBERRYDost 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 is 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!
826(stage directions)42[Exeunt]
827(stage directions)51[Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO]
82851ANTONIOIf you go on thus, you will kill yourself: And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief Against yourself.
82951LEONATOI 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 loved 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, And I of him will gather patience. But there is no such man: for, brother, men Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it, Their counsel turns to passion, which before Would give preceptial medicine to rage, Fetter strong madness in a silken thread, Charm ache with air and agony with words: No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience To those that wring under the load of sorrow, But no man's virtue nor sufficiency To be so moral when he shall endure The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel: My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
83051ANTONIOTherein do men from children nothing differ.
83151LEONATOI pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philosopher That could endure the toothache patiently, However they have writ the style of gods And made a push at chance and sufferance.
83251ANTONIOYet bend not all the harm upon yourself; Make those that do offend you suffer too.
83351LEONATOThere thou speak'st reason: nay, I will do so. My soul doth tell me Hero is belied; And that shall Claudio know; so shall the prince And all of them that thus dishonour her.
83451ANTONIOHere comes the prince and Claudio hastily.
835(stage directions)51[Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO]
83651DON PEDROGood den, good den.
83751CLAUDIOGood day to both of you.
83851LEONATOHear you. my lords,--
83951DON PEDROWe have some haste, Leonato.
84051LEONATOSome haste, my lord! well, fare you well, my lord: Are you so hasty now? well, all is one.
84151DON PEDRONay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
84251ANTONIOIf he could right himself with quarreling, Some of us would lie low.
84351CLAUDIOWho wrongs him?
84451LEONATOMarry, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou:-- Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword; I fear thee not.
84551CLAUDIOMarry, beshrew my hand, If it should give your age such cause of fear: In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
84651LEONATOTush, tush, man; never fleer and jest at me: I speak not like a dotard nor a fool, As under privilege of age to brag What I have done being young, or what would do Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head, Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me That I am forced to lay my reverence by And, with grey hairs and bruise of many days, Do challenge thee to trial of a man. I say thou hast belied mine innocent child; Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart, And she lies buried with her ancestors; O, in a tomb where never scandal slept, Save this of hers, framed by thy villany!
84751CLAUDIOMy villany?
84851LEONATOThine, Claudio; thine, I say.
84951DON PEDROYou say not right, old man.
85051LEONATOMy lord, my lord, I'll prove it on his body, if he dare, Despite his nice fence and his active practise, His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
85151CLAUDIOAway! I will not have to do with you.
85251LEONATOCanst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my child: If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
85351ANTONIOHe shall kill two of us, and men indeed: But that's no matter; let him kill one first; Win me and wear me; let him answer me. Come, follow me, boy; come, sir boy, come, follow me: Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence; Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
85551ANTONIOContent yourself. God knows I loved my niece; And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains, That dare as well answer a man indeed As I dare take a serpent by the tongue: Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops!
85651LEONATOBrother Antony,--
85751ANTONIOHold you content. What, man! I know them, yea, And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple,-- Scrambling, out-facing, fashion-monging boys, That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander, Go anticly, show outward hideousness, And speak off half a dozen dangerous words, How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst; And this is all.
85851LEONATOBut, brother Antony,--
85951ANTONIOCome, 'tis no matter: Do not you meddle; let me deal in this.
86051DON PEDROGentlemen both, we will not wake your patience. My heart is sorry for your daughter's death: But, on my honour, she was charged with nothing But what was true and very full of proof.
86151LEONATOMy lord, my lord,--
86251DON PEDROI will not hear you.
86351LEONATONo? Come, brother; away! I will be heard.
86451ANTONIOAnd shall, or some of us will smart for it.
865(stage directions)51[Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO]
86651DON PEDROSee, see; here comes the man we went to seek.
867(stage directions)51[Enter BENEDICK]
86851CLAUDIONow, signior, what news?
86951BENEDICKGood day, my lord.
87051DON PEDROWelcome, signior: you are almost come to part almost a fray.
87151CLAUDIOWe had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old men without teeth.
87251DON PEDROLeonato and his brother. What thinkest thou? Had we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.
87351BENEDICKIn a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came to seek you both.
87451CLAUDIOWe have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof melancholy and would fain have it beaten away. Wilt thou use thy wit?
87551BENEDICKIt is in my scabbard: shall I draw it?
87651DON PEDRODost thou wear thy wit by thy side?
87751CLAUDIONever 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.
87851DON PEDROAs I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thou sick, or angry?
87951CLAUDIOWhat, courage, man! What though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
88051BENEDICKSir, I shall meet your wit in the career, and you charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.
88151CLAUDIONay, then, give him another staff: this last was broke cross.
88251DON PEDROBy this light, he changes more and more: I think he be angry indeed.
88351CLAUDIOIf he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
88451BENEDICKShall I speak a word in your ear?
88551CLAUDIOGod bless me from a challenge!
88651BENEDICK[Aside to CLAUDIO] 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.
88751CLAUDIOWell, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.
88851DON PEDROWhat, a feast, a feast?
88951CLAUDIOI' 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?
89051BENEDICKSir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
89151DON PEDROI'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, transshape thy particular virtues: yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy.
89251CLAUDIOFor the which she wept heartily and said she cared not.
89351DON PEDROYea, 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.
89451CLAUDIOAll, all; and, moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.
89551DON PEDROBut when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head?
89651CLAUDIOYea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick the married man'?
89751BENEDICKFare 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.
898(stage directions)51[Exit]
89951DON PEDROHe is in earnest.
90051CLAUDIOIn most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.
90151DON PEDROAnd hath challenged thee.
90251CLAUDIOMost sincerely.
90351DON PEDROWhat a pretty thing man is when he goes in his doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
90451CLAUDIOHe is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.
90551DON PEDROBut, soft you, let me be: pluck up, my heart, and be sad. Did he not say, my brother was fled?
906(stage directions)51[Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO]
90751DOGBERRYCome you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
90851DON PEDROHow now? two of my brother's men bound! Borachio one!
90951CLAUDIOHearken after their offence, my lord.
91051DON PEDROOfficers, what offence have these men done?
91151DOGBERRYMarry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
91251DON PEDROFirst, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge.
91351CLAUDIORightly reasoned, and in his own division: and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.
91451DON PEDROWho 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?
91551BORACHIOSweet prince, let me go no farther 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.
91651DON PEDRORuns not this speech like iron through your blood?
91751CLAUDIOI have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.
91851DON PEDROBut did my brother set thee on to this?
91951BORACHIOYea, and paid me richly for the practise of it.
92051DON PEDROHe is composed and framed of treachery: And fled he is upon this villany.
92151CLAUDIOSweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I loved it first.
92251DOGBERRYCome, 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.
92351VERGESHere, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.
924(stage directions)51[Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton]
92551LEONATOWhich 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?
92651BORACHIOIf you would know your wronger, look on me.
92751LEONATOArt thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd Mine innocent child?
92851BORACHIOYea, even I alone.
92951LEONATONo, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself: Here stand a pair of honourable men; A third is fled, that had a hand in it. I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death: Record it with your high and worthy deeds: 'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
93051CLAUDIOI know not how to pray your patience; Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself; Impose me to what penance your invention Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not But in mistaking.
93151DON PEDROBy 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.
93251LEONATOI cannot bid you bid my daughter live; That were impossible: but, I pray you both, Possess the people in Messina here How innocent she died; and if your love Can labour ought in sad invention, Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night: To-morrow morning come you to my house, And since you could not be my son-in-law, Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter, Almost the copy of my child that's dead, And she alone is heir to both of us: Give her the right you should have given her cousin, And so dies my revenge.
93351CLAUDIOO noble sir, Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me! I do embrace your offer; and dispose For henceforth of poor Claudio.
93451LEONATOTo-morrow then I will expect your coming; To-night I take my leave. This naughty man Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, Who I believe was pack'd in all this wrong, Hired to it by your brother.
93551BORACHIONo, by my soul, she was not, Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me, But always hath been just and virtuous In any thing that I do know by her.
93651DOGBERRYMoreover, 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 be 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.
93751LEONATOI thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
93851DOGBERRYYour worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you.
93951LEONATOThere's for thy pains.
94051DOGBERRYGod save the foundation!
94151LEONATOGo, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.
94251DOGBERRYI 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.
943(stage directions)51[Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES]
94451LEONATOUntil to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.
94551ANTONIOFarewell, my lords: we look for you to-morrow.
94651DON PEDROWe will not fail.
94751CLAUDIOTo-night I'll mourn with Hero.
94851LEONATO[To the Watch] Bring you these fellows on. We'll talk with Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.
949(stage directions)51[Exeunt, severally]
950(stage directions)52[Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting]
95152BENEDICKPray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
95252MARGARETWill you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?
95352BENEDICKIn so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.
95452MARGARETTo have no man come over me! why, shall I always keep below stairs?
95552BENEDICKThy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; it catches.
95652MARGARETAnd yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
95752BENEDICKA most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a woman: and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice: I give thee the bucklers.
95852MARGARETGive us the swords; we have bucklers of our own.
95952BENEDICKIf you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
96052MARGARETWell, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think hath legs.
96152BENEDICKAnd therefore will come. [Exit MARGARET] [Sings] The god of love, That sits above, And knows me, and knows me, How pitiful I deserve,-- I mean in singing; but in loving, Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and a whole bookful of these quondam carpet-mangers, 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 rhyme; I have tried: I can find out no rhyme to 'lady' but 'baby,' an innocent rhyme; for 'scorn,' 'horn,' a hard rhyme; for, 'school,' 'fool,' a babbling rhyme; very ominous endings: no, I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms. [Enter BEATRICE] Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?
96252BEATRICEYea, signior, and depart when you bid me.
96352BENEDICKO, stay but till then!
96452BEATRICE'Then' is spoken; fare you well now: and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came; which is, with knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.
96552BENEDICKOnly foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.
96652BEATRICEFoul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed.
96752BENEDICKThou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
96852BEATRICEFor 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?
96952BENEDICKSuffer love! a good epithet! I do suffer love indeed, for I love thee against my will.
97052BEATRICEIn 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.
97152BENEDICKThou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
97252BEATRICEIt appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.
97352BENEDICKAn old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the lime 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.
97452BEATRICEAnd how long is that, think you?
97552BENEDICKQuestion: 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?
97652BEATRICEVery ill.
97752BENEDICKAnd how do you?
97852BEATRICEVery ill too.
97952BENEDICKServe God, love me and mend. There will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.
980(stage directions)52[Enter URSULA]
98152URSULAMadam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's old coil at home: it is proved my Lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused; and Don John is the author of all, who is fed and gone. Will you come presently?
98252BEATRICEWill you go hear this news, signior?
98352BENEDICKI will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes; and moreover I will go with thee to thy uncle's.
984(stage directions)52[Exeunt]
985(stage directions)53[Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and three or four with tapers]
98653CLAUDIOIs this the monument of Leonato?
98753LORDIt is, my lord.
98853CLAUDIO[Reading out of a scroll] Done to death by slanderous tongues Was the Hero that here lies: Death, in guerdon of her wrongs, Gives her fame which never dies. So the life that died with shame Lives in death with glorious fame. Hang thou there upon the tomb, Praising her when I am dumb. Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. SONG. 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, Heavily, heavily.
98953CLAUDIONow, unto thy bones good night! Yearly will I do this rite.
99053DON PEDROGood morrow, masters; put your torches out: The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day, Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey. Thanks to you all, and leave us: fare you well.
99153CLAUDIOGood morrow, masters: each his several way.
99253DON PEDROCome, let us hence, and put on other weeds; And then to Leonato's we will go.
99353CLAUDIOAnd Hymen now with luckier issue speed's Than this for whom we render'd up this woe.
99554FRIAR FRANCISDid I not tell you she was innocent?
99654LEONATOSo are the prince and Claudio, who accused her Upon the error that you heard debated: But Margaret was in some fault for this, Although against her will, as it appears In the true course of all the question.
99754ANTONIOWell, I am glad that all things sort so well.
99854BENEDICKAnd so am I, being else by faith enforced To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
99954LEONATOWell, daughter, and you gentle-women all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves, And when I send for you, come hither mask'd. [Exeunt Ladies] The prince and Claudio promised by this hour To visit me. You know your office, brother: You must be father to your brother's daughter And give her to young Claudio.
100054ANTONIOWhich I will do with confirm'd countenance.
100154BENEDICKFriar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
100254FRIAR FRANCISTo do what, signior?
100354BENEDICKTo bind me, or undo me; one of them. Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
100454LEONATOThat eye my daughter lent her: 'tis most true.
100554BENEDICKAnd I do with an eye of love requite her.
100654LEONATOThe sight whereof I think you had from me, From Claudio and the prince: but what's your will?
100754BENEDICKYour answer, sir, is enigmatical: But, for my will, my will is your good will May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd In the state of honourable marriage: In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
100854LEONATOMy heart is with your liking.
100954FRIAR FRANCISAnd my help. Here comes the prince and Claudio.
1010(stage directions)54[Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, and two or three others]
101154DON PEDROGood morrow to this fair assembly.
101254LEONATOGood morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio: We here attend you. Are you yet determined To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
101354CLAUDIOI'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
101454LEONATOCall her forth, brother; here's the friar ready.
1015(stage directions)54[Exit ANTONIO]
101654DON PEDROGood morrow, Benedick. Why, what's the matter, That you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
101754CLAUDIOI think he thinks upon the savage bull. Tush, fear not, man; we'll tip thy horns with gold And all Europa shall rejoice at thee, As once Europa did at lusty Jove, When he would play the noble beast in love.
101854BENEDICKBull Jove, sir, had an amiable low; And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow, And got a calf in that same noble feat Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
101954CLAUDIOFor this I owe you: here comes other reckonings. [Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked] Which is the lady I must seize upon?
102054ANTONIOThis same is she, and I do give you her.
102154CLAUDIOWhy, then she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.
102254LEONATONo, that you shall not, till you take her hand Before this friar and swear to marry her.
102354CLAUDIOGive me your hand: before this holy friar, I am your husband, if you like of me.
102454HEROAnd when I lived, I was your other wife: [Unmasking] And when you loved, you were my other husband.
102554CLAUDIOAnother Hero!
102654HERONothing certainer: One Hero died defiled, but I do live, And surely as I live, I am a maid.
102754DON PEDROThe former Hero! Hero that is dead!
102854LEONATOShe died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
102954FRIAR FRANCISAll 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.
103054BENEDICKSoft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?
103154BEATRICE[Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?
103254BENEDICKDo not you love me?
103354BEATRICEWhy, no; no more than reason.
103454BENEDICKWhy, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio Have been deceived; they swore you did.
103554BEATRICEDo not you love me?
103654BENEDICKTroth, no; no more than reason.
103754BEATRICEWhy, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula Are much deceived; for they did swear you did.
103854BENEDICKThey swore that you were almost sick for me.
103954BEATRICEThey swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
104054BENEDICK'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
104154BEATRICENo, truly, but in friendly recompense.
104254LEONATOCome, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
104354CLAUDIOAnd 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.
104454HEROAnd here's another Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.
104554BENEDICKA miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts. Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.
104654BEATRICEI 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.
104754BENEDICKPeace! I will stop your mouth.
1048(stage directions)54[Kissing her]
104954DON PEDROHow dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
105054BENEDICKI'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.
105154CLAUDIOI had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double-dealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceedingly narrowly to thee.
105254BENEDICKCome, come, we are friends: let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and our wives' heels.
105354LEONATOWe'll have dancing afterward.
105454BENEDICKFirst, of my word; therefore play, music. Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife: there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.
1055(stage directions)54[Enter a Messenger]
105654MESSENGERMy lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, And brought with armed men back to Messina.
105754BENEDICKThink not on him till to-morrow: I'll devise thee brave punishments for him. Strike up, pipers.
1058(stage directions)54[Dance]
1059(stage directions)54[Exeunt]

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