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Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it; Enter Hero, MARGARET, and Ursula.

But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick,

To wish him wrestle with affection, Hero. Good Margaret, run thee to the parlour; And never to let Beatrice know of it. There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice

Urs. Why did you so ? Doth not the gentleman Proposing with the Prince and Claudio :

Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed, Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula As ever Beatrice shall couch upon ? Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve Is all of her: say, that thou overheard'st us; As much as may be yielded to a man; And bid her steal into the pleached bower,

But nature never fram'd a woman's heart Where honey-suckles, ripen’d by the sun,

Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice :
Forbid the sun to enter; like favourites,

Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride Misprising what they look on; and her wit
Against that power that bred it.—There will she Values itself so highly, that to her
hide her,

All matter else seems weak. She cannot love,
To listen our propose. This is thy office; Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.

She is so self-endeared. Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, Urs.

Sure, I think so; presently.

[Erit. And therefore, certainly, it were not good Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come, She knew his love, lest she make sport at it. As we do trace this alley up and down,

Hero. Why, you speak truth. I never yet saw Our talk must only be of Benedick:

man, When I do name him, let it be thy part

How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd, To praise him more than ever man did merit. But she would spell him backward: if fair-fac’d, My talk to thee must be, how Benedick

She'd swear the gentleman should be her sister:
Is sick in love with Beatrice: of this matter If black, why, nature, drawing of an antick,
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,

Made a foul blot: if tall, a lance ill-headed :
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin; If low, an agate very vilely cut:
Enter BEATRICE, behind.

If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds:

If silent, why, a block moved with none.
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs So turns she every man the wrong side out,
Close by the ground, to hear our conference. And never gives to truth and virtue that

Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,

Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable. And greedily devour the treacherous bait :

Hero. No; not to be so odd, and from all fashions So angle we for Beatrice; who even now

As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable. Is couched in the woodbine coverture.

But who dare tell her so? If I should speak, Fear you not my part of the dialogue.

She would mock me into air: O! she would laugh Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose

me nothing

Out of myself, press me to death with wit. Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.

Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire, No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;

Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly: I know, her spirits are as coy and wild

It were a better death than die with mocks,
As haggards of the rock.

Which is as bad as die with tickling.
But are you sure

Urs. Yet tell her of it: hear what she will say. That Benedick loves Beatrice só entirely?

Hero. No; rather I will go to Benedick, Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed And counsel him to fight against his passion : lord.

And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, ma- To stain my cousin with. One doth not know, dam?

How much an ill word may empoison liking.


Urs. O! do not do your cousin such a wrong. Beat. [Advancing.] What fire is in mine ears ? She cannot be so much without true judgment,

Can this be true ? (Having so swift and excellent a wit,

Stand I condemn’d for pride and scorn so much? As she is prizid to have,) as to refuse

Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu! So rare a gentleman as signior Benedick.

No glory lives behind the back of such. Hero. He is the only man of Italy,

And, Benedick, love on: I will requite thee, Always excepted my dear Claudio.

Tamning my wild heart to thy loving hand. Urs. I pray you, be not angry with me, ma- If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee dam,

To bind our loves up in a holy band; Speaking my fancy: signior Benedick,

For others say thou dost deserve, and I For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour, Believe it better than reportingly.

[Erit. Goes foremost in report through Italy.

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name. SCENE II.-A Room in LEONATO's House.

Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.When are you married, madam?

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, BENEDICK, and Hero. Why, every day ;-to-morrow. Come,


D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be I'll show thee some attires, and have thy counsel, consuminate, and then go I toward Arragon. Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.

Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll Urs. [Asidc.) She's Jimd, I warrant you: we

vouchsafe me. have caught her, madam.

D. Pedro. Nay; that would be as great a soil in Hero. [Aside.] If it prove so, then loving goes the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child by haps:

his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. only be bold with Benedick for his company; for

[Ercunt Hero and URSULA. from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot,

go in :

he is all mirth: he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at there is no believing old signs: a' brushes his hat o' him. He hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his mornings; what should that bode? tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's ? his tongue speaks.

Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been. with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath Leon. So say I: methinks, you are sadder. already stuffed tennis-balls. Claud. I hope, he be in love.

León. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by D. Pedro. Hang him, truant! there's no true the loss of a beard. drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love. D. Pedro. Nay, a' rubs himself with civet: can If he be sad, he wants money.

you smell him out by that? Bene. I have the tooth-ache.

Claud. That's as much as to say, the sweet D. Pedro. Draw it.

youth's in love. Bene. Hang it!

D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melanClaud. You must hang it first, and draw it after- choly. wards.

claud. And when was he wont to wash his face? D. Pedro. What! sigh for the tooth-ache ? D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm? which, I hear what they say of him.

Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now that has it.

crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops. Claud. Yet say I, he is in love.

D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him. Conclude, conclude, he is in love. him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange dis- Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him. guises; as to be a Dutchman to-day, a Frenchman D. Pedro. That would I know too: I warrant, to-morrow, or in the shape of two countries at one that knows him not. once; as a German from the waist downward, all Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and in despite slops, and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no of all dies for him. doublet. Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as upwards. you would have it appear he is.

Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache.


[graphic][merged small]

Old signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.

[Exeunt BENEDICK and Leonato. D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

Claud. 'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with Beatrice, and then

the two bears will not bite one another when they

Enter John.
John. My lord and brother, God save you.
D. Pedro. Good den, brother.

John. If your leisure served, I would speak with you.


D. Pedro. In private ?

my witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and John. If it please you; yet count Claudio may let the issue show itsell. hear, for what I would speak of concerns him. D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned ! D. Pedro. What's the matter?

Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting ! John. [To CLAUDIO.] Means your lordship to John. O plague right well prevented! So will be married to-morrow?

you say, when you have seen the sequel. D. Pedro. You know, he does.

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

SCENE III.-A Street. Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, discover it.

Enter DOGBERRY and Verges, with the Watch. John. You may think, I love you not: let that Dogb. Are you good men and true? appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should now will manifest. For my brother, I think, he suffer salvation, body and soul. holds you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for to effect your ensuing marriage; surely, suit ill them, if they should have any allegiance in them, spent, and labour ill bestowed !

being chosen for the prince's watch. D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

Verg. Well, give them their charge, neighbour John. I came hither to tell you; and, circum- Dogberry. stances shortened, (for she has been too long a talking Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless of,) the lady is disloyal.

man to be constable ? Claud. Who? Hero?

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal, John. Even she: Leonato's Hero, your Hero, for they can write and read. every man's Hero.

Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal. God Claud. Disloyal ?

hath blessed you with a good name: to be a wellJohn. The word is too good to paint out her favoured man is the gift of fortune, but to write and wickedness : I could say, she were worse: think read comes by nature. you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. 2 Watch. Both which, master constable,Wonder not till further warrant: go but with me Dogb. You have : I knew it would be your to-night, you shall see her chamber-window en

Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God tered, even the night before her wedding-day: if thanks, and make no boast of it; and for your you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it writing and reading, let that appear when there is would better fit your honour to change your mind. no need of such vanity. You are thought here to Claud. May this be so ?

be the most senseless and fit man for the constable D. Pedro. I will not think it.

of the watch; therefore bear you the lantern. This John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess is your charge. You shall comprehend all vagrom not that you know. If you will follow me, I will men: you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's show you enough; and when you have seen more, and heard more, proceed accordingly.

2 Watch. How, if a' will not stand ? Claud. If I see any thing to-night, why I should Dogb. Why then, take po note of him, but let not marry her to-morrow, in the congregation, where him go; and presently call the rest of the watch I should wed, there will I shame her.

together, and thank God you are rid of a knave. D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.

is none of the prince's subjects. John. I will disparage her no further, till you are Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none




but the prince's subjects.—You shall also make no Con. I will owe thee an answer for that; and noise in the streets; for for the watch to babble and now forward with thy tale. talk is most tolerable, and not to be endured.

Bora. Stand thee close, then, under this pent2 Watch. We will rather sleep than talk: we house, for it drizzles rain, and I will, like a true know what belongs to a watch.

drunkard, utter all to thee. Dogb. Why, you speak like an ancient and most Watch. (Aside.] Some treason, masters; yet quiet watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping stand close. should offend; only, have a care that your bills be Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don not stolen. Well, you are to call at all the ale- John a thousand ducats. houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed. Con. Is it possible that any villainy should be so 2 Watch. How, if they will not?

dear? Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are Bora. Thou should'st rather ask, if it were possober: if they make you not then the better answer, sible any villainy should be so rich; for when rich you may say, they are not the men you took them for. villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may 2 Watch. Well, sir.

make what price they will. Dogb. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, Con. I wonder at it. by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and, Bora. That shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make knowest, that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or with them, why, the more is for your honesty. a cloak, is nothing to a man.

2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, shall we Con. Yes, it is apparel. not lay hands on him ?

Bora. I mean, the fashion. Dogb. Truly, by your office you may; but, I Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion. think, they that touch pitch will be defiled. The Bora. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, fool. But seest thou not what a deformed thief is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal this fashion is ? out of your company:

Watch. (Aside.] I know that Deformed; a' has Verg. You have been always called a merciful been a vile thief this seven year: a' goes up and man, partner.

down like a gentleman. I remember bis name. Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody? will; much more a man who hath any honesty in Con. No: 'twas the vane on the house. him.

Bora. Sees thou not, I say, what a deformed Verg. If

hear a child

in the night, you

thief this fashion is ? how giddily a' turns about all must call to the nurse, and bid her still it.

the hot bloods between fourteen and five and thirty? 2 Watch. How, if the nurse be asleep, and will sometime, fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers not hear us?

in the reechy painting; sometime, like God Bel's Dogb. Why then, depart in peace, and let the priests in the old church window; sometime, like child wake her with crying; for the ewe that will the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten not hear her lamb when it baes, will never answer tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his a calf when he bleats.

club? Verg. 'Tis very true.

Con. All this I see, and I see that the fashion Dogb. This is the end of the charge. You, wears out more apparel than the man.

But art constable, are to present the prince's own person : not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of him.

the fashion? Verg. Nay by'r lady, that, I think, a' cannot. Bora. Not so, neither; but know, that I have

Dogb. Five shillings to one on't, with any man to-night wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentlethat knows the statutes, he may stay him: marry, woman, by the name of Hero: she leans me out at not without the prince be willing; for, indeed, the her mistress' chamber-window, bids me a thousand watch ought to offend no man, and it is an offence times good night.--I tell this tale vilely :-) should to stay a man against his will.

first tell thee, how the Prince, Claudio, and my Verg. By'r lady, I think, it be so.

master, planted, and placed, and possessed by my Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: master Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this an there be any matter of weight chances, call up amiable encounter. me. Keep your fellows' counsels and your own, Con. And thought they Margaret was Hero? and good night. Come, neighbour.

Bora. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio; 2 Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge: but the devil, my master, knew she was Margaret, let us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them, and then all to-bed.

partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, Dogb. One word more, honest neighbours. I but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any pray you, watch about signior Leonato's door; for slander that Don John had made, away went the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great Claudio enraged; swore he would meet her, as he coil to-night. Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you. was appointed, next morning at the temple, and

(Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES. there, before the whole congregation, shame her Enter Borachio and CONRADE.

with what he saw over-night, and send her home

again without a husband. Bora. What! Conrade!

1 Watch. We charge you in the prince's name, Watch. (Aside.] Peace! stir not.

stand. Bora. Conrade, I say!

2 Watch. Call up the right master constable. Con. Here, man; I am at thy elbow.

We have here recovered the most dangerous piece Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought, of lechery, that ever was known in the commonthere would a scab follow.



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