Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy!

Marg. 'Twill be heavier soon, by the weight of a

man.

Hero. Fye upon thee! art not ashamed ?

Marg. Of 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: an bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody : Is there any harm in the heavier for a husband? None, I think, an it be the right husband, and the right wife; otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy: Ask my lady Beatrice else, here she

comes.

Enter BEATRICE.

Hero. Good morrow, coz.
Beat. Good morrow, sweet Hero.

Hero. Why, how now! do you speak in the sick tune?

Beat. I am out of all other tune, methinks.

Marg. Clap us into-Light o' love; that goes without burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it.

Beat. Yea, Light olove, with your heels !—then if your husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no barns.

Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.

Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my troth I am exceeding ill: -hey ho!

Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?

Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H.2

Blarg. Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's no more sailing by the star.

Beat. What means the fool, trow?

Marg. Nothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire !

Hero. These gloves the count sent me, they are an excellent perfume.

Beat. I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell.

Marg. A maid, and stuffed ! there's goodly catching of cold.

Beat. O, God help me! God help me! how long have you profess'd apprehension ?

Marg. Ever since you left it : doth not my wit become me rarely?

Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap.-By my troth, I am sick.

Marg. Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle.

Beat. Benedictus! why Benedictus ? you have some moral 3 in this Benedictus.

Marg. Moral ? 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

z i, e. for an ache or pain.

3 Hidden meaning.

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 wo:

men do.

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ? ?
Marg. Not a false gallop.

Re-enter URSULA.

Urs. Madam, withdraw; the prince, the count, signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town, are come to fetch you to church.

Hero. Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

Another Room in Leonato's House,

Enter LEONATO, with DOGBERRY and VERGES,

Leon. What would you with me, honest neigh, bour?

Dogb. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.

Leon. Brief, I pray you; for you see, 'tis a busy time with me.

Dogb. Marry, this it is, sir.
Verg. Yes, in truth it is, sir.
Leon. What is it, my good friends ?

Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter; an old man, sir, and his wits are not so

[ocr errors]

blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest, as the skin between his brows.

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honester than I.

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Doyb. It 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 in my

heart to bestow it all of your worship. Leon. All thy tediousness on me! ha!

Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times 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.

Verg. And so am I.
Leon. I would fain know what

you

have to say.' Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, have ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.

Dogb. A 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! 4-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!

4 It is worth seeing.

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.

Dogb. Gifts, that God gives.
Leon. I must leave you.

Dogb. One word, sir: our watch, sir, have, indeed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your wor. ship.

Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great haste, as it may appear

unto you.

Dogb. It shall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you go:

fare
you

well. Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband. Leon. I will wait upon them ; I am ready.

[Ereunt LEONATO and Messenger. Dogb. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol; we are now to examination these men.

Verg. And we must do it wisely.

Dogh. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's that [Touching his forehead.] shall drive some of them to a non com: only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the gaol.

[Ereunt.

« PreviousContinue »