Page images
PDF
EPUB

Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses ;O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!

Levn. She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the ecstasy" hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself ; It is

very

true. D. Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.

Claud. To what end? He would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.

D. Pedro. An he should, it were an alms to hang him : She's an excellent sweet lady; and, out of all suspicion, she is virtuous.

Claud. And she is exceeding wise.
D. Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick.

Leon. O 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.

D. Pedro. I would, she had bestowed this dotage on me; I would have daff’da all other respects, and made her half myself: I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will say.

Leon. Were it good, think you ?

Claud. Hero thinks surely, she will die: for she says, she will die if he love her not; and she will die ere she makes her love known; and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breath of her accustomed crossness.

D. Pedro. She doth well : if she should make

1 Alienation of mind.

2 Thrown off.

tender of her love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible 3 spirit.

Claud. He is a very proper4 man.

D. Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness.

Claud. (Fore God, and in my mind, very wise.

D. Pedro. He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

D. Pedro. As 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.

Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.

D. Pedro. And 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 see Benedick, and tell him of her love?

Claud. Never tell him, my lord; let her wear it out with good counsel.

Leon. Nay, that's impossible; she may wear her heart out first.

D. Pedro. Well, we'll 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.

Leon. My lord, will you walk ? dinner is ready:

3 Contemptuous.

* Handsome.

VOL. II.

M

Claud. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.

[Aside. D. Pedro. Let there be the same net 'spread for her; and that must your daughter and her gentlewoman 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.

[Aside. [Exeunt Don Pedro, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO.

Benedick advances from the arbour. Bene. 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 cạn 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,

5 Seriously carried on.

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.

Enter BEATRICE.

Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.

Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

Beat. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, I would not have come.

Bene. You take pleasure in the message?

Beat. Yea, 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.

[Erit. Bene. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you. come 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. . [Exit.

ACT III.

SCENE I. Leonato's Garden.

Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA. Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour; 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 honey-suckles, 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 propose : This is thy office,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, pre-
sently.

[Erit.
Hero. Now, 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. Now begin ;

• Discoursing

« PreviousContinue »