SCENE I. Before LEONATO'S house.
Enter LEONATO, HERO, and BEATRICE, with a MessengerLEONATO Messenger LEONATO Messenger LEONATO
A victory is twice itself when the achiever bringsMessenger
home full numbers. I find here that Don Peter hath
bestowed much honour on a young Florentine called Claudio.
Much deserved on his part and equally remembered byLEONATO Messenger
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.
I have already delivered him letters, and thereLEONATO Messenger LEONATO
appears much joy in him; even so much that joy could
not show itself modest enough without a badge of
A kind overflow of kindness: there are no facesBEATRICE Messenger LEONATO HERO Messenger BEATRICE
truer than those that are so washed. How much
better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!
He set up his bills here in Messina and challengedLEONATO Messenger BEATRICE
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.
You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it:Messenger BEATRICE Messenger BEATRICE LEONATO
he is a very valiant trencherman; he hath an
You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is aBEATRICE
kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her:
they never meet but there's a skirmish of wit
Alas! he gets nothing by that. In our lastMessenger BEATRICE
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.
Very easily possible: he wears his faith but asMessenger BEATRICE
the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the
No; an he were, I would burn my study. But, I prayMessenger BEATRICE
you, who is his companion? Is there no young
squarer now that will make a voyage with him to the devil?
O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease: heMessenger BEATRICE LEONATO BEATRICE Messenger
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.
Don Pedro is approached.DON PEDRO
Enter DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and BALTHASAR
Good Signior Leonato, you are come to meet yourLEONATO
trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid
cost, and you encounter it.
Never came trouble to my house in the likeness ofDON PEDRO LEONATO BENEDICK LEONATO DON PEDRO
your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should
remain; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides
and happiness takes his leave.
You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by thisBENEDICK
what you are, being a man. Truly, the lady fathers
herself. Be happy, lady; for you are like an
If Signior Leonato be her father, she would notBEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, as
like him as she is.
Is it possible disdain should die while she hathBENEDICK
such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick?
Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come
in her presence.
Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain IBEATRICE
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.
A dear happiness to women: they would else haveBENEDICK
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.
God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so someBEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK
gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate
I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, andBEATRICE DON PEDRO
so good a continuer. But keep your way, i' God's
name; I have done.
That is the sum of all, Leonato. Signior ClaudioLEONATO
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.
If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn.DON JOHN LEONATO DON PEDRO
To DON JOHNLet me bid you welcome, my lord: being reconciled to
the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.
Your hand, Leonato; we will go together.CLAUDIO BENEDICK CLAUDIO BENEDICK
Exeunt all except BENEDICK and CLAUDIO
Do you question me, as an honest man should do, forCLAUDIO BENEDICK
my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak
after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Why, i' faith, methinks she's too low for a highCLAUDIO BENEDICK CLAUDIO BENEDICK
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.
Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you thisCLAUDIO BENEDICK
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?
I can see yet without spectacles and I see no suchCLAUDIO BENEDICK
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?
Is't come to this? In faith, hath not the worldDON PEDRO BENEDICK DON PEDRO BENEDICK
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.
Re-enter DON PEDRO
You hear, Count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumbCLAUDIO BENEDICK
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
Like the old tale, my lord: 'it is not so, norCLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO BENEDICK CLAUDIO DON PEDRO BENEDICK
'twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be
That I neither feel how she should be loved norDON PEDRO CLAUDIO BENEDICK
know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that
fire cannot melt out of me: I will die in it at the stake.
That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that sheDON PEDRO BENEDICK
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.
With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord,DON PEDRO BENEDICK
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
If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and shootDON PEDRO BENEDICK
at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped on
the shoulder, and called Adam.
The savage bull may; but if ever the sensibleCLAUDIO DON PEDRO BENEDICK DON PEDRO
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.'
Well, you temporize with the hours. In theBENEDICK CLAUDIO DON PEDRO BENEDICK
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
Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of yourCLAUDIO DON PEDRO
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.
My love is thine to teach: teach it but how,CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
O, my lord,DON PEDRO
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.
Thou wilt be like a lover presentlyCLAUDIO
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?
How sweetly you do minister to love,DON PEDRO
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.
What 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.
SCENE II. A room in LEONATO's house.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, meetingLEONATO ANTONIO LEONATO ANTONIO
As the event stamps them: but they have a goodLEONATO ANTONIO LEONATO
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.
No, 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 AttendantsCousins, 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.
SCENE III. The same.
Enter DON JOHN and CONRADECONRADE DON JOHN CONRADE DON JOHN CONRADE DON JOHN
I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou art,CONRADE
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.
Yea, but you must not make the full show of thisDON JOHN
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.
I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose inCONRADE DON JOHN BORACHIO
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.
I came yonder from a great supper: the prince yourDON JOHN
brother is royally entertained by Leonato: and I
can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?BORACHIO DON JOHN BORACHIO DON JOHN BORACHIO DON JOHN BORACHIO
What is he for a fool that betroths himself to
Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was smoking aDON JOHN
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.
Come, come, let us thither: this may prove food toCONRADE DON JOHN
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?
Let us to the great supper: their cheer is theBORACHIO
greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of
my mind! Shall we go prove what's to be done?
SCENE I. A hall in LEONATO'S house.
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and othersLEONATO ANTONIO BEATRICE HERO BEATRICE
He were an excellent man that were made just in theLEONATO
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.
Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John'sBEATRICE
mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior
With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and moneyLEONATO ANTONIO BEATRICE
enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman
in the world, if a' could get her good-will.
Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God'sLEONATO BEATRICE
sending that way; for it is said, 'God sends a curst
cow short horns;' but to a cow too curst he sends none.
Just, if he send me no husband; for the whichLEONATO BEATRICE
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.
What should I do with him? dress him in my apparelLEONATO BEATRICE
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.
No, but to the gate; and there will the devil meetANTONIO BEATRICE
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.
Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsyLEONATO BEATRICE
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
Not till God make men of some other metal thanLEONATO BEATRICE
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.
The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you beLEONATO BEATRICE LEONATO
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.
The revellers are entering, brother: make good room.DON PEDRO HERO
All put on their masks
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BALTHASAR, DON JOHN, BORACHIO, MARGARET, URSULA and others, masked
So you walk softly and look sweetly and say nothing,DON PEDRO HERO DON PEDRO HERO DON PEDRO HERO DON PEDRO
I am yours for the walk; and especially when I walk away.
Speak low, if you speak love.BALTHASAR MARGARET BALTHASAR MARGARET BALTHASAR MARGARET BALTHASAR MARGARET BALTHASAR URSULA ANTONIO URSULA ANTONIO URSULA
Drawing her aside
You could never do him so ill-well, unless you wereANTONIO URSULA
the very man. Here's his dry hand up and down: you
are he, you are he.
Come, come, do you think I do not know you by yourBEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
excellent wit? can virtue hide itself? Go to,
mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an
That I was disdainful, and that I had my good witBENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
out of the 'Hundred Merry Tales:'--well this was
Signior Benedick that said so.
Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool;BENEDICK BEATRICE
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.
Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me;BENEDICK BEATRICE
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.
MusicWe must follow the leaders.
Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them atDON JOHN
the next turning.
Dance. Then exeunt all except DON JOHN, BORACHIO, and CLAUDIO
Sure my brother is amorous on Hero and hathBORACHIO DON JOHN CLAUDIO DON JOHN
withdrawn her father to break with him about it.
The ladies follow her and but one visor remains.
Signior, you are very near my brother in his love:CLAUDIO DON JOHN BORACHIO DON JOHN
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.
Come, let us to the banquet.CLAUDIO
Exeunt DON JOHN and BORACHIO
Thus answer I in the name of Benedick,BENEDICK CLAUDIO BENEDICK CLAUDIO 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!
Even to the next willow, about your own business,CLAUDIO BENEDICK
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.
Why, that's spoken like an honest drovier: so theyCLAUDIO BENEDICK CLAUDIO BENEDICK
sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would
have served you thus?
Alas, poor hurt fowl! now will he creep into sedges.DON PEDRO BENEDICK
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.
Re-enter DON PEDRO
Troth, my lord, I have played the part of Lady Fame.DON PEDRO BENEDICK
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.
The flat transgression of a schoolboy, who, beingDON PEDRO BENEDICK
overjoyed with finding a birds' nest, shows it his
companion, and he steals it.
Yet it had not been amiss the rod had been made,DON PEDRO BENEDICK DON PEDRO
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.
The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you: theBENEDICK
gentleman that danced with her told her she is much
wronged by you.
O, she misused me past the endurance of a block!DON PEDRO
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.
Look, here she comes.BENEDICK
Enter CLAUDIO, BEATRICE, HERO, and LEONATO
Will your grace command me any service to theDON PEDRO BENEDICK DON PEDRO BEATRICE
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?
Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gaveDON PEDRO BEATRICE
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.
So I would not he should do me, my lord, lest IDON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO BEATRICE
should prove the mother of fools. I have brought
Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, norDON PEDRO
well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and
something of that jealous complexion.
I' faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true;LEONATO
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!
Count, take of me my daughter, and with her myBEATRICE CLAUDIO
fortunes: his grace hath made the match, and an
grace say Amen to it.
Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I wereBEATRICE DON PEDRO BEATRICE
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.
Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps onCLAUDIO BEATRICE
the windy side of care. My cousin tells him in his
ear that he is in her heart.
Good Lord, for alliance! Thus goes every one to theDON PEDRO BEATRICE
world but I, and I am sunburnt; I may sit in a
corner and cry heigh-ho for a husband!
I would rather have one of your father's getting.DON PEDRO BEATRICE
Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your
father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.
No, my lord, unless I might have another forDON PEDRO
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.
Your silence most offends me, and to be merry bestBEATRICE
becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in
a merry hour.
No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then thereLEONATO BEATRICE DON PEDRO LEONATO
was a star danced, and under that was I born.
Cousins, God give you joy!
There's little of the melancholy element in her, myDON PEDRO LEONATO DON PEDRO LEONATO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO LEONATO
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.
Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a justDON PEDRO
seven-night; and a time too brief, too, to have all
things answer my mind.
Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing:LEONATO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO HERO DON PEDRO
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.
And 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: hi s glory shall be
ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in with me,
and I will tell you my drift.
SCENE II. The same.
Enter DON JOHN and BORACHIODON JOHN BORACHIO DON JOHN
Any bar, any cross, any impediment will beBORACHIO DON JOHN BORACHIO
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?
I think I told your lordship a year since, how muchDON JOHN BORACHIO
I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting
gentlewoman to Hero.
I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night,DON JOHN BORACHIO
appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber window.
The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you toDON JOHN BORACHIO
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.
Proof enough to misuse the prince, to vex Claudio,DON JOHN BORACHIO
to undo Hero and kill Leonato. Look you for any
Go, then; find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro andDON JOHN
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.
Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will putBORACHIO DON JOHN
it in practise. Be cunning in the working this, and
thy fee is a thousand ducats.
SCENE III. LEONATO'S orchard.
Boy!Boy BENEDICK Boy BENEDICK
I know that; but I would have thee hence, and here again.DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO
Exit BoyI 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.
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO
O, very well, my lord: the music ended,DON PEDRO BALTHASAR DON PEDRO
We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.
Enter BALTHASAR with Music
It is the witness still of excellencyBALTHASAR
To put a strange face on his own perfection.
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
Because you talk of wooing, I will sing;DON PEDRO BALTHASAR DON PEDRO BENEDICK
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
To her he thinks not worthy, yet he wooes,
Yet will he swear he loves.
Now, divine air! now is his soul ravished! Is itBALTHASAR
not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out
of men's bodies? Well, a horn for my money, when
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,DON PEDRO BALTHASAR DON PEDRO BENEDICK
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.
An he had been a dog that should have howled thus,DON PEDRO
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
Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray thee,BALTHASAR DON PEDRO
get us some excellent music; for to-morrow night we
would have it at the Lady Hero's chamber-window.
Do so: farewell.CLAUDIO LEONATO
Exit BALTHASARCome hither, Leonato. What was it you told me of
to-day, that your niece Beatrice was in love with
No, nor I neither; but most wonderful that sheBENEDICK LEONATO
should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in
all outward behaviors seemed ever to abhor.
By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to thinkDON PEDRO CLAUDIO LEONATO
of it but that she loves him with an enraged
affection: it is past the infinite of thought.
O God, counterfeit! There was never counterfeit ofDON PEDRO CLAUDIO LEONATO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
passion came so near the life of passion as she
How, how, pray you? You amaze me: I would have ILEONATO BENEDICK
thought her spirit had been invincible against all
assaults of affection.
I should think this a gull, but that theCLAUDIO DON PEDRO LEONATO CLAUDIO
white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot,
sure, hide himself in such reverence.
'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: 'ShallLEONATO
I,' says she, 'that have so oft encountered him
with scorn, write to him that I love him?'
This says she now when she is beginning to write toCLAUDIO LEONATO CLAUDIO LEONATO
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.
O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence;CLAUDIO
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.'
Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs,LEONATO
beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; 'O
sweet Benedick! God give me patience!'
She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and theDON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my daughter
is sometime afeared she will do a desperate outrage
to herself: it is very true.
An he should, it were an alms to hang him. She's anCLAUDIO DON PEDRO LEONATO
excellent sweet lady; and, out of all suspicion,
she is virtuous.
O, my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tenderDON PEDRO
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.
I would she had bestowed this dotage on me: I wouldLEONATO CLAUDIO
have daffed all other respects and made her half
myself. I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear
what a' will say.
Hero thinks surely she will die; for she says sheDON PEDRO
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
She doth well: if she should make tender of herCLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the
man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.
As Hector, I assure you: and in the managing ofLEONATO
quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he
avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes
them with a most Christian-like fear.
If he do fear God, a' must necessarily keep peace:DON PEDRO
if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a
quarrel with fear and trembling.
And so will he do; for the man doth fear God,CLAUDIO LEONATO DON PEDRO
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?
Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter:LEONATO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
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.
Let there be the same net spread for her; and thatBENEDICK
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.
Exeunt DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO
[Coming forward] This can be no trick: theBEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
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
I took no more pains for those thanks than you takeBENEDICK BEATRICE
pains to thank me: if it had been painful, I would
not have come.
Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife'sBENEDICK
point and choke a daw withal. You have no stomach,
signior: fare you well.
Ha! '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.
SCENE I. LEONATO'S garden.
Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULAHERO
Good Margaret, run thee to the parlor;MARGARET HERO
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.
Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,URSULA
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, behindNow begin;
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.
The pleasant'st angling is to see the fishHERO
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.
Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothingURSULA HERO URSULA HERO
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.
Approaching the bowerNo, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;
I know her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggerds of the rock.
They did entreat me to acquaint her of it;URSULA
But I persuaded them, if they loved Benedick,
To wish him wrestle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.
Why did you so? Doth not the gentlemanHERO
Deserve as full as fortunate a bed
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?
O god of love! I know he doth deserveURSULA
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.
Sure, I think so;HERO
And therefore certainly it were not good
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it.
Why, you speak truth. I never yet saw man,URSULA HERO
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.
No, not to be so odd and from all fashionsURSULA HERO
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.
No; rather I will go to BenedickURSULA
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.
O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.HERO URSULA
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.
I pray you, be not angry with me, madam,HERO URSULA HERO
Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.
Why, every day, to-morrow. Come, go in:URSULA HERO
I'll show thee some attires, and have thy counsel
Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.
If it proves so, then loving goes by haps:BEATRICE
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
Exeunt HERO and URSULA
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.
SCENE II. A room in LEONATO'S house
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATODON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new glossBENEDICK LEONATO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
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
Hang him, truant! there's no true drop of blood inBENEDICK DON PEDRO BENEDICK CLAUDIO DON PEDRO LEONATO BENEDICK CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
him, to be truly touched with love: if he be sad,
he wants money.
There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it beCLAUDIO
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.
If he be not in love with some woman, there is noDON PEDRO CLAUDIO
believing old signs: a' brushes his hat o'
mornings; what should that bode?
No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him,LEONATO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO BENEDICK
and the old ornament of his cheek hath already
Yet is this no charm for the toothache. OldDON PEDRO CLAUDIO
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
'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by thisDON JOHN DON PEDRO DON JOHN DON PEDRO DON JOHN DON PEDRO DON JOHN DON PEDRO DON JOHN CLAUDIO DON JOHN
played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two
bears will not bite one another when they meet.
Enter DON JOHN
You may think I love you not: let that appearDON PEDRO DON JOHN
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.
I came hither to tell you; and, circumstancesCLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON JOHN
shortened, for she has been too long a talking of,
the lady is disloyal.
The word is too good to paint out her wickedness; ICLAUDIO DON PEDRO DON JOHN
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.
If you dare not trust that you see, confess notCLAUDIO
that you know: if you will follow me, I will show
you enough; and when you have seen more and heard
more, proceed accordingly.
If I see any thing to-night why I should not marryDON PEDRO DON JOHN
her to-morrow in the congregation, where I should
wed, there will I shame her.
I will disparage her no farther till you are myDON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON JOHN
witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and
let the issue show itself.
SCENE III. A street.
Enter DOGBERRY and VERGES with the WatchDOGBERRY VERGES DOGBERRY
Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, ifVERGES DOGBERRY First Watchman DOGBERRY
they should have any allegiance in them, being
chosen for the prince's watch.
Come hither, neighbour Seacole. God hath blessedSecond Watchman DOGBERRY
you with a good name: to be a well-favoured man is
the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.
You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well,Second Watchman DOGBERRY
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.
Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go; andVERGES DOGBERRY
presently call the rest of the watch together and
thank God you are rid of a knave.
True, and they are to meddle with none but theWatchman DOGBERRY
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.
Why, you speak like an ancient and most quietWatchman DOGBERRY
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.
Why, then, let them alone till they are sober: ifWatchman DOGBERRY
they make you not then the better answer, you may
say they are not the men you took them for.
If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtueWatchman DOGBERRY
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.
Truly, by your office, you may; but I think theyVERGES DOGBERRY VERGES Watchman DOGBERRY
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.
Why, then, depart in peace, and let the child wakeVERGES DOGBERRY
her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her
lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats.
This is the end of the charge:--you, constable, areVERGES DOGBERRY
to present the prince's own person: if you meet the
prince in the night, you may stay him.
Five shillings to one on't, with any man that knowsVERGES DOGBERRY
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.
Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there beWatchman
any matter of weight chances, call up me: keep your
fellows' counsels and your own; and good night.
Well, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit hereDOGBERRY
upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.
One word more, honest neighbours. I pray you watchBORACHIO Watchman BORACHIO CONRADE BORACHIO CONRADE BORACHIO
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.
Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES
Enter BORACHIO and CONRADE
Stand thee close, then, under this pent-house, forWatchman BORACHIO CONRADE BORACHIO
it drizzles rain; and I will, like a true drunkard,
utter all to thee.
Thou shouldst rather ask if it were possible anyCONRADE BORACHIO
villany should be so rich; for when rich villains
have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what
price they will.
That shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou knowest thatCONRADE BORACHIO CONRADE BORACHIO
the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is
nothing to a man.
Tush! I may as well say the fool's the fool. ButWatchman
seest thou not what a deformed thief this fashion
[Aside] I know that Deformed; a' has been a vileBORACHIO CONRADE BORACHIO
thief this seven year; a' goes up and down like a
gentleman: I remember his name.
Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief thisCONRADE
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?
All this I see; and I see that the fashion wearsBORACHIO
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?
Not so, neither: but know that I have to-nightCONRADE BORACHIO
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.
Two of them did, the prince and Claudio; but theFirst Watchman Second Watchman
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.
Call up the right master constable. We have hereFirst Watchman CONRADE Second Watchman CONRADE First Watchman BORACHIO CONRADE
recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that
ever was known in the commonwealth.
SCENE IV. HERO's apartment.
Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULAHERO URSULA HERO URSULA
Well.MARGARET HERO MARGARET HERO MARGARET
I like the new tire within excellently, if the hairHERO MARGARET
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.
By my troth, 's but a night-gown in respect ofHERO MARGARET HERO MARGARET
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.
Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is notHERO BEATRICE HERO BEATRICE MARGARET BEATRICE
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.
Ye light o' love, with your heels! then, if yourMARGARET BEATRICE
husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall
lack no barns.
'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; tis time you wereMARGARET BEATRICE MARGARET BEATRICE MARGARET HERO BEATRICE MARGARET BEATRICE MARGARET BEATRICE MARGARET
ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill: heigh-ho!
Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus,HERO BEATRICE MARGARET
and lay it to your heart: it is the only thing for a qualm.
Moral! no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning; IBEATRICE MARGARET
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.
Not a false gallop.URSULA
Madam, withdraw: the prince, the count, SigniorHERO
Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the
town, are come to fetch you to church.
SCENE V. Another room in LEONATO'S house.
Enter LEONATO, with DOGBERRY and VERGESLEONATO DOGBERRY LEONATO DOGBERRY VERGES LEONATO DOGBERRY
Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off theVERGES DOGBERRY LEONATO DOGBERRY
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.
It pleases your worship to say so, but we are theLEONATO DOGBERRY
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.
Yea, an 'twere a thousand pound more than 'tis; forVERGES LEONATO VERGES
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.
Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting yourDOGBERRY
worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant
knaves as any in Messina.
A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as theyLEONATO DOGBERRY LEONATO DOGBERRY
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!
One word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeedLEONATO DOGBERRY LEONATO
comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would
have them this morning examined before your worship.
Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well.Messenger LEONATO
Enter a Messenger
I'll wait upon them: I am ready.DOGBERRY
Exeunt LEONATO and Messenger
Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacole;VERGES DOGBERRY
bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol: we
are now to examination these men.
We 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.
SCENE I. A church.
Enter DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, LEONATO, FRIAR FRANCIS, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, HERO, BEATRICE, and AttendantsLEONATO
Come, Friar Francis, be brief; only to the plainFRIAR FRANCIS CLAUDIO LEONATO FRIAR FRANCIS HERO FRIAR FRANCIS
form of marriage, and you shall recount their
particular duties afterwards.
If either of you know any inward impediment why youCLAUDIO HERO FRIAR FRANCIS LEONATO CLAUDIO BENEDICK CLAUDIO
should not be conjoined, charge you, on your souls,
to utter it.
Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave:LEONATO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Give me this maid, your daughter?
Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.LEONATO CLAUDIO LEONATO
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.
Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof,CLAUDIO
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity,--
I know what you would say: if I have known her,HERO CLAUDIO
You will say she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate the 'forehand sin:
I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity and comely love.
Out on thee! Seeming! I will write against it:HERO LEONATO DON PEDRO
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.
What should I speak?LEONATO DON JOHN BENEDICK HERO CLAUDIO
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.
Leonato, stand I here?LEONATO CLAUDIO
Is this the prince? is this the prince's brother?
Is this face Hero's? are our eyes our own?
Let me but move one question to your daughter;LEONATO HERO CLAUDIO HERO CLAUDIO
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
That you have in her, bid her answer truly.
Marry, that can Hero;HERO DON PEDRO
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.
Why, then are you no maiden. Leonato,DON JOHN
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.
Fie, fie! they are not to be named, my lord,CLAUDIO
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.
O Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been,LEONATO
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.
Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?BEATRICE DON JOHN
Come, let us go. These things, come thus to light,BENEDICK BEATRICE LEONATO
Smother her spirits up.
Exeunt DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, and CLAUDIO
O Fate! take not away thy heavy hand.BEATRICE FRIAR FRANCIS LEONATO FRIAR FRANCIS LEONATO
Death is the fairest cover for her shame
That may be wish'd for.
Wherefore! Why, doth not every earthly thingBENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE LEONATO
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!
Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger madeFRIAR FRANCIS
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.
Hear me a little;LEONATO
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.
Friar, it cannot be.FRIAR FRANCIS HERO
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?
They know that do accuse me; I know none:FRIAR FRANCIS BENEDICK
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!
Two of them have the very bent of honour;LEONATO
And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
The practise of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.
I know not. If they speak but truth of her,FRIAR FRANCIS
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.
Pause awhile,LEONATO FRIAR FRANCIS
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.
Marry, this well carried shall on her behalfBENEDICK
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.
Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:LEONATO FRIAR FRANCIS
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.
'Tis well consented: presently away;BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
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.
Exeunt all but BENEDICK and BEATRICE
As strange as the thing I know not. It were asBENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
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.
Is he not approved in the height a villain, thatBENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
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.
Princes and counties! Surely, a princely testimony,BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK
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.
Enough, 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.
SCENE II. A prison.
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIODOGBERRY VERGES Sexton DOGBERRY VERGES Sexton DOGBERRY BORACHIO DOGBERRY CONRADE DOGBERRY CONRADE BORACHIO DOGBERRY
Write down, that they hope they serve God: andCONRADE DOGBERRY
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?
A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you: but IBORACHIO DOGBERRY Sexton
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.
Master constable, you go not the way to examine:DOGBERRY
you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.
Yea, marry, that's the eftest way. Let the watchFirst Watchman DOGBERRY BORACHIO DOGBERRY Sexton Second Watchman DOGBERRY VERGES Sexton First Watchman
come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's
name, accuse these men.
And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, toDOGBERRY Sexton Watchman Sexton
disgrace Hero before the whole assembly. and not marry her.
And this is more, masters, than you can deny.DOGBERRY VERGES CONRADE DOGBERRY
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.
God's my life, where's the sexton? let him writeCONRADE DOGBERRY
down the prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them.
Thou naughty varlet!
Dost 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!
SCENE I. Before LEONATO'S house.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIOANTONIO LEONATO
I pray thee, cease thy counsel,ANTONIO LEONATO
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.
I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood;ANTONIO LEONATO
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.
There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will do so.ANTONIO
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.
Here comes the prince and Claudio hastily.DON PEDRO CLAUDIO LEONATO DON PEDRO LEONATO DON PEDRO ANTONIO CLAUDIO LEONATO
Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO
Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou:--CLAUDIO
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
I fear thee not.
Marry, beshrew my hand,LEONATO
If it should give your age such cause of fear:
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
Tush, tush, man; never fleer and jest at me:CLAUDIO LEONATO DON PEDRO LEONATO
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!
My lord, my lord,CLAUDIO LEONATO ANTONIO
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.
He shall kill two of us, and men indeed:LEONATO ANTONIO
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.
Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece;LEONATO ANTONIO
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!
Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,LEONATO ANTONIO DON PEDRO
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.
Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.LEONATO DON PEDRO LEONATO ANTONIO
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.
And shall, or some of us will smart for it.DON PEDRO
Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO
See, see; here comes the man we went to seek.CLAUDIO BENEDICK DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
Leonato and his brother. What thinkest thou? HadBENEDICK CLAUDIO
we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.
We have been up and down to seek thee; for we areBENEDICK DON PEDRO CLAUDIO
high-proof melancholy and would fain have it beaten
away. Wilt thou use thy wit?
Never any did so, though very many have been besideDON PEDRO CLAUDIO BENEDICK
their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the
minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.
Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, and youCLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO BENEDICK CLAUDIO BENEDICK
charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.
[Aside to CLAUDIO] You are a villain; I jest not:CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO
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.
I' faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf'sBENEDICK DON PEDRO
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?
I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit theCLAUDIO DON PEDRO
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.
Yea, that she did: but yet, for all that, an if sheCLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO BENEDICK
did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly:
the old man's daughter told us all.
Fare you well, boy: you know my mind. I will leaveDON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
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.
But, soft you, let me be: pluck up, my heart, andDOGBERRY
be sad. Did he not say, my brother was fled?
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO
Come you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, sheDON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO DOGBERRY
shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay,
an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
Marry, sir, they have committed false report;DON PEDRO
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.
First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, ICLAUDIO DON PEDRO
ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why
they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay
to their charge.
Who have you offended, masters, that you are thusBORACHIO
bound to your answer? this learned constable is
too cunning to be understood: what's your offence?
Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer:DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DON PEDRO BORACHIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO DOGBERRY
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.
Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time ourVERGES
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.
Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and theLEONATO
Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton
Which is the villain? let me see his eyes,BORACHIO LEONATO BORACHIO LEONATO
That, when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him: which of these is he?
No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself:CLAUDIO
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.
I know not how to pray your patience;DON PEDRO
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.
By my soul, nor I:LEONATO
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.
I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;CLAUDIO
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.
O noble sir,LEONATO
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.
To-morrow then I will expect your coming;BORACHIO
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.
No, by my soul, she was not,DOGBERRY
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.
Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white andLEONATO DOGBERRY LEONATO DOGBERRY LEONATO DOGBERRY
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.
I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which ILEONATO ANTONIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO LEONATO
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.
Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES
[To the Watch] Bring you these fellows on. We'll
talk with Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.
SCENE II. LEONATO'S garden.
Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meetingBENEDICK
Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well atMARGARET BENEDICK
my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
In so high a style, Margaret, that no man livingMARGARET BENEDICK MARGARET BENEDICK
shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou
A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt aMARGARET BENEDICK
woman: and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice: I give
thee the bucklers.
If you use them, Margaret, you must put in theMARGARET BENEDICK
pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
And therefore will come.BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE
SingsThe 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 BEATRICESweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?
'Then' is spoken; fare you well now: and yet, ereBENEDICK BEATRICE
I go, let me go with that I came; which is, with
knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.
Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is butBENEDICK
foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I
will depart unkissed.
Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense,BEATRICE
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?
For them all together; which maintained so politicBENEDICK BEATRICE
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?
In spite of your heart, I think; alas, poor heart!BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK
If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for
yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.
An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived inBEATRICE BENEDICK
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
Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter inBEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK URSULA
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?
Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's oldBEATRICE BENEDICK
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?
I 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.
SCENE III. A church.
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and three or four with tapersCLAUDIO Lord CLAUDIO
[Reading out of a scroll]CLAUDIO DON PEDRO
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.
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,
Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,
Good morrow, masters; put your torches out:CLAUDIO DON PEDRO CLAUDIO
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.
SCENE IV. A room in LEONATO'S house.
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, MARGARET, URSULA, FRIAR FRANCIS, and HEROFRIAR FRANCIS LEONATO
So are the prince and Claudio, who accused herANTONIO BENEDICK LEONATO
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.
Well, daughter, and you gentle-women all,ANTONIO BENEDICK FRIAR FRANCIS BENEDICK
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
And when I send for you, come hither mask'd.
Exeunt LadiesThe 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.
To bind me, or undo me; one of them.LEONATO BENEDICK LEONATO BENEDICK
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:LEONATO FRIAR FRANCIS
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.
And my help.DON PEDRO LEONATO
Here comes the prince and Claudio.
Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, and two or three others
Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio:CLAUDIO LEONATO
We here attend you. Are you yet determined
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
Call her forth, brother; here's the friar ready.DON PEDRO
Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what's the matter,CLAUDIO
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
I think he thinks upon the savage bull.BENEDICK
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.
Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;CLAUDIO
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.
For this I owe you: here comes other reckonings.ANTONIO CLAUDIO LEONATO CLAUDIO HERO CLAUDIO HERO DON PEDRO LEONATO FRIAR FRANCIS
Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies maskedWhich is the lady I must seize upon?
All this amazement can I qualify:BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE BENEDICK BEATRICE LEONATO CLAUDIO
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.
And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;HERO
For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.
And here's anotherBENEDICK
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.
A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts.BEATRICE
Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take
thee for pity.
I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yieldBENEDICK
upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life,
for I was told you were in a consumption.
Peace! I will stop your mouth.DON PEDRO BENEDICK
I'll tell thee what, prince; a college ofCLAUDIO
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.
I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice,BENEDICK
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.
Come, come, we are friends: let's have a dance ereLEONATO BENEDICK
we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts
and our wives' heels.
First, of my word; therefore play, music. Prince,Messenger BENEDICK
thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife:
there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.
Enter a Messenger