« PreviousContinue »
food to my difpleafure: that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can crofs him any way, I bless my self every way; you are both fure, and will affift me.
Conr. To the death, my lord.
John. Let us to the great fupper; their Cheer is the greater, that I am fubdu'd; 'would the cook were of my mind! fhall we go prove what's to be done? Bora. We'll wait upon your lordfhip.
A C T
SCENE, a Hall in Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice,
AS not Count John here at Supper?
Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can fee him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after.
Hero. He is of a very melancholy difpofition.
Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made juft in the mid-way between him and Benedick; the one is too like an image, and fays nothing: and the other too like my lady's eldest fon, evermore tatling.
Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick's face
Beat. With a good Leg, and a good foot, Uncle, and mony enough in his purfe, fuch a man would win any woman in the world, if he could get her good Will.
Leon. By my troth, Neice, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be fo fhrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, fhe's too curft.
Beat. Too curft is more than curft; I fhall leffen God's fending that way; for it is faid, God fends a curft Cow fhort horns; but to a Cow too curft he fends
Leon. So, by being too curft,. God will fend you no horns.
Beat. Juft, if he send me no husband; for the which Bleffing 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 lye in woollen.
Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.
Beat. What should I do with him? drefs him in my apparel, and make him my waiting gentlewoman? he that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is lefs 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 fix pence in earneft of the bear-herd, and lead his apés into hell.
Leon. Well then, go you into hell,
Beat. No, but to the gate; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with his horns on his head, and fay, get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heav'n, here's no place for you maids." So deliver I up my apes, and away to St. Peter, for the heav'ns; he fhews me where the batchelors fit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Ant. Well, Neice, I truft, you will be rul'd by your father. [To Hero. Beat. Yes, faith, it is my Coufin's duty to make curtfie, and fay, Father, as it pleases you; but yet for all that, Coufin, let him be a handfome fellow, or elfe make another curtfie, and fay, Father, as it pleafes
Leon. Well, Neice, I hope to fee you one day fitted with a husband.
Beat. Not 'till God make men of fome other metal than earth; would it not grieve a woman to be over
mafter'd with a piece of valiant duft? to make account of her life to a clod of way-ward marle? no, uncle, I'll none; Adam's fons are my brethren, and, truly, I hold it a fin to match in my kindred.
Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you; if the Prince do follicit you in that kind, you know your anfwer.
Beat. The fault will be in the mufick, coufin, if you be not woo'd in good time; If the Prince be too important, tell him, there is meafure in every thing, and fo dance out the Anfwer; for hear me, Hero, wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a meafure, and a cinque-pace; the firft fuit is hot and hafty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding mannerly-modeft, as a measure, full of ftate and anchentry; and then comes repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace fafter and faster, 'till he finks into his grave.
Leon. Coufin, you apprehend paffing fhrewdly. Beat. I have a good eye, uncle, I can fee a church by day-light.
Leon. The revellers are entring, brother; make good
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar, and others in Mafquerade.
Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend? Hero. So you walk foftly, and look fweetly, and fay nothing, I am yours for the walk, and especially when I walk away.
Pedro. With me in your company ?
Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the lute should be like the cafe!
Pedro. (4) My visor is Philemon's roof; within the houfe is Jove.
(4) My Vifor is Philemon's Roof, within the Houfe is Love.] Thus the whole Stream of the Copies, from the first down
Hero. Why, then your vifor fhould be thatch'd.
Balth. Which is one?
wards. I must own, this Paffage for a long while appear'd very obfcure to me, and gave me much Trouble in attempting to understand it. Hero fays to Don Pedro, God forbid, the Lute fhould be like the Cafe! i. e. that your Face should be as homely and as courfe as your Mask. Upon this, Don Pedro compares his Vilor to Philemon's Roof. 'Tis plain, the Poet alludes to the Story of Baucis and Philemon from OVID: And this old Couple, as the Roman Poet describes it, liv'd in a thatch'd Cottage;
Stipulis & canna tecta paluftri.
But why, Within the Houfe is Love? Baucis and Philemon, 'tis true, had liv'd to old Age together, in a comfortable State of Agreement. But Piery and Hofpitality are the top Parts of their Character. Our Poet unquestionably goes a little deeper into the Story. Tho' this old Pair liv'd in a Cottage, this Cottage receiv'd two straggling Gods, (Jupiter and Mercury,) under its Roof. So, Don Pedro is a Prince; and tho' his Vifor is but ordinary, he would infinuate to Hero, that he has fomething god-like within: alluding either to his Dignity, or the Qualities of his Perfon and Mind. By thefe Circumftances, I am fure, the Thought is mended: as, I think verily, the Text is too by the Change of a fingle Letter.
within the House is Jove.
Nor is this Emendation a little confirm'd by another Paffage in our Author, in which he plainly alludes to the fame Story. As you like it.
Clown. I am here with thee and thy Goats, as the most capricious Poet, honeft Ovid, was amongst the Goths.
Jaq. O Knowledge ill inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatch'd
(5) Balth. Well, I would, you did like me.] This and the two following little Speeches, which I have placed to Balthazar, are in all the printed Copies given to Benedick. But, 'tis clear, the Dialogue here ought to be betwixt Balthazar, and Margaret: Benedick, a little lower, converfes with Beatrice: and fo every Man talks with his Woman once round.
Marg. I fay my Prayers aloud.
Balth. I love you the better, the hearers may cry Amen.
Marg. God match me with a good dancer!
Marg. And God keep him out of my fight when the dance is done! Answer, Clerk.
Balth. No more words, the clerk is anfwer'd.
Urf. I know you well enough; you are Signior Antonia.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urf. I know you by the wagling of your head.
Urf. You could never do him fo ill-well, unless you were the very man: here's his dry hand up and down; you are he, you are he.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urf. Come, come, do you think, I do not know you by your excellent wit? can virtue hide it felf? go to, mum, you are he; graces will appear, and there's an end.
Beat. Will you not tell me, who told you fo?
Beat. Nor will you not tell me, who you are?
Bene. Not now.
Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good Wit out of the Hundred merry Tales; well, this was Signior Benedick that faid fo.
Bene. What's he?
Beat. I am fure, you know him well enough.
Bene. Not I, believe me.
Beat. Did he never make you laugh?
Bene. I pray you, what is he?
Beat. Why, he is the Prince's jefter; a very dull fool, only his gift is in devifing impoffible flanders: none but libertines delight in him, and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleaseth men and angers them, and then they laugh at him, and beat him; I am fure, he is in the fleet; I would, he had boarded me.