« PreviousContinue »
Leonato's Garden. Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting. Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty ?
Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it ; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.
Marg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs ?
Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.
Marg. And your's as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice : I give thee the bucklers. Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of
Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think, hath legs.
[Exit MARGARET. Bene. And
therefore will come,
The god of love, [Singing.),
That sits above,
How pitiful I deserve, –
I mean in singing; but in loving, - Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, 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 6.
Enter BEATRICE. Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called thee?
Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me. Bene. O, stay but till then!
Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now:and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.
Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.
Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed.
Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit: But, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes 7 my challenge; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now,
6 Holiday phrases.
7 Is subject to.
tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
Beat. For them altogether; which maintained so politick 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 ?
Bene. Suffer love ; a good epithet! I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Beat. In spite of your heart, I think; alas ! poor heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates. Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.
Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time 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 widow weeps.
Beat. And how long is that, think you ?
Bene. Question ? - Why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is 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 praise-worthy,) and now tell me, How doth your
cousin ? Beat. Very ill. Bene. And how do you? Beat. Very ill too. Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.
Enter URSULA. Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle ; yonder's old coils 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 filed and gone: will you come presently?
Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior?
Bene. 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.
Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and Attendants, with
musick and tapers.
Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies :
Gives her fame which never dies :
Praising her when I am dumb.-
Midnight, assist our moan ;
Heavily, heavily :
Yearly will I do this rite.
torches out: The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle
day, Before the wheels of Phæbus, round about
Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray: Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well. Claud. Good morrow, masters ; each his several
way. D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other
weeds; And then to Leonato's we will
go. Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue