William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

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to love, will, after he hath laughed at such

I shallow follies hi others, become the argument

; of his own scorn, by falling in love: And

, such a man is Claudio. I have known when

there was no music with him but the drum and

j the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor

and the pipe : I have known when he would have

walked ten mile afoot, to see a good armour;

and now will he He ten nights awake, carving

the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to

speak plain, and to the purjjose, like an honest man

and a soldier ; and now he is turned orthographer;

I hb words are a very fantastical banquet, just so

I many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and

! see with those ^yesf I cannot tell; I think not:

t I will not be sworn but love may transform me to

un oyster; but 111 take my oath on it, till he have

I made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such

I a fool. One woman is fair; yet I am well: anothci

1 is wise; yet I am well: another virtuous; yet I am



.„, ,.•... . . J . * ' ^oli" ^"* ^^1 •'J graces be in one woman, one

What life 18 m that, to be the death of , woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall



this marriage?

Bcn€L The poison of that lies in you to temper.
Go you to the urince your brother ; spare not to
td! him, that he hath wronged his honour in
nuirrying the renowned Claudio (whose estimation
do vou mightily hold up) to a contaminated stale,
■nch a one as Hero.

D, John, What proof shall I make of th it?

Bora, Proof enough to misuse the prince, to vex
Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato : Look
you for any other issue ?

D. John, Only to despite them, 1 will endeavour
anything.



be, that's certain; wise, or rD none; virtuous, or
I'll never cheapen her; fair, or 111 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

J)lcase God. Hal the prince and Monsieur l^vel
. will hide me in the arbour. [ Withdrawe,

Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio.
D, Petbv. Come, shall we hear this music ?
Claua, Yea, my good lord:— How atill the
evening is,
A. h«.h<l on ourp«. to^^ta^^^^ J^



183

D. Pedro, See jon where Benedick hath hid
oimself?

Claud, Of rerj wellf my lord : the music ended,
Well fit the kid fox with a pennyworth.

Enter Baltuazab, with music,

D, Pedro, Come, Balthazar, well hear that song
again.

BaltTi, O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
To slander music any more than once.

D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency,
To put a strange face on liis own perfection : —
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.

Btdth, Because yon talk of wooing, I vrill sing:
Since many a wooer doth Commence his suit
To her he thinks not worthy; yet he wuos;
Yet will he swear, he loves.

2>. Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come ;

Or, if thou wUt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.

BaLth, Note this before my notes.

There's not a note of mine that^s worth the noting.

D, Pedro, Why, these are very crotchets that he
speaks;
Note notes, forsooth^ and noting 1 \Mune,

Bene. Now, "Divine airT* now is his soul
ravished ! — Is it not strange that sheep's guts should



MITCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



my money, when all's done

Bajjthazar ting$,

talth, Bkfa no morcL ladies. Blgh no more;
Hen were deceivers ever ;
One foot in sea, and one on shore;
To one thing constant never
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
A'mI be you blithe and bonny :
Oon verting all your sounds of woa
IntOb Hey nouuy, nonny.
IL
Bins no more ditties, sing no mo

01 dnmps so dull and heavy ;
The fraud of men was ever so.
Since summer first waj« leavy.
Then sigh not so, &o.
D. Pedro. By my troth, a good song.
BaJUh. And an ill singer, mv lord.
D. Pedro. Ha? no; no, faith; tliou singest well
enough for a shift.

Bme, [Aside,] An he had been a dog that should
have howled thus, they would have hanged him :
and I pray tied Ids bad voice bode no mischief! I
bad as lieJf have heard tlie night-raven, come what
plague could have come after it.

V. ledro. Yea, marry; [to Claddio.]— Dost
thou hear, Balthazar? 1 pray thee, get us some
excellent music ; for to-morrow night we would
have it at the lady Hero's chamber-window.
BaUh, The best I can, mv lord.
D.Pedro, Do so: farewell, [iiirie Balthazar.]
Come hither, Leonato: What was it you told me
of to-day ? that your niece Beatrice was in love
with Siffnior Benedick?

Claud, O, ay:— Stalk on, stalk on : the fowl
fits. [Amde to Peobo.]— I did never think that
lady would have loved any man.

Leon, No, nor I neitlier ; but most wonderful
that she should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom
bhe hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever
to nbhor.

Bene, Is *t possible? Bits the wmd in that

corner? [Aside.

Leon, By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what

to think of it ; but tluit she loves him with an

onraged afiection,— k is past the infinite of thought.



D, Pedro, May be, she doth bat eonnterfalt.

Claud, 'Faith, like enough.

Leon. O God I counterfeit I There was never
counterfeit of passion came so near the life oi
passion, as she discovers it.

D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows
she?

daud. Bait the hook well ; this fish will bite

[AsUle,

Leon. What effects, my lord I She will sit
you. — Tou heard my daughter tell yon how.

Claud, She did, indeed.

D. Pedro. How, how, 1 pray you? You amaze
me: I would have tliought her spirit had been
invincible against all assaults of affection.

Leon, I would Imve sworn it had, my lord;
especially against Benedick

Bene. [Aside.] I should think this a gnll, but
that the white-bearded fellow speaks it ; knavery
cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.

Claud, He hath ta'en the infection ; hold it uo.

[Aside.

D. Pedro, Hath she made her affection knovm
to Benedick?

Leon, No; and swears she never will: that^
! her torment.

Claud, T is tme, indeed ; so yonr daughter
says: "Shall I," says she, "that have so
oft encountered him with scorn, ¥rrito to him that
I love him ?"

Leon. Tins says she now when she is beginning
to write to him : for shell 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
ns all.

Ckmd. Now yon talk of a sheet of paper, I
remember a pretty jest your daugliter told us of.

Leon. 01 — When she had writ it, and was
reading it over, she foond Benedick and Beatrice
between the sheet?

Claud. That.

Leon, O she tore the letter into a thonsml
half-pence ; 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; fur I shbuld flout him, if be writ tome;
yea, though I love him, I should."

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

Leon. She doth, indeed ; my daughter says so :
and the ecstac;^ hath so much overborne her, that
my daughter is sometime afeared she will do a
desperate outrage to herself. It is very true.

I). Pedro. It were good that Benedick knew of
it by some other, if ^e will not discover it.

Claud. To what end? He would but make a
sport of it, and torment the p€K)r lady worse.

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

Claud. And she is exceeding wise.

D, Pedro. In everything, but in loving Benedick.

Leon, O my lord, wisdom and blood combating
in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one
that blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her,
as I have just cause, being her uncle and her
guardian.

D. Pedro. I would she had bestowed this dotage
on me ; I would havedaffd all other respects, and
made her half myself: I uray yoiL tell Benedick

of it, and hear what he will s^. i ^ r\r^r^\o

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MUCH ADO ABOUT

Lem. Were ft ^ood, think 70U?

Claud, llero thinks sorely she will die ; for she
WBJ8 she will die if he love her not ; and slie 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 accustomed crossness.

Z>. Pedro, She doth well : if she should make
tender of her love *tis very possible hell scorn it : for
the man, as joa know all, hatha contemptible spirit.

CUauL He is a very proper man.

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

Claud, Tore God, and in my mind, very wise.

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

Leon, And I take him to be valiant

2). Pedro. As Hector, I assure you: and in the
managing of (quarrels you may see he is vnse ; for
either he avoids them with ^;reat discretion, or
nndertakes th^ with a christian-like fear.

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

D. Pedro. And so will he do ; for the man doth
fear God, howsoever it seems not in him, by some
large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for
jour niece: Shall we go see Benedick, ana tell
him of her love?

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

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

D, Pedro. Well, we will hear further of it by
your daughter. Let it cool the while. I love
Benedick well : and I could wish he would modestly
examine himself and see how much he is unworthy
to have so good a lad v.

Leon. Mj lord, will you walk ? dinner is ready.

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

D. Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for
ber : and that must your daughter and her gentle-
woman carr^. 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
odl him in to dinner. [Aside.

[Exeunt D. Pedbo, Claudio, and Leon.



NOTHING. 133

Benedick advanoee from ihe mhotw.

Bene, This can be no trick: The conference was
sadly borne.— They have the truth of this from
Hero. They seem to pity the lady ; it seems her
affections have their full bent. Love me 1 why it
must be requited. I hear how X am censured :
they say I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive
the love come from her ; tnejr 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 ; *tb 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 ar^iment of her folly, for
I wiil 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 mar-
riage: But doth not the appetite idter? A man
loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure
in his age : Shall quips, and sentences, and tliese
paper bullets of the Drain, 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 daj, she's a fair lady:
I do spy some marks of love in her.

Enter Beatrice.

Beat. Against my wUl, I am sent to bid yon come
in to dinner.

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

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

Bene. You take pleasure, then, in the message?

Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon
a knife's point, and choke a daw withal: — You have
no stomach, signior; fare you well. [Exit.

Bene. Ha! *^ Against my will, I am sent to bid
^ou come in to dinner"— there's a double meaning
m that " I took no mare pains for those thanks,
than yon 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 ^0
get her picture. {ExU,



ACT ni



SCENE I.— Leonato*8 Garden,



Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.

Hero. Good Margaret, run thee to the parlour:
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice
Proposing with the prince and Claudio:
Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
Is dl 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; — Hke favourites,
Hade proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it: — there will she

hide her.
To listen our nurpoee: This is thy oflRce,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.

Marg. Ill make her come, I warrant you,

Sresuntly. [Exit,

fow, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
Af we do trace this alley up and down^



Our talk must only be of Benedick:

When I do name him, let it be thy part

To praise him more than ever man did merit:

My talk to thee must be, how Benedick

Is sick in love with Beatrice: Of this matter

Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made.

That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin:

filter Beatrice, behind.

For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to near our conference.

Ura. The pleasantest angling is to see the fish
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.

Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose
nothing
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.~

[The^ adoanot to the hower



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184



No, tmljy Urs'ilft, une Is too disdainful ;
1 know, her !?pirit>< jfre as coy and wild
▲s haggards of the rock.

Urs. But are you sure

That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?

Hero. So says the prince, and ray uowtrothrd
lord.

Un. And did they bid you tell her of it, nmdam ?

Hero. They did entreat me to acnuaint her of it :
But I persuatled them, if they l'>v(i Benedick,
To wish him wrestle with affection.
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Ur8, Wh^ did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed.
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon ?

Hero. God of love I I know ho doth de.«erve
As much as may be yielded to a man:
But Nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice:
Disd tin and scorn ride sparklin;; in her eyes,
Mii.prbing what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly, tliat to her
All matter else seems weak : she cannot love.
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endeared.

(/ra. Sure, I think so;

And therefore, certainly, it were not good
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it.

Hero, Why, you speak truth : I never yet saw
^ man.
How wise how noble, young, how rarely featured.
But she would spell him bacicward : if fair fac'd.
She would i) wear the gentlemen should be her sister;
If black, why. Nature, drawing of an antic.
Made a foul blot: if tall, a lance ill-headed ;
If low, an agate very vilely cut :
If speakin;;, why, a vane blown with all winds;
If feilent, why, a block moved wih none^
So turns she eveiy man the wron^r sid*' out;
And never gives to truth and virtue that
Which siraplenej>s and merit purchaseth.

Urs, Sure, sure, such carpmg is not commend-
able.

Hero. No ;^ not to be so odd, and from al 1 fashions.
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendabl.? :
But who dare tell her so? If I should sjieak,
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.

Urs. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will say.

Hero, No; rather I will go to Benedick,
And counsel him to fight against his passion :
And, truly, 111 devise some honest sland< rs
To stain my cousin with: One d«jth not know
How much an ill word may empoison likii.£:.

Ura. O, do not do yoiu* cousin such a wrong.
She cannot be so much without true judgment
(Having so swift and excellent a wit
As she IS priz'd to have), as to reaise
So rare a gentleman as 8ignior Benedick.

H<ro. lie is the only man of Italy
Always excepted my dear Claud io.

Urs. I pray you be not angry with me, madam.
Speaking ray fancy; Signior Benedii k.
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour.
Goes foremost in report tlirough 1 laly.

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.

Ura. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.
When are you married, madam?



atuch ado about nothtng



Hr9. Why, every da^ ;— to-morrow : Come, go in-
Ill show thee some attires; and have thy counsel,
Which Is the best to furnish me to-morrow.
Ura. She's ta'en ; I warrant you, we have caught
• her, madam. _

Hero, If it proves so, then loving goes by haps :
I Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with tra|>s.
[Exeunt Heao and Ursula.

Beatrice advancea.
Beat, What fire is m mme ears ? Can this be tme?

Stand I condemn 'd for pride and scorn s^> much?
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu I

No glory lives behind the back of such.
And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee;

Taming mv 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 d&serve; and I
Believe it better than reportingly.* [Exit.

SCENE n.—A Boom in Leonato"^ Houae.

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, ap
Leonato.

D. PeAro. I do but stay till your marria^ be
consummate, and then go I toward Arragon.

Claw/, ni bring you tliither, my lord, if youll
▼ouchsafe me.

D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in
the new gloss 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 Cupids
bowstring, and ^e little hangman dare not shoot at
him : he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and hii
tongue is the clapper ; for what his heart tliinks hii
tongue speaks.

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.

Leon. So say I ; methinks you are sadder.

Claml. I hope he be in love.

D. Pedro. Hang, him, truant; there's no true
drop of blood in him, to be truly touched with love:
if he sad, he wants money.

Bene. I have the tooth-ach.

D. Pedro, Draw it

Bene. Hang it I

ChiuL Tou must hang it first, and draw it
afterwards.

D. Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ach ?

Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm !

Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he
that has it.

('land. Yet, say I, he is in love.

D. Ptjlro, There is no appearance of fancy in him,
unless i t be a fancy that he nath to strange disguises ;
as. to be a Dutchman to-day ; a Frenchman to-
morrow ; [or in the shape of two countries at once,
as, a (tei-man from the waist downward, all slops ;
and a S^wmiard 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 to appear he is.

Claud. If he be not in love with some woman,
there is no believing old signs: he brushes his
hat o' mornings: What should that bode?

D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's ?

ClatuL No, but the barber's man liath been seen
with him ; and the old ornament of his cheek hath
already stuflfed tennis-balls.

Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did by
the loss of a board.



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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



D, Pedro, Nay, he rubs hinwelf with dyet : Can
joa smell him out by that ? !

Claud, That's as much as to saj, The sweet
youth's in love. i

D, Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.

Claud And when was he wont to wash his face ?

D, Pedro, Yea, or to paint himself? for the
which, I hear what they say of him.

Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit ; which is ;
now crept into a lutestring, and now goTcmed by j
stops.

X>. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heayy tale for
him : Conclude he is in love.

Claud, Nay, but I know who loves htm.

D. Pedro. That would I know too ; I warrant,
one that knows him not.

Claud. Tes, and his ill conditions; and, in
despite of all, dies for him.

A Petb^. She shall be buried with her face
npwards.

Bene, Tet is this no charm for the tooth-ach.
Old 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 Bene, and Lrow,

D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about
Beatrice.

Claud, Tis even so ; Hero and Margaret Imve
by this played their parts with Beatrice; and ttion
the two bears will not bite one another when they
meet

Enter Don Juan.

D.John. My lord and brother, Ood save yoa.

D. l\;dro. Good den, brother.

D, JiJin. If your leisure served, I would speak
with yoa.

2). Pedro. In private?

D, John. If it please yon ; — yet Count Claudio
may hear ; for what I would B\>eik of concerns him.

I), Pedro. What's the matter?

D.John, Means your lordship to be married
to-morrow? [7b Claudio.

D. Pedro, Ton know he does.

D, Jdhjh I know not that, when he knows what
i know.

CUmd. If there be any impediment, I pray yoa
discover it.

D. John. 7oa may think I love you not ; let
that Mpear hereafter, and aim better at me by
that A now will manifest. For my brother, I
think, he holds you well ; and in deamess ot heart
hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage: surely,
•tdt ill spent, and labour ill bestowed 1

D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

D.John, I came hither to tell you: and circum-
stances shortened (for she hath been too long a
talking of), the lady is disloyaL

Claud, Who?— Hero?

D,John. Even she; Leonato^s Hero, your Hero,
erery man^ Hero.

Claud. Disloyal?

D. John. The word is too (food to paint out her
wickedness; I could say she were worse; think
TOO of a worse title, and I will fit her to it.
Wonder not till further warrant : go but with me
t<Hiight, yoa shall see her chamber -wuidow
entered ; eren the night before her wedding-day :
if yoa love her then, to-morrow wed her ; out it
woald better fit your honour to change your mind.

Claud. May U\\a b : so ?

D, Adbv. I will not think it.



136



D.Jofm. If you dare not trust ttmt you see,
confess not that you know : if you will follow me,
I will show you enough ; and when you have seen
more, and heard more, proceed accordingly.

Claud. If I see anything to-night why I should
not marry her to-morrow, in the congregation,
where I should wed, there will I shame her.

D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain
her, I will join with theo to disgrace her.

D. John. I Mrill disparage her no farther, tOI
you are my witnesses: bear it coldly but till
night, and let the issue show itself.

D. Pedro. day untowardly turned I

Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting!

D. John, O plague right well prevent^ I
So will you say when you haye seen the semiel.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.— -4 Street.
Bntet DooBBRRT and Verges, ujWi ihe Watch.

Dogb. Are you good men and true ?

Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should
suffer salvation, body and soul.

Dogb, Nay, tliat were a punishment too good
for them, if they should have any allegiance in
them, being chosen for the prince's watch.

Verg. Well, give them their ciiarge, neighbour
Dogberry.

Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless
man to be constable?

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcakeu sir, or George Seaooal;
for they can write and reaa.

Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoali God
hath blessed yoa with a good name : to be a well-
&voured man is the gift of fortune; but to write
and read cAmos by nature.

2 Watch, Both which, master constable,

Dogb. Yoa have; I knew it would be your

answer. Well, for your fayour, sir, why give
God thanks, and make no boast of it ; and for your
writing and reading, let that appear when there is
no ne^ of such vanity. You are thought here to
be the most senseless and fit man for the constable
of the watdh; therefore bear you the lantern.
This is your charge: You shall comprehend all
yagrom men ; you are to bid any man stand, in
the prince's name.

2 Watch, How if a will not stand ?

Dogb, Why, then, take no note of him, bat let



Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 43 of 224)