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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.]

BENEDICK.
[Advancing from the arbour.] This can be no trick: the conference was
sadly borne. They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity
the lady: it seems her affections have their full bent. Love me! why,
it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say I will bear
myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her;they say too that
she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did never think
to marry: I must not seem proud: happy are they that hear their
detractions, and 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 her.

[Enter BEATRICE.]

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

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

BEATRICE.
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.

BENEDICK.
You take pleasure then in the message?

BEATRICE.
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.]

BENEDICK.
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.

[Exit.]


ACT 3.

Scene I. Leonato's 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 Ursala
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
Is all of her; say that thou overheard'st us,
And bid her steal into the pleached bower,
Where honey-suckles, ripen'd by the sun,
Forbid the sun to enter; like favourites,
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it. There will she hide her,
To listen our propose. This is thy office;
Bear thee well in it and leave us alone.

MARGARET.
I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.

[Exit.]

HERO.
Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick:
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit.
My talk to thee must be how Benedick
Is sick in love with Beatrice: of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay.

[Enter BEATRICE, behind.]

Now begin;
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.

URSULA.
The pleasant'st 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.

[They advance to the bower.]

No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;
I know her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock.

URSULA.
But are you sure
That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?

HERO.
So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord.

URSULA.
And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?

HERO.
They did entreat me to acquaint her of it;
But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick,
To wish him wrestle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

URSULA.
Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full as fortunate a bed
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?

HERO.
O god of love! I know he doth deserve
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;
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-endear'd.

URSULA.
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 featur'd,
But she would spell him backward: if fair-fac'd,
She would swear the gentleman should be her sister;
If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antick,
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.

URSULA.
Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.

HERO.
No; not to be so odd, and from all fashions,
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.

URSULA.
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, I'll devise some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with. One doth not know
How much an ill word may empoison liking.

URSULA.
O! do not do your 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 refuse
So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.

HERO.
He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.

URSULA.
I pray you, be not angry with me, madam,
Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.

HERO.
Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.

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

HERO.
Why, every day, to-morrow. Come, go in:
I'll show thee some attires, and have thy counsel
Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.

URSULA.
She's lim'd, I warrant you: we have caught her, madam.

HERO.
If it prove so, then loving goes by haps:
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

[Exeunt HERO and URSULA.]

BEATRICE.
[Advancing.] 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.

[Exit.]


Scene 2. A Room in LEONATO'S House.

[Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO.]

DON PEDRO.
I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I
toward Arragon.

CLAUDIO.
I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.

DON 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
Cupid's bowstring, 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 tongue speaks.

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

LEONATO.
So say I: methinks you are sadder.

CLAUDIO.
I hope he be in love.

DON PEDRO.
Hang him, truant! there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly
touched with love. If he be sad, he wants money.

BENEDICK.
I have the tooth-ache.

DON PEDRO.
Draw it.

BENEDICK.
Hang it.

CLAUDIO.
You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.

DON PEDRO.
What! sigh for the tooth-ache?

LEONATO.
Where is but a humour or a worm?

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

CLAUDIO.
Yet say I, he is in love.

DON PEDRO.
There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he
hath 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 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.

CLAUDIO.
If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs:
a' brushes his hat a mornings; what should that bode?

DON PEDRO.
Hath any man seen him at the barber's?

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

LEONATO.
Indeed he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.

DON PEDRO.
Nay, a' rubs himself with civet: can you smell him out by that?

CLAUDIO.
That's as much as to say the sweet youth's in love.

DON PEDRO.
The greatest note of it is his melancholy.

CLAUDIO.
And when was he wont to wash his face?

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

CLAUDIO.
Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lute-string,
and new-governed by stops.

DON PEDRO.
Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude, conclude he is
in love.

CLAUDIO.
Nay, but I know who loves him.

DON PEDRO.
That would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.

CLAUDIO.
Yes, and his ill conditions; and in despite of all, dies for him.

DON PEDRO.
She shall be buried with her face upwards.

BENEDICK.
Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache. 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 BENEDICK and LEONATO.]

DON PEDRO.
For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

CLAUDIO.
'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with
Beatrice, and then the two bears will not bite one another when they
meet.

[Enter DON JOHN.]

DON JOHN.
My lord and brother, God save you!

DON PEDRO.
Good den, brother.

DON JOHN.
If your leisure served, I would speak with you.

DON PEDRO.
In private?

DON JOHN.
If it please you; yet Count Claudio may hear, for what I would
speak of concerns him.

DON PEDRO.
What's the matter?

DON JOHN.
[To CLAUDIO.] Means your lordship to be married to-morrow?

DON PEDRO.
You know he does.

DON JOHN.
I know not that, when he knows what I know.

CLAUDIO.
If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.

DON JOHN.
You may think I love you not: let that appear 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!

DON PEDRO.
Why, what's the matter?

DON JOHN.
I came hither to tell you; and circumstances shortened, - for she
has been too long a talking of, - the lady is disloyal.

CLAUDIO.
Who, Hero?

DON JOHN.
Even she: Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.

CLAUDIO.
Disloyal?

DON JOHN.
The word's too good to paint out her wickedness; I 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.

CLAUDIO.
May this be so?

DON PEDRO.
I will not think it.

DON JOHN.
If you dare not trust that 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.

CLAUDIO.
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.

DON PEDRO.
And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to
disgrace her.

DON JOHN.
I will disparage her no farther till you are my witnesses: bear it
coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself.

DON PEDRO.
O day untowardly turned!

CLAUDIO.
O mischief strangely thwarting!

DON JOHN.
O plague right well prevented!So will you say when you have seen
the sequel.

[Exeunt.]


Scene 3. A Street.

[Enter DOGBERRY and VERGES, with the Watch.]

DOGBERRY.
Are you good men and true?

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

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

VERGES.
Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.

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

FIRST WATCH.
Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal; for they can write and read.

DOGBERRY.
Come hither, neighbour Seacoal. God hath blessed you with a good name:
to be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and
read comes by nature.

SECOND WATCH.
Both which, Master Constable, -

DOGBERRY.
You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well, 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 lanthorn. This is your
charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man
stand, in the prince's name.

SECOND WATCH.
How, if a' will not stand?

DOGBERRY.
Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go; and presently call
the rest of the watch together, and thank God you are rid of a knave.

VERGES.
If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the prince's
subjects.

DOGBERRY.
True, and they are to meddle with none but the 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.

SECOND WATCH.
We will rather sleep than talk: we know what belongs to a watch.

DOGBERRY.
Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet 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 alehouses,
and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.

SECOND WATCH.
How if they will not?

DOGBERRY.
Why then, let them alone till they are sober: if they make you not
then the better answer, you may say they are not the men you took
them for.

SECOND WATCH.
Well, sir.

DOGBERRY.
If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue 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.

SECOND WATCH.
If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?

DOGBERRY.
Truly, by your office, you may; but I think they 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.

VERGES.
You have been always called a merciful man, partner.

DOGBERRY.
Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who hath any
honesty in him.

VERGES.
If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse
and bid her still it.

SECOND WATCH.
How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?

DOGBERRY.
Why then, depart in peace, and let the child wake her with crying;
for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes, will never
answer a calf when he bleats.

VERGES.
'Tis very true.

DOGBERRY.
This is the end of the charge. You constable, are to present the
prince's own person: if you meet the prince in the night, you may
stay him.

VERGES.
Nay, by'r lady, that I think, a' cannot.

DOGBERRY.
Five shillings to one on't, with any man that knows 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.

VERGES.
By'r lady, I think it be so.

DOGBERRY.
Ha, ah, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there be any matter of weight
chances, call up me: keep your fellows' counsels and your own, and good
night. Come, neighbour.

SECOND WATCH.
Well, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit here upon the
church-bench till two, and then all to bed.

DOGBERRY.
One word more, honest neighbours. I pray you, watch 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.]

BORACHIO.
What, Conrade!

WATCH.
[Aside.] Peace! stir not.

BORACHIO.
Conrade, I say!

CONRADE.
Here, man. I am at thy elbow.

BORACHIO.
Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought there would a scab follow.

CONRADE.
I will owe thee an answer for that; and now forward with thy tale.

BORACHIO.
Stand thee close then under this penthouse, for it drizzles rain,
and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.

WATCH.
[Aside.] Some treason, masters; yet stand close.

BORACHIO.
Therefore know, I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.

CONRADE.
Is it possible that any villany should be so dear?

BORACHIO.
Thou shouldst rather ask if it were possible any villany should be
so rich; for when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may
make what price they will.

CONRADE.
I wonder at it.

BORACHIO.
That shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou knowest that the fashion of
a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a man.

CONRADE.
Yes, it is apparel.

BORACHIO.
I mean, the fashion.

CONRADE.
Yes, the fashion is the fashion.

BORACHIO.
Tush! I may as well say the fool's the fool. But seest thou not what
a deformed thief this fashion is?

WATCH.
[Aside.] I know that Deformed; a' bas been a vile thief this seven
years; a' goes up and down like a gentleman: I remember his name.

BORACHIO.
Didst thou not hear somebody?

CONRADE.
No: 'twas the vane on the house.

BORACHIO.
Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is? how
giddily he turns about all the hot bloods between fourteen and
five-and-thirty? sometime fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers
in the reechy 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?

CONRADE.
All this I see, and I see that the fashion wears 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?

BORACHIO.
Not so neither; but know, that I have to-night 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.

CONRADE.
And thought they Margaret was Hero?

BORACHIO.
Two of them did, the prince and Claudio; but the 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.

FIRST WATCH.
We charge you in the prince's name, stand!

SECOND WATCH.
Call up the right Master Constable. We have here recovered the most
dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth.

FIRST WATCH.
And one Deformed is one of them: I know him, a' wears a lock.

CONRADE.
Masters, masters!

SECOND WATCH.
You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.

CONRADE.
Masters, -

FIRST WATCH.
Never speak: we charge you let us obey you to go with us.

BORACHIO.
We are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken up of these
men's bills.

CONRADE.
A commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, we'll obey you.

[Exeunt.]


Scene 4. A Room in LEONATO'S House.

[Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA.]

HERO.
Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire her to rise.

URSULA.
I will, lady.

HERO.
And bid her come hither.

URSULA.
Well.

[Exit.]

MARGARET.
Troth, I think your other rabato were better.

HERO.
No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.

MARGARET.
By my troth's not so good; and I warrant your cousin will say so.


HERO.
My cousin 's a fool, and thou art another: I'll wear none but this.

MARGARET.
I like the new tire within excellently, if the hair 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.

HERO.
O! that exceeds, they say.

MARGARET.
By my troth 's but a night-gown in respect of yours: cloth o' gold,
and cuts, and laced with silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side
sleeves, and skirts round, underborne with a blush tinsel; but for a
fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't.

HERO.
God give me joy to wear it! for my heart is exceeding heavy.

MARGARET.
'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.

HERO.
Fie upon thee! art not ashamed?

MARGARET.
Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? is not marriage honourable in
a beggar? Is not your lord honourable without marriage? I think you
would have me say, 'saving your reverence, a husband:' an bad thinking
do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody. Is there any harm in
'the heavier for a husband'? None, I think, an it be the right husband
and the right wife; otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy: ask my Lady
Beatrice else; here she comes.

[Enter BEATRICE.]

HERO.
Good morrow, coz.

BEATRICE.
Good morrow, sweet Hero.

HERO.
Why, how now? do you speak in the sick tune?

BEATRICE.
I am out of all other tune, methinks.

MARGARET.
Clap's into 'Light o' love'; that goes without a burden: do you sing
it, and I'll dance it.

BEATRICE.
Ye, light o' love with your heels! then, if your husband have stables
enough, you'll see he shall lack no barnes.

MARGARET.
O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.

BEATRICE.
'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my
troth, I am exceeding ill. Heigh-ho!

MARGARET.
For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?

BEATRICE.
For the letter that begins them all, H.

MARGARET.
Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's no more sailing by the star.

BEATRICE.
What means the fool, trow?

MARGARET.
Nothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire!

HERO.
These gloves the Count sent me; they are an excellent perfume.

BEATRICE.
I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell.

MARGARET.
A maid, and stuffed! there's goodly catching of cold.

BEATRICE.
O, God help me! God help me! how long have you professed
apprehension?

MARGARET.
Ever since you left it. Doth not my wit become me rarely!

BEATRICE.
It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap. By my troth,
I am sick.

MARGARET.
Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus, and lay it to
your heart: it is the only thing for a qualm.


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