« AnteriorContinuar »
Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BALTHA
ZAR; Don John, BORACHIO, MARGARET, UR· SULA, and others, masked.
D. Pedro, Lady, will you walk about with your friend?
Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, especially, when I walk away.
D. Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the lute should be like the case!
D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.
Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd.
[Takes her aside. Bene. Well, I would you did like me.
Marg. So would not I, for your own sake, for I have many ill qualities.
Bene. Which is one?
Bene. I love you the better; the hearers may cry, Amen.
Marg. God match me with a good dancer! - Balth. Amen.
Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, when the dance is done!- Answer, clerk.
Balth. No more words; the clerk is answered, • Urs. I know you well enough; you are signior Antonio.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
6 — your friend?] Friend, in our author's time, was the common term for a lover, and applicable to both sexes.
Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head. Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. . .
Urs. You could never do him so 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. · Urs. Come, come; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an end.
Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so ?
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 said so.
Bene. What's he?
Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool ; 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 villainy; for he both pleaseth 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.
Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell hima what you say.
Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and
- his dry hand —] A dry hand was anciently regarded as the sign of a cold constitution.
. Hundred merry Tales :] Perhaps Boccace's Decameron. then there's a partridge' wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. [Musick within.] We must follow the leaders.
Bene. In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.
[Dance. Then exeunt all but Don JOHN,
BORACHIO, and CLAUDIO. D. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it: The ladies follow her, and but one visor remains.
Bora. And that is Claudio : I know him by his bearing.'
D. John. Are not you signior Benedick?
D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love: 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.
Claud. How know you he loves her?
Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would marry her to-night. • D. John. Come, let us to the banquet.
[Ereunt Don John and BORACHIO. Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear these ill news with the cars 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.
his bearing.) ii e. his carriage, bis demeanor.
This is an accident of hourly proof,
ud. Yea, then
go with me? Claud. Whither
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own business, count. 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.
Claud. I wish him joy of her. .
Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover; so they sell bullocks. But did you think, the prince would have seryed you thus ?
Claud. I pray you, leave me.
Bene. Ho! now you strike like the blind man; 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.
Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. [Erit.
Bene. Alas! poor hurt fowl! Now will he creep into sedges... 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, the bitter disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may.
' usurer's chain?] Chains of gold, of considerable value, were in our author's time, usually worn by wealthy citizens, and others; and it appears that the merchants were the chief usurers of the age.
Re-enter Don Pedro, Hero, and LEONATO.
D. Pedro. Now, signior, where's the count ; Did you see him ?
Bene. Troth, my lord, I have played the part of lady Fame. 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.
D. Pedro. To be whipped! What's his fault?
Bene. The flat transgression of a school-boy ; who, being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, shows it his companion, and he steals it.
D. Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgression? The transgression is in the steater.
Bene. Yet it had not been amiss, the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself; and the rod he might have bestow'd on you, who, as I take it, have stol'n his bird's nest.
D. Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and restore them to the owner.
Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.
D. Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you ; the gentleman, that danced with her, told her, she is much wrong'd by you.
Bene. O, she misused me past the endurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have answer'd 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