« ZurückWeiter »
but I will acquaint my daughter with all, that she may be the better prepared for anfwer, if peradventure this be true; go you, and tell her of it: coufins, you know what you have to do. [Some cross the ftage.] O, I cry you mercy, friend, go you with me, and I will use your skill; good coufin, have a care this bufy time.
Enter Don John, and Conrade.
HAT the goujeres, my lord! why are you thus out of measure fad?
John. There is no measure in the occafion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.
Conr. You fhould hear reason.
John. And when I have heard it, what bleffing bringeth it? Conr. If not a present remedy, yet a patient fufferance.
John. I wonder that thou (being, as thou say'st thou art, born under faturn) goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief: I cannot hide what I am: Imust be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; fleep when I am drowsy, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.
Conr. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, 'till you may do it without controlment: you have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace; where it is impossible, you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself; it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.
John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be difdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this (though I cannot
be said to be a flattering honeft man) it must not be deny'd but I am a plain-dealing villain: I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to fing in my cage: if I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the mean time, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me.
Conr. Can you make no use of your discontent?
John. I will make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? what news, Borachio?
Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper; the prince, your brother, is royally entertain'd by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
John. Will it ferve for any model to build mifchief on? what is he for a fool that betroths himself to unquietness?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
John. Who, the moft exquifite Claudio?
Bora. Even he.
John. A proper fquire! and who,and who? which way looks he? Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato. John. A very forward march chick! How come you to this? Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was fmoking a mufty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in fad conference: I whipt behind the arras, and there heard it agreed upon that the prince fhould woo Hero for himself, and, having obtain'd her, give her to count Claudio.
John. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove food to my difpleasure that young ftart-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can crofs, him any way, I blefs myself 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 lordship.
Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, and Urfula.
AS not count John here at fupper?
Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see 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 just 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 tattling.
Leon. Then half fignior Benedick's tongue in count John's mouth, and half count John's melancholy in fignior Benedick's face
Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such 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; and I shall leffen god's fending that way; for, it is faid, god fends a curft cow fhort horns, but to a cow too curst he fends none.
Leon. So, by being too curft, god will send 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 fhould 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 less 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 earnest of the bearherd, and lead his apes to 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 maids: fo deliver I up my apes, and away to faint Peter, for the heav'ns; he fhows me where the bachelors fit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Ant. Well,neice,I trust, you will be rul'd by your father. [To Hero. Beat. Yes, 'faith, it is my coufin's duty to make court'fy, and fay, as it pleafe you; but yet for all that, coufin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another court'fy, and fay, father, as it pleases me.
Leon. Well, neice, I hope to see 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-master'd with a piece of valiant duft? to make account of her life to a clod of wayward 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 folicit you in that kind, you know your answer.
Beat. The fault will be in the mufick, coufin, if you be notwoo'd in good time: if the prince be too importunate, tell him, there is measure in every thing, and fo dance out the answer: for hear me, Hero, wooing, wedding, and repenting, is a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first fuit is hot and hafty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerlymodeft, as a measure, full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinquepace fafter and fafter, 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 daylight.
Leon. The revellers are entring, brother; make good room.
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 say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, especially, when I walk away. Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero. I may fay fo when I pleafe.
Pedro. And when please you to say fo?
Hero. When I like your favour; for god defend, the lute fhould be like the case!
Pedro. My vifor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.
[Drawing her afide to whisper. Balth. Well, I would, you did like me.
Marg. So would not I, for your own fake! for I have many ill qualities.
Balth. Which is one?
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! anfwer, clerk.
Balth. No more words; the clerk is answer'd.
Urs. I know you well enough; you are fignior Antonio.
Urf. I know you by the wagling of your head.
* This feems to be a line quoted from a fong or fome verfes commonly known at that time.