« PreviousContinue »
SCENE III.-Another Room in Leonato's House.
Entor Don John and CONRADE.
Con. What the good year 4, my lord! why are you thus out of measure sad ?
is without limit.
goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot bide what I am: I must 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; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and
claw no man in his humour. Con. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it with
out 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. D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace ®; and it
better fits my blood to be disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied that I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing 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. Con. Can you make no use of your discontent? D. JOHN. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? What news, Borachio ?
Enter BORACHIO. BORA. I came yonder from a great supper; the prince, your brother, is royally
entertained by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended
marriage. D. John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for a
fool that betroths himself to unquietness? BORA. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
• Good year. See Note on 'King Lear,' Act V., Scene 3.
Yet. The quarto, at least.
What is he for a fool. Mr. Dyce says this is “ an equivalent for—What manner of fool is he, -What fool is he?" Gifford calls this mode of expression, “ pure German, or, as the authorised phrase seems to be, pure Saxon."
D. JOAN. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ?
me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad a conference: I whipt b behind the arras; and there heard it agreed upon, that the prince should
woo Hero for himself, and having obtained her give her to count Claudio. D. JOHN. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove food to my displeasure :
that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him
any way I bless myself every way: You are both sure, and will assist me? Con. To the death, my
lord. D. John. Let us to the great supper: their cheer is the greater that I am
subdued : 'Would the cook were of my mind !-Shall we go prove what 's
to be done? BORA. Well wait upon your lordship.
[SCENE I. “My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.")
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others. LEON. Was not count John here at supper ? ANT. I saw him not. Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him but I am heart
burned an hour after. HERO. He is of a very melancholy disposition. 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 says nothing; and the
other too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling. Leon. Tben half signior Benedick's tongue in count John's mouth, and half
count John's melancholy in signior 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, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband if thou be so
shrewd of thy tongue. Ant. In faith, she's too curst. BEAT. Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's sending that way: for
it is said, “God sends a curst cow short horns ;” but to a cow too curst he
sends none. LEON. So, by being too curst God will send you no horns. Beat. Just, if he send me no husband; for the which blessing 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 lie in the woollen. Leon. You may light upon a husband that hath no beard. BEAT. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a beard is more than a youth ; and
l 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 sixpence in earnest of the bearwards, and lead bis apes
into 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 horns on his head, and say, “Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids :" so deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter: for the heavens, he shops me where the bachelors
sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long. Ant. Well, niece [to HERO], I trust you will be ruled by your father. Beat. Yes, faith ; it is my cousin's duty to make courtesy, and say, “As it please
you:"_but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else
make another courtesy, and say, “ Father, as it please me." Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband. BEAT. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not
grieve a woman to be over-mastered with a piece of valiant dust? to make account of her life to a clod of wayward marl ? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's
sons are my brethren; and truly I hold it a sin to match in my kindred. Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that
kind, you know your answer. Bear. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not wooed in good time:
if the prince be too important , tell him there is measure in everything, and so dance out the answere. For hear me, Hero; Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is
hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, man· Bearward. In the original berrord. The modern editions have bear-herd. In · Henry VI., Part II.,' it is bearard. The pronunciation is indicated by both of the ancient modes of spelling; and bearward appears to be the word meant, when rapidly uttered.
• The technical meaning of measure, a particular sort of dance, is here played upon. Beatrice's own description of that dance, “ full of state and ancientry," is the most characteristic account we have of it. See • Romeo and Juliet,' Illustrations of Act I.
nerly-modest, as a measure full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster,
till he sink into his grave.
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BALTHAZAR, Don John, BORACHIO,
MARGARET, URSULA, 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.
Speak low, if you speak love.
[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 ? MARG. I say my prayers aloud. BENE. I love you the better; the hearers may cry, Amen.e. MARG. God match me with a good daneer! BALTH. Amen. MARG. And God keep him out of my sight when the dance is done I-Answer,
clerk. BALTA. No more words; the clerk is answered. URS. I know you well enough; you are signior Antonio. Ant. At a word, I am not. 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.
• Defend forbid. * This line, which is in the rhythm of Chapman's Homer and Golding's Ovid, is an allusion to the story of · Baucis and Philemon;' and perhaps Shakspere was thinking of Golding's. version of the original. The subsequent speeches of Hero and Don Pedro complete a couplet.
- Tieck supposes that these three speeches, which are assigned to Benedick, really belong to Balthazar ;-that there is a series of dialogues between four masked pairs-Hero and Don Pedro, Margaret and Balthazar, Ursula and Antonio, Beatrice and Benedick. He is probably right; but still Benedick may first address Margaret, and then pass on, leaving Balthazar with her.