« PreviousContinue »
Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first.
Dogb. Come, bring away the Plaintiffs ; by this time, our Sexton hath reform’d Signior Leonato of the matter; and masters do not forget to specify, when tiine and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
Verg. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.
Leon. What We the villain? Let me see his eyes;
; when I note another man him, I may
avoid him; which of these is he? Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on
León. Art thou, art thou the flave, that with thy
Bora. Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain; thou bely'st thyself;
Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
Leon. You cannot bid my daughter live again,
Claud. O noble Sir!
Bora. No, by my soul, she was not;
Dogb. Moreover, Sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remember'd in his punishment; and also the watch heard them talk of one Deformed : they say, * he wears a key in his ear,
and * he wears a. key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it; and borrows money in God's name.] There could not be a pleasanter Ridicule on the Fafhion, than the Constable's Descant on his own Blunder. They heard the Conspirators fatyrize the fashion; Whom they took to be a Man, firnamed, Deformed. This the Constable applies with exquisite Humour to the Courtiers, in a Description of one of the moft fantasti
and a lock hanging by it; and borrows money in God's name, the which he hath us’d so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's fake. Pray you, examine him upon that point.
Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
Dogb. Your Worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you.
Leon. There's for thy pains.
your Worship, which, I beseech your Worship, to correct yourself
, for the example of others. God keep your Worship; I wish your Worship well: God restore you to health; I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry meeting may he wish'd, God prohibit it. Come, neighbour.
Exeunt. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, Lords, farewel. Ant. Farewel,
my Lords; we look for you to-morrow.
Pedro. We will not fail.
[Exeunt severally. SCENE VI.
Changes to Leonato's House.
Enter Benedick, and Margaret. Bonc, RAY thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice. Cal Fashions of that Time, the Men's wearing Rings in their Ears, and indulging a favourite Lock of Hair which was brought before, and tied with Ribbons, and called a Lcve-loc?.
then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty ?
Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deserveft it.
Marg. To have no Man come over me? why shall I always keep above stairs ?
Bené. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.
Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice ; I give thee the bucklers.
Marg. Give us the swords; we have bucklers of
Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous wea
pons for maids.
Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think, hath legs.
[Exit Margaret. Bene. And therefore will come. (Sings.] The God of love, that fits above, and knows me, and knows me, how pitiful I deserve, I mean, in singing; but in loving, Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole book full of these
quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse; why, they were never so truly turn'd over and over, as my poor self, in love ; marry, I cannot shew it in rhime; I have try'd; I find out no rhime to lady. but baby, an innocent's rhime; for scorn, horn, a hard rhime; for school, fool, a babbling rhime; very ominous endings; no, I was not born under a rhiming planet, for I cannot woo in festival terms.
S CE NE VII.
Beat. Yea, Signior, and depart when you bid me.
Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now; and yet ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath past between you and Claudio.
Bene. Only foul words, and thereupon I will kiss thee.
Beat. Foul words are but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkist.
Bene. Thou haft frighted the word out of its right sense, so forcible is thy wit; but, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward ; and I pray thee, now tell me, for which
didst thou first fall in love with me? Beat. For them all together; which maintain'd so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them, but for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet: I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Beat. In fpight of your heart, I think; alas ! poor heart, if you spight it for my fake, I will spight it for yours; for I will never love that, which my friend hates.
Bene, Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
Beat. It appears not in this confession; there's not one wile man among twenty that will praise himfelf.
Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that liv'd in the time of good neighbours ; if a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall