Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak : Chuse your revenge yourself;
Linpose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin ; yet sinn'd I not,
But in mistaking.

Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.

Leon. (L. C.) I cannot bid you bid my daughter live,
That were impossible; but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here,
How innocent she died;
To-morrow morning, come you to my house ;
And, since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
Almost a copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us ;
Give her the right, you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

Claud. O, noble sir, Your over kindness doth wring tears from me! I do embrace your offer, and dispose For henceforth of poor Claudio. Leon. (R.) To-morrow, then, .I will expect your

coming, To-night I take my leave.

[Exeunt Pedro and CLAUDIO, R.
This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong.

Bor. No, by my soul, she was not ;
Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me ;
But always hath been just and virtuous,
In any thing that I do know by her.

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 remembered in his punishment; and also the watch heard him talk of one Deformed-pray you examine him upon that point.

Leon. (c.) I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise heaven for you!

Leon. There's for thy pains.
Dogb. Heaven save the foundation!

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoners, and I thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship ; which, I beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the example of others. Heaven keep your worship-I wish your worship well. Heaven restore you to health ! I humbly give you leave to depart; and, if a merry meeting may be wished, Heaven prohibit it! Come, neighbour.

[Exeunt DogBERRY, Verges, the Sexton, SEA

COAL, OATCAKE, and the WATCH, L. Leon. [To Servants.] Bring you these fellows on ;

we'll talk with Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[Exeunt through the court gate,

SCENE II.-A Hall in Leonato's House.

Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, L. Bened. (L. C.) 'Pray thoe, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

Marg. (c.) Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty ?

Bened. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it !

Marg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs ?

Bened. 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.

Bened. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman : and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice,

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you. [Exit, R.
Bened. [Sings.] The god of love,

That sits 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 panders, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the oven road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned over


and over, as my poor self, in love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have tried ; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an innocent rhyme; for school, fool, a babbling rhyme ; for scorn, horn, a hard rhyme very ominous endings ! No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, for I cannot woo in festival terms.

Enter Beatrice, R. Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?

Beatr. (R. c.) Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.

Bened. O, stay but till then!

Beatr. 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.

Bened. Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, teli me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?

Beatr. For them altogether ; which maintained 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?

Bened. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer love, iudeed, for I love thee against my will.

Beatr. In spite of your heart, I think ! alas! poor heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.

Bened. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

Beutr. It appears not in this confession; there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.

Bened. An old, an old instance.-Beatrice, that lived in the time of good neighbours.- If a man do not erect, in this age, his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monument than the bell rings and the widow weeps.

Beatr. And how long is that, think you ?

Bened. Why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rheum; therefore it is most expedient for the wise, if Don Worm, his conscience, find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is praise-worthy.-And now tell me, how doth your cousin ?

Beatr. Very ill.
Rened. And how do you ?

Beatr. Very ill too.

Bened. Serve heaven, love me, and mend. Here comes one in haste.

Enter URSULA, L. Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle; it is proved my Lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the Prince and Claudio mightily abused; and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and gonc.

[Exit URSULA, L. Beatr. Will you go hear this news, signior?

Bened. I will live in thy eyes, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy heart; and, moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle.

SCENE III.--A Room in Leonato's House. Enter LEONATO, Hero, FRIAR, ANTONIO, BENEDICK,

BEATRICE, URSULA, and other Ladies, R.
Friar. (L. c.) Did not I tell you she was innocent ?
Leon. (L.) So are the Prince and Claudio, who ac-

cused her,
Upon the error that you heard debated :
But Margaret was in some fault for this ;
Although against her will, as it appears.

Ant. (R.) Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

Bened. (c.) And so am I, being else by faith enforced
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
Leon. [To the Ladies who stand on R.] Well, daugh-

ter, and you gentlewomen all,
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves :
And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd :
The Prince and Claudio promised by this hour
To visit me.

[Exeunt BEATRICE, HERO, and all the LADIES, R.
You know your office, brother;
You must be father to your brother's daughter,
And give her to young Claudio.

Ant. Which I will do with a confirm'd countenance.
Bened. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
Friar. To do what, Signior?

Bened. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good Signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

Leon. That eye my daughter lent her: 'tis most true.
Bened. And with an eye of love requite her.
Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me,
ary Claudio and the Prince: But what's your will ?

Bened. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
But, for my will, my will is, your good-will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoined
In the estate of honourable marriage ;-
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

Leon. My heart is with your liking.

Friar. And my help.
Here come the Prince and Claudio.

Enter Don Pedro and CLÁUDIO, L.
Pedro. Good-morrow to this fair assembly.

Leon. We here attend you: Are you yet determined To-day to marry with my brother's daughter ?

Claud. l'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
Leon. Call her forth, brother : Here's the friar ready.

[Exit Antonio. Pedro. Good-morrow, Benedick: Why, what's the

That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull :
Push, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold,
And all our Europe shall rejoice at thee;
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
When he would play the noble beast in love.

Bened. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low:
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
And got a calf in that same noble feat,
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
Oh, here they come !
Enter ANTONIO, with Hero, Beatrice, URSULA, and

other LADIES, masked, R. Claud. (R.c.) Which is the lady I must seize upon ? Ant. (R.) This same is she, and I do give you her.

[Presenting Hero. Claud. Why then she's mine : Sweet, let me see

your face.

Leon. (L. c.) No, that you shall not, till you take her

hand Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar; I am your husband if you like of me. Hero. And when I lived, I was your other wife;

[Unmasking. And when you loved, you were my other husband.

« VorigeDoorgaan »