« PreviousContinue »
you went onwa
your conscience; and so I leave you. [Exit Bene. Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me
good. D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach; teach it
Člaud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ?
but Hero, she's his only heir : Dost thou affect her, Claudio? Claud.
O, my lord, Wh
on this ended action, I look'd upon her with a soldier's
her ere I went to wars.
Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, That know love's grief by his complexion ! But lest my liking might too sudden seem, I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise. D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader
than the flood ? The fairest grant is the necessity : Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once, thou lov'st; And I will fit thee with the remedy. I know, we shall have revelling to-night; I will assume thy part in some disguise, And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;
(1) Once for all.
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart,
SCENE II.-A room in Leonato's house. En
ter Leonato and Antonio, Leon. How now, brother? where is my cousin, your son ? Hath he provided this music
Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed not of.
Leon. Are they good ?
Ant. As the event stamps them; but they have a good cover, they show well outward. The prince and count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached! alley in my orchard, were thus much overheard by a man of mine : The prince discovered to Claudio, that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and, if he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly break with you of it.
Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this?
Ant. A good sharp fellow : I will send for him, 'and question him yourself.
Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till appears itself:--but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an answer,
if peradventure this be true. Go you, and tell her of it. (Several persons cross the stage. Cousins, you know what you have to do.-0, 1 cry you mercy, friend ; you go with me, and I will use your skill :-Good cousins, have a care this busy time.
[Exeunt. (1) Thickly interwoven.
SCENE III.-Another room in Leonato's house.
Enter Don John and Conrade. Con. What the goujere, my lord! why are you thus out of measure sad?
D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.
Con. You should hear reason.
D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?
Con. If not a present remedy,.yet a patient sufferance.
D. John. I wonder that thou being (as thou say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests ; eat when I have a stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend to no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw2 no man in his humour.
Con. 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 true 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 bad rather be a canker3 in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits 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
(1) The venereal disease.
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. D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio? Bora. Even he. D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? wbich way looks he?
Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
D. John. A very forward March chick! How came you to this ?
Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I ' was smoking a musty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad' conference: I whipt me 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 sheer is the greater, that I am subdued : 'Would
the cook were of my mind !-Shall we go prove what's to be done?
Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.
SCENE I-A hall in Leonato's house. Enter
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. Then 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 Imoney 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 busband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she is 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