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Itab. Most bounteous sir,
Look, if it please You, Ou this man condemn'd,
As if my brother liv'd: I partly think,
A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,
Till he did look on me : since it is so,
Let him not die: My brother had but Justice,
In that he did the thing for which he died;
His act did not o'ertake his bad Intent;
Mari. Merely, my lord.
Duke. Your suit's unprofitable ; stand up, 1 say— I have bethought me of another fault:— Provost, how came It, Claudio was beheaded At an unusual hour?
Proo. It was commanded to.
Duke. Had you a special warrant for the deed?
Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private
Duke. For wfiich I do discharge you of your office: Give up your keys.
Prov. Pardon me, noble lord:
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
Duke. What's he?
Prov. His name is Barnardlne.
Duke. I would thou had'st done so by Claudio,— Go, fetch him hither; let me look upon him.
Etcal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure:
Re-enter Provost, Darnardlne, Claudio, and Juliet.
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
Prov. This, my lord.
Duke. There was a friar told me of this man:—
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
For better times to come: Friar, advise him;
I leave him to your band—What muffled fellow's 1 that? I
Prov. This is another prisoner, that I tav'd, That should have died when Claudio lost his head, As like almost to Claudio, as himself.
Duke. If he be like your brother, [to Isabella.] for his sake Is he pardon'd; And, for your lovely sake, Give me your hand, and say you will be mine, He is my brother too: But fitter time for that. By this, lord Angelo perceives he's safe; Methinks, I see a qult-k'ning in his eye:— Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well: Look that ynu love your wife; her worth, worth I find an apt remission in myself: [yours.—
And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon:—
Ltteto. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke It hut according to the trick: If you will hang me for it, you may, but I had rather it would please you, I might be
Duke. Whipp'd first, sir, and hangM after,— Proclaim it, provost, round about the city; If any woman's wrong*d by this lewd fellow, (As I have heard him swear himself, there's one Whom he begot with child,) let her appear, And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd, Let him be whipp'd and hang'd.
Lucia. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said even now, I made you a duke; good my lord, do not recompense me, in making me a cuckold.
Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her. Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal ltemit thy other forfeits:—Take him to prison: And see our pleasure herein executed.
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
Duke. Slandering a prince deserves it.—
She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore
Joy to you, Mariana !—love ner, Angelo;
SCENE I—Before Leonato's Howe. Enter Leonato, Hero, Beatrice, and others, nnth Messenger.
Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of! Arragon comes this night to Messina.
Mm. He is very near by this; he was not three leagues oft" when I left him.
Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?
Ken. But few of any sort, and none of name.
Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever orlop home full numbers. I find here, that Don Pedro bath be? to wed much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.
Men. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: He hath borne hlmwlf beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion s he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than you must eipect of me to tell you how.
Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be *ery much glad of it.
Meet. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy In him; even so much, that joy could not show Itself modest enough, without a bjdge nf bitterness.
'■<-■«. Did he break out into tears?
Xtu. In great measure.
Lvm. A kind overflow of kindness! There are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How noch better is It to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping?
Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned from the wars, or no?
Hue. I know none of that name, lady; there wat none such in the army of any sort.
Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece?
Hero. Mv cousin means signior Benedick of Pad'ua.
Jfrw. 0, he is returned, and as pleasant as ever he was.
I'"-'i. He set up his bills here In Messina, and challenged Cupid at the flight: and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt—1 pray you, how Rianj hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.
Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too much; but hell be meet with you, I doubt it not.
Jfeu. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars.
Beat. Von had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, he
Mete. And a good soldier too, lady. Urn!. And a good soldier to a lady;—But what is he to a lord? Meet. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed itti all honourable virtues.
Unit. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man: but for the stuffing,—Well, we are all mortal.
Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece: there Is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and her i they never meet, but there is a skir- ish of wit between them.
Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the old man governed with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse; for it Is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature.—Who is his companion now ? He hath every month a new sworn brother.
Mest. Is It possible?
Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, It ever changes with the next block.
Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil?
Meet. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.
Hi nt. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a disease : he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.
Mett. I will hold friends with you, lady.
Beat. Do, good friend.
Leon. You will never run mad, niece.
Beat. No, not till a hot January.
Mett. Don Pedro is approached.
Enter Don Pedrn, attended by Balthazar and othert, Don John, Claudio, and Benedick.
D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter It.
Leon. Never came trouble to my house In the likeness of your grace; for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes hi? leave.
D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly.—I think, this is your daughter.
Leon. Her mother hath many times told mc so.
Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her? Levn. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.
D. Pedro. You have It full, Benedick! we m guess by this what you are, being a man. Trul.. the lady fathers herself:—Be happy, lady! for you are like an honourable father.
Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina* as like him as she is.
Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; no body marks you.
Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet living.
Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat:—But it is certain, I am loved of all ladles, only you excepted: and I would I could find In my heart that I had not a hard heart: for, truly, I love none.
Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that; T had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.
Bene. God keep your ladyship still In that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.
Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.
Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
Beat. A bird of my tongue, is better than a beast of yours.
Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue; and so good a continue!: But keep your way o' God's name; I have done.
Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.
D. Pedro. This la the sum of all: Leonato,— signior Claudio, and signior Benedick,—my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him, we shall stay here at the least a month : and he heartily prays some occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.
Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn.—Let 'me bid you welcome, my lord : being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.
D. J«hn. I thank you : I am not of many words, but I thank you.
Leon. Please it your grace lead on 3
D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together. [Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio.
Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of signior Leonato?
Bene. I noted her not: hut I looked on her.
Claud. Is she not a modest young lady?
Bene. Do you question me as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment: or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Claud. No, I pray thee, speak In sober judgment.
Bene. Why, i* faith, methinks she is too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her; that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she Is, I do not like her.
Claud. Thou thinkest I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou likest her.
Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after
Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel? [her?
Bene. Yea, and a case to put It Into. But speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack; to tell us Cupid Is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in the song?
Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on.
Bene. I can see without spectacles, and I *ee nn such matter: there's her cousin, an she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of May doth the last of December. But I hope, you have no Intent to turn husband; have you?
Claud. I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
Bene. Is It come to this, i' faith? Hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again? Go to, 1' faith: an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is returned to seek you.
Re-enter Don Pedro.
D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that you followed not to Leonato's?
Bene. I would, your grace would constrain me to tell.
D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.
Bene. You hear, Count Claudio; I can be secret a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on my allegiance,—mark you this, on my allegiance:
He is in love. With who?—now that is your grace's part—Mark, how short his answer is:— With Hero, Leonato's short daughter.
Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered.
Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: "it Is not so, nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid It should be so."
Clavd. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise.
Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady is very well worthy.
Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. Claud. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine. Claud. That I love her, I feel. D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. Bene. That I neither feel how she should he lovI, nor know how she should be worthy, Is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.
Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretick In the despite of beauty.
Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in the force of his will.
Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a rccheat winded In my forehead, or hang my bugle in an inisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me: Be* ause I will not do them the wrong to misti ny, I will do myself the right to trust none f i the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) 1 will live a bachelor. D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere 1 die, look pale 1th love.
Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, lord; not with love: prove, that ever I lose
, than I will get again with ie eyes with a ball ad-maker's
more blood with lo' drinking, pick out mine e.
pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-houst for the sign of blind Cupid.
D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.
Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam.
D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try:
Bene. The savage bull may; but If ever this sen* sible Benedick bear It, pluck off the bull's boras, and set them in my forehead: and let me he vileiy painted; and in such great letters as they write, Here it good horte to hire, let them signify under my sign,—Here you may tee Benedick the married man.
CtamJ. If this should ever happen, thou would'st b* horn-mad.
D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his roim Id Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
Bine. I look for an earthquake too then.
D.Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the boors. In the mean time, good sign i or Ilenedick, repair to Leonato's; commend me to him, and tell aim, I will not fail him at supper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.
Bene. I have almost matter enough In roe for rach an embassage; and so 1 commit you—
Ciaud. To the tuition of God: From my house, (if I had It,)—
D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick.
Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not: The body of [ jour discourse is some time guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither: ere jou flout old ends any further, examine your conscience; and so 1 leave you. [Exit Benedick.
Gaud. Sly liege, your highness now may do me good.
D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach; teach it but bow,
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Ciaud, O my lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
D. Pedro. Thou wilt he like a lover presently,
Ctaud. How sweetly do you minister to love, That know love's grief by his complexion! Bat lett my liking might too sudden seem, I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise, u- Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the flood The uurest grant is the necessity:
what will serve, Is lit i 'tis once, thou lov'st; Andl will fit thee with the remedy. I know, we shalt have revelling to-night.; I will auurne thy part in some disguise, And tell f«r Hero I am Claudio; And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart, And take her hearing prisoner with the force And strong encounter of my amorous tale! Thro, after, to her father will 1 break; And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine: In practice let ui put it presently. [Exeunt.
SCENE II A Room in Leonato's Houit.
Eater Leonato and Antonio. How now, brother? Where ia my cousin, jour son? Hath he provided this musick? Ant. He is very busy about It. But, br
Are they good? Ant. As the event stamps them; but they have a (nod cover, they show well outward. The prince ««Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached in my orchard, were thus much overheard by * mTM or' mine: The prince discovered to Claudio, (nat he loved my niece your daughter, and meant w acknowledge it this night in a dance; and, if « found her accordant, he meant to take the pre
sent time by the top, and instantly break with you
Lean. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this "• Ant. A good sharp fellow ; I will tend for him, and question him yourself.
Leon. No, no ; we will hold it as a dream, til) it appear 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 penont croet tht ttage.] Cousins, you know what you have to do—(), I cry you mercy, friend: you go with me, and I will u»e your skill:—Good cousins, have a care this busy time. [Exeunt.
SCENE 111.—Another Room in Leonato's Home. 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.
Com. You should hear reason.
D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?
Con. If not a present remedy, yet n patient sufferance.
D. John. I wonder, that thou being (a; 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 1 have 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 claw 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 m.ike 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 gTacc ; and it better fits my blood to be disdain'd 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, 1 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?
Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the
frince, your brother, is royally entertained by eonato; 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 unquletness?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. />. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio r Bora. Even he.
D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks he?
flora. 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, cornea me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in s.id conference I I whipt me behind the arras; nnd there heard it agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero for him
self, and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio.
D. John. Come, come, let us thither j this may prove food to my displeasure: that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow ; if 1 can cross him any way, I bless myself every way: Vou are both sure, and will assist me?
Con. To the death, my lord.
D. John. Let us to the great supper: their cheer h 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. [Exeunt.
SCENE I,—A Hall in Leonato's Howe. Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, and others.
Leon. Was not count John here at supper?
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 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 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 con- 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 m 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 s and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is less than a man, 1 am not for him : Therefore I will even t*ke sixpence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his 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 Feter for the heavens ; he shows 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 doty to make courtesy, and say, Father, as it please ymt:—hut yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, Fai/ter, 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 an 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.
Beat. The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good time: if the prince be too important, tell him, there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer. For hear me, Hero; Wooirg, 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 aa fantastical; the wedding, mannerly-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.
Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. Beat. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by day-light.
Leon. The revellers are entering; brother, mak* good room.
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
D. Pedro. My visar is Philemon's roof; within
[Takes her aside.
Marg. God match me with a good dancer!
Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, when
I7r*. I know you by the waggling of your head.
Vrs. Come, come ; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an end.
Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so?
Beat. That I was disdainful, -and that I had my
good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales; Well,
this was signior Benedick that said so.
Beat. I am sure, you know him well enough