Abbildungen der Seite

mending. They say, the lady is fair; 'tis a truth I can bear them witness: and virtuous ;-'tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving me:-By my troth, it is no addition to her wit ; nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her.-I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have railed so long against marriage: -But doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age: Shall quips and sentences, and these paper bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour ? No: The world must be peopled: When I said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married. Here comes Beatrice: By this day, she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.

Enter BEATRICE. Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner. Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

Beat. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, I would not have

Bene. You take pleasure in the message. ** Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choke a daw withal.--You have no stomach, signior, fare you well.

[Exit. Bene. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you come to dinner-there's a double meaning in that. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you took pains to thank me—that's as much as to say, Any pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks :-If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew: I will go get her picture.





Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour;
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice
Proposing* with the Prince and Claudio:
Whisper her ear and tell her, I and Ursula
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
Is all of her; say, that thou overheard'st us;
And bid her steal into the pleached bower,
Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun,
Forbių the sun to enter ;-like favourites,
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it: there will she hide her,
To listen our purpose: This is thy office,
Bear thee well in it and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.

* Discoursing.


Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick:
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit:
My talk to thee must be, how Benedick
Is sick in love with Beatrice: Of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;

Enter BEATRICE, behind.
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.

Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
and greedily devour the treacherous bait:
So angle we for Beatrice: who even now
Is couch'd in the woodbine coverture:
Fear you not my part of the dialogue.

Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.-

[They advance to the bower.
No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;
I know, her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggards of the rock.*

Urs. But are you sure
That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?
Hero. So says the prince and my new-troth'd lord.
Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?

Hero. They did entreat me to acquaint her of it:
But I persuaded them, if they loved Benedick,
To wish him wrestle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Urs. Why did you so ? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon ?

Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to a man :
But nature never framed a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice;
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprisingt what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly, that to her
All matter else seems weak: she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endear'd.

Urs. Sure, I think so;
And therefore, certainly, it were not good
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it.

Hero. Why, you speak truth : I never yet saw man,
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured,
But she would spell him backward : if fair-faced,
* A species of hawk.

+ Undervaluing.

She'd swear, the gentleman should be her sister.
If black, why nature, drawing of an antick,
Made a foul blot; if'tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an agate very vilely cut;
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
If silent, why, a block moved with none.
So turns she every man the wrong side out;
And never gives to truth and virtue, that
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.

Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.

Hero. No, not to be so odd, and from all fashions,
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable:
But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,
She'd mock me into air; O, she would laugh me
Out of myself,

press me to death with wit.
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly;
It were a better death than die with mocks;
Which is as bad as die with tickling.

Urs. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will say.

Hero. No; rather I will go to Benedick,
And counsel'him to fight against his passion;
And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with: One doth not know,
How much an ill word may empoison liking.

Urs. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.
She cannot be so much without true judgment
(Having so swift* and excellent a wit,
As she is prized to have), as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as signior Benedick.

Herc. He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.

Urs. I pray you, be not angry with me, madam,
Speaking my fancy; signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.
Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.-
When are you married, madam ?'

Hero. Why, every day ;-to-morrow : Come, go in; I'll show thee some attires; and have thy counsel, Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.

Urs. She's limed, I warrant you; we have caught her, madam.

Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps : Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

[Exeunt HERO and URSULA.

BEATRICE advances.
Beat. What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?

Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much ?
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu !
No glory lives behind the back of such,
* Ready.
+ Conversation.

# Ensnared with birdlime.

And Benedick, love on, I will requite thee;

Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand;
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee

To bind our loves up in a holy band :
For others say, thou dost deserve; and I
Believe it better than reportingly.

[Exit. SCENE II.- A Room in LEONATO's House. Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO. D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then I go toward Arragon.

Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe mc. D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him: he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
Leon. So say I; methinks, you are sadder.

Claud. I hope he be in love. D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love: If he be sad, he wants money.

Bene. I have the toothache.
D. Pedro. Draw it.
Bene. Hang it!
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
D. Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ache ?
Leon. Where is but a humour or a worm ?
Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he that has it.
Claud. Yet say I, he is in love.

D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises ; as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, as, a German from the waist downward, all

slops ;* and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet: Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.

Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o' mornings; What should that bode ?

D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's ?

Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him ; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennisballs.

Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did by the loss of a beard.

D. Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: Can you smell him out by that?

* Large loose breeches.

Claud. That's as much as to say the sweet youth's in love.
D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face ?

D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which I hear what they say of him.

Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops.

D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: Conclude, conclude, he is in love.

Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him. D. Pedro. That would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.

D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards.

Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache.-Old signior, walk aside with me; I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.

[Exeunt BENEDICK and LEONATO. D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

Claud, "Tis even so: Hero and Margaret have, by this, played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another when they meet.

D. John. My lord and brother, God save you.
D. Pedro. Good den, brother.
D. John. If your leisure served, I would speak with you.
D. Pedro. In private ?
D. John. If it please you ;-yet count Claudio may hear; for
what I would speak of concerns him.

D. Pedro. What's the matter?
D. John. Means your lordship to be married to-morrow?

[To CLAUDIO. D. Pedro. You know he does. D. John. I know not that, when he knows what I know. Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, discover it. D. John. You may think I love you not: let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest: For my brother, I think he holds you well; and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage : surely, suit ill spent, and labour ill bestowed !

D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter ?

D. John. I came hither to tell you : and, circumstances shortened (for she hath been too long a talking of), the lady is disloyal.

Claud. Who? Hero ? D. John. Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.

Claud. Disloyal ?

D. John. The word is too good to paint out her wickedness ;. I could say, she were worse; think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further warrant: go but with me

« ZurückWeiter »