Printer Friendly

ACT II. Scene III. 


Leonato's orchard.

Enter Benedick alone.

 BENE.

Boy!

[Enter Boy.]

 BOY.

Signior?

 BENE.

In my chamber window lies a book. Bring it hither to me in
the orchard.

 BOY.

I am here already, sir.

 BENE.

I know that, but I would have thee hence and here again.
(Exit Boy.) I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much
another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love,
will, after he hath laugh'd at such shallow follies in others,
become the argument of his own scorn by falling in love; and such
a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with him
but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor
and the pipe. I have known when he would have walk'd ten mile
afoot to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake
carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain
and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is
he turn'd orthography; his words are a very fantastical banquet--
just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with
these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not be sworn but
love may transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my oath on it,
till he have made an oyster of me he shall never make me such a
fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am
well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in
one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall
be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never
cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not
near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an
excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it
please God. Ha, the Prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in
the arbour

[Hides.]

Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio.

Music [within].

 PEDRO.

Come, shall we hear this music?

 CLAUD.

Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!

 PEDRO.

See you where Benedick hath hid himself?

 CLAUD.

O, very well, my lord. The music ended,
We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.

Enter Balthasar with Music.

 PEDRO.

Come, Balthasar, we'll hear that song again.

 BALTH.

O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
To slander music any more than once.

 PEDRO.

It is the witness still of excellency
To put a strange face on his own perfection.
I pray thee sing, and let me woo no more.

 BALTH.

Because you talk of wooing, I will sing,
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
To her he thinks not worthy, yet he wooes,
Yet will he swear he loves.

 PEDRO.

Nay, pray thee come;
Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.

 BALTH.

Note this before my notes:
There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.

 PEDRO.

Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks!
Note notes, forsooth, and nothing! [Music.]

 BENE.

[aside] Now divine air! Now is his soul ravish'd! Is it not
strange that sheep's guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?
Well, a horn for my money, when all [Balthasar sings.]

The Song.

 

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more!
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore;
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.
Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,
Of dumps so dull and heavy!
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so, &c.

 PEDRO.

By my troth, a good song.

 BALTH.

And an ill singer, my lord.

 PEDRO.

Ha, no, no, faith! Thou sing'st well enough for a shift.

 BENE.

[aside] An he had been a dog that should have howl'd thus,
they would have hang'd him; and I pray God his bad voice bode no
mischief. I had as live have heard the night raven, come what
plague could have come after it.

 PEDRO.

Yea, marry. Dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray thee get us
some excellent music; for to-morrow night we would have it at the
Lady Hero's chamber window.

 BALTH.

The best I can, my lord.

 PEDRO.

Do so. Farewell.

Exit Balthasar [with Musicians].

 

Come hither, Leonato. What was it you told me of to-day? that
your niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick?

 CLAUD.

O, ay!-[Aside to Pedro] Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits.
--I did never think that lady would have loved any man.

 LEON.

No, nor I neither; but most wonderful that she should so dote
on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours
seem'd ever to abhor.

 BENE.

[aside] Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

 LEON.

By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it, but
that she loves him with an enraged affection. It is past the
infinite of thought.

 PEDRO.

May be she doth but counterfeit.

 CLAUD.

Faith, like enough.

 LEON.

O God, counterfeit? There was never counterfeit of passion
came so near the life of passion as she discovers it.

 PEDRO.

Why, what effects of passion shows she?

 CLAUD.

[aside] Bait the hook well! This fish will bite.

 LEON.

What effects, my lord? She will sit you--you heard my
daughter tell you how.

 CLAUD.

She did indeed.

 PEDRO.

How, how, I pray you? You amaze me. I would have thought her
spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.

 LEON.

I would have sworn it had, my lord--especially against
Benedick.

 BENE.

[aside] I should think this a gull but that the white-bearded
fellow speaks it. Knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such
reverence.

 CLAUD.

[aside] He hath ta'en th' infection. Hold it up.

 PEDRO.

Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?

 LEON.

No, and swears she never will. That's her torment.

 CLAUD.

'Tis true indeed. So your daughter says. 'Shall I,' says
she, 'that have so oft encount'red him with scorn, write to him
that I love him?'"

 LEON.

This says she now when she is beginning to write to him; for
she'll be up twenty times a night, and there will she sit in her
smock till she have writ a sheet of paper. My daughter tells us
all.

 CLAUD.

Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest
your daughter told us of.

 LEON.

O, when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found
'Benedick' and 'Beatrice' between the sheet?

 CLAUD.

That.

 LEON.

O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence, rail'd at
herself that she should be so immodest to write to one that she
knew would flout her. 'I measure him,' says she, 'by my own
spirit; for I should flout him if he writ to me. Yea, though I
love him, I should.'

 CLAUD.

Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her
heart, tears her hair, prays, curses--'O sweet Benedick! God give
me patience!'

 LEON.

She doth indeed; my daughter says so. And the ecstasy hath so
much overborne her that my daughter is sometime afeard she will
do a desperate outrage to herself. It is very true.

 PEDRO.

It were good that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she
will not discover it.

 CLAUD.

To what end? He would make but a sport of it and torment the
poor lady worse.

 PEDRO.

An he should, it were an alms to hang him! She's an
excellent sweet lady, and (out of all suspicion) she is virtuous.

 CLAUD.

And she is exceeding wise.

 PEDRO.

In everything but in loving Benedick.

 LEON.

O, my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body,
we have ten proofs to one that blood hath the victory. I am sorry
for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.

 PEDRO.

I would she had bestowed this dotage on me. I would have
daff'd all other respects and made her half myself. I pray you
tell Benedick of it and hear what 'a will say.

 LEON.

Were it good, think you?

 CLAUD.

Hero thinks surely she will die; for she says she will die
if he love her not, and she will die ere she make her love known,
and she will die, if he woo her, rather than she will bate one
breath of her accustomed crossness.

 PEDRO.

She doth well. If she should make tender of her love,
'tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the man (as you know all)
hath a contemptible spirit.

 CLAUD.

He is a very proper man.

 PEDRO.

He hath indeed a good outward happiness.

 CLAUD.

Before God! and in my mind, very wise.

 PEDRO.

He doth indeed show some sparks that are like wit.

 CLAUD.

And I take him to be valiant.

 PEDRO.

As Hector, I assure you; and in the managing of quarrels you
may say he is wise, for either he avoids them with great
discretion, or undertakes them with a most Christianlike fear.

 LEON.

If he do fear God, 'a must necessarily keep peace. If he
break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and
trembling.

 PEDRO.

And so will he do; for the man doth fear God, howsoever it
seems not in him by some large jests he will make. Well, I am
sorry for your niece. Shall we go seek Benedick and tell him of
her love?

 CLAUD.

Never tell him, my lord. Let her wear it out with good
counsel.

 LEON.

Nay, that's impossible; she may wear her heart out first.

 PEDRO.

Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter. Let it
cool the while. I love Benedick well, and I could wish he would
modestly examine himself to see how much he is unworthy so good a lady.

 LEON.

My lord, will you .walk? Dinner is ready.

[They walk away.]

 CLAUD.

If he dote on her upon this, I will never trust my
expectation.

 PEDRO.

Let there be the same net spread for her, and that must your
daughter and her gentlewomen carry. The sport will be, when they
hold one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such matter.
That's the scene that I would see, which will be merely a dumb
show. Let us send her to call him in to dinner.

Exeunt [Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato].

[Benedick advances from the arbour.]

 BENE.

This can be no trick. The conference was sadly borne; they
have the truth of this from Hero; they seem to pity the lady.
It seems her affections have their full bent. Love me? Why, it
must be requited. I hear how I am censur'd. They say I will bear
myself proudly if I perceive the love come from her. They say too
that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did
never think to marry. I must not seem proud. Happy are they that
hear their detractions and can put them to 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
alters? 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.

Enter Beatrice.

 

Here comes Beatrice. By this day, she's a fair lady! I do spy
some marks of love in her.

 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 come.

 BENE.

You take pleasure then in the message?

 BEAT.

Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knives 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 in 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

Exit.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters