페이지 이미지


Beat. I wonder, that you will ftill be talking, Signior Benedick; no body marks Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet living?

Beat. Is it poffible, Difdain fhould die, while fhe hath fuch meet food to feed it, as Signior Benedick? Courtefie it self must convert to Difdain, if you come in her prefence.

Bene. Then is courtefie a turn-coat; but it is certain, I am lov'd of all ladies, 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 elfe have been troubled with a pernicious fuitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your Humour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man fwear. he loves me.

Bene. God keep your ladyship fill in that mind! fo fome gentleman or other shall scape a predeftinate fcratcht face.

Beat. Scratching could not make it worfe, an 'twere fuch a face as yours were.

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beaft of yours.

Bene. I would, my horfe had the speed of your tongue, and fo good a continuer; 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.



Pedro. This is the fum of all: Claudio, and Signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all; I tell him, we shall ftay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays, some occafion may detain us longer: I dare fwear, he is no hypo crite, but prays from his heart.

Leon. If you fwear, my Lord, you shall not be forfworn.-Let me bid You welcome, my lord, being reconciled to the prince your brother; I owe you all duty. A S

[ocr errors]

John. I thank you; I am not of many words, but I thank you.

Leon. Please it your Grace lead on?

Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together. [Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio. Claud. Benedick, didft thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato ?

[ocr errors]

Bene. I noted her not, but I look'd on her.

Claud. Is fhe not a modeft young lady?

Bene. Do you queftion me, as an honest man should do, for my fimple true judgment? or would you have me speak after my cuftom, as being a profeffed tyrant to their fex?

Claud. No, I pr'ythee, fpeak in fober judgment.

Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks, fhe is too low for an high praife, too brown for a fair praife, and too little for a great praife; only this commendation I can afford her, that were fhe other than fhe is, fhe were unhandfome; and being no other but as fhe is, I do not:

like her.

Cland. Thou think't, I am in fport; I pray thee,. tell me truly how thou lik'ft her.

Bene. Would you buy her, that you enquire after her?

Claud. Can the world buy fuch a jewel?

Bene. Yea, and a cafe to put it into; but fpeak you this with a fad 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 fhall a man take you to go in the Song?

Claud. In mine eye, fhe is the sweetest lady that I ever look'd on.

Bene. I can fee yet without fpectacles, and I fee no fuch matter; there's her Coufin, if she were not possest with fuch a Fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of May doth the laft of December: but I hope, you have no intent to turn husband, have you?

Claud. I would scarce truft myself, tho' I had fworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.

Bene. Is't come to this, in faith? hath not the world


one man, but he will wear his cap with suspicion? shall I never fee a batchelor of threescore again? go to, i'faith, if thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and figh away Sundays: look, Don Pedro is return'd to feek you.

Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John.

Pedro. What Secret hath held you here, that you fol low'd not to Leonato's houfe }

Bene. I would, your Grace would constrain me to tell. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be fecret as a dumb man, I would have you think fo; but on my allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance: he

is in love; with whom? now that is your Grace's part: mark, how short his answer is, with Hero, Leonato's fhort daughter.

Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered.

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord, it is not fo, nor 'twas not fo; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so. Claud. If my paffion change not shortly, God forbid it fhould be otherwise.

Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the Lady is very. well worthy.

Claud. You fpeak this to fetch me in, my Lord.
Pedro. By my troth, I fpeak my thought.

Claud. And, in faith, my Lord; I spoke mine.. Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speak mine.

Claud. That I love her, I feel:

Pedro. That he is worthy, I know.

Bene. That I neither feel how the fhould be loved, nor know how the fhould be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the ftake.

Pedro. Thou wast ever an obftinate heretick in the defpight 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 he brought me up, I likewife give her moft humble thanks : but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invifible baldrick, all women shall pardon me; because I will not do them the Wrong to mitt ruft any, I will do myfelf the Right to truft none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a batchelor.

Pedro. I fhall fee thee, ere I die, look pale with love. Bene. With anger, with fickness, or with hunger, my lord, not with love: prove, that ever I lofe more blood with love, than I will get again with drinking, prick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house for the Sign of blind Cupid.

Pedro. Well, if ever thou doft fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.

Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and fhoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the fhoulder, and call'd Adam. (3)

Pedro. Well, as time fhall try; in time the favage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the fenfible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and set them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted;

(3) And be that bits me, let him be clap'd on the Shoulder, and call'd Adam.] But why fhould he therefore be call'd Adam? Perhaps, by a Quotation or two we may be able to trace the Poet's Allufion here. In Law-Tricks, or, Who would bas thought it, (a Comedy written by John Day, and printed in 1608) I find this Speech.

I bave beard, Old Adam was an boneft Man, and a good Gar diner ; lov'd Lettice well, Salads and Cabage reasonable well, yet no Tobacco ;- -Again, Adam Bell, a fubftantial Outlaw, and passing good Archer, yet no Tobacconist.

By This it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of day was of Reputation for his Skill at the Bow. I find him again mention'd in a Burlesque Poem of Sir William Davenant's, call'd, The long Vacation in London: and had I the Convenience of confulting Afcbam's Toxophilus, I might probably grow ftill better acquainted with his History.


and in fuch great letters as they write, Here is good Horse to hire, let them fignifie under my Sign, Here you may Jee Benedick the marry'd man.

Claud. If this fhould ever happen, thou would't be horn-mad

Pedro. Nay, if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this fhortly.

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.

Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the hours; in the mean time, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leònato's, commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him at fupper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for fuch an embaffage, and fo I commit you

Claud. To the tuition of God; From my house, if I had it,

Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick.

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your difcourfe is fometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but flightly basted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your confcience; and fo I leave you.


[Exit. Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me good.

Pedro. My love is thine to teach, teach it but how, And thou shalt fee how apt it is to learn

Any hard leffon that may do thee good.

Claud. Hath Leonato any fon, my lord?

Pedro. No child but Hero, fhe's his only heir:

Doft thou affect her, Claudio?

Claud. O my lord,

When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a foldier's eye;
That lik'd, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love;
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant; in their rooms
Come thronging foft and delicate Defires,


« 이전계속 »