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Yet did repent me, after more advice :
Duke. What's he?
Prov. His name is Barnardine. Duke. I would thou had'st done so by Claudio. Go, fetch him hither; let me look upon him. [Exit PROVOST. Escal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise As you, lord Angelo, have still appear'd, Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood, And lack of temper'd judgement afterward. Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure: And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart, That I crave death more willingly than mercy; "Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.
You, sirrah, [To Lucio.] that knew me for a fool, à coward,
One all of luxury," an ass, a madman;
Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick: If you will hang me for it, you may, but I had rather it would please you, I might be whipp'd.
Duke. Whipp'd first, Sir, and hang'd 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.
Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said even now, Re-enter PROVOST, BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO, and I made you a duke; good my lord, do not re
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
Duke. There was a friar told me of this man:Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul, That apprehends no further than this world, And squar'st thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd;
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
Prov. This is another prisoner, that I sav'd,
compense me, in making me a cuckold.
Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
Duke. Sland'ring a prince deserves it.She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you re
Joy to you, Mariana!-love her, Angelo;
There's more behind, that is more gratulate.§
So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show
[Exeunt. + Thoughtless practice. To reward.
SCENE I.-Before LEONATO's House. Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others,
with a MESSENGER.
Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.
Mess. He is very near by this; he was not three leagues off when I left him.
Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?
Mess. But few of any sort, and none of
Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don Pedro hath bestowed much.Lonour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.
Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.
Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of it.
Mess. 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 badge of bitterness.
Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Beat. 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.— I pray you, how many 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 he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars.
Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencherman, he hath an excellent stomach.
Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. Beat. And a good soldier to a lady;-But what is he to a lord?
Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man ; uffed with all honourable virtues.
Beat. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a cuffed 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: they never meet, but there is a skirmish 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 whole man governed with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference wash-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. Mess. Is it possible?
Leon. A kind overflow of kindness: There are no faces truer than those that are so ed. How much 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?
Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there was none such in the army of any sort.
Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece? Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua.
Mess. O, he is returned; and as pleasant as ever he was.
Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.§
Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? * At long lengths. A Cuckold.
Is there no young squarer now, that will make | tell him, we shall stay here at least a month; a voyage with him to the devil?
Mess. He is most in the company of the right
Beat. 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.
Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady.
Leon. You will never run mad, niece.
Enter Don. PEDRO, attended by BALTHAZAR, and others, 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.
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. John. I thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank you.
Leon. Please it your grace lead on? 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; but 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 judgement; 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 judge
Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but, when you department. from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
D. Pedro. You embrace your charget too willingly. I think, this is your daughter. Leon. Her mother hath many times told me
Bene. Were you in doubt, Sir, that you asked her?
Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.
D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this what you are, being a man. Truly, 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; nobody 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 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 else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. 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 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 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.
D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato, signior Claudio, and signior Benedick,-my dear friend Leonato, hath invited you all. + Trust.
* Quarrelsome fellow
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 her.
Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel? 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 yet without spectacles, and I see no 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 three-score again? Go to, i'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 allegience. Bene. You hear, count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on my allegience,-mark you this, on my allegience-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.
Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise.
D. 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 be loved, 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.
D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic 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 recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my buglet in an invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me. Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor.
D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord; not with love: prove, that ever I lose more blood with love, than I will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a balladmaker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house, 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 : In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.
Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and set them in my forehead: and let me be vilely painted; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good horse to hire, let them signify under my sign,-Here you may see Benedick the married man.
Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.
D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
Bene. I look for an earthquake too then. D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's; commend me to him, and tell him, I will not fail him at supper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.
Bene, I have almost matter enough in me for such an embassage; and so I commit youClaud. To the tuition of God: From my house, (if I had it,
D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick.
Claud. My liege, me good.
ur highness now may do
D. Pedro, My love is thine to teach; teach it but how,
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
When you went onward on this ended action,
D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
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:
And I will fit thee with the remedy.
SCENE II-A Room in LEONATO's House.
Enter 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, ed not of." I can tell you strange news that you yet dream
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 much overheard by a man of mine: The prince thick-pleached alley in my orchard, were thus 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?
him, and question him yourself. Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for
Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not: The body till it appears itself:-but I will acquaint my of your discourse is sometimes guarded with daughter withal, that she may be the better fragments, and the guards are but slightly bas-prepared for an answer, if peradventure this ted on neither: ere you flout old ends any fur- be true. Go you, and tell her of it. [Several ther, examine your conscience; and so I leave persons cross the stage.] Cousins, you know [Exit BENEDICK. what you have to do.-O, I cry you mercy, friend; you go with me, and I will use your Thickly-interwoven.
The tune sounded to call off the dogs. + Hunting-born. ↑ Girdle. The name of a famous archer.
* Once for all.
skill:-Good cousins have a care this busy time. [Exeunt. SCENE III.-Another Room in LEONATO'S
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
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 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 clawt 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 had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood 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 plaindealing 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 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 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? which 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? Čon. To the death, my lord.
D. John. Let us to the great supper; their cheer 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.
SCENE 1.-A Hall in LEONATO's House. Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others.
Leon. Was not count John here at supper? Ant. I saw him not.
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 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 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 in 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: and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him. Therefore I will even take 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 Peter for the heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Ant. Well, niece, [70 HERO.] I trust, you will be ruled by your father.
Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make courtesy, and say, Father, as it please you:-but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a