Abbildungen der Seite

Beat. I cry you mercy, Uncle : by your Grace's pardon.

[Exit Beatrice. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited Lady.

Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my Lord ; she is never sad but when the sleeps, and not ever fad then; (7) for I have heard my daughter say, fhe hath often dream'd of an happiness, and wak'd herfelf with laaghing.

Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a hufband.

Leon. O by no means, she mocks all her wooers out of suit.

Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick.

Leon. O Lord, my Lord, if they were but a week marry'd, they would talk themselves mad.

Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to go to church?

Claud. To-morrow, my Lord ; time goes on crutches, 'till love have all his rites.

Leon. Not 'till Monday, my dear fon, which is hence a just seven-night, and a time too brief too, to have all things answer my mind.

Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall not go dully by us. I will in the Interim undertake one of Hercules's labours, which is, to bring Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection the one with the other ;. I would fain have it a match, and I doubt not to fashion it, if you three will but minister such aslikanee as I hall give you direction.

Leon. My Lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights watchings.

(7) For I bave beard my daughter say, Sbe batb often dream'd of unhappiness, and wak'd berself with laughing.] Tho' all the Impressions agree in this Reading, surely, 'tis absolutely repugnant to what Leonato intends to say, which is this ; “ Bea. #trice is never fad, but when the sleeps ; and not ever fad 6. then : for the hath often dream'd of fomething merry, (an bappiness, as the Poet phrases it,) and wak'd herself with “ laughing.".


B 2

you my drift.

Claud. And I, my Lord.
Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?

Hero. I will do any modeft office, my Lord, to help my Cousin to a good husband.

Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know : thus far I can praise him; he is of a noble ftrain, of approv'd valour, and confirmd honesty. I will teach you how to humour your Cousin, that the fhall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your two helps, will fo practise on Benedick, that in despight of his quick wit, and his queasie stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer, his glory thall be ours, for we are the only Love-Gods; go in with me, and I will tell

[Exeunt. SCENE changes to another Apartment in

Leonato's House.

Enter Don John and Borachio.
John. T is so, the Count Claudio shall marry the

Daughter of Leonato.
Bora. Yea, my Lord, but I can cross it.

John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be medicinable to me; I am fick in displeasure to him ; and whatsoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine.

How canst thou cross this marriage

Bora. Not honestly, my Lord, but so covertly that no dishonefty shall appear in me.

John. Shew me briefly how.

Bora. I think, I told your lordship a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting-gentlewoman to Hero.

John. I remember.

Bora. I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her Lady's chamber-window.




John. What life is in That, to be the death of this marriage?

Bora. The poison of That lies in you to temper; go you to the Prince your brother, {pare not to tell him, that he hath wrong'd his Honour in marrying the renown'd Claudio, (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to a contaminated Stale, such a one as Hero.

John. What Proof shall I make of That ?

Bora. Proof enough to misuse the Prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato; look

you for any other Iflue?

Jobn. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing. (8) Bora. Go then find me a meet hour, to draw Don


(8) Bora. Go tben, find me a meet bour to draw on Pedro and

tbe Count Claudio, alone ; tell them that you know Hero loves me; offer them Instances, wbicb hall bear no lefs Likeli. bood than to see me at ber Chamber-window.; bear me call Margaret, Hero; bear Margaret term me CLAUDIO ; and bring them to see this tbe very night before tbe intended Wed

ding.] Thus the whole Stream of the Editions from the firft Quarto downwards. I am oblig'd here to give a short Account of the Plot depending, that the Emendation I have made may appear the more clear and unquestionable. The Bufiness stands thus : Claudio, a Favourite of the Arragon Prince, is, by his Intercessions with her Father, to be marry'd to fair Hero; Don Jobn, natural Brother of the Prince, and a Hater of Claudio, is in his Spleen zealous to disappoint the Match. Boraobio, a rascally Dependent on Don Jobn, offers his Assistance, and engages to break off the Marriage by this Stratagem: “ Tell the Prince and Claudio (says He) that Hero is in Love " with Me; they won't believe it ; offer them Proofs, as that " they shall see me converse with her in her Chamber-window. “ I am in the good Graces of her Waiting.woman Margaret ; " and I'll prevail with Margaret at a dead hour of Night to “ personate her Mistress Hero ; do you then bring the Prince “ and Claudio to overhear our Discourse ; and They Mall have “ the Torment to hear me address Margaret by the Name of Hero, and her say sweet things to me by the Name of Claudio," This is the Substance of Boracbio's Device to make


B 3

Pedro, and the Count Claudio, alone ; tell them, that you know, Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio, as in a love of your Brother's honour who hath made this match ; and his friend's reputation, (who is thus like to be cozen’d with the semiblance of a maid,) that you have discover'd thus ; they' will hardly believe this without tryal : offer them instances, which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber-window; hear me call Magaret, Hero ; hear Margaret term me Borachio ; and bring them to see this, the very night before the intended Wedding; for in the mean time I will so fashion the matter, that Hero Thall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truths of Hero's difloyalty, that jealoufie fall be call'd assurance, and all the preparation overthrown.

John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practice: be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.

Bora. Be thou conftant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.

(Exeunt. SCENE changes to Leonato's Orchard.

Enter Benedick, and a Boy. Bene. Box

Boy. Signior. Hero suspected of Dinoyalty, and to break off her Match with Claudio. But, in the Name of common Sense, could it din please Claudio to hear his Mistress making use of bis Name tenderly? If he saw' another. Man with her, and heard her call him Claudio, he might reasonably think her' betray'd, but not have the same Reason to aecuse her of Difoyalty. Besides, how could her naming Claudio make the Prince and Claudio believe that the lov'd Boracbio, as he defires Don Fobn' to infi. nuate to them that she did ? The Circumstances weigh’d, there is no doubt but the Palfage ought to be reform’d, as I have settled in the Text.

bear me call Margaret, Hero; bear Margaret term me BORACHIO.


Bene. In my chamber-window lies a book, bring it hither to me in the orchard. Boy. I am here already, Sir:

[Exit Boy.
Bene. I know that, but I would have thee hence,
and here again I do much wonder, that one man,
seeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedi.
cates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laught
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 mufick
with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he
rather hear the taber and the pipe ; I have known, when
he would have walk'd ten mile a foot, 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
loldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer, his words
are a very fantastical banquet, juft fo many strange dishes.
May I be fo converted, and see with these eyes ? I can-
hot tell ; I think not. I willl 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
well; another is wife, yet I am well; another virtuous,
yet I am well. But 'till all graçes be in one woman,
one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall
be, that's certain ; wise, or I'llinone; virtuouş, or I'll
never cheapen her : fair, or I'll never look on her ;
mild, or not come near me ; noble, or not I for an an-
gel ; 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 ar-

Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Pedro. Come, fall we hear this mufick ?
Claud. Yea, my good lord ; '

how still the evening is, As huh'd on purpose to grace harmony!

Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himseỉ ?:
Claud. O very well, my lord; the mufick ended,



[ocr errors][ocr errors]


« ZurückWeiter »