SCENE IIILEONATO'S orchard.
Boy! Enter Boy.
In my chamber-window lies a book:
bring it hither to me in the orchard.
I am here already, sir.
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 behaviors (10)
to love, will, after he hath laughed
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 walked ten mile a-foot to
see a good armor; and now will he lie ten
nights awake, carving the fashion of a new (20)
doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to
the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier;
and now is he turned 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'11
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
color it please God. Ha! the prince and Monsieur
Love! I will hide me in the arbor. [Withdraws. Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO.
Come, shall we hear this music?
Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
See you where Benedick hath hid himself?
O, very well, my lord: the music ended,
We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth. Enter BALTHASAR with Music.
Come, Balthasar, we'll hear that song again.
O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
To slander music any more than once.
It is the witness still of excellency
To put a strange face on his own perfection. (50)
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
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.
Now, pray thee, come;
Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.
Note this before my notes;
There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.
Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks; (59)
Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing. [Air.
Now, divine air! now is his soul
ravished! Is it not strange that sheeps' guts
should hale souls out of men's bodies? Well,
a horn for my money, when all's done.
By my troth, a good song.
And an ill singer, my lord.
Ha, no, no, faith; thou singest (80)
well enough for a shift.
An he had been a dog that should
have howled thus, they would have hanged
him: and I pray God his bad voice bode no
mischief. I had as lief have heard the night-
raven, come what plague could have come
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. (90)
The best I can, my lord.
Do so: farewell.[Exit Balthasar.]
Come hither, Leonato. What was it
you told me of to-day, that your niece Beatrice
was in love with Signior Benedick?
O, ay: stalk on, stalk on; the fowl
sits. I did never think that lady would have
loved any man.
No, nor I neither; but most wonderful
that she should so dote on Signior Benedick,
whom she hath in all outward behaviors (101)
seemed ever to abhor.
Is't possible? Sits the wind in that
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
May be she doth but counterfeit.
Faith, like enough.
O God, counterfeit! There was
never counterfeit of passion came so near the (111)
life of passion as she discovers it.
Why, what effects of passion shows she?
Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.
What effects, my lord? She will sit
you, you heard my daughter tell you how.
She did, indeed.
How, how, I pray you? You
amaze me: I would have thought her spirit (120)
had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
I would have sworn it had, my lord;
especially against Benedick.
I should think this a gull, but that
the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery
cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.
He hath ta'en the infection: hold it up.
Hath she made her affection
known to Benedick?
No; and swears she never will: (130)
that's her torment.
'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter
says: 'Shall I,' says she, 'that have so oft encountered
him with scorn, write to him that I
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.
Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I
remember a pretty jest your daughter told us
O, when she had writ it and was
reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice
between the sheet?
O, she tore the letter into a thousand
halfpence; railed 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 (151)
Then down upon her knees she
falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her
hair, prays, curses; 'O sweet Benedick! God
give me patience!'
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
It were good that Benedick knew
of it by some other, if she will not discover it.
To what end? He would make but
a sport of it and torment the poor lady worse.
An he should, it were an alms to
hang him. She's an excellent sweet lady; and,
out of all suspicion, she is virtuous.
And she is exceeding wise.
In every thing but in loving
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.
I would she had bestowed this
dotage on me: I would have daffed all other
respects and made her half myself. I pray you,
tell Benedick of it, and hear what a' will say. (179)
Were it good, think you?
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.
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.
He is a very proper man. (190)
He hath indeed a good outward
Before God! and, in my mind, very wise.
He doth indeed show some
sparks that are like wit.
And I take him to be valiant.
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 (200)
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.
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?
Never tell him, my lord: let her
wear it out with good counsel.
Nay, that's impossible: she may (210)
wear her heart out first.
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.
My lord, will you walk? dinner is
If he do not dote on her upon this, (220)
I will never trust my expectation.
Let there be the same net spread
for her; and that must your daughter and her
gentlewoman 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.
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 censured: 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 choice 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 humor? 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.
Against my will I am sent to bid you
come in to dinner.
Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your
I took no more pains for those thanks
than you take pains to thank me: if it had (261)
been painful, I would not have come.
You take pleasure then in the message?
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.
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.