Imagini ale paginilor






[blocks in formation]

D. Pedro. Well, we'll 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 to have so good a lady.

Leon. My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready. Claud. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation. Aside. D. Pedro. 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. [Aside. Exeunt DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO.


SCENE I. Leonato's Garden. Enter HERO,

Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour;
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice
Proposing with the Prince and Claudio:
Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula
Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
Is all of her; say, that thou overheard'st us;
And bid her steal into the pleached bower,
Where honey-suckles, ripen'd by the sun,
Forbid the sun to enter;-like favourites,
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it there will she
hide her,

To listen our propose:4 This is thy office,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, pre-
Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick:
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit:
My talk to thee must be, how Benedick
Is sick in love with Beatrice: Of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;
Enter BEATRICE, behind.

For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear ou. conference.
Cut with their golden oars the silver stream,
Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
And greedily devour the treacherous bait:
So angle we for Beatrice; who even now

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.2 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 Is couched in the woodbine coverture: be horribly in love with her. I may chance have Fear some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, you not my part of the dialogue. because I have railed so long against marriage:Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose But doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the Of the false sweet bait, that we lay for it.nothing 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 hu-No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful; mour? No: The world must be peopled. When I know her spirits are as coy and wild said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I As haggards of the rock." should live till I were married.-Here comes Bea-That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely? Urs. trice: 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 knife's 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 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.

1 Seriously carried on.


2 Steevens and Malone assert that this is a metaphor from archery, saying that the full bent is the utmost extremity of exertion. Surely there is no ground for the assertion! It was one of the most common forms of expression in the language for inclination, tendency; and was used where it is impossible there could have been any allusion to the bending of a bow, as in these phrases, from a writer of Elizabeth's age: The day inclining or bending to the evening. Bending to a yellow colour.'

3 Proposing is conversing, from the French Propos, discourse, talk.

4 The folio reads purpose. The quarto propose, which appears to be right. See the preceding note.

[They advance to the bower.

But are you sure,

Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord.
Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?
Hero. They did entreat me to acquaint her of it;
But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick,
To wish him wrestle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Urs. Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?


Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to a man:
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice:
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her
Misprising what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly, that to her
All matter else seems weak: she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endear'd."

Though Mr. Reed has shown that purpose was some.
times used in the same sense.

5 A hawk not manned, or trained to obedience; a wild hawk. Hugard, Fr. Latham, in his Book of Falconry, says: Such is the greatness of her spirit, she will not admit of any society until such a time as nature worketh,' &c. So, in The Tragical History of Didaco and Violenta, 1576:


'Perchance she's not of haggard's kind,
Nor heart so hard to bend,' &c.

6 Wish him, that is, recommend or desire him. So,
The Honest Whore, 1604:

Go wish the surgeon to have great respect,' &c. 7 So, in Othello:

What a full fortune does the thick lips owe' What Ursula means to say is, that he is as deserving of complete happiness as Beatrice herself.' 8 Undervaluing.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »