Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]

season give

Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Why had I not, with charitable hand,
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates?
Who smeared thus, and mir'd with infamy,
I might have said, no part of it is mine;
This shame derives itself from unknown loins.
But mine, as mine I lov'd, as mine I prais’d,
As mine that I was proud on, mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her; why, the,-__0, the, is fallin
Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again;
And salt too little, which may
To her foul tainted fleih!

Bene. Sir, Sir, be patient;
For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is bely’d.
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

Beat. No, truly, not ; although until last night
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow..

Leon. Confirm’d, confirm'd! O, that is stronger made,
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron..
Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie,
Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her, let her die.

Friar. Hear me a little,
For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady. I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions
To start into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel-whiteness bear away those blushes ;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool,
Trust not my reading, nor my observations,
Which with experimental seal do warrant
The tenor of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Under fome biting error.


Leon. Friar, it cannot be.
Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left,
Is, that she will not add to her damnation
A fin of perjury; she not denies it :
TWhy feek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That which appears in proper nakedness?

Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of?
Hero. They know that do accuse me; I know none;
If I know more of any man alive,
Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Let all my fins lack mercy!-O my

Prove you that any man with me convers'd
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.

Friar. There is fome strange misprifion in the princes,

Benz. Two of them have the very bent of honour,
And if their wisdoms be milled in this,
The practice of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.

Leon. I know not: if they speak but truth of her,
These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour,
The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Time hath not yet so dry'd this blood of mine,
Nor age so eat up my invention,
Nor fortune made fuch havock of my means,

bad life reft me so much of friends,
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
Ability in means, and choice of friends,
To quit me of them thoroughly.

Friar. Pause a while,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Your daughter here the princes left for dead ;
Let her a while be secretly kept in,
And publish it that the is dead indeed:
Maintain a mourning oftentation,
And on your family's old monument
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites
That appertain unto à burial.

Leon. What shall become of this: what will this do:
Friar. Marry, this, well carry'd, shall on her behalf
Vol. II.




Change slander to remorse; that is some good;
But not for that dream I on this strange course,
But on this travail look for greater birth.
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd,
Upon the instant that she was accus’d,
Shall be lamented, pity'd, and excus’d,
Of every hearer; for it fo falls out,
That what we have we prize not to the worth,
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack'd and loft,
Why, then we rack the value; then we find
The virtue that possession would not sew us
Whilft it was ours.- -So will it fare with Claudio.
- When he shall hear she dy'd upon his words,
- Th’idea of her life shall sweetly creep

Into his study of imagination, • And every lovely organ of her life - Shall coine apparell'd in more precious habit; * More moving, delicate, and full of life, • Into the eye and prospect of his foul, • Than when she liv'd indeed.' Then shall he mouri, If ever love had interest in his liver, And with he had not so accused her; No, though he thought his accusation truc. Let this be so, and doubt not but success Will fashion the event in better shape Than I can lay it down in likelihood. But if all aim but this be levell'd false, The fupposition of the lady's death Will quench the wonder of her infamy, And, if it fort not well, you may conceal her, As best befits her wounded reputation, In some reclufive and religious life, Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.

Bene. Signior Leonato, let the Friar advise you. And though, you know, my inwardness and love Is very much unto the Prince and Claudio; Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this As fecretly and juftly as your soul Should with your body.

Leon. Being that I flow in grief, The smallest twine may

lead me.

Friar. 'Tis well consented, presently away;

For to strange fores, itrangely they strain the cure Come, Lady, die to live; this wedding-day Perhaps is but prolong'd: have patience, and endure.

[Exeunt. SCENE III. Manent Benedick and Beatrice. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while? Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. Bene. I will not defire that. Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely. Bene. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wrong'd..

Bene. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me, that would right her!

Bene. Is there any way to shew such friendship?
Beat. A very even way, but no such friend.
Bene. May a man do it?
Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.

Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as you ; is not that strange? Beat. As strange as the thing I know not.

It were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as you; but believe me not, and yet I lie not; I confefs nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am forry for my cousin.

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lov'it me.
Beat. Do not fwear by it, and eat it.

Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I will make him eat it that says I love not you. Beat. Will

you not eat your word? Bene. With no sauce that can be devis’d to it; I. protest I love thee.

Beat. Why then, God forgive me.
Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice?

Beat. You have stay'd me in a happy hour; I was about to proteit I lov'd you.

Bene. And do it with all thy heart.

Bect. I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to proteft.

Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Beat. Kill Claudio.
Bene. Ha! not for the wide world.


E 2

[ocr errors]

Beat. You kill me to deny; farewell.
Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beat. I am gone, tho' I am here; there is no love in you; nay, I pray you, let me go.

Bene. Beatrice,
Beat. In faith, I will go.
Bene. We'll be friends firft.

Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fighe with mine enemy?

Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?

Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath Nander'd, scorn'd, dishonour'd my kinswoman! O that I were a man! What! bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then, with public accusation, uncover'd slander, unmitigated rancour O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.

Bene. Hear me, Beatrice.
Beat. Talk with a man out at a window!

proper Saying!

Bene. Nay, but Beatrice.

Beat. Sweet Hero! he is wrong'd, she is slander'd, The is undone.

Bene. Beat.

Beat. Princes and Counts! furely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfect, a sweet gallant, furely! O that I were a man for his fake! or that I had any friend would be a man for my fake! But manhood is melted into courtefies, valour into compliment, and men are only turn'd into tongue, and trim ones too. He is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.

Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice; by this hand I love thee. Beat. Use it for

my love some other way than swearing by it.

Bene. Think you in your soul the Count Claudio bath wrong'd Hero?

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a foul.

Bene. Enough; I am engag'd; I will challenge him, I will kiss your hand, and to leave you; by this hard,


« ПредишнаНапред »