Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Much Ado About Nothing > Act II, scene III

Jump to: the first appearance of sigh_no_more,_ladies,_sigh_no_more,




	[Enter BENEDICK]

BENEDICK: Boy!

	[Enter Boy]

Boy: Signior?

BENEDICK: In my chamber-window lies a book: bring it hither
	to me in the orchard.

Boy: I am here already, sir.

BENEDICK: 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 to love, will, after he hath laughed at
	such shallow follies in others, become the argument
	of his own scorn by failing 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 tabour and the pipe: I have known
	when he would have walked 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 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'll 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 colour it please God. Ha! the prince and
	Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.

	[Withdraws]

	[Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO]

DON PEDRO: Come, shall we hear this music?

CLAUDIO: Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
	As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!

DON PEDRO: See you where Benedick hath hid himself?

CLAUDIO: O, very well, my lord: the music ended,
	We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.

	[Enter BALTHASAR with Music]

DON PEDRO: Come, Balthasar, we'll hear that song again.

BALTHASAR: O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
	To slander music any more than once.

DON PEDRO: It is the witness still of excellency
	To put a strange face on his own perfection.
	I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.

BALTHASAR: 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.

DON PEDRO: Now, pray thee, come;
	Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument,
	Do it in notes.

BALTHASAR:                   Note this before my notes;
	There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.

DON PEDRO: Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks;
	Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing.
	[Air]

BENEDICK: 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.

	[The Song]

BALTHASAR:      Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
	Men were deceivers ever,
	One foot in sea and one on shore,
	To one thing constant never:
	Then sigh not so, but let them go,
	And be you blithe and bonny,
	Converting all your sounds of woe
	Into Hey nonny, nonny.

	Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,
	Of dumps so dull and heavy;
	The fraud of men was ever so,
	Since summer first was leafy:
	Then sigh not so, &c.

DON PEDRO: By my troth, a good song.

BALTHASAR: And an ill singer, my lord.

DON PEDRO: Ha, no, no, faith; thou singest well enough for a shift.

BENEDICK: 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 after
	it.

DON PEDRO: 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.

BALTHASAR: The best I can, my lord.

DON PEDRO: 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?

CLAUDIO: O, ay: stalk on. stalk on; the fowl sits. I did
	never think that lady would have loved any man.

LEONATO: No, nor I neither; but most wonderful that she
	should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in
	all outward behaviors seemed ever to abhor.

BENEDICK: Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

LEONATO: 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 thought.

DON PEDRO: May be she doth but counterfeit.

CLAUDIO: Faith, like enough.

LEONATO: O God, counterfeit! There was never counterfeit of
	passion came so near the life of passion as she
	discovers it.

DON PEDRO: Why, what effects of passion shows she?

CLAUDIO: Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.

LEONATO: What effects, my lord? She will sit you, you heard
	my daughter tell you how.

CLAUDIO: She did, indeed.

DON PEDRO: How, how, pray you? You amaze me: I would have I
	thought her spirit had been invincible against all
	assaults of affection.

LEONATO: I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially
	against Benedick.

BENEDICK: I should think this a gull, but that the
	white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot,
	sure, hide himself in such reverence.

CLAUDIO: He hath ta'en the infection: hold it up.

DON PEDRO: Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?

LEONATO: No; and swears she never will: that's her torment.

CLAUDIO: 'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: 'Shall
	I,' says she, 'that have so oft encountered him
	with scorn, write to him that I love him?'

LEONATO: 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.

CLAUDIO: Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a
	pretty jest your daughter told us of.

LEONATO: O, when she had writ it and was reading it over, she
	found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?

CLAUDIO: That.

LEONATO: 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 should.'

CLAUDIO: Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs,
	beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; 'O
	sweet Benedick! God give me patience!'

LEONATO: She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the
	ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my daughter
	is sometime afeared she will do a desperate outrage
	to herself: it is very true.

DON PEDRO: It were good that Benedick knew of it by some
	other, if she will not discover it.

CLAUDIO: To what end? He would make but a sport of it and
	torment the poor lady worse.

DON PEDRO: An he should, it were an alms to hang him. She's an
	excellent sweet lady; and, out of all suspicion,
	she is virtuous.

CLAUDIO: And she is exceeding wise.

DON PEDRO: In every thing but in loving Benedick.

LEONATO: 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.

DON PEDRO: 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.

LEONATO: Were it good, think you?

CLAUDIO: 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.

DON PEDRO: 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.

CLAUDIO: He is a very proper man.

DON PEDRO: He hath indeed a good outward happiness.

CLAUDIO: Before God! and, in my mind, very wise.

DON PEDRO: He doth indeed show some sparks that are like wit.

CLAUDIO: And I take him to be valiant.

DON PEDRO: 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 Christian-like fear.

LEONATO: 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.

DON PEDRO: 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?

CLAUDIO: Never tell him, my lord: let her wear it out with
	good counsel.

LEONATO: Nay, that's impossible: she may wear her heart out first.

DON PEDRO: 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.

LEONATO: My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready.

CLAUDIO: If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never
	trust my expectation.

DON PEDRO: Let there be the same net spread for her; and that
	must your daughter and her gentlewomen 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]

BENEDICK: [Coming forward]  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 chance 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 humour?
	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]

BEATRICE: Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.

BENEDICK: Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

BEATRICE: 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.

BENEDICK: You take pleasure then in the message?

BEATRICE: 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]

BENEDICK: 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]




	MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING






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