ACT III
Scene 2
 

A room in Leonato's house.

[Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato.]

PEDRO
I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I
toward Arragon.

CLAUDIO
I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.

PEDRO
Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your
marriage as to show a child his new coat and forbid him to wear
it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for,
from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all
mirth. He hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bowstring, and the
little hangman dare not shoot at him. He hath a heart as sound as
a bell; and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks,
his tongue speaks.

BENEDICK
Gallants, I am not as I have been.

LEONATO
So say I. Methinks you are sadder.

CLAUDIO
I hope he be in love.

PEDRO
Hang him, truant! There's no true drop of blood in him to be
truly touch'd with love. If he be sad, he wants money.

BENEDICK
I have the toothache.

PEDRO
Draw it.

BENEDICK
Hang it!

CLAUDIO
You must hang it first and draw it afterwards.

PEDRO
What? sigh for the toothache?

LEONATO
Where is but a humour or a worm.

BENEDICK
Well, every one can master a grief but he that has it.

CLAUDIO
Yet say I he is in love.

PEDRO
There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that
he hath to strange disguises; as to be a Dutchman to-day, a
Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, as
a German from the waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard from
the hip upward, no doublet. Unless he have a fancy to this
foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you
would have it appear he is.

CLAUDIO
If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old
signs. 'A brushes his hat o' mornings. What should that bode?

PEDRO
Hath any man seen him at the barber's?

CLAUDIO
No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him, and the old
ornament of his cheek hath already stuff'd tennis balls.

LEONATO
Indeed he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.

PEDRO
Nay, 'a rubs himself with civet. Can you smell him out by that?

CLAUDIO
That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.

PEDRO
The greatest note of it is his melancholy.

CLAUDIO
And when was he wont to wash his face?

PEDRO
Yea, or to paint himself? for the which I hear what they say of
him.

CLAUDIO
Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is new-crept into a
lutestring, and now govern'd by stops.

PEDRO
Indeed that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude, conclude, he is
in love.

CLAUDIO
Nay, but I know who loves him.

PEDRO
That would I know too. I warrant, one that knows him not.

CLAUDIO
Yes, and his ill conditions; and in despite of all, dies for him.

PEDRO
She shall be buried with her face upwards.

BENEDICK
Yet is this no charm for the toothache. Old signior, walk aside
with me. I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you,
which these hobby-horses must not hear.

[Exeunt Benedick and Leonato.]

PEDRO
For my life, to break with him about Beatrice!

CLAUDIO
'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts
with Beatrice, and then the two bears will not bite one another
when they meet.

[Enter John the Bastard.]

JOHN
My lord and brother, God save you.

PEDRO
Good den, brother.

JOHN
If your leisure serv'd, I would speak with you.

PEDRO
In private?

JOHN
If it please you. Yet Count Claudio may hear, for what I would
speak of concerns him.

PEDRO
What's the matter?

JOHN
[to Claudio] Means your lordship to be married tomorrow?

PEDRO
You know he does.

JOHN
I know not that, when he knows what I know.

CLAUDIO
If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.

JOHN
You may think I love you not. Let that appear hereafter, and aim
better at me by that I now will manifest. For my brother, I think
he holds you well and in dearness of heart hath help to effect
your ensuing marriage--surely suit ill spent and labour ill
bestowed!

PEDRO
Why, what's the matter?

JOHN
I came hither to tell you, and, circumstances short'ned (for she
has been too long a-talking of), the lady is disloyal.

CLAUDIO
Who? Hero?

JOHN
Even she--Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.

CLAUDIO
Disloyal?

JOHN
The word is too good to paint out her wickedness. I could say she
were worse; think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it.
Wonder not till further warrAntonio. Go but with me to-night, you
shall see her chamber window ent'red, even the night before her
wedding day. If you love her then, to-morrow wed her. But it
would better fit your honour to change your mind.

CLAUDIO
May this be so?

PEDRO
I will not think it.

JOHN
If you dare not trust that you see, confess not that you know. If
you will follow me, I will show you enough; and when you have
seen more and heard more, proceed accordingly.

CLAUDIO
If I see anything to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow,
in the congregation where I should wed, there will I shame her.

PEDRO
And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to
disgrace her.

JOHN
I will disparage her no farther till you are my witnesses. Bear
it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself.

PEDRO
O day untowardly turned!

CLAUDIO
O mischief strangely thwarting!

JOHN
O plague right well prevented! So will you say when you have
seen the Sequel.

[Exeunt.]