Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, Misprizing 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
She is so self-endeared.
Sure, I think so, And therefore
certainly it were not good She knew his love, lest she make sport at it.
Why, you speak truth.
So turns she every man the wrong side out And never gives to truth and virtue
that Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.
But who dare tell her so?
If I should speak, She would mock me into air.
O, she would laugh me Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire, Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.
It were a better death than die with mocks, Which is as bad as die with tickling.
No, rather I will go to Benedick And counsel
him to fight against his passion; And truly I’ll devise
some honest slanders To stain my cousin with.
One doth not know How much an ill word may empoison liking.
O, do not do your cousin such a wrong!
She cannot be so much without true judgment, Having so swift and excellent a wit As she is prized to have, as to refuse So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.
He is the only man of Italy, Always excepted my dear Claudio.
Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.
did earn it, ere he had it.
When are you married, madam?
Why, every day, tomorrow.
Come, go in.
I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I toward Aragon.
I’ll bring you thither, my lord, if you’ll vouchsafe
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 bow-string, 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.
Gallants, I am not as I have been.
So say I. Methinks you are sadder.
I hope he be in love.
There’s no true drop of blood in him to be truly touched with love.
If he be sad, he wants money.
What, sigh for the toothache?
Yet say I, he is in love.
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.
If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs.
He brushes his hat o' mornings.
What should that bode?
Hath any man seen him at the barber’s?
No, but the barber’s man hath been seen with him, and the old ornament
of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis
Nay, he rubs himself with civet.
Can you smell him out by that?
Her mother hath many times told me so.
You have it full, Benedick.
Truly, the lady fathers herself.—Be happy, lady, for you are like an honorable father.
If Signor Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, as like him as she is.
I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor Benedick.
Nobody marks you.
What, my dear Lady Disdain!
Are you yet living?
That’s as much as to say, the sweet youth’s in love.
The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
And when was he wont to wash his face?
Yea, or to paint himself?
For the which I hear what they say of him.
Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept into a lute string and now governed by stops— Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him.
Conclude, conclude, he is in love.
Nay, but I know who loves him.
She shall be buried with her face upwards.
Yet is this no charm for the toothache.—Old Signior, walk aside with me.
Tis even so.
My lord and brother, God save you.
Good e'en, brother.
If your leisure
served, I would speak with you.
If it please you.
Yet Count Claudio may hear, for what I would speak of concerns him.
What’s the matter?
You know he does.
I know not that, when he knows what I know.
If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.
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 holp to effect your ensuing marriage—surely suit ill spent and labor ill bestowed.
Why, what’s the matter?
I came hither
to tell you; and, circumstances shortened, for she has been too long a-talking of, the lady is disloyal.
Even she: Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every man’s Hero.
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 warrant.
Go but with me tonight, you shall see her chamber
window entered, even the night before her wedding
If you love her then, tomorrow wed her.
But it would better fit your honor to change your mind.
I will not think it.
If I see anything tonight why I should not marry her, tomorrow in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.
And as I wooed for thee to obtain
her, I will join with thee to disgrace
Bear it coldly
but till midnight
and let the issue show itself.
O day untowardly turned!
O mischief strangely
right well prevented!
So will you say when you have seen the sequel.
Are you good men and true?
Come hither, neighbor Seacole.
God hath blessed
you with a good name.
To be a well-favored man is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.
Both which, Master Constable— You have.
I knew it would be your answer.
Well, for your favor, sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it, and for your writing
and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity.
You are thought here to be the most senseless
and fit man for the constable
of the watch; therefore
bear you the lantern.
How if he will not stand?
Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go and presently
call the rest of the watch together and thank God you are rid of a knave.
If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the Prince’s subjects.
We know what belongs to a watch.
Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping
Well, you are to call at all the alehouses and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
How if they will not?
Why, then, let them alone till they are sober.
If they make you not then the better answer, you may say they are not the men you took them for.
If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?
You, constable, are to present the Prince’s own person.
If you meet the Prince in the night, you may stay him.
Nay, by 'r Lady, that I think he cannot.
Five shillings to one on ’t, with any man that knows the statutes, he may stay him—marry, not without the Prince be willing, for indeed the watch ought to offend
no man, and it is an offense
to stay a man against his will.
By 'r lady, I think it be so.
An there be any matter of weight chances, call up me.
Well, masters, we hear our charge.
Let us go sit here upon the church bench till two, and then all to bed.
One word more, honest neighbors.
There is scorn and disdain
in her eyes, and those sparkling eyes despise
everything they look upon.
She can’t even imagine what “love” is.
It would be bad if she knew about Benedick’s love and teased him about it.
And so she turns men inside out and never acknowledges the integrity
and merit that a man has.
But who would dare tell her?
If I said something, she’d mock me so mercilessly that I’d probably disintegrate into air.
She’d laugh me right out of my body and kill me with her wit.
Like a fire that gets covered up, Benedick should smother
his love and waste away.
It would be better to die that way than to die from being mocked, which is as bad as being killed by tickling.
No, instead I’ll go to Benedick and advise
him to fight his emotions.
You don’t know how quickly affection
can be killed with a single nasty word.
Oh, don’t injure
your cousin like that!
With the quick, intelligent
wit she’s rumored to have, she can’t really be such a bad judge of character
that she’d refuse a man as exceptional
as Signior Benedick.
He’s the only worthy
man in Italy, aside from my dear Claudio.
True, he has an excellent reputation.
And he deserves it, having been excellent before he had a reputation
When are you getting married, madam?
Tomorrow, and then every day after that.
Come on, let’s go inside.
I’ll stay in Messina until you’re married, and then I’ll go to Aragon.
I’ll go with you, my lord, if you’ll allow me.
you away from your new marriage would be like showing a child a new coat and then not letting him wear it.
I’ll ask only Benedick to come with me, for from the top of his head to the soles of his feet he’s a joker.
He’s evaded love once or twice, and since then Cupid doesn’t dare to shoot at him.
Benedick’s heart is like a bell, with his tongue as the clapper: everything his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.
Gentleman, I am not the same man I was before.
I hope he’s in love.
There isn’t a single drop of sincerity
in him that could be touched with love.
If he looks serious, he must need money.
What, are you moaning on about your toothache?
I repeat, he’s in love.
Unless you’re talking about his love for this kind of foolishness—which, judging from his appearance, he has—he is no fool for love, as you pretend.
If he’s not in love with a woman, then you can’t trust the usual symptoms.
He brushes his hat in the mornings.
What do you think that means?
Has any man seen him at the barber’s?
No, but the barber’s assistant
has been seen with him.
And he’s rubbed himself with perfume.
Can you smell out his secret now?
But when You take up your duties too cheerfully.
That’s what her mother always tells me.
Ah, he got you back, Benedick!
Congratulations, lady: you resemble
a most honorable man.
Well, even if he is her father, I’m sure she wouldn’t want to have the head of the old man on her shoulders!
I’m amazed you’re still talking, Signior Benedick.
No one’s listening to you.
Look, it’s my dear Lady Disdain!
Aren’t you dead yet?
That’s as good as proof that the sweet young man’s in love.
The biggest clue is his seriousness.
And when has he ever been known to wash his face?
Yes, or to wear cosmetics?
I hear what they say about him for doing that.
Indeed, his mocking spirit has now crawled into a Truly, it all adds up to a serious story for Benedick.
A conclusion, a conclusion: he is in love.
Oh, and I know who loves him.
She’ll be buried with her face upwards, then.
is no cure for my toothache.
It must be.
My lord and brother, God save you.
Good evening, brother.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to speak with you.
If you wish.
But Count Claudio can stay, for what I’m about to say concerns him.
What’s the matter?
You know that he does.
I don’t know that, once he knows what I know.
If there’s any reason we shouldn’t get married, I urge you to tell me.
You may think that I don’t love you.
I hope that, after I tell you my news, you will think better of me.
My brother thinks highly of you, and because of his affection, has helped arrange your marriage—but that was definitely
a waste of his time and energy.
Why, what’s the matter?
I came here to tell you—I’ll make this short, since she’s already been talked about for too long—the lady is unfaithful.
That’s the one: Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every man’s Hero.
The word is too good to represent her wickedness.
She is worse than wicked.
If you can think of a more awful title, I’ll call her that.
But don’t keep wondering without more proof.
Come with me tonight, and you’ll see a man enter her bedroom chamber—even tonight, the night before her wedding.
If you still love her after that, then marry her tomorrow.
But you would be more honorable if you changed your mind.
I won’t consider it.
If I see anything tonight that convinces me not to marry her, I’ll shame her tomorrow in the very congregation
where I would have married her.
And since I wooed her in your name, I’ll join you in disgracing her.
Remain calm until midnight, and then you’ll see what the trouble is.
Oh, this day has turned into a disaster!
has ruined our plans!
Oh, a plague
has been prevented, thank God!
That’s what you’ll say once you’ve seen part two.
Are you all good and honest men?
Come here, Sir Seacole.
God has blessed
you with a good name.
To be good-looking
is a matter of luck, but to read and write is a natural gift.
Both of which, master constable— You have.
I knew that would be your answer.
Well, for your good looks, sir, thank God and don’t boast about it.
You’re thought to be the most
you will And what if he won’t stop?
Then immediately call the rest of the watch together and thank God that you’ve gotten
rid of such a criminal.
If he won’t stop when he’s told to, then he isn’t one of the Prince’s subjects.
We know what’s appropriate
for a watch.
Why, you speak like an experienced
and quiet watchman.
Also, you’re supposed
to visit all the bars and tell anyone who’s drunk to go home and go to bed.
And what if they won’t go?
Well then, leave them alone until they’re sober.
If even then they don’t answer to your satisfaction, you can say that they’re not the men you thought they were.
Very good, sir.
So if we know that a man is a thief, should we try to arrest
You, constable, are representing the Prince himself.
If you meet the Prince in the night, you can order him to stop.
No, by our Lady, I don’t think he can.
I’ll bet any man who knows the law five shillings to one on it.
By our Lady, I think that’s true.
And if anything important happens, find me and let me know.
Well gentlemen, we’ve heard our assignment.
Let’s sit here on the church bench until two and then go off to bed.
One more thing, good gentlemen.