Shake-Speared In Love

                Shake-Speared in Love
    by Pam and Kaet Morris

To Beatrice, the most beauteous bud of flowering maids,
You tread upon my patience! I wait to hear your troth and hear only the hollow wind. How can love trifle with itself? for you are love and comforteth like sunshine after a rain. Your beauty would provoke thieves sooner than gold. 
I am writing you another sonnet, my love. "O, how I faint when I of you do write... something ,something, something... for I ne'er saw true beauty 'til this night."
What say you? Can you love a fool? Love looks not with the eyes, dear Beatrice, but with the mind, and therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind. So, bow, stubborn knees and swear me, Beatrice, like a lady as thou art, a good mouth-filling oath!
Smitten beyond hope, Will Shakespeare
Dearest friend, Ophelia,
'Zounds! I was never so bethump't with words! Tell me, what manner of man is't that refuses no for an answer? I did as you suggested. I told him in plain words that though I will praise any man that will praise me,  I like you not, Will Shakespeare, nor your praises either. And yet he does not desist his declarations... of love, of passion, of endless poetry dedicated to my eyes, my lips, my bosom... He knows not of what he speaks!
I met him only once, briefly, at tea. And never then recognized what a swooning oaf he was. Had I but known I would not have spoken three words together at him!
He, poor fool, can not restrain himself to three words. I have received no less than eleven sonnets from him! This week! What a piece of work is this man! 
He says, "I am woman, therefore to be wooed, I am woman, therefore to be won,  I am Beatrice, therefore to be loved."  Does that sound like a man of intelligence and wit, for I have heard him called that and by many. To say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-day! 
Advise me more, Ophelia. I am in a tither.
Praised past patience, Beatrice

Hey, ho, Beatrice,
I have yet to meet a soul of such passion. That I should be so fortunate... though you seem not of that mind. Is your Will handsome? Tall, sound, of good leg? In short a man from which dreams can be spun?
But he is a spinner of dreams, I saw his Midsummer Night's Dream and laughed. He writ himself into it, sounds like, poor man, or wrote a man as like himself as he is to an ass in love! Therefore, Beatrice, do not be such an ass as  to treat him cheaply. We who know and love you,  know your heart to be hard as glass, therefore do not shatter this man's noble heart.
That is my advice. Or else, get thee to a nunnery, Beatrice. I have been told thus, but it might better serve you.  Or, you might serve me. Tell him misery loves company and you know a woman who is miserable, therefore available, she is woman, therefore to be wooed, she is Ophelia, therefore needs loved.
Tell me, Beatrice, is this Will sweet of face? For I love a sunny flower. The miserable have no other medicine but hope.
Your doting pal,  Ophelia

Dear prolific Will, 
I am taking a dear friend's advice and directing your passion her way. For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, action, nor utterance to stir men's blood and there's small choice in rotten apples. Therefore love not me, love her and all's well that ends well. 
Ophelia will suit you. She wears the rose of youth upon her and is devoutly literary. Together you make a pair of star-crossed fools. 
The course of true love never did run smooth, Will, and  I had rather hear a dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.
Anon, hopefully forever, Beatrice

How could you toss Ophelia into Will Shakespeare's sight? She will hang about him like a disease! Her mournfulness inspires dogs to howl and asses to call each other wise. The tartness of her face sours grapes!
Ah, Beatrice, how could you when he is more lovely than a summer's day?
Perturbed, Kate

Sweet Kate, 
Sits the wind in that corner, truly? This is so unlike you. I have heard men  call you Kate, the Curst; Kate, the Shrew; Lady Disdain. I have more oft quoted your brand of devilish prose than any other. Your put-downs are poetic, your quips legendary. Your disposition towards men is historic and provided meat and drink to many of us.
O, Kate, the weakest kind of fruit drops earliest to the ground. Are you truly smitten by this playwright who wears his faith but at the fashion of his hat?  Tell me, where is fancy bred, in the heart or on the head?                                             Betrayed, Beatrice

 O Beatrice,
Many can brook the weather that love not the wind. I will not be sworn, but love hath transformed me to an oyster. I beg you, tell no one of my fall to Cupid's blight. I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me because I have so long railed against love; but must I hold a candle to my shames? There's special providence in the fall of  a sparrow. If it not be now, 'tis to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. I proved ready and a fool, both together.
Your tethered friend, Kate

Dearest Will,
I am bewitched of your rogues company. If you have not given me medicine to make me love you, I'll be hanged.
And have I not cause to weep? I know a man in love, you are not he. He has a lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and sunken, which you have not, an unquestionable spirit, which you have not, a beard neglected, which you have not, but I pardon you for that. Your hose should be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbottoned, your shoe untied...
I swear the kiss you take is better than the kiss you give, the more fool I. O, had I but followed the arts!
Lonely for you, Ophelia
P.S I am a kind of burr; I shall stick.

Tempt not a desperate woman.  I had rather be a toad and live upon the vapour of a dungeon, than keep a corner in the thing I love for other's use.
Back off, Kate

Curse you, Beatrice!
    Thou art all ice. Thy kindness freezes. Thanks for nought!
 Broken and battered, Ophelia

Dear Kate,

Beware, every why hath a wherefore. I saw young Juliet with Will Shakespeare last eve.  She is beautiful, I grant her that. O, what a world of vile ill-favoured faults look handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
But Kate, look you to your tiger's heart and know this. She that is robbed, not wanting what was stolen, is not robbed at all. Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
Courage, Beatrice

Fair Beatrice,
You are right, I shall note this in my book of memory. And we may pity him, but not pardon. Asses are made to bear and so must he. Therefore a plan, dear friend, to give lesson to a loving rogue. Are you in? For 'tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support him after!
Kate the Cursing

My sweetest friend,  Ophelia,
Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance. Therefore, I beg pardon, dear friend, for an offense to you blithely played and by me, cheaply  paid. Forgive me. An unlesson'd girl and happy in this, is not yet so old but she may learn.
I, with Kate’s help, have devised a plan to set young Will on his ear and teach him to love wisely, not widely! Would you play a part?
Inspired, Beatrice

Dearest Beatrice,
I have no other but a woman's reason. Of course I forgive you. Say on, what plan and how can I help? Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage!
Dutifully yours, Ophelia

To valiant Ophelia,
Forgive me as well.  Few love to hear the sins they love to act and Beatrice, being Beatrice, chided me well for my sins.   
To the plan... know you Helena and Hermia, twins as like to each other as an ass to a man in love? We three together shall present, in nonchalant fashion, Helena to Will, who, being Will, will fall head over heels in love. Helena, he will woo as Helena,  Hermia he will woo thinking she be Helena. Helena will play all sweetness and virtue, Hermia's manner will spurn and disdain. (These parts have they played on many a lovesick fool). They shall lead Will such a merry dance, the man will never harp that string again 'er his song go forever unsung!
See, there is a way to kill a man with kindness!
 Triumphant, Kate

O dear Kate,
Woe is me. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. I saw Will yester eve, he is shorn, he is cropp'd, he is undone! He doth nothing but talk of his horse! 
T'was a mean dance we played him, a merry dance for us alone. We killed him for our sport. For my part, I am sorry and wish't back again. Me thinks he is a man more sinn'd against than sinning. I pointed him in Beatrice's direction, she needs pay the piper his due.
Repentant, Ophelia  

To Beatrice, the mistress of mischief, 
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.  I am Fortune's Fool. Had I not lived through it, I would dare not believe in such double madness. You have indeed led me a merry caper. But love is blind, and lovers cannot see the pretty follies they themselves commit. 
The hand that hath made you fair, hath made you hard, clever Beatrice. For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art black as hell, as dark as night.  And so farewell, Beatrice. I will use you well in some distant play, and  write you fairer than you played me. 
And if you remember'st not the slightest folly that ever love did make thee run into, thou has't not lov'd. Therefore,  I wish you love, brave Beatrice.  Alas,  we that are true lovers run into strange capers. I pray God matches me with a good dancer! 
Somewhat fondly, Will Shake-speared

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