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SCENE, before Leonato's House.

Enter Leonato and Antonio.


F you go on thus, you will kill yourself;
And 'tis not wisdom thus to fecond grief
Against your self.

Leon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
Which falls into mine ears as profitless
As water in a fieve; give not me counsel,
Nor let no Comforter delight mine ear,
But fuch a one whofe wrongs do fuite with mine.
Bring me a father, that fo lov'd his child,
Whofe joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
And bid him fpeak of patience;

Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain :
As thus for thus, and fuch a grief for fuch,
In every lineament, branch, fhape and form.
If fuch a one will fmile and stroke his beard, (17)

(17) If fuch a One will smile, and stroke his Beard,

And hallow, wag, cry hem, when he fhould groan,] Mr. Rowe is the first Authority that I can find for this Reading. But what is the Intention, or how are we to expound it? "If a Man will halloo, and whoop, and fidget, and wrig" &c. "gle about, to fhew a Pleasure when He should groan, This does not give much Decorum to the Sentiment. The old Quarto, and the 1st and 2d Folio Editions all read,

And forrow, wagge, cry hem, &c.

We don't, indeed, get much by this Reading; tho', I flatter my felf, by a flight Alteration it has led me to the true one, And Sorrow wage; cry, hem! when he should groan; i. e. If fuch a One will combat with, ftrive against Sorrow, &c. Nor is this Word infrequent with our Author in these Significations,


And Sorrow wage; cry, hem! when he should groan;
Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune drunk
With candle-wafters; bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.

But there is no fuch man; for, brother, men
Can counfel, and give comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but tasting it,
Their counsel turns to paffion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage;
Fetter ftrong madness in a filken thread;
Charm ach with air, and agony with words.
No, no; 'tis all mens office to speak patience
To thofe, that wring under the load of sorrow;
But no man's virtue, nor fufficiency,

To be fo moral, when he fhall endure

The like himself; therefore give me no counsel ;
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.

Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ.. Leon. I pray thee, peace; I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philofopher,

That could endure the tooth-ach patiently;
However they have writ the ftyle of Gods,
And made a pish at chance and sufferance.

Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon your felf:
Make those, that do offend you, fuffer too.

Leon. There thou speak'ft reason; nay, I will do fo.

My foul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd ;

And that shall Claudio know, fo fhall the Prince;

And all of them, that thus difhonour her.

Enter Don Pedro, and Claudio.

Ant. Here comes the Prince and Claudio haftily.

Pedro. Good den, good den.

Claud. Good day to both of you.

Leon. Hear you, my lords?

Pedro. We have fome hafte, Leonato.

Leon. Some hafte, my lord! well, fare you well, my


Are you so hafty now? well, all is one.

Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.


Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, Some of us would lye low.

Claud. Who wrongs him?

Leon. Marry, thou doft wrong me, thou diffembler, thou!

Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy fword,

I fear thee not.

Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand,

If it should give your age fuch cause of fear;
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my fword.
Leon. Tush, tufh, man, never fleer and jest at me;
I fpeak not like a dotard, nor a fool;

As, under privilege of age, to brag

What I have done being young, or what would do,
Were I not old: know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou haft fo wrong'd my innocent child and me,
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by ;
And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days,
Do challenge thee to tryal of a man ;

I fay, thou haft bely'd mine innocent child,
Thy flander hath gone through and through her heart,
And the lyes bury'd with her ancestors,

O, in a tomb where never fcandal flept,
Save this of hers, fram'd by thy villany!
Claud. My villany?

Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine, I fay.
Pedro. You fay not right, old man.
Leon. My lord, my lord,

I'll prove it on his body, if he dare;

Defpight his nice fence and his active practice,

His May of youth, and bloom of luftyhood.

Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you.
(18) Leon. Canft thou fo daffe me? thou haft kill'd
my child;

(18) Can't Thou so daffe me? This is a Country Word, Mr. Pope tells us, fignifying, daunt. It may be fo; but that is not the Expofition here: To daffe, and doffe are synonomous Terms, that mean, to put eff: which is the very Sense requir'd here, and what Leonato would reply, upon Claudio's faying, He would have nothing to do with him.

If thou kill'st me, boy, thou fhalt kill a man.
Ant. He fhall kill two of us, and men indeed;
But that's no matter, let him kill one firft;
Win me and wear me, let him answer me;
Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me ;
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

Leon. Brother,

Ant. Content your felf; God knows, I lov'd my

And fhe is dead, flander'd to death by villains,
That dare as well anfwer a man, indeed,

As I dare take a ferpent by the tongue.
Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milkfops!
Leon. Brother Anthony ·

Ant. Hold you content; what, man? I know them,


And what they weigh, even to the utmoft fcruple :
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mongring boys,
That lye, and cog, and flout, deprave and flander,
Go antickly, and show an outward hideousness,
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words, (19)
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durft;
And this is all.

Leon. But, brother Anthony,

Ant. Come, 'tis no matter;

Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.

Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.

My heart is forry for your daughter's death;
But, on my Honour, fhe was charg'd with nothing
But what was true, and very full of proof.

Leon. My lord, my lord

(19) And Speak of half a dozen dangerous Words,] Thefe Editors are Perfons of unmatchable Indolence, that can't afford to add a fingle Letter to retrieve common Senfe. To speak off, as I have reform'd the Text, is to throw out boldly, with an Oftentation of Bravery, &c. So in Twelfth-night;

A terrible Oath, with a swaggering Accent sharply twang'd off: Pedro.

Pedro. I will not hear you.

Leon. No! come, brother, away, I will be heard.
Ant. And fhall, or fome of us will fmart for it.

Enter Benedick.

[Exe. ambo.

Pedro. See, fee, here comes the man we went to feek. Claud. Now, Signior, what news?

Bene. Good day, my lord.

Pedro: Welcome, Signior; you are almost come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses fnapt off with two old men without teeth.

Pedro. Leonato and his brother; what think'st thou ? had we fought, I doubt, we should have been too young for them.

Bene. In a falfe quarrel there is no true valour: I came to feek you both.

Claud. We have been up and down to feek thee; for we are high-proof melancholly, and would fain have it beaten away wilt thou use thy wit?

Bene. It is in my fcabbard; fhall I draw it?
Pedro. Doft thou wear thy wit by thy fide?

Claud. Never any did fo, though very many have been befide their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.

Pedro. As I am an honeft man, he looks pale: art thou fick or angry?

Claud. What! courage, man: what tho' care kill'd a cat, thou haft mettle enough in thee to kill care.

Bene. Sir, I fhall meet your wit in the career, if you charge it against me. -- -I pray you, chufe another fubject.

Claud. Nay, then give him another ftaff; this laft was broke cross.

Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more: think, he be angry, indeed.

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bene. Shall I fpeak a word in your ear?
Claud. God bless me from a challenge!



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