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Ir it should give your age such cause of fear; Claud. Now, signior! what news?
Leon. Tush, tush, man, never leer and jest at me: D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: You are almost I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool;
come to part almost a fray. As, under privilege of age, to brag
Claud. We had like to have had our two noses What I have done being young, or what would do, snapped off with two old men without teeth. Were I not old: Know, Claudio, to thy head, D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother: What think'st Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me, thou ? Ilad we fought, I doubt, we should have been That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by;
too young for them. And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days, Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
I came to seek you both. I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child;
Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; Thy slander bath gone through and through her for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain heart,
have it beaten away: Wilt thou use thy wit ? And she lies buried with her ancestors :
Bene. It is in my scabbard; Shall I draw it? 0! in a tomb where never scandal slept,
D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side? Save this of her's fram’d by thy villany.
Claud. Never any did so, though very many have Claud. My villany!
been beside their wii.--I will bid thee draw, as we do Leon.
Thine, Claudio; thine I say, the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us. D. Pedro. You say not right, old man.
D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks Leon.
My lord, my lord. pale :--Art thou sick, or angry? I'll prove it on his body, if he dare ;
Claud. What! courage, man! What though care Despite his nice fence, and his active practice,' killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill His May of youth, and bloom of lustyhood.
Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you. Dene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an Leon. Canst thou so‘daff? me? Thou hast kill'd you charge it against me :--I pray you, choose my child;
another subject. If thoi, kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man. Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this
Ant. He shall kill iwo of us, and men indeed : last was broke cross." But that's no matter; let him kill one first ;
D. Pedro. By this light, he changes more and Win me and wear me,--let him answer me,-- more; I think, he be angry indeed. Come, follow me, boy ; come, boy, follow me :: Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girSir boy, I'll whip you from your foining* fence; Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear? Leon. Brother,
Claud. God bless me from a challenge! Ant. Content yourself : God knows, I lov'd my Bene. You are a villain ;-) jest not;-) will niece;
make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains; when you dare :--Do me right, or 1 will protest That dare as well answer a man, indeed,
your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and As I dare take a serpent by the tongue;
her death shall fall heavy on you: Let me hear Boys, apes, braggaris, jacks, milksops !Leon."
Brother Antony, Cláud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good Ant. Hold you content; What, man! I know cheer. them, yea,
D. Pedro. What, a feast? a feast ? And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple: Claud, I'faith, I thank him; he hath bid" me to Scambling,' out-facing, fashion-mong'ring boys, a call's head and a capon; the which if I do not That lie, and cog, and fout, deprave and slander, carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught.Go antickly, and show outward hideousness, Shall I not find a woodcocki? too. And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
Bine. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily. How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst,
D. Pedro.' i'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy And this is all.
wit the other day: I said thou hadst a fine wit: Leon. But, brother Antony,
True, says she, a fine little one : No, said I, a great Ant.
Come, 'lis no matter; wit; Right, says she, a grout gross one : Nay, said Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
I, a good uit : Just; said she, it hurts nobody : Nay, D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake? said I, the gentleman is uise; Certain, said she, a your patience.
vise gentleman :13 Nay, said I, he hath the longues : My heart is sorry for your daughter's death ; That I believe, said she, for he swore a thing to me But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing on Monday night, which he foreswore on Tuesday But what was true, and very full of proof.
morning; there's a double tongue; there's two tongues. Leon. My lord, my lord, -
Thus, did she, an hour together, transshape thy D. Pedro. I will not hear you.
particular virtues; yet, at last, she concluded with Leon.
No? a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy. Come, brother, away:--I will be heard ;
Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and Ant.
And shall, said, she cared not. Or some of us will smart for it.
D. Pedro. Yea, that she did ; but yet, for all [Ereunt LEONATO and ANTONIO. that, and if she did not hate him deadly, she would Enter BENEDICK.
love him dearly : the old man's daughter told us all. D. Pedro. See, see; here comes the man we strels draw the bows of their fiddles, merely to please went to seek.
9 The allusion is to tilling. See note, As You Like
It, Act iii. Sc. 4. I Skill in fencing.
10 There is a proverbial phrase, If he be angry let 2 This is only a corrupt form of doff, to do off or put him turn the buckle of his girdle. Mr. Holt White says,
"Large belts were worn with the buckle before, but for 3 The folio reads:
wrestling the buckle was turned behind, to give the ad. -Come, sir boy, come follow me.
versary a fairer grasp at the girdle. To turn the buckle 4 Thrusting.
behind was therefore a challenge." 5 Scambling appears to have been much the same as 11 Invited. scrambling; shifting or shuiling.
12 A troodcock, being supposed to have no brains, 6 i. e. what in King Henry V. Actii. Sc. O, is called was a common phrase for a foolish fellow. It means - a horrid suit of the cathp.'
here one caight in a springe or trap, alluding to the plot 7 i. e. rouse, stir up, convert your patience into an against Benedick. ger, by remaining longer in your presence.
13 Wise gentleman was probably used ironically for 8. I will bid thee draw thy sword, as we bid the min. a silly fellow; as we still say a wise-acre.
your blood ?
Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron througa when he was hid in the garden. D. Pedro. But when shall we set the
savage Claud. I have drunk poison, while he utter'd it. bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head ? D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice Benedick the married man?
of it. Bene. Fare you well, boy; you know
; D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treaI will leave you now to your gossip-like humour; chery :you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, And Aed he is upon this villany. God be thanked, hurt not.--My lord, for your many
Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear 'courtesies I thank you : I must discontinue your In the rare semblance that I loved it first. company: your brother, the bastard, is fled from Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this Messina : you have, among you, killed a sweet and time our Sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of innocent lady: For my lord 'Lack-beard, there, he the matter : And masters, do not forget to specify, and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him. when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
[Exit BENE DICK. Verg. Ilere, here comes master signior Leonato, D. Pedro. He is in earnest.
and the Sexton too. Claud. In most profound earnest; And I'll war- Re-enter LEONATO and Antonio, with the Sexton. rant you, for the love of Beatrice.
Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his eyes; D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee? Claud. Most sincerely.
That when I note another man like him, D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he I may avoid him: Which of these is he'?
Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his Claud. He then a giant to an ape ; but then is
Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath
hast kill'd on ape a doctor to such a man.
Mine innocent child ? D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be ;? pluck up my
Bora. heart, and be sad !: Did he not say, my brother
Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain; thou bely'st thyself; was fled.
Here stand a pair of honourable men, Enter DOGPERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with A third is fled, that had a hand in it:CONRADE and BorachIO.
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death ; Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame Record it with your high and worthy deeds ; you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her ba- | 'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it. lance: nay, and you be a cursing hypocrite once,
Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, you must be looked to.
Yet I must speak : Choose your revenge yourself; D. Pedro, How now, two of my brother's men Impose mo to wha! penance your invention bound! Borachio, one!
Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn'd I not, Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord! But in mistaking.
D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men D. Pedro. By my soul, nor I; done?
And yet, to satisfy this good old man, Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false re- I would bend under any heavy weight port; moreover, they have spoken untruths; se- That he'll enjoin me to. condarily, they are slanders : sixth and lastly, they Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live, have belied a lady; thirdly, they have veríed un- That were impossible; but, I pray you both, just things; and, to concludo, they are lying knaves. Possess the people in Messina here
D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done ; How innocent she died: and, if your love thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence ; sixth and Can labour aught in sad invention, lastly, why they are committed ; and, to conclude, Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb, what you lay to their charge ?
And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night :Cloud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own divi- To-morrow morning come you to my house; sion; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well And since you could not be my son-in-law, suited.
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, Almost the copy of my child that's dead, that you are thus bound to your answer ? 'this learn- And she alone is heir to both of us ;' ed constable is too cunning to be understood : Give her the right you should have given her cousin, What's your offence ?
And so dies my revenge. Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine Claud.
O, noble sir, answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me! I have deceived even your very eyes : what your I do embrace your offer; and dispose wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools For henceforth of poor Claudio. have brought to light; whr, in the night, overheard Leon, To-morrow then I will expect your coin me confessing to this man, how Don John, your
ing; brother, incensed me to slander the lady Hero; To-night I take my leave.--This naughty man how you were brought into the orchard, and saw Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, me court Margaret in Hero's garment; how you Who, I believe, was pack’dio in all this wrong, disgraced her, when you should marry her: my vil- Hir'd to it by your brother. lany they have upon record ; which I had rather Bora.
No, by my soul, she was not ; seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame: Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me; 1 the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false But always hath heen just and virtuous, accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the In any thing that I do know by her. reward of a villain.
5 Incited, instigated. 1 These words are probably meant to express what 6 i. e. "irflict upon me whatever penance, &c.' Rosaline, in As You Like It, calls the careless deso. 7 To possess anciently signified to inform, to make lation of a lover.
acquainted with. So in the Merchant of Venice: 2. The old copies read • let me be,' the emendation is I have possnes'd your grace of what I purpose.' Malone's. Lei be appears here to signisy hold, rest 8 It was the custom among Catholics to attach, upon there. It has the same signification in Saint Matthew, or near the tomb of celebrated persons, a written inscrip. ch. xxvii. v. 49.
tion either in prose or verse generally in praise of the 3 i. e. 'rouse thyself my heart and be prepared for deceased. serious consequences.'
9 Yet Shakspeare makes Leonato say to Antonio, Act 4 That is, one meaning put into many differenti. Sc. 5, How now, brother; where is my cousin your dresses; the Prince having asked the same question in son,' &c. four modes of speech ;
Jó i e combined; an accomplice
Dogb. Moreover, sir (which, indeed, is not under good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panwhite and black,) this plaintiff here, the offender, ders, and a whole book full of these quondam cardid call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remem- pet mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the bered in his punishment: And also, the watch heard even road of a blank verse, why, they were never them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it;' and love : Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have borrows money in God's name; the which he hath tried; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an usou so long, and never paid, that now men grow innocent rhyme; for scarn, horn, a hard rhyme ; for hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake: school, fool, a babbling rhyme ; very ominous endPray you, examine hiin upon that point.
ings: No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. nor I cannot woo in festival terms. – Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful
Enter BEATRICE. and reverend youth : and I praise God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains.
Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called
thee? Dogb. God save the foundation.2 Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and
Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me. I thank thee
Bene. O, stay but till then! Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your wor
Beat. Then, is spoken ; fare you well now:ship ; which, 1 beseech your worship, to correct which is, with knowing what hath passed between
and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, yourself, for the example of others.
God keep your worship; I wish your worship well; God re
you and Claudio. store you to health: Í humbly give you leave to
Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss
thee. depart; and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it. Come, neighbour.
Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind (Ereunt DogBERRY, VERGES, and Watch. is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; thereLeon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. fore I will depart unkissed. Ant. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to
Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his
right sense, so forcible is thy wit ; But, I must tell D. Pedro. We will not fail.
thec plainly, Claudio undergoes' my challenge; Claud.
To-night I'll mourn with Hero. and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will
(Ereunt Don Pedro and CLAUDIO: subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, Leon. Bring you these fellows
on; we'll talk
tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou firsí
fall in love with me? with Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.
Beat. For them all together; which maintained [Exeunt.
so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit
any good part to intermingle with them. But for SCENE II. Leonato's Garden. Enter BENE- which of my good parts did you first suffer love for DICK and MARGARET, meeting.
me ? Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, de
Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer serve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech love, indeed, for I love thee against my will. of Beatrice,
Beat. In spite of your heari, I think; alas! poor Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise for yours; for I will never love that which my friend
heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it of my beauty ?
hates. Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it'; for, in most comely
Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. truth, thou deservest it.
Beat. It appears not in this confession: thero's Marg. To have no man come over me? why, himself
not one wise man among twenty that will praise shall I always keep below stairs ? Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's lived in the time of good neighbours: if a man do
Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that mouth, it catches.
Marg: And your's as blunt as the fencer's foils, not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, ho which hit, but hurt not.
shall live no longer in monument, than the bell Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not rings, and the widow weeps.
Beat. And how long is that, think you ? hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice : I give thee the bucklers."
Bene. Question !9–Why, an hour in clamour, Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is most er
pedient for the wise (if Don Worm, his conscience, Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put lind no impediments to the contrary,) to be the in tho pickes
with a vice; and ihey are dangerous trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So weapons for maids.
much for praising myself, (who, I myself will bear Marg. Well, I will call Beatrico to you, who, I witness, is praise-worthy,) and now tell me, How
doth think hath legs.
cousin ? [Exit MARGARET.
your Bene. And therefore will come.
Beat. Very ill.
Bene. And how do you?
That sits above,
Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there
will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste. I mean, in singing; but in loving, -Leander the
Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle; 1 It was one of the fantastic fashions of Shak-peare's time to wear a long hanging lock of hair dangling by 4 Theobald proposed to read, above stairs; and the the ear; it is often mentioned by cotemporary writers, sense of the passage seems to require some such alteraand may be observed in some ancient portraits. The tion: perhaps a word has been lost, and we may read humour of this passage is in Dogberry's supposing the "why, shall I always keep them below stairs? Or this lock to bave a key to it.
passage Dr. Johnson says, 'I suppose every reader will 2 A phrase used by those who received alms at the find the meaning.' gates of religious houseg. Dogberry probably de. 5 i. e. “I yield. signed to say, 'God save the founder.'
6 i. e. “in choice phraseology.' 3 Here lewd has not the common meaning ; nor do I 7 Is under challenge, or now stands challenged, by think it can be used in the more uncominon sense of me. ignorant; but rather means knavish, ungracious, 81. e.' when men were not envious, but every one naughty, which are the synonymes used with it in ex. gave another his due.' plaining the latin pravus in dictionaries of the sixteenth 9 This phrase appears to be equivalent to-'You ask cenoury.
a question indeed !-- or that is the quostion !
gone : Will
yonder's old coil' at home : it is proved, my lady Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. Hero hath been falsely accused, the Prince and Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains I think. Claudio mightily abused; and Don John is the Friar. To do what, signior ? author of all, who is fled and
Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them. presently?
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior ? Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and Leon. Thal eye my daughter lent her: 'Tis most be buried in thy eyes ;
true. thee to thy uncle's.
Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. SCENE III. The Inside of a Church. Enter From Clandio, and the prince: But what's your will ?
Leon. The sight whereof, 1 ihink, you had from me, DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and Attendants, with
Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical: Music and Tapers.
But, for my will, my will is, your good will Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato ?
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd Atten. It is, my lord.
In the estate of honourable marriage ;Claud. [Reads from a scrol]
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
Leon. My heart is with your liking,
And my help.
Here comes the prince, and Claudio.
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with At Ints.
D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. Lives in death with glorious fame.
Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow,
We here attend you ; are you yet determin'd Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope. SONG.
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar Pardon, Goddess of the night,
(Exit ANTONIO. Those that slew thy virgin knight :*
D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's For the which, with songs of woe,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
Claud. I think, he thinks upon
the savage bull. Heavily, heavily.
Tush, fear noi, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold. Graves
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee; yalien
and yield your dead,
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
When he would play the noble beast in love.
Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low: Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night! And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow, Yearly will I do this rite.
And got a calf in that same noble feat, D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters; put your Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
torches out : The wolves have prey'd ; and look, the gentle day,
Re-enter Antonio, with the Ladies masked. Before the wheels of Phabus, round about Claud. For this I owe you: here comes other Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray:
reckonings. Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well.
Which is the lady I must seize upon ? Claud. Good morrow, masters ; each his seve
Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her.
Claud. Why, then she's mine : Sweet, let me D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other
see your face. weeds;
Icon. No, that you shall not till you take her hand And then to Leonato's we will go.
Before this friar, and swear to marry her. Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speeds, Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar; Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe! I am your husband if you like of me.
Hero. And when I lived, I was your other wife:
[Unmasking. SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato s House. Enter And when you loved, you were my other husband.
LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICE, BEATRICE, Claud. Another Hero!
Nothing certainer :
One Hero died defil'd; but I do live, Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent ?
And surely as I live I am a maid. Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who ac
D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead! cused ber Upon the error that you heard debated :
Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander
lived. But Margaret was in some fault for this; Although against her will, as it appears
Friar. All this amazement can I qualify; In the irue course of all the question.
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
Mean time, let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently,
Bene. Soft and fair, Friar.-Which is Beatrice? Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves;
Beat. I answer to that name; [Unmasking) And when I send for you come hither mask'd ;
What is your will ? The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour
Bene. Do not you love me?
Beat. To visit me :-You know your office, brother ;
Why, no, no more than reason. You must be father to your brother's daughter,
Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and And give her to young Claudio.
Claudio, [Ereunt Ladies.
3 Reward. 1 Oll coil is great or abundant bustle. Old was a
4 Diana's knight, or virgin knight, was the common common augmentative in ancient familiar language. poetical appellariou of virgins in Slakspeare's time.
2 This phrane occurs frequently in writers of Shak. ö i. e. liu death be spoken of." speare's time, it appears to be derived from the French 6 Still alluding to the passage quoted from Hierony. phrase, fuire mourir. See pole on K. Henry VI Part mo, or the Spanish Tragedy, in the first scene of the W. Act ii. Sc. 1.
Have been deceived; for they swore you did. nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee Beat. Do not you love me?
out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; Bene. Troth, no, no more than reason. which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin Beut. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and do not look exceeding narrowly to thee. Ursula,
Bene. Come, come, we are friends :-let's have Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did. a dance ere we are married, that we may lighter Bene. They swore that you were almost sick our own hearts, and our wives' heels.
Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards. Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead Bene. First o'my word: therefore play, music
Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a Bene. 'Tis no such matter :-Then you do not wife: there is no staff more reverend than one love me?
tipped with horn. Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense, Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the
Enter a Messenger. gentleman,
Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves her; And brought with armed men back to Messina. For here's a paper, written in his hand,
Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow ; I'll deA halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
vise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up, Fashion'd to Beatrice.
(Dance. Exeunt. Hero
And here's another,
Bene. Å miracle ! here's our own hands against THIS play may be justly said to contain two of the most our hearts !-Come, I will have thee ; but, by this sprighely characters thai Shakspeare ever drew. The light, I take thee for pity.
wit, the humourist, the gentleman, and the soldier are Beat. I would not deny you ; but, by this good combined in Benedick. It is to be larnented, indeed, day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to that the first and most splendid of these distinctions is save your life, for I was told you were in a con- disgraced by unnecessary profaneness ; for the good
ness of his heart is hardly sufficient to atone for the li. sumption. Dene. Peace, I will stop your mouth. (Kissing her, flashes out in the conversation of Beatrice, may be ex
cence of his tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married cused on account of the steadliness and friendship so apman ?
parent in her behaviour, when she urges her lover to Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of risk his life by a challenge to Claudio. In the conduct wit-crackers cannot floui me out of my humour : of the fable, however, there is an imperfection similar Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram ? to that which Dr. Johnson has pointed out in The Merry lo: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall
Wires of Windsor :-the second contrivance is less in. wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, since genious than the first :-or, to speak more plainly, the
same incident is become stale by repetition. I wish I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any some other method had been found to entrap Beatrice, purpose that the world can say against it; and than that very one which before had been successfully therefore never fout at me for what I have said against practised on Benedick.a. it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my con Much Ado about Nothing, (as I understand from one clusion.-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have of Mr. Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed under the title beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my on the 20th of May, 1613, the sum of forty pounds, and
of Benedick and Beatrix. Heming the player received, kinsman, live unbruised and love my cousin.
twenty pounds more as his Majesty's gratuity, for ex. Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have de-hibiting six plays at Hampton Couri, among which was
2 Steevens, Malone, and Reed, conceive that there 3 Mr. Pye thus answers the objection of Steevens. is an allusion here to the staff used in the ancient trial The intention of the poet was to show that persons of by wager of battle; but Mr. Douce thinks it is more either sex might be made in love with each other by probable the walking stick or staff of elderly persons was supposing themselves beloved, though they were before intended, such sticks were often tipped or headed with enemies; and how he could have done this by any other horn, sometimes crosswise, in imitation of the crutched means I do not know. He wanted to show the sexes sticks or potences of the friars, which were borrowed were alike in this case, and to have employed different from the celebrated tau of St. Anthony.
motives would have counteracted his own design
PRELIMINARY REMARKS. WE may presume the plot of this play to have been | dew, and spring-perfumes are the element of these ten
the invention of Shakspeare, as the diligence of his der spirits; they assist nature in embroidering her car. commentators has failed to trace the sources from pet with green leaves, many coloured fowers, and das whence it is derived. Steevens says that the hint for itzling insects; in the human world they merely sport in was probably received from Chaucer's Knight's Tale. a childish and wayward manner with their beneficent or
In the Midsummer Night's Dream,' says Schlegel, noxious influences. Their most violent rage dissolves there flows a luxuriant vein of the boldest and most in good-natured raillery ; their passions, stripped of all fantastical invention ; the most extraordinary combina earthly matter, are merely
an ideal dream. To correstion of the most dissimilar ingredients seems to have pond with this, the loves of mortals are painted as a arisen without effort by some ingenious and lucky acci- poetical enchantment, which, by a contrary enchantdent, and the colours are of such clear transparency that ment, may be immediately suspended, and then renew. we think that the whole of the variegated fabric may be ed again. The different parts of the plot; the wedding blown away with a eath. The fairy world here de- of Theseu the disagreement of Oberon and Titania, scribed resembles those elegant pieces of Arabesque, the fight of the two pair of lovers, and the theatrical where little Genil, with butterfly wings, rise half em operations of the mechanics, are so lightly and happily bodied above the flower cups. Twilight, moonshine, interwoven, that they seem necessary to each other for