Page images

Enter Don Pedro and CLAUDIO, with Attendants. D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow,

Claudio ;

We here attend you ; Are you yet determin'd
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?

Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiop. Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar ready.

[Exit ANTONIO. D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's

the matter, That you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull: Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold, And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;' As once Europa did at lufty Jove, When he would play the noble beast in love.

Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low; And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow, And got a calf in that same noble feat, Much like to you, for you have just his blcat.

Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies mask'd. CLAUD. For this I owe you : here come other

reckonings. Which is the lady I must seize upon?


the savage bull:] Still alluding to the passage quoted in a former scene from Kyd's Hieronymo. Steevens.

3 And all Europa Mall, &c.] I have no doubt but that our author wrote

And all our Europe, &c. So, in King Richard II:

“ As were our England in reversion his." STEEVENS,

Ant. This fame is she, and I do give you her.
CLAUD. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me


face. Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her

hand Before this friar, and swear to marry her. CLAUD. Give me your hand before this holy

friar; I am your husband, if you like of me. Hero. And when I liv’d, I was your other wife:

[Unmasking. And when you lov'd, you were my other husband.

CLAUD. Another Hero?

Nothing certainer :
One Hero died defil'd; but I do live,
And, surely as I live, I am a maid.

D. PEDRO. The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her sander

FRIAR. All this amazement can I qualify;
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:
Mean time, let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.

Bene. Soft and fair, friar.- Which is Beatrice?
Bear. I answer to that name; [Unmasking] What

will? Bene. Do not you love me?


4 Ant. This fame, &c.] This speech is in the old copies given to Leonato. Mr. Theobald first assigned it to the right owner. Leonato has in a former part of this scene told Antonio,—that he “ must be father to his brother's daughter, and give her to young Claudio." MALONE.


No, no more than reason. Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince,

and Claudio,
Have been deceived; for they swore you did."

Beat. Do not you love me?

No, no more than reason.? Beát. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and

Ursula, Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear, you did.

Bene. They swore that you were almost fick for


Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead

for me.

Bene. 'Tis no such matter :—Then, you do not

love me? Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompence. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gen

tleman. CLAUD. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves

For here's a paper, written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice..

And here's another,

$ No, no more than reason.] The old copies, injuriously to metre, read~Why, no, &c. It should seem that the compositor's eye had caught the here unneceffary adverb from the following speech.


for they swore you did.] For, which both the sense and metre require, was inserted by Sir Thomas Hanmer. So, below: « Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did."

MALONE. ? No, no more than reason.] Here again the metre, in the old copies, is overloaded by reading-Troth, no, no more, &c.


Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts !-Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.

Beat. I would not deny you ;—but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption. Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth.S

[Killing ber. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedicħ the mar

ried man? Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour:

6 I would not deny you; &c.] Mr. Theobald says, is not this mock-reasoning? She would not deny him, but that she yields upon great persuasion. In changing the negative, I make no doubt but I have retrieved the poet's humour: and fo changes not into yet. But is not this a mock-critic? who could not see that the plain obvious sense of the common reading was this, I cannot find in my heart to deny you, but for all that I yield, after having stood out great persuasions to submission. He had said -I take thee for pity, she replies— I would not deny thee, i. e. I take thee for pity too: but as I live, I am won to this compliance by importunity of friends. Mr. Theobald, by altering not to yet, makes it supposed that he had been importunate, and that she had often denied, which was not the case. WARBURTON.

? Bene, Peace, I will ftop your mouth. [Kissing her.] In former copies :

Leon. Peace, I will stop your mouth. What can Leonato mean by this ? « Nay, pray, peace, niece! don't keep up this obftinacy of professions, for I have proofs to stop your mouth.” The ingenious Dr. Thirlby agreed with me, that this ought to be given to Benedick, who, upon saying it, kisles Beatrice; and this being done before the whole company, how natural is the reply which the prince makes upon it?

How dost thou, Benedick the married man? Besides, this mode of speech, preparatory to a salute, is familiar to our poet in common with other stage-writers. THEOBALD. Vol. IV.


Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he thall wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never fout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruis’d, and love my cousin.

Claus. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgell’d thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends :-let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.
Bene. First, o' my word; therefore, play, mu-

fick.Prince, thou art sad ; get thee a wife, get thee a wife: there is no staff more reverend than one tipp'd with horn.


in that-] i. e. because. So, Hooker: “ Things are preached not in that they are taught, but in that they are pubBilhed." STEEVENS.

--- no staff more reverend. than one tipp'd with horn.) This passage may admit of some explanation that I am unable to furnish. By accident I lost several instances I had collected for the purpose of throwing light on it. The following, however, may allitt'the future commentator.

MS. Sloan, 1691. « THAT A

BATTAILE, WITH THE ORDER THEREOF. by order of the lawe both the parties must at their owne charge be armed withoute any yron or long armoure, and theire




« PreviousContinue »