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"Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer2 now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil ?
Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.
Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he
Again, in The Whore of Babylon, 1607:
“ Campeius! - Babylon
“ His name hath in her tables." Again, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540 : -“ We weyl haunse thee, or set thy name into our felowship boke, with clappynge of handes,” &c.
I know not exactly to what custom this last quoted passage refers, unless to the album: for just after, the same expression occurs again: that “ from henceforthe thou may'st have a place worthy for thee in our whyte: from hence thou may'st have thy name written in our boke."
It should seem from the following passage in The Taming of a Shrew, that this phrase might have originated from the Herald's Office:
“A herald, Kate! oh, put me in thy books .!” After all, the following note in one of the Harleian MSS. No. 847, may be the best illustration :
“W.C. to Henry Fradsham, Gent. the owner of this book: • “Some write their fantasies in verse
« In theire bookes where they friendshippe shewe,
“ The great good will that they do owe,” &c. Steevens. This phrase has not been exactly interpreted. To be in a man's books, originally meant to be in the list of his retainers. Sir John Mandeville tells us, “ alle the mynstrelles that comen before the great Chan ben witholden with him, as of his houshold, and entred in his bookes, as for his own men." Farmer.
A servant and a lover were in Cupid's Vocabulary, synonymous. Hence perhaps the phrase-to be in a person's books—was applied equally to the lover and the menial attendant. Malone.
There is a MS. of Lord Burleigh's, in the Marquis of Lansdowne's library, wherein, among many other household concerns, he has entered the names of all his servants, &c. Douce.
2- young squarer -1 A squarer I take to be a cholerick, quarrelsome fellow, for in this sense Shakspeare uses the word to square. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, it is said of Oberon and Titania, that they never meet but they square. So the sense may be, Is there no hot-blooded youth that will keep him com. pany through all his mad pranks? Johnson.
have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.
Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady. Beat. Do, good friend. Leon. You will never run mad, niece. Beat. No, not till a hot January. Mess. Don Pedro is approach'd. Enter Don PEDRO, attended by BALTHAZAR and others;
Don John, CLAUDIO, and BENEDICK. D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it.
Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but, when you depart from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
D. Pedro. You embrace your charge3 too willingly. I think, this is your daughter.
Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so.
D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this what you are, being a man.. Truly, the lady fathers herself:-Be happy, lady! for you are like an honourable father.
Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, as like him as she is.
Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; no body marks you.
Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet living? | Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick?' Cour
3 — your charge - ] That is, your burden, your incumbrance.
Fohnson. Charge does not mean, as Dr. Johnson explains it, burden, in. cumbrance, but “the person committed to your care.” So it is used in the relationship between guardian and ward. Douce.
1 such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick?] A kindred thought occurs in Coriolanus, Act II, sc. i :
“Our very priests must become mockers, if they encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are.” Steevens. VOL. IV.
tesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat:-But it is certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted : and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.
Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.
Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.
Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were.
Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue; and so good a continuer: But keep your way o' God's name; I have done.
Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.
D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato;—signior Claudio, and signior Benedicko--my dear friend Leonato, hath invited you all. I tell him, we shall stay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays, some occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.
Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn.-Let me bid you welcome, my lord: being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.
D. John. I thank you :5 I am not of many words, but I thank you.
Leon. Please it your gracę lead on?
[Exeunt all but BENE. and CLAUD. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of signior Leonato?
Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her.
5 I thank you :) The poet has judiciously marked the gloomi. ness of Don John's character, by making him averse to the com. mon forms of civility. Sir 7. Hawkins.
Claud. Is she not a modest young lady?
Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment? or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment.
Bene. Why, i' faith, methinks she is too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her; that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.
Claud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou likest her.
Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after her? Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel ?
Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack;6 to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter?? Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in the song?8
o — the flouting Jack;] Jack, in our author's time, I know not why, was a term of contempt. So, in King Henry IV, P. I, Act III: “ the prince is a Yack, a sneak-cup.” Again, in The Taming of the Shrew:
“- rascal fidler,
“And twangling Jack, with twenty such vile terms,” &c. See in Minsheu's Dict. 1617: “A Fack sauce, or saucie Jack." See also Chaucer's Cant. Tales, ver. 14,816, and the note, edit. Tyrwhitt. Malone. 22?– ūti\/2\22 \/2/2/2/2âÒÂ§►/2Ầ2-§Ò2Â?Â2Ò2ÂòÂ?Â§\§22 2m222 whether I conceive the jest here intended. Claudio hints hi love of Hero. Benedick asks, whether he is serious, or whether he only means to jest, and to tell them that Cupid is a good harefinder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter. A man praising a pretty lady in jest, may show the quick sight of Cupid, but what has it to do with the carpentry of Vulcan? Perhaps the thought lies no deeper than this, Do you mean to tell us as new what we all know already?
Fohnson. I believe no more is meant by those ludicrous expressions than this.-Do you mean, says Benedick, to amuse us with improba. ble stories?
An ingenious correspondent, whose signature is R. W. explains the passage in the same sense, but more amply. “Do you mean to tell us that love is not blind, and that fire will not consume what is combustible?”—for both these propositions are im
Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that ever • I looked on.
Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no such matter: there's her cousin, an she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of May doth the last of December. But I hope, you have no intent to turn husband; have you?
Claud. I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
Bene. Is it come to this, i' faith? Hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with suspicion ? 9 Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again? Go to, i' faith; and thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the
plied in making Cupid a good hare-finder, and Vulcan (the God of fire) a good carpenter. In other words, would you convince me, whose opinion on this head is well known, that you can be in love without being blind, and can play with the flame of beauty without being scorched. Steevens.
I explain the passage thus: Do you scoff and mock in telling us that Cupid, who is blind, is a good hare-finder, which requires a quick eye-sight; and that Vulcan, a blacksmith, is a rare carpenter? Tollet.
After such attempts at decent illustration, I am afraid that he who wishes to know why Cupid is a good hare-finder, must discover it by the assistance of many quibbling allusions of the same sort, about hair and hoar, in Mercutio's song in the second Act of Romeo and Juliet. Collins.
8 to go in the song?] i. e. to join with you in your songto strike in with you in the song. Steevens.
9 wear his cap with suspicion?] That is, subject his head to the disquiet of jealousy. Fohnson.
In Painter's Palace of Pleasure, p. 233, we have the following passage: “ All they that weare hornes be pardoned to weare their cappes upon their heads.” Henderson.
In our author's time none but the inferior classes wore caps, and such persons were termed in contempt flat-caps. All gentlemen wore hats. Perhaps therefore the meaning is, -Is there not one man in the world prudent enough to keep out of that state where he must live in apprehension that his night-cap will be worn occasionally by another. So, in Othello:
“For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too.” Malone. If this remark on the disuse of caps among people of higher rank be accurate, Sir Christopher Hatton, and other worthies of the court of Elizabeth, have been injuriously treated; for the painters of their time exhibit several of them with caps on their heads.--It should be remembered that there was a material dis. tinction between the plain statute-caps of citizens, and the orna. mented ones worn by gentlemen. Steevens.