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in my cage: If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking; in the mean time, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me.
Con. Can you make no use of your discontent?
D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only.5 Who comes here? What news, Borachio?.
Enter BORACHIO. Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the prince, your brother, is royally entertain’d by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
D. John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietness?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks he?
Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
D. John. A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoking a musty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference:6 I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero for himself, and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio.
D. John. Come; come, let us thither; this may prove food to my displeasure: that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way: You are both sure, and will assist me?
Con. To the death, my lord.
5- for I use it only.) i. e. for I make nothing else my coun. sellor. Steevens.
6- in sad conference:7 Sad in this, as in future instances, signifies serious. So, in The Winter's Tale : “My father, and the gentlemen, are in sad talk.” Steevens. 7— both sure,] i. e. to be depended on. So, in Macbeth:
" Thou sure and firm-set earth ,” Steevens.
the greater, that I am subdued: Would the cook were of my mind!-Shall we go prove what's to be done?
Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.
ACT II.....SCENE I.
A Hall in Leonato's House. V Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and
Leon. Was not count John here at supper?
Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him, but I am heart-burn's an hour after. 8
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition.
Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the mid-way between him and Benedick: the one is too like an image, and says nothing; and the other, too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.
Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in count John's mouth, and half count John's melancholy in signior Benedick's face,
Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world,—if he could get her good will.
Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she is too curst.
Beat. Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's sending that way: for it is said God sends a curst cow short horns; but to a cow too curst he sends none.
Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you no horns.
Beat. Just, if he send me no husband; for the which blessing, I am at him upon my knees every morning
3 heart-burn'd an hour after.] The pain commonly called the heart-burn, proceeds from an acid humour in the stomach, and is therefore properly enough imputed to tart looks. Fohnson.
and evening: Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face; I had rather lie in the woollen. 9
Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.
Beat. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a beard, is more than a youth; and he that hath no beard, is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him: Therefore I will even take sixpense in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.
Leon. Well then, go you into hell?1
Beat. No; but to the gate: and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and say, Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids: so deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Ant. Well, niece, [to HERO] I trust, you will be ruled by your father.
Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make courtesy, and say, Father, as it please you:—but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, Father, as it please me.
Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.
Beat. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmaster'd with a piece of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I 'll
9 in the woollen.) I suppose she means-between blankets, without sheets. Steevens.
1 Well then, &c.] Of the two next speeches Dr. Warburton says, All this impious nonsense thrown to the bottom, is the players', and foisted in without rhyme or reason. He therefore puts them in the margin. They do not deserve indeed so honourable a place; yet I am afraid they are too much in the manner of our author, wbo is sometimes trying to purchase merriment at too dear a rate,
Fohnson. I have restored the lines omitted. Steedens. .
none: Adam's sons are my brethren; and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred. . Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.
Beat. The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good time: if the prince be too important,2 tell him, there is measure in every thing, 3 and so dance out the answer. For hear me, Hero; Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a measure full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
Beat. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by day-light.
Leon. The revellers are entering; brother, make good room. Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BALTHAZAR;
Don John, BORACHIO, MARGARET, URSULA, and
2- if the prince be too important,] Important here, and in many other places, is importunate. Johnson. So, in King Lear, Act IV, sc. iv:
" great France
Steevens. 3 — there is measure in every thing,] A measure in old language, beside its ordinary meaning, signified also a dance.
Malone. So, in King Richard II:
“My legs can keep no measure in delight,
Steevens. 4 — Balthazar;] The quarto and folio add-or dumb Fohn.
Steevens. Here is another proof that when the first copies of our author's plays were prepared for the press, the transcript was made out by the ear. If the MS. had lain before the transcriber, it is very unlikely that he should have mistaken Don for dumb: but, by an
Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, especially, when I walk away.
D. Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the lute should be like the case !6
D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.?
inarticulate speaker, or inattentive hearer, they might easily be confounded. Malone.
Don John's taciturnity has been already noticed. It seems therefore not improbable that the author himself might have occasionally applied the epithet dumb to him. Reed.
5 your friend?) Friend, in our author's time, was the common term for a lover. So also, in French and Italian. Malone.
Mr. Malone might have added, that this term was equally applicable to both sexes; for, in Measure for Measure, Lucio tells Isabella that her brother had “ got his friend with child."
Steevens. 6— the lute should be like the case!] i.e. that your face should be as homely and coarse as your mask. Theobald.
7 My visor is Philemon's roof, within the house is Jove.) The first folio has—Love; the quarto, 1600-love; so that here Mr. Theobald might have found the very reading which, in the following note he represents as a conjecture of his own. Steevens.
'Tis plain, the poet alludes to the story of Baucis and Philemon from Ovid: and this old couple, as the Roman poet describes it, lived in a thatch'd cottage:
" stipulis & canna tecta palustri." But why, within this house is love? Though this old pair lived in a cottage, this cottage received two straggling gods, (Jupiter and Mercury) under its roof. So, Don Pedro is a prince; and though his visor is but ordinary, he would insinuate to Hero, that he has something godlike within : alluding either to his dignity or the qualities of his mind and person. By these circumstances, I am sure, the thought is mended: as, I think verily, the text is too, by the addition of a single letter-within the house is Jove. Nor is this emendation a little confirmed by another passage in our author, in which he plainly alludes to the same story. As you like it;
“Jaques. O, knowledge ill inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatched house !!" Theobald.
The line of Ovid above quoted is thus translated by Golding, 1587 : “The roofe thereof was thatched all with straw and fennish