Page images
PDF
EPUB

For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go..
Midnight, assist our moan;
Help us to sigh and groan,

Heavily, Heavily:
Graves, yawn, and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,?

Heavily, heavily.
Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night!

Yearly will I do this rite.
D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters; put your torches

out: The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day, Before the wheels of Phæbus, round about

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey: Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well. Claud. Good morrow, masters; each his several way.

D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds; And then to Leonato's we will go.

Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speed's, Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe!8 [Exeunt.

Again, more appositely in Spenser's Faery Queene, B. III, c. xii:

“ Soon as that virgin knight he saw in place, ." His wicked bookes in hast he overthrew.” Malone. This last instance will by no means apply; for the virgin knight is the maiden Britomart, who appeared in the accoutrements of a knight, and from that circumstance was so denominated.

Steevens. 7 Till death be uttered,] I do not profess to understand this line, which to me appears both defective in sense and metre. I suppose two words have been omitted, which perhaps were

Till songs of death be uttered, &c. So, in King Richard III:

“Out on you, owls! nothing but songs of death ?Steevens. 8 And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speed's,

Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe!] The old copy has-speeds. Steevens.

Claudio could not know, without being a prophet, that this new proposed match should have any luckier event than that designed with Hero. Certainly, therefore, this should be a wish in Claudio; and to this end, the poet might have wrote, speed's; i. e. speed us: and so it becomes a prayer to Hymen. Thirlby.

The contraction introduced is so extremely harsh, that I doubt whether it was intended by the author. However I have followed former editors in adopting it. Malone.

SCENE IV.

A Room in Leonato's House. Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE,

URSULA, FRIAR, and Hero. Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent?

Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her, Upon the error that you heard debated: But Margaret was in some fault for this; Although against her will, as it appears In the true course of all the question.

Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves; And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd: The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me:-You know your office, brother; You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio. (Exeunt Ladies.

Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.
Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
Friar. To do what, signior?

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.-
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; 'Tis most true.
Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her.

Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me, From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your will?

Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
But, for my will, my will is, your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the state of honourable marriage;'
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

Leon. My heart is with your liking.
Friar.

And my help.

9 In the state of honourable marriage;) Marriage, in this instance, is used as a trisyllable. So, in The Taming of the Shrew, Act III, sc. ii:

“ 'Twere good, methinks, to steal our marriage.Steevens.

Here comes the prince, and Claudio.

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 Ant. D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what is 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:1-
Tush, fear not, man, we 'll tip thy horns with gold,
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;2
As once Europa did at lusty 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 bleat.

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?

Ant. This same is she, 3 and I do give you her. Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me see

your face. Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

1- the savage bull:7 Still alluding to the passage quoted in a former scene from Kyd's Hieronymo. Steevens.

2 And all Europa shall &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. 3 Ant. This same &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.

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?

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 slander liv'd.

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?
Beat. I answer to that name; [unmasking] What is

your will?
Bene. Do not you love me?
Beat.

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?
Bene.

No, no more than reason.6 Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula, Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear, you did.

Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for me. 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 recompense.

4 No, no more than reason.] The old copies, injuriously to me. tre, read-Why, no, &c. It should seem that the compositor's eye had caught the here unnecessary adverb from the following speech. Steevens.

5 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. 6 No, no more than reason.] Here again the metre, in the old copies, is overloaded by reading--Troth, no, no more &c. Steevens.

Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

Claud. And I'll be sworn upon 't, that he loves her;
For here's a paper, written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.
Hero.

And here's another,
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;7 and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.

Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth.8 [Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married man?

Bene. I 'll tell thee 'what, prince; a college of witcrackers cannot flout me out of my humour: Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing hand

7 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 so 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. é. 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.

8 Bene. Peace, I will stop 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 obstinacy 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, kisses 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.

« PreviousContinue »