« PreviousContinue »
your trouble : the fashion of the world is to avoid coft, 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, forrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
D. Pedro. You embrace your charge3 too willingly.
Leon. Her mother hath many times told me fo. :
Di 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 I eonato 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 Bene- ' dick; 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 fignior Benedick? Courtesy 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 fuitor. I thank God, and
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 fill in that mind! so some gentleman or other hall'scape a predestinate fcratched face.
Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were. BS
Benea po hot-blooded youth zbat will keep being competenz borong
ibrong That is, your burden, your incumbrazce
. crisy kastard Charge does not mean, as Dr. Johnson explains it, burden, ineuil rance, to but « che person committed to your care.'
So it is used in the r:latives thip between guardian and ward.. DOUCE,
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,-fignior Claudio, and signior Benedick,--my dear friend Leonato, hath invited you all. I tell him, we shall stay here at the deaft a month; and he heartily prays, fome occafion may detain us longer : I dare swear he is no liypocrite, 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:s I am not of many words, but I
[Exeunt all but Benedick and CLAUDIO. Claud. Benedick, didft thou note the daughter of signior Leonato?
Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her.
Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgement? or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a profeffed tyrant to their sex ?
Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgement.
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 The 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 likeft her. Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after her ? B 5
Claud. 5 The poet has judiciously marke the gloominess of Don John's Character, by making him averse to the common forms of civility.
SIR J. HAWKINS,
Claud. Can the world buy fuch a jewel? Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this with a fad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack;" to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter? 7' Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in the song ? 8
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 hasband; 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
B 6 • Fack, in our author's time, I know not why, was a term of contempt. MALONE.
7 I know not whether I conceive the jeft here intended. Claudio hints his 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 bare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter. A man praising a pretty lady in jeft, may Thow the quick fight of Cupid, but what has it to do with the carpensiy of Vulcan? Perhaps the thought lies no deeper than this, Do you mean 10 tell us as new what we all know already ? JOHNSON.
I believe no more is meant by those ludicrous expressions than this.-Do you mean, says Benedick, to amuse us with improbable stories ?
STEEVENS. I explain the passage thus: Do you fcoff and mock in telling us that Cupid, who is blind, is a good bare finder, which requires a good eye-light; and that Valcan, a blacksmith, is a rare carpenter ? TOLLET.
After such attempts at decent illuftration, I am afraid that he who wishes to know why Cupid is a good bare-finder, must discover it by the afliitance of many quibbling allusions of the same fort, abcut bair and hoar, in Mercutio's song in the second Act of Romeo and Juliet. COLLINS.
.8 i. e. to join with you in your song-to strike in with you in the song. STEEVENS.
9 That is, subject his head to the disquiet of jealousy. JOHNSON.
In Painter's Palace of Pleasure, p. 233, we have the following paffage : "All they that weare bornes be pardoned to weare cheir cappes upon their hoads.” HENDERSON.
In our author's time, none but the inferior clasies wore caps, and fuchs persons were termed in contempt flar capse Alligentlemen wore hats.
never see a batchelor of threescore again ? Go to, i'faith; an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and figh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is returned to seek
Re-enter Don Pedro,
fola Howed not to Leonato's ?
Bene. I would, your grace would constrain me to tell,
Bene. You hear, Count Claudio : 1 can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on my allegianee,-mark you this, on my allegiance :-He is in love. With who?—now that is your grace's part.-Mark, how short his answer is :- With Hero, Leonato's fort daughter.
Claud. If this were fo, fo were it utter'd.3
Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not fo, nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.
Claud. If my passion change not thortly, God forbid it fhould be otherwise.
Perhaps therefore the meaning isz-Is there not one man in the world prudent enough to keep out of that state where he must live in apprehenfion that his nigbe.cap will be worn occasionally by another. 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 distinction between the plain ftatute-caps of citizens, and the ornamented ones worn by gentlemen. STEEVENS.
- fgb away Sundays.} A proverbial expression to signify that a man has no rest at all; when Sunday, a day formerly of ease and diverfoon, was passed so uncomfortably. WARBURTON.
I cannot find this proverbial expression in any ancient book whatever. I am apt to believe that the learned commentator has mistaken the drift of in, and that it most probably alludes to the strict manner in which the fabbath was observed by the Puritans, who usually spent that day in fighs and pratings, and other hypocritical marks of devotion. STEEVENS.
-3 Claudio, evading at first a confeffion of his passion, says; if I had Hally confided such a secret to him, yet he would have blabbed it in this Mapper. In his next speech, he thinks proper to avow his love; and when Benedick says, God forbid it pould be fo, i. e. God forbid he thould gyen wish to marry her: Claudio replies, God forbid I should not wish it.
D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her ; for the lady is very well worthy.
Claud. You speak this to fetch me in,,my lord,
Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, y lord, I spoke mine.
Claud. That I love her, I feel
Bene. That I neither feel how she should be loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.
D. Pedro. Thou waft ever an obítinate heretick in the despite of beauty.
Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in the force of his will.4
Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my buglein an invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me : Because I will not do them the wrong to miftrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor,
D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
Bene. With anger, with fickness, or with hunger, my lord; not with love: prove, that ever I lose more blood with love, than I will get again with drinking, pick out my eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house, for the sign of blind "Cupid.
D. Pedro. 4 Alluding to the definition of a heretick in the Schools.
WAR BURTON, 5 A recbeate is the sound by which dogs are called back. Shakspeare had no mercy upon the poor cuckold, his born is an inexhaustible subjectof merriment. Johnson.
A recbeate is a particular lesson upon the horn, to call dogs back from the scent: from the old French word recet, which was used in the same fense as retraite. HANMER.
6 Bugle, i. e. bugle-horn, hunting-horn. The meaning seems to be or that I should be compelled to carry a horn on my forehead where there is nothing visible to support it.
It is still faid of the mercenary cuckold, that he carries bis koras in bis pockets, STIEVEN 86