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D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try : "In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke."" Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and set them in my forehead: and let me be vilely painted; and in such great letters as they write, "Here is good horse to hire," let them signify under my sign,-" Here you may see Benedick the married man."

But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is,
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.

D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
And tire the hearer with a book of words.
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it;
And I will break with her, and with her father,

Claud. If this should ever happen, thou wouldst And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end

be horn-mad.

D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice," thou wilt quake for this shortly. Bene. I look for an earthquake too, then. D. Pedro. Well, you will temporise with the hours.42 In the meantime, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's: commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him at supper; for indeed he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for such an embassage; and so I commit you— Claud. To the tuition of Heaven: from my house, if I had it,—

D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick.43

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither:" ere you flout old ends any farther, examine your conscience: and so I leave you. [Exit. Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me good.

D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach: teach it but how,

And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord?

D. Pedro. No child but Hero; she's his only heir.

Dost thou affect her, Claudio?

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That thou begann'st to twist so fine a story?
Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complexion!
But lest my liking might too sudden seem,
I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise.
D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader
than the flood?

The fairest grant is the necessity.

Look, what will serve is fit: 'tis once thou lovest ;

And I will fit thee with the remedy.

I know we shall have revelling to-night:
I will assume thy part in some disguise,
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart,
And take her hearing prisoner with the force
And strong encounter of my amorous tale:
Then, after, to her father will I break;
And the conclusion is, she shall be thine.
In practice let us put it presently.


SCENE II-A room in LEONATO's house.

Enter, severally, LEONATO and ANTONIO. Leon. How now, brother! Where is my cousin, your son? hath he provided this music?

Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you strange news, that you yet dreamt not of.

Leon. Are they good?

Ant. As the event stamps them but they have a good cover; they show well outward. The prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick -pleached

letters were then concluded; Benedick, in his next speech, calling such formalities "old ends."

44 Guarded with fragments, and the guards, &c. “Guarded" is trimmed; and "guards" are the ornamental lace or borderings with which edges were trimmed. See Note 21, Act iii., "Measure for Measure."

45. Examine your conscience. Benedick means, 'See if your "discourse" be a whit more good in style than these "old ends" that you "flout."


46. Break with. Sometimes used for break the matter to.' 47. The fairest grant is the necessity. 'The best thing to

be granted is that which is needful.'

48. 'Tis once. Used for once for all;' or 'it's just this.' See Note 11, Act iii., "Comedy of Errors.”

alley in my orchard," were thus much overheard by a man of mine: the prince discovered to Claudio that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and if he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly break with you of it. Leon. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this? | Ant. A good sharp fellow; I will send for him; and question him yourself.

Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream till it appear itself: but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell her of it. [Several persons cross the stage.] Cousins,50 you know what you have to do.—Oh, I cry you mercy, friend; go you with me, and I will use your skill.-Good cousin, have a care this busy time. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.-Another room in LEONATO's house.

my lord! why are

Con. What the good-year, you thus out of measure sad? D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds; therefore the sadness is without limit. Con. You should hear reason.

D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?

Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance.

D. John. I wonder that thou, being (as thou sayest thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure : sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw 2 no man in his humour.

Con. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it without controlment.

49. Thick-pleached alley in my orchard. "Thick-pleached" means closely-interwoven; and an "alley" means a gardenwalk; so that a "thick-pleached alley" means one of those trellised walks over which climbing plants are trained and intertwined emboweringly. "Orchard" was formerly used for a garden or pleasure-ground, as well as for a place wherein fruittrees are grown. 50. Cousins. Used for kinsmen generally. The relatives of great families were often attached to the household of the head member, as dependants; and were even sometimes employed as domestics.

51. What the good-year. A familiar exclamation of the time. It is to be found used in Roper's "Life of Sir Thomas More." Some derive it from the Italian mal anno, which Florio translates 'an ill year, continual trouble and sorrow;' adding, 'they use it as a curse in Italy.' The English imprecation "goodyear," thus derived, is an ironical form of the Italian one; and perhaps grew out of the bad years of pestilence, scanty harvest, &c., that from time to time occurred in old England.

You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace; where it is impossible you should take true root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.

D. John. I had rather be a cankers3 in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the meantime, 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.54 -Who comes here ?


What news, Borachio?

Bora. I came yonder from a great supper: the prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.

D. John. Will it serve for any models 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. Who? the most exquisite Claudio? Bora. Even he.

D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks he?.

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.57

D. John. A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?

Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was smoking a musty room,58 comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference: 591 whipt me behind the arras; 60 and there

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57. Heir of Leonato. Here, and towards the close of the first scene ("she is his only heir "), "heir" is used for 'heiress.' See Note 6, Act iv., "Two Gentlemen of Verona."

58. Smoking a musty room. It was the custom in times when ventilation and cleanliness were less observed, to perfume neglected apartments on special occasions.

59. Sad conference. Serious conversation.

65. Behind the arras. See Note 27, Act iii., "Merry Wives of Windsor.

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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 startup 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.

D. John. Let us to the great supper: their cheer is 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.



SCENE I.-A Hall in LEONATO's house. Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others.

Leon. Was not Count John here at supper?
Ant. I saw him not.

Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! 1 never can see him, but I am heart-burned an hour after.

Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the midway 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's too curst.'

Beat. Too curst is more than curst. Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face: I had rather lie in the woollen.

Leon. You may light on a husband that hath no beard.

Beat. What should I do with him? dress him in

1. She's too curst. She's too shrewish. Be it observed that there is in this passage the analogy between the words "shrewd," "curst," &c., which was pointed out in Note 24, Act ii., "Two Gentlemen of Verona."

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 sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and lead his apes into hell.3

Ant. [To Hero.] Well, niece, I trust you will be ruled by your father.


Beat. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make court'sy, and say, "Father, as it please you: but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another court'sy, and say, "Father, as it please me."

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.

Beat. Not till Heaven make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a piece of valiant dust ? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll 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 music, cousin, if you be not wooed in good time: if the prince be too important, tell him there is measure in everything, and so dance out the answer. For, hear me, Hero-wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as

therefore they were condemned to perform that as a punishment hereafter, which they had heretofore done from choice.

4. Marl. A clayey earth. There is peculiar propriety in the witty Beatrice's using this term here, as a type of husbandhood, for many reasons: among them, by the epithet "wayward" she hints at the obstinacy and unyieldingness of marl's clayey

2. Bear-ward. The keeper of the bear in bear-beating. The Folio spells the word 'berrord,' which probably indicates the corruption then in use when rapidly pronouncing "bear-ward." | properties; and she contemptuously calls it (by inference) maIn some editions it is given 'bear-herd.'

3. Lead his apes into hell. The penalty proverbially assigned to old maids after death. It perhaps originated in the idea that those women who remained unmarried did so from having encouraged apish danglers instead of earnest suitors; and that

nure, since Bacon in his Natural History says "marlis the best compost."

5. Important. Used here for importunate.

6. Measure in everything. "Measure" is here used punningly; in its sense of 'moderation,' and in its sense of a slow

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 daylight.

Balth. Amen. Marg. And Heaven keep him out of my sight when the dance is done!-answer, clerk.

Balth. No more words: the clerk is answered.
Urs. I know you well enough; you are Signior

Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head.
Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.
Urs. You could never do him so ill-well,12 unless

Leon. The revellers are entering, brother: make you were the very man. Here's his dry hand up good room.

URSULA, and others, masked.

and down: 13 you are he, you are he.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urs. Come, come, do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and

D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your there's an end. friend??

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. I may say so, when I please.

D. Pedro. And when please you to say so? Hero. When I like your favour; for Heaven defend the lute should be like the case!"

D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; 10 within
the house is Jove.

Hero. Why, then, your visor should be thatch'd.
D. Pedro.
Speak low, if you speak love.
[Takes her aside.

Balth. Well, I would you did like me."1
Marg. So would not I, for your own sake; for
I have many ill qualities.

Balth. Which is one?

Marg. I say my prayers aloud.

Balth. I love you the better: the hearers may cry, Amen.

Marg. Heaven match me with a good dancer!

and dignified dance. The second and third time this word is used in the speech, it bears the latter signification, and is described in the words "mannerly-modest," and "full of state and ancientry." 'The cinque-pace,' as its name (from the French cinque) indicates, was a dance, the details of which were in accordance with the number five.

7. Friend. Sometimes used for 'lover;' and, like that word, was equally applied to both men and women.

8. Favour. Aspect, countenance.


9. Heaven defend the lute should be like the case! figurative way of hoping that the gentleman's face is betterlooking than his mask. "Defend" is used in the sense of forbid; French, défend.

10. Philemon's roof. An allusion to the story of Jove's visit to the "thatched" cottage of Baucis and Philemon, as related in Golding's Ovid;" where the long fourteen-syllable verse is imitated by Shakespeare in the couplet formed by the three speeches of the text,-" Jove" rhyming with "love."

11. Well, I would you did like me. This, and the next two speeches of Balthazar, are assigned in the Folio to Benedick; but the prefixes in the Folio are often misprinted (see Note 1, Act v., "Two Gentlemen of Verona "); and in the present scene

Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so ?
Bene. No, you shall pardon me.

Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are?
Bene. Not now.

Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good wit out of the “Hundred Merry Tales :” 14———— Well, this was Signior Benedick that said so.

Bene. What's he?

Beat. I am sure you know him well enough.
Bene. Not I, believe me.

Beat. Did he never make you laugh?
Bene. I pray you, what is he?


Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible 1s slanders: none but libertines delight in him; and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy; for he both pleases men and angers them, and then they laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in the fleet: I would he had boarded 17 me.

Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.

the maskers talk in couples,-Don Pedro and Hero, Balthazar and Margaret, Antonio and Ursula, Benedick and Beatrice, each pair coming forward in succession to converse together.

12. You could never do him so ill-well. 'You could never imitate him so cleverly true to the bad original.'

13. Up and down. Tantamount to 'beyond mistake,' See Note 21, Act ii., "Two Gentlemen of Verona,"

14. The "Hundred Merry Tales." The title of a jest-book, popular in Shakespeare's time; but only a fragment of the sole copy extant was recovered in 1835, and then reprinted. This has been again recently published (February, 1864), together with other jest-books of the sixteenth century, in a small volume, edited by Mr. W. Carew Hazlitt.

15. Impossible. Shakespeare sometimes uses this word for 'difficult of belief,' 'most unlikely,' 'ludicrously improbable.' 16. The commendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy. By this is meant, The approval that he meets with from free-livers is not on account of his wit, but on account of the villainous calumnies and "impossible slanders" he invents, which often bring him both praise and wrath, laughter and chastisement.'

17. Boarded. Accosted; French, aborder.

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Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two's on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and then there is a partridge' wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. [Music within.] We must follow the leaders.

Bene. In every good thing.

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.

Act 11. Scene 1.

and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it. The ladies follow her, and but one visor


Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.1

D. John. Are not you Signior Benedick?
Claud. You know me well; I am he.

D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love:20 he is enamoured on Hero. I pray

[Dance. Then exeunt all except DoN JOHN, you, dissuade him from her; she is no equal for


D. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero,

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his birth: you may do the part of an honest man
in it.

Claud. How know you he loves her?
D. John. I heard him swear his affection.

19. Bearing. Deportment, demeanour, carriage.

20. Near my brother in his love. Possessed of my brother's confidence and esteem; in close intimacy with him.

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