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CLAUD. My liege, your highness now may do me


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?

O my lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye,
That lik'd, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love:
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, And thou shalt have her: Was't not to this end, That thou began'st to twist so fine a story?

CLAUD. How sweetly do you minister to love, That know love's grief by his complexion!

"And so wishing you all happiness, I commend you to God's tuition, and rest your assured friend." So also Lord Salisbury concludes a letter to Sir Ralph Winwood, April 7th, 1610: "And so I commit you to God's protection."

Winwood's Memorials, III. 147. MALONE.

The practice might have become obsolete to the general though retained by certain individuals. An old fashion has sometimes a few solitary adherents, after it has been discarded from common use. REED.

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:7

Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once, thou lov'st;'
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.

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"The fairest grant is the necessity :] i. e. no one can have a better reason for granting a request than the necessity of its being granted. WARBURTON.

Mr. Hayley with great acuteness proposes to read:

"The fairest grant is to necessity; i. e. necessitas quod cogit defendit." STEEVENS.

These words cannot imply the sense that Warburton contends for; but if we suppose that grant means concession, the sense is obvious; and that is no uncommon acceptation of that word. M. MASON.


'tis once, thou loo'st;] This phrase, with concomitant obscurity, appears in other dramas of our author, viz. The Merry Wives of Windsor, and King Henry VIII. In The Comedy of Errors, it stands as follows:

"Once this-Your long experience of her wisdom," &c. Balthasar is speaking to the Ephesian Antipholis.

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Once has here, I believe, the force of-once for all. So, in Coriolanus: "Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him." MALONE.


A Room in Leonato's House.


LEON. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, your son? Hath he provided this musick?

ANT. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed

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 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.

strange news -] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio omits the epithet, which indeed is of little value. STEEVENS.


- a thick-pleached alley - Thick-pleached is thickly interwoven. So afterwards, Act III. SC. i:


-bid her steal into the pleached bower."

Again, in King Henry V :

"her hedges even-pleach'd-." STEEVENS.

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, you know what you have to do.-Ŏ, I Ι cry you mercy, friend; you go with me, and I will use your skill:-Good cousins, have a care this busy time. [Exeunt.


Another Room in Leonato's House.

Enter Don JOHN and Conrade.


CON. What the goujere, my lord! why are you thus out of measure sad?

D. JOHN. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.

CON. You should hear reason.

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

Cousins, you know--and afterwards,-good cousins.] Cousins were anciently enrolled among the dependants, if not the domesticks, of great families, such as that of Leonato.Petruchio, while intent on the subjection of Katharine, calls out, in terms imperative, for his cousin Ferdinand. STEEVENS.

3 What the goujere,] i. e. morbus Gallicus. The old copy corruptly reads, "good-year." The same expression occurs again in King Lear, Act V. sc. iii:

"The goujeres shall devour them, flesh and fell.". See note on this passage. STEEVENS.

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

D. JOHN. I wonder, that thou being (as thou say'st 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 to no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour."


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

I cannot hide what I am:] This is one of our author's natural touches. An envious and unsocial mind, too proud to give pleasure, and too sullen to receive it, always endeavours to hide its malignity from the world and from itself, under the plainness of simple honesty, or the dignity of haughty independence. JOHNSON.

claw no man in his humour.] To claw is to flatter. So, the pope's claw-backs, in Bishop Jewel, are the pope's flatterers. The sense is the same in the proverb, Mulus mulum scabit.

So, in Albion's England, 1597, p. 125:


"The overweening of thy wits does make thy foes to smile,

"Thy friends to weepe, and claw-backs thee with soothings to beguile."

Again, in Wylson on Usury, 1571, p. 141: "therefore I will clawe him, and saye well might he fare, and godds blessing have he too. For the more he speaketh, the better it itcheth, and maketh better for me." REED.

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