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Bene. Would you buy her, that you enquire after her?
Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel?
Bene. Yea, and a cafe 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? come, in what key fhall a man take you to go in the Song?
Claud. In mine eye, fhe is the sweetest lady that I ever look'd on.
Bene. I can fee yet without fpectacles, and I fee no fuch matter; there's her Coufin, if she were not poffeft with fuch 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 husband, have you?
Claud. I would fcarce truft myself, tho' I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
Bene. Is't come to this, in faith? hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with fufpicion; fhall I never fee a batchelor of threefcore again? go to, i'faith, if thou wilt needs thruft thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and figh away Sundays: look, Don Pedro is return'd to seek you.
4 to tell us Cupid is a rare hare-finder, &c.] I know not whether I conceive the jeft here intended. Claudio hints his love of Hero. Benedick asks whether he is ferious, or whether he only means to jeft, and tell them that Cupid is a good bare finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter. A man praising a pretty lady in jeft, may fhew the quick fight of Cu. pid, but what has it to do with the carpentry of Vulcan? Perhaps the
thought lies no deeper than this,"
5 wear his cap with fufpicion ?] That is, fubject his head to the difquiet of jealoufy.
6 figh away Sundays:] A proverbial expreffion to fignify" that a man has no reft at all; when Sunday, a day formerly of eafe and diverfion, was paffed fo uncomfortably. WARBURTON.
Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John.
Pedro. What fecret hath held you here, that you follow'd not to Leonato's house?
Bene. I would, your Grace would conftrain me to tell. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.
Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be fecret as a dumb man, I would have you think fo; but on my alliegiance,-mark you this, this, on my allegiance.-He is in love. With whom?-now that is your Grace's part. Mark how fhort his answer is-with Here, Leonato's fhort daughter.
Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered 7.
Bene. Like the old tale, my lord, it is not fo, nor 'twas not fo; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so. Claud. If my paffion change not fhortly, God forbid it fhould be otherwise.
Pedro. Amen, if you love her, for the Lady is very well worthy.
Glaud. You fpeak this to fetch me in, my Lord. Pedro. By my troth, I fpeak my thought. Claud. And, in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine. Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speak mine.
7 Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered.] This and the three next speeches I do not well understand; there feems fomething omitted relating to Hero's confent, or to Claudio's marriage, elfe I know not what Claudio can wish not to be other-wife. The Copies all read alike. Perhaps
Claud. That I love her, I feel.
Pedro. That she is worthy, I know.
Bene. That I neither feel how the fhould 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.
MUCH A DO
Pedro. Thou waft ever an obftinate heretick in the defpight of beauty.
Claud. And never could maintain his part, but
in the force of his will.
Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that the brought me up, I likewife give her moft humble thanks; but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invifible baldrick, all women shall pardon me; because I will not do them the Wrong to miftruft any, I will do my felf the Right to truft none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a batchelor.
Pedro. I fhall fee thee, ere I die, look pale with
Ben With anger, with fickness, or with hunger, my lord, not with love: prove, that ever I lofe more blood with love, than I will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a balladmaker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-houfe for the Sign of blind Cupid.
Pedro. Well, if ever thou doft fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.
Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and fhoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and call'd 2 Adam.
notable_argument.] An eminent fubject for fatire.
and be that bits me, let bim be clap'd on the Shoulder, and call'd Adam.] But why should he therefore be called Adam? Perhaps, by a Quotation or two, we may be able to trace the Poet's Allufion here. In LawTricks, or, Who would have thought it, (a Comedy written by John Dax, and printed in 1608) I find this Speech. Adam Bell, a fubftantial Outlaw, and a paffing
Pedro. Well, as time fhall try; in time the favage bull doth bear the yoke.
Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the fenfible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and set them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted; and in fuch great letters as they write, Here is good Horfe to hire, let them fignifie under my Sign, Here you may fee Benedick the marry'd man.
Claud. If this fhould ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.
Pedro, Nay, if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.
Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the hours; in the mean time, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's, commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him at fupper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.
Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for fuch an embaffage, and so I commit you ———————
Claud. To the tuition of God; From my houfe, if I had it,
Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick.
Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your
paling good Archer, yet no Tobaconift. By this it appears, Adam Bell at that time of day was of Reputation for his Skill at the Bow. I find him again mentioned in a Burlesque Poem of Sir William Davenani's, called, The long Vacation in London.
THEOBALD. Adam Bell was a companion of Robin Hood, as may be feen in Robin Hood's Garland; in which, if I do not mistake, are thefe lines,
For he brought Adam Bell, Chim
And the forefter heat them all three. if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice ] All modern writers agree in repre--fenting Venice, in the fame light that the Ancients did Cyprus. And 'tis the Character of the People that is here alluded to. WARBURTON.
difcourfe is fometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but flightly basted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and fo I leave you. [Exit.
Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do mę good.
Pedro. My love is thine to teach, teach it but how,
Claud. Hath Leonato any fon, my lord?
Claud. O my lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
4-ere you flout old ends, &c.] Before you endeavour to diftinguish your felf any more by antiquated allufions, examine whether you can fairly claim them fer your own.
This I think is the meaning: or it may be understood in another sense, examine, if your sarcasms do not touch yourself.