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ст II. SCENE, a Hall in Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice,
Margaret and Ursula.
Ant. I saw him not. Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after.
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition.
Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the mid-way 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 tatling.
Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count Fobn'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 he band, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she's too curft.
Beat. Too curft is more than curlt; I shall lessen God's sending that way; for it is said, God sends a curft Cow shost horns ; but to a Cow too curst he sends
Leon. So, by being too curft, God will send you no horns.
Beat. Juft, if he send me no husband; for the which Bleffing I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening : Lord! I could not endure a húsband with a beard on his face, I had rather lye in woollen.
Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.
Beat. What should I do with him ? dress him in 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 à man, I am not for him : therefore I will even take fixpence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.
Leon. Well then, go you into hell,
Beat. No, but to the gate ; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with his horns on his head, and say, “get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you “ to heav'n, here's no place for you maids." So deliver I up my apes, and away to St. Peter, for the heav'ns ; he Thews me where the bachelors fit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
Ant. Well, Niece, I trust you will be ruld by your father.
[To Hero. Beat. Yes, faith, it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy, and fay, Father, as it please you; but yet for all that, Coufin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsy, and say, Father, as it pleases me.
Leon. Well, Niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.
Beat. Not 'till God make men of some other metal than earth ; would it not grieve a woman to be overmaster'd with a piece of valiant duit ? to make account of her life to a clod of wayward marl ? no, uncle, I'II none; Adam's fons are my brethren, and truly, I hold it a fin to match in
kindred. Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you; if the Prince do follicit you in that kind, you know swer.
Beat, The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good time; (4) if the Prince be too
impor(4) If the Prince be too importunate,). This is the reading only of Mr. Pope's impressions, as I can find, and warranted by none of
important, tell himn, there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the Answer; for hear me Hero, wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace; the first fuit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding mannerly-modest, as a measure, full of itate and anchentry; and then comes repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, 'till he sinks into
Leon. Cousin, you apprehend pasting threwdly.
Beat. I have a good eye, uncle, I can see a church by day-light.
Leon. 'The revellers are entring, brother; make good room. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar, and
others in Maquerade. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend?
Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk, and especially when I walk away:
Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero. When I like your favour ; for God defend, the lute should be like the case !
Pedro. (5) My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.
Hero. the copies. I have restor'd with all the old books, important; i. e. if the prince be too forcible, pressing, lays too much fress on his Suit, &c. The poet employs this word again, in the like fignification, in K. Lear.
therefore great France My mourning, and important tears hath pitied. (5) My visor is Prilemon's roof, within the boue is Love.] Thus the whole stream of the cop.es, from the firft downwards. I must own, this passage for a long while appear'd very obscure to me, and gave me mach trouble in atiempting to understand it. Hero says to Don Pedro, God forbid, the lute should be like the case ! i, e. that your face should be as homely and as courfe as your mask: Upon this, Don Pedro, compares his visor to Philemon's roof. "Tis
Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd.
plain, the poet alludes to the story of Baucis and Philemon from OvID : And this old couple, as the Roman poet describes it, liv'd in a tbatch'd cottage ;
-Stipulis & canna teela paluftri. But why, within the bouje is Love? Baucis and Philemon, 'tis true; had liv'd to old age together, and a comfortable Atate of agreement. But piety and hospitality are the top parts of their character. Our poet unquestionably goes a little deeper into the story. Tho' this old pair liv’d in a cottage, this cottage receiv'd two fraggling Gods, (Jupiter and Mercury) under its roof. So Don Pedro is a prince ; and tho' his visor is but ordinary, he would insinuate to Hero, that he has something god-like within ; alluding either to his dignity, or the qualities of his person and mind. By these circumstances, I am fure, the thought is mended; as, I think verily, the text is too by the change of a single letter.
-within the bouse is Jove. I made this correction in my SHAKESPEAR I reffor'd; and Mr. Pope has vouchsaf’d to adopt it, in his last edition. Nor is this emendation a little confirm'd by another passage in our author, in which he plainly alludes to the same story. As you like it. Clown. I am bere witb ibee and thy Goats, as the most capricious
poet, bonefo Ovid, was amongst the Goths. Jaq. O knowleage ill inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatch'd House.
I am naturally drawn here to correct a passage in Beaumont and Fletcher's, Two Noble Kinsmen, where a fault of the like kind has. obtain'& in all the copies.
- here love himself fits smiling;
A shining constellation ; All my readers, who are acquainted with the poetical history here alluded to, will concur with me in the certainty of the following., emendation :
Juft such another wanton Ganymede
Set Jove a-fire with, (6) Balth. Well; I would, you did like me.] This and the two fol. lowing little speeches, which I have placed to Balıbazar, are in all the printed copies given to Benedick. But, 'tis clear, the dialogue here ought to be betwixt Balthazar, and Margaret : Benedick a little lower converses with Beatrice : and so every man talks with his woman once round.
Marg. So would not I for your own sake, for I have many ill qualities.
Balth. Which is one?
Balth. I love you the better, the hearers may cry Amen.
Marg. God match me with a good dancer!
Marg. And God keep him out of my fight when the dance is done! Answer, clerk.
Balth. No more words, the clerk is answer'd.
very man ; here's his dry hand up and down; you are he, you are he.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urf. 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 there's an end. Beat. Will you not tell me, who told
Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good Wit out of the Hundred merry Tales; well, this was Signior Benedick that said fo.
Bene. What's he?
Beat. Why, he is the Prince's jester; a very dull fool, only his gift is in devising impossible danders: none but libertines delight in him, and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleaseth
angers them, and then they laugh at him, and 3