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D. PEDRO. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together.

[Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO. CLAUD. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter. of signior Leonato?

BENE. I noted her not; but I looked on her. CLAUD. Is she not a modest young lady?

BENE. Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?

CLAUD. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judg

ment.

་་

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 she 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 likest her.

BENE. Would you buy her, that you inquire after her?

CLAUD. Can the world buy such a jewel?

BENE. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack; to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder,

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the flouting Jack;] Jack, in our author's time, I know not why, was a term of contempt. So, in King Henry IV. P. I. Act III:

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the prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup."

Again, in The Taming of the Shrew:

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rascal fidler,

"And twangling Jack, with twenty such vile terms," &c.

and Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in the song?1

CLAUD. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on.

BENE. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see

See in Minsheu's DICT. 1617: "A Jack sauce, or saucie Jack." See also Chaucer's Cant. Tales, ver. 14,816, and the note, edit. Tyrwhitt. MALONE.

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to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, &c.] I know not whether I conceive the jest 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 hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter. A man praising a pretty lady in jest, may show the quick sight of Cupid, but what has it to do with the carpentry of Vulcan? Perhaps the thought lies no deeper than this, Do you mean to 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?

An ingenious correspondent, whose signature is R. W. explains the passage in the same sense, but more amply. "Do you mean to tell us that love is not blind, and that fire will not consume what is combustible?" for both these propositions are implied in making Cupid a good hare-finder, and Vulcan (the God of fire) a good carpenter. In other words, would you convince me, whose opinion on this head is well known, that you can be in love without being blind, and can play with the flame of beauty without being scorched? STEEV ens.

I explain the passage thus: Do you scoff and mock in telling us that Cupid, who is blind, is a good hare-finder, which requires a quick eye-sight; and that Vulcan, a blacksmith, is a rare carpenter? TOLLET.

After such attempts at decent illustration, I am afraid that he who wishes to know why Cupid is a good hare-finder, must discover it by the assistance of many quibbling allusions of the same sort, about hair and hoar, in Mercutio's song in the second Act of Romeo and Juliet. COLLINS.

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to go in the song?] i. e. to join with you in your song -to strike in with you in the song. STEEVENS.

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 husband; 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? Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again? Go to, i'faith; an thou wilt needs. thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays.3 Look, Don Pedro is returned to seek

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you.

wear his cap with suspicion?] That is, subject his head to the disquiet of jealousy. JOHNSON.

In Painter's Palace of Pleasure, p. 233, we have the following passage: "All they that weare hornes be pardoned to weare their cappes upon their heads." HENDERSON.

In our author's time none but the inferior classes wore caps,. and such persons were termed in contempt flat-caps. All gentlemen wore hats. Perhaps therefore the meaning is,-Is there not one man in the world prudent enough to keep out of that state where he must live in apprehension that his night-cap will be worn occasionally by another? So, in Othello:

"For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too." 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 statute-caps of citizens, and the ornamented ones worn by gentlemen. STEEvens.

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sigh away Sundays.] A proverbial expression to signify that a man has no rest at all; when Sunday, a day formerly of ease and diversion, 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

Re-enter Don PEDRO.

D. PEDRO. What secret hath held you here, followed not to Leonato's?

that

you BENE. I would, your grace would constrain me to tell.

D. PEDRO. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

BENE. You hear, Count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on my allegiance, 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 short daughter.

CLAUD. If this were so, so were it uttered.*

has mistaken the drift of it, and that it most probably alludes to the strict manner in which the Sabbath was observed by the Puritans, who usually spent that day in sighs and gruntings, and other hypocritical marks of devotion. STEEVENS.

Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered.] This and the three next speeches I do not well understand; there seems something omitted relating to Hero's consent, or to Claudio's marriage, else I know not what Claudio can wish not to be otherwise. The copies all read alike. Perhaps it may be better thus:

Claud. If this were so, so were it.

Bene. Uttered like the old tale, &c.

Claudio gives a sullen answer, if it is so, so it is. Still there seems something omitted which Claudio and Pedro concur in wishing. JOHNSON.

Claudio, evading at first a confession of his passion, says, if I had really confided such a secret to him, yet he would have blabbed it in this manner. In his next speech, he thinks proper to avow his love; and when Benedick says, God forbid it should be so, i. e. God forbid he should even wish to marry her,Claudio replies, God forbid I should not wish it. STEEVENS.

BENE. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.

CLAUD. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise.

is

D. PEDRO. Amen, if you love her; for the lady very well worthy.

CLAUD. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. D. PEDRO. By my troth, I speak my thought. CLAUD. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. BENE. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine."

CLAUD. That I love her, I feel.

D. PEDRO. That she is worthy, I know.

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 wast ever an obstinate heretick in the despite 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 she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheat

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I spoke mine.] reads "I speak mine."

Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio But the former is right. Benedick means, that he spoke his mind when he said " God forbid it should be so ;" i. e. that Claudio should be in love, and marry in consequence of his passion. STEEVENS.

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but in the force of his will.] Alluding to the definition of a heretick in the schools. WARBURTON.

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