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Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron througn when he was hid in the garden.

D. Pedro. But when shall we get the savage Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he utter'd it. bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head? D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice Benedick the married man?

of it. Bene. Fare you well, boy; you know my mind ; D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of trea I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour; chery : you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, And fed he is upon this villany. God be thanked, hurt not.-My lord, for your many Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your In the rare semblance that I loved it first. company: your brother, the bastard, is fled from Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this Messina: you have, among you, killed a sweet and time our Sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of innocent lady: For my lord Lack-beard, there, he the matter : And masters, do not forget to specify, and I shall meet;, and till then, peace be with him. when time and place shall serve,

that I am an ass. (Exit BENEDICK. Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, D. Pedro. He is in earnest.

and the Sexton too.
Claud. In most profound earnest ; And I'll war- Re-enter LEONATO and Antonio, with the Sexton.
rant you, for the love of Beatrice.

Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his eyes;
D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?
Claud. Most sincerely.

That when I note another man like him,
D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he I may avoid him: Which of these is he ?

Böra. If you would know your wronger, look on
goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his
Claud. He is then a giant to an ape ; but then is

Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath

hast kill'd
on ape a doctor to such a man.
D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be ;? pluck up my

Mine innocent child ?

Yea, even I alone.
heart, and be sad !3 Did he not say, my brother
was ted.

Leon. No, not so, villain; thou bely'st thyself;

Here stand a pair of honourable men,
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGEs, and the Watch, with A third is fled, that had a hand in it:-

I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death;
Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame Record it with your high and worthy deeds ;
you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her ba- 'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
: nay, and you be a cursing hypocrite once,

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, you must be looked to.

Yet I must speak : Choose your revenge yourself;
D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men Impose me to what penance your invention
bound! Borachio, one!

Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn'd I not,
Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord! But in mistaking.

D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men D. Pedro. By my soul, nor I;

And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false te- I would bend under any heavy weight
port; moreover, they have spoken untruths; se- That he'll enjoin me to.
condarily, they are slanders : sixth and lastly, they Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live,
have belied a lady; thirdly, they have veried un- That were impossible; but, I pray you both,
just things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves. Possess the people in Messina here

D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done ; How innocent she died: and, if your love
thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence ; sixth and Can labour aught in sad invention,
lastly, why they are committed ; and, tó conclude, Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
what you lay to their charge ?

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And sing it to her bones ; sing it to-night:Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own divi- To-morrow morning come you to my house ; sion ; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well And since you could not be my son-in-law, suited.

Be yet my nephew: my brother bath a daughter
D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
that you are thus bound to your answer ? this learn- And she alone is heir to both of us ;
ed constable is too cunning to be understood : Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
What's your offence ?

And so dies my revenge.
Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine Claud.

0, noble sir,
answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I have deceived even your very eyes : what your I do embrace your offer; and dispose
wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools For henceforth of poor Claudio.
have brought to light; who, in the night, overheard Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your com-
me confessing to this man, how Don John, your

ing; brother, incensed me to slander the lady Hero; To-night I take my leave. This naughty man how you were brought into the orchard, and saw Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, me court Margaret in Hero's garment ; how you Who, I believe, was pack’dio in all this wrong, disgraced her, when you should marry her: my vil- Hir'd to it by your brother. lany they have upon record; which I had rather Bora.

No, by my soul, she was not ; seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame : Nor knew not what she did, when shé spoke to mo; the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false But always hath been just and virtuous, accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the In any thing that I do know by her. reward of a villain.

5 Incited, instigated. i These words are probably meant to express what 6 i. e. 'inflict upon me whatover penance, &c.' Rosaline, in As You Like Il, calls the careless deso.

7 To possess anciently signified to inform, to make lation of a lover.

acquainted with. So in the Merchant of Venice: 2 The old copies read 'let me be,' the emendation is I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose. Malone's. Lei be appears here to signify hold, rest 8 It was the custom among Catholics to attach, upon there. It has the same signification in Saint Mauhew, or near the tomb of celebrated persons, a written inscripch, xxvii, P. 49.

tion either in prose or verse generally in praise of the 3 i. e. 'rouse thyself my heart and be prepared for deceased. serious consequences.'

9 Yet Shakspeare makes Leoneto say to Antonio, Act 4 That is, one meaning put into many different i. Sc. 3, · How now, brother; where is my cousin your dresses ; the Prince having asked the same question in son,' &c. four modes of speech.

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Dogb. Moreover, sir (which, indeed, is not under good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of par white and black,) this plaintiff here, the offender, ders, and a whole book full of these quondam car did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remem- pet mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the bered in his punishment : And also, the watch heard even road of a blank verse, why, they were never them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it;' and love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have burrows money in God's name; the which he hath tried ; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an used so long, and never paid, that now men grow innocent rhyme; for scarn, horn, a hard rhyme; for hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake : school, fool, a babbling rhyme; very ominous ende Pray you, examine him upon that point.

ings : No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. nor I cannot woo in festival terms. — Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful

Enter BEATRICE. and reverend youth : and I praise God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains.

Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called

thee? Dogb. God save the foundation. Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and

Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me I thank thee.

Bene. O, stay but till then ! Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your wor

Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now! ship; which, I beseech yuur worship, to correct which is, with knowing what hath passed between

and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, yourself, for the example of others. God keep your worship; I wish your worship well; God re you and Claudio. store you to health: humbly give you leave to

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss

depart; and if a merry meeting may be wished,
God prohibit it.—Come, neighbour.

Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind
(Exeunt DogBERRY, Verges, and Watch. is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; there.
Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. fore I will depart unkissed.
Ant. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to-

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his

right sense, so forcible is thy wit : But, I must tell D. Pedro. We will not fail.

thee plainly, Claudio undergoes' my challenge; Claud, To.night I'll mourn with Hero. and either ! must shortly hear from him, or I will

thee [Ereunt Don Pedro and CLAUDIO. subscribe him a coward. And, I

now, Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou firsi with Margaret,

fall in love with me? How her acquaintance grew with this lewdfellow.

Beat. For them all together; which maintainec [Exeunt.

so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit

any good part to intermingle with them. But for SCENE II. Leonato's Garden. Enter BENE- which of my good parts did you first suffer love for

DICK and MARGARET, meeting.
Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, de-

Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer
serve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
of Beatrice.

Beat. In spite of your heart, I think; alas! poor Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise for yours ; for I will never love that which

heart! If

you spite it for my sake, I will spite it of my beauty ?



hates, Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely

Bene, Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. truth, thou deservest it.

Beal. It appears not in this confession: there's Marg. To have no man come over me ? why, himself


not one wise man among twenty that will praise shall I always keep below stairs ?4 Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's lived in the time of good neighbours :: if a man do

Bene, An old, an

old instance, Beatrice, that mouth, it catches. Marg. And your's as blunt as the fencer's foils, shall live no longer in monument, than the bell

not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he which hit, but hurt not.

Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not rings, and the widow weeps. hurt a woman; and so, I pray thce, call Beatrice :

Beat. And how long is that, think you ? I give thee the bucklers."

Bene. Question !:—Why, an hour in clamour, Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of and a quarter in rheum : Therefore it is most ex

pedient for the wise (if Don Worm, his conscience, Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put find no impediments to the contrary,) to be the in the pickes with a vice; and they are dangerous trumpet of his own virtues, as I am io myself: So weapons for maids.

much for praising myself, (who, I myself will bear Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I witness, is praise-worthy,) and now tell me, How

doth think hath legs.


your cousin ? Bene. And therefore will come.

Beat. Very ill.

Bene. And how do you?
The god of love, [Singing.

Beat. Very ill too.
That sits above,

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there
And knows me, and knows me,

will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste
How pitiful I deserve,

Enter URSULA. I mean, in singing; but in loving, Leander the

Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle ; i It was one of the fantastic fashions of Shak-peare's time to wear a long hanging lock of hair dangling by 4 Theobald proposed to read, above stairs ; and the the ear; it is often mentioned by cotemporary writers, sense of the passage seems to require some such altera. and may be observed in some ancient portraits. The Lion : perhaps a word has been lost, and we may reac humour of this passage is in Dogberry's supposing the why, shall I always keep them below stairs? Or this lock to have a key to it.

passage Dr. Johnson says, “I suppose every reader wil 2 A phrase used by those who received alms at the find the meaning.' gates of religious houses. Dogberry probably de.

i i. e. I yield. signed to say, 'God save the founder.'

6 i. e, 'in choice phraseology.' 3 Here lerod has not the common meaning; nor do I 7 is under challenge, or now stands challenged, by think it can be used in the more uncommon sense of me. ignorant; but rather means knavish, ungrucious, 8 i. e. ' when men were not envious, but every one naughty, which are the synonymes used with it in ex. gave another his due.' plaining the latin pravus in dictionaries of the sixteenth 9 This phrase appears to be equivalent to– You ask century.

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Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. Hero hath been falsely accused, the Prince and Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains I think. Claudio mightily abused; and Dou John is the Friar. To do what, signior ? author of all, who is fled and gone : Will you come Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.presently?

Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior ? Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and Leon. That eye my daughter lent her: 'Tis most be buried in thy eyes; and moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.

(Exeunt Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. SCENE III. The Inside of a Church. Enter From Claudio, and the prince : But what's your will ?

Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me,
Don Pedro, Claudio, and Attendants, with
Music and Tapers.

Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:

But, for my will, my will is, your gnod will
Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato ?

May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
Atten. It is, my lord.

In the estate of honourable marriage ;-)
Claud. [Reads from a scrol]

In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
Done to death2 by slanderous tongues

Leon. My heart is with your liking.

And my help.
Was the Hero that here lies :
Death, in the guerdon of her wrongs,

Here comes the prince, and Claudio.
Gives her fame which never dies :

Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with Attendants.
So the life, that died with shame,

D. Pedro, Good morrow to this fair assembly. Lives in death with glorious fame.

Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow,
Hang thou there upon the tomb, [affixing it.

Praising her when I am dumb.

We here attend you; are you yet determind
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.

To-day to marry with my brother's daughter ?

Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope. SONG.

Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar Pardon, Goddess of the night,


(Erit ANTONIO. Those that slew thy virgin knight :*

D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's

the matter.
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.

That you have such a February face,
Midnight, assist our moan;

So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness ?
Help us to sigh and groan,

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull.
Heavily, heavily.

Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold.
Graves yawn and yield your dead,

And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;
Till death be uttered,"

As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
Heavily, heavily.

When he would play the noble beast in love.

Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low:
Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night! And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
Yearly will I do this rite.

And got a calf in that same noble feat,
D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters ; put your Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

torches out:
The wolves have prey'd ; and look, the gentle day,

Re-enter Antonio, with the Ladies masked.
Before the wheels of Phæbus, round about

Claud. For this I owe you: here comes other Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray:

Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well.

Which is the lady I must seize upon ?
Claud. Good morrow, masters; each his seve-

Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her.

Claud. Why, then she's mine : Sweet, let me D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other see your face. weeds;

I eon. No, that you shall not till you take her hand
And then to Leonato's we will go.

Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speeds, Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar;
Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe ! I am your husband if you like of me.


Hero. And when I lived, I was your other wife : SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato s House. Enter And when you loved, you were my other husband.

(Unmasking. LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, Claud. Another Hero! URSULA, Friar, and HERO.


Nothing certainer :

One Hero died defild; but I do live,
Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent ?
Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who ac-

And surely as I live I am a maid.
cused her

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead! Upon the error that you heard debated :

Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander

But Margaret was in some fault for this;

Friar. All this amazement can I qualify;
Although against her will, as it

In the true course of all the question.

When, after that the holy rites are ended,
Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. I tell you largely of fair Hero's death :
Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd

Mean time, let wonder seem familiar,
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

And to the chapel let us presently.
Leon Well, daughter, and you gentlewoman all,

Bene. Soft and fair, Friar. Which is Beatrice?
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves ;

Beat. I answer to that name; [Unmasking1
And when I send for you come hither mask'd;

What is your will ?
The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour

Bene. Do not you love me?

To visit me :-You know your office, brother ;

Why, no, no more than reason,
You must be father to your brother's daughter,

Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and And give her to young Claudio. (Exeunt Ladies.


3 Reward. | Old coil is great or abundant bustle. Old was a

4 Diana's knight, or virgin knight, was the common common augmentative in ancient familiar language.

poetical appellation of virgins in Shakspeare's time. ? This phrase occurs frequently in writers of Shak. 5 i. e.lill death be spoken of.? speare's time, it appears to be derived from the French

6 Still alluding to the passage quoted from Hierony. phrase, fuire mourir. See note on K. Henry VI. Par mo, or the Spanish Tragedy, in the first scene of the III. Act ii. Sc. 1.


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for me.

for me.

Have been deceived; for they swore you did. nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee Beat. Do not you love me?

out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; Bene. Troth, no, no more than reason. which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and do not look exceeding narrowly to thee. Ursula,

Bene. Come, come, we are friends:-let's have Are much deceiv’d; for they did swear you did. a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten Bene. They swore that you were almost sick our own hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards. Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead Bene. First o’my word: therefore play, music

Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a Bene. 'Tis no such matter :--Then you do not wife : there is no staff more reverend than one love me?

tipped with horn, Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the

Enter a Messenger. gentleman.

Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, Cloud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves her; And brought with armed men back to Messina. For here's a paper, written in his hand,

Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll deA halting sonnet of his own pure brain,

vise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up, Sashion'd to Beatrice.

pipers. And here's another, Hero

(Dance. Ereuni. Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. Å miracle ! here's our own hands against This play may be justly said to contain two of the most our hearts !-Come, I will have thee ; but, by this sprightly characters that Shakspeare ever drew: The light, I take thee for pity.

wit, the humourist, the gentleman, and the soldier are Beat. I would not deny you; but, by this good combined in Benedick. It is to be lamented, indeed, day, 1 yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to that the first and most splendid of these distinctions is save your life, for I was told you were in a con- disgraced by unnecessary profaneness ; for the good. sumption.

ness of his heart is hardly sufficient to atone for the li. Bene. Poace, I will stop your mouth. (Kissing her: Hashes out in the conversation of Beatrice, may be ex.

cence of his tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married cused on account of the steadiness and friendship so apman ?

parent in her behaviour, when she urges her lover io Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of risk his life by a challenge to Claudio. In the conduct wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour : of the fable, however, there is an imperfection similar Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram ? to that which Dr. Johnson has pointed out in The Merry No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall Wires of Windsor :-the second contrivance is less in. wear nothing handsome about him : In brief, since genious than the first :-or, to speak more plainly, the

same incident is become stale by repetition. I wish I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any some other method had been found to entrap Beatrice, purpose ihat the world can say against it; and than that very one which before had been successfully therefore never flout at me for what I have said against practised on Benedick.3 it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my con- Much Ado about Nothing, (as I understand from one clusion.-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have of Mr. Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed under the title beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my on the 20th of May, 1613, the sum of forty pounds, and

of Benedick and Beatrix. Heming the player received, kinsman, live unbruised and love my cousin.

twenty pounds more as his Majesty's gratuity, for ex. Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have de hibiting six plays at Hampton Court, among which was

this comedy


I Because.

2 Steevens, Malone, and Reed, conceive that there 3 Mr. Pye thus answers the objection of Steevens. is an allusion here to the staff used in the ancient trial ! . The intention of the poet was to show that persons of by wager of baule; but Mr. Douce thinks it is more either sex might be made in love with each other by probable the walking suck or staff of elderly persons was supposing themselves beloved, though they were before intended, such sticka were often tipped or headed with enemies, and how he could have done this by any other horn, sometimes crosswise, in imitation of the crutched means I do not know. He wanted to show the seves sticks or polences of the friars, which were borrowed were alike in this case, and to have employed different from the celebrated lau of St. Anthony.

motives would have counteracted his own design.'


PRELIMINARY REMARKS. WE may presume the plot of this play to have been dew, and spring-perfumes are the element of these ten

the invention of Shakspeare, as the diligence of his der spirits; they assist nature in embroidering her car. commentators has failed to trace the sources from pet with green leaves, many coloured flowers, and dagwhence it is derived. Steevens says that the hint for it zling insects; in the human world they merely sport in was probably received from Chaucer's Knight's Tale. a childish and wayward manner with iheir beneficent or

'In the Midsummer Night's Dream,' says Schlegel, noxious influences. Their most violent rage dissolves there flows a luxuriant vein of the boldest and most in good-natured raillery ; their passions, stripped of all fantastical invention ; the most extraordinary combina- earthly matter, are merely an ideal dream. To corres. Lion of the most dissimilar ingredients seems to bave pond with this, the loves of mortals are painted as a ariaen without effort by some ingenious and lucky acci. poetical enchantment, which, by a contrary enchant. dent, and the colours are of such clear transparency that ment, may be immediately suspended, and then renew. we think that the whole of the variegated fabric may be ed again. The different parts of the plot; the wedding blown away with a breath. The fairy world here de. of Theseus, the disagreement of Oberon and Titania, scribed resembles those elegant pieces of Arabesque, the flight of the iwo pair of lovers, and the theatrical where little Genii, with buttertly wings, rise half em. operations of the mechanics, are so lightly and happily budied above the lower cups. Twilight, moonshine, 'interwoven, that they seem necessary to each other for

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