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have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Claud, No, I pry'ythee, speak in sober judgment.
Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low for an 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 think'st, I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou lik’st her.
Bene. "Would you buy her, that you enquire 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 fad brow? or do you play the Aouting Jack ; to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, aud Vulcan a rare carpenter ? Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in the song ?
to tell us, Cupid is a good bari-finder, &c.] I know not whether I conceive the jest here intended. Claudio hints his bve of Hero. Benedick asks whether he is serious, or whether he only means to jest, and tell them that Cupid is a good harte fader, and Vulcan a rare carpenter. A man praising a pretty lady ir jest, may shew the quick fight of Cupid, but what has it to do wth the carpentry of Vulcan? Perhaps the thought lies no deeper than this, Do you mean to tell us as now 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 fto. ries
An ingenious correspondent, whose signature is R. W. ex. plainsthe paffage in the same sense, but more amply. “Do you means tell us that love is not blind, and that fire will not consume that is combustible?” -for both these propositions
are implieain making Cupid a good bare-finder, and Vulcan (the God of fire) good carpenter. In other words, would you convince me wboje opljon on this head is well known, that you can be in love with. out being lind, and can play with obe flame of beauty without being Scorched. STEEVENS.
"Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that I ever look'd on. · Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no such matter : there's her cousin, an fhe were not pofféls'd 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, 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 suspicion? Shall I never see a batchelor of threescore again? Go to, i'faith, an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoké, wear the print of it, and ' figh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is return'a to
Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that you follow'd not to Leonato's.
Bene. I would, your Grace would constrain me to tell.
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 Hæo, Leonato's short daughter.
war his cap with suspicion ?] That is, subject hi head to the disquiet of jealousy. Johnson.
high away Sundays :) A proverbial expresio to fig. nify that a man has no rest at all, when Sunday, a day ormerly of case and diverfion, was passed so uncomfortably.
Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered,
Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be. fo.
Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God förbid it should be otherwise.
Pedro. Amen, if you love her, for the lady is very well worthy.
Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
Claud. That I love her, I feel.
Bene. That I neither feel how she should be loved, rior know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the Itaké.
'Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered.) This and the three next fpeeches I do not well understand ; there seems something omitted relating to Hero's consent, or to Claudio's marriage, elle I know not what Claudio can with 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 fullen answer, if it is so, so it is. Still there seems something omitted which Claudio and Pedro concur in wishing.
JOHNSON. If (says Claudio, evading an explicit answer) this asertion of his were true, it is a truth ihat might quickly be declared. He alludes to the sport answer, &c. which Benedick has just mentioned. Benedick replies, My lord, be is like the old riddling tale, it is not jo, and' was not so; but (now he mentions his own private with) I say, God forbid that it should be fo! Claudio then re-assumes his part in the dialogue, and
adds, if I do not change the object of my affections, God forbid it should be o herwise. Benedick, by saying God forbid it should be so, means God forbid you should be married. The other returns for answer, If I continue as much in love with ber as I am at present, God forbid I should not. STLEVENS, I
Pedro. Thou wast ever an obftinate heretick in the despight of beauty. Claud. And never could maintain his part,
2 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 recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an, invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me. Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do my self the right to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer) I will live a batchelor.
Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord; not with love : prove, that ever I lose 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-house for the hgn of blind Cupid.
Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou wile prove a notable argument. Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat,and
shoot but in the force of his will.] Allading to the def. nition of a hererick in the schools. WARBURTON.
but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead,] That is, I will wear a horn on my forihead which the buntsman may blow. A recheate is the found by which dogs are called back. Shakespeare had no mercy upon the poor cuckold, his horn is an inexhaustible subject of merriment. JOHNSON.
A recbeaie is a particular leifon upon the horn, to call dogs back from the scent : from the old French word reces, which was used in the same fenie as retraite. . Hanmer,
4 no!able argumint.] An eminent subject for satire. Johnson.
s in a bulle like a cat | As to the cat and borile, I can procure no better information than the following, which does not exactly suit with the text.
Thoot at me ; and he that hits 'me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and call'd • Adam.
Pedro. Well, as time shall try : In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.
Bene. The favage bull may ; but if ever the sensi ble Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and fet them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good borse to biré, let them fignify under my sign, Here you may sưe 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. In some counties of England, a cat was formerly closed up with a quantity of foot in a wooden bottle, (such as that in which hepherds carry their liquor) and was suspended on a line. He who beat out the bottom as he ran under it, and was nimble enough to escape its contents, was regarded as the hero of this inhuman di-' version. Steevens.
5 and be that hits me, let him be clap'd on the foulder, 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 allusion here." In Law-Tricks, or, Who would have thought it, (a comedy written by John Day, and printed in 1608) I find this speech. Adam Bell, a fubftantial outlaw, and a paling good archer, yet no zobacconift.-—By this it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of day was of reputation for his kill at the bow. I find him again mentioned in a burlesque poem of fir William Davenant's, called, The long Vacation in London. THEOBALD.
Adam Bell was a companion of Robin Hood, as may be seen in Robin Hood's Garland ; in which, if I do not mistake, are these lines,
For be brought Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough,
And William of Cloudes:a,
And the forefter beat them all three. Johnson. ? In time tbe favage bull doth bear the yoke.] This line is taken from the Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronymo, &c. 1605. Steevens.
if Cupid bath not spent all his quiver in Venice, ] All modern writers agreç in representing Venice in the same light as the ancients