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but, in faith, as honest as the skin between his brows.

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honester than I.

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous ; palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the

poor duke's officers ; but, truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.

Leon. All thy tediousness on me! ha!

Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more than ’ris: for I hear as good exclamation on your worship, as of any man in the city; and tho’ I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it. Verg. And so am I. Leon. I would fain know what you have to say.

Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, hath ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.

Dogó. A good old man, fir; he will be talking, as they say; when the age is in, the wit is out; God help us! it is a world to see !-Well said, i'faith, neighbour Verges :-well, God's a good man; an

! I am as honest as any man living, that is an old mon, and no honefter than l.] There is much humour, and extreme good sense under the covering of this blundering expression. It is a fly infinuation that length of years, and the being much hacknied in the ways of men, as Shakespeare expresies it, take off the gloss of virtue, and bring much defilemeni on the manners. For, as a great wit says, Youth is the season of virtue : corruptions grow with years, and I believe the oldest rogue in England is the grateft.

WARBURTON. Much of this is true, but I believe Shakespeare did not intend to beltow all this reflection on the speaker. Johnson. U 3


two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind: An honest foul, i'faith, fir ; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread : but, God is to be worshippid; All men are not alike; alas, good neighbour !

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.

Dogb. Gifts, that God gives.
Leon. I must leave you.

Dogb. One word, fir : our watch have, indeed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examin'd before your worship.

Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great haste, as may appear unto you.

Dogb. It shall be suffigance.

Leon. Drink fome wine ere you go: fare you well,

Enter a Messenger. Mel. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband. Leon. I will wait upon

I am ready.

(Exeunt Leonato. Dogb. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the jail; we are now to examination these men.

Verg. And we must do it wisely.

Dogb. We will fpare for no wit, I warrant you ; here's that (touching his forehead] shall drive fome of



an two men ride, &c.]This is not out of place, or without meaning. Dogberry, in his vanity of superiour parts, apologizing for his neighbour, observes, that of two men on an birse, one mai ride bebind. The first place of rank or understanding can belong but to one, and that happy one ought not to despise his inferiour.



them to a non-com. Only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the jail.





Enter Don Pedro, Don John, Leonato, Friar, Claudio,

Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice.

OME, friar Francis, be brief; only to the


shall recount their particular duties afterwards.

Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady?

Claud. No.
Leon. To be marry'd to her, friar. You come to

Plain Forfni og and

marry her.

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be marry'd to this count?

Hero. I do.

Friar. If either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoined, I charge you, on your souls, to utter it.

Claud. Know you any, Hero ?
Hero. None, my lord.
Friar. Know you any, count?
Leon. I dare make his answer, none,
Claud. O what men dare do! what men may do!

Men daily do! not knowing what they do!


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Bene. How now! Interjections? Why, then * some be of laughing, as, ha, ha, he!

Claud. Stand thee by, friar: Father, by your leave; Will you with free and unconstrained soul Give me this maid your daughter ?

Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose

worth May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?

Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankful.

ness :There, Leonato, take her back again ; Give not this rotten orange to your friend; She's but the sign and femblance of her honour:Behold, how like a maid she blushes here ; O, what authority and shew of truth Can cunning sin cover itself withal ! Comes not that blood, as modest evidence, To witness simple virtue ? Would you not swear, All you that see her, that the were a maid, By these exterior shews ? But she is none : She knows the heat of a luxurious bed: 3 Her blush is guiltinels, not modesty.

Leon. What do you mean, my lord ?

Claud. Not to be marry'd ; Not knit my soul to an approved wanton. Leon, Dear my lord, if you in your own approof

Have a fome be of laughing,] This is a quotation from the Accidence.

JOHNSON, -luxurious bed :] That is, lofrivious. Luxury is the confessor's term for unlawful pleasures of the sex. JOHNSON.

4 Dear n.y lord, if you in your own proof) I am surpriz'd the poetical editors did not observe the lameness of this verse. It evi. dently wants a fyllable in the last foot, which I have restored by a word, which, I presume, the first editors might hesitate at ; tho' it is a very proper one, and a word elsewhere used by our author.



Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity
Claud. I know what you would say ; If I have

known her,
You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate the forehand fin.
No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large ;S
But, as a brother to his sister, shew'd
Balhful sincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write against

it :

You seem to me as Dian in her orb;
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown;
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals
That rage in savage sensuality.

Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you ?

Pedro. What should I speak ?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.



Besides, in the paffage under examination, this word comes in al. most necessarily, as Claudio had said in the line immediately preceeding;

Not knit my soul to an approved wanton. THEOBALD.

-word 100 large ;] So he uses large jesis in this play, for licentious, nct restrained within die bounds. Johnson.

I will write against it :) What i a libel? nonsense We should read,

I will rate against it : i, e. rail or revile. WARBURTON.

As 10 subscribe to any thing is to allow it, so to write against is to disallow or deny. JOHNSON.

i-chasie as is the bude -] Before the air has tafted ixs sweetness. JOHNSON,


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