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Leon. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream? John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are

Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
Hero. True, O God!

Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother?
Is this face Hero's ? Are our eyes our own ?

Leon. All this is fo; But what of this, my lord ?
Claud. Let me but move one question to your

daughter, And, by that fatherly and kindly power That

you bave in her, bid her answer truly. Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.

Hero. O God defend me! how I am beset! What kind of catechizing call you this ?

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name,

Hero, Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name With any just reproach ?

Claud. Marry, that can Hero;
Hero herself can blot out Hero's virtue.
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight
Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one ?
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.

Pedro. Why, then you are no maiden.-Leonato, I am sorry, you must hear. Upon mine honour, Myself, my brother, and this grieved count Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window; Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal villain,

-kindly power] That is, natural power. Kind'is naturl.

Johnson. '-liberal villain,) Liberal here, as in many places of these plays, means, frank beyond bonesly or decency. Free of congide. Dr. Warburton unnecessarily reads, illiberal. JOHNSON.


Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.

John. Fie, fie! they are not to be nam’d, my lord,
Not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them: Thus, pretty lady,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been,' If half thy outward graces had been plac’d About the thoughts and counsels of thy heart! But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewel, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity ! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eye-lids shall conjecture hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm; And never shall it more be gracious.

Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? Beat. Why, how now, cousin, wherefore sink you

down? John. Come, let us go: these things, come thus

to light, Smother her spirits up.

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Don Jobn, and Claudio. Bene. How doth the lady ?

Beai. Dead, I think; Help, uncle ;-
Hero! why, Hero! uncle ! signior Benedick! friar!

Leon. O fate! take not away thy heavy hand !
Death is the faireft cover for her shame,
That may be wish'd for.

Beat. How now, cousin Hero ?
Friar. Have comfort, lady.
Leon. Dost thou look up?
Friar. Yea; Wherefore should she not?

what a Hero had's thou been,] I am afraid here is intended a poor conceit upon the word Hero. JOHNSON.


Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly

thing Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny The story that is printed in her blood ? Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes: For did I think, thou would it not quickly die, Thought I, thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, Myself would on the rearward of reproaches Strike at thy life. Griev’dl, I had but one? Chid I for that at frugal nature's trame ? 3 O, one too much by thee! Why had I one ? Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes? Why had I not, with charitable hand,


2 The story that is printed in ber blood?] That is, the forg whieh ber blushes discover to be true. Johnson.

Griev'd I, I bad but one ?
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame?

I've one too much by thee. -] The meaning of the second line, according to the present reading is this, Chid I at frugal nature that she sent me a girl and not a boy? But this is not what he chid nature for ; if he himself may be believed, it was because she had given him but one : and in that he owns he did foolishly, for he now finds he had one too much. He called her frugal, therefore, in giving him but one child. (For to call her so because the chose to send a girl rather than a boy would be ridiculous.) So that we must certainly read,

Chid I for this at fruga! nature's 'fraine? i. e, refraine, or keeping back her further favours, stopping her band, as we say, when she had given him one. But the Oxford editor has, in his usual way, improved this amendment by subiticuting band for 'fraine. WARBURTON.

Though frame be not the word which appears to a reader of the present time most proper to exhibit the poet's sentiment, yet it may as well be used to thew that he had one child, and no more, as that he had a girl, not a boy, and as it may easily signify the lylem of things, or universal fahmi, the whole order of beings is comprehended, there arises no difficulty from it which requires to be removed by so violent an effort as the introduction of a new word offensively mutilated. JOHNSON.


Took up a beggar's issue at my gates;
Who smeared chus, and mir’d with infamy,
I might have said, 'No part of it is mine ;
This name derives itself from unknown loins ?
But mine, and mine I lov’d, and mine I prais’d,
And mine that I was proud on; 4 mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her ; why, she–0, she, is fallen
Into a pit of ink! that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again;
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul tainted Aesh!

Bene. Sir, sir, be patient :
For my part, I am so attir’d in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is bely'd.
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

Beat. No, truly, not ; altho', until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
Leon. Confirm’d, confirm’d! O, that is stronger

made, Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron! Would the two princes lie ? and Claudio lie? Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness, Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her ; let her die.

Friar. Hear me a little ;

4 But mine, and mine I lov’d, and mine I prais’d,

And mine that I was proud on; -] The sense requires that we should read, as in these three places. The reasoning of the speaker stands thus,--Had this been my adopa ted child, -bis shame would not have rebounded on me. But this child was mine, as mine I loved ber, praised her, was proud of ber : confes quently, as I claimed the glory, I musi needs be subjected to ibe foame, &c.

WARBURTON. Even of this small alteration there is no need. The speaker utters his emotion abruptly, But min, and mine that I loved, &c. by an ellipfis frequent, perhaps too frequent, both in verse and prole. JOHNSON.


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For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady. I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions
To start into her face; a thousand innocent thames
In angel whiteness bear away those blựshes ;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors that thele princes hold
Against her maiden truth.--Call me a fool,
Trust not my reading, nor my observations,
Which with experimental seal do warrant
The tenour of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Under fome biting error.

Leon. Friar, it cannot be:
Thou seest, that all the grace, that she hath left,
Is, that she will not add to her damnation
A sin of perjury; she noț denies it :
Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That, which appears in proper nakedness ?

Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of ?!
Hero. They know, that do accuse me ; I know

none :

5 Friar. What man is he you are accus'd of?] The friar had just before boalted his great skill in fishing out the truth. And indeed, he appears by this question to be no fool. He was by, all the while at the accusation and heard no names mentioned. Why then should he ak her what man the was accused of? But in this lay the subtilty of his examination. For, had Hero been guilty, it was very probable that in that hurry and confusion of spirits, into which the terrible insult of her lover had thrown her, she would never have observed that the man's name was not mentioned ; and so, on this question, have betrayed herself by naming the perfon he was conscious of an affair with. The friar observed this, and so concluded, that, were the guilty, the would probably fall into the trap he laid for her. I only take notice of this to thew how admirably well Shakespeare knew how to suitain his characters. WARBURTON.


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