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Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an you charge it against me. I pray you, choose another subject.

Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this last was broke cross." D. Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more ;

I think, he be angry, indeed.

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear ?
Claud. God bless me from a challenge!

Bene. You are a villain ;-I jest not :- I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare :-Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you : Let me hear from you.

Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer. D. Pedro. What, a feast? a feast?

Claud. I'faith, I thank him ; he hath bid me to a calf's head and a capon ; the which if I do not carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught. --Shall I not find a woodcock too?

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day: I said, thou hadst a fine wit ; True, says she, a fine little one : No, said I, a great wit ; Right, says she, a great gross one : Nay, said I, a good wit ; Just, said she, it hurts nobody; Nay, said I, the gentleman is wise ; Certain, said she, a wise gentleman : Nay, said I, he hath the tongues ; That I believe, said she, for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning ; There's a double tongue ; there's two tongues. Thus did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular virtues; yet, at last, she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy.

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said, she cared not.

D. Pedro. Yea, that she did ; but yet, for all that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly: the old man's daughter told us all.

WARR 13 we have a proverbial speech, Ao allusion to filling. See note, As you like it, Act III. sc. iv.

If he be angry, let him turn the buckle of But I do not know its original or meaning JOHNSON, large belts were worn with the buckle before, but for wrestling the buckle was turned behind, to give the adversary a fairer grasp at the girdle. To turn the buckle behind, therefore, was a challenge. HOLT WINTE.

(6) Perhaps rise gentleman was in that age rsed ironically, and stood for silly fillow. We still call a man deficient in understanding, a wise-acre.

his girdle.

STEEVES

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's borns on the sensible Benedick's head ?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the married man ?

Bene. Fare you well, boy ; you know my mind; I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour : you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not.--My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you : I must discontinue your company : your brother, the bastard, is tied from Messina ; you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady : For my lord Lack-beard there, he and I shall meet ; and till then, peace be with him.

(Exit BENEDICK. D. Pedro. He is in earnest.

Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee ?
Claud. Most sincerely.

D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit! Enter DOGBERRY, Verges, and the Watch, with Conrade

and BORACHIO. Claud. He is then a giant to an ape : but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be ; pluck up, my heart, and be sad ! Did he not say, my brother was fled?

Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay, and you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.

D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound ! Borachio, one !

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord ! ! D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?

Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths ; secondarily, they are slanders ; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady thirdly, they have verified unjust things : and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.

D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence ; sixth and lastly why they are committed ; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge ?

when you

Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.?

D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, that you are thus bound to your answer ? this learned constable is too cunning to be understood : What's your offence ?

Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes : what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools · have brought to light; who, in the night, overbeard me confessing to this man, how Don John your brother incensed me to slander the lady Hero ; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments ; how you disgraced ber,

should marry her : my villany they have upon record; which I had rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame : the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain. D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like ironi through your

blood ? Claud. I have drunk poison, while he utter'd it. D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this? Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery: And fled he is upon this villany.

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I first loved it.

Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this time our sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of the matter : And masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.

Re-enter LEONATO and Antonio, with the Sexton.
Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his eyes ;
That when I note another man like bim,
I may avoid him: Which of these is he?

Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath bast kill'd Mine innocent child ?

(7) That is, one meaning is put into many diferent dresses ; the Prioce having asked the s'ne question in four modes of speech. JOHNSON. 10 Vol. III.

G

Bora. Yea, even I alone.

Leon. No, not so, villain ; thou bely'st thyself;
Here stand a pair of honourable men,
A third is fled, that had a hand in it:-
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death;
Record it with your high and worthy deeds ;
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak : Choose your revenge yourself;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin : Yet sinn'd I not,
But in mistaking.

D. Pedro. By my soul, nor 1;
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live,
That were impossible ; but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here,
How innocent she died: and, if your

love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her ay epitaph upon her tomb,
And sing it to her bones ; sing it to-night :-
To-morrow morning come you to my house ;
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
Almost a copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us ;
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

Claud. O, noble sir,
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.

Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming ;
To-night I take my leave.—This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

Bora. No, by my soul, she was not;
Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me;
But always hath been just and virtuous,
In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, sir, (which, indeed, is not under

that point.

white and black) this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass : I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment: And also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed : they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock banging by it; and borrows money in God's name ;' the which he hath used so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake : Pray you, examine him upon

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth ; and praise God for you.

Leon. There's for thy pains.
Dogb. God save the foundation !

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship : which, I beseech your worship, to correct yourself, for the example of others. God keep your worship; I wish your worship well ; God restore you to health : I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it.-Come, neighbour.

(Exe. Dogs. Verr. and Watch. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. Ant. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to-morrow. | D. Pedro. We will not fajl. Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero.

[Exe. D. Pedro anui Claud. Leon. Bring you these fellows on ; we'll talk with

Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow. (Ex.

[*] There could not be a pleasanter ridicule on the fashion, than the constable's descant on his own blunder. They beard the conspirators satirize the fashion ; whom they took to be a mar surnamed D.formed. This the constable applies with exquisite humour to the courtiers, in a description of one of the most fantastical fashions of that time, the men's wearing rings in their ears, and indulging a favourite lock of hair, which was brought before and tied with ribbons, and called a lovelock WARBURTON

Fynes Moryson, in a very particular account that he has given of the dress of lord Montjoy, (the rival, and alterwards the friend, of Robert, earl of Essex,) says, that his hair was "thione on the head, where he wore it short, except a lock under his loft cere, which he nourished in the time of this marre, (the Irish War, in 1599) and being woven up, hid it in his neck under bis rufie"'Itinerary, P. II. When he was not op service, he probably wore it in a different fashion.

MALONE. [9] i.e. as a common bergar. This alludes, with too much levity, to Prov. xix. 17 : He that giveth to the poor, lendeth unto the Lord." STEEVENS.

(1) Such was the custospary phrase employed by those who received alms at the rates of religious bouses. Dogberry, however, in the present instance, might baye designed to say "God save the founder!" STEEVENS.

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