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sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!

Leon. She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the ecstasy8 hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself; It is very true.

D. Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.

Claud. To what end? He would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.

D. Pedro. An he should, it were an alms to hang him: She's an excellent sweet lady; and, out of all suspicion, she is virtuous.

Claud. And she is exceeding wise. D. Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick. Leon. O my lord, wisdom and bloodo combating in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.

D. Pedro. I would, she had bestowed this dotage on me: I would have daff'di all other respects, and made her half myself: I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will say.

Leon. Were it good, think you?

Claud. Hero thinks surely, she will die: for she says, she will die if he love her not; and she will die ere she make her love known; and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will 'bate one breath of her accustom'd crossness.

D. Pedro. She doth well: if she should make tender


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and the ecstasy -] i. e. alienation of mind. So, in The Tempest, Act III, sc. iii :-Hinder them from what this ecstasy may now provoke them to.” Steevens.

and blood-] I suppose blood, in this instance, to mean nature, or disposition. So, in The Yorkshire Tragedy: “ For 'tis our blood to love what we 're forbidden."

Steevens. Blood is here as in many other places used by our author in the sense of passion, or rather temperament of body. Malone.

-have daff'd-] To daf is the same as to doff, to do off, to put aside. So, in Macbeth:

to dof their dire distresses.” Steevens.



of her love, 'tis very possible he 'll scorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.2

Claud. He is a very proper man.3
D. Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happiness.
Claud. 'Fore God, and in my mind, very wise.

D. Pedro. He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

D. Pedro. As Hector, I assure you: and in the managing of quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a most christian-like fear.

Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.

D. Pedro. And so will he do; for the man doth fear God, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for

your niece: Shall we go seek Benedick, and tell him of her love?

Claud. Never tell him, my lord; let her wear it out with good counsel.

Leon. Nay, that 's impossible; she may wear her heart out first.

D. Pedro. Well, we'll hear further of it by your daughter; let it cool the while. I love Benedick well; and I could wish he would modestly examine himself, to see how much he is unworthy so good a lady. 4


contemptible spirit.] That is, a temper inclined to scorn and contempt,

It has been before remarked, that our author uses his verbal adjectives with great licence. There is therefore no need of changing the word with Sir Thomas Hanmer to contemptuous. Johnson.

In the argument to Darius, a tragedy, by Lord Sterline, 1603, it is said, that Darius wrote to Alexander “in a proud and contemptible manner.” In this place contemptible certainly means contemptuous.

Again, Drayton, in the 24th Song of his Polyolbion, speaking in praise of a hermit, says, that he,

“ The mad tumultuous world contemptibly forsook,
“ And to his quiet cell by Crowland him betook."

a very proper man.
n.] i. e. a very handsome one.

So, in Othello:

« This Ludovico is a proper man." Steevens.

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Leon. My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready.

Claud. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will nee ver trust my expectation.

[Aside. D. Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for her; and that must your daughter and her gentlewomen carry. The sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such matter; that's the scene that I would see, which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her to call him in to dinner. [Aside.

[Exeunt Don PEDRO, CLAUD. and LEON.

BENEDICK advances from the Arbour. Bene. This can be no trick: The conference was sadly borne.5 — They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections have their full bent. Love me! why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say, I will bear myself proudly,

I if I perceive the love come from her; they say too, that she will rather die than give any sign of affection.-I did never think to marry :- I must not seem proud :—Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending. They say, the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness: and virtuous;-'tis so, I cannot reprove

it: and wise, but for loving me:-By my troth, it is no addition to her wit;--nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her.-I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have rail'd so long against marriage: But doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his age: Shall quips, and sentences, and these paper bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour? No: The world must be peopled. When I said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were




- unworthy so good a lady.] Thus the quarto, 1600. The first folio unnecessarily reads_“unworthy to have so good a lady."

Steevens. was sadly borne.] i. e. was seriously carried on. Steevens.

have their full bent.] Metaphor from the exercise of the bow. So, in Hamlet:

And here give up ourselves in the full bent,

“ To lay our service freely at your feet.” The first foilo reads the full bent." I have followed the quarto, 1600.


married.Here comes Beatrice: By this day, she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.

Enter BEATRICE. Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.

Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

Beat. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, I would not have come.

Bene. You take pleasure then in the message?

Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choke a daw withal:

-You have no stomach, signior; fare you well.

[Exit. Bene. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner-there 's a double meaning in that. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you took pains to thank me—that 's as much as to say, Any pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks: If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew: I will go get her picture.



LEONATO's Garden.

Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA. Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour; There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice Proposing with the Prince and Claudio:7 Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse Is all of her; say, that thou overheard'st us; And bid her steal into the pleached bower, Where honey-suckles, ripen'd by the sun, Forbid the sun to enter;-like favourites, Made proud by princes, that advance their pride Against that power that bred it:—there will she hide her,

7 Proposing with the Prince and Claudio:] Proposing is convers. ing, from the French word-propos, discourse, talk. Steevens.

To listen our propose :: This is thy office,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.

Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick:
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit:
My talk to thee must be, how Benedick
Is sick in love with Beatrice: Of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;

Enter BEATRICE, behind.
For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.

Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait:
So angle we for Beatrice; who even now
Is couched in the woodbine coverture:
Fear you not my part of the dialogue.

Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.

[They advance to the bower. No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful; I know, her spirits are as coy and wild As haggards of the rock.9


- our propose :) Thus the quarto. The folio reads-our purpose. Propose is right. See the preceding note. Steevens.

Purpose, however, may be equally right. It depends only on the manner of accenting the word, which, in Shakspeare's time, was often used in the same sense as propose. Thus, in Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland, p. 72: “ with him six persons; and getting entrie, held purpose with the porter.” Again, p. 54, “ After supper he held comfortable purpose of God's chosen children." Reed.

9 As haggards of the rock.] Turbervile, in his book of Falconry, 1575, tells us that “the haggard doth come from foreign parts a stranger and a passenger;" and Latham, who wrote after him, says, that, “ she keeps in subjection the most part of all the fowi that fly, insomuch, that the tassel gentle, her natural and chiefest companion, dares not come near that coast where she useth, nor sit by the place where she standeth. Such is the greatness of

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