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ACT IV.... SCENE I.
The inside of a Church.
Enter Don PEDRO, Don John, LEONATO, Friar, CLAU
DIO, BENEDICK, HERO, and BEATRICE, &C.
Leon. Come, friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards.
Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady?
her. Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to this
count? Hero. I do. Friar. If either of you know any inward impediments why you should not be conjoined, I charge you, on your souls, to utter it.
Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Claud. O, what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do! not knowing what they do!
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?
D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.
s If either of you know any inward impediment &c.] This is borrowed from our Marriage Ceremony, which (with a few slight changes in phraseology) is the same as was used in the time of Shakspeare. Douce.
some be of laughing, ] This is a quotation from the Accidence. Johnson.
Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankful
There, Leonato, take her back again;
Leon. What do you mean, my lord?
Not to be married, Not knit my soul to an approved wanton.
Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof
Claud. I know what you would say; If I have known her,
Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
- luxurious bed:] That is, lascivious. Luxury is the confessor's term for unlawful pleasures of the sex. Johnson. Thus Pistol, in King Henry V, calls Fluellen a
damned and luxurious mountain goat.” Steevens. Again, in The Life and Death of Edward II, p. 129:
“ Luxurious Queene, this is thy foule desire.” Reed. & Not knit my soul &c.] The old copies read, injuriously to metre,- Not to knit, &c. I suspect, however, that our author wrote-Nor knit, &c. Steevens.
9 Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof - ] In your own proof may signify in your own trial of her. Tyrwhitt.
Dear like door, fire, hour, and many similar words, is here used as a dissyllable. Malone.
i qord too large;] So he uses large jests in this play, for licentious, not restrained within dre bounds. Fohnson.
Claud. Out on thy seeming!? I will write against it:3
Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?5.
What should I speak?
Leon. Are these things spoken? or do I but dream? 6
True, O God!
Leon. All this is so; 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 have in her, bid her answer truly.
- thy seeming !] The old copies have thee. The emendation is Mr. Pope's. In the next line Shakspeare probably wrote -seem'd. Malone.
- I will write against it:] So, in Cymbeline, Posthumus speaking of women says,
- I'll write against them,
chaste as is the bud - ] Before the air has tasted its sweetness. Johnson.
- that he doth speak so wide!) i. e. so remotely from the present business. So, in Troilus and Cressida :-“ No, no; no such matter, you are wide.” Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: “ I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect.” Steevens. 6 Are these things spoken? or do I but dream?] So, in Macbeth:
“Were such things here, as we do speak about?
Johnson. Thus, in the Introduction to The Taming of the Shrew:
“ This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs.” i. e. naturally. Steevens.
Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
Hero. O God defend me! how am I 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
Marry that can Hero;
Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.
D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.-Leonato,
Fie, fie! they are
Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been,
liberal villain,] Liberal here, as in many places of these plays, means frank beyond honesty, or decency. Free of tongue. Dr. Warburton unnecessarily reads, illiberal. Johnson. So, in The Fair Maid of Bristow, 1605:
“But Vallinger, most like a liberal villain
“ Did give her scandalous ignoble terms." Again, in The Captain, by Beaumont and Fletcher:
“ And give allowance to your liberal jests
“Upon his person.” Steevens. This sense of the word liberal is not peculiar to Shakspeare. John Taylor, in his Suite concerning Players, complains of the
many aspersions very liberally, unmannerly, and ingratefully bestowed upon him." Farmer.
what a Hero had'st thou been,] I am afraid here is intend. ed a poor conceit upon the word Hero. Yohnson.
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity!
[Hero swoons. Beat. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore sink you
down? D. John. Come, let us go: these things, come thus to
light, Smother her spirits up.
[Exeunt D. PEDRO, D. John, and CLAUD. Bene. How doth the lady? Beat.
Dead, I think ;-Help, uncle; Hero! why, Hero!-Uncle!—Signior Benedick!—friar!
Leon. () fate, take not away thy heavy hand!
be wish'd for. Beat.
How now, cousin Hero?
Dost thou look up?"
Yea; Wherefore should she not? Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly thing Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny The story that is printed in her blood ?5Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes: For did I think thou would'st not quickly die, Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
conjecture – ] Conjecture is here used for suspicion.
Malone. 2 And never shall it more be gracious.] i. e. lovely, attractive.
Malone. So, in King Fohn:
“ There was not such a gracious creature born.” Steevens. 3 Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?] So, in Venice Presero'd:
“ A thousand daggers, all in honest hands!
" And have not I a friend to stick one here?” Steevens. 4 Dost thou look up.?] The metre is here imperfect. Perhaps our author wrote- Dost thou still look up? Steevens.
5 The story that is printed in her blood.] That is, the story which her blushes discover to be true. Johnson.