Imatges de pÓgina


The inside of a Church.

Enter Don PEDRO, Don John, LEONATO, Friar, CLAU


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?
Claud. No.
Leon. To be married to her, friar; you come to marry

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?
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! 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;
Give not this rotten orange to your friend;
She 's but the sign and semblance of her honour:-
Behold, how like a maid she blushes here:
O, what authority and show 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 she were a maid,
By these exterior shows? But she is none:
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed :?
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.

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
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 sin:
No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large;?
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity and comely love.

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
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?5.
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you?
D. Pedro.

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

Leon. Are these things spoken? or do I but dream? 6
D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.

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 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,
“Detest them, curse them.” Stecvens.

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?
“ Or have we,” &c. Steevens.
- kindly power – ] That is, natural power. Kind is nature.

Johnson. Thus, in the Introduction to The Taming of the Shrew:

“ This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs.” i. e. naturally. Steevens.

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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
With any just reproach?

Marry that can Hero;
Hero itself 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.

D. Pedro. Why, then are you 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, 8
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.
D. 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 placed
About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart!
But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewel,


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.

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Thou pure impiety, and impious purity!
For thee I 'll lock up all the gates of love,
And on my eye-lids shall conjecturehang,
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?3

[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!
Death is the fairest cover for her shame,

be wish'd for. Beat.

How now, cousin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, lady.

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.

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