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A C T III, SC EN E I.
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': 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 Againit that power that bred it: there will the hide her, To listen our propose 2 : This is thy office ; Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone. Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.
Enter BeATRICE, behind.
Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
ti 1 Propofing with the prince and Claudio :) Propofirg is converfing, from the French word-propos, discourse, talk.
our propose :] Thus the quarto. The folio reads-our purpose. Propose is right. See the preceding note. STIEVENS.
So angle we for Beatrice ; who even now
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.
Urf. But are you sure,
Hero. So fays the prince, and my new-trothed lord.
Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it:
Urs. Why did you fo? Doth not the gentleman
Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve
Urs. Sure, I think fo;
- as haggards.] The wildest of the hawk species. MALONE. 4 - as full, as fortunate a bed,] Full is used by our author and his contemporaries for absolute, complete, perfect. So, in Antory and Clespatra, “ the fulleft man and worthielt;" and in Orbeilo, (as Mr. Steevens has observed,) “ What a full fortune doth the chick-lipsowe?" MALONE.
5 Misprisimg-]. Despising, contemning. JOHNSON. To misprize is to undervalue, or take in a wrong light. STIEVINS.
How wife, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd,
If 6.-Spell bim backward :] Alluding to the practice of witches in uttering prayers.
The following passage, containing a similar train of thought, is from Lilly's Anatomy of Wit, 1581, p. 44. b:-“if he be cleanly, they (women) term him proude; if meene in apparel, a sloven; if tall, a lungis; if shorte, a dwarfe ; if bold, blunte; if thamefaft, a coward ; &c. P. 55. If the be well set, then call her a bolle ; if fiender, a hasil twig; if the be pleasant, then is the wanton; if fullen, a clowne; if honest, then is the coye." STEEVENS. ; if black, wby, nature, drawing of an antick,
Made a foul blot :] The artick was a buffoon character in the old English farces, with a blacked face, and a parcb-work babit. What I would observe from hence is, that the name of antick or antique, given to this character, thews that the people had some traditional ideas of its being borrowed from the ancient mimes, who are thus described by Apuleius, “ mimi centunculo, fuligine faciem obdukti." WARB.
I believe what is here said of the old English farces, is said at random. Dr. Warburton was thinking, I imagine, of the modern Harlequin. I have met with no proof that the face of the antick or Vice of the old English comedy was blackened. By the word black in the text, is only meant, as I conceive, swarthy, or dark brown. MALONE.
8 If low, an-agate very vilely cut :] Dr. Warburton reads agles, which was adopted, I think, too hartily, by the subsequent editors. I see no season for departing from the old copy. Shakspeare's comparisons scarcely ever answer completely on both sides. Dr. Warburton asks, " What likeness is there between a little man and an agat ?" No other than that both are small. Our author has himself in another place compared a very litile man to an agale. " Thou whorson mandrake, (says Falstaff to his page,) thou art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels.' was never so man'd with an agate till now. Hero means no more than this : “ If a man be low, Beatrice will say that he is as diminutive and unhappily formed as an ill-cut agate."
It appears both from the paffage just quoted, and from one of Sir John Harrington's epigrams, 400. 1618, that agates were commonly worn in Shakspeare's time:
" THE AUTHOR TO A DAUGHTER NINE YEARS OLD.
" Yet could I like a noble-minded girl,
“ Rich velvet gowns, pendents, and chains of pearle,
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
Hero. No: not to be so odd, and from all fashions,
Urf. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will say.
Hero. No; rather I will go to Benedick, And counsel him to fight against his paflion : And, truly, I'll devise some honest flanders
These lines, at the same time that they add support to the old reading, Thew, I think, that the words “ vilely cut,” are to be understood in their usual sense, when applied to precious stones, viz. awkwardly wrougbt by a sool, and not, as Mr. Steevens supposed, grotesquely veined by na
- a vane blown with all winds ;] This comparison might have been borrowed from an ancient bl, let. ballad, entitled A comparison of tbe life of man :
“ I may compare a man againe
« Indeed so is man's feeble mind." STEEVENS. 1- press me to deatha) The allusion is to an ancient punishment of our law, called peine foresi dure, which was formerly inflicted on those persons, who, being indicted, refused to plead. In consequence of their filence, they were pressed to death by an heavy weight laid upon their stomach. This punishment the good sense and humanity of the legiNature have within these few years abolished. MALONE.
2 It were a better dea. b than die with mocks ;] Thus the quarto. So before : “ To wish bim wrestle with affection." The folio readsma better death to die with mocks. MALONE.
3 - wirb tickling.] The author meant that tickling should be pronounced as a trilyllable ; rickeling. So, in Spenser's F. Q. b. ii. c. 12.
a strange kind of harmony;
To stain my cousin with : One doth not know,
Urf. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.
Hero. He is the only man of Italy,
Urs. I pray you, be not angry with me, madam,
Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.
Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. When are you marry’d, madam?
Hero. Why, every day ;-to-morrow : Come, go in, I'll shew thee some attires ; and have thy counsel, Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. Urs. She's limed, I warrant you; we have caught
her, madam. Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps : Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
[Exeunt Hero and URSULA. Beatrice advances. Beat. What fire is in mine ears 6? Can this be true ?
Stand I condemn’d for pride and scorn so much ? Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu !
No glory lives behind the back of such. 4 - argument,] This word seems here to signify discourse, or, the powers of reasoning. JOHNSO
5 Sbe's limed,] She is ensnared and entangled, as a sparrow with birdlime. JOHNSON
The folio reads.She's ta'en. STEEVENS. 6 W bat fire is in mine ears ?] Alluding to a proverbial saying of the common people, that their ears burn, when others are talking of them.
WARBURTON. The opinion from whence this proverbial saying is derived, is of great antiquity, being thus mentioned by Pliny: “ Moreover is not this an opinion generally received, that when our ears do glow and single, some there be that in our absence doo talke of us”. P. Holland's Translation. B. xxviii. p. 297. See allo Brown's Vulgar Errors. REED.