Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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.

[Exit.
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 hear-fay. 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 filver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait

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.

STEEVENS.

R 4

[ocr errors]

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 3 of the rock.

Urf. But are you sure,
That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?

Hero. So fays the prince, and my new-trothed lord.
Urf. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?

Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it:
But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick,
To with him wrestle with affection,
And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Urs. Why did you fo? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed“,
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon ?

Hero. O God of love! I know, he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to a man:
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice:
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprisings what they look on ; and her wit
Values itself so highly, that to her
All matter else seems weak: she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self endeared.

Urs. Sure, I think fo;
And therefore, certainly, it were not good
She knew his love, left the make sport at it.
Hero. Why, you speak truth : I never yet saw man,

- 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.

3

How wife, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd,
But she would spell him backward 6 : if fair-faced,
She'd swear, the gentleman should be her fifter;
If black, why, nature, drawing of an antick,
Made a foul blot? : if tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an agate very vilely cut 8 :

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.
“ Though pride in damsels is a hateful vice,

" Yet could I like a noble-minded girl,
" That would demand me things of costly price,

“ Rich velvet gowns, pendents, and chains of pearle,
« Cark’nets of agais, cwo with rare device," &c.

There

[ocr errors]

If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
If silent, why, a block moved with none.
So turns she every man the wrong side out ;
And never gives to truth and virtue, that
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.

Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.

Hero. No: not to be so odd, and from all fashions,
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable :
But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,
She'd mock me into air ; O, she would laugh me
Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,
Confume away in fighs, waste inwardly :
It were a better death than die with mocks ?;
Which is as bad as die with tickling 3.

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

MALONE.

- 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
66 Even like unto a iwining vaine,
“ That changeth even as doth the wind;

« 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;
" Which Gayon’s senses softly rickeled, &c. MALONE,

To

ture.

9

To stain my cousin with : One doth not know,
How much an ill word may empoison liking.

Urf. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
(Having so swift and excellent a wit,
As she is priz'd to have,) as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as fignior Benedick.

Hero. He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.

Urs. I pray you, be not angry with me, madam,
Speaking my fancy; fignior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.

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.

SON.

And,

« ПредишнаНапред »