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ACT II.

SCENE, a Hall in Leonato's Houfe.

Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice,
Margaret and Urfula.

LEON AT 0.

AS not Count John here at fupper?

WA

Ant. I faw him not.

Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can fee him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after. Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition.

Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made juft in the mid-way between him and Benedick; the one is too like an image, and fays nothing: and the other too like my lady's eldeft fon, evermore tatling.

Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick's face

Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, Uncle, and money enough in his purse, fuch a man would win any woman in the world, if he could get her good Will.

Leon. By my troth, Niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be fo fhrewd of thy tongue. Ant. In faith, fhe's too curst.

Beat. Too curft is more than curft; I fhall leffen God's fending that way; for it is faid, God fends a curft Cow fhort horns; but to a Cow too curft he fends

none.

Leon. So, by being too curft, God will fend you no horns.

Beat. Juft, if he fend me no hufband; for the which Bleffing I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening: Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face, I had rather lye in woollen.

Leon

Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.

Beat. What fhould I do with him? drefs him in my apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? he that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is lefs than a man; and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him: therefore I will even take fixpence in earneft of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.

Leon. Well then, go you into hell,

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Beat. No, but to the gate; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with his horns on his head, and fay, "get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heav'n, here's no place for you maids." So deliver I up my apes, and away to St. Peter, for the heav'ns; he fhews me where the bachelors fit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.

Ant. Well, Niece, I truft you will be rul'd by your father. [To Hero. Beat. Yes, faith, it is my Coufin's duty to make curtfy, and fay, Father, as it please you; but yet for all that, Coufin, let him be a handfome fellow, or else make another curtfy, and fay, Father, as it pleafes me.

Leon. Well, Niece, I hope to fee you one day fitted with a hufband.

Beat. Not 'till God make men of fome other metal than earth; would it not grieve a woman to be overmaster'd with a piece of valiant duft? to make account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? no, uncle, I'll none; Adam's fons are my brethren, and truly, I hold it a fin to match in my kindred.

Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you; if the Prince do follicit you in that kind, you know your anfwer.

Beat. The fault will be in the mufick, coufin, if you be not woo'd in good time; (4) if the Prince be too

impor

(4) If the Prince be too importunate,] This is the reading only of Mr. Pope's impreffions, as I can find, and warranted by none of

the

important, tell him, there is meafure in every thing, and fo dance out the Anfwer; for hear me Hero, wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace; the firft fuit is hot and hafty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding mannerly-modest, as a measure, full of state and anchentry; and then comes repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace fafter and fafter, 'till he finks into his grave.

Leon. Coufin, you apprehend paffing fhrewdly.

Beat. I have a good eye, uncle, I can fee a church by day-light.

Leon. The revellers are entring, brother; make good

room.

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar, and others in Maquerade.

Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend? Hero. So you walk foftly, and look fweetly, and fay nothing, I am yours for the walk, and efpecially when I walk away.

Pedro. With me in your company?

Hero. I may fay fo, when I pleafe.

Pedro. And when please you to say fo?

Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the late fhould be like the cafe!

Pedro. (5) My vifor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.

Hero.

the copies. I have restor'd with all the old books, important; i. e. if the prince be too forcible, preffing, lays too much stress on his Suit, &c. The poet employs this word again, in the like fignification, in K. Lear.

-therefore great France

My mourning, and important tears hath pitied.

(5) My vifor is Philemon's roof, within the house is Love.] Thus the whole ftream of the copies, from the firft downwards. I must own, this paffage for a long while appear'd very obscure to me, and gave me much trouble in attempting to understand it. Hero fays to Don Pedro, God forbid, the lute fhould be like the cafe! i. e. that your face fhould be as homely and as courfe as your mask. Upon this, Don Pedro, compares his vifor to Philemon's roof. "Tis

Hero. Why, then your vifor fhould be thatch'd.
Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love.
Balth. Well; I would, you did like me. (6)

plain, the poet alludes to the ftory of Baucis and Philemon from OVID: And this old couple, as the Roman poet defcribes it, liv'd in a thatch'd cottage;

-Stipulis & canna tecta paluftri.

But why, within the boufe is Love? Baucis and Philemon, 'tis true, had liv'd to old age together, and a comfortable state of agreement. But piety and hospitality are the top parts of their character. Our poet unquestionably goes a little deeper into the ftory. Tho' this old pair liv'd in a cottage, this cottage receiv'd two ftraggling Gods, (Jupiter and Mercury) under its roof. So Don Pedro is a prince; and tho' his vifor is but ordinary, he would infinuate to Hero, that he has fomething god-like within; alluding either to his dignity, or the qualities of his perfon and mind. By thefe circumstances, I am fure, the thought is mended; as, I think verily, the text is too by the change of a fingle letter.

-within the boufe is Jove.

I made this correction in my SHAKESPEARE reftor'd; and Mr. Pope has vouchfaf'd to adopt it, in his laft edition. Nor is this emendation a little confirm'd by another paffage in our author, in which he plainly alludes to the fame ftory. As you like it.

Clown. I am bere with thee and thy Goats, as the most capricious

poet, honeft Ovid, was amongst the Goths.

Jaq. O knowleage ill inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatch'd House. I am naturally drawn here to correct a paffage in Beaumont and Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen, where a fault of the like kind has obtain' in all the copies.

here love himself fits fm ling; Juft fuch another wanton Ganymede

Set Love a- fire with, and enforc'd the God

Snatch up the goodly boy, and fet him by him
A fhining constellation;

All my readers, who are acquainted with the poetical hiftory here alluded to, will concur with me in the certainty of the following, emendation:

Juft fuch another wanton Ganymede
Set Jove a-fire with,

(6) Balth. Well; I would, you did like me.] This and the two following little fpeeches, which I have placed to Balıbazar, are in all the printed copies given to Benedick. But, 'tis clear, the dialogue here ought to be betwixt Balthazar, and Margaret: Benedick a little lower converfes with Beatrice: and fo every man talks with his woman once round.

Marg

Marg. So would not I for your own fake, for I have many ill qualities.

Balth. Which is one?

Marg. I fay my Prayers aloud.

Balth. I love you the better, the hearers may cry Amen.

Marg. God match me with a good dancer!

Balth. Amen.

Marg. And God keep him out of my fight when the dance is done! Anfwer, clerk.

Balth. No more words, the clerk is anfwer'd.

Urf. I know you well enough; you are Signior Antonio. Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urf. I know you by the wagling of your head.
Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.

Urf. You cou'd never do him fo ill-well, unless you were the very man ; here's his dry hand up and down; you are he, you are he.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urf. Come, come, do you think, I do not know you by your excellent wit? can virtue hide itfelf? go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an

end.

Beat. Will you not tell me, who told you fo?
Bene. No, you shall pardon me.

- Beat. Nor will you not tell me, who you are?
Bene. Not now.

Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good Wit out of the Hundred merry Tales; well, this was Signior Benedick that said so.

Bene. What's he?

Beat. I am fure, you know him well enough,
Bene. Not I, believe me.

Beat. Did he never make you laugh?
Bene. I pray you, what is he?

Beat. Why, he is the Prince's jefter; a very dull fool, only his gift is in devifing impoffible flanders: none but libertines delight in him, and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleaseth men and angers them, and then they laugh at him, and

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