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A CT V.
SCENE, before Leonato's Houfe.
Enter Leonato and Antonio.
you go on thus, you will kill yourself; And is not wifdom thus to fecond grief Against yourself.
Leon. I pray thee, ceafe thy counfel,
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
(17) If fuch a One will fmile, and firoke his Beard,
And hallow, wag, cry bem, when he should groan,]
Mr. Rowe is the first Authority that I can find for this Reading. But what is the Intention, or how are we to expound it?" If Man will balloo, and whoop, and fidget, and wriggle about, "to fhew a Pleafure when He fhould groan,' c. This does not give much Decorum to the Sentiment. The old Quarto, and the frft and fecond Folio Editions all read,
And forrow, wagge, cry bem, &c.
We don't, indeed, get much by this Reading; though, I flatter myself, by a flight Alteration it has led me to the true one,
And Sorrow wage; cry, bem! when be should groan z
i, e. If fuch a one will combat with, ftrive against Sorrow, &c. Nor is this Word infrequent with our Author in thefe Significations.
And Sorrow wage; cry, hem! when he should groan;
But there is no fuch man; for, brother, men
To be fo moral, when he fhall endure
The like himself; therefore give me no counsel;
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ. Leon. I pray thee, peace; I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philofopher,
That could endure the tooth-ach patiently;
Leon. There thou speak'ft reafon; nay, I will do fo.
My foul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd;
And that shall Claudio know, fo fhall the Prince;
And all of them, that thus difhonour her.
Enter Don Pedro, and Claudio.
Ant. Here comes the Prince and Claudio haftily.
Pedro. Good den, good den.
Claud. Good day to both of you.
Leon. Hear you, my lords?
Pedro. We have fome hafte, Leonato.
Leon. Some hafte, my lord! well, fare you well, my lord.
Are you fo hafty now? well, all is one.
Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, Some of us would lie low.
Claud. Who wrongs him?
Leon. Marry, thou doft wrong me, thou diffembler, thou! Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy fword,
I fear thee not.
Claud. Marry, befhrew my hand,
If it fhould give your age fuch cause of fear;
As, under privilege of age, to brag
What I have done being young, or what would do,
I fay, thou haft bely'd mine innocent child,
Thy flander hath gone through and through her heart,
O, in a tomb where never scandal flept,
Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine, I fay.
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare;
Defpight his nice fence and his active practice, His May of youth, and bloom of luftyhood. Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you. (18) Leon. Canft thou fo daffe me? thou haft kill'd my child;
(18) Canft Thou fo daffe me?. -] This is a Country Word, Mr. Pope tells us, fignifying, daunt. It may be fo; but that is not the Expofition here: To daffe, and doffe are fynonymous Terms, that mean, to put off: which is the very Senfe required here, and what Leonato would reply, upon Claudio's faying, he would have nothing to do with him.
If thou kill'ft me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
Ant. Content yourself; God knows, I lov'd my Niece; And fhe is dead, flander'd to death by villains, That dare as well anfwer a man, indeed, As I dare take a ferpent by the tongue. Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milkfops! Leon. Brother Anthony
Ant. Hold you content; what, man? I know them, yea, And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple: Scambling, out-facing, fafhion-mongring boys, That lye, and cog, and flout, deprave and flander, Go antickly, and show an outward hideousness, And fpeak off half a dozen dangerous words, (19) How they might hurt their enemies, if they durft; And this is all.
Leon. But, brother Anthony,
Ant. Come, 'tis no matter;
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience. My heart is forry for your daughter's death;
But, on my Honour, he was charg'd with nothing
Leon. My lord, my lord
Pedro. I will not hear you.
(19) And Speak of balf a dozen dangerous Words,] Thefe Editors are Perfons of unmatchable Indolence, that cannot afford to add a Single Letter to retrieve common Senfe. To fpeak off, as I have reformed the Text, is to throw out boldly, with an Oftentation of Bravery, &c. So in Twelfth-night;
A terrible Oath, with a fwaggering Accent sharply twang'd off.
Leon. No! come, brother, away, I will be heard.
Pedro. See, fee, here comes the man we went to feek. Claud. Now, Signior, what news?
Bene. Good day, my lord.
Pedro. Welcome, Signior; you are almoft come to part almost a fray.
Claud. We had like to have had our two nofes fnapt off with two old men without teeth.
Pedro. Leonato and his brother; what think'ft thou ? had we fought, I doubt, we should have been too young for them.
Bene, In a falfe quarrel there is no true valour: I came to feek you both.
Claud. We have been up and down to feek thee; for we are high-proof melancholly, and would fain have it beaten away: wilt thou ufe thy wit?
Bene. It is in my fcabbard; fhall I draw it?
Claud. Never any did fo, though very many have been befide their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.
Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale: art thou fick or angry?
Claud. What! courage, man: what tho' care kill'd a cat, thou haft mettle enough in thee to kill care.
Bene. Sir, I fhall meet your wit in the career, if you charge it against me.- -I pray you, chufe another fubject.
Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this laft was broke crofs.
Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more: I think, he be angry, indeed.
Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Claud. God bless me from a challenge!