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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,
Which falls into mine ears as profitlefs
As water in a fieve; give not me counsel,
Nor let no Comforter delight mine ear,
But fuch a one whofe wrongs do fuit with mine.
Bring me a father, that fo lov'd his child,
Whofe joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
And bid him fpeak of patience;

Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every ftrain for train:
As thus for thus, and fuch a grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, fhape and form.
If fuch a one will fmile and ftroke his beard, (17)

(17) If fuch a One will fmile, and firoke his Beard,

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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.

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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;
Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune drunk
With candle-wafters; bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.

But there is no fuch man; for, brother, men
Can counsel, and give comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but tafting it,
Their counfel turns to paffion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage;
Fetter ftrong madness in a filken thread;
Charm ach with air, and agony with words.
No, no; 'tis all mens office to speak patience
To thofe, that wring under the load of forrow;
But no man's virtue, nor fufficiency,

To be fo moral, when he fhall endure

The like himself; therefore give me no counsel;
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.

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;
However they have writ the ftyle of Gods,
And made a pish at chance and fufferance.
Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself:
Make thofe, that do offend you, fuffer too.

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;
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my fword.
Leon. Tufh, tufh, man, never fleer and jeft at me;
I fpeak not like a dotard, nor a fool;

As, under privilege of age, to brag

What I have done being young, or what would do,
Were I not old: know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou haft fo wrong'd my innocent child and me,
That I am forc'd to lay my rev'rence by ;
And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days,
Do challenge thee to trial of a man ;

I fay, thou haft bely'd mine innocent child,

Thy flander hath gone through and through her heart,
And the lies bury'd with her ancestors,

O, in a tomb where never scandal flept,
Save this of hers, fram'd by thy villany!
Claud. My villany?

Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine, I fay.
Pedro. You fay not right, old man.
Leon. My lord, my lord,

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. He fhall kill two of us, and men indeed;
But that's no matter, let him kill one first ;
Win me and wear me, let him answer me;
Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me ;
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

Leon. Brother,

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
But what was true, and very full of proof.

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.
Ant. And fhall, or fome of us will fmart for it.

Enter Benedick.

[Exe, amba.

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?
Pedro. Doft thou wear thy wit by thy fide?

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.
Bene. Shall I fpeak a word in your ear?

Claud. God bless me from a challenge!


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