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D. PEDRO. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you; the gentleman, that danced with her, told her, she is much wrong'd by you.
BENE. O, she misused me past the endurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have answer'd her; my very vifor began to assume life, and scold with her: She told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the prince's jester; that I was duller than a great thaw; huddling jest upon jest, with such impossible conveyance, upon me, that I stood like a man at a mark, with a whole
such impossible convcyance,] Dr. Warburton reads impaffable : Sir Tho. Hanmer impetuous, and Dr. Johnson importable, which, says he, is used by Spenfer, in a sense very congruous to this passage, for insupportable, or not to be sustained. Also by the last translators of the Apocrypha ; and therefore such a word as Shakspeare may be supposed to have written. REED.
Importable is very often used by Lidgate in his Prologue to the translation of The Tragedies gathered by Ihon Bochas, &c. as well as
" You would look for some most impossible antick." Again, in The Roman Attor, by Maslinger :
to lose " Ourselves, by building on impossible hopes." STEEVENS, Impossible may have been what Shakspeare wroie, and be used in the sense of incredible or inconceivable, both here and in the beginning of the scene, where Beatrice speaks of impossible flanders. M. MASON.
I believe the meaning is — with a rapidity equal to that of jugglers, neho appear to perform impoffibilities. We have the faine epithet again in Twelfth - Night : 6. There is no Christian can ever believe such impossible passages of grossness." So Ford says in The Merry Wives of Windsor,
"I will cxamine impossible places." Again, in Julius Cæfar:
Now bid me run,
" And get the better of them."
army shooting at me: She speaks poniards, and
every word slabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her, she
would infcct to the north ftar. I would not marry her, though ie were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgress'd: she would have made Hercules have turn'd spit; yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her; you shall find her the infernal Até in good apparel. ?
I would to God, some scholar would conjure her; 8 for, certainly, while she is here, a. man may live as quiet in hell, as in a sanctuary; and people fin upon purpose, because they would go thither; fo, indeed, all difquiet, horror, and perturbation follows her.
Re-enter CLAUDIO, and BEATRICE.
BENE. Will your grace command me any service to the world's' end? I will go on the flightest errand now to the Antipodes, that you can devise to send me on; I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the farthest inch of Asia; bring you the length of Prefter John's foot; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard; 9 do you any embassage to the
She speaks poniards,] So, in Hamlet : " I'll speak daggers to her
STEEVENS. the infernal Até in good apparel.] This is a pleasant allusion to the custom of ancient poets and painters, who represent the Furics in
WARBURTON. Até is not one of the Furies, but the Goddefs of Revenge, or Discord. STEEVENS.
- fome scholar would conjure her ;} As Shakspeare always attributes to his exorcists the power of railing fpirits, he gives his conjurer, in this place, the power of laying them. M. MASON.
bring you the length of Prefer John's foot ; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard ;] i, e. I will undertake the hardest talk,
Pigmies, rather than hold three word's conference with this harpy: You have no employment for me?
D. Pedro. None, but to desire your good com pany.
Bene. O God, fir, here's a dish I love not; I cannot endure my lady Tongue. ?
[Exit. D. PEDRO. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of signior Benedick.
BEAT. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me a while; and I gave him use for it,' a double heart for his single one: marry, once before, he won it of me with salse dice, therefore your grace may well say, I have lost it.
D. Pedro. You have put him down, lady, you have put him down. .
BEAT. So I would not he should do me, my lord, left I should prove the mother of fools. I have brought count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
rather than have any conversation with lady Beatrice. Alluding to the difficulty of access to either of those monarchis, but more particularly to the former.
So, Cartwright, in his comedy called The Siege, or Love's Conwert, 1651 :
· bid me take the Parthian king by the beard : or draw an eye-tooth from the jaw royal of the Perfian monarch."
Such an achievement, however, Huon of Bourdeaux was sent to perform, and performed it. See chap. 46. edit. 1601. " he opened his mouth, and tooke out his foure great teeth, and then cut off his beard, and tooke thereof as much as pleased him." STEEVENS.
66. Thou must goe to the citie of Babylon to the Admiral Gaudiffe, to bring me thy hand full of the heare of his beard, and foure of his greatest teeth, 'Alas, my lord, (quoth the Barrons) we see well you desire greatly his death, when you charge himwith such a message.” Huon of Bourdeaux, ch. 17. Bowle.
my lady Tongue.) Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio reads this lady Tongue. STEEVENS.
I gave him use for it,]. Usc, in our author's time, meant interest of money. MALONE.
D. Pedro. Why, how now, count? wherefore are you fad?
CLAUD. Not fad, my lord.
BEAT. The count is neither fad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well: butcivil, count; civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.
5 D. PEDRO. l'faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy naine, and fair Hero is won; I have broke with her father, and his good will obtained: name the day of marriage, and God give thee joy!
LEON. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunés: his grace hath made the match, and all grace say Amen to it! - BEAT. Speak, count, 'tis your cue.
CLAUD. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much.-Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you, and dote upon the exchange.
BEAT. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak, neith'er.
D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.
BEAT. Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool,' it keeps on the windy side of care: – My cousin tells him in his ear, that he is in her heart.
an orange,] This conceit occurs likewise in Nashe's four Letters confuted, 1592. “ For the order of my life, it is as civil as an orange." STEEVENS.
of that jealous complexion.] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio reads, of, a jealous complexion. STEEVENS.
3 - poor fool,] This was formerly an expression of tenderness. Scę King Lear, laft fceue : " And my poor fool is hang'd." MALONE.
CLAUD. And so she doth, cousin.
Beat. Goodlord, for alliance!6-Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sun-burn'd;? I may fit in a corner, and cry, heigh ho! for a husband.
D. Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.
BEAT. I would rather have one of your father's getting: Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them. D. PEDRO. Will
havé me, lady? BEAT. No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days; your grace is too costly to wear every day :--But, I beseech your grace, pardon me; I was born to speak all mirth, and no matter.
D. PEDRO. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.
6 Good lord, for alliance!). Claudio has just called Beatrice cousin. I suppose, therefore, the meaning is, Good Lord, here have I got a new kinsman by marriage. MALONE.
I cannot understand these words, unless they imply a wish for the speaker's alliance with a husband.
STEEVENS. 7 Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sun-burn'd ;] What is it, to go to the world? perhaps, to enter by marriage into a settled state ; but why is the unmarried lady sun-burnt ? I believe we should read, Thus goes every one to the wood but I, and I am sun-burnt. Thús does every one but I find a shelter, and I am left exposed to wind and sun. The nearest way to the wood,' is a phrase for the readieft means to any end. It is said of a woman, who accepts a worfe match than those which she had refused, that she has passed through the wood, and at last taken a crooked stick. But conje&ural criticism has always something to abate its confidence. Shakspeare, in All's well that Ends well, uses the phrase, to go to the world, for marriage. So that my emendation depends only on the opposition of wood to fun-burnt. JOHNSON.
I am sun-burnt may mean; I have lost my beauty, and am consequently no longer such an obje& as can tempt a man to marry.