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Enter BALTHAZAR, with musick.
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will fing:
Nay, pray thee, come:
BALTH. Note this before my notes,
speaks ; Note, notes, forsooth, and noting! [Musick.
BENE. Now, Divine air! now is his foul ravish'd! Is it not strange, that sheeps' guts should hale souls out of men's bodies ! - Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
with musick.) I am not sure that this stage-dire&ion ( taken from the quarto, 1600) is proper. Balthazar might have been designed at once for a vocal and an instrumental performer. Shakspeare's orchestra was hardly numerous; and the first folio, instead of Balthazar, only gives us Jacke Wilson, the name of the a&or who represented him. STEEVENS.
2 Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song again. ] Balthazar, the musician and servant to Don Pedro, was perhaps thus named from the celedrated Baltazarini, called De Beaujoyeux, an Italian perfoèmer on the violin, who was in the highest fame and favour at the court of Henry II. of France, 1577. BURNEY.
and noting ! ] The old copies - nothing. The corsegtion was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.
BALTH. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
Then figh not so,
But let them go,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
Then high not so, &c.
D. PEDRO. Ha ? no; no, faith; thou sing'st well enough for a shift.
BENE. [Aside. ] An he had been a dog, that should have howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him: and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven,
come what plague could have come after it. 4 Sigh no more, ladies, figh no more, ] Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more."
Milton's Lycidas. STEEVENS. I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, ) i. e. the owl; vuxtixópat. So, in King Henry VI. P. III. sc. vi:
" The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time." STEEVENS. Thus allo, Milton, in L'Allegro : " And the night-raven fings." Douce.
D. Pedro. Yea, marry; [To Claudio. )-Doft thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee, get us some excellent musick; for to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamber-window'
Balth. The best I can, my lord.
D. PEDRO. Do so: farewell. [ Exeunt BALTHAZAR and mufick. ] Come hither, Leonato: What was it you told me of to-day? that your niece Beatrice was in love with signior Benedick?
CLAUD. O, ay:--Stalk on, ftalk on; the fowl fits. 5 [ Aside to Pedro,] I did never think that lady would have loved any man.
LEON. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should fo dote on signior Benedick, whom The hath in all outward behaviours seem'd ever to abhor.
Stalk an, stalk on; the fowl fits.] This is an allusion to the
“ Lye there, thou happy warranted case
16 Now these ten months.".
66 One underneath his horje to get a shoot doth falk." Again, in his Muses' Elyhum : " Then underneath my horse, I stalk my game to strike."
STEEVENS. Again, in New Shreds of the Old Snare, by John Gee, quarto, p. 23 :
-Methinks I behold the cunning fowler, such as I have knowne in the fenne countries and els-where, that doe shoot at woodcockes, snipes, and wilde fowle, by sneaking behind a painted cloth which they carrey before them, having piąured in it the hape of a horse ; which while the filly fowle gazeth on, it is knockt downe with hale shot, and so put in the fowler's budget." REED.
A falking-bull, with a cloth thrown over him, was sometimes used for deceiving the game; as may be seen from a very elegant cut in Loniceri Venatus is Aucupium. Francofurti, 1582, 4to. and from a print by F. Valeggio, with the moito
" Velte boves operit, dum Jturnos fallit edaces." DOUÇe.
Bene. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner ?
[ Aside. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an enraged affection, - it is past the infinite of thought."
D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
it is pas
but that she loves him with an enraged affeElion the infinite of thought.] It is impossible to make tense and grammar of this speech. And the reason is, that the two beginnings of two different sentences are jumbled together and made one. but that Mhe loves him with an enraged affe&tion, is only part of a sentence, which should conclude thus. - is most certain. But a new idea striking the speaker, he leaves his sentence unfinished, and turns to another, It is past the infiriite of thought,
which is like. wise left unfinished; for it should conclude thus to say how great that affeElion it. Those broken disjointed sentences are usual in conversation. However, there is one word wrong, which yet perplexes the sense; and that is infinite. Human thought cannot surely be called infinite with any kind of figurative propriety. I suppose the true reading was definite. This makes the passage intelligible. It is paft_ the definite of thought, — i. e. it cannot be defined or conceived how great that affe&ion is. Shakspeare uses the word again in the same sense in Cymbeline :
" For ideots, in this case of favour, would
- Be wisely definite. ì. could tell how to pronounce or determine in the case.
WARBURTON. Here are difficulties raised only to show how easily they can be removed. The plain fense is, I know not what to think otherwise, but that she loves him with an enraged affe&lion: It ( this affe&ion) is past the infinite of thought. Here are no abrupt ftops, or imperfe& sentences. Infinite may well enough stand; it is used by more careful writers for indefinite : and the speaker only means, that thought, though in iiself unbounded, cannot reach or eltimate the degree of her passion. JOHNSON.
The meaning I think, is, but with what an enraged affeElion she loves him, it is beyond the power of thought to conceive. MALONE. Shakspeare has a similar expression in King John:
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach 6 of mercy"
counterfeit of passion came so near the life of pasfion, as the discovers it.
D. PEDRO. Why, whateffects of passion shows she? CLAUD. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.
[Afide. Leon. What effects, my lord! She will fit you,You heard my daughter tell you
how. Claud. She did, indeed.
D. Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me: I would have thought her fpirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
LEON. I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially agains Benedick.
BENE. [Aside.] I thould think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence. CLAUD. He hath ta'en the infection; hold it up.
[ Afide. D. PEDRO. Hath she made her affection known to Bencdich?
LEON. No; and swears she never will: that's her torment.
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed; fo your daughter fays: Shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?
Leon. This says she now when she is beginning, to write to him: for she'll be up twenty times a night; and there will she fit in her smock, till she have writ a sheet of paper: '--my daughter tells us all.
This says she now when she is beginning to write to him : for She'll be up twenty times a night; and there will she fit in her smock, till Me have writ a sheet of paper :] Shakspeare has more than once availed himself of such incidents as occurred to him from history, &c. to compliment the princes before whom his pieces were performed, A ftriķing instance of flattery to James occurs in