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The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
BENE. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:
Being that I flow in grief, The smallest twine may
If ever love had intereft in his liver, ] The liver, in conformity tó ancient fuppofition, is frequently mentioned by Shakspeare as the feat of love. Thus Pistol represents Falstaff as loving Mrs. Ford ---" with liver burning hot.
-my inwardnefs – ] i. e. intimacy. Thus Lucio, in Measure for Measure, speaking of the Duke, says 6. I was an inward of his." Again, in King Richard 111:
16 Who is most inward with the noble duke?" STEEVENS. ^ The smallest twine may lead me. ] This is one of our author's
Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently away;
For to strange fores ftrangely they strain the
Come, lady, die to live: this wedding day, Perhaps, is but prolong’d; have patience, and endure.
[ Exeunt Friar, HERO, and LEONATO. Bene. Lady Beatrice,' have you wept all this
Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship?
life. Men overpowered with distress, eagerly listen to the first offers of relief, close with every scheme, and be lieve every promise. He that has no longer any confidence in himself, is glad to repose his trust in any other that will undertake to guide him. JOHNSON,
s Lady Beatrice, &c. ] The poet, in my opinion, has fhown a great deal of address in this scene.. Beatrice here engages her lover to revenge the injury done her cousin Hero : and without this very natural incident, considering the chara&er of Beatrice, and that the story of her passion for. Benedick was all a fable, the could never have been easily or naturally brought to confess the loved him, notwithstanding all the foregoing preparation. . And yet, on this confeffion, in this very place, depended the whole success of the plot upon her and Benedick. For had she not owned her love here, they must have soon found out the trick, and then the design of bringing them together had been defeated ; and she would never have owned a passion fhe had been only tricked into, had not her defire of revenging her cousin's wrong made her drop lier capricious humour at once. WARBURTON.
Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.
BENE. I do love nothing in the world so well as you; Is not that strange?
BEAT. As strange as the thing I know not: It were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as you: but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing:--I am sorry for my cousin.
BENE. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
BENE. I will swear by it, that you love me; and
BEAT. Will you not eat your word?
BENE. With no sauce that can be devised to it:
BEAT. You have said me in a happy hour; I was about to proteft, I loved you.
BENE. And do it with all thy heart.
BEAT. I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest.
Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Beat. I am gone, though I am here; 4 – There is no love in you:- Nay, I pray you, let me go.
4 I am gone, though I am here; ] i, e. I am out of your mind already, though I remain here in person before you., STEEVENS.
I cannot approve of Steeveos's explanation of these words, and believe Beatrice means to say, "I am gone," that is, “ I am loft
BENE. Beatrice, —
BEAT. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight with mine enemy.
BENE. Is Claudio thine enemy?
BEAT. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath flander'd, scorn'd, dishonour'd my kinswoman ?--O, that I were a man !- What! bear her in hand o until they come to take hands; and then with publick accusation, uncovered flander, unmitigated rancour, - O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.
BENE. Hear me, Beatrice.
BEAT. Talk with a man out at a window? — a proper saying!
BENE. Nay but, Beatrice;
Beat. Sweet Hero! - she is wrong’d, she is slander'd, she is undone.
BENE. Beat --
to you, though I am here." In this sense Benedick takes them,'
in the height a villain, So, in King Henry VIII :
" He's a traitor to the height." is. In præcipiti vitium ftetit." Juv. I. 149. STEEVENS.
bear her in hand - 1 i. e. delude her by fair promises. So, in Macbeth : ow. How you were borne in hand, how cross'd,” &c.
STEEVENS, and counties ! ] County was the ancient general term for a nobleman. See a note on the County Paris in Romeo and Juliet.
STEEVENS, VOL. VI.
testimony, a goodly count-confect;' a sweet gallant, furelv! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had any friend would be a man for my fake! But manhoodis melted into courtesies, ' valourinto compliment, and men are only turned into tougue, and trim ones too:9 he is now as variant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it:- I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice: By this hand, I love thee. BEAT. Use it for my love some other way
than swearing by it.
Bene. Think you in your soul, the count Claudio hath wrong'd Hero?
BEAT. Yea, as fure as I have a thought, ora soul.
BENE. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge him; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you: By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account: As you hear of me, fo think of me. Go, comfort your coulin: I must say, she is dead; and fo, farewell.
a goodly count-confe&; ) i. c. a specious nobleman made out of sugar. STEEVENS.
into courtesies, ) i. e. into ceremonious obeisance, like the courteles dropped by women. Thus, in Othello :
6. Very good; well kiss'd! an excellent courtesy!' Again, in King Richard 111:
" Duck with French nods, and apish courtesy." STEEVENS.
and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too:) Mr. Heath would read tongues, but he mistakes the construction of the sentence, which is not only men but trim ones, are turned into tongue, i. c. not only common, but clever men, &c.