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Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us. 21
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

0, noble sir !
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me.
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of


Leon. To-morrow, then, I will expect your com-

ing :
To-night I take my leave. — This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack’d?? in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

No, by my soul, she was not ;
Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me;
But always hath been just and virtuous,
In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, sir, which, indeed, is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass : I beseech you, let it be remember'd in his punishment. And, also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it ; 23 and borrows money in God's name; the which he hath usd so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake : Pray you, examine him upon that point.

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.



21 It would seem that Antonio's son, mentioned in Act i. sc. 2, must have died since the play began.

22 That is, combined ; an accomplice.

23 It was one of the fantastic fashions of Shakespeare's time to wear a long hanging lock of hair dangling by the ear: it is often mentioned by contemporary writers, and may be observed in some ancient portraits. The humour of this passage is in Dogberry's supposing the lock to have a key to it.


Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you.

Leon. There's for thy pains.
Dogb. God save the foundation!

Leon. Go: I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which, I beseech your worship, to correct yourself, for the example of others. Good keep your worship ; I wish your worship well : God restore you to health. I humbly give you leave to depart ; and if a merry meeting may be wish’d, God prohibit it. - Come, neighbour.

Exeunt DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Watchmen. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. Ant. Farewell, my lords : we look for you to

morrow. D. Pedro. We will not fail. Claud.

To-night I'll mourn with Hero.

[Exeunt Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO. Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk with

Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd 25 fellow.


SCENE II. LEONATO's Garden. Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting. Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

24 A phrase used by those who received alms at the gates of religious houses. Dogberry probably designed to say, “God save the founder."

25 Here lewd has not the common meaning ; nor do I think it can be used in the more uncommon sense of ignorant; but rather

Marg. Will you, then, write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty ?

Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.

Marg. (To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs ?' ARASA

Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; it catches.

Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.

Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a woman : and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. I give thee the bucklers.”

Marg. Give us the swords; we have bucklers of

our own.

Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous weapons for maids.

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think, hath legs.

[Exit MARGARET. Bene. And therefore will come.

Sings. The god of love,

That sits above,
And knows me, and knows me,

How pitiful I deserve,

means knavish, ungracious, naughty, which are the synonymes used with it in explaining the Latin pravus in dictionaries of the sixteenth century.

1 Theobald proposed to read, above stairs; and the sense of the passage seems to require some such alteration : perhaps a word has been lost, and we may read, “ Why, shall I always keep them below stairs ?Of this passage Dr. Johnson says, “ I suppose every reader will find the meaning."

2 To give the bucklers, was to yield the victory; whereby the victor got his adversary's shield, and kept his own.

H. VOL. II. 21



nantie в achie

I mean, in singing ; but in loving, Leander the
good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pan,
ders, and a whole book full of these quondam car-
pet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the
even road of a blank verse, why, they were never
so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in
love. Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have
tried; I can find out no rhyme to “ lady" but

baby,” an innocent rhymne; for “scorn,” horn,”
a hard rhyme; for " school," " fool," a babbling
rhyme ; - very ominous endings : No, I was not
born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in
festival terms.—

Crea Enter BEATRICE.
Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I call'd
Beat. Yea, signior; and depart when you

Bene. O, stay but till then!

Beat. " Then" is spoken; fare you well now : and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for; which is, with knowing what hath pass'd between you and Claudio.

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkiss'd.

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit : But I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge ; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will


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3 That is, in choice phraseology. So mine Host in The Merry Wives of Windsor says of Fenton, “ He speaks holiday.And Hotspur, in 1 Henry IV.: With many holiday and lady terms."

• Is under challenge, or now stands challenged, by me.

thee now,

( underente feel
subscribe him a coward. And, I pray

tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me ?

Beat. For them all together ; which maintain'd so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for 'me ?

Bene. “ Suffer love !” a good epithet. I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my

will. Beat. In spite of your heart, I think : alas, poor heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.

Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.

Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that liv'd in the time of good neighbours: “ If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall Jive no longer in monument than the bell rings, and the widow weeps.

Beat. And how long is that, think you ?

Bene. Question : 8 Why, an hour in clamour, 42u

and a quarter in rheum : Therefore it is most expedient for the wise (if Don Worm, his conscience, find no impediment to the contrary to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So much for praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is praise-worthy. And now tell me, how doth your cousin ?

6 That is, when men were not envious, but every one gave another his due.

6 This phrase seems equivalent to,-“ You ask a question indeed!” or, " That is the question !”

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