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Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Myself would, on the rearward 25 of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ?
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame ? 26
0, one too much by thee! Why had I one ?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes ?
Why had I not with charitable hand
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates;
Who smirched 27 thus, and mir'd with infamy,
I might have said, „No part of it is mine,
This shame derives itself from unknown loins ?“
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd, 28
And mine that I was proud on; mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her; why, she – 0! she is fallen
Into a pit of ink, 29 that the wide sea
Hath drops too fow to wash her clean again,
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul-tainted flesh!
Bene.

Sir, Sir, be patient.
For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat. 0, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

Beat. No, truly, not; although, until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.

Leon. Confirm’d, confirm'd! O, that is stronger made, Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron! Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie,

25) Das rereward der Q: entstellt die Fol. durch einen Druckfehler zu reward: hinter den

Vorwürfen her, mit denen ich Dich jetzt überhäufe, würde ich Dich umbringen. - on the rearward steht in demselben übertragenen Sinne, wie vorher behind the back.

(Vgl. A. 3, Sc. 1, Anm. 26). 26) Klagte ich jemals, dass ich nur ein Kind hätte und schalt deshalb auf die sparsame

Ordnung oder Fügung der Natur, die mir nur das eine Kind gab. - So heisst es in K. Richard III. (A. 2, Sc. 3) von dem jungen Prinzen Edward : fram'd in the pro

digality of nature. 27) smirched in Q.; smeared in der Fol.: Wenn dieses Bettlerkind dann so mit Schande

befleckt und in den Koth gezogen wäre, so hätte ich sagen können: Es ist kein

Theil von mir. 28) scil. mine that I lovd, mine that I prais'd, wie gleich darauf mine that I was proud on.

ink wird zu Sh.'s Zeit auch in edlen Gleichnissen gebraucht; es bezeichnet hier die schwarze Befleckung, mit der Hero sich verunstaltet hat. Diese Befleckung ist so gross, dass das Meer nicht Tropfen genug hat, um die Hero wieder rein zu waschen; und nicht Salz genug, um ihr arg beflecktes -Fleisch vor Fäulniss zu bewahren. – Mit foul-tainted vergleicht Dyce foul-defiled blood in Sh.'s Lucrece.

Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears? 30 Hence from her, let her die.

Friar. Hear me a little;
For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions
To start 31 into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness beat 32 away those blushes;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors 33 that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth. — Call me a fool;
Trust not my reading, nor my observation, 34
Which with experimental seal doth warrant
The tenour of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Under some biting error. 35
Leon.

Friar, it cannot be.
Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left,
Is, that she will not add to her damnation
A sin of perjury: she not denies it.
Why seek’st thou then to cover with excuse
That which appears in proper nakedness ?

Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of?

Hero. They know that do accuse me, I know none.
If I know more of any man alive,
Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Let all my sins lack mercy! – 0, my father!
Prove you that any man with me convers'd
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight

30) Claudio, als er von Hero's sittlichem Schmutz oder Flecken sprach, suchte diesen

gleichsam durch seine Thränen abzuwaschen. 31) So Q. und Fol. – Die meisten Hgg. streichen To und setzen start in die vorhergehende

Zeile. 32) Für beat der Q. lesen viele Hgg. mit der Fol. bear. 33) Dasselbe Bild von dem Feuer, in welchem die Ketzer ihre Irrthümer verbrennt sehen,

findet sich in Romeo and Juliet (A. 1, Sc. 2) ebenfalls auf das Auge angewendet:

Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars. 34) observation setzte Dyce mit Recht für observations der Q. und Fol., da sich der

folgende Relativsatz auf dieses Wort bezieht: meine Beobachtung verbürgt mit dem Siegel der Erfahrung den Inhalt dessen, was ich aus meinen Büchern gelernt habe. —

book ist dasselbe, was eben vorher reading hiess. 35) some biting error ist der Schlangenbiss einer irrigen Verläumdung, von dem getroffen

die Hero schuldlos daliegt.

Maintain’d the change of words with any creature,
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.

Friar. There is some strange misprision in the princes.

Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour; 36
And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
The practice 37 of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies. 38

Leon. I know not. If they speak but truth of her
These hands shall tear her: if they wrong her honour,
The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
Nor age so eat up my invention, 39
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
Nor my bad life 40 reft mě so much of friends,
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
Ability in means, and choice of friends,
To quit me of them throughly.
Friar.

Pause a while,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Your daughter here the princes left for dead; 41
Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
And publish it, that she is dead indeed:
Maintain a mourning ostentation; 42
And on your family's old monument
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites
That appertain unto a burial.

Leon. What shall become of this ? What will this do?

Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf Change slander to remorse; that is some good: But not for that dream I on this strange course, But on this travail look for greater birth. 43 She dying, as it must be so maintain'd,

36) Zwei von ihnen spannen den Ehrbegriff soweit an, wie sich derselbe überhaupt span

nen lässt. Vgl. A. 2, Sc. 3, Anm. 33. 37) practice = hinterlistiger Abschlag.

in frame of villainies = darin, dass er Schurkenstreiche sich ausdenkt und ausführt. 39) invention = das Vermögen, Pläne zu entwerfen oder Auskunftsmittel zu ersinnen,

entspricht dem folgenden policy of mind. 40) bad life = ein unglückliches Leben, ein Leben voll Missgeschick. 41) Q. und Fol. lesen diese Zeile missverständlich Your daughter here the princess (left

for dead). - Theobald setzte das Richtige. 42) a mourning ostentation = eine Darlegung von äusserlicher Trauer. 43) Ich erwarte von diesen Geburtswehen eine bedeutendere Geburt, einen grösseren Er

folg, als bloss die Verwandlung der Verläumdung in Reue und Mitleid (remorse).

Upon the instant that she was accus'd,
Shall be lamented, pitied and excus'd
Of every hearer; for it so falls out,
That what we have we prize not to the worth,
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost,
Why, then we rack 44 the value; then we find
The virtue, that possession would not show us,
Whiles it was ours. – So will it fare with Claudio:
When he shall hear she died upon his words, 45
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
Into his study of imagination, 46
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparell’d in more precious habit,
More moving, delicate, and full of life,
Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
Than when she liv'd indeed: — then shall he mourn ,
(If ever love had interest in his liver) 47
And wish he had not so accused her;
No, though he thought his accusation true.
Let this be so, and doubt not but success
Will fashion the event in better shape
Than I can lay it down in likelihood. 48
But if all aim but this 49 be levell’d false,
The supposition of the lady's death
Will quench the wonder of her infamy:
And, if it sort not well, you may conceal her,
As best befits her wounded reputation,
In some reclusive and religious life,
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.

Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you: And though, you know, my inwardness 50 and love, Is very much unto the prince and Claudio,

*) to rack = anspannen, ausdehnen: wenn ein Gut verloren ist und vermisst wird, dann

schätzen wir dessen Werth in seiner vollen Ausdehnung. 45) in Folge seiner Worte, unmittelbar nachdem er so geredet batte. 46) so wird Hero's Bild, wie sie lebendig war, sich hold in die Phantasie schleichen, mit

der er sich beschäftigt, der er nachhängt. 41) Die Leber, bei Sh. der Sitz der Leidenschaft, also hier: wenn er jemals leiden

schaftlicher Liebe fähig war. 46) in likelihood = in Schlüssen oder Voraussetzungen der Wahrscheinlichkeit. +5) but this weist auf das Folgende hip: wenn auch jede andere Berechnung falsch sein

sollte, ausser dieser einen, so wird doch jedenfalls die Annahme von dem Tode des

Fräuleins die erstaunliche Kunde von ihrer Schmach ersticken. 50 inwardness = Vertraulichkeit, Intimität. - So in Measure for Measure (A. 3,

Sc. 2) Sir, I was an inward of his.

Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
As secretly and justly, as your soul
Should with your body.
Leon.

Being that I flow in grief,
The smallest twine may lead me. 51

Friar. 'T is well consented: presently away,
For to strange sores strangely they strain the cure. 52 —
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 while ?
Beat. Yea , and I will weep a while longer.
Bene. I will not desire that.
Beat. You have no reason; I do it freely.
Bene. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.
Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her!
Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship ?
Beat. A very even way, but no such friend.
Bene. May a man do it?
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.
Beat. Do not swear by it, 53 and eat it.

Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I will make him eat it, that says I love not you.

Beat. Will you not eat your word ?
Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest, I love thee.
Beat. Why then, God forgive me!
Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice ?

Beat. You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest, 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.

51) In der Fluth des Jammers, in welcher Leonato treibt, ergreift er begierig auch den

dünnsten Rettungsfaden, der ihm zugeworfen wird. 52) Zwischen strange, strangely und strain ist ein Gleichklang beabsichtigt. Für auffallende

Uebel wendet man auch in auffallender Weise gewaltsame Heilmittel an. 53) by it fehlt in der Q. - eat it bezieht Beatrice darauf, dass Benedick den Eid, den

er geleistet, dann gleich widerrufen werde; wie to eat one's words = seine Worte zurücknehmen. — Benedick versteht to eat von seinem Schwerte, das er dem zu kosten geben will, der seine Liebe zur Beatrice bezweifelt.

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