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The Inside of a Church.
Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and Attendants, with musick and tapers.
CLAUD. Is this the monument of Leonato ?
Done to death by slanderous tongues
Hang thou there upon the tomb, [affixing it.
Now, musick, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.
Pardon, Goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight;
• Done to death-] This obsolete phrase occurs frequently in our ancient writers. Thus, in Marlowe's Lust's Dominion, 1657: "His mother's hand shall stop thy breath,
Thinking her own son is done to death." MALONE. Again, in the Argument to Chapman's version of the twentysecond Iliad:
"Hector (in Chi) to death is done
By powre of Peleus angry sonne."
To do to death is merely an old translation of the French phrase -Faire mourir. STEEVENS
5-in GUERDON-] Guerdon is reward, remuneration. See Costard's use of this word in Love's Labour's Lost, Act III. Sc. I. The verb, to guerdon, occurs both in King Henry VI. Part II. and in King Henry VIII. STEEVENS.
6 Those that slew thy virgin KNIGHT;] Knight, in its original
For the which, with songs of woe,
signification, means follower, or pupil, and in this sense may be feminine. Helena, in All's Well That Ends Well, uses knight in the same signification. JOHNSON.
Virgin knight is virgin hero. In the times of chivalry, a virgin knight was one who had as yet atchieved no adventure. Hero had as yet atchieved no matrimonial one. It may be added, that a virgin knight wore no device on his shield, having no right to any till he had deserved it.
So, in The History of Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. 1599:
"Then as thou seem'st in thy attire a virgin knight to be, "Take thou this shield likewise of white," &c.
It appears, however, from several passages in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. i. c. vii. that an ideal order of this name was supposed, as a compliment to Queen Elizabeth's virginity:
"Of doughtie knights whom faery land did raise "That noble order hight of maidenhed.” Again, b. ii. c. ii. :
"Order of maidenhed the most renown'd." Again, b. ii. c. ix. :
"And numbred be mongst knights of maidenhed." On the books of the Stationers' Company in the year 1594, is entered, "Pheander the mayden knight." STEEVens.
I do not believe that any allusion was here intended to those knights who had as yet atchieved no adventure. Diana's knight or virgin knight, was the common poetical appellation of virgins, in Shakspeare's time.
So, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, 1634:
"O sacred, shadowy, cold and constant queen,
"Allow'st no more blood than will make a blush,
7 Till death be uttered,] I do not profess to understand this line, which to me appears both defective in sense and metre. I suppose two words have been omitted, which perhaps were'Till songs of death be uttered,' &c.
CLAUD. Now, unto thy bones good night!
D. PEDRO. Good morrow, masters; put your torches out:
The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day,
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about
Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey: Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well. CLAUD. Good morrow, masters; each his several
D. PEDRO. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds;
And then to Leonato's we will go.
CLAUD. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speeds,
Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe?! [Exeunt.
So, in King Richard III. :
"Out on you, owls! nothing but songs of death?" STEEVENS.
The metre of this line pronouncing uttered as a word of three syllables, is exactly the same as that of the one which precedes ; the meaning is, till death be spoken of.' BOSWELL.
8 Now, &c.] In the old copy these words by mistake are given to an attendant. Mr. Rowe made the correction now adopted. MALONE.
9 And, Hymen, now with luckier issue SPEEDS,
Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe!] Claudio could not know, without being a prophet, that this new proposed match should have any luckier event than that designed with Hero. Certainly, therefore, this should be a wish in Claudio; and, to this end, the poet might have wrote, speed's; i. e. speed us: and so it becomes a prayer to Hymen. THIRLBY.
The contraction proposed is so extremely harsh, that I cannot believe it was intended by the author. MALONE.
A Room in LEONATO's House.
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, Benedick, Beatrice, URSULA, Friar, and HERO.
FRIAR. Did I not tell you she was innocent? LEON. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her,
Upon the error that you heard debated:
ANT. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. BENE. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
LEON. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves; And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd : The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me :-You know your office, brother You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies.
ANT. Which I will do with confirm'd counte
BENE. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. FRIAR. To do what, signior?
BENE. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
LEON. That eye my daughter lent her; 'Tis
BENE. And I do with an eye of love requite her. LEON. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me,
From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your will?
BENE. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
Here comes the prince, and Claudio.
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with Attendants. D. PEDRO. Good morrow to this fair assembly. LEON. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio;
And my help.
We here attend you; Are you yet determin'd
CLAUD. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope. LEON. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar [Exit ANTONIO. D. PEDRO. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
CLAUD. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull 2:
Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold, And all Europa shall rejoice at thee3;
* Old copies, state.
In the estate of honourable MARRIAGE;] Marriage, in this instance, is used as a trisyllable. So, in The Taming of the Shrew, Act III. Sc. II. :
""Twere good, methinks, to steal our marriage." STEEVENS. Why should it be a trisyllable here? Mr. Steevens, after cutting and clipping several hundred lines in order to avoid a verse of twelve syllables, would here introduce a "needless alexandrine." BOSWELL.
2- the SAVAGE BULL:] Still alluding to the passage quoted in a former scene from Kyd's Hieronymo. STEEVENS.
3 And all EUROPA shall, &c.] I have no doubt but that our author wrote