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BENE. I would, your grace would constrain me to tell.

D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

BENE. You hear, Count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on my allegiance,-mark you this, on my allegiance:

He is in love. With who? — now that is your grace's part

- Mark, how short his answer is: --With Hero, Leonato's short daughter.

CLAUD. If this were so, so were it uttered. ?

BENE. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.

Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise.

D. PEDRO. Amen, if you love her; for the lady is very well worthy.

Cláud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. Claud. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. BENE. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine.'

Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered. ] This and the three next speeches I do not well understand; there seems. something omitted relating to Hero's consent, or to Claudio's marriage, elle I know not what Claudio can wish not to be otherwise. The copics all read alike. Perhaps it may be better thus:

Claud. If this were so, so were it.

Bene. Uttered like the old tale, &c. Claudio gives a lullen anfwer, if it is so, so it is. Still there seems something omitted which Claudio and Pedro concur in wishing. JOHNSON.

Claudio, evading at first a confeffion of his passion, says; if I had really confided such a secret to him, yet he would have blabbed it in this manner. In his next speech, he thinks proper to avow his love; and when Benedick says, God forbid it should be so, i. c. God forbid he should even wish to marry her; Claudio replies, God forbid I should not wish it. STEEVENS.

3 I spoke mine. ] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio reads

CLAUD. That I love her, I feel.
D. PEDRO. That she is worthy, I know.

Bene. That I neither feel how she should be loved. nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.

D. PEDRO. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretick in the despite of beauty.

CLAUD. And never could maintain his part, but in the force of his will. +

BENE. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks : but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead,' or hang my bugle in an

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" I Speak mine." But the former is right. Benedick means, that he Spoke his mind when he said -" God forbid it should be fo;" i. c. that Claudio should be in love, and marry in consequence of his paffion. STELVENS.

but in the force of his will.] Alluding to the definition of a heretick in the schools. WARBURTON.

but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead, ] · That is, I will wear a horn on my forehead which the huntsman may blow. A recheate is the sound by which dogs are called back. Shakspeare had no mercy upon the poor cuckold, his horn is an inexhaustible subje& of merriment. JOHNSON.

So, in The Return from Parnasus: When you blow the death of your fox in the field or covert, then you must found three notes, with three winds; and rockcat, mark you, fir, upon the fame three winds.

" Now, fir, when you come to your stately gate, as you founded the techeat before, so now you must found the relief three times.

Again, in The Book of Huntynge, &c. bl. 1. 00 date: Blow the whole rechate with threę wyndes, the firft wynde 'one longe and fix shorte. The seconde wynde two shorte and one longe. The thred wynde one longe and two shorte.

Among Bagford's Colle&ions relative to Typography, in the British Museum, 1044, II. C. is an engraved half sheet, containing the ancient Hunting Notes of England, &c. Among these, I find,

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invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me: Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor.

D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.

BENE.' With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord; not with love: prove, that ever I lofe more blood with love, than I'will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house, for the sign of blind Cupid.

D. PEDRO. Well, if ever tliou dost fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.

Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat,

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Single, Double, and Treble Pecheats, Running Recheat, Warbling Recheat, another Recheat with the tongue very hard, another smoother Recheat, and another warbling Recheat. The musical notes are affixed to them all. STEEVENS.

A recheate is a particular lesson upon the horn, to call dogs back from the scent: from the old French word recet, which was used in the same sense as retraite, HANMER.

hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, ] Bugle, i. c. bugle. horn, hunting-horn. The meaning seems to bemor that I should be con pelled to carry a horn on my forehead where there is nothing visible to support it. So, in Johu Alday's translation of Pierre Boilteau's Theatrum Mundi, &c. bl. l. no date ; " Beholde the hazard wherin thou art (sayth William de la Perriere) that thy round head become not forked, which were a fearfull fight if it were visible and apparent.

It is still said of the mercenary cuckold, that he carries his horns in his pockets.

STEEVENS.
noiable argument.] An eminent subjc& for satire.

JOHNSON. in a bottle like a cat, ] As to the cat and bottle, I can procure no better information than the following.

In some counties in England, a cat was formerly closed up with a quantity of foot in a wooden bottle, (such as that in whick

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and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, and call'd Adam.

shepherds carry their liquor,) and was suspended on a line. He who beat out the bottom as he ran under it, and was nimble enough to escape its contents, was regarded as the hero of this inhuman diversion.

Again, in Warres, or the Peace is broken, bl. 1. " arrowes flew faster than they did at a catte in a basket, when Prince Arthur, or the Duke of Shordich, strucke up the drumme in the field.

In a Poem, however, called Cornu-copiæ, or Pasquil's Night-cap, or an Antidote to the Head ache, 1623, p. 48, the following passage

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occurs :

“ Fairer than any stake in Greys-inn field, &c.
« Guarded with gunners, bill-men, and a rout

on Of bow-men bold, which at a cat do Jhoot." Again, ibid :

" Nor at thc top a cat-a-mount was fram’d,
6. Or some wilde beast that ne'er before was tam'd;
" Made at the charges of some archer stout,

" To have his name canoniz'd in the clout." The foregoing quotations may serve to throw some light on Benedick's allusion. They prove, however, that it was the custom to shoot at fa&itious as well as real cats. STEEVENS.

This pra&ice is still kept up at Kelso, in Scotland, where it is called Cat-in-barrel. See a description of the whole ceremony in a little account of the town of Kelso, published in 1789, by one Ebenezer Lazarus, a filly Methodist, who has interlarded his book with scraps of pious and other poetry. Speaking of this sport, he says :

66 The cat in the barrel exhibits such a-farce,
" That he who can relish it is worse than an ass. DOUCL.

and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, ande, calld Adam. ] But why should he therefore be called Adam ? Perhaps, by a quotation or two we may be able to trace the poet's allusion here. In Law-Tricks, or, Who would have thought it, (a comedy writteh by John Day, and printed in 1608,) I find this fpeech : 1. Adam Bell, a {ubftantial outlaw, and a passing good archer, yet no tobacconist. By this it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of day was of reputation for his skill at the bow. [ find him again mentioned in a burlesque poem of Sir William D'Avenant's, called The long Vacation in London. THEOBALD.

Adam Bel, Clym of the Cloughe, and Wyllyam of Cloudesle, were, says Dr. Percy, three noted outlaws, whose skill in Archery, rendered them formerly as famous in the North of England, as

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D. PEDRO. Well, as time shall try: In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and set them in my forehead: and let me be vilely painted; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good horse to hire, let them fignify under my sign, Here you may see Benedick the married man.

Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.

D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice, 'thou wilt quake for this shortly.

BenĘ. I look for an earthquake too then.

D. PEDRO. Well, you will temporize with the hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's; commend me to him, and tell him, I will not fail him at supper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.

Robin Hood and his fellows were in the midland counties. Their place of residence was in the forest of Englewood, not far from Cariille. At what time they lived does not appear. The author of the common ballads on The Pedigree, Education, and Marriage of Robin Hood, makes them contemporary with Robin Hood's father, in order to give him the honour of beating them. See Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, vol. I. p. 143, where the ballad on these outlaws is preserved. STEVENS.

? In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke. ] This line is from The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronymo, &c. and occurs also, with a flight variation, in Watsons' Sonnets, 4to. bl. l. printed in 1581. See note on the last edition of Dodley's Old Plays, Vol. XII. p. 387. STEEVENS.

The Spanish Tragedy was printed and a&ed before 1593. MALONE.

It may be proved that The Spanish Tragedy had at least been written before 1562. STEEVENS.

3 if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice, ) All modern writers agree in representing Venice in the same light as the ancients did Cyprus. And it is this chara&er of the people that is here alluded to. WARBURTON.

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