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BENE. I have almost matter enough in me for such an embassage; and so I commit you
CLAUD. To the tuition of God: From my house, (if I had it,)
D. PEDRO. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, *Benedick.
BENE. Nay, mock not, mock not: The body of your discourse is sometimesguarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither : ere you flout old ends any further, examine
your conscience; and so I leave you. [Exit BENEDICK.
guarded with fragments, ] Guards were ornamental lace or borders. So, in The Merchant of Venice :
give him a livery
More guarded than his fellows. ' Again, in Henry IV. Part I:
velvet guards, and Sunday citizens." STEEVENS.
ere you flout old ends, &c.] Before you endeavour to diflinguish yourself any more ly antiquated allusons, examine whether you can fairly claim them for your own. This, I think is the meaning: or it may be understood in another sense, examine, if your sarcasms do not touch yourself. JOHNSON.
The ridicule here is to the formal conclusions of Epistles dedicatory and Letters. Barnaby Googe thus ends his dedication 10 the first edition of Palingenius, 12mo. 1560 : on And thus com-' mittyng your Ladiship with all yours to the tuicion of the moste mercifull God, I ende. From Staple Inne at London, the eighte and twenty of March.' The pradice had however become obsolete in Shakspeare's time. In s pofte with a Packet of mad Letters, by Nicholas Breton, 4t0. 1607; I find a Letter ending in this manner, entitled, “ A letter to 'laugh at after the old fashion of love to a Maide. REED.
Dr. Johnson's latter explanation is, I believe, the true one. old ends the speaker may mean the conclusion of letters.commonly used in Shakspeare's time; “ From my house this fixth of July," &c. So, in the conclusion of a letter which our author suppoles Lucrece 10 write :
6. So I commend me from our house in grief;
66 My woes are tedious, 'though my words are brief. See The Rape of Lucrece, p. 547: edit. 1780, and the note there, VOL. VI.
Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me
CLAUD. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ?
D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir:
O my lord,
D. PEDRO. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
Old ends, however, may refer to the quotation that D. Pedro had made from The Spanish Tragedy". " Ere you attack me on the subject of love, with fragments of old plays, examiue wliether you are yourself free from its power." So, king Richard :
" With odd old ends, ftol'n forth of holy writ." This kind of conclusion to leiters was not obsolete in our author's time, as has been suggested. Michael Drayton concludes one of his letters to Drummond of Hawthoruden, in 1619, thus : 6. And so withing you all happiness, I commend you to God's tuition, and rest your assured friend." So also Lord Salisbury concludes a letter to Sir Ralph Winwood, April 7h, 1610 : And so I commit you to God's proteâion."
Winwood's Memorials, III. 147. MALONE.
And thou shalt have her: Was't not to this end,
Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
than the flood? The fairest grant is the necessity: 6 Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once, thou lov'st;? And I will fit thee with the remedy. I know, we shall have revelling to-night; I will assume thy part in some disguise, And teli fair Hero I am Claudio; And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart, And take her hearing prisoner with the force And strong encounter of my amorous tale: Then, after, to her father will I break;
6 The fairejt grant is the necessity: ] i, e. no one can have a better reason for granting a request than the necessity of its being granted.
WARBURTON. Mr, Hayley with great acuteness proposes to read,
The fairest grant is to neceffity. SreeVENS. These words cannot imply the sense that Warburton contends for; but if we suppose that giant means concellion, the sense is obvious; and that is no uncommon acceptatiou of that word.
M. Mason, 'tis once, thou lov'st ; ] This phrase, with concomitant obscurity, appears in other diamas of our author, viz.
The Merry Wives of Windsor, and K. Henry VIII. · In The Comedy of Errors, it ftands as follows:
Once this Your long experience of her wisdom," &c. Balthasar is speaking to the Ephefan Antipholis.
Once may therefore mean " once for all," " 'tis enough to say at once." STEEVENS.
Onte has here, I believe, the force of -- once for all. So, in Coriolarus : - Once, if he do require our voices, we ought not to deny him." MALONE.
And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine:
: Leon. How now, brother ? Where is my cousin, your fon? Hath he provided this musick?
Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you strange news' that you yet dream'd not of.
LEON. Are they good ?
Ant. As the event stamps them; but they have a good cover, they show well outward. The prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley. in my orchard, were thus much overheard by a man of mine: The prince discovered to Claudio, that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and, if he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly break with
of it. Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this?
Ant. A good sharp fellow? I will send for him, and question him yourself.
LEON. No, no, we will hold it as a dream, till it appear itself: - but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an
strange news - .] Thus the quarto , 1600. The folio omits the epithet, which indeed is of little value. STEEVENS.
- a thick-pleached alley – ] Thick-pleached is thickly interSo afterwards, A& III. fc. i:
bid her fteal into the pleached bower." Again, in King Henry V : her hedges even-pleach'd
answer, if peradventure this be true. Go. you, and tell her of it. [Several persons cross the stage. ] Cou
know? what you have to do.-0, I cry you mercy, friend; go you with me, and I will use your Skill: --Good cousins, have a care this busy time.
Another Room in LEONATO's House.
Enter Don John and CONRADE. Con. What the goujere, ^ my lord! why are you thus out of measure sad?
D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.
Con. You should hear reason.
D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?
Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient suf-, ferance.
D. John. I wonder, that thou being (as thou say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have
9 Cousins, you know -]- and afterwards, – good cousins.] Cousins were anciently enrolled among the dependants, if not the domesticks, of great families, such as that of Leonato. Petruchio, while intent on the subje&ion of Katharine, calls out, in terms imperative, for his cousin Ferdinand. STEEVENS.
9. What the goujere, ] i. e. morbus Gallicus. The old copy corruptly reads, good-year."
good-year." The same expression occurs again in K. Lear, A& V. sc. iii:
" The goujeres shall devour them, flesh and fell." See note on this paflagę. STEEVENS.
3 I cannot hide what I am : ] This is one of our author's natural touches. · An envious and unsocial mind, too proud to give