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cause, and smile at no man's jesls; eat when I have ftomach, and wait for no man's leiiure; sleep wlien I am drowsy, and tend on no man's business ; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.
Con. Yea, but you muft not make the full show of this, till you may do it without controlment. You have of late stood out againil your brother, and he hath ta’en you newly into his grace; where it is impossible you should take true root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.
D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace;' and it better fits my
pleasure, and too fullen to receive it, always endeavours to hide , its malignity from the world and from itself, under the plainness of. fimple honesty, or the dignity of haughty independence.
JOHNSON claw no man in his humour. ] To claw is to flatter. So the pope's claw-backs, in Bishop Jewel, are the pope's flatterers. The sense is the same in the proverb, Mulus mulum scabit.
JOHNSON. So, in Albion's England, 1597, p. 123:
The overweening of thy wits doth make thy foes to smile,
to beguile." Again, in Wylson on Usury, 1571, p. 141:'"qua therefore I will clawe him, and saye well might he fare, and godds blefling have he 100.
For the more he speaketh, the better it itcheth, and maketh better for me. REED.
Ş I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace; } A canker is the canker rose, dog-rose, cynosbatus, or hip. The sense is, I would rather live in obscurity 'the wild life of nature, than owe dignity or estimation to my brother. He still continues his wish of gloomy independence. But what is the meaning of the expreffion, a rose in his grace? If he was a rose of himself, his brother's grace or favour could not degrade him. I once read thus: I had rather be a canker in hedge, than a rose in his garden; that is, I liad rather be what nature makes me, however mean, than owe any exaltation or improvement to my brother's kindness or cultivation. But a less change will be sufficient : I think is
to be disdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, though I cannot be faid to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a plain - dealing villain.
I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a'clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage: If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the mean time, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me.
Con. Can you make no use of your discontent?
D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? What news, Borachio?
BORA. I came yonder from a great supper; the prince, your brother, is royally entertain’d by
should be read, I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose by his
grace. JOHNSON. The canker is a term often substituted for the canker-rose. Hey. wood, in his Love's Mistress, 1636, calls it the 16 canker-flower." Again, in Shakspeare's 54th Sonnet :
" The canker blooms have full as deep a die
" As the perfumed tin&ure of the rose."
“ he hath ta’en you newly into his grace, where it is impossible you should take true root," &c. In Macbeth we have a kindred expreflon :
- To make thee full of growing."
MALONE, for I use it only. ] i. e, for I make nothing ellc my counsellor. STÉEVENS.
Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
D. John. Will it serve for any inodel to build mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietness?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ? BORA. Even hè.
D. John. A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks he?
BORA. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
D. John. A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
Boka. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoking a mufty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in fad conference:' I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero for him. felf, and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio.
D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove food to my displeasure: that young fiart-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way: You are both fure, and will aflıít me?
Con. To the death, my lord.
D. John. Let us to the great supper; their cheer is the greater, that I am subdued : 'Would the cook
in fad conference :] Sad in this, as in future instances, signifies Serious. So, in The Winter's Tale : 56 My father, and the gentlemen, are in sad talk." STEEVENS.
both fure, ] i. e. to be depended on. So, in Macbeth : Thou sure and firm-fet earth
were of my mind! - Shall we go prove what's to be done ? · Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and
BEAT. How tartly that gentleman lookș! I never can see him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after."
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition.
BEAT. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the mid-way between him and Benedick : the 'one is too like an image, and says nothing; and the other, too like, my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.
LEON. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in count John's mouth, and half count John's melancholy in fignior Benedick's face, -
BEAT. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a man would win
any woman in the world, - if he could get her good will.
LEON. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she is too curst.
heart-burn'd an hour after. ] The pain commonly called the heart-burn, proceeds from an acid humour in the stomach, and is therefore properly enough imputed to tart looks. JOHNSON.
BEAT. Too carft is more than curft: I shall leica God's sending that way: for it is said, God sends a curst cow Mort horns ; but to a cow too curft he sends none.
Leon. So, by being too carft, God will send you no horns.
BEAT. Juft, if he send me no husband; for the which blessing, I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening: Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face; I had rather lie in the wollen. ?
LEON. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.
BEAT. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a beard, is more than a youth? and he that hath no beard, is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him: Therefore I will even take six-pence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.
Leo. Well then, go you into hell! 3
Beat. No; but to the gate: and there will the devil mect me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and say, Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for you maids : fo
- in the woollen. ] I suppose she means
between blankets, without sheets. STEEVENS.
3 Well then, &c.] Of the two next speeches Dr. Warburton says, All this impious nonsense thrown to the bottom, is the plajers', and foifed in without rhyme or reason. He therefore puts them in the margin. They do not deserve indeed so honourable a place; yet I am afraid they are too much in the manner of our author, who is sometimes trying to purchase merriment at too dear a rate.
JOHNSON. I have restored the lines omitted. STLLYENS.