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Dogb. Goodman Verges, fir, speaks a little off the matter ; an old man, fir, and his wits are not so blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were; but in faith; honest, as the skin between his brows. *
VERG. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honefter than I. s
Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.
Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor duke's officers ;? but, truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.
honeft, as the skin between his brows. ] This is a proverbial expression. STEEVENS. So, in Gammar Gurton's Needle, 1575 :
"I am as true, I would thou knew, as skin betwene thy brows.", Again, in Cartwright's Ordinary, A& V. sc. ii : “ I am as honest as the skin that is between thy brows."
REED. $ I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honefter than 1.] There is much humour, and extreme good sense under the covering of this blundering expression. It is a lly infinuation, that length of years, and the being much hacknied in the ways of men, as Shakspeare expresses it, take off the gloss of virtue, and bring much defilement on the manners. For, as a great wit ( Swift] says, Youth is the season of virtue: corruptions grow witlo jears, and I believe the oldest rogue in Engiand is the greatest.
WARBURTON. Much of this is true, but I believe Shakspeare did not intend to bestow all this refledion on the speaker. JOHNSON.
palabras, ) So, in The Taming of the Shrew, the Tinker says, pocas pallabras, i. e. few words. A scrap of Spanish, which might once have been current among the vulgar, and had appeared, as Mr. Henley observes, in The Spanish Tragedy : “ Pocas pallabras, milde as the lambe." STEEVENS.
we are the poor duke's officers; ] This stroke of pleasantry has already occurred in Measure for Measure, Ad II. fc. i. where Elbow says: " If it please your honour, I am the poor dike's conftable." STEEVENS.
LEON. All thy tediousness on me! ha!
Docb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more than 'tis: for I hear as good exclamation on your worship, as of any man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.
VERG. And so am I.
VERG. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship’s presence, have ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.
DogB. A good old man, fir; he will be talking; as they say, When the age is in, the wit is out; God help us! it is a world to see!? — Well said, i'faith, neighbour Verges : well, God's a good man; An two men ride of a horse, one must ride
it is a world to fee! ] i. e. it is wonderful to see. So, in All for Moner, an old morality, 1594 : “ It is a world to see how greedy they be of money." The same phrase often occurs, with the same meaning, in Holinshed. STEEVENS.
Again, in a letter from the Earl of Worcester to the Earl of Salisbury, 1609 : “ While this tragedee was a&ing yt was
a world to heare the reporis heare." Lodge's Illuflrations, Vol. III. p. 380.
REED. Rather, it is worth sering. Barret in his Alvearie, 1580, explains " It is a world to heare,” by it is a thing worthie the hearing. Audire est operæ pretium. Horat.
And in The Myrrour of good manners compyled in latyn by Domynike Mancyn and `translate into engiyle by Alexander Bercley preft.' Imfrynted by Rychard Rynfon, bl. 1. no date, the line " Ejt opere pretium do&os fpe&are colonos" is rendereď " A world it is to je wyse tyllers of the grounde." Holt WHITE.
well, God's a good man ; ] So, in the old Morality or Interlude of Lufty Juventus :
“ He wyl fay, that God is a good Man,
• He can make him no better, and say the best he can." Again in A mery Geste of Robin Hoode, bl. I. no date:
" For God is hold a right wise man,
behind: 9 - An honest foul, i'faith, fir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread: but, God is to be worshipp'd: All men are not alike; alas good neighbour! LEON. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of
you. DogB. Gifts, that God gives. LEON. I must leave you.
Dogs. One word, sir: our watch, fir, have, indeed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship.
LEON. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great hase, as it may appear unto you.,
Dogs. It shall be suffigance.
Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband. Leon. I will wait upon them; I am ready.
[ Exeunt LEONATO end Messenger. Dogb. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol; we are now to examination these men,
An two inen ride, &c.] This is not out of place, or without' meaning. Doyberry, in his vanity of superior parts, apologizing for his neighbour, observes, that of two men on an horse, one must ride behind. The first place of rauk or understanding can belong but to one, and that happy ons ought not to despise his inferiour. JOHNSON. , VOL. VI.
Verg. And we inust do it wisely.
Doub. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's that [Touching his forehead.] shall drive some of them to a non com : only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the gaol.
AC T IV.
SC EN E I.,
The inside of a Church. Enter Don Pedro, Don John, LEONATO, Friar,
CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, HERO, and BEATRICE, Úc.
LEON. Come, friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards.
Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady?
FRIAR. Lady, you come hither to be married to this count?
HERO. I do.
FRIAR. If either of you know any inward impediment ? why you should not be conjoined,, I charge you, on your souls, to utter it.
to a non com :) i. e. to a non compos mentis; put them out of their wits: or perhaps he confounds the term with non-plus.
MALONE. 3 If either of you know any inward impediment, &c.] This is borrowed from our Marriage Ceremony, which (with a few flight changes in phraseology) is the same as was used in the time of Shakspeare. •
Claud. Know you any, Hero ?
GLAUD. O, what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do! not knowing what they do!
BENE. How now! Interjections ? Why, then some be of laughing, * as, ha! ha! he! CLAUD. Stand thee by, friar : - Father, by your
leave; Will you with free and unconstrained soul Give me this inaid, your daughter ?
LEON. As freely, son, as God did give her me. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose
D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.
- some be of laughing, ] This is a quotation from the Accidence.