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Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery ;
Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first.
Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs : by this time our Sexton hath reform’d Signior Leonato of the matter; and masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
Verg. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.
Enter Leonato, and Sexton.
Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me,
Leon. Art thou, art thou the save, that with thy breath Ha; kill'd mine innocent child ?
Bora, Yea, even 1 alone.
Leon. No, not so, / villain ; thou bely'st thyself ;'
Cloud, I know not how to pray your patience,
Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
Leon. You cannot bid my daughter live again,
Can labcar ought in fad invention,
of my child that's dead,
Claud. O noble Sir,
Dogb. Moreover, Sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass : I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment; and also (26) the watch heard them talk
(26) The Watch beard them talk of one Deformed; they say be wears & key in bis ear, and a lock banging by it, and borrows Ixoney in God's samé, &c.] There could uot be a more agreeable ridicule upon the fashisn, than the Constable's descant upon his own blunder. One of the most fantastical modes of that time was the indulging a favourite lack of hair, and suffering it to grow much longer than all its fellows; which they always brought before, (as we do the knots of a tye-wigs) ty'd with ribbands or jewels. King Charles the ist wore one of these favourite locks, as his historians take notice, and as his pictures by Vandike prove : and whoever has been conversant with the faces of that painter, must have observ'd a great many drawn in that fashion. In Lord CLARENDON's History compleated, (a book in Oftavo) being a collection of heads engrav'd from the paintings of Vandike, we may See this mode in the prints of the Duke of Bucking bam, Earl of Dorset,
of one Deformed: they say, he wears a key in his car, and a lock hanging by it; and borrows inoney in God's name, the which he hath us’d so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake. Pray you examine him upon that point.
Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
Dogb. Your Worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth ; and I praise God for you.
Leon. There's for thy pains.
Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prifoner; and I thank thee. Dogb. I leave an errant knave with
Worship, which, I beseech your Worship, to correct yourself, for the example of others. God keep your Worship; I wish your Worship well: God restore you to health ; I humbly give you leave to depart ; and if a merry meeting may be with'd, God prohibit it. Come, neighbour.
Lord Goring, &c. all great Courtiers. - As to the key in the ear, and the lock hanging by it, there may be a joke in the ambiguity of the terms. But whether we think, that Shakespeare meant to ridicule the fashion in the abstracted sense; or whether he sneer'd at the Courtiers, the parents of it, we shall find the description equally fatirical. The key in the ear might be suppos'd literally : For they wore rings, lockets, and ribbands in a hole made in the ear; and sometimes, rings one within another : but it might be likewise allegorically understood, to fignify, the great readiness the Courtiers had in giving ear to, or going into new follies or fashions. As for borrowing money and never paying, that is an old Common Place against the court and followers of falhions.
SCE N E changes to Leanato's House.
Enter Benedick and Margaret.
well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
Marg. Will you then write me a fonnet in praise of my beauty ?
Bene. In so high a stile, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thon deferveft it.
(27) Marg. To have no man come over me : why, fhall I always keep above stairs ?
Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.
Marg;, And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A moft manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice ; I give thee the bucklers.
Marg. Give us the swords ; we have bucklers of our
Brne. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for maids. Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think,
[Exit Margaret. Bene. And therefore will come. (Sings.] The God of love, that fits above, and knows me, and knows me, how pitiful I deserve, -I 1.ean, in finging; but in loving, Leander, the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole book full of these quondam
(27) To bave no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below fairs?] Thus all the printed copies, but, sure, erroneousy: for all the jeft, that can lie in the passage, is destroyed by it? Any man might come over her, literally speaking, if ihe always kept below stairs. By the correction I have ventured to make, Margaret, as I presume, must mean, What! shall I always keep above stairs 1 i. Shall I for ever continue a Chambermaid?
carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the
Beat. Yea, Signior, and depart when you bid me,
Beat. Then, is spoken ; fare you well now; and yet ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath past between you and Claudio.
Bene. Only foul words, and thereupon I will kiss thee.
Beat. Foul words are but foul wind, and foul wind is but fuul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkift.
Bene. Thou haft frighted the word out of its right fense, fo forcibly is thy wit; but I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge ; and either I must hortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward ; and, I pray thee, now tell me, for which of my bad parts
didit thou first fall in love with me? Beat. For them all together, which maintain's so politick a state of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them: but for which of my good parts did you suffer love for me?
Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet; I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Beat. In spight of your heart, I think ; alas! poor heart, if you fpight it for my fake, I will spight it for yours; for I will never love that, which
friend hates. Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
Beat. It appears not in this confeffion; there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself. Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that liv'd