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As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked. CLAUD. For this I owe you: here come other reckonings.
Which is the lady I must seize upon ?
ANT. This same is she, and I do give you her. CLAUD. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me see your face.
LEON. No, that you shall not, till you take her
Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
CLAUD. Give me your hand before this holy friar; I am your husband, if you like of me.
HERO. And when I lived, I was your other wife : [Unmasking. And when you loved, you were my other husband. CLAUD. Another Hero ?
Nothing certainer: One Hero died defil'd; but I do live, And, surely as live, I am a maid.
D. PEDRO. The former Hero! Hero that is dead! LEON. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander
FRIAR. All this amazement can I qualify;
"As were our England in reversion his." STEEVENS. 4 Ant. This same, &c.] This speech is in the old copies given to Leonato. Mr. Theobald first assigned it to to the right owner. Leonato has in a former part of this scene told Antonio, that he "must be father to his brother's daughter, and give her to young Claudio." MALONE.
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
BENE. Soft and fair, friar.-Which is Beatrice ?
BENE. Do not you love me?
Why no, no more than reason". BENE. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and Claudio,
Have been deceived: for they swore you did.
BEAT. Do not you love me?
Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear, you did. BENE. They swore that you were almost sick for
BEAT. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
BENE. 'Tis no such matter:-Then, you do not love me?
BEAT. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. LEON. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
CLAUD. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves her;
5 No, no more than reason.] The old copies, injuriously to metre, read—“ Why no," &c. It should seem that the compositor's eye had caught here the unnecessary adverb from the following speech. STEEVENS.
6 FOR they swore you did.] For, which both the sense and metre require, was inserted by Sir Thomas Hanmer. So, below: Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did."
7 No, no more than reason.] Here again the metre, in the old copies, is overloaded by reading-" Troth, no, no more," &c.
For here's a paper, written in his hand,
And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
BENE. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts!-Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.
BEAT. I would not deny you ;-but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
BENE. Peace, I will stop your mouth'.
[Kissing her. D. PEDRO. How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
8 I would NOT deny you, &c.] Mr. Theobald says, "is not this mock-reasoning? She would not deny him, but that she yields upon great persuasion. In changing the negative, I mak doubt but I have retrieved the poet's humour:" and so changes not into yet. But is not this a mock-critic? who could not see that the plain obvious sense of the common reading was this, 'I cannot find in my heart to deny you, but for all that I yield, after having stood out great persuasions to submission.' He had said"I take thee for pity," she replies-" I would not deny thee," i. e. I take thee for pity too: but, as I live, I am won to this compliance by importunity of friends. Mr. Theobald, by altering not to yet, makes it supposed that he had been importunate, and that sh had often denied, which was not the case. WARBURTON.
Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth. [Kissing her.] In form.r copies :
"Leon. Peace, I will stop your mouth."
What can Leonato mean by this? "Nay, pray, peace, niece!
BENE. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour: Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, since I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.
CLAUD. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.
BENE. Come, come, we are friends :-let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.
LEON. We'll have dancing afterwards.
BENE. First, o' my word; therefore, play, musick.
Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn 2.
1 — in that —] i. e. because. So, Hooker: "Things preached not in that they are taught, but in that they are lished." STEEVENS.
no STAFF more reverend than one TIPPED WITH HORN.] This passage may admit of some explanation that I am unable to furnish. By accident I lost several instances I had collected for the purpose of throwing light on it. The following, however, may assist the future commentator.
MS. Sloan, 1691.
THAT A FELLON MAY WAGE BATTAILE, WITH The order
"-by order of the lawe both the parties must at their owne VOL. VII.
Enter a Messenger.
MESS. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,
And brought with armed men back to Messina. BENE. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up, pipers.
charge be armed withoute any yron or long armoure, and theire heades bare, and bare-handed and bare-footed, every one of them having a baston horned at ech ende, of one length," &c.
Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, edit. 1615, p. 669: his baston a staffe of an elle long, made taper-wise, tipt with horne, &c. was borne after him." This instrument is also mentioned in the Sompnoure's Tale of Chaucer :
"His felaw had a staf tipped with horn." STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens's explanation is undoubtedly the true one. The allusion is certainly to the ancient trial by wager of battel, in suits both criminal and civil. The quotation above given recites the form in the former case,-viz. an appeal of felony. The practice was nearly similar in civil cases, upon issue joined in a writ of right. Of the last trial of this kind in England, (which was in the thirteenth year of Queen Elizabeth,) our author might have read a particular account in Stowe's Annales. Henry Nailor, master of defence, was champion for the demandants, Simon Low and John Kyme; and George Thorne for the tenant, (or defendant,) Thomas Paramoure. The combat was appointed to be fought in Tuthill-fields, and the Judges of the Common Pleas and Serjeants at Law attended. But a compromise was entered into between the parties, the evening before the appointed day, and they only went through the forms, for the greater security of the tenant. Among other ceremonies Stowe mentions, that "the gauntlet that was cast down by George Thorne was borne before the sayd Nailor, in his passage through London, upon a sword's point, and his baston (a staff of an ell long, made taper-wise, tipt with horn,) with his shield of hard leather, was borne after him," &c. See also Minsheu's Dict. 1617, in v. Combat; from which it appears that Nailor on this occasion was introduced to the Judges, with "three solemn congees," by a very reverend person, "Sir Jerome Bowes, ambassador from Queen Elizabeth into Russia, who carried a red baston of an ell long, tipped with horne."-In a very ancient law-book entitled Britton, the manner in which the combatants are to be armed is particularly