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And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee;
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand;6 If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band: For others say, thou dost deserve; and I Believe it better than reportingly.
A Room in LEONATO's House.
Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO.
D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I toward Arragon.
Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you 'll vouchsafe me.
D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him:8 he hath a heart as sound as
5 What fire is in mine ears?] Alluding to a proverbial saying of the common people, that their ears burn, when others are talking of them. Warburton.
The opinion from whence this proverbial saying is derived, is of great antiquity, being thus mentioned by Pliny: “ Moreover is not this an opinion generally received, That when our ears do glow and tingle, some there be that in our absence doe talke of us?” Philemon Holland's Translation, B. XXVIII, p. 297, and Brown's Vulgar Errors. Reed.
6 Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand;] This image is taken from falconry. She had been charged with being as wild as haggards of the rock; she therefore says, that wild as her heart is, she will tame it to the hand. Johnson.
7- as to show a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it.] So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ As is the night before some festival,
the little hangman dare not shoot at him:] This char stop of Cupid came from the Arcadia of Sir Philip Sidney:
a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks his tongue speaks.
Bene, Gallants, I am not as I have been.
D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there 's no true drop of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love: if he be sad, he wants money.
Bene. I have the tooth-ach.
Bene. Well, Every one can master a grief, but he that has it.
Claud. Yet say I, he is in love.
D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises;2 as, to be a Dutch-man to-day; a French-man to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, 3 as, a German
“Millions of yeares this old drivell Cupid lives;
“ Till now at length that Jove him office gives,
“ In this our world a hangman for to be
B. II, ch. xiv. Farmer. as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper ; &c.] A covert al. lusion to the old proverb:
“ As the fool thinketh
can master a grief,] The old copies read corruptly-car The correction was made by Mr. Pope. Malone. 2 There is no appearance of fancy, &c.] Here is a play upon the word fancy, which Shakspeare uses for love as well as for humour, caprice, or affectation. Fohnson.
3 — or in the shape of two countries at once, &c.] So, in The Seven deadly Sinnes of London, by Tho. Decker, 1606, 4to. bl. I. “ For an Englishman's sute is like a traitor's bodie that hath been hanged, drawne, and quartered, and is set up in several places: his codpiece is in Denmarke: the collor of his dublet and the belly, in France: the wing and narrow sleeve, in Italy: the short waste hangs ouer a Dutch botcher's stall in Utrich: his huge
from the waist downward, all slops;4 and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet:5 Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.6
Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o' mornings; What should that bode?
D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's?
Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.?
sloppes speaks Spanish: Polonia gives him the bootes, &c.-and thus we mocke euerie nation, for keeping one fashion, yet steale patches from euerie one of them, to peece out our pride; and are now laughing-stocks to them, because their cut so scurvily be. comes us." Steevens.
all slops ;] Slops are large loose breeches, or trowsers, worn only by sailors at present. They are mentioned by Jonson, in his Alchymist:
-six great slops
Bigger than three Dutch hoys." Again, in Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
three pounds in gold “ These slops contain.” Steevens. Hence evidently the term slop-seller, for the venders of ready made clothes. Nichols.
5 — a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet:] There can be no doubt but we should read, all doublet, which corresponds with the actual dress of the old Spaniards. As the passage now stands, it is a negative description, which is in truth no description at all. M. Mason.
- no doublet:) or, in other words, all cloak. The words “Or in the shape of two countries,” &c. to “no doublet,” were omitted in the folio, probably to avoid giving any offence to the Spaniards, with whom James became a friend in 1604. Malonc.
- have it appear he is.] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio, 1623, reads—“ have it to appear, &c. Steevens.
and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.) So, in A wonderful, strange, and miraculous astrological Prognostication for this Year of our Lord 1591; written by Nashe, in ridicule of Richard Harvey: “— - they may sell their haire by the pound, to stuffe tennice balles.” Steevens. Again, in Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
Thy beard shall serve to stuff those balls by which I get me heat at tenice." Again, in The Gentle Craft, 1600:
“ He'll shave it off, and stuffe tenice balls with it.” Henderson.
Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
D. Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: Can you smell him out by that?
Claud. That's as much as to say, The sweet youth's in love.
D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy. Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face?
D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.
Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops.
D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him : Conclude, conclude, he is in love.
Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.
D. Pedro. That would I know too; I warrant, one that knows him not.
Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.
D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards.
-crept into a lutestring,] Love-songs in our author's time were generally sung to the musick of the lute. So, in K. Henry IV, P. I: “ - as melancholy as an old lion, or a lover's lute."
Malone. 9 She shall be buried with her face upwards.] Thus the whole set of editions: but what is there any way particular in this ? Are not all men and women buried so ? Sure, the poet means, in opposition to the general rule, and by way of distinction, with her heels upwards, or face downwards. I have chosen the first reading, be. cause I find it the expression in vogue in our author's time.
Theobald. This emendation, which appears to me very specious, is rejected by Dr. Warburton. The meaning seems to be, that she who acted upon principles contrary to others, should be buried with the same contrariety. Johnson.
Mr. Theobald quite mistakes the scope of the poet, who prepares the reader to expect somewhat uncommon or extraordinary; and the humour consists in the disappointment of that expectation, as at the end of Iago's poetry in Othello:
“She was a wight, (if ever such wight were)
“To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.” Heath. Theobald's conjecture may, however, be supported by a pas. sage in The Wild Goose Chase of Beaumont and Fletcher:
love cannot starve me;
Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach-Old signior, walk aside with me; I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must not hear.
[Exeunt BENE. and LEON.
Dr. Johnson's explanation may likewise be countenanced by a passage in an old black-letter book, without date, intitled, A merye Fest of a man that was called Howleglas, &c. “ How Howleglas was buried.”—“Thus as Howleglas was deade, than they brought him to be buryed. And as they would have put the coffyn into the pytte with 11 cordes, the corde at the fete brake, so that the fote of the coffyn fell into the botome of the pyt, and the coffyn stood bolt upryght in the middes of the grave. Then desired the people that stode about the grave that tyme, to let the coffyn to stand bolt upryght. For in his lyfe tyme he was a very marvelous man, &c. and shall be buryed as marvailously; and in this maner they left Howleglas,” &c.
That this book was once popular, may be inferred from Ben Jonson's frequent allusions to it in his Poetaster:
“What do you laugh, Owleglas ?” Again, in The Fortunate Isles, a Masque:
- What do you think of Owlglas, “ Instead of him?" And again, in The Sad Shepherd. This history was originally written in Dutch. The hero is there called Uyle-spegel. Under this title he is likewise introduced by Ben Jonson in his Alchymist, and the Masque and Pastoral already quoted. Menage speaks of Ulespeizle as a man famous for tromperies ingenieuses ; adds that his Life was translated into French, and quotes the title-page of it. I have another copy published 4 Troyes, in 1714, the title of which differs from that set down by Menage.
The passage indeed, may mean only-She shall be buried in her lover's arms. So, in The Winter's Tale:
« Flo. What? like a corse?
“ But quick and in my arms."
This last is, I believe, the true interpretation. Our author often quotes Lilly's Grammar; and here perhaps he remembered a phrase that occurs in that book, p. 59, and is thus interpreted: _" Tu cubas supinus, thou liest in bed with thy face upwards.” Heels and face never could have been confounded by either the eye or the ear.
Besides; Don Pedro is evidently playing on the word dies in Claudio's speech, which Claudio uses metaphorically, and of which Don Pedro avails himself to introduce an allusion to that consummation which he supposes Beatrice was dying for.