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punishment: And also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it;' and borrows money in God's name: the which he hath used 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.
9- he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it;] There could not be a pleasanter ridicule on the fashion, than the constable's descant on his own blunder. They heard the conspirators satirize the fashion; whom they took to be a man surnamed Deformed. This the constable applies with exquisite humour to the courtiers, in a description of one of the most fantastical fashions of that time, the men's wearing rings in their ears, and indulging a favourite lock of hair which was brought before, and tied with ribbons, and called a love-lock. Against this fashion William Prynne wrote his treatise, called, The Unlovelyness of Love-Locks. To this fantastick mode Fletcher alludes in his Cipid's Revenge: “This morning I brought him a new perriwig with a lock at it-And yonder 's a fellow come has bored a hole in his ear.” And again, in his W man Hater: “ - If I could endure an ear with a hole in it, or a platted lock,” &c. Warburton.
Dr. Warburton, I believe, has here (as he frequently does) refined a little too much. There is no allusion, I conceive, to the fashion of wearing rings in the ears, a fashion which our author himself followed. The pleasantry seems to consist in Dogberry's supposing that the lock which DEFORMED wore, must have a key to it.
Fynes Moryson in a very particular account that he has given of the dress of Lord Montjoy, (the rival, and afterwards the friend of Robert, Earl of Essex) says, that his hair was “thinne on the head, where he wore it short, except a lock under his left eare, which he nourished the time of this warre, (the Irish War, in 1599] and being woven up, hid it in his neck under bis ruffe." ITINERARY, P. II, p. 45. When he was not on service, he probably wore it in a different fashion. The portrait of Sir Edward Sackville, Earl of Dorset, painted by Vandyck, (now at Knowle) exhibits this lock with a large knotted ribband at the end of it. It hangs under the ear on the left side, and reaches as low as where the star is now worn by the knights of the garter. The same fashion is alluded to in an epigram already quoted: “ Or what he doth with such a horse-tail-lock,” &c. Malone.
- and borrows money in God's name ;] i. e. is a common beggar. This alludes, with too much levity, to the 17th .verse of the sixth chapter of Proverbs : “ He that giveth to the poor, lendeth unto the Lord.” Stecoens.
Leon. There 's for thy pains.
[Exeunt Dogb. VERG. and Watch.
To-night I 'll mourn with Hero.
[Exeunt D. PEDRO and Claud. Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk with
LEONATO's Garden, Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting. Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?
Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most coinely truth, thou deservest it.
2 God save the foundation!] Such was the customary phrase employed by those who received alms at the gates of religious houses. Dogberry, however, in the present instance, might have designed to say—“God save the founder .!” Steevens.
- lewd fellow.) Lewd, in this, and several other instances, has not its common meaning, but merely signifies-idle. So, in King Richard III, Act I, sc. iii: “But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.”
Marg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs ? 4
Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.
Marg. And your's as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice: I give thee the bucklers.5
Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of our own.
4 To have no man come over me.? why, shall I always keep below stairs?]I suppose, every reader will find the meaning: Johnson.
Lesť he should not, the following instance from Sir Aston's Cockayne's Poems is at his service:
“ But to prove rather he was not beguild,
“Her he o'er-came, for he got her with child.” And another, more apposite, from Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1613:
“ Alas! when we are once o’the falling hand,
“ A man may easily come over us." Collins. Mr. Theobald, to procure an obvious sense, would read-above stairs. But there is danger in any attempt to reform a joke two hundred years old.
The sense, however, for which Mr. Theobald contends, may be restored by supposing the loss of a word; and that our author wrote—“Why, shall I always keep men below stairs ?" i. e. never suffer them to come up into my bed-chamber, for the purposes of love. Steevens.
I give thee the bucklers.] suppose that to give the bucklers is, to yield, or to lay by all thoughts of defence, so clypeum ab. jicere. The rest deserves no comment. Johnson.
Greene, in his Second Part of Coney-Catching, 1592, uses the same expression : “ At this his master laught, and was glad, for further advantage, to yield the bucklers to his prentise.”
Again, in A Woman never Vex’d, a comedy by Rowley, 1632: 6 — into whose hands she thrusts the weapons first, let him take up the bucklers." Again, in Decker's Satiromastix:
“Charge one of them to take up the bucklers against that hair. Again, in Chapman's May-day, 1611 :
“ And now I lay the bucklers at your feet.” Again, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609:
- if you lay down the bucklers, you lose the victory." Again, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, B. X, ch. xxi: " - it goeth against his stomach (the cock's) to yeeld the gantlet and give the bucklers:” Steevens.
Bene. 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, hath legs.
[Exit Marg. Bene. And therefore will come. The god of love,
[Singing That sits above, And knows me, and knows me,
How pitiful I deserveI mean, in singing; but in loving - Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turn’d over and over as my poor self, in love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhime; I have try'd; I can find out no rhime to lady but baby, an innocent rhime: for scorn, horn, a hard rhime; for school, fool, a babbling rhime; very ominous endings: No, I was not born under a rhiming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.
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, 8 which is,
6 The god of love, &c.] This was the beginning of an old song, by W.E. (William Elderton) a puritanical parody of which, by one W. Birch, under the title of The Complaint of a Sinner, &c. Imprinted at London, by Alexander Lacy for Richard Applow, is still
The words in this moralised copy are as follows:
“ How sinful that we be.” Ritson. In Bacchus' Bountie, &c. 4to. bl. 1. 1593, is a song, beginning
“ The Gods of love
in festival terms.] i. e. in splendid phraseology, such as differs from common language, as holidays from common days. Thus, Hotspur, in K. Henry IV, P. I: “ With many holiday and lady terms."
Steevens. 8 — with that I came for,] For, which is wanting in the old copy, was inserted by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
with knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.
Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.
Eeat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkiss'd.
Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit: But, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge;o and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
Beat. For them all together; which maintain'd 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 first suffer love for me?
Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will. Beat. In spite of your heart, I think; alas! poor
heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.
Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty, that will praise himself.
Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time of good neighbours:? if a man do not erect in this
age his own tomb ere he dies, he shail live no longer monument, than the bell rings, and the widow weeps. Bene: And how long is that, think you?
Bene. Question ?-Why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is most expedient for
- undergoes my challenge;] i. e. is subject to it. So, in Cymbeline, Act III, sc. v: undergo those employments, wherein I should have cause to use thee."
Steevens. - in the time of good neighbours :) i. e. when men were not envious, but every one gave another his due. The reply is extremely humorous. Warburton.
2 Question ?-Why, an hour, &c.] i. e. What a question 's there, or what a foolish question do you ask? But the Oxford editor, not understanding this phrase, contracted into a single word, (of which we have many instances in English) has fairly struck it out.
Warburton. The phrase occurs frequently in Shakspeare, and means no more than--you ask a question, or that is the question. Ritson.