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If speaking, why a vane blown with all winds :
Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
Hero. No: not to be so odd, and from all fashions, As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable: But who dare tell her so? If I should speak, She'd mock me into air; (), she would laugh me Out of myself, press me to death with wit 10. Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire, Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly: It were a better death than die with mocks; Which is as bad as die with tickling 11. Urs. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will
Urs. 0, do not do your cousin such a wrong.
Hero. He is the only man of Italy,
me, madam, Speaking my fancy; signior Benedick,
10 The allusion is to an ancient punishment inflicted on those who refused to plead to an indictment. If they continued silent, they were pressed to death by heavy weights laid on their stomach. This species of torture is now abolished.
11 This word is intended to be pronounced as a trisyllable, it was sometimes written tickeling. 12 Quick, ready
For shape, for bearing, argument 13, and valour,
Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.
Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. When are you married, madam ?
Hero. Why, every day;-to-morrow: Come, goin; I'll show thee some attires; and have thy counsel, Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. Urs. She's lim’d 14 I warrant you; we have caught
her, madam. Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps: Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
[Exeunt HERO and URSULA.
BEATRICE advances. Beat. What fire is in mine ears 15? Can this be
true ? Stand I condemn’d for pride and scorn so much? Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu !
No glory lives behind the back of such. And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee;
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand 16; 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.
13 Conversation. 14 i. e. ensnared and entangled, as a sparrow with bird lime.
Alluding to the proverbial saying, which is as old as Pliny's time: “That when our ears do glow and tingle, some there be that in our absence do talke of us.' Holland's Translation, B. xxxiii. p. 297.
16 This image is taken from Falconry. She has 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.
SCENE II. 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 I go 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 bowstring, and the little hangman' dare not shoot at him: he hath a heart as sound as 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?.
1 Dr. Farmer has illustrated this term by citing a passage from Sidney's Arcadia, B. II. C. xiv.; but it seems probable that no more is meant by hangman than executioner, slayer of hearts. 2 A covert allusion to the old proverb:
As the fool thinketh
The bell clinketh.'
O this sounds mangily,
D. Pedro. Draw it.
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
D. Pedro. What, sigh for 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 4 in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once 5; as, a German from the waist downward, all slops 6; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet: Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it
he is. 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
4 A play upon the word fancy, which Shakspeare uses for love, as well as for humour, caprice, or affectation.
5 So, in The Seven deadly Sinnes of London, by Decker, 1606, • For an Englishman's sute is like a traitor's body that hath beene hanged, drawne, and quartered, and is set up in several places : his codpiece, in Denmarke; the collar of his dublet and the belly, in France; the wing and narrow sleeve, in Italy; the short waste hangs over a botcher's stall in Utrich; his huge sloppes speaks Spanish; Polonia gives him the bootes, &c.—and thus we mocke everie nation for keeping one fashion, yet steale patches from everie of them to piece out our pride; and are now laughing-stocks to them, because their cut so scurvily becomes us.'
Large loose breeches or trowsers. Hence a slop-seller for one who furnishes seamen, &c. with clothes.
with him; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.
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 8.
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 BENEDICK and LEONATO. ? Love-songs, in Shakspeare's time, were sung to the lute. So, in Henry VI. Part 1.
* As melancholy as an old lion or a lover's late.'
• Flo. What ? like a corse?
Not like a corse:-or if,—not to be buried,