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SCE N E, before Leonato's House.

Enter Leonato and Antonio.


F you go on thus, you will kill yourself;
And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief
Against your self.
Leon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
Which falls into mine ears as profitless
As water in a fieve ; give not me counsel,
Nor let no Comforter delight mine ear,
But such a one whose wrongs do suite with mine.
Bring me a father, that so lov'd his child,
Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
And bid him fpeak of patience ;
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain :
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, shape and form.
If such a one will smile and stroke his beard, (17)

(17) If such a One will smile, and broke his Beard,

And hallow, wag, cry hem, when he should groan,] Mr. Rowe is the first Authority that can find for this Reading. But what is the Intention, or how are we to expound it : " If a Man will halloo, and whoop, and fidget, and wriga

gle about, to fhew a Pleasure when He should groan, c. This does not give much Decorum to the Sentiment. The old Quarto, and the ift and ad Folio Edicions all read,

And sorrow, wagge, cry hem, &c. We don't, indeed, get much by this Reading; tho', I flatter my self, by a Night Alteration it has led me to the true one,

And Sorrow wage; cry, hem! when he should groan ; i. e. If such a One will combat with, ftrive against Sorrow, dc. Nor is this Word infrequent with our Author in these Signi, fcations,


And Sorrow wage; cry, hem! when he should groan ;
Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune drunk
With candle-wafters; bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.
But there is no such man ; for, brother, men
Can counsel, and give comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel ; but tafting it,
'Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage;
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread;
Charm ach with air, and agony with words.
No, no ; 'tis all mens office to speak patience
To those, that wring under the load of sorrow ;
But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency,
To be so moral, when he shall endure
The like himself; therefore give me no counsel ;
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.

Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ..

Leon. I pray thee, peace ; I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philosopher, That could endure the tooth-ach patiently; However they have writ the style of Gods, And made a pish at chance and sufferance.

Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon your felf: Make those, that do offend you, suffer too.

Leon. There thou speak’st reason ; nay, I will do so. My soul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd ; And that shall Claudio know, so thall the Prince ; And all of them, that thus dishonour her.

Enter Don Pedro, and Claudio. Ant. Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily, Pedro. Good den, good den. Claud. Good day to both of you. Leon. Hear you, my lords ? Pedro. We have some hafte, Leonato. Leon. Some hafte, my lord ! well, fare you well, my

lord. Are you so hafty now? well, all is one. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.


Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling,
Some of us would lye low.
Claud. Who wrongs

him? Leon. Marry, thou doft wrong me, thou diffembler,

thou !
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword,
I fear thee not.

Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand,
If it should give your age such cause of fear ;
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.

Leon. Tush, tush, man, never feer and jeft at me;
I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool ;
As, under privilege of age, to brag
What I have done being young, or what would do,
Were I not old: know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou hast so wrong'd my innocent child and me,
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by ;
And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days,
Do challenge thee to tryal of a man ;
I say, thoa haft bely'd mine innocent child,
Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart,
And she lyes bury'd with her ancestors,
O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Save this of hers, fram'd by thy villany!

Claud. My villany?
Leon. Thine, Claudio ; thine, I say.
Pedro. You say not right, old man.

Leon. My lord, my lord,
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare;
Despight his nice fence and his active practice,
His May of youth, and bloom of luftyhood.

Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you.
(18) Leon. Canst thou fo daffe me? thou hast killed

my child;

(18) Can't Thou so daffe me? -] This is a Country Word, Mr. Pope tells us, signifying, daunt. It may be so; but that is not the Exposition here: To daffe, and doffe are synonomous Terms, that mean, to put off: which is the very Sense requir'd here, and what Leonato would reply, upon Claudio's saying, He would have nothing to do with him.

If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.

Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed ;
But that's no matter, let him kill one first;
Win me and wear me, let him answer me;
Come, follow me, boy ; come, boy, follow me ;
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence ;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will,

Leon. Brother,
Ant. Content your felf; God knows, I lov'd my

And she is dead, flander'd to death by villains,
That dare as well answer a man, indeed,
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.
Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milksops!

Leon. Brother Anthony
Ant. Hold you content; what, man? I know them,

And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple :
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mongring boys,
That lye, and cog, and flout, deprave and flander,
Go antickly, and show an outward hideousness,
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words, (19)
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durft ;
And this is all.

Leon. But, brother Anthony,

Ant. Come, 'tis no matter ;
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
Pedró. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your pa-

My heart is sorry for your daughter's death ;
But, on my Honour, she was charg’d with nothing
But what was true, and very full of proof.

Leon. My lord, my lord

(19) And Speak of half a dozen dangerous Words,] These Editors are Persons of unmatchable Indolence, that can't afford to add a single Letter to retrieve common Sense. To Speak off, as I have reform'd the Text, is to throw out boldly, with ah. oftentation of Bravery, &c. So in Twelfth-night; A terrible Oath, with a Swaggering Accent barply twang’d off:


Pedro. I will not hear you.
Leon. No! come, brother, away, I will be heard.
Ant. And shall, or some of us will smart for it.

[Exe, ambo.
Enter Benedick.
Pedro. See, see, here comes the man we went to seek.
Claud. Now, Signior, what news ?
Bene. Good day, my lord.

Pedro: Welcome, Signior ; you are almost come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapt off with two old men without teeth.

Pedro. Leonato and his brother; what think'st thou ? had we fought, I doubt, we should have been too young for them.

Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour : I came to seek


both. Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof melancholly, and would fain have it beaten

away: wilt thou use thy wit? Bene. It is in my scabbard ; shall I draw it? Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side ?

Claud. Never any did so, though very many have been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels ; draw, to pleasure us.

Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale : art thou fick or angry ?

Claud. What! courage, man: what tho' care kill'd a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.

Béne. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, if you charge it against me. - I pray you, chuse another subject.

Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this la t wa3 broke cross.

Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more : I think, he be angry, indeed.

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his gʻrdle.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear?
Claud. God bless me from a challenge!


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