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Beat. I am ftufft, coufin, I cannot smell. Marg. A maid, and ftufft! there's goodly catching of cold.
Beat. O, God help me, God help me, how long have you profeft apprehension?
Mar. Ever fince you left it; doth not my wit become me rarely?
Beat. It is not feen enough, you should wear it in your cap By my troth, I am fick.
Marg. Get you fome of this diftill'd Carduus Beneditus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.
Hero. There thou prick'ft her with a thiftle.
Beat. Benedi&tus? why Benedictus? you have' fome moral in this Benedictus.
Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning, I meant plain holy thiftle: you may think, perchance, that I think you are in love; nay, bi'rlady, I am not fuch a fool to think what I lift; nor I lift not to think what I can; nor, indeed, I cannot think, if I would think my heart out with thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be in love, or that you can be in love; yet Benedick was fuch another, and now is he become a man; he fwore, he would never marry; and yet now, in defpight of his heart, 2 he eats his meat without grudging; and how you may be converted, I know not; but, methinks, you look with your eyes as other women do.
Some moral.] That is, fome fecret meaning, like the moral of a fable.
2 He eats his meat without grudging ;] I do not fee how this is a proof of Benedick's change of mind. It would afford more proof-of amoroufnefs to fay, be eats not his meat without grudging but it is impoffible to fix
the meaning of proverbial expreflions: perhaps, to eat meat without grudging, was the fame as to do as others do, and the meaning is, he is content to live by eating like other mortals, and will be content, notwithstanding his boafts, like other mortals, to have a wife.
Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ?
Urf. Madam, withdraw; the Prince, the Count, Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the Gallants of the town, are come to fetch you to Church. Hero. Help to drefs me, good coz, good Meg, good Urfula.
Another Apartment in Leonato's Houfe.
Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges.
HAT would you with me, honeft neigh
Dogb. Marry, Sir, I would have fome confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.
Leon. Brief, I pray you; for you fee, 'tis a busy time with me.
Dogb. Marry, this it is, Sir.
Leon. What is it, my good friends?
Dogb. Goodman Verges, Sir, fpeaks a little of the matter: an old man, Sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as, God help, I would defire they were; but, in faith, as honeft as the skin between his brows.
Verg. Yes, I thank God, 'I am as honeft as any man living, that is an old man, and no honefter than I.
3 I am as honeft as any man living, that is an old man, and no honefter than 1.] There is much humour, and extreme good fenfe, under the covering of this blundering expreffion. It is a
fly infinuation that length of years, and the being much backnied in the ways of men, Shakespeare expreffes it, take off the giofs of virtue, and bring much defilement on the manners.
Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.
Dogb. It pleafes your worship to fay fo, but we are the poor Duke's officers; but, truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.
Leon. All thy tedioufnefs on me, ha?
Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more than 'tis, for I hear as good exclamation on your worship as of any man in the city; and tho' I be but a pcor man, I am glad to hear it.
Verg. And fo am I.
Leon. I wonld fain know what you have to fay. Verg. Marry, Sir, our Watch to night, excepting your Worship's prefence, hath ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Melfina.
Dogb. A good old man, Sir; he will be talking, as they fay; when the age is in, the wit is out; God help us, it is a world to fee-well faid, i'faith, neighbour Verges-well, he's a good man ; an two men ‘ride an horfe, one muft ride behind-an honeft foul, 'faith, Sir, by my troth he is, as ever broke bread, but God is to be worthipp'd; all men are not alike, alas, good neighbour !
Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of
Dogb. Gifts, that God gives.
For, as a great Wit fays,Youth is the feefon of Virtue; corruptions grow with years, and I believe the oldeft rogue in England is the greatest. WARBURTON.
Much of this is true, but I believe Shakespeare did not intend to bestow all this reflection on the speaker.
is not out of place, or without meaning. Dogberry, in his vanity of fuperiour parts, apologizing for his neighbour, obferves, that, of two men on a horse, one muft ride behind. The firft place of rank, or understanding, can belong but to one, and that happy one ought not to defpife
4 If two men ride, &c.] This his inferiour.
Dogb. One word, Sir; our Watch have, indeed, comprehended two aufpicious perfons; and we would have them this morning examin'd before your Worship.
Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great hafte, as may appear unto you.
Dogb. It fhall be fuffigance.
Leon. Drink fome wine ere you go: fare you well.
Enter a Messenger:
Me. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband.
Leon. I'll wait upon them. I am ready.
[Exeunt Leonato. Dogb. Go, good Partner, go get you to Francis Seacoale, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the jail; we are now to examine those men.
Verg. And we must do it wifely.
Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant, here's That [touching his forehead] fhall drive fome of them to a non-come. Only get the learned writer to fet down our excommunication, and meet me at the Jail. [Exeunt.
histrams us Gecige (pizza).
Enter D. Pedro, D. John, Leonato, Friar, Claudio, Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice.
O ME, friar Francis, be brief, only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards.
Friar. You come hither, my Lord, to marry this lady?
Leon. To be marry'd to her, Friar. You come to marry her.
Friar. Lady, you come hither to be marry'd to this Count.
Hero. I do.
Friar. If either of you know any inward impediment why you fhould not be conjoin'd, I charge you on your fouls to utter it.
Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Friar. Know you any, Count?
Leon. I dare make his answer, none.
Claud. O what men dare do! what men may do! what
Men daily do not knowing what they do!
Bene. How now! Interjections? why, then fome be of laughing, as, ha, ha, he!
Claud. Stand thee by, friar: father, by your leave, Will you with free and unconstrained foul
5 Some be of laughing.] This is a quotation from the Accidence.