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Give me this maid your daughter?

Leon. As freely, fon, as God did give her me. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whofe


May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again,
Claud. Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankful-
nefs :

There, Leonato, take her back again;

Give not this rotten orange to your friend.
She's but the fign and semblance of her honour:
Behold, how like a maid fhe blushes here!
O, 'what authority and fhew of truth
Can cunning fin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witness fimple virtue? would you not swear,
All you that fee her, that fhe were a maid,
By these exterior fhews? but she is none:
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed;
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
Leon. What do you mean, my Lord?
Claud. Not to be marry'd,

Not to knit my foul to an approved Wanton.
Leon. Dear my Lord, if you in your own approof
Have vanquish'd the refiftance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity


Claud. I know what you would fay. If I have known her,

luxurious bed;] That is, lafcivious. Luxury is the confeffor's term for unlawful pleafures of the fex.

Dear my Lord, if you in your own Proof] I am furpriz'd, the Poetical Editors did not observe the Lameness of this Verfe. It evidently wants a Syllable in the laft Foot, which I have reftor'd by a Word, which, I pre

fume, the firfl Editors might hefitate at; tho' it is a very proper one, and a Word elsewhere used by our Author. Befides, in the Paffage under Examination, this Word comes in a'moft neceffarily, as Claudio had faid in the line immediately preceding;

Not knit my Soul to an approved Wanton.




You'll fay, fhe did embrace me as a husband,
And fo extenuate the forehand fin.

No, Leonato,

I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his fifter, fhew'd
Bafhful fincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And feem'd I ever otherwise to you?

Claud. Out on thy Seeming! I will write against it": You seem to me as Dian in her orb,

As chafte as is the budere it be blown :

But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals

That rage in favage fenfuality.

Hero. Is my Lord well, that he doth speak fo wide?
Leon. Sweet Prince, why fpeak not you ?
Pedro. What should I fpeak?

I ftand difhonour'd, that have gone about

To link my dear friend to a common Stale.

Leon. Are thefe things fpoken, or do I but dream;
John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
Bene. This looks not like a Nuptial.

Hero. True! O God!

Claud. Leonato, ftand I here?

Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince's Brother?

Is this face Hero's? are our eyes our own;

Leen. All this is fo; but what of this, my lord?
Claud. Let me but move one queflion to your

And, by that fatherly and kindly power


That you have in her, bid her answer truly.

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Leon. I charge thee do fo, as thou art my child. Hero. O God defend me, how am I befet! What kind of catechizing call you this?

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name. Hero. Is it not Hero? who can blot that name With any juft reproach?

Claud. Marry, that can Hero;

Hero herself can blot out Hero's virtue...
What man was he talk'd with you yefternight
Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
Now, if you are a maid, anfwer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my Lord. Pedro. Why, then you are no maiden. Leonato, I am forry, you must hear; upon mine Honour, Myfelf, my Brother, and this grieved Count Did fee her, hear her, at that hour last night, Talk with a ruffian at her chamber window; Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal villain 3, Confefs'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in fecret.

John. Fie, fie, they are not to be nam'd, my Lord. Not to be spoken of;

There is not chastity enough in language,

Without offence, to utter them: thus, pretty lady, I am forry for thy much mifgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadft thou been *, If half thy outward graces had been plac'd About the thoughts and counfels of thy heart? But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewel, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eyelids fhall Conjecture hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm;


liberal villain,] Liberal here, as in many places of these plays, means, frank beyond bonefty or decency. Free of tongue. Dr. Warburton unneceffarily reads


4 I am afraid here is intended a poor conceit upon the word Hero.


And never shall it more be gracious.
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?
Beat. Why, how now, Coufin, wherefore fink



John. Come, let us go; these things, come thus to light,

Smother her spirits up.

[Exeunt D. Pedro, D. John and Claud.

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Bene. How doth the lady?

Beat. Dead, I think; help, uncle.

Hero! why, Hero! uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar! Leon. O fate! take not away thy heavy hand; Death is the fairest cover for her fhame,

That may be wifh'd for.

Beat. How now, coufin Hero?

Friar. Have comfort, Lady.

Leon. Doft thou look up?

Friar. Yea, wherefore should she not?

Leon. Wherefore? why, doth not every earthly thing

Cry fhame upon her? could the here deny
The story that is printed in her bloods?
Do not live, Hero, do not ope,thine eyes:
For did I think, thou wouldst not quickly die,

Thought I, thy fpirits were stronger than thy fhames,
Myself would on the rereward of reproaches
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one?
Chid 1 for That at frugal nature's frame ́?

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I've one too much by thee. Why had I one?
Why ever waft thou lovely in my eyes?
Why had I not, with charitable hand,
Took up a beggar's iffue at my gates?
Who fmeered thus, and mir'd with infamy,
I might have faid, no part of it is mine;
This fhame derives itself from unknown loins.
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd,
And mine that I was proud on ', mine fo much,
That I myself was to myfelf not mine,
Valuing of her; why, fhe,

O, fhe is fall'n
Into a pit of ink, that the wide fea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again;

that she fent me a girl and not a boy? But this is not what he chid nature for; if he himself may be believed, it was because fhe had given him but one: and in that he owns he did foolishly, for he now finds he had one too much. He called her frugal, therefore, in giving him but one child (for to call her so because fhe chose to send a girl, rather than a boy, would be ridiculous). So that we must certainly read,

Chid I for this at frugal nature's 'FRAINE, i, e. refraine, or keeping back her further favours, Stopping her hand, as we fay, when She had given him one. But the Oxford Editor has, in his ufual way, improved this amendment, by fubftituting band for 'fraine.

WARBURTON. Though frame be not the word which appears to a reader of the prefent time moft proper to exhibit the poet's fentiment, yet it may as well be ufed to fhew that he had one child, and no more, as that he had a girl,not a boy; and

as it may eafily fignify the fiflem
of things, or univerfal Scheme,
the whole order of beings is
comprehended, there arifes no
difficulty from it which requires
to be removed by fo violent an
effort as the introduction of a
new word offenfively mutilated.
1 But mine, AND mine I lov'd,

AND mine I prais'd,
AND mine that I was proud

on,- ] The fenfe requires that we should read As, in these three places. The reafoning of the fpeaker ftands thus, - Had this been my adopted child, this shame would not have rebounded on me. But this child was mine; As mine, I loved her, praised her, was proud of her: confequently, as I claimed the glory, I must needs be fubjected to the shame, &c.


Even of this fmall alteration there is no need. The fpeaker utters his emotion abruptly. But mine, and mine that I loved, &c. by an ellipfis frequent, perhaps too frequent, both in verfe and profe.

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