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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 counterpoife this rich and precious gift?
There, Leonato, take her back again;
Leon. What do you mean, my Lord?
Not to knit my foul to an approved Wanton.
Claud. I know what you would fay. If I have
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 obferve 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,
I never tempted her with word too large ;
Hero. And feem'd I ever otherwise to you?
As chafte as is the budere it be blown :
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Hero. Is my Lord well, that he doth speak fo wide?
I ftand difhonour'd, that have gone about
Leon. Are these 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;
Leon. All this is fo; but what of this, my lord? Claud. Let me but move one queflion to your daughter,
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
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 just reproach?
Claud. Marry, that can Hero;
Hero herfelf can blot out Hero's virtue.
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight
Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my Lord. Pedro. Why, then you are no maiden. I am forry, you must hear; upon mine Honour, Myfelf, my Brother, and this grieved Count Did fee her, hear her, at that hour laft night, Talk with a ruffian at her chamber window; Who hath, indeed, moft like a liberal villain 3, Confefs'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in fecret.
liberal villain,] Liberal here, as in many places of thefe plays, means, frank beyond bonefty or decency. Free of tongue. Dr. Warburton unneceffarily reads
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 *,
4 I am afraid here is intended a poor conceit upon the word Hero.
And never fhall it more be gracious.
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? Beat. Why, how now, Coufin, wherefore fink you down?
John. Come, let us go; thefe things, come thus to light, Smother her fpirits up.
[Exeunt D. Pedro, D. John and Claud.
Bene. How doth the lady?
Hero! why, Hero! uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!
Beat. How now, coufin Hero?
Friar. Yea, wherefore should she not?
Cry fhame upon her? could the here deny
5 The fory that is printed in ber blood?] That is, the ftory which her blushes difcover to be true.
6 -Griev'd I, I had but one ?
Chid I for That at frugal nature's FRAME?
I've one too much by thee. -] The meaning of the fecond line, according to the prefent reading, is this, Chid I at frugal nature that
I've one too much by thee. Why had I one?
that fhe 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 fo because fhe chofe to fend 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 usual 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 most proper to exhibit the poet's fentiment, yet it may as well be used to fhew that he had one child, and no more, as that he had a girl,not a boy; and
as it may easily fignify the fiflem
AND mine I prais'd,
on,] The fenfe requires