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Hero. Why then your visor should be thatch d.
plain, the poet alludes to the story of Baucis and Pbilemon frong OvID: And this old couple, as the Roman poet defcribes it, liy'd in a thatch'd cottage ;
Stipulis & canna testa paluftri. But why, within ibe bouse is Love? Baucis and Fbilemon, 'tis true, had liv'd to old age together, and a comfortable state of agreement. But piety and hofpitality are the top parts of their character. Our poet unquestionably goes a little deeper into the story. Tho' this old pair liv'd in a cottage, this cottage receiv'd two ftraggling Gods, (Jupiter and Mercury) under its roof. So Don Pedra is a prince; and tho' his visor is but ordinary, he would infinuate to H ro, that he has something god-like within ; alluding either to his dignity, or the qualities of his person and mind. By these circumstances, I am sure the thought is mended; as, I think verily, the text is too by the change of a single letter.
-uitbin tbe bouse is Jove. I made this correction in my SH A XESPEAR I restor’d; and Mr. Pape has vouchfaf'd to adopt it, in his last edition. Nor is this emendation a little confirm'd by another passage in our author, in which he plainly alludes to the same story. As you like it. Clown. I am bere with thee and thy Goals, as the most capricious
poet, bon ft. Ovid, was amongst the Goths. Jaq. O knowledge ill inhabited, worse than sove in a thatch'd House. I am naturally drawn here to correct a passage in Besumont and Fletcber's Two Noble Kinsmen, where a fault of the like kind has obtain'd in all the copies.
here love himself fits smiling;
A thining constellation; All my readers, who'are acquainted with the poetical history here alluded to, will concur with me in the certainty of the following emengation :
Jat such another wanton Ganymede
Set Jove a-fire with, (6) Balth. Well; I would, you did like me.] This and the two fol. lowing little speeches, which I have placed to Balthazar, are in all the printed copies given to Benedick. But, 'tis clear, the dialogue here ought to be betwixt Balthazar and Margaret : Benedick a little lower wnverses with Beatrick: and so every man talks with his Wudan once round.
Marg. So would not I for your own sake, for I have many ill qualities.
Balth. Which is one?
Balth. I love you the better, the hearers may cry Amen.
Marg, God match me with a good dancer!
Marg. And God keep him out of my fight when the dance is done! Answer, clerk.
Balth. No more words, the clerk is answer'd.
Urs. You cou'd never do him fo ill-well, unless you were the very man; here's his dry hand up and down; you are he, you are he.
Ant. At a word, I am not.
Urf. Come, come, do you think, I do not know you by your excellent wit? can virtue hide itself? go to, mum, you are he : graces will appear, and there's an cnd.
Beat. Will you not tell me, who told you
are ? Bene. Not now.
Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good Wit out of the Hundred merry Tales ; well, this was Signior Benedick that said fo.
Bene. What's he?
Beat. Why, he is the Prince's jefter ; a very dull fool, only his gift is in devising imposible flanders': none but libertines delight in him, and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany;, for he both pleaseth men and angers them, and then they laugh at him, and
beat him ; I am sure, he is in the fleet ; I would, he had boarded me.
Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say
Beat. Do, do, he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not mark'd, or not laugh'd at, strikes him into melancholy, and then there's a partridge wing fav’d, for the fool will eat no fupper that night. We must follow the leaders.
[Mufick within. Bene. In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.
[Exeunt. Manent John, Borachio, and Claudio. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it: the ladies follow her, and but one vizor remains.
Bora. And that is Claudio; I know him by his Bearing.
Jobr. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamour'd on Hero ; I pray you dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth ; you may do the part of an honest man in it.
Claud. How know ye, he loves her?
Bora, So did I too, and he swore he would marry her to-night. John. Come, let us to the banquet.
(Exeunt John and Bor. Claud. Thus answer I in the name of Benedick, But hear this ill news with the ears of Claudio. 'Tis certain so, the Prince wooes for himself. Friendship is constant in all other things, Save in the office and affairs of love; Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues, Let every eye negotiate for itself, And trust no agent; beauty is a witch, Against whose charms faith melteth into blood,
This is an accident of hourly proof,
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own bufiness, Count. What fashion will you wear the garland of? about your neck, like an Usurer's chain? or under your arm, like a Lieutenant's scarf? you must wear it one way, for the Prince hath got your Hero.
Claud. I wish him joy of her.
Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover ; fo they sell bullocks : but did you think, the Prince would have ferved you thus ?
Claud. I pray you, leave me.
Bene. Ho! now you strike like the blind man; 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the poft.
Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. [Exit.
Bene. Alas, poor burt fowl! now will he creep into fedges. But that my lady Beatrice should know me, and not know me! the Prince's fool! ha! it may be, I go under that Title, because I am merry; yea, but so I am apt to do myself wrong: I am not to reputed. It is the base (tho’ bitter) disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out; well, I'll be reveng'd as I may.
Enter Don Pedro.
I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a warren, I told him (and I think, told him true) that your Grace had got the Will of this young lady, and I offer'd him my company to a willow-tree, either to make him a garland, as being forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to be whipt.
Pedro. To be whipt! what's his fault?
Bene. The flat transgression of a school-boy; who, being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, shews it his companion, and he steals it.
Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust, a transgression ? the tranfgreflion is in the stealer.
Bene. Yet it had not been amiss, the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself, and the rod he might have bestow'd on you, who (as I take it) have stol’n his bird's nest.
Pedro. I will but teach them to fing, and restore them to the owner.
Bene. If their finging answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.
Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you; the gentleman, that danc'd with her, told her she is much wrong'd by you.
Bene. 0, she misus'd me past the indurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have answer'd her ; my very visor began to assume life, and fcold with her; she told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the Prince's jester, and that I was duller than a great thaw; (7) hudling jest upon jeft, with such impaffable conveyance upon me, that I stood like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me; the speaks Ponyards, and every word stabs; if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her, The would infect to the NorthStar; I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he tranfgrefs’d; The would have made Hercules have turn’d spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too, Come, talk not of her, you shall find her the infernal Até in good
(7) -budling jeft upon jef, with such impoffible conveyance upon ma] Thus all the printed copies; but I freely confess, I can't possibly understand the phrase. I have ventured to substitute impassable. To make a Pafs (in Fencing,) is, to thrust, push : and by impafable, I presume, the poet meant, that the push'd her jests upon him with such Swiftness, that it was impossible for him to pass them off, to