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and trim ones too 27: he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it :- I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice : By this hand, I love thee. Beat. Use it for
than swearing by it. Bene. Think
soul the count Claudio hath wronged Hero?
Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul.
Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge him; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you: By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account: As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin; I must say, she is dead; and so, farewell.
SCENE II. A Prison.
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES!, and Sexton, in
gowns; and the Watch, with CONRADE and
Verg. Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibition to examine?.
27 Trim seems here to signify apt, fair spoken. Tongue used in the singular, and trim ones in the plural, is a mode of construction not uncommon in Shakspeare.
1 Throughout this scene the names of Kempe and Cowley, two celebrated actors of the time, are put for Dogberry and Verges in the old editions.
2 This is a blunder of the constables, for examination to ex. hibit. In the last scene of the third act Leonato says: "Take their examination yourself and bring it me.'
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined ?. let them come before master constable.
Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me.What is your name, friend?
Dogb. Pray write down-Borachio. sirrah?
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
Dogb. Write down—master gentleman Conrade.
Dogb. Write down—that they hope they serve God:—and write God first; for God defend but God should go before such villains !-Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves; and it will go near to be thought so shortly. How answer you for yourselves.
Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none.
Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; but I will go about with him.—Come you hither, sirrah; a word in your ear, sir; I say to you, it is thought you are false knaves.
Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.
Dogb. Well, stand aside.—'Fore God, they are both in a tale: Have you writ down—that they are none ? Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way
to examine; you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.
Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest 3 way :-Let the watch come forth :-Masters, I charge you, in the prince's name, accuse these men.
1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain.
3 i. e. the quickest way.
Dogb. Write down-prince John a villain Why this is flat perjury, to call: a prince's brother -villain. Bora. Master constable,
Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like thy look, I promise thee. Sexton. What heard
else? 2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.
Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
1 Watch. And that count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her.
Dogb. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.
Sexton. What else ? 2 Watch. This is all.
Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away; Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner refused, and upon the grief of this suddenly died.-Master constable, let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato's; I will go before, and show him their examination. [Exit.
Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned.
life! Where's the sexton ? let
4 In the old copy this passage stands thus: Sexton. Let them be in the hands of Coxcomb.' Mr. Steevens proposed to read, * Let them be in band. That the speech should be thus divided and given to Verges and Conrad is evident. I believe it was so arranged at the suggestion of Mr. Tyrwhitt.
him write down—the prince's officer, coxcomb.Come, bind them : -Thou naughty varlet !
Con. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass.
Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years ?-0 that he were here to write me down-an ass !—but, masters, remember, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget that I am an ass :-No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a householder: and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina; and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses; and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him :- Bring him away.
0, that I had been writ down--an ass.
SCENE I. Before Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO. Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief Against yourself. Leon.
pray thee, cease thy counsel, Which falls into mine ears as profitless As water in a sieve: give not me counsel; Nor let no comforter delight mine ear, But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine. Bring me a father, that so lov’d his child, Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine, And bid him speak of patience; Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain ;
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ.
1 The folio reads, 'And sorrow, wagge, cry hem,' &c. The emendation and arrangement of this line is by Dr. Johnson, who thus explains the passage. “If he will smile, and cry sorrow be gone ! and hem instead of groaning: Steevens proposed to read, • And, sorry wag, cry hem,' &c. which is very plausible, but he abandoned his own reading in favour of Johnson's.
? Candle wusters. A contemptuous term for book-worms or hard students, used by Ben Jonson in Cynthia's Revels, and others. The meaning here appears to be - If such a one will patch (i. e, mend or remedy) grief with proverbs,—make misfortune drunk (i. e. insensible) with the productions of the lamp,' &c.
3 That is, 'than admonition, than moral instruction.'