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X"B E R K E L v^\ 




















1 88 i. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washingtoa 


THIS edition of Much Ado About Nothing, having been prepared on 
the same plan as its ten predecessors in the series, needs no lengthy 
preface. The text is mainly that of the quarto of 1600, which (see p, 
10) is generally to be preferred to that of the folio of 1623 where the 
two do not agree. For the readings of the quarto and the other early 
editions, I have depended in most cases on the collation in the " Cam- 
bridge " edition. 

In the Notes, as a rule, credit is given to the authorities followed. 
The apparent exceptions to the rule are only apparent. A good part 
of my material is prepared before consulting other editions (except a 
few of the standard ones) ; and when I come to examine these I often 
find, as might be expected, that some of my illustrations have already 
been used. 

References and quotations taken from other editions have been veri- 
fied whenever this was possible, and sundry typographical and other 
errors have thus been detected. I fear that my own work may not be 
wholly free from such slips, and I shall be very grateful to any reader 
who will help me to correct them. 

Cambridge, Oct. 15, 1878. 





I. THE HISTORY OF THE PLAY ........................... 9 

II. THE SOURCES OF THE PLOT ............. ............... 10 

III. CRITICAL COMMENTS ON THE PLAY ..................... 13 

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING ........................... 27 

ACT 1 ..................................................... 29 

" II ..................................................... 42 

"III ........................... .......................... 63 

" IV ..................................................... 81 

..................................................... 95 

NOTES ............. . ........ . ..... [";.'., ....................... 115 






THE first edition of Much Ado About Nothing was a quarto, 
published in 1600 with the following title-page: 

Much adoe about Nothing. | As it hath been sundrie times 
publikely \ acted by the right honourable, the Lord | Cham- 
berlaine his seruants. | Written by William Shakespeare. \ 
London | Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise, and [ William 
Aspley. | 1600. 

The earliest known reference to the play is in the Regis- 
ters of the Stationers' Company, among some miscellaneous 
memoranda at the beginning of Volume C.* The memo- 
randum follows one dated May 27th, 1600, and is thus given 
by Arber : 

* See our cd. of As You Like It, p. 10. 



As you like yt / a booke 
HENRY the FFIFT / a booke 

to be staiecl. 

Euery man in his humour / a booke 
The commedie of * muche a Doo about nothing' 1 
a booke / 

The year is not given, but there can be little doubt that it 
was 1600. 

In the same volume, among the regular entries of the year 
1600, we find the following : 

23 gugustf 

Andrew Wyse Entred for their copies vnder the handes of the wardens Two 

William Aspley bookes. the one called Muche a Doo about nothinge. Tb/e] other 

the second parte of the history of kinge HENRY the IIIJ th ivith 

the humours of Sir JOHN FFA LLSTA FF : Wrytten by master 


This, by the way, is the first occurrence of the poet's name 
in these Registers. 

The quarto of 1600 was, on the whole, well printed ; and 
no other edition of the play is known to have been issued 
previous to the publication of the Folio of 1623. The 
printers of the latter appear to have used a copy of the 
quarto belonging to the library of the theatre and corrected 
for the purposes of the stage ; but the changes are for the 
most part very slight and seldom for the better, as will be 
seen by our Notes below. 

As the play is not mentioned in Meres's list of 1598 (see 
our ed. of A. Y. L. p. io), while it had been " sundrie times " 
acted before its publication in August, 1600, it was probably 
written in 1599. 


The earlier incidents of the serious portion of the plot may 
have been taken from the story of Ariodante and Ginevra in 
Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, canto v. ; where Polinesso, in or- 
der to revenge himself on the princess Ginevra (who has 
rejected his suit and pledged her troth to Ariodante) induces 


her attendant Dalinda to personate the princess and to ap- 
pear at night at a balcony to which he ascends by a rope- 
ladder in sight of Ariodante, whom he has stationed there to 
witness the infidelity of Ginevra. A translation of this story 
by Peter Beverley was entered on the Stationers' Registers 
in 1565-6, and was doubtless printed soon afterwards ; and 
in 1582-3 "A History of Ariodante and Geneuora" was 
" shewed before her Ma tie on Shrovetuesdaie at night, enact- 
ed by Mr. Mulcasters children." According to Sir John 
Harrington, the same story had been "written in English 
verse" by George Turbervile, before the publication of his 
own translation of the Orlando in 1591. Spenser had also 
introduced the tale, with some variations, in the Faerie 
Queene (ii. 4. 17 fol.), and this part of the poem was pub- 
lished in 1590. 

It is more probable, however, that the source from which 
Shakespeare drew this part of his materials was the 22d 
Novel of Bandello, which had been translated into French 
by Belleforest in his Histoires Tragiques {see our ed. of Ham- 
let, p. 13), and probably also rendered into English, though 
the version has not come down to our day. In Bandello's 
story, as in the play, the scene is laid at Messina; the father 
of the slandered maiden is Lionato ; and the friend of her 
lover is Don Piero, or Pedro. How closely the poet has 
followed the novel will be seen from the outline of the latter 
given by Staunton : " Don Piero of Arragon returns from a 
victorious campaign, and, with the gallant cavalier Timbreo 
cli Cardona, is at Messina. Timbreo falls in love with Feni- 
cia, the daughter of Lionato di Lionati, a gentleman of Mes- 
sina, and, like Claudio in the play, courts her by proxy. He 
is successful in his suit, and the lovers are betrothed ; but 
the course of true love is impeded by one Girondo, a disap- 
pointed admirer of the lady, who determines to prevent the 
marriage. In pursuance of this object, he insinuates to 
Timbreo that Fenicia is false, and offers to show him a 


stranger scaling her chamber window. The unhappy lover 
consents to watch ; and at the appointed hour Girondo and 
a servant in the plot pass him disguised, and the latter is 
seen to ascend a ladder and enter the house of Lionato. In 
an agony of rage and jealousy, Timbreo in the morning ac- 
cuses the lady of disloyalty, and rejects the alliance. Fenicia 
falls into a swoon ; a dangerous illness supervenes; and the 
father, to stifle all rumours hurtful to her fame, removes her 
to a retired house of his brother, proclaims her death, and 
solemnly performs her funeral obsequies. Girondo is now 
struck with remorse at having ' slandered to death ' a creat- 
ure so innocent and beautiful. He confesses his treachery 
to Timbreo, and both determine to restore the reputation 
of the lost one, and undergo any penance her family may 
impose. Lionato is merciful, and requires only from Timbreo 
that he shall wed a lady whom he recommends, and whose 
face shall be concealed till the marriage ceremony is over. 
The denouement is obvious. Timbreo espouses the mysteri- 
ous-fair one, and finds in her his injured, loving, and beloved 

The comic portion of the play is Shakespeare's own, as 
indeed is everything else in it "except this mere skeleton of 
tragic incident. Claudio and Hero, Don Pedro and Don 
John, are as really his own creations as Benedick and Bea- 
trice, Dogberry and Verges, who have no part in Bandello's 
novel or Ariosto's poem. As Knight remarks, " Ariosto 
made this story a tale of chivalry, Spenser a lesson of high 
and solemn morality, Bandello an interesting love-romance ; 
it was for Shakspere to surround the main incident with 
those accessories which lie could nowhere borrow, and to 
make of it such a comedy as no other man has made a 
comedy, not of manners or of sentiment, but of life viewed 
under its profoundest aspects, whether of the grave or the 



[From SchlegeVs "Dramatic Literature"*] 

The manner in which the innocent Hero before the altar 
at the moment of the wedding, and in the presence of her 
family and many witnesses, is put to shame by a most de- 
grading charge, false indeed, yet clothed with every appear- 
ance of truth, is a grand piece of theatrical effect in the true 
and justifiable sense. The impression would have been too 
tragical had not Shakspeare carefully softened it, in order to 
prepare for a fortunate catastrophe. The discovery of the 
plot against Hero has been already partly made, though not 
by the persons interested ; and the poet has contrived, by 
means of the blundering simplicity of a couple of constables 
and watchmen, to convert the arrest and the examination 
of the guilty individuals into scenes full of the most delight- 
ful amusement. There is also a second piece of theatrical 
effect not inferior to the first, where Claudio, now convinced 
of his error, and in obedience to the penance laid on his 
fault, thinking to give his hand to a relation of his injured 
bride, whom he supposes dead, discovers, on her unmasking, 
Hero herself. The extraordinary success of this play in 
Shakspeare's own day, and even since in England, is, how- 
ever, to be ascribed more particularly to the parts of Bene- 
dick and Beatrice, two humorous beings, who incessantly 
attack each other with all the resources of raillery. Avow- 
edly rebels to love, they are both entangled in its net by a 
merry plot of their friends to make them believe that each 
is the object of the secret passion of the other. Some one 
or other, not overstocked with penetration, has objected to 
the same artifice being twice used in entrapping them the 
drollery, however, lies in the very symmetry of the deception. 
Their friends attribute the whole effect to their own device, 

* Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, by A. W. Schlegel ; Black's 
translation, revised by Morrison (London, 1846), p. 386. 


but the exclusive direction of their raillery against each oth- 
er is in itself a proof of a growing inclination. Their witty 
vivacity does not even abandon them in the avowal of love ; 
and their behaviour only assumes a serious appearance for 
the purpose of defending the slandered Hero. This is ex- 
ceedingly well imagined; the lovers of jesting must fix a 
point beyond which they are not to indulge in their humour, 
if they would not be mistaken for buffoons by trade. 

[From Gervinus's " Shakespeare Commentaries"*] 
Banclello's tale did not afford the poet even a hint of any 
moral view of the story; it is a bald narrative, containing 
nothing which could assist in the understanding of the 
Shakespearian piece. In As You Like It he had to conceal 
the vast moralizing of the source from which he drew his 
material ; here, on the other hand, he had to strike the latent 
spark within the material. The story of Claudio and Hero 
was transferred by Shakespeare from the shallow novel into 
life;, he dived into the nature of the incidents; he investi- 
gated the probable character of the beings among whom it 
was imaginable ; he found the key-note by means of which 
he could bring the whole into harmony. The subject ex- 
panded in his hands ; the main action received an explana- 
tory prelude; the principal characters (Hero and Claudio) 
obtained an important counterpart in the connection between 
Benedick and Beatrice, which is entirely Shakespeare's prop- 
erty ; these characters gained an importance even beyond 
the principal ones ; the plot, as is ever the case with our 
poet, and as Coleridgef has especially pointed out in this 

* Shakespeare Commentaries, by Dr. G. G. Gervinus, translated by F. 
E. Bunnett ; revised ed. (London, 1875), P- 46 fol. A few slight verbal 
changes have been made by the editor. 

t Coleridge remarks : " The interest in the plot is always on account 
of the characters, not vice versa, as in almost all other writers ; the plot 
is a mere canvas and no more. Hence arises the true justification of the 


play, gave place to the characterization ; the question seems 
almost what manner of men made the much ado about noth- 
ing, rather than the nothing about which ado was made. The 
whole stress seems to lie, not in the plot, not in the outward 
interest of the catastrophe, but in the moral significance 
which the disturbance caused by Don John exercises upon 
the two engagements which are concluded and prepared, 
and again dissolved and left unconfirmed, or rather upon 
the beings who have entered into these engagements. . . . 

The poet has with extraordinary skill so arranged and 
introduced the tragic incident that the painful impression 
which is perhaps too sensible in the reading is lost in the 
acting. He omitted upon the stage the scene of Claudio's 
agitation on overhearing Hero, in order that he might thus 
avoid the gloom, and not weaken the comic scene in which 
a trap is laid for the listening Beatrice. The burlesque 
scenes of the constables are introduced with the impending 
tragic events, that they may afford a counterbalance to them 
and prevent them from having too lively an effect on the 
spectator. But, above all, we are already aware that the 
authors of th deception are in custody before Hero's dis- 
grace in the church takes place ; we know, therefore, that all 
the ado about her crime and death is for nothing. This tact 
of the poet in the construction of his comedy corresponds 
with that in the design of Claudio's character, and in the 
unusually happy contrast which he has presented to him 
in Benedick. Shakespeare has so blended the elements in 

same stratagem being used in regard to Benedick and Beatrice the van- 
ity in each being alike. Take away from Much Ado About Nothing all 
that which is not indispensable to the plot, . . . take away Benedick, 
Beatrice, Dogberry, and the reaction of the former on the character of 
I lero, and what will remain ? In other writers the main agent of the 
plot is always the prominent character ; in Shakspeare it is so, or is not 
so, as the character is in itself calculated, or not calculated, to form the 
plot. Don John is the mainspring of the plot of this play ; but he is 
niere'y shown and then withdrawn." 


Claudio's nature, he has given such a good foundation of 
honour and self-reliance to his unstable mind and fickle 
youth, that we cannot, with all our disapprobation of his 
conduct, be doubtful as to his character. Changeable as 
he is, he continues stable in no choice of friends and loved 
ones, since he had never continuously tested them ; at the 
slightest convulsion of events he is overpowered by first im- 
pressions, and he is without the strength of will to search to 
the bottom of things. This would be an odious and despica- 
ble character, if the changeableness were not tempered by 
the sensitiveness of a tender feeling of honour. Our interest 
in Claudio is secured by this blending of the moral elements 
in his nature ; but the foundation for a comic character does 
not appear to lie either in him or in the whole action in 
which he is implicated. If we separate it from the rest, we 
shall retain a painful and not a cheerful impression. The 
poet has thus added the connection between Benedick and 
Beatrice, in order to produce a merry counterbalance to the 
more serious and primary element of the play, and to make 
the former predominate. The same self-love and the same 
spoiling by prosperity fall to the lot of these two characters 
as to that of Claudio ; but, instead of his changeableness, 
we see in them only what, with a fine distinction, we should 
(with Benedick) call giddiness. We connect the idea of 
changeableness with a continual wavering after resolutions 
taken ; that of giddiness with unstable opinions and inclina- 
tions before the same : changeableness manifests itself in 
actions, it is productive of pernicious consequences, and for 
this reason causes contempt and hatred; giddiness manifests 
itself only in contrary processes of the mind, which are by 
nature harmless, and this is the reason why it offers excel- 
lent material for comedy. Few characters, therefore, on the 
stage have such truly comic character as Benedick and Bea- 
trice, and they have not lost their popularity in England even 
to the present day. Shakespeare's contemporary, Leonard 

IN TROD UCT10N. 1 7 

Digges, speaks of them together with Falstaff and Malvolio 
as the favourites of the public of that day ; as characters 
which filled pit, gallery, and boxes in a moment, while Ben 
Jonson's comedies frequently did not pay for fire and door- 
keeper. . . . 

It would have been difficult for Benedick and Beatrice in 
the midst of their hostile raillery to come to a serious ex- 
planation ; the concluding scene itself proves this, after 
events have led to this explanation. This is brought about 
by the heartless scene which Claudio prepares for Hero in 
the church. The better nature of Beatrice bursts forth to 
light amid this base ill-treatment. Her true love for Hero, 
her deep conviction of her innocence, her anger at the de- 
liberate malice of her public dishonour, stir up her whole 
soul and make it a perfect contrast to what we have seen in 
her hitherto. . . . Sorrow for Hero and for the honour of her 
house makes Beatrice gentle, tender, and weakened into 
tears; this "happy hour' 7 facilitates to both their serious 
confession. But at the same time this hour of misfortune 
tests these beings, accustomed as they are only to jest and 
raillery, by a heavy trial, in the sustaining of which we are 
convinced that these gifted natures are not devoid of that 
seriousness which regards no earnest situation with frivolity. 
We should more readily have imputed this gift to Claudio, 
but we find it existing far more in the humorous couple who 
had not taken life so lightly, and who had at last accustomed 
themselves to truth. Beatrice places before Benedick the 
cruel choice between her esteem and love and his connec- 
tion with his friend. His great confidence in her, and in 
her unshaken confidence in Hero, led him to make his diffi- 
cult decision, in which he acts with vigour and prudence, 
very differently from Claudio in his difficulties. Beatrice, 
the untamed colt, learns at the same time how the most 
masculine woman cannot dispense with assistance in certain 
cases ; she has moreover seen her Benedick in a position in 



which he responds to her ideal of a man, in whom mirth and 
seriousness should be justly blended. . . . Benedick goes off 
the stage with a confession of his giddiness, but it is a giddi- 
ness overcome, and we have no reason to be anxious either 
for the constancy or for the peaceableness of this pair. The 
poet has bestowed upon them two names of happy augury. . . . 

[From Mrs. Jameson's " Characteristics of Women"*} 
Shakspeare has exhibited in Beatrice a spirited and faithful 
portrait of the fine lady of his own time. The deportment, 
language, manners, and allusions are those of a particular 
class in a particular age ; but the individual and dramatic 
character which forms the groundwork is strongly discrim- 
inated, and being taken from general nature, belongs to ev- 
ery age. In Beatrice, high intellect and high animal spir- 
its meet, and excite each other like fire and air. In her wit 
(which is brilliant without being imaginative) there is a 
touch of insolence, not unfrequent in women when the wit 
predominates over reflection and imagination. In her tem- 
per, too, there is a slight infusion of the termagant ; and her 
satirical humour plays with such an unrespective levity over 
all subjects alike that it required a profound knowledge of 
women to bring such a character within the pale of our sym- 
pathy. But Beatrice, though wilful, is not wayward ; she is 
volatile, not unfeeling. She has not only an exuberance of 
wit and gayety, but of heart and soul and energy of spirit ; 
and is no more like the fine ladies of modern comedy 
whose wit consists in a temporary allusion, or a play upon 
words, and whose petulance is displayed in a toss of the head, 
a flirt of the fan, or a flourish of the pocket-handkerchief 
than one of our modern dandies is like Sir Philip Sidney. 

In Beatrice, Shakspeare has contrived that the poetry of 
the character shall not only soften, but heighten its comic 
effect. We are not only inclined to forgive Beatrice all her 
* American ed. (Boston, 1857), p. 99 fol. 


scornful airs, all her biting jests, all her assumption of supe- 
riority ; but they amuse and delight us the more when we 
find her, with all the headlong simplicity of a child, falling 
at once into the snare laid for her affections ; when we see 
her who thought a man of God's making not good enough 
for her, who disdained to be o'ermastered by " a piece of 
valiant dust," stooping like the rest of her sex, vailing her 
proud spirit and taming her wild heart to the loving hand 
of him whom she had scorned, flouted, and misused " past 
the endurance of a block." And we are yet more completely 
won by her generous enthusiastic attachment to her cousin. 
When the father of Hero believes the tale of her guilt ; when 
Claudio, her lover, without remorse or a lingering doubt, 
consigns her to shame ; when the Friar remains silent, and 
the generous Benedick himself knows not what to say, Bea- 
trice, confident in her affections, and guided only by the 
impulses of her own feminine heart, sees through the incon- 
sistency, the impossibility of the charge, and exclaims, without 
a moment's hesitation, 

" O, on my soul, my cousin is belied !" 

Schlegel, in his remarks on the play, has given us an 
amusing instance of that sense of reality with which we are 
impressed by Shakspeare's characters. He says of Bene- 
dick and Beatrice, as if he had known them personally, that 
the exclusive direction of their pointed raillery against each 
other " is a proof of a growing inclination." This is not 
unlikely; and the same inference would lead us to suppose 
that this mutual inclination had commenced before the 
opening of the play. The very first words uttered by Bea- 
trice are an inquiry after Benedick, though expressed with 
her usual arch impertinence : 

" I pray you, is Signior Montanto returned from the wars, or no ?" 

"I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But 
how many hath he killed ? for indeed I promised to eat all of his 



And in the unprovoked hostility with which she falls upon 
him in his absence, in the pertinacity and bitterness of her 
satire, there is certainly great argument that he occupies 
much more of her thoughts than she would have been will- 
ing to confess, even to herself. In the same manner Bene- 
dick betrays a lurking partiality for his fascinating enemy ; 
he shows that he has looked upon her with no careless eye 
when he says, 

"There 's her cousin [meaning Beatrice], an she were not possessed 
with a fury, excels her as much in beauty as the first of May does the 
last of December." 

Infinite skill, as well as humour, is shown in making this 
pair of airy beings the exact counterpart of each other ; but 
of the two portraits, that of Benedick is by far the most 
pleasing, because the independence and gay indifference of 
temper, the laughing defiance of love and marriage, the 
satirical freedom of expression, common to both, are more 
becoming to the masculine than to the feminine character. 
Any woman might love such a cavalier as Benedick, and be 
proud of his affection ; his valour, his wit, and his gayety sit 
so gracefully upon him ! and his light scoffs against the pow- 
er of love are but just sufficient to render more piquant the 
conquest of this "heretic in despite of beauty." But a man 
might well be pardoned who should shrink from encounter- 
ing such a spirit as that of Beatrice, unless, indeed, he had 
"served an apprenticeship to the taming-school." The wit 
of Beatrice is less good-humoured than that of Benedick; or, 
from the difference of sex, appears so. It is observable that 
the power is throughout on her side, and the sympathy and 
interest on his : which, by reversing the usual order of things, 
seems to excite us against the grain, if I may use such an 
expression. In all their encounters she constantly gets the 
better of him, and the gentleman's wits go off halting, if he 
is not himself fairly hors de combat. Beatrice, woman-like, 
generally has the first word, and will have the last. . . . 



In the midst of all this tilting and sparring of their nimble 
and fiery wits, we find them infinitely anxious for the good 
opinion of each other, and secretly impatient of each other's 
scorn ; but Beatrice is the most truly indifferent of the two 
the most assured of herself. The comic effect produced by 
their mutual attachment, which, however natural and expect- 
ed, comes upon us with all the force of a surprise, cannot be 
surpassed : and how exquisitely characteristic the mutual 
avowal ! . . . 

The character of Hero is well contrasted with that of 
Beatrice, and their mutual attachment is very beautiful and 
natural. When they are both on the scene together, Hero 
has but little to say for herself: Beatrice asserts the rule 
of a master spirit, eclipses her by her mental superiority, 
abashes her by her raillery, dictates to her, answers for her, 
and would fain inspire her gentle-hearted cousin with some 
of her own assurance. 

" Yes. faith ; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy and say ' Father, 
as it please you.' But yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome 
fellow, or else make another curtsy and say * Father, as it please me.' " 

But Shakspeare knew well how to make one character sub- 
ordinate to another, without sacrificing the slightest portion 
of its effect ; and Hero, added to her grace and softness, 
and all the interest which attaches to her as the sentimental 
heroine of the play, possesses an intellectual beauty of her 
own. When she has Beatrice at an advantage, she repays 
her with interest, in the severe but most animated and ele- 
gant picture she draws of her cousin's imperious character 
and unbridled levity of tongue. The portrait is a little over- 
charged, because administered as a corrective, and intended 
to be overheard : 

"But nature never fram'd a woman's heart 
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice : 
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes," etc. 

Beatrice never appears to greater advantage than in her 


soliloquy after leaving her concealment " in the pleached 
bovver where honeysuckles, ripened by the sun, forbid the 
sun to enter;" she exclaims, after listening to this tirade 
against herself, 

"What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true? 

Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much?" 

The sense of wounded vanity is lost in bitter feelings, and 
she is infinitely more struck by what is said in praise of 
Benedick, and the history of his supposed love for her, than 
by the dispraise of herself. The immediate success of the 
trick is a most natural consequence of the self-assurance 
and magnanimity of her character; she is so accustomed to 
assert dominion over the spirits of others that she cannot 
suspect the possibility of a plot laid against herself. . . . 

It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the point and vivac- 
ity of the dialogue, few of the speeches of Beatrice are capa- 
ble of a general application, or engrave themselves distinctly 
on the memory ; they contain more mirth than matter ; and 
though wit be the predominant feature in the dramatic por- 
trait, Beatrice more charms and dazzles us by what she is 
than by what she says. It is not merely her sparkling rep- 
artees and saucy jests, it is the soul of wit, and the spirit 
of gayety informing the whole character looking out from 
her brilliant eyes, and laughing on the full lips that pout 
with scorn which we have before us, moving and full of 
life. On the whole, we dismiss Benedick and Beatrice to 
their matrimonial bonds rather with a sense of amusement 
than a feeling of congratulation or sympathy; rather with an 
acknowledgment that they are well-matched and worthy of 
each other, than with any well-founded expectation of their 
domestic tranquillity. If, as Benedick asserts, they are both 
"too wise to woo peaceably," it may be added that both are 
too wise, too witty, and too wilful to live peaceably together. 
We have some misgivings about Beatrice some apprehen- 
sions that poor Benedick will not escape the "predestinated 


scratched face," which he had foretold to him who should 
win and wear this quick-witted and pleasant-spirited lady ; 
yet when we recollect that to the wit and imperious temper 
of Beatrice is united a magnanimity of spirit which would 
naturally place her far above all selfishness, and all paltry 
struggles for power when we perceive, in the midst of her 
sarcastic levity and volubility of tongue, so much of generous 
affection, and such a high sense of female virtue and honour, 
we are inclined to hope the best. We think it possible that 
though the gentleman may now and then swear, and the 
lady scold, the native good-humour of the one, the really fine 
understanding of the other, and the value they so evidently 
attach to each other's esteem, will insure them a tolerable 
portion of domestic felicity; and in this hope we leave them. 

NOTE BY THE EDITOR. The poet Campbell, in his introduction to 
the play, remarks : " Mrs. Jameson, in her characters of Shakespeare, 
concludes with hoping that Beatrice will live happy with Benedick, but 
I have no such hope ; and my final anticipation in reading the play is 
the certainty that Beatrice will provoke her Benedick to give her much 
and just conjugal castigation. She is an odious woman. Her own 
cousin says of her 

* Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, 
Misprising what they look on, and her wit 
Values itself so highly that to her 
All matter else seems weak: she cannot love, 
Nor take no shape nor project of aifection, 
She is so self-endeared.' 

I once knew such a pair ; the lady was a perfect Beatrice ; she railed 
hypocritically at wedlock before her marriage, and with bitter sincerity 
after it. She and her Benedick now live apart, but with entire reci- 
procity of sentiments, each devoutly wishing that the other may soon 
pass into a better world. Beatrice is not to be compared, but contrasted, 
with Rosalind, who is eqiiafly witty ; but the sparkling sayings of Rosa- 
lind are like gems upon her head at court, and like dew-drops on her 
bright hair in the woodland forest." 

Verplanck, after quoting this passage, comments upon it as follows : 
" We extract this last criticism, partly in deference to Campbell's gen- 
eral exquisite taste and reverent appreciation of Shakespeare's genius, 
and partly as an example of the manner in which accidental personal 


associations influence taste and opinion. The critical poet seems to 
have unhappily suffered under the caprices or insolence of some accom- 
plished but fantastical female wit, whose resemblance he thinks he 
recognizes in Beatrice ; and then vents the offences of the belle of Edin- 
burgh or London upon her prototype of Messina, or more probably of 
the court of Queen Elizabeth. Those who, without encountering any 
such unlucky cause of personal prejudice, have looked long enough upon 
the rapidly passing generations of wits and beauties in the gay world 
to have noted their characters as they first appeared, and subsequently 
developed themselves in after-life, will pronounce a very different judg- 
ment. Beatrice's faults are such as ordinarily spring from the conscious- 
ness of talent and beauty, accompanied with the high spirits of youth 
and health, and the play of a lively fancy. Her brilliant intellectual 
qualities are associated with strong and generous feelings, high confi- 
dence in female truth and virtue, warm attachment to her friends, and 
quick, undisguised indignation at wrong and injustice. There is the rich 
material, which the experience and the sorrows of maturer life, the affec- 
tion and the duties of the wife and the mother, can gradually shape into 
the noblest forms of matronly excellence ; and such, we doubt not, was 
the result shown in the married life of Beatrice." 

We may add what Mr. Furnivall says on the same subject : " Beatrice 
is the sauciest, most piquant, sparkling, madcap girl that Shakspere ever 
drew, and yet a loving, deep-natured, true woman too. . . . She gives her 
heart to Benedick. . . . The two understand one another. We all know 
what it means. The brightest, sunniest married life, comfort in sorrow, 
doubling of joy. . . . The poet Campbell's story of his pair was an utter 
mistake : he never knew a Beatrice." 

See also the extract from Gervinus, p. 18 above. 

[From Weiss f s "Wit, Humor, and Shakspeare."*] 
At first it seems as if Shakspeare intended by the intro- 
duction of Dogberry and his ineffective watch merely to 
interpolate a bit of comic business, by parodying the im- 
portant phrases and impotent exploits of the suburban con- 
stable. But Dogberry's mission extended farther than that, 
and is intimately woven with delightful unconsciousness on 
his part into the fortunes of Hero. 

Dogberry is not only immortal for that, but his name will 
never die so long as village communities in either hemi- 
* Wit, Humor, and Shakspeare, by John Weiss (Boston, 1876), p. 75 fol. 


sphere elect their guardians of the peace and clothe them 
in verbose terrors. If the town is unfortunately short of 
rascals, the officer will fear one in each bush, or extemporize 
one out of some unbelligerent starveling to show that the 
majestic instructions of his townsmen have not been wasted 
on him. This elaborate inefficiency is frequently selected 
by busy communities, because so few persons are there 
clumsy enough to be unemployed. Such a vagrom is easily 
comprehended. Dogberry has caught up the turns and 
idioms of sagacious speech, and seems to be blowing them 
up as life-belts; so he goes bobbing helplessly around in 
the froth of his talk. . . . He is the most original of Mal- 
aprops, says to the prince's order that it shall be suffigance, 
and tells the watch that salvation were a punishment too 
good for them, if they should have any allegiance in them. 
He has furnished mankind with that adroit phrase of con- 
versational escape from compromise, "comparisons are odor- 
ous." . . . His brain seems to be web- footed, and tumbles 
over itself in trying to reach swimming-water ; as when he 
says, " Masters, it is proved already that you are little better 
than false knaves, and it will go near to be thought so short- 
ly." This is the precipitancy of a child's reasoning. . . . 

Dogberry admires and cossets his own authority, but is 
too timid to enforce it save with poor old Verges, whose 
mental feebleness is an exact shadow of Dogberry's ; and 
the latter manages to step upon himself in amusing uncon- 
sciousness. " An old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt 
as, God help, I would desire they were." A good old man, 
sir, but he will gabble. All men are not alike, alas ! So he 
goes on, dismissing himself, and slamming to the door with- 
out observing it. 

But when the watch blunders by reason of idiocy into ar- 
resting Borachio, who was the agent in the plot against Hero, 
the innocent Conrade is found in his company, listening to 
his disclosures. He too is carried off and confronted with 


Dogberry before the whole " dissembly " of constables. Then 
and there Conrade calls him in set terms an ass. 

Dogberry flickers up into a kind of lukewarmness, and does 
his little to resent it. "Dost thou not suspect my years?" 
"Thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved." . . . 
He was never called ass before ; for Conrade was probably 
the first free-spoken prisoner entirely innocent of malaprop- 
isms that he had ever faced. He cannot compose his shal- 
low fluster ; for it is as deep as he is, and it even comes 
splashing into the pathos of the moment when the wrong 
done to Hero is discovered, who is not yet known to be still 
living. He wants the man punished who called him ass, not 
the man who was the slanderer of Hero. Standing round 
him are noble natures touched with sorrowand remorse; 
but for him Conrade is " the plaintiff, the offender," who did 
call him ass. Dead, shamed, ruined Hero, distracted lover, 
and tender father retreat into a background upon which he 
scrawls himself an ass. . . . Here the comedy of Dogberry's 
character acquires a touch of humour; for so are we obliged 
to tolerate in our profoundest moments the trivialities of 
those who do not know or cannot contain our serious mood. 

There is underlying humour in the fact that all this igno- 
rance and inconsequence, this burlesquing of the detective's 
business, effects what the age and wisdom of Leonato and 
the instinct of the lover Claudio could not: namely, the dis- 
covery of Hero's innocence and of the plot to besmirch her 
chastity in the eyes of her lover. The wise men are taken 
in, and the accident of folly undeceives them. Then it be- 
comes no longer an accident, but the regimen of the world 
adopts and puts it to a use. Here comedy becomes humor- 
ous, because it is shown how the fortunes of the good and 
prudent are involved with all the vulgarities of the world, 
and justice itself, which is nothing if not critical, cannot 
make up its case without non-sequiturs. 



DON PEDRO, prince of Arragon. 
DON JOHN, his bastard brother. 
CLAUDIO, a young lord of Florence. 
BENEDICK, a young lord of Padua. 
LEONATO, governor of Messina. 
ANTONIO, his brother. 
BALTHAZAR, attendant on Don Pedro. 


BORACHIO, I followers of Den John. 


DOGBERRY, a constable. 

VERGES, a headborough. 

A Sexton. 

A Boy. 

HERO, daughter to Leonato. 
BEATRICE, niece to Leonato. 

URSU 5A * BTf } gentlewomen attending on Hera 

Messengers, Watch, Attendants, &c. 
SCENE: Messina. 


SCENE I. Before Leonato'' s House. 
Enter LEONATO, HERO, and BEATRICE, with a Messenger. 

Leonato. I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Arragon 
comes this night to Messina. 

Messenger. He is very near by this ; he was not three 
leagues off when I left him. 

Leonato. How many gentlemen have you lost in this 
action ? 

Messenger. But few of any sort, and none of name. 

Leonato. A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings 
home full numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath be- 
stowed much honour on a young Florentine called Claudio. 

Messenger. Much deserved on his part and equally re- 


membered by Don Pedro ; he hath borne himself beyond 
the promise of his age, doing in the figure of a lamb the 
feats of a lion :-he hath indeed better bettered expectation 
than you must expect of me to tell you how. J5 

Leonato. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very 
much glad of it. 

Messenger. I have already delivered him letters, and there 
appears much joy in him ; even so much that joy could not 
show itself modest enough without a badge of bitterness. 

Leonato. Did he break out into tears ? 21 

Messenger. In great measure. 

Leonato. A kind overflow of kindness; there are no faces 
truer than those that are so washed. How much better is it 
to weep at joy than to joy at weeping ! 

Beatrice. I pray you, is Signior Montanto returned from 
the wars or no ? 

Messenger. I know none of that name, lady ; there was 
none such in the army of any sort. 

Leonato. What is he that you ask for, niece ? 30 

Hero. My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua. 

Messenger. O, he 's returned ; and as pleasant as ever he 

Beatrice. He set up his bills here in Messina and chal- 
lenged Cupid at the flight ; and my uncle's fool, reading the 
challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the 
bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten 
in these wars? But how many hath he killed? for indeed I 
promised to eat all of his killing. 

Leonato. Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much ; 
but he '11 be meet with you, I cloubt it not. 4 x 

Messenger. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars. 

Beatrice. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat 
it : he is a very valiant trencher-man ; he hath an excellent 

Messenger. And a good soldier too, lady. 


Beatrice. And a good soldier to a lady ; but what is he to 
a lord ? 

Messenger. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with 
all honourable virtues. 5 

Beatrice. It is so, indeed ; he is tro less than a stuffed 
man : but for the stuffing, well, we are all mortal. 

Leonato. You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is 
a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her ; 
they never meet but there 's a skirmish of wit between them. 

Beatrice. Alas ! he gets nothing by that. In our last 
conflict four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the 
whole man governed with one : so that if he have wit enough 
to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between 
himself and his horse ; for it is all the wealth that he hath 
left, to be known a reasonable creature. Who is his com- 
panion now ? He hath every month a new sworn brother. 

Messenger. Is 't possible ? 6 3 

Beatrice. Very easily possible : he wears his faith but as 
the fashion of his hat ; it ever changes with the next block. 

Messenger. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books. 

Beatrice. No; an he were, I would burn my study. But, I 
pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer 
now that will make a voyage with him to the devil ? 

Messenger. He is most in the company of the right noble 
Claudio. 7 i 

Beatrice. O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease ; 
he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs 
presently mad. God help the noble Claudio ! if he have 
caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere 
he be cured. 

Messenger. I will hold friends with you, lady. 

Beatrice. Do, good friend. 

Leonato. You will never run mad, niece. 

Beatrice. No, not till a hot January. 80 

Messenger. Don Pedro is approached. 



Don Pedro. Good Signior Leonato, you are come to meet 
your trouble ; the fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and 
you encounter it. 

Leonato. Never came trouble to my house in the likeness 
of your grace : for trouble being gone, comfort should re- 
main ; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides and 
happiness takes his leave. 

Don Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly. I 
think this is your daughter. 90 

-J Leonato. Her mother hath many times told me so. 

Benedick. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her ? 
I Leonato. Signior Benedick, no ; for then were you a child. 
- Don Pedro. You have it full, Benedick ; we may guess by 
this what you are, being a man. Truly, the lady fathers 
herself. Be happy, lady ; for you are like an honourable 

Benedick. If Signior Leonato be her father, she would not 
have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, as like him 
as she is. 100 

Beatrice. I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior 
Benedick ; nobody marks you. 

Benedick. What, my dear Lady Disdain ! are you yet liv- 

Beatrice. Is it possible disdain should die while she hath 
such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick? Courtesy 
itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence. 

Benedick. Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I 
am loved of all ladies, only you excepted : and I would I 
could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart ; for, 
truly, I love none. m 

Beatrice. A dear happiness to women ; they would else 
have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God 


and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that ; I had 
rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he 
loves me. 

Benedick. God keep your ladyship still in that mind ! so 
some gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate scratched 

Beatrice. Scratching could not make it worse, an 't were 
such a face as yours were. 121 

Benedick. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. 

Beatrice. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of 

Benedick. I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, 
and so good a continuer. But keep your way, o' God's 
name ; I have done. 

Beatrice. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you 
of old. 129 

Don Pedro. That is the sum of all, Leonato. Signior 
Claudio and Signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato hath 
invited you all. I tell him we shall stay here at the least a 
month ; and he heartily prays some occasion may detain us 
longer. I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his 

Leonato. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn. 
\To Don Johri\ Let me bid you welcome, my lord : being 
reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty. 

Don John. I thank you ; I am not of many words, but I 
thank you. 140 

Leonato. Please it your grace lead on ? 

Don Pedro. Your hand, Leonato ; we will go together. 

\Exeunt all except Benedick and Claudio. 

Claudio. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior 
Leonato ? 

Benedick. I noted her not ; but I looked on her. 

Claudio. Is she not a modest young lady ? 

Benedick. Do you question me, as an honest man should 



do, for my simple true judgment; or would you have me 
speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their 
sex ? 150 

Claudio. No ; I pray thee speak in sober judgment. 

Benedick. Why, i' faith, methinks she 's too low for a high 
praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great 
praise : only this commendation I can afford her, that were 
she other than she is, she were unhandsome ; and being no 
other but as she is, I do not like her. 

Claudio. Thou thinkest I am in sport ; I pray thee tell 
me truly how thou likest her. 

Benedick. Would you buy her, that you inquire after her ? 

Claudio. Can the world buy such a jewel* ? 160 

Benedick. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you 
this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack, to 
tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder and Vulcan a rare car- 
penter ? Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in 
the song? 

Claudio. In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I 
looked on. 

Benedick. I can see yet without spectacles and I see no 
such matter ; there 's her cousin, an she were not possessed 
with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty as the first of 
May doth the last of December. But I hope you have no 
intent to turn husband, have you ? 172 

Claudio. I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn 
the contrary, if Hero would be my wife. 

Benedick. Is 't come to this, i' faith? Hath not the world 
one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion ? Shall I 
never see a bachelor of threescore again ? Go to, i' faith ; 
an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the 
print of it and sigh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is 
returned to seek you. 


Re-enter DON PEDRO. 

Don Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that you* fol- 
lowed not to Leonato's? 181 

Benedick. I would your grace would constrain me to tell. 

Don Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. 

Benedick. You hear, Count Clauclio : I can be secret as a 
dumb man, I would have you think so ; but, on my alle- 
giance, mark you this, on my allegiance. He is in love. 
With who? now that is your grace's part. Mark how short 
his answer is : With Hero, Leonato's short daughter. 

Claudio. If thjs were so, so were it uttered. 

Benedick. Like the old tale, my lord : ' it is not so, nor 
't was not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.' 191 

Claudio. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it 
should be otherwise. 

Don Pedro. Amen, if you love her ; for the lady is very 
well worthy. 

Claudio. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. 

Don Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. 

Claudio. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. 

Benedick. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I 
spoke mine. 200 

Claudio. That I love her, I feel. 

Don Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. 

Benedick. That I neither feel how she should be loved nor 
know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire can- 
not melt out of me ; I will die in it at the stake. 

Don Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the 
despite of beauty. 

Claudio. And never could maintain his part but in the 
force of his will. 209 

Benedick. That a woman conceived me, I thank her ; that 
she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks : 

but that I will have a recheat winded in mv forehead, or 



hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall par- 
don me. Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust 
any, I will do myself the right to trust none ; and the fine is, 
for the which I may go the finer, I will live a 

Don Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with 
love. 218 

Benedick. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my 
lord, not with love ; prove that ever I lose more blood with 
love than I will get again with drinking, pick out mine eyes 
with a ballad-maker's pen and hang me up at the door of a 
brothel-house for the sign of blind Cupid. 

Don Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou 
wilt prove a notable argument. 

Benedick. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and shoot 
at me ; and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoul- 
der, and called Adam. 

Don Pedro. Well, as time shall try ; 
' In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke/ 230 

Benedick. The savage bull may, but if ever the sensible 
Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns and set them in 
my forehead ; and let me be vilely painted, and in such great 
letters as they write 4 Here is good horse to hire/ let them 
signify under my sign ' Here you may see Benedick the mar- 
ried man.' 

Claudio. If this should ever happen, thou wouldst be 

Don Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in 
Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. 240 

Benedick. I look for an earthquake too, then. 

Don Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the hours. In 
the meantime, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's : 
commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him at sup- 
per ; for indeed he hath made great preparation. 

Benedick. I have almost matter enough in me for such an 
embnssage ; and so I commit you 



Claudia. To the tuition of God : from my house, if I had 
it, 249 

Don Pedro. The sixth of July : your loving friend, Benedick. 

Benedick. Nay, mock net, mock not. The body of your 
discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the 
guards are but slightly basted on neither : ere you flout old 
ends any further, examine your conscience ; and so I leave 
you. \_Exit. 

Claudia. My liege, your highness now may do me good. 

Don Pedro. My love is thine to teach ; teach it but how, 
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn 
Any hard lesson that may do thee good. 

Claudio. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ? 260 

Don Pedro. No child but Hero ; she 's his only heir. 
Dost thou affect her, Claudio ? 

Claudio. O, my lord, 

When you went onward on this ended action, 
I Ipok'd upon her with a soldier's eye, 
That lik'd, but had a rougher task in hand 
Than to drive liking to the name of love ; 
But now I am return 'd and that war-thoughts 
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms 
Come thronging soft and delicate desires, 
All prompting me how fair young Hero is, 270 

Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars, 

Don Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently 
And tire the hearer with a book of words. 
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it, 
And I will break with her and with her father, 
And thou shalt have her. Was 't not to this end 
That thou began 'st to twist so fine a story ? 

Claudio. How sweetly you do minister to love, 
That know love's grief by his complexion ! 
But lest my liking might too sudden seem, 280 

I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise. 


Don Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the 

flood ? 

The fairest grant is the necessity. 
Look, what will serve is fit ; J t is once, thou lovest, 
And I will fit thee with the remedy. 
I know we shall have revelling to-night ; 
I will assume thy part in some disguise 
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio, 
And in her bosom I '11 unclasp my heart 
And take her hearing prisoner with the force 290 

And strong encounter of my amorous tale : 
Then after to her father will I break ; 
And the conclusion is, she shall be thine. 
In practice let us put it presently. {Exeunt. 

SCENE II. A Room in Leonato' s House. 
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, meeting. 

Leonato. How now, brother ! Where is my cousin, your 
son ? hath he provided this music ? 

Antonio. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can 
tell you strange news that you yet dreamt not of. 

Leonato. Are they good ? 

Antonio. As the event stamps them ; but they have a 
good cover, they show well outward. The prince and Count 
Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley in mine orchard, 
were thus much overheard by a man of mine : the prince 
discovered to Claudio that he loved my niece your daughter 
and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance ; and if 
he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time 
by the top and instantly break with you of it. 13 

Leonato. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this? 

Antonio. A good sharp fellow ; I will send for him, and 
question him yourself. 

Leonato. No, no ; we will hold it as a dream till it appear 


itself: but I will acquaint rny daughter withal, that she may 
be the better prepared for an answer, if peradventure this 
be true. Go you and tell her of it. \Enter attendants^ 
Cousins, you know what you have to do. O, I cry you 
mercy, friend ; go you with me, and I will use your skill. 
Good cousin, have a care this busy time. \Exeunt. 

SCENE III. The Same. 

Conrade. What the good-year, my lord ! why are you thus 
out of measure sad ? 

Don John. There is no measure in the occasion that 
breeds it ; therefore the sadness is without limit. 

Conrade. You should hear reason. 

Don John. And when I have heard it, what blessing 
brings it ? 

Conrade. If not a present remedy, at least a patient suf- 
ferance. 9 

Don John. I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou 
art, born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medi- 
cine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am ; I 
must be sad when I have cause and smile at no man's jests, 
eat when I have stomach and wait for no man's leisure, sleep 
when I am drowsy and tend on no man's business, laugh 
when I am merry and claw no man in his humour. 16 

Conrade. Yea, but you must not make the full show of 
this till you may do it without controlment. You have of 
late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you 
newly into his grace, where it is impossible you should take 
true root but by the fair weather that you make yourself; it 
is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest. 

Don John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a 
rose in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be disdained 
of all than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any ; in 


this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, 
it must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I 
am trusted with a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog 
therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had 
my mouth, I would bite ; if I had my liberty, I would do my 
liking: in the mean time let me be that I am and seek 
not to alter me. 32 

Conrade. Can you make no use of your discontent? 

Don John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who 
comes here ? 


What news, Borachio ? 

Borachio. I came yonder from a great supper : the prince 
your brother is royally entertained by Leonato ; and I can 
give you intelligence of an intended marriage. 39 

Don John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief 
on? What is he for a fool that betroths himself to unquiet- 

Borachio. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. 

Don John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio? 

Borachio. Even he. 

Don John. A proper squire ! And who, and who ? which 
way looks he ? 

Borachio. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Le- 
onato. 49 

Don John. A very forward March- chick ! How came 
you to this? 

Borachio. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was smok- 
ing a musty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand 
in hand, in sad conference ; I whipt me behind the arras, 
and there heard it agreed upon that the prince should woo 
Hero for himself, and having obtained her, give her to Count 

Don John. Come, come, let us thither; this may prove 


food to my displeasure. That young start-up hath all the 
glory of my overthrow ; if I can cross him any way, I bless 
myself every way. You are both sure, and will assist me ? 
Conrade. To the death, my lord. 62 

Don John. Let us to the great supper : their cheer is the 
greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of my 
mind ! Shall we go prove what 's to be done ? 

Borachio. We '11 wait upon your lordship. {Exeunt. 

"the little hangman" (iii. 2. 10). 


SCENE I. A Hall in LEONATO'S House. 

Leonato. Was not Count John here at supper? 
Antonio. I saw him not. 

Beatrice. How tartly that gentleman looks ! I never can 
see him but I am heart-burned an hour after. 
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. 


Beatrice. He were an excellent man that were made just 
in the midway between him and Benedick ; the one is too 
like an image and says nothing, and the other too like my 
hidy's eldest son, evermore tattling. 9 

Leonato. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count 
John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior 
Benedick's face, 

Beatrice. With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and 
money enough in his purse, such a man would win any 
woman in the world, if he could get her good-will. 

Leonato. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a 
husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue. 

Antonio. In faith, she 's too curst. 

Beatrice. Too curst is more than curst : I shall lessen 
God's sending that way ; for it is said, ' God sends a curst 
cow short horns ;' but to a cow too curst he sends none. 21 

Leonato. So, by being too curst, God will send you no 

Beatrice. Just, if he send me no husband; for the which 
blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and 
evening. Lord ! I could not endure a husband with a beard 
on his face ; I had rather lie in the woollen. 

Leonato. You may light on a husband that hath no beard. 

Beatrice. What should I do with him ? dress him in my 
apparel and make him my waiting-gentlewoman ? He that 
hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no 
beard is less than a man ; and he that is more than a youth 
is not for me, and he that is less than a man I am not for 
him : therefore I will even take sixpence in earnest of the 
bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell. 35 

Leonato. Well, then, go you into hell ? 

Beatrice. No, but to the gate ; and there will the devil 
meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and 
say ' Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heaven ; here 's 
no place for you maids :' so deliver I up my apes, and away 


to Saint Peter for the heavens ; he shows me where the 
bachelors sit, and there live we as merry as the day is 

Antonio. \To Hero\ Well, niece, I trust you will be ruled 
by your father. 44 

Beatrice. Yes, faith - 3 it is my cousin's duty to make curt- 
sy and say 'Father, as it please you.' But yet for all that, 
cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another 
curtsy and say ' Father, as it please me.' 

Leonato. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted 
with a husband. 50 

Beatrice. Not till God make men of some other metal 
than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmas- 
tered with a piece of valiant dust ? to make an account of 
her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I '11 none : 
Adam's sons are my brethren ; and, truly, I hold it a sin 
to match in my kindred. 

Leonato. Daughter, remember what I told you ; if the 
prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer. 

Beatrice. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you 
be not wooed in good time ; if the prince be too important, 
tell him there is measure in every thing, and so dance out 
the answer. For, hear me, Hero ; wooing, wedding, and re- 
penting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace : 
the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as 
fantastical ; the wedding, mannerly -modest, as a measure, 
full of state and ancientry ; and then comes repentance, 
and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and 
faster, till he sink into his grave. 

Leonato. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. 

Beatrice. I have a good eye, uncle ; I can see a church 
by daylight. 7 i 

Leonato. The revellers are entering, brother ; make good 
room. \All put on their masks. 


JOHN, BORACHIO, MARGARET, URSULA, and others, masked. 

Don Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend ? 

Hero. So you walk softly and look sweetly and say noth- 
ing, I am yours for the walk ; and especially when I walk 

Don Pedro. With me in your company ? 

Hero. I may say so, when I please. 

Don Pedro. And when please you to say so ? 80 

Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend the lute 
should be like the case ! 

Don Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house 
is Jove. 

Hero. Why, then, your visor should be thatch'd. 

Don Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. 

^Drawing her aside. 

Balthazar. Well, I would you did like me. 

Margaret, So would not I, for your own sake ; for I have 
many ill qualities. 

Balthazar. Which is one ? 

Margaret. I say my prayers aloud. 9 o 

Balthazar. I love you the better ; the hearers may cry 

Margaret. God match me with a good dancer! 

Balthazar. Amen. 

Margaret. And God keep him out of my sight when the 
dance is done ! Answer, clerk. 

Balthazar. No more words ; the clerk is answered. 

Ursula. I know you well enough ; you are Signior An- 

Antonio. At a word, I am not. io 

Ursula. I know you by the waggling of your head. 

Antonio. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. 

Ursula. You could never do him so ill-well, unless you 


were the very man. Here 's his dry hand up and down ; 
you are he, you are he. 

Antonio. At a word, I am not. 

Ursula. 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 end. 
^Beatrice. Will you not tell me who told you so? no 

Benedick. No, you shall pardon me. 

Beatrice. Nor will you not tell me who you are ? 

Benedick. Not now. 

Beatrice. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good 
wit -out of the ' Hundred Merry Tales:' well, this was 
Signior Benedick that said so. 

Benedick. What 's he ? 

Beatrice. I am sure you know him well enough. 

Benedick. Not I, believe me. 

Beatrice. Did he never make you laugh? 120 

Benedick. I pray you, what is he ? 

Beatrice. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool ; 
only his gift is in devising impossible slanders : none but 
libertines delight in him ; and the commendation is not in 
his wit, but in his villany ; for he both pleases men and an- 
gers them, and then they laugh at him and beat him. I am 
sure he is in the fleet ; I would he had boarded me. 

Benedick. When I know the gentleman, I '11 tell him what 
yon say. 129 

Beatrice. Do, clo : he '11 but break a comparison or two 
on me ; which, peradventure not marked or not laughed 
at, strikes him into melancholy ; and then there 's a par- 
tridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. 
\_Music.~\ We must follow the leaders. 

Benedick. In every good thing. 

Beatrice. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at 
the next turning. [Dance. Then exeunt all except Don 

John, Borachio, and Claudio. 


Lon 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 visor remains. MO 

Borachio. And that is Claudio; I know him by his bear- 

Don John. Are not you Signior Benedick ? 

Claudio. You know me well ; I am he. 

Don John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his 
love : he is enamoured 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. 

Claudio. How know you he loves her? 

Don John. I heard him swear his affection. 150 

Borachio. So did I too ; and he swore he would marry 
her to-night. 

Don John. Come, let us to the banquet. 

\Exeunt Don John and Borachio. 

Claudio. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, 
But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio. 
'T is 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 160 

And trust no agent ; for beauty is a witch 
Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. 
This is an accident of hourly proof, 
Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, Hero ! 

Re-enter BENEDICK. 

Benedick. Count Claudio ? 

Claudio. Yea, the same. 

Benedick. Come, will you go with me ? 

Claudio. Whither ? ^g 

Benedick. Even to the next willow, about your own busi- 


ness, county. 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. 

Claudia. I wish him joy of her. 

Benedick. Why, that 's spoken like an honest drovier ; 
so they sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would 
have served you thus ? 

Claudio. I pray you, leave me. 

Benedick. Ho ! now you strike like the blind man ; 't was 
the boy that stole your meat, and you '11 beat the post. 180 

Claudio. If it will not be, I '11 leave you. \Exit. 

Benedick. Alas, poor hurt fowl ! now will he creep into 
sedges. 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 so reputed : it is the base, 
though bitter disposition of Beatrice that puts the world into 
her person, and so gives me out. Well, I '11 be revenged 
as I may. i8g 

Re-enter DON PEDRO. 

Don Pedro. Now, signior, where 's the count? did you see 
him ? 

Benedick. Troth, my lord, I have played the part of Lady 
Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a 
warren : I told him, and I think I told him true, that your 
grace had got the good will of this young lady ; and I offered 
him my company to a willow-tree, either to make him a gar- 
land, as being forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being 
worthy to be whipped. 

Don Pedro. To be whipped ! What 's his fault? 19 j 

Benedick. The flat transgression of a school-boy, who, be- 
ing overjoyed with finding a bird's nest, shows it his com- 
panion, and he steals it. 


Don Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgression ? The 
transgression is in the stealer. 

Benedick. 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 bestowed on you, 
who, as I take it, have stolen his bird's nest. ' 

Don Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and restore 
them to the owner. 210 

Benedick. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, 
you say honestly. 

Don Pedro. The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you ; 
the gentleman that danced with her told her she is much 
wronged by you. 

Benedick. O, she misused me past the endurance of a 
block ! an oak but with one green leaf on it would have an- 
swered her ; my very visor began to assume life and scold 
with her. She told me, not thinking I had been myself, 
that I was the prince's jester, that I was duller than a great 
thaw ; huddling jest upon jest with such impossible convey- 
ance upon me that I stood like a man at a mark, with a 
whole army shooting at me. She speaks poniards, and ev- 
ery word stabs : if her breath were as terrible as her termi- 
nations, there were no living near her ; she would infect to 
the north star.' I would not marry her, though she were 
endowed with all that Adam had left him before he trans- 
gressed j she would have made Hercules have turned spit, 
yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, 
talk not of her;" you shall find her the infernal Ate in good 
apparel. I would to God some scholar would conjure her; 
for certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in 
hell as in a sanctuary ; and people sin upon purpose, be- 
cause they would go thither: so, indeed, all disquiet, hor- 
ror, and perturbation follows her. 235 

Don Pedro. Look, here she comes. 




Benedick. Will your grace command me any service to the 
world's end ? I will go on the slightest errand now to the 
Antipodes that you can devise to send me on ; I will fetch 
you a toothpicker now from the furthest inch of Asia, bring 
you the length of Prester John's foot, fetch you a hair off the 
great Cham's beard, do you any embassage to the Pigmies, 
rather than hold three words' conference with this harpy. 
You have no employment for me ? 244 

Don Pedro. None, but to desire your good company. 

Benedick. O God, sir, here 's a dish I love not ; I cannot 
endure my Lady Tongue. [Exit. 

Don Pedro. Come, lady, come ; you have lost the heart 
of Signior Benedick. 

Beatrice. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile ; and I 
gave him use for it, a double heart for his single one : 
marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, there- 
fore your grace may well say I have lost it. 

Don Pedro. You have put him down, lady, you have put 
him down. 255 

Beatrice. So I would not he should do me, my lord. I 
have brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek. 

Don Pedro. Why, how now, count ! wherefore are you sad ? 

Claudio. Not sad, my lord. 

Don Pedro. How then ? sick ? 

Claudio. Neither, my lord. 

Beatrice. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, 
nor well ; but civil count, civil as an orange, and something 
of that jealous complexion. 

Don Pedro. V faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true ; 
though, I '11 be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is false. Here, 
Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and fair Hero is won ; 
I have broke with her father, and his good will obtained : 
name the day of marriage, and God give thee joy ! 269 


5 1 

Leonato. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her 
my fortunes; his grace hath made the match, and all grace 
say Amen to it ! 

Beatrice. Speak, count, \ is your cue. 

Claudio. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy ; I were 
but little happy, if I could say how much. Lady, as you 
are mine, I am yours ; I give away myself for you, and dote 
upon the exchange. 

Beatrice. Speak, cousin ; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth 
with a kiss, and let not him speak neither. 

Don Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart. 280 

Beatrice. Yea, my lord ; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on 
the windy side of care. My cousin tells him in his ear that 
he is in her heart. 

Claudio. And so she doth, cousin. 

Beatrice. Good Lord, for alliance ! Thus goes every one 
to the world but I, and I am sunburnt ; I may sit in a cor- 
ner and cry heigh-ho for a husband ! 

Don Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one. 288 

Beatrice. I would rather have one of your father's getting. 
Hath your grace ne'er a brother like yon ? Your father got 
excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them. 

Don Pedro. Will you have me, lady ? 

Beatrice. No, my lord, unless I might have another for 
working-days ; your grace is too costly to wear every day. 
But, I beseech your grace, pardon me ; I was born to speak 
all mirth and no matter. 

Don Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be mer- 
ry best becomes you ; for, out of question, you were born in 
a merry hour. 299 

Beatrice. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried ; but then 
there was a star danced, and under that was I born. Cous- 
ins, God give you joy ! 

Leonato. Niece, will you look to those things I told you of? 

Beatrice. I cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's pardon. 



Don Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady. 

Leonato. There 's little of the melancholy element in her, 
my lord : she is never sad but when she sleeps, and not 
ever sad then ; for I have heard my daughter say, she 
hath often dreamed of unhappiness and waked herself with 
laughing. 3IO 

Don Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband. 

Leonato. O, by no means ; she mocks all her wooers out 
of suit. 

Don Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick. 

Leonato. O Lord ! my lord, if they were but a week mar- 
ried, they would talk themselves mad. 

Don Pedro. County Claudio, when mean you to go to 
church ? 

Claudio. To-morrow, my lord ; time goes on crutches till 
love have all his rites. 320 

Leonato. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence 
a just seven-night; and a time too brief, too, to have all 
things answer my mind. 

Don Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long a breath- 
ing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall not go dully 
by us. I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules' 
labours; which is, to bring Signior Benedick and the Lady 
Beatrice into a mountain of affection the one with the other. 
I would fain have it a match, and I doubt not but to fashion 
it, if you three will but minister such assistance as I shall 
give you direction. 331 

Leonato. My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten 
nights' watch ings. 

Claudio. And I, my lord. 

Don Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero? 

Hero. I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my 
cousin to a good husband. 

Don Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest hus- 
band that I know. Thus far can I praise him ; he is of a 


noble strain, of approved valour and confirmed honesty. I 
will teach you how to humour your cousin, that she shall fall 
in love with Benedick ; and I, with your two helps, will so 
practise on Benedick that, in spite of his quick wit and his 
queasy stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we 
can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer; his glory shall 
be ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in with me, 
and I will tell you my drift. \Exeunt. 

S c EN E II. The Same: 

Don John. It is so ; the Count Claudio shall marry the 
daughter of Leonato. 

Borachio. Yea, my lord ; but I can cross it. 

Don John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be 
medicinable to me; I am sick in displeasure to him, and 
whatsoever comes athwart his affection ranges evenly with 
mine. How canst thou cross this marriage? 

Borachio. Not honestly, my lord ; but so covertly that no 
dishonesty shall appear in me. 

Don John. Show me briefly how. 10 

Borachio. I think I told your lordship a year since, how 
much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting-gentle- 
woman to Hero. 

Don John. I remember. 

Borachio. lean, at any unseasonable instant of the night, 
appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber-window. 

Don John. What life is in that, to be the death of this 
marriage ? 18 

Borachio. The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go 
you to the prince your brother; spare not to tell him that he 
hath wronged *his honour in marrying the renowned Claudio 
whose estimation do you mightily hold up to a contam- 
inated stale, such a one as Hero. 



Don yohn. What proof shall I make of that ? 

Borachio. Proof enough to misuse the prince, to vex 
Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato. Look you for 
any other issue ? 

Don John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any 
thing. 29 

Borachio. Go, then ; find me a meet hour to draw Don 
Pedro and Count Claudio alone: tell them that you know 
that Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to the prince 
and Claudio, as in love of your brother's honour, who hath 
made this match, and his friend's reputation, who is thus like 
to be cozened with the semblance of a maid that you have 
discovered thus. They will scarcely believe this without 
trial : offer them instances ; which shall bear no less likeli- 
hood than to see me at her chamber-window, hear me call 
Margaret Hero, hear Margaret term me Claudio ; and bring 
them to see this the very night before the intended wedding, 
for in the meantime I will so fashion the matter that Hero 
shall be absent, and there shall appear such seeming truth 
of Hero's disloyalty that jealousy shall be called assurance 
and all the preparation overthrown. 44 

Don yohn. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will 
put it in practice. Be cunning in the working this, and thy 
fee is a thousand ducats. 

Borachio. Be you constant in the accusation, and my cun- 
ning shall not shame me. 49 

Don John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage. 


SCENE III. Leonato 's Orchard. 

Benedick. Boy ! 

Enter Boy. 
Boy. Signior? 


Benedick. In my chamber -window lies a book; bring it 
hither to me in the orchard. 

Boy. I am here already, sir. 5 

Benedick. I know that; but I would have thee hence, and 
here again. [Exit Boy^\ I do much wonder that one man, 
seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates 
his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laughed at such 
shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own 
scorn by falling in love ; and such a man is Claudio. I 
have known when there was no music with him but the drum 
and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the 
pipe : I have known when he would have walked ten mile 
a-foot to see a good armour ; and now will he lie ten nights 
awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont 
to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and 
a soldier ; and now is he turned orthography : his words are 
a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May 
I be so converted and see with these eyes ? I cannot tell ; 
I think not . I will not be sworn but love may transform me 
to an oyster; but I '11 take my oath on it, till he have made 
an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One 
woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; 
another virtuous, yet I am well ; but till all graces be in one 
woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she 
shall be, that 's certain ; wise, or I '11 none ; virtuous, or I '11 
never cheapen her ; fair, or I '11 never look on her ; mild, or 
come not near me ; noble, or not I for an angel ; of good 
discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of 
what colour it please God. Ha ! the prince and Monsieur 
Love ! I will hide me in the arbour. [ Withdraws. 

Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO, followed by 

BALTHAZAR and Musicians. 
Don Pedro. Come., shall we hear this music ? 33 


Claudio. Yea, my good Lord. How still the evening is, 
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony ! 

Don Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself? 

Claudio. O, very well, my lord ; the music ended, 
We '11 fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth. 

Don Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we '11 hear that song again. 

Balthazar. O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice 40 
To slander music any more than once. 

Don Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency 
To put a strange face on his own perfection. 
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more. 

Balthazar. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing; 
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit 
To her he thinks not worthy ; yet he wooes, 
Yet will he swear he loves. 

Don Pedro. Now, pray thee, come ; 

Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument, 
Do it in notes. 

Balthazar. Note this before my notes ; 50 

There 's not a note of mine that 's worth the noting. 

Don Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks ; 
Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing. [Music. 

Benedick. Now, divine air ! now is his soul ravished ! Is 
it not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out of 
men's bodies? Well, a horn for my money, when all 's clone. 

The Song. 
Balthazar. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more. 

Men were deceivers ever, 
One foot in sea and one on shore > 

To one thing constant never ; 6c 

Then sigh not so, but let them go, 
And be you blithe and bonny, 
Converting all your sounds of woe 
Into Hey nonny, nonny. 


Sing no more ditties, sing no moe, 

Of dumps so dull and heavy ; 
The. fraud of men was ever so. 

Since summer first was leavy : 
Then sigh not so, etc. 

Don Pedro. By my troth, a good song. 70 

Balthazar. And an ill singer, my lord. 

Don Pedro. Ha, no, no, faith; thou singest well enough 
for a shift. 

Benedick. An he had been a dog that should have howled 
thus, they would have hanged him ; and I pray God his bad 
voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night- 
raven, come what plague could have come after it. 

Don Pedro. Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthazar ? I 
pray thee, get us some excellent music ; for to-morrow night 
we would have it at the Lady Hero's chamber-window. 80 

Balthazar. The best I can, my lord. 

Don Pedro. Do so ; farewell. \Exit Balthazar.~\ Come 
hither, Leonato. What was it you told me of to-day, that 
your niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? 

Claudio. O, ay : stalk- on, stalk on ; the fowl sits. I did 
never think that lady would have loved any man. 

Leonato. No, nor I neither ; but most wonderful that she 
should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all 
outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor. 89 

Benedick. Is 't possible? Sits the wind in that corner? 

Leonato. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think 
of it but that she loves him with an enraged affection : it is 
past the infinite of thought. 

Don Pedro. May be she doth but counterfeit. 

Claudio. Faith, like enough. 

Leonato. O God, counterfeit ! There was never counter- 
feit of passion came so near the life of passion as she dis- 
covers it. 

Don Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she ? 


Claudio. Bait the hook well ; this fish will bite. too 

Leonato. What effects, my lord ? She will sit you, you 
heard my daughter tell you how. 

Claudio. She did, indeed. 

Don Pedro. How, how, I pray you ? You amaze me ; I 
would have thought her spirit had been invincible against 
all assaults of affection. 

Leonato. I would have sworn it had, my lord ; especially 
against Benedick. 

Benedick. I should think this a gull, but that the white- 
bearded fellow speaks it; knavery cannot, sure, hide him- 
self in such reverence. m 

Claudio. He hath ta'en the infection ; hold it up. 

Don Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Bene- 

Leonato. No, and swears she never will; that 's her tor- 

Claudio. 'T is true, indeed ; so your daughter says : ' Shall 
I, ; says she, ' that have so oft encountered him with scorn, 
write to him that I love him ?' nq 

Leonato. This says she now when she is beginning to 
write to him ; for she '11 be up twenty times a night, and 
there will she sit in her smock till she have writ a sheet 
of paper : my daughter tells us all. 

Claudio. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a 
pretty jest your daughter told us of. 

Leonato. O, when she had writ it and was reading it over, 
she found Benedick and Beatrice "between the sheet ? 

Claudio. That. 128 

Leonato. O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence ; 
railed at herself, that she should be so immodest to write to 
one that she knew would flout her : * I measure him,' says 
she, 'by my own spirit : for I should flout him, if he writ to 
me ; yea, though I love him, I should.' 

Claudio. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, 



sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, cries, f O sweet 
Benedick ! God give me patience !' 

Leonato. She doth indeed ; my daughter says so : and the 
ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my daughter is- 
sometime afeard she will do a desperate outrage to herself; 
it is very true. 14 

Don Pedro. It were good that Benedick knew of it by 
some other, if she will not discover it. 

Claudia. To what end? He would but make a sport of 
it and. torment the poor lady worse. 

Don Pedro. An he should, it were an alms to hang him. 
She 's an excellent sweet lady ; and, out of all suspicion, 
she is virtuous. 

Claudio. And she is exceeding wise. 

Don Pedro. In every thing but in loving Benedick. 149 

Leonato. O, my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so 
tender a body, we have ten proofs to one that blood hath 
the victory. I am sorry for her, as I have just cause, being 
her uncle and her guardian. 

Don Pedro. I would she had bestowed this dotage on me -, 
I would have daffed all other respects and made her half 
myself. I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he 
will say. 

Leonato. Were it good, think you ? 

Claudio. Hero thinks surely she will die ; for she says she 
will die if he love her not, and she will die ere she make her 
love known, and she will die, if he woo her, rather than she 
will bate one breath of her accustomed crossness. 162 

Don Pedro. She doth well : if she should make tender of 
her love, 't is very possible he '11 scorn it ; for the man, as 
you know all, hath a contemptible spirit. 

Claudio. He is a very proper man. 

Don Pedro. He hath indeed a good outward happi- 

Claudio. Fore God, and, in my mind, very wise. 


Don Pedro. He doth indeed show some sparks that are 
like wit. 171 

Claudio. And I take him to be valiant. 

Don Pedro. As Hector, I assure you : and in the man- 
aging of quarrels you may say he is wise j for either he 
avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with 
a most Christian-like fear. 

Leonato. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep 
peace ; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a 
quarrel with fear and trembling. 

Don Pedro. And so will he do ; for the man doth fear 
God, howsoever it seems not in him by some large jests he 
will make. Well, I am sorry for your niece. Shall we go 
seek Benedick, and tell him of her love ? 183 

Claudio. Never tell him, my lord ; let her wear it out with 
good counsel. 

Leonato. Nay, that 's impossible ; she may wear her heart 
out first. 

Don Pedro. Well, we will hear further of it by your daugh- 
ter ; let it cool the while. I love Benedick well ; and I 
could wish he would modestly examine himself, to see how 
much he is unworthy so good a lady. 191 

Leonato. My lord, will you walk?, dinner is ready. 

Claudio. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never 
trust my expectation. 

Don Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for her ; and 
that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry. The 
sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of another's 
dotage, and no such matter ; that 's the scene that I would 
see, which will be merely a dumb-show. Let us send her 
to call him in to dinner. 200 

\Exeunt Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato. 

Benedick. \Coming forward} This can be no trick ; the 
conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of this 
from Hero. They seem to pity the lady ; it seems her affec- 


tions have their full bent. Love me ! why, it must be re- 
quited. I hear how I am censured : they say I will bear 
myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her ; they 
say too that she will rather die than give any sign of affec- 
tion. I did never think to marry : I must not seem proud ; 
happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them 
to mending. They say the lady is fair ; 't is a truth, I can 
bear them witness : and virtuous ; 't is so, I cannot reprove 
it : and wise, but for loving me ; by my troth, it is no addi- 
tion to her wit, nor no great argument of her folly, for I- will 
be horribly in love with her. I may chance have some odd 
quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have 
railed so long against marriage ; but doth not the appetite 
alter? a man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot en- 
dure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and these paper 
bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his hu- 
mour? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I 
would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I 
were married. Here comes Beatrice. By this day, she 's 
a fair lady ; I do spy some marks of love in her. 223 


Beatrice. Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to 

Benedick. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains. 

Beatrice. I took no more pains for those thanks than you 
take pains to thank me ; if it had be.en painful, I would not 
have come. 

Benedick. You take pleasure then in the message ? 230 

Beatrice. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's 
point and choke a daw withal. You have no stomach, sign- 
ior ; fare you well. [Exit. 

Benedick. Ha! ' Against my will I am sent to bid you 
come in to dinner;' there 's a double meaning in that. '1 
took no more pains for those thanks than you took pains to 



thank me ;' that 's as much as to say, Any pains that I take 
for you is as easy as thanks. If I do not take pity of her, I 
am a villain ; if I do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go 
get her picture. [Exit. 

"haggards of the rock" (iii. i. 36). 


SCENE I. LeonatJs Orchard. 

Hero. Good Margaret, run thee to the parlour ; 
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice 
Proposing with the prince and Claudio : 
Whisper her ear and tell her, I and Ursula 


Walk in the orchard and our whole discourse 

Is all of her ; say that thou overheard'st us ; 

And bid her steal into the pleached bower, 

Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun, 

Forbid the sun to enter, like favourites, 

Made proud by princes, that advance their pride 10 

Against that power that bred it : there will she hide her, 

To listen our propose. This is thy office ; 

Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone. 

Margaret. I '11 make her come, I warrant you, presently. 

Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come, 

As we do trace this alley up and down, 

Our talk must only be of Benedick. 

When I do nanfe him, let it be thy part 

To praise him more than ever man did merit ; 

My talk to thee must be how Benedick 20 

, Is sick in love with Beatrice, Of this matter 
jlsjittle Cupid's crafty arrow made, 
vThat only wounds by hearsay. 

Enter BEATRICE, behind. 

Now begin ; 

For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs 
Close by the ground, to hear our conference. 

Ursula. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish 
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream, 
And greedily devour the treacherous bait ; 
So angle we for Beatrice, who even now 
Is couched in the woodbine coverture. 30 

Fear you not rny part of the dialogue. 

Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing 
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it. 

[Approaching the bower. 
No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful ; 


I know her spirits are as coy and wild 
As haggards of the rock. 

Ursula. But are you sure 

That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely? 

Hero. So says the prince and my new-trothed lord. 

Ursula. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam ? 

Hero. They did entreat me to acquaint her of it ; 40 

But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick, 
To wish him wrestle with affection, 
And never to let Beatrice know of it. 

Ursula. Why did you so ? Doth not the gentleman 
Deserve as full as fortunate a bed 
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon ? 

Hero. O god of love ! I know he doth deserve 
As much as may be yielded to a man : 
But Nature never fram'd a woman's heart 
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice ; 50 

Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, 
Misprising what they look on, and her wit 
Values itself so highly that to her 
All matter else seems weak : she cannot love, 
Nor take no shape nor project of affection, 
She is so self-endeared. 

Ursula. Sure, I think so ; 

And therefore certainly it were not good 
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it. 

Hero. Why, you speak truth. I never yet saw man, 
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd, 60 

But she would spell him backward : if fair-fac'd, 
She would swear the gentleman should be her sister; 
If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antic, 
Made a foul blot ; if tall, a lance ill-headed ; 
If low, an agate very vilely cut ; 
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds; 
If silent, why, a block moved with none. 



So turns she every man the wrong side out, 

And never gives to truth and virtue that 

Which simpleness and merit purchaseth. 7 o 

Ursula. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable. 

Hero. No, not to be so odd and from all fashions 
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable; 
But who dare tell her so ? If I should speak, 
She would mock me into air; O, she would laugh me 
Out of myself, press me to death with wit. 
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire, 
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly ; 
It were a better death than die with mocks, 
Which is as bad as die with tickling. 80 

Ursula. Yet tell her of it ; hear what she will say. 

Hero. No; rather I will go to Benedick 
And counsel him to fight against his passion. 
And, truly, I '11 devise some honest slanders 
To stain my cousin with; one doth not know 
How much an ill word may empoison liking. 

Ursula. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong. 
She cannot be so much without true judgment 
Having so swift and excellent a wit 

As she is priz'd to have as to refuse gc 

So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick. 

Hero. He is the only man of Italy, 
Always excepted my dear Claudio. 

Ursula. I pray you, be not angry with me, madam, 
Speaking my fancy; Signior Benedick, 
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour, 
Goes foremost in report through Italy. 

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name. 

Ursula. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. 
When are you married, madam ? ioc 

Hero. Why, every day, to-morrow. Come, go in; 
I '11 show thee some attires, and have thy counsel 
Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. 


Ursula. She 's lim'd, I warrant you; we have caught her, 

Hero. If it proves so, then loving goes by haps ; //// 
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. //$'?' 

\Exeunt Hero and Ursula. 

Beatrice. \Coming forward} What fire is in mine ears? 
Can this be true ? 

Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much ? 
Contempt, farewell ! and maiden pride, adieu ! 

No glory lives behind the back of such. no 

And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee, 

Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand : 
If thou dost love, my kiridness shall incite thee 

To bind our loves up in a holy band ; 
For others say thou dost deserve, and I 
Believe it better than reportingly. \Exitl 

SCENE II. A Room in Leonattfs House. 

Don Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consum- 
mate, and then go I toward Arragon. 

Claudia. I '11 bring you thither, my lord, if you '11 vouch- 
safe me. 

Don Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new 
gloss of your marriage as to show a child his new coat and 
forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for 
his company ; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of 
his foot, he is all mirth : he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's 
bow-string, and the little hangman dare not shoot at him. 
He hath a heart as sound as a bell and his tongue is the 
clapper, for what his heart thinks his tongue speaks. 12 

Benedick. Gallants, I am not as I have been. 

Leonato. So say I ; methinks you are sadder. 

Claudio. I hope he be in love. 


Don Pedro. Hang him, truant ! there 's no true drop of 
blood in him, to be truly touched with love; if he be sad, 
he wants money. 

Benedick. I have the toothache. 

Don Pedro. Draw it. 20 

Benedick. Hang it ! 

Claudio. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards. 

Don Pedro. What ! sigh for the toothache ? 

Leonato. Where is but a humour or a worm ? 

Benedick. Well, every one can master a grief but he that 
has it. 

Claudio. Yet say I, he is in love. 27 

Don Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless 
it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as to be a 
Dutchman to-day, a Frenchman to-morrow, or in the shape 
of two countries at once, as a German from the waist down- 
ward, all slops, and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no 
doublet. Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it ap- 
pears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it 
appear he is. 

Claudio. If he be not in love with some woman, there is 
no believing old signs : he brushes his hat o' mornings; what 
should that bode ? 

Don Pedro. Hath any man seen' him at the barber's? 39 

Claudio. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with 
him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed 

Leonato. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss 
of a beard. 

Don Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet; can you smell 
him out by that ? 

Claudio. That 's as much as to say, the sweet youth 's in 

Don Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy. 

Claudio. And when was he wont to wash his face? 5 

ACT III. SCENE //. 69 

Don Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I 
hear what they say of him. 

Claudia. Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept 
into a lute-string and now governed by stops. 

Don Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him; con- 
clude, conclude he is in love. 

Claudio. Nay, but I know who loves him. 

Don Pedro. That would I know too; I warrant, one that 
knows him not. 

Claudio. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of 
all, dies for him. 61 

Don Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards. 

Benedick. Yet is this no charm for the toothache. Old 
signior, walk aside with me; I have studied eight or nine 
wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses must 
not hear. \Exeunt Benedick and Leonato. 

Don Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice. 

Claudio. T is even so. Hero and Margaret have by this 
played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will 
not bite one another when they meet. 70 

Enter DON JOHN. 

Don John. My lord and brother, God save you ! 

Don Pedro. Good den, brother. 

Don John. If your leisure served, I would speak with you. 

Don Pedro. In private ? 

Don John. If it please you : yet Count Claudio may hear; 
for what I would speak of concerns him. 

Don Pedro. What 's the matter? 

Don John. \To Claudio] Means your lordship to be mar- 
ried to-morrow ? 

Don Pedro. You know he does. 80 

Don John. I know not that, when he knows what I know. 

Claudio. If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it, 

Don John. You may think I love you not; let that ap- 


pear hereafter, and. aim better at me by that I now will 
manifest. For my brother, I think he holds you well, and 
in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing mar- 
riage, surely suit ill spent and labour ill bestowed. 

Don Pedro. Why, what 's the matter ? 

Don John. I came hither to tell you ; and, circumstances 
shortened, for she has been too long a talking of, the lady 
is disloyal. 9 i 

Claudio. Who? Hero? 

Don John. Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every 
man's Hero. 

Claudio. Disloyal ? 

Don John. The word is too good to paint out her wicked- 
ness; I could say she were worse: think you of a worse 
title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further war- 
rant; go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamber- 
window entered, even the night before her wedding-day: if 
you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it would better 
fit your honour to change your mind. 102 

Claudio. May this be so ? 

Don Pedro. I will not think it. 

Don John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess 
not that you know : if you will follow me, I will show 
you enough ; and when you have seen more and heard 
more, proceed accordingly. 

Claudio. If I see any thing to-night why I should not 
marry her to-morrow, in the congregation, where I should 
wed, there will I shame her. m 

Don Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will 
join with thee to disgrace her. 

Don John. I will disparage her no farther till you are 
my witnesses ; bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the 
issue show itself. 

Don Pedro. O day untowardly turned ! 

Claudio. O mischief strangely thwarting ! us 


Don John. O plague right well prevented ! so will you 
say when you have seen .the sequel. \Exeunt. 

SCENE III. A Street. 
Enter DOGBERRY and VERGES with the Watch. 

Dogberry. Are you good men and true ? 

Verges. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer 
salvation, body and soul. 

Dogberry. Nay, that were a punishment too good for 
them, if they should have any allegiance in them, being 
chosen for the prince's watch. 

Verges. Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry. 

Dogberry. First, who think you the most desartless man 
to be constable ? 

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacole ; for they 
can write and read. " 

Dogberry. Come hither, neighbour Seacole. God hath 
blessed you with a good name; to be a well-favoured man 
is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature. 

2 Watch. Both which, master constable, 

Dogberry. You have ; I knew it would be your answer. 
Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make 
no boast of it ; and for your writing and reading, let that 
appear when there is no need of such vanity. You are 
thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the 
constable of the watch ; therefore bear you the lantern. 
This is your' charge : you shall comprehend all vagrom 
men ; you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's name. 

2 Watch. How if a' will not stand ? 24 

Dogberry. Why, then, take no note of him, but let him 
go; and presently call the rest of the watch together and 
thank God you are rid of a knave. 

Verges. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none 
of the prince's subjects. 


Dogberry. True, and they are to meddle with none but 
the prince's subjects. You shall also make no noise in the 
streets ; for for the watch to babble and to talk is most 
tolerable and not to be endured. 33 

Watch. We will rather sleep than talk; we know what 
belongs to a watch. 

Dogberry. Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet 
watchman ; for I cannot see how sleeping should offend : 
only, have a care that your bills be not stolen. Well, you 
are to call at all the ale-houses, and bid them that are drunk 
get them to bed. 4 o 

Watch. How if they will not ? 

Dogberry. Why, then, let them alone till they are sober; 
if they make you not then the better answer, you may say 
they are not the men you took them for. 

Watch. Well, sir. 

Dogberry. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by 
virtue of your office, to be no true man ; and, for such kind 
of -men, the less you meddle or make with them, why, the 
more is for your honesty. 

Wafch. If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay 
hands on him ? 51 

Dogberry. Truly, by your office, you may; but I think 
they that touch pitch will be defiled : the most peaceable 
way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him show him- 
self what he is and steal out of your company. 

Verges. You have been always called a merciful man, 

Dogberry. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, 
much more a man who hath any honesty in him. 

Verges. If you hear a child cry in the night, you must 
call to the nurse and bid her still it. 61 

Watch. How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear 

Dogberry. Why, then, depart in peace, and let the child 



wake her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her 
lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats. 

Verges. 'T is very true. 

Dogberry. This is the end of the charge : you, consta- 
ble, are to present the prince's own person ; if you meet 
the prince in the night, you may stay him. 7 o 

Verges. Nay, by 'r lady, that I think a' cannot. 

Dogberry. Five shillings to one on 't, with any man that 
knows the statues, he may stay him : marry, not without the 
prince be willing ; for, indeed, the watch ought to offend no 
man, and it is an offence to stay a man against his will. 

Verges. By 'r lady, I think it be so. 

Dogberry. Ha, ha, ha ! Well, masters, good night. An 
there be any matter of weight chances, call up me : keep 
your fellows' counsels and your own ; and good night. 
Come, neighbour. 80 

Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge ; let us go sit 
here upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed. 

Dogberry. One word more, honest neighbours. I pray 
you, watch about Signior Leonato's door ; for the wedding 
being there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night. Adieu ; 
be vigitant, I beseech you. [Exeunt Dogberry and Verges. 


Borachio. What, Conrade ! 

Watch. [Aside] Peace ! stir not. 

Borachio. Conrade, I say ! 

Conrade. Here, man ; I am at thy elbow. 90 

Borachio. Mass, and my elbow itched ; I thought there 
would a scab follow. 

Conrade. I will owe thee an answer for that ; and now 
forward with thy tale. 

Borachio. Stand thee close, then, under this pent-house, 
for it drizzles rain ; and I will, like a true drunkard, utter 
all to thee. 



Watch. [Aside] Some treason, masters ; yet stand close. 

Borachio. Therefore know I have earned of Don John a 
thousand ducats. 100 

Conrade. Is it possible that any villany should be so dear? 

Borachio. Thou shouldst rather ask if it were possible any 
villany should be so rich ; for when rich villains have need 
of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will. 

Conrade. I wonder at it. 

Borachio. That shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou know- 
est that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is noth- 
ing to a man. 

Conrade. Yes, it is apparel. 

Borachio. I mean, the fashion. no 

Conrade. Yes, the fashion is the fashion. 

Borachio. Tush ! I may as well say the fool 's the fool. 
But seest thou not what a deformed thief this fashion is? 

Watch. \Aside~\ I know that Deformed ; a' has been a 
vile thief this seven year : a' goes up and down like a gen- 
tleman. I remember his name. 

Borachio. Didst thou not hear somebody ? 

Conrade. No ; 't was the vane on the house. n8 

Borachio. Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this 
fashion is ? how giddily a' turns at>out all the hot bloods 
between fourteen and five-and-thirty ? sometime fashioning 
them like Pharaoh's soldiers in the reechy painting, some- 
time like god Bel's priests in the old church-window, some- 
time like the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten 

Conrade. All this I see ; and I see that the fashion wears 
out more apparel than the man. But art not thou thyself 
giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy 
tale into telling me of the fashion ? 129 

Borachio. Not so, neither : but know that I have to-night 
wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the name 
of Hero; she leans me out at her mistress's chamber-window, 


bids me a thousand times good night, I tell this tale vile- 
ly : I should first tell thee how the prince, Claudio, and my 
master, planted and placed and possessed by my master 
Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiable en- 

Conrade. And thought they Margaret was Hero ? 138 

Borachio. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio ; but 
the devil my master knew she was Margaret : and partly by 
his oaths, which first possessed them, partly by the dark 
night, which did deceive them, but chiefly by my villany, 
which did confirm any slander that Don John had made, 
away went Claudio enraged; swore he would meet her, as 
he was appointed, next morning at the temple, and there, 
before the whole congregation, shame her with what he saw 
o'er-night and send her home again without a husband. 

1 Watch. We charge you, in the prince's name, stand ! 

2 Watch. Call up the right master constable. We have 
here recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that 
ever was known in the commonwealth. 151 

1 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them : I know 
him ; a' wears a lock. 

Conrade. Masters, masters, 

2 Watch. You ; 11 be made bring Deformed forth, I war- 
rant you. 

Conrade. Masters, 

i Watch. Never speak ; we charge you, let us obey you 
to go with us. 

Borachio. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, be- 
ing taken up of these men's bills. 161 

Conrade. A commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, 
we '11 obey you. \Exeunt. 


SCENE IV. Herd's Apartment. 

Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire 
her to rise. 

Ursula. I will, lady. 

Hero. And bid her come hither. 

Ursula. Well. [Exit. 

Margaret. Troth, I think your other rabato were better. 

Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I '11 wear this. 

Margaret. By my troth, 's not so good; and I warrant 
your cousin will say so. 

Hero. My cousin 's a fool, and thou art another; I '11 
wear none but this. n 

Margaret. I like the new tire within excellently, if the 
hair were a thought browner ; and your gown 's a most rare 
fashion, i' faith. I saw the Duchess of Milan's gown that 
they praise so. 

Hero. O, that exceeds, they say. 

Margaret. By my troth, 's but a night-gown in respect of 
yours : cloth o' gold, and cuts, and laced with silver, set with 
pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves, and skirts round, under- 
borne with a bluish tinsel; but for a fine, quaint, graceful, 
and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on 't. 2t 

Hero. God give me joy to wear it ! for my heart is ex- 
ceeding heavy. 

Margaret. 'T will be heavier soon by the weight of a man. 

Hero. Fie upon thee ! art not ashamed ? 

Margaret. Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is 
not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord 
honourable without marriage ? I think you would have me 
say, ' saving your reverence, a husband:' an bad thinking 
do not wrest true speaking, I '11 offend nobody ; is there 
any harm in 'the heavier for a husband?' None, I think, 



an it be the right husband and the right wife ; otherwise 
't is light, and not heavy : ask my Lady Beatrice else ; here 

she comes. 34 


Hero. Good morrow, coz. 

Beatrice. Good morrow, sweet Hero. 

Hero. Why, how now ? do you speak in the sick tune ? 

Beatrice. I am out of all other tune, methinks. 

Margaret. Clap 's into ' Light o' love ;' that goes without 
a burden : do you sing it, and I '11 dance it. 40 

Beatrice. Yea, light o' love, with your heels ! then, if your 
husband have stables enough, you '11 see he shall lack no 

Margaret. O illegitimate construction ! I scorn that with 
my heels. 

Beatrice. 'T is almost five o'clock, cousin ; 't is time you 
were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill ; heigh-ho ! 

Margaret. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband ? 

Beatrice. For the letter that begins them all, H. 

Margaret. Well, an you be not turned Turk, there 's no 
more sailing by the star. 51 

Beatrice. What means the fool, trow ? 

Margaret. Nothing I ; but God send every one their 
heart's desire ! 

Hero. These gloves the count sent me; they are an ex- 
cellent perfume. 

Beatrice. I am stuffed, cousin ; I cannot smell. 

Margaret. A maid, and stuffed ! there 's goodly catching 
of cold. 

Beatrice. O, God help me ! God help me ! how long have 
you professed apprehension ? 61 

Margaret. Ever since you left it. Doth not my wit be- 
come me rarely ? 

Beatrice. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your 
cap. By my troth, T am sick. 


Margaret. Get you some of this distilled Carduus Bene- 
dictus, and lay it to your heart ; it is the only thing for a 

Hero. There th on prickest her with a thistle. 

Beatrice. Benedictus ! why Benedictus ? you have some 
moral in this Benedictus. 71 

Margaret. Moral ! no, by my troth, I have no moral mean- 
ing ; I meant, plain holy-thistle. You may think perchance 
that I think you are in love ; nay, by 'r lady, I am not such 
a fool to think what I list, nor I list not to think what I can, 
nor indeed I cannot think, if I would think my heart out of 
thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be in love, or 
that you can be in love. Yet Benedick was such another, 
and now is he become a man ; he swore he would never 
marry, and yet now, in despite of his heart, 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. 

Beatrice. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps? 83 

Margaret. Not a false gallop. 

Enter URSULA. 

Ursula. 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 dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ur- 
sula. {Exeunt. 

SCENE V. Another Room in Leonato's House. 

Leonato. What would you with me, honest neighbour? 

Dogberry. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with 
you that decerns you nearly. 

Leonato. Brief, I pray you ; for you see it is a busy time 
with me. 


Dogberry. Marry, this it is, sir. 

Verges. Yes, in truth it is, sir. 

Leonato. What is it, my good friends ? 

Dogberry. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the 
matter : an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt as, 
God help, I would desire they were ; but, in faith, honest as 
the skin between his brows. 12 

Verges. Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man liv- 
ing that is an old man and no honester than I. 

Dogberry. Comparisons are odorous ; palabras, neighbour 

Leonato. Neighbours, you are tedious. 

Dogberry. It pleases your worship to say so, 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 it in my heart to 
bestow it all of your worship. 21 

Leonato. All thy tediousness on me, ah ? 

Dogberry. Yea, an J t were a thousand pound more than 
't is ; for I hear as good exclamation on your worship as 
of any man in the city ; and though I be but a poor man, 
I am glad to hear it. 

Verges. And so am I. 

Leonato. I would fain know what you have to say. 

Verges. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your 
worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves 
as any in Messina. 3 i 

Dogberry. A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as 
they say, when the age is in, the wit is out. God help us ! 
it is a world, to see. Well said, i' faith, neighbour Verges : 
well, God 's a good man ; an two men ride of a horse, one 
must ride behind. An honest soul, i' faith, sir ; by my troth 
he is, as ever broke bread; but God is to be worshipped; all 
men are not alike ; alas, good neighbour ! 

Leonato. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you. 

Dogberry. Gifts that God gives. 40 


Leonato. I must leave you. 

Dogberry. One word, sir : our watch, sir, have indeed com- 
prehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them 
this morning examined before your worship. 

Leonato. Take their examination yourself and bring it 
me; I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you. 

Dogberry. It shall be suffigance. 

Leonato. Drink some wine ere you go. Fare you well. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Messenger. My lord, they stay for you to give your daugh- 
ter to her husband. 50 

Leonato. I '11 wait upon them ; I am ready. 

\Exeunt Leonato and Messenger. 

Dogberry. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Sea- 
cole; bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol: we 
are now to examine those men. 

Verges. And we must do it wisely. 

Dogberry. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you : here 's 
that shall drive some of them to a non-come : only get the 
learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet 
me at the gaol. \Exeunt. 



SCENE I. A Church. 


Leonato. Come, Friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain 
form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular du- 
ties afterwards. 



Friar Francis. You come hither, my lord, to marry this 

Claudia. No. 

Leonato. To be married to her ; friar, you come to marry 

Friar Francis. Lady, you come hither to be married to 
this count. 10 

Hero. I do. 

Friar Francis. If either of you know any inward impedi- 
ment why you should not be conjoined, I charge you, on 
your souls, to utter it. 

Claudio. Know you any, Hero ? , 

Hero. None, my lord. 

Friar Francis. Know you any, count ? 

Leonato. I dare make his answer, none. 

Claudio. O, what men dare do! what men may do! what 
men daily do, not knowing what they do ! 20 

Benedick. How now! interjections? Why, then, some be 
of laughing, as, ah, ha, he ! 

Claudio. Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave : 
Will you with free and unconstrained soul 
Give me this maid, your daughter? 

Leonato. As freely, son, as God did give her me. 

Claudio. And what have I to give you back, whose worth 
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift? 

Don Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. 

Claudio. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness. 
There, Leonato, take her back again : $\ 

Give not this rotten orange to your friend ; 
She 's but the sign and semblance of her honour. 
Behold how like a maid she blushes here ! 
O, what authority and show of truth 
Can cunning sin cover itself withal ! 
Comes not that blood as modest evidence 
To witness simple virtue ? Would you not swear, 


All you that see her, that she were a maid, 

By these exterior shows? But she is none : 40 

She knows the heat of a luxurious bed ; 

Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. 

Leonato. What do you mean, my lord ? 

Claudio. Not to be married, 

Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton. 

Leonato. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof, 
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth, 
And made defeat of her virginity, 

Claudio. I know what you would say. No, Leonato, 
I never tempted her with word too large ; 
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd so 

Bashful sincerity and comely love. 

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

Claudio. Out on thy seeming I I will write against it : 
You seem to me as Dian in her orb, 
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown ; 
But you are more intemperate in your blood 
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals 
That rage in savage sensuality. 

Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide ? 

Leonato. Sweet prince, why speak not you? 

Don Pedro. What should I speak ? 

I stand dishonoured, that have gone about 61 

To link my dear friend to a common stale. 

Leonato. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream? 

Don John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true. 

Benedick. This looks not like a nuptial. 

Hero. True ! O God ! 

Claudio. Leonato, stand I here ? 
Is this the prince ? is this the prince's brother ? 
Is this face Hero's ? are our eyes our own ? 

Leonato. All this is so ; but what of this, my lord? 

Claudio. Let me but move one question to your daughter ; 


And, by that fatherly and kindly power 7 i 

That you have in her, bid her answer truly. 

Leonato. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child. 

Hero. O, God defend me ! how am I beset ! 
What kind of catechising call you this? 

Claudia. To make you answer truly to your name. 

Hero. Is it not Hero ? Who can blot that name 
With any just reproach ? 

Claudio. Marry, that can Hero ; 

Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. 

What man was he talk'd with you yesternight 80 

Out at your window betwixt twelve and one ? 
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this. 

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. 

Don Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden. Leonato, 
I am sorry you must hear: upon mine honour, 
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count 
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night 
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window ; 
Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain, 
Confessed the vile encounters they have had 90 

A thousand times in secret. 

Don John. Fie, fie! they are not to be nam'd, my lord, 
Not to be spoke of; 

There is not chastity enough in language 
Without offence to utter them. Thus, pretty lady, 
I am sorry for thy much misgovern m en t. 

Claudio. O Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been, 
If half thy outward graces had been plac'd 
About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart ! 
But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell, i 00 

Thou pure impiety and impious purity ! 
For thee I '11 lock up all the gates of love, 
And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang, 
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, 
And never shall it more be gracious. 


Leonato. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me ? 

\Hero swoons. 

Beatrice. Why, how now, cousin ! wherefore sink you down ? 

Don John. Come, let us go. These things, come thus to 

Smother her spirits up. 

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Don John, and Claudio. 

Benedick. How doth the lady ? 

Beatrice. Dead, I think. Help, uncle ! 

Hero! why, Hero ! Uncle! Signior Benedick ! Friar! 

Leonato. O Fate ! take not away thy heavy hand. 112 

Death is the fairest cover for her shame 
That may be wish'd for. 

Beatrice. ~ How now, cousin Hero ! 

Friar Francis. Have comfort, lady. 

Leonato. Dost thou look up ? 

Friar Francis. Yea, wherefore should she not ? 

Leonato. Wherefore ! Why, doth not every earthly thing 
Cry shame upon her ? Could she here deny 
The story that is printed in her blood ? 
Do not live, Hero ; do not ope thine eyes : 121 

For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die, 
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, 
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches, 
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one? 
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame ? 
O, one too much by thee ! Why had I one? 
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes ? 
Why had I not with charitable hand 

Took up a beggar's issue at my gates, 130 

Who smirched thus and mir'd with infamy, 
I might have said ( No part of it is mine ; 
This shame 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 so much 


That I myself was to myself not mine, 

Valuing of her, why, she, O, she is fallen 

Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea 

Hath drop's too few to wash her clean again, 

And salt too little which may season give 140 

To her foul-tainted flesh ! 

Benedick. Sir, sir, be patient. 

For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder, 
I know not what to say. 

Beatrice. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied ! 

Benedick. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night? 

Beatrice. No, truly not ; although, until last night, 
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow. 

Leonato. Confirmed, confirmed ! O, that is stronger made 
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron ! 
Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie, 150 

Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness, 
Waslrd it with tears ? Hence from her ! let her die. 

Friar Francis. Hear me a little ; 
For I have only silent been so long, 
And given way unto this course of fortune, 
By noting of the lady: I have mark'd 
A thousand blushing apparitions 
To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames 
In angel whiteness bear away those blushes ; 
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire, 160 

To burn the errors that these princes hold 
Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool ; 
Trust not my reading nor my observations, 
Which with experimental seal doth warrant 
The tenour of my book ; trust not my age, 
My reverence, calling, nor divinity, 
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here 
Under some biting error. 

Leonato. Friar, it cannot be. 


Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left 

Is that she will not add to her damnation 170 

A sin of perjury ; she not denies it: 

Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse 

That which .appears in proper nakedness? 

Friar Francis. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of? 

Hero. They know that do accuse me ; I know none : 
If I know more of any man alive 
Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, 
Let all my sins lack mercy! O my father, 
Prove you that any man with me convers'd 
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight 180 

Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, 
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death ! 

Friar Francis. There is some strange misprision in the 

Benedick. Two of them have the very bent of honour; 
And if their wisdoms be misled in this, 
The practice of it lives in John the bastard, 
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies. 

Leonato. I know not. If they speak but truth of her, 
These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour, 
The proudest of them shall well hear of it. 19 

Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, 
Nor age so eat up my invention, 
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means, 
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends, 
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind, 
Both strength of limb and policy of mind, 
Ability in means and choice of friends, 
To quit me of them throughly. 

Friar Francis. Pause awhile, 

And let my counsel sway you in this case. 
Your daughter here the princes left for dead : 200 

Let her awhile be secretly kept in, 


And publish it that she is dead indeed; 
Maintain a mourning ostentation, 
And on your family's old monument 
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites 
That appertain unto a burial. 

Leonato. What shall become of this ? what will this do ? 

Friar Francis. Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf 
Change slander to remorse ; that is some good : 
But not for that dream I on this strange course, 210 

But on this travail look for greater birth. 
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd, 
Upon the instant that she was accus'd, 
Shall be lamented, pitied, and excus'd 
Of every hearer ; for it so falls out 
That what we have we prize not to the worth 
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost, 
Why, then we rack the value, then we find 
The virtue that possession would not show us 
Whiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio : 220 

When he shall hear she died upon his words, 
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep 
Into his study of imagination, 
And every lovely organ of her life 
Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit, 
More moving, delicate, and full of life, 
Into the eye and prospect of his soul, 
Than when she liv'd indeed ; then shall he mourn, 
If ever love had interest in his liver, 

And wish he had not so accused her, 230 

No, though he thought his accusation true. 
Let this be so, and doubt not but success 
Will fashion the event in better shape 
Than I can lay it down in likelihood. 
But if all aim but this be levell'd false, 
The supposition of the lady's death 


Will quench the wonder of her infamy; 

And if it sort not well, you may conceal her, 

As best befits her wounded reputation, 

In some reclusive and religious life, 240 

Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries. 

Benedick. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you ; 
And though you know my inwardness and love 
Is very much unto the prince and Claudio, 
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this 
As secretly and justly as your soul 
Should with your body. 

Leonato. Being that I flow in grief, 

The smallest twine may lead me. 

Friar Francis. 'T is well consented : presently away; 

For to strange sores strangely they strain the cure. 250 
Come, lady, die to live : this wedding-day 

Perhaps is but prolong'd ; have patience and endure. 

\Exeunt all but Benedick and Beatrice. 

Benedick. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while? 

Beatrice. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. 

Benedick. I will not desire that. 

Beatrice. You have no reason ; I do it freely. 

Benedick. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged. 

Beatrice. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me 
that would right her ! 

Benedick. Is there any way to show such friendship ? 260 

Beatrice. A very even way, but no such friend. 

Benedick. May a man do it ? 

Beatrice. It is a man's office, but not yours. 

Benedick. I do love nothing in the world so well as you ; 
is not that strange ? 

Beatrice. As strange as the thing I know not. It were as 
possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you : but 
believe me not ; and yet I lie not ; I confess nothing, nor I 
deny nothing. I am sorry for my cousin. 


Benedick. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me. 270 

Beatrice. Do not swear by it, and eat it. 

Benedick. I will swear by it that you love me ; and I will 
make him eat it that says I love not you. 

Beatrice. Will you not eat your word ? 

Benedick. With no sauce that can be devised to it. I pro- 
test I love thee. 

Beatrice. W T hy, then, God forgive me ! 

Benedick. What offence, sweet Beatrice ? 

Beatrice. You have stayed me in a happy hour; I was 
about to protest I loved you. 280 

Benedick. And do it with all thy heart. 

Beatrice. I love you with so much of my heart that none 
is left to protest. 

Benedick. Come, bid me do any thing for thee. 

Beatrice. Kill Claudio. 

Benedick. Ha ! not for the wide world. 

Beatrice. You kill me to deny it. Farewell. 

Benedick. Tarry, sweet Beatrice. 

Beatrice. I am gone, though I am here ; there is no love 
in you. Nay, I pray you, let me go. 290 

Benedick. Beatrice, 

Beatrice. In faith, I will go. 

Benedick. We '11 be friends first. 

Beatrice. You dare easier be friends with me than fight 
with mine enemy. 

Benedick. Is Claudio thine enemy? 

Beatrice. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that 
hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman ? O 
that I were a man ! What, bear her in hand until they come 
to take hands ; and then, with public accusation, uncovered 
slander, unmitigated rancour, O God, that I were a man ! 
I would eat his heart in the market-place. 302 

Benedick. Hear me, Beatrice, 

Beatrice. Talk with a man out at a window ! A proper 
saving ! 


Benedick. Nay, but, Beatrice, 

Beatrice. Sweet Hero ! She is wronged, she is slandered, 
she is undone. 

Benedick. Beat 

Beatrice. Princes and counties ! Surely, a princely testi- 
mony, a goodly count, Count Comfect; a sweet gallant, 
surely ! O that I were a man for his sake ! or that I had 
any friend would be a man for my sake ! But manhood is 
melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are 
only turned into tongue, and trim ones too ; 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. 

Benedick. Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee. 

Beatrice. Use it for my love some other way than swear- 
ing by it. 321 

Benedick. Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath 
wronged Hero ? 

Beatrice. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a'soul. 

Benedick. Enough, I am engaged ; I will challenge him. 
I will kiss your hand, and so I 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. \Exeunt. 

SCENE II. A Prison. 

Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; and the 
Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO. 

Dogberry. Is our whole dissembly appeared ? 
Verges. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton. 
Sexton. Which be the malefactors ? 
Dogberry. Marry, that am I and my partner. 
Verges. Nay, that 's certain ; we have the exhibition to ex- 


Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be exam- 
ined? let them come before master constable. 

Dogberry. Yea, marry, let them come before me. What 
is your name, friend ? 10 

Borachio. Borachio. 

Dogberry. Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours, sirrah ? 

Conrade. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade. 

Dogberry. Write down, master gentleman Conrade. Mas- 
ters, do you serve God ? 


Dogberry. Write down, that they hope they serve God : 
and write God first ; for God defend but God should go be- 
fore 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 ? 21 

Conrade. Marry, sir, we say we are none. 

Dogberry. 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 

Borachio. Sir, I say to you we are none. 

Dogberry. 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. 31 

Dogberry. Yea, marry, that 's the eftest way. Let the 
watch come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's 
name, accuse these men. 

i Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's 
brother, was a villain. 

Dogberry. Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this 
is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother villain. 

Borachio. Master constable, 

Dogberry. Pray thee, fellow, peace ; I do not like thy 
look, I promise thee. 41 


Sexton. What heard you him say else ? 

2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats 
of Don John for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully. 

Dogberry. Flat burglary as ever was committed. 

Verges. Yea, by the mass, that it is. 

Sexton. What else, fellow ? 

i Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his 
words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not 
marry her. 5 

Dogberry. O villain ! thou wilt be condemned into ever- 
lasting redemption for this. 

Sexton. What else ? 

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. 

Dogberry. Come, let them be opinioned. 61 

Verges. Let them be in the hands 

Conrade. Off, coxcomb ! 

Dogberry. God 's my life, where 's the sexton ? let him 
write down the prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them. 
Thou naughty varlet ! 

Conrade. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass. 6 7 

Dogberry. Dost thou not suspect my place ? clost thou not 
suspect my years? O 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 not 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 Messi- 
na, 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. O that I had been writ down an ass ! 


LUDOVICO ARIOSTO (see p. 10). 



SCENE I. Before Leonattfs House. 

Antonio. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; 
And 't is not wisdom thus to second grrief 


Against yourself. 


Leonato. I 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 overwhelmed, 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, 
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such, 
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form : 
If such a one will smile and stroke his beard, 
Bid sorrow wag, cry ' hem !' when he should groan, 
Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk 
With candle-wasters ; bring him yet to me, 
And I of him will gather patience. 
But there is no such man : for, brother, men 
Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief 
Which they themselves not feel ; but, tasting it, 
Their counsel turns to passion, which before 
Would give preceptial medicine to rage, 
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread, 
Charm ache with air and agony with words. 
No, no ; 't is all men's office to speak patience 
To those that wring under the load of sorrow, 
But no man's virtue nor sufficiency 
To be so moral when he shall endure 
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel; 
My griefs cry louder than advertisement. 

Antonio. Therein do men from children nothing differ. 

Leonato. I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood; 
For there was never yet philosopher 
That could endure the toothache patiently, 
However they have writ the style of gods 
And made a push at chance and sufferance. 



Antonio. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself; 
Make those that do offend you suffer too. 4 o 

Leonato. There thou speak'st reason ; nay, I will do so. 
My soul doth tell me Hero is belied, 
And that shall Claudio know ; so shall the prince 
And all of them that thus dishonour her. 

Antonio. Here comes the prince and Claudio hastily. 


Don Pedro. Good den, good den. 

Claudio. Good day to both of you. 

Leonato. Hear you, my lords, 

Don Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato. 

Leonato. Some haste, my lord ! well, fare you well, my lord : 
Are you so hasty now ? well, all is one. 

Don Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man. 50 

Antonio. If he could right himself with quarrelling, 
Some of us would lie low. 

Claudio. Who wrongs him ? 

Leonato. Marry, thou dost wrong me ; thou dissembler, 

thou I- 
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword ; 
I fear thee not. 

Claudio. Marry, beshrew my hand, 

If it should give your age such cause of fear ; 
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword. 

' Leonato. Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me ; 
I speak not like a dotard nor a fool, 

As under privilege of age to brag 60 

What I have done being young, or what would do 
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head, 
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me 
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by, 
And, with grey hairs and bruise of many days, 
Do challenge thee to trial of a man. 



I say thou hast belied mine innocent child : 

Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart, 

And she lies buried with her ancestors ; 

O, in a tomb where never scandal slept, 7 o 

Save this of hers, fram'd by thy villany ! 

Claudio. My villany ? 

Leonato. Thine, Claudio ; thine, I say. 

Don Pedro. You say not right, old man. 

Leonato. My lord, my lord, 

I '11 prove it on his body, if he dare, 
Despite his nice fence and his active practice, 
His May of youth and bloom of lustihood. 

Claudio. Away ! I will not have to do with you. 

Leonato. Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my 

child ; 
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man. 

Antonio. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed : 80 

But that 's no matter ; let him kill one first ; 
Win me and wear me ; let him answer me. 
Come, follow me, boy ; come, sir boy, come, follow me : 
Sir boy, I '11 whip you from your foining fence; 
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will. 

Leonato. Brother, 

Antonio. Content yourself. God knows I lov'd my niece; 
And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains, 
That dare as v/ell answer a man indeed 
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue, 90 

Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops ! 

Leonato. Brother Antony, 

Antonio. Hold you content. What, man ! I know them, 


And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple, 
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-monging boys, 
That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander, 
Go anticly, show outward hideousness, 


And speak off half a dozen dangerous words, 
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst ; 
And this is all. 

Leonato. But, brother Antony, 

Antonio. Come, 't is no matter : 

Do not you meddle ; let me deal in this. 100 

Don Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your pa- 

My heart is sorry for your daughter's death ; 
But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing 
But what was true and very full of proof. 

Leonato. My lord, my lord, 

Don Pedro. I will not hear you. 

Leonato. No ? Come, brother, away ! I will be heard. 

Antonio. And shall, or some of us will smart for it. 

\Exeunt Leonato and Antonio. 

Don Pedro. See, see ; here comes the man we went to seek. 


Claudia. Now, signior, what news? no 

Benedick. Good day, my lord. 

Don Pedro. Welcome, signior : you are almost come to 
part almost a fray. 

Claudio. We had like to have had our two noses snapped 
off with two old men without teeth. 

Don Pedro. Leonato and his brother. What thinkest 
thou ? Had we fought, I doubt we should have been too 
young for them. 

Benedick. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I 
came to seek you both. 120 

Claudio. We have been up and down to seek thee ; for 
we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain have it beaten 
away. Wilt thou use thy wit ? 

Benedick. It is in my scabbard; shall I draw it? 

Don Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side ? 


Claudia. Never any did so, though very many have been 
beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the min- 
strels ; draw, to pleasure us. 

Don Pedro* As I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art 
thou sick, or angry ? I30 

Claudio. What, courage, man ! What though care killed 
a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care. 

Benedick. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an you 
charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject. 

Claudio. Nay, then, give him another staff; this last was 
broke cross. 

Don Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more ; I 
think he be angry indeed. 

Claudio. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle. 

Benedick. Shall I speak a word in your ear ? HO 

Claudio. God bless me from a challenge ! 

Benedick. \Aside to Claudio] You are a villain ; I jest not : 
I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and 
when you dare. Do me right, or I will protest your coward- 
ice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall 
heavy on you. Let me hear from you. 

Claudio. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer. 

Don Pedro. What, a feast, a feast? 

Claudio. I' faith, I thank him : he hath bid me to a calf's 
head and a capon ; the which if I do not carve most curi- 
ously, say my knife 's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock 

tOO? 152 

Benedick. Sir, your wit ambles well ; it goes easily. 

Don Pedro. I '11 tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the 
other day. I said, thou haclst a fine wit : ' True/ said she, 
1 a fine little one.' < No;' said I, ' a great wit :' ' Right,' says 
she, ' a great gross one.' ' Nay,' said I, ' a good wit :' ' Just,' 
said she, ' it hurts nobody.' ' Nay,' said I, ' the gentleman is 
wise :' ' Certain,' said she, ' a wise gentleman.' ' Nay,' said 
I, ' he hath the tongues :' ' That I believe,' said she, * for he 

ACT V. SCENE I. 101 

swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on 
Tuesday morning ; there 's a double tongue ; there 's two 
tongues.' Thus did she, an hour together, trans-shape thy 
particular virtues ; yet at last she concluded with a sigh, 
thou wast the properest man in Italy. 165 

Claudia. For the which she wept heartily and said she 
cared not. 

Don Pedro. Yea, that she did ; but yet, for all that, an if 
she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly: 
the old man's daughter told us all. 

Claudia* All, all ; and, moreover, God saw him when he 
was hid in the garden. 

Don Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's horns 
on the sensible Benedick's head ? 

Claudio. Yea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick 
the married man ?' 176 

Benedick. Fare you well, boy ; you know my mind. I will 
leave you now to your gossip-like humour ; you break jests 
as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt 
not. My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you; I 
must discontinue your company : your brother the bastard 
is fled from Messina \ you have among you killed a sweet 
and innocent lady. For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and 
I shall meet ; and, till then, peace be with him. \Exit. 

Don Pedro. He is in earnest. 185 

Claudio. In most profound earnest ; and, I '11 warrant you, 
for the fove of Beatrice. 

Don Pedro. And hath challenged thee. 

Claudio. Most sincerely. 

Don Pedro. What a pretty thing man is when he goes in 
his doublet and hose. and leaves off. his wit! 191 

Claudio. He is then a giant to an ape ; but then is an ape 
a doctor to such a man. 

Don Pedro. But, soft you, let me be ; pluck up, my heart, 
and be sad. Did he not say, my brother was fled ? 



Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRADE 

Dogberry. Come you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, she 
shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance : nay, an you 
be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to. 

Don Pedro. How now ? two of my brother's men bound ! 
Borachio one ! 200 

Claudio. Hearken after their offence, my lord. 

Don Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done ? 

Dogberry. Marry, sir, they have committed false report ; 
moreover, they have spoken untruths ; secondarily, they are 
slanders ; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady ; thirdly, 
they have verified unjust things ; and, to conclude, they are 
lying knaves. 

Don Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done ; third- 
ly, I ask thee what 's their offence ; sixth and lastly, why 
they are committed ; and, to conclude, what you lay to their 
charge. 211 

Claudio. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division ; and, 
by my troth, there 's one meaning well suited. 

Don Pedro. Who have you offended, masters, that you are 
thus bound to your answer? this learned constable is too 
cunning to be understood : what 's your offence ? 

Borachio. Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine an- 
swer ; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have 
deceived even your very eyes : what your wisdoms could not 
discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who in 
the night overheard me confessing to this man how Don 
John your brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero, 
how you were brought into the orchard and saw me court 
Margaret in Hero's garments, how you disgraced her when 
you should marry her. My villany they have upon record ; 
which I had rather seal with my death than repeat over to 
my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my master's 



false accusation ; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the re- 
ward of a villain. 229 

Don Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your 
blood ? 

Claudia. I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it. 

Don Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this ? 

Borachio. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it. 

Don Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery ; 
And fled he is upon this villany. 

Claudia. Sweet Hero ! now thy image doth appear 
In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first. 

Dogberry. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this time 
our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter; 
and, masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place 
shall serve, that I am an ass. 241 

Verges. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and 
the sexton too. 

Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton. 

Leonato. Which is the villain ? let me see his eyes, 
That, when I note another man like him, 
I may avoid him ; which of these is he ? 

Borachio. If you would know your wronger, look on me. 

Leonato. Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd 
Mine innocent child ? 

Borachio. Yea, even I alone. 

Leonato. No, not so, villain ; thou beliest thyself: 250 

Here stand a pair of honourable men ; 
A third is fled, that had a band in it. 
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death : 
Record it with your high and worthy deeds ; 
'T was bravely done, if you bethink you of it. 

Claudia. I know not how to pray your patience ; 
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself; 
Impose me to what penance your invention 



Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn'd I not 
But in mistaking. 

Don Pedro. By my soul, nor I ; 260 

And yet, to satisfy this good old man, 
I would bend under any heavy weight 
That he '11 enjoin me to. 

Leonato. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live; 
That were impossible : but, I pray you both, 
Possess the people in Messina here 
How innocent she died ; and if your love 
Can labour aught in sad invention, 
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb 

And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night. 270 

To-morrow morning come you to my house, 
And since you could not be my son-in-law, 
Be yet my nephew : my brother hath a daughter, 
Almost the copy of my child that 's dead, 
And she alone is heir to both of us ; 
Give her the right you should have given her cousin, 
And so dies my revenge. 

Claudio. O noble sir, 

Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me ! 
I do embrace your offer ; and dispose 
For henceforth of poor Claudio. 280 

Leonato. To-morrow then I will expect your coming ; 
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man 
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, 
Who I believe was pack'd in all this wrong, 
Hir'd to it by your brother. . 

Borachio. No, by my soul, she was not, 

Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me, 
But always hath been just and virtuous 
In any thing that I do know by her. 288 

Dogberry. Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white 
and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass ; I 


beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment. And 
also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed ; they say 
he wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it, and bor- 
rows money in God's name, the which he hath used so long 
and never paid that now men grow hard-hearted and will 
lend nothing for God's sake : pray you, examine him upon 
that point. 

Leonato. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. 

Dogberry. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and 
reverend youth ; and I praise God for you. 300 

Leonato. There 's for thy pains. 

Dogberry. God save the foundation ! 

Leonato. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank 

Dogberry. I leave an arrant knave with your worship ; 
which I beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the 
example of others. God keep your worship ! I wish your 
worship well ; God restore you to health ! I humbly give 
you leave to depart : and if a merry meeting may be wished, 
God prohibit it ! Come, neighbour. 3 io 

\Exeunt Dogberry and Verges. 

Leonato. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. 

Antonio. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to-morrow. 

Don Pedro. We will not fail. 

Claudia. To-night I '11 mourn with Hero. 

Leonato. \To the Watch} Bring you these fellows on. 
We '11 talk with Margaret, 
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow. 

[Exeunt, severally. 

SCENE II. Leonato's Orchard. 
Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting. 

Benedick. Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve 
well at my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice. 


Margaret Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of 
my beauty ? 

Benedick. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living 
shall come over it ; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it. 

Margaret. To have no man come over me ! why, shall I 
always keep below stairs ? 

Benedick. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth ; 
it catches. 10 

Margaret. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which 
hit, but hurt not. 

Benedick. A most manly wit, Margaret j it will not hurt a 
woman ; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice : I give thee the 

Margaret. Give us the swords ; we have bucklers of our 

Benedick. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the 
pikes with a vice ; and they are dangerous weapons for 
maids. 20 

Margaret. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think 
hath legs. 

Benedick. And therefore will come. \Exit Margaret. 

[Sings] The god of love, 

That sits above, 
And knows me, and knows me, 

How pitiful I deserve, 27 

I mean in singing ; but in loving, Leander the good swim- 
mer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and a whole book- 
ful of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run 
smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were 
never so truly turned over and over as my poor self in love. 
Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme ; I have tried : I can find 
out no rhyme to Mady ' but 'baby,' an innocent rhyme ; for 
' scorn/ ' horn,' a hard rhyme ; for ( school,' ' fool,' a babbling 
rhyme ; very ominous endings : no, I was not born under a 
rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms. 



Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee ? 

Beatrice. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me. 

Benedick. O, stay but till then ! 40 

Beatrice. ' Then ' is spoken ; fare you well now : and yet, 
ere I go, let me go with that I came ; which is, with knowing 
what hath passed between you and Claudio. 

Benedick. Only foul words ; and thereupon I will kiss thee. 

Beatrice. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but 
foul breath, and foul breath is noisome ; therefore I will de- 
part unkissed. 

Benedick. Thou hast frightened the word out of his right 
sense, so forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee plainly, 
Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly 
hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I 
pray thee now, tell me for which of my bad parts didst 
thou first fall in love with me? 53 

Beatrice. For them all together ; which maintained so 
politic a state of evil that they will not admit any good 
part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good 
parts did you first suffer love for me ? 

Benedick. Suffer love ! a good epithet ! I do suffer love in- 
deed, for I love thee against my will. 

Beatrice. In spite of your heart, I think ; alas, poor heart ! 
If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours ; for I 
will never love that which my friend hates. 62 

Benedick. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. 

Beatrice. It appears not in this confession ; there 's not 
one wise man among twenty that will praise himself. 

Benedick. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived 
in the time of good neighbours. If a man do not erect in 
this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in 
monument than the bell rings and the widow weeps. 

Beatrice. And how long is that, think you ? 70 


Benedick. Question : why, an hour in clamour and a quar- 
ter in rheum ; therefore is it most expedient for the wise, if 
Don Worm, his conscience, find no impediment to the con- 
trary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to my- 
self. So much for praising myself, who, I myself will bear 
witness, is praiseworthy ; and now tell me, how doth your 
cousin ? 

Beatrice. Very ill. 

Benedick. And how do you ? 

Beatrice. Very ill too. 80 

Benedick. Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I 
leave you too, for here comes one in haste. 

Enter URSULA. 

Ursula. Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder 's 
old coil at home : it is proved my Lady Hero hath been 
falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused ; 
and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and gone. 
Will you come presently ? 

Beatrice. Will you go hear this news, signior? 88 

Benedick. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be 

buried in thy eyes ; and moreover I will go with thee to 

thy uncle's. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. A Church. 
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and three or four with tapers. 

Claudio. Is this the monument of Leonato? 

A Lord. It is, my lord. 

Claudio. [Reading out of a scroll] 

Done to death by slanderous tongues 

Was the Hero that here lies ; 
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs, 

Gives her fame which never dies. 
So the life that died with shame 
Lives in death with glorious fame. 8 


Hang thou there upon the tomb, {Affixing it. 

Praising her when I am dumb. 
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. 


Pardon, goddess of the night. 
Those that slew thy virgin knight ; 
For the which, with songs of woe, 
Round about her tomb they go. 

Midnight, assist our moan ; 

Help us to sigh and groan, 
Heavily, heavily : 

Graves, yawn and yield your dead, 

Till death be uttered, 20 

Heavily, heavily. 

Claudia. Now, unto thy bones good night ! 

Yearly will I do this rite. 
Don Pedro. Good morrow, masters ; put your torches out : 

The wolves have prey'd ; and look, the gentle day, 
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about 

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey. 
Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well. 

Claudia. Good morrow, masters ; each his several way. 
Don Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds ; 30 

And then to Leonato's we will go. 
Claudia. And Hymen now with luckier issue speed 's 

Than this for whom we render'd up this woe ! [Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato's House. 



Friar Francis. Did I not tell you she was innocent ? 
Leonato. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her 
Upon the error that you heard debated ; 


But Margaret was in some fault for this, 
Although against her will, as it appears 
In the true course of all the question. 

Antonio. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. 

Benedick. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd 
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it. 

Leonato. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, 10 

Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves, 
And when I send for you, come hither mask'd. 

\Exeunt Ladies. 

The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour 
To visit me. You know your office, brother : 
You must be father to your brother's daughter, 
And give her to young Claudio. 

Antonio. Which I will do with confirirTd countenance. 

Benedick. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. 

Friar Francis. To do what, signior ? 

Benedick. To bind me, or undo me ; one of them. 20 
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, 
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. 

Leonato. That eye my daughter lent her ; 't is most true. 

Benedick. And I do with an eye of love requite her. 

Leonato. The sight whereof I think you had from me, 
From Claudio, and the prince ; but what 's your will ? 

Benedick. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical ; 
But, for my will, my will is your good will 
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd 
In the state of honourable marriage, 34 

In which, good friar, I shall desire your help. 

Leonato. My heart is with your liking. 

Friar Francis. And my help. 

Here comes the prince and Claudio. 

Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, and two or three others. 
Don Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. 


Leonato. Good morrow, prince ; good morrow, Claudio : 
We here attend you. Are you yet determin'd 
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter? 

Claudio. I '11 hold my mind, were she an Ethiope. 

Leonato. Call her forth, brother ; here 's the friar ready. 

{Exit Antonio. 

Don Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what 's the 
matter, 4 o 

That you have such a February face, 
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness ? 

Claudio. I think he thinks upon the savage bull. 
Tush, fear not, man ; we '11 tip thy horns with gold, 
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee, 
As once Europa did at lusty Jove, 
When he would play the noble beast in love. 

Benedick. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low ; 
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow, 
And got a calf in that same noble feat 5 o 

Much like to you, for you have just his bleat. 

Claudio. For this I owe you ; here comes other reckon- 

Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked. 
W T hich is the lady I must seize upon ? 

Antonio. This same is she, and I do give you her. 
Claudio. Why, then she 's mine. Sweet, let me see your 


Leonato. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand 
Before this friar and swear to marry her. 

Claudio. Give me your hand ; before this holy friar, 
I am your husband, if you like of me. 

Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife ; 60 

[ Unmasking. 

And when you lov'd, you were my other husband. 
Claudio. Another Hero ! 


Hero. Nothing certainer; 

One Hero died defil'd, but I do live, 
And surely as I live, I am a maid. 

Don Pedro. The former Hero ! Hero that is dead ! 

Leonato. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander liv'd. 

Friar Francis. All this amazement can I qualify ; 
When after that the holy rites are ended, 
I '11 tell you largely of fair Hero's death. 
Meantime let wonder seem familiar, 7 o 

And to the chapel let us presently. 

Benedick. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice ? 

Beatrice. \Unmasking\ 1 answer to that name. What is 
your will ? 

Benedick. Do not you love me ? 

Beatrice. Why, no ; no more than reason. 

Benedick. Why, then your uncle and the prince and 

Have been deceiv'd ; they swore you did. 

Beatrice. Do not you love me ? 

Benedick. Troth, no ; no more than reason. 

Beatrice. Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula 
Are much deceiv'd ; for they did swear you did. 

Benedick. They swore that you were almost sick for 
me. 80 

Beatrice. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for 

Benedick. 'T is no such matter. Then you do not love 

Beatrice. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. 

Leonato. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentle- 

Claudio. And I '11 be sworn upon 't that he loves her ; 
For here 's a paper written in his hand, 
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, 
Fashion'd to Beatrice. 


Hero. And here 's another 

Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, 
Containing her affection unto Benedick. 90 j 

Benedick. A miracle ! here 's our own hands against our [ 
hearts. Come, I will have thee ; but, by this light, I take 
thee for pity. 

Beatrice. I would not deny you ; but, by this good day, I \ 
yield upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life, 
for I was told you were in a consumption. 9 6/ 

Benedick. Peace ! I will stop your mouth. [Kissing her. 

Don Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick, the married man ? 

Benedick. I '11 tell thee what, prince ; a college of wit- 
crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou 
think I care for a satire or an epigram ? No ; if a man will 
be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about 
him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think 
nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it ; 
and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against 
it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. 
For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee ; but 
in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised and 
love my cousin. 109 

Claudio. I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Bea- 
trice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, 
to make thee a double-dealer ; which, out of question, thou 
wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to 

Benedick. Come, come, we are friends ; let 's have a dance 
ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and 
our wives' heels. . 

Leonato. We '11 have dancing afterward. 

Benedick. First, of my word ; therefore play, music. 
Prince, thou art sad ; get thee a wife, get thee a wife : 
there is no staff more reverend than one* tipped with 



Enter a Messenger. 

Messenger. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, 
And brought with armed men back to Messina. 124 

Benedick. Think not on him till to-morrow,; I '11 devise 
thee brave punishments for him. Strike up, pipers. [Dance. 





Abbott (or Gr.), Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar (third edition). 
A. S., Anglo-Saxon. 

A. V., Authorized Version of the Bible (1611). 

B. and F., Beaumont and Fletcher. 
B. J., Ben Jonson. 

Camb. ed., " Cambridge edition" of Shakespeare, edited by Clark and Wright. 
Cf. (confer), compare. 
Coll., Collier (second edition). 

Coll. MS., Manuscript Corrections of Second Folio, edited by Collier. 
D., Dyce (second edition). 
H., Hudson (first edition). 
Id. (idem}, the same. 

J. H., John Hunter's edition of Much Ado About Nothing (London, 1872). 
K., Knight (second edition). 

Nares, Glossary, edited by Halliwell and Wright (London, 1859). 
Prol., Prologue. 
S., Shakespeare. 

Schmidt, A. Schmidt's Shakespeare- Lex icon (Berlin, 1874). 
Sr., Singer. 
St., Staunton. 
Theo., Theobald. 
W., White. 

Walker, Wm. Sidney Walker's Critical Examination of the Text of Shakespeare 
(London, 1860). 
Warb., Warburton. 

Wb., Webster's Dictionary (revised quarto edition of 1864). 
Wore., Worcester's Dictionary (quarto edition). 

The abbreviations of the names of Shakespeare's Plays will be readily understood ; as 
T. N. for Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanus, 3 Hen. VI. for The Third Part of King 
Henry the Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to The Passionate Pilgrim ; V. and A . to Venus 
and Adonis ; JL. C. to Lover 1 's Complaint ', and Sonn. to the Sonnets. 

When the abbreviation of the name of a play is followed by a reference to page, 
Rolfe's edition of the play is meant. 

The numbers of the lines (except for Much Ado) are those of the "Globe" ed. or 
CrowelFs reprint of that ed. 



SCENE L The stage -direction in the folio, as in the quarto, reads 
" Enter Leonato Goner nour of Messina, Innogen his ivtfe" etc. ; but as 
Innogen neither speaks nor is mentioned during the play, Theo. dropped 
her name from the list of dramatis persons. As he suggests, the poet 
may at first have intended to introduce her, but afterwards decided to 
leave her out. 

I. Don Pedro. Both the quarto and the folio have "Don Peter " here 
and in 9 below, but elsewhere " Don Pedro." 

3. By this. Cf. Macb. iii. i. 26 : " 'Twixt this and supper ;" Lear, i. 
I. 118: " from this for ever," etc. 


7. Sort. Possibly =rank (Schmidt), as in 29 below. Cf. Hen. V. iv. 7. 
142, iv. 8. 80, etc. 

8. Achiever. Used by S. nowhere else. 

16. JF/7/ be. For the omission of the relative, see Gr. 244. 
Very much glad. We should not now use this expression, though we 
say " very much pleased," " very much delighted," etc. 

19. Joy could not, etc. " Of all the transports of joy, that which is at- 
tended with tears is least offensive ; because, carrying with it this mark 
of pain, it allays the envy that usually attends another's happiness. This 
he finely calls a modest joy, such an one as did not insult the observer 
by an indication of happiness unmixed with pain" (Warb.). Capell says 
that the joy " wore the modestest garb that joy can do, that is, silence ' 
and tears." 

20. Badge. Steevens compares Chapman, Odyssey, x. : 

" our eyes wore 

The same wet badge of weak humanity ;" 
and Macb. i. 4. 33 : 

" My plenteous joys, 

Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves 
In drops of sorrow." 

23. Kind. Natural (Schmidt). Cf. R. of L. 1423: "Conceit deceit- 

. ful, so compact, so kind." Kindness tenderness. Cf. T. N. ii. I. 41 : 

" my bosom is full of kindness, and I am yet so near the manners of my 

mother that upon the least occasion more mine eyes will tell tales of me." 

26. Montanto. A term in fencing, meaning, according to Cotgrave, 
'* an upright blow or thrust." Cf. M. W. ii. 3. 27 : " thy punto, thy stock, 
thy-reverse, thy distance, thy montant." Steevens cites B. J., Every 
Alan in his Humour: "your punto, your reverso, your stoccata, your 
imbrocata, your passada, your montanto," etc. 

29. Sort. See on 7 above. 

30. What. Who; as often, "but only in the predicate" (Schmidt). 
Cf. Temp. v. I. 185 : " What is this maid?" See also Ham. p. 253 and 
cf. Gr. 254. 

32. Pleasant. Facetious. Cf. Hen. V. \. 2. 259 : " We are glad the 
Dauphin is so pleasant with us" (see also 281); M. for M. iii. 2. 120: 
" You are pleasant, sir," etc. 

34. Set up his bills. That is, posted his challenge, like a prize-fighter. 
Steevens quotes B. J., Every Man out of his Humour : " I have set up 
my bills without discovery ;" and Nash, Have With You, etc. : "setting 
up bills, like a bearward or fencer, what fights we shall have, and what 
weapons she will meet me at." He also gives this extract from an old 
MS. : " Item a challenge playde before the King's majestic [Edward VI.] 
at Westminster, by three maisters, Willyam Pascall, Robert Greene, and 
W. Browne, at seven kynde of weapons. That is to. say, the axe, the 
pike, the rapier and target, the rapier and cloke, and with two swords, 
agaynst all alyens and strangers being borne without the King's domin- 
ions, of what countrie so ever he or they were, geving them warninge by 
theyr bills set up by the three maisters, the space of eight weeks before 
the sayd challenge was playde ; and it was holclen four severall Sun- 


dayes one after another." It appears from the same work that all chal- 
lenges "to any maister within the realme of Englande being an Englishe 
man " were against the rules of the " Noble Science of Defence." Saint 
Paul's was a place where these bills or advertisements were much post- 
ed. Nash, in his Pierce Pennilesse, speaks of " maisterlesse men that 
set up theyr bills in Paules for services, and such as paste up theyr 
papers on every post for arithmetique and writing schooles." 

35. Flight. That is, shooting with the flight, a kind of long and light- 
feathered arrow used for great distances. S. uses the word in this sense 
only here, but it is common in writers of the time. Cf. B. and F., Bon- 
duca: "not a flight drawn home;" Middleton, Game of Chess: "dis- 
charg'd it like a flight," etc. 

37. Bird-bolt. A short, thick, blunt-headed arrow, shot from a cross- 
bow and used to kill rooks with. Cf. Marston, What You Will: 

"ignorance should shoot 
His gross-knobb' d bird-bolt." 

Douce says : " The meaning of the whole is Benedick, from a vain con- 
ceit of his influence over women, challenged Cupid at roving (a particu- 
lar kind of archery in which flight- arrows are used) ; in other words, he 
challenged him to shoot at hearts. The fool, to ridicule this piece of van- 
ity, in his turn challenged Benedick to shoot at crows with the cross-bow 
and bird-bolt ; an inferior kind of archery used by fools, who, for obvious 
reasons, were not permitted to shoot with pointed arrows : whence the 
proverb, ' A fool's bolt is soon shot.' " Cf. A. Y. L. v. 4. 67 and Hen. V. 
iii. 7. 132. See also L. L L. iv. 3. 25 and T. N. i. 5. 100. 

39. To eat, etc. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 7. 99 : 

" Rambures. He longs to eat the English. 
Constable. I think he will eat all he kills." 

40. Tax. Reproach, inveigh against. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 71, 86, Ham. 
i. 4. 1 8, iii. 3. 29, etc. 

41. Meet with you. Even with you, a match for you. Steevens says 
that the expression is common in the midland counties, and quotes Hol- 
iday, T%royjuia, 1618 : "Go meet her, or else she '11 be meet with me." 

43. Victual. Elsewhere S. uses the plural. Bacon has both "Vict- 
ual " and " Victuals " in Essay xxxiii. Cf. Exod. xii. 39 and Josh. i. n. 

Holp. S. uses both helped and holp as past tense and as participle. 
For the former use of 'holp, see K. John, i. i. 240, Cor. v. 3. 63, etc. ; and 
for the latter, Temp. i. 2. 63, Rich. II. v. 5. 62, Macb. \. 6. 23, etc. We 
find holpen in Ps. Ixxxiii. 8, Dan. xi. 34, etc. 

44. Trencher-man. Cf. trencher-friend ( parasite) in T. of A. iii. 6. 
1 06, and trencher -knight ( waiter) in L. L. L. v. 2. 464 (cf. 476) ; also 
Lodge, Wifs Miserie, 1596 : " His doublet is of cast satten cut sometime 
upon taifata, but that the bumbast hath eaten through it, and spotted 
here and there with pure fat to testifie that he is a good trencher-man." 

49. Stuffed. Fully endowed. Cf. R. and J. iii. 5. 183 : " Stuff 'd, as 
they say, with honourable parts;" and W. T. ii. i. 185 : "of stuff 'd suffi- 
ciency." Edwards observes that Mecle, in his Discourses on Scripture, 
speaks of Adam as "he whom God had stuffed with so many excellent 
qualities." Beatrice uses the word contemptuously - stuffed out, padded. 

120 NOTES. 

Farmer says that a stuffed man was " one of the many cant phrases for 
a cuckold" 

52. Stuffing. Halliwell says : " Beatrice seems to use the term stuff- 
ing in a sense analogous to the Latin vestis fartum ; or, possibly, in ref- 
erence to his mental qualities." 

We are all mortal. One of the affected phrases of the time. Cf. Sir 
Gyles Goosecappe, Knight, 1606 : " Sir Gyles Goosecap has always a 
deathes head (as it were) in his mouth, for his onely one reason for ev- 
ery thing is, because wee are all mortall." 

57. Five wits. The wits, or intellectual powers, seem to have been 
reckoned as five to correspond with the five senses, which were also 
called wits. Cf. Chaucer, Persones Tale : " the five wittis ; as sight, here- 
ing, smelling, savouring, and touching." Boswell quotes a prayer by Sir 
Thomas More, in which he asks to be forgiven for his sins "in mispend- 
ing of my five wittes." Schmidt says that "the proverbial five wits" 
were "common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory." In 
Sonn. 141. 9 we find the two meanings distinguished : 

" But my five wits nor my five senses can 
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee." 

59. To keep himself warm. "To have wit enough to keep one's self 
warm " was a common proverb. Cf. T. of S. ii. I. 268 : 

" Petruchio. Am 1 not wise ? 
Katharina. Yes ; keep you warm." 

Steevens quotes among other examples of the phrase, B. J., Cynthia's Rev- 
els: "your whole self cannot but be perfectly wise ; for your hands have 
wit .enough to keep themselves warm." 

Bear it for a difference. That is, for a mark of distinction ; a term in 
heraldry. Cf. Ham. iv. 5. 183 : "you must wear your rue with a differ" 
ence." ' 

62. Sworn brother. See Rich. II. p. 208 or A. Y. L. p. 199. 

64. Faith. That is, his fidelity as a friend. 

65. Block. Still the technical term for the wooden model on which 
hats are shaped. Cf. Lear, iv. 6. 187 : "this' a good block." See also 
Epigrammes by I. D., 1596 : 

"He weares a hat now of the flat-crowne blocke, 

The treble ruffes, long cloake, and doublet French ; 
He takes tobacco, and doth weare a locke ; 
And wastes more time in dressing then a wench ;" 

and Dekker, Seven Deadly Sinnes of London, 1606 : "the blocke for his 
head alters faster then the feltmaker can fitte him, and thereupon we are 
called in scorne blockheads." 

66. Not in your books. Evidently = not in favour with you, but the 
origin of the phrase has been much disputed. Johnson gives it " to be 
in one's codicils or will, to be among friends set down for legacies." 
Steevens takes the books to be memorandum-books, or, perhaps, heraldic 
records (cf. T. of S. ii. I. 225). Farmer says " to be in a man's books orig- 
inally meant to be in the list of his retainers." K. explains it as a com- 
mercial allusion =one to whom you give credit. Schmidt, like Steevens, 

ACT I. SCENE I. 121 

decides on "books of memory" (i Hen. VI. ii. 4. 101 and 2 Hen. VI. i. 

1. 100), which seems the most plausible explanation. 

68. Squarer. Quarreller, bully. Cf. square quarrel in M. N. D. ii. I. 
30, A. and C. ii. I. 45, iii. 3. 41, etc. 

74. Presently. Immediately ; the usual meaning in S. Cf. Temp. i. 

2. 125, iv. i. 42, v. i. 101, etc. 

75. A thousand pound. See Rich. II. p. 182. 

77. Hold friends with you. Cf. M.for M. i. 2. 185 : 

" Implore her in my voice, that she make friends 
To the strict deputy." 

89. Charge. Burden, incumbrance (Johnson). Douce thinks it means 
" the person committed to your care." 

94. You have it full. Schmidt explains this as = "you are the man, 
you will do," and compares T. of S. i. i. 203 ; but it seems rather =you 
get as good as you sent, you are well answered. 

95. Fathers herself. Is like her father ; a phrase common in Dorset- 
shire (Steevens). For the verb, cf. J. C. ii. i. 297, Macb. iv. 2. 27, etc. 

101. Still. Continually ; as in 117 below. Gr. 69. 

105. Is it possible, etc. Steevens compares Cor. ii. I. 93 : " Our very 
priests must become mockers, if they encounter such ridiculous subjects 
as you are." 

107. Convert. For the intransitive use, cf. R. of L. 592, Macb. iv. 3. 
229, Rich. II. v. I. 66, v. 3. 64, etc. 

109. Of. By. Cf. Macb. iii. 6. 27, etc. Gr. 170. 

112. A dear happiness. True good luck. Cf. R. and J. iii. 3. 28: 
" This is dear mercy." 

1 18. Scape. Not " 'scape," as often printed. See Macb. p. 214 or Wb. 
s. v. 

Predestinate is used by S. nowhere else. For the form, see Gr. 342. 

121. Were. The Coll. MS. omits the word. 

128. A jade's trick. Cf. A. W. iv. 5. 64: "If I put any tricks upon 
'em, sir, they shall be jade's tricks ;" T. and C. ii. i. 21 : "a red mur- 
rain o' thy jade's tricks !" Tor jade = 3. worthless or vicious horse, see 
V. and A.T&\,J. C. iv. 2. 26, etc. 

139. I am not of many words. Cf. M.for M. ii. I. 204: "Are you of 
fourscore pounds a year?" Oth. v. i. 65 : "Are you of good or evil?" 
Sir J. Hawkins says : " The poet has judiciously marked the gloominess 
of Don John's character by making him averse to the common forms of 

141. Please it your grace, etc. Will it please your grace, etc. Cf. 
Temp. iii. 3. 42: "Will 't please you taste of what is here?" The to 
is sometimes inserted ; as in iii. 5. 18 below : "It pleases your worship 
to say so," etc. See Gr. 349. 

149. Tyrant. That is, one who shows no mercy. Cf. M.for M. ii. 4. 
169 : " I '11 prove a tyrant to him." 

162. Sad. Serious. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 227 : " Speak sad brow and 
true maid." See also i. 3. 54 and ii. i. 307 below. 

Flouting -Jack. Cf. Temp. iv. i. 198 : " Monster, your fairy, which you 
say is a harmless fairy, has done little better than played the Jack with 

122 NOTES. 

us." We \iZ.Mt flout ing-stock ( laughing-stock) in M. W. iii. I. 120 and 
iv. 5. 83. Cf. the use of flout in ii. 3. 132, v. i. 95, and v. 4. 100 below. 

To tell us Cupid is a good hare-flnder, etc. This puzzled Johnson and 
Steevens, but Toilet explains it : "Do you scoff and mock in telling us 
that Cupid, who is blind, is a good hare-finder, which requires a quick 
eye-sight ; and that Vulcan, a blacksmith, is a rare carpenter ?" Schmidt 
suspects a double meaning in hare-flnder. 

164. Togo in. To join you in. 

168. No such matter. Nothing of the kind. See on ii. 3. 198 below. 

169. There 'j her cousin, etc. A hint of the half-liking for Beatrice 
which is hidden under Benedick's depreciation of her. 

176. With suspicion. That is, "on account of the horns hidden under 
it" (Schmidt). Cf. 212 and 232 below. 

179. Sigh away Sundays. "A proverbial expression to signify that 
a man has no rest at all" (Warb.) ; or more probably, as Steevens ex- 
plains it, an allusion to the Puritanic observance of Sunday. 

187. With who ? Cf. " To who ?" in Oth. i. 2. 52, Cymb. iv. 2. 75, etc. 
Gr. 274. 

189. If this were so, etc. " If this were the truth, so it would be ut- 
tered" (J. H.). 

190. Like the old tale, etc. Mr. Blake way gives this old tale as he heard 
it in childhood from his great aunt: "Once upon a time, there was a 
young lady (called Lady Mary in the story), who had two brothers. One 
summer they all three went to a country-seat of theirs, which they had 
not before visited. Among the other gentry in the neighbourhood, who 
came to see them, was a Mr. Fox, a bachelor, with whom they, particu- 
larly "the young lady, were much pleased. He used often to dine with 
them, and frequently invited Lady Mary to come and see his house. 
One day that her brothers were absent elsewhere, and she had nothing 
better to do, she determined to go thither, and accordingly set out unat- 
tended. When she arrived at the house and knocked at the door, no 
one answered. At length she opened it, and went in. Over the portal 
of the hall was written, ' Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.' She ad- 
vanced over the staircase, the same inscription. She went up over 
the entrance of a gallery, the same. She proceeded over the door of 
a. chamber, ' Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart's 
blood should run cold.' She opened it it was full of skeletons, tubs 
full of blood, etc. She retreated in haste. Coming down stairs, she 
saw, out of a window, Mr. Fox advancing towards the house, with a 
drawn sword in one hand, while with the other he dragged along a 
young lady by her hair. Lady Mary had just time to slip down and 
hide herself, under the stairs, before Mr. Fox and his victim arrived 
at the foot of them. As he pulled the young lady up stairs, she caught 
hold of one of the bannisters with her hand, on which was a rich brace- 
let. Mr. Fox cut it off with his sword : the hand and bracelet fell into 
Lady Mary's lap, who then contrived to escape unobserved, and got home 
safe to her brothers' house. 

"After a few days Mr. Fox came to dine with them, as usual (wheth- 
er by invitation, or of his own accord, this deponent saith not). Afier 



dinner, when the guests began to amuse each other with extraordinary 
anecdotes, Lady Mary at length said she would relate to them a remark- 
able dream she had lately had. * 1 dreamed,' said she, * that as you, Mr. 
Fox, had often invited me to your house, I would go there one morning. 
When I came to the house, I knocked, etc., but no one answered. When 
1 opened .the door, over the hall was written, " Be bold, be bold, but not 
too bold." But,' said she, turning to Mr. Fox, and smiling, *it is not so, 
nor it was not so.' Then she pursues the rest of the story, concluding 
at every turn with, * It is not so, nor it was not so,' till she comes to the 
room full of dead bodies, when Mr. Fox took up the burden of the tale, 
and said, ' It is not so, nor it was not so, and God forbid it should be 
so;' which he continues to repeat at every subsequent turn of the dread- 
ful story, till she comes to the circumstance of his cutting off the young 
lady's hand ; when, upon his saying, as usual, ' It is not so, nor it was 
not so, and God forbid it should be so,' Lady Mary retorts, ' But it is so, 
and it was so, and here the hand I have to show,' at the same time pro- 
ducing the hand and bracelet from her lap : whereupon, the guests drew 
their swords, and instantly cut Mr. Fox into a thousand pieces." 

196. To fetch me in. Schmidt explains this "to take me in, to dupe 
me ;" that is, to entrap me into a confession. 

198. Spoke. The quarto reading; the folio has "speake." As Stee- 
vens remarks, Benedick means that he spoke his mind when he said 
" God forbid it should be so !" 

208. In the force of his will. " Warburton's professional eye first 
detected the allusion here to heresy, as defined in scholastic divinity ; 
according to which it was not merely heterodox opinion, but a wilful 
adherence to such opinion. The subject was a familiar one in Shake- 
speare's day" (W.). For a different but less probable explanation, see 

212. Recheat. Notes sounded on the horn to call off the hounds. 
Winded- blown. The meaning is, I will not wear a horn on my fore- 
head which the huntsman may blow (Johnson). 

213. Baldrick. A baldric k was a belt, girdle, or sash, sometimes a 
sword-belt; generally passed round one side of the neck and under the 
opposite arm. Turbervile, in his Book of Hunting, ed. 1611, gives a fig- 
ure of a huntsman with his horn hanging from a baldrick worn in that 
way. Sylvester (Du Bartas] calls the zodiac " heaven's baldrick." Cf. 
Spenser, Prothalamion : 

"That like the twins of Jove, they seem'd in sight, 

Which decke the Bauldricke of the Heavens bright." 

The invisibility of the horns of the cuckold is often alluded to by the 
old writers, as Halliwell shows by many quotations. 

215. Fine. End, conclusion. For the play on the word, cf. Ham. v. I. 
115 : " the fine of his fines." 

222. A ballad-maker's pen. Referred to contemptuously as a worth- 
less instrument (Halliwell). 

225. Argument. Subject (that is, for satire). Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 242 : 

" If you have any pity, grace, or manners. 
You would not make me such an argument ;" 

124 NOTES. 

and i Hen. IV. ii. 2. 100 : " it would be argument for a week, laughter 
tor a month, and a good jest for ever." 

226. Like a cat. Shooting at a cat hung up in a bottle or a basket 
was one of the " manly sports " of the olden time. Steevens quotes 
Warres, or the Peace is Broken : " arrowes flew faster than they did at 
a catte in a basket;" and Cormi-copice, 1623 : "bowmen bold, which at 
a cat do shoot." 

228. Adam. Alluding to Adam Bell, an outlaw whose fame as an 
archer is celebrated in a ballad which may be found in Percy's Reliques 

230. /;/ time, etc. The line is taken from The Spanish Tragedy where 
it reads, "In time the savage bull sustains the yoke." It had appeared 
even earlier in Watson's Passionate Centurie of Love, 1582. In the origi- 
nal copy (MS. Harl. 3277) it reads, "In tyme the bull is brought to beare 
the yoake, but it was afterwards printed "weare the yoake." Cf. Ovid 
Tristia, iv. 6. i : " Tempore ruricolae patiens fit taurus aratri ;" and De 
Arte Amandt, i. 471 : "Tempore difficiles veniunt ad aratra juvenci " 

240. In Vemce. Venice was then "the capital of pleasure and in- 
trigue," as Pans is now. Cf. Greene, Never Too Late: "this great city 
of Venice is holden Loves Paradice." 

242. You will temporize, etc. You will come to terms in the course of 
time. Cf. T. and C. iv. 4. 6 : " If I could temporize with my affection," 

248. Tuition. Guardianship ; the etymological meaning. S. uses the 
word nowhere else. 

252. Guarded. Faced, bordered. Guards were trimmings or facings 
of lace or embroidery. Cf. M. of V. ii. 2. 164 : 

" Give him a livery 
More guarded than his fellows' ;" 

Hen. VIII. prol. 16 : " In a long motley coat guarded with yellow ;" L. 
L. L. iv. 3. 58 : " O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose," etc. 

253. Flout old ends. Make sport of old endings of letters, like those 
just quoted by Claudio and Don Pedro. Reed cites Barnaby Googe's 
dedication to the first edition of Palingenius, 1560: "And thus commit- 
tyng your Ladiship with all yours to the tuicion of the most mercifull 
God, I ende. From Staple Inne at London, the eighte and twenty of 
March." Malone adds Drayton's ending of a letter to Drummond of 
Hawthornden, in 1619 : "And so wishing you all happiness, I commend 
you to God's tuition, and rest your assured friend." Cf. A', of L. 1308, 
where Lucrece ends her letter thus : 

" So I commend me from our house in grief; 

My woes are tedious, though my words are brief." 

Examine your conscience. " Examine if your sarcasms do not touch 
yourself" (Johnson). 

257. Thine to teach. " Ready to be taught by you" (J. H.). Walker 
conjectured "use" for teach, but no change is called for. 

262. Affect. Love. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. i. 82: 

" There is a lady in Verona here 
Whom I affect." etc. 

263. Went onward. Started. 


267. And that. For the use of that, see Gr. 285. 

271. To wars, We adopt the pointing of Coll., Hallivvell, and W. 
Don Pedro interrupts Claudio in his fine-twisted story. 

275. Break with her. Broach the subject to her. Cf. 71 G. of V. i. 3. 
44 : " now will we break with him ;" Hen. VIII. v. I. 47 : " Have 
broken with the king," etc. S. uses break to in the same sense; as in 
292 just below. He also has break with = break one's word to ; as in 
M. W. iii. 2. 57 : "we have appointed to dine with Mistress Anne, and 
I would not break with her for more money than I '11 speak of." 

The words and with her father ; Ami thou shalt have her, omitted in 
the folio, were restored by Theo. 

281. Salvd. Palliated. Cf. Cor. iii. 2. 70 : 

k 'you may salve so, 

Not what is dangerous present, but the loss 
Of what is, past." 

Treatise. Discourse, talk. Cf. V. and A. 774: "Your treatise makes 
me like you worse and worse;" Macb. v. 5. 12: "a dismal treatise" 
(that is, tale). 

283. The fairest grant, etc. " The best boon is that which answers the 
necessities of the case" (St.) ; or what will serve is fit, as the next line 
gives it. Hayley suggested " to necessity." Hanmer reads "plea," and 
the Coll. MS. "ground" for grant. 

284. '7 'is once. "Once for all; 't is enough to say at once" (Stee- 
vens) ; or " 't is a fact past all help " (Schmidt). So in C. of E. iii. I. 89, 
"Once this"=this much is certain. 

287. / will assume thy part, etc. Where is this spoken ? In the next 
scene Antonio tells Leonato that a servant of his had overheard the con- 
versation in an alley in his orchard ; and in the next scene Borachio 
tells John that he had overheard it from behind an arras in tfte house. 
Are we to suppose an interval of time between the first and second 
scenes of this act ? Or were there two conversations between the Prince 
and Claudio on this subject ? Or is it one of those instances of the 
poet's carelessness in the minor parts of his plot to which reference has 
already been made in M. N. D. p. 122 and Ham. p. 241 ? 

289. Unclasp my heart. Cf. T. N. i. 4. 13 : 

" I have unclasp'd 

To thee the book even of my secret soul." 
See also W. T. iii. 2. 168. 

290. Take her hearing prisoner, etc. Cf. Cymb. i. 6. 103 : " Takes 
prisoner the wild motion of mine eye." 

292. After. Afterwards. Cf. Temp. ii. 2. 10 : " And after bite me," 
etc. Gr. 26. 

294. Presently. See on 74 above. 

SCENE II. 4. Strange. The quarto reading ; omitted in the folio. 

5. They. S. uses news both as singular and as plural. Cf. Temp. v. 
I. 221, Rich. II. iii. 4. 74, 82, Cor. i. I. 4, etc., with Hen. VIII. ii. 2. 39, 
Oth. ii. 2. 7, etc. See also ii. i. 155 below : "these ill news;" and v. 2. 88 : 
" this news." 

126 A'OTES. 

8. Thick - pleached. Thickly interwoven. Cf. Hi. I. 7 below: "the 
pleached bower;" A. and C. iv. 14. 73 : "with pleach'd arms" (that is, 
folded arms). 

Orchard. Garden ; the only meaning Schmidt recognizes in S. See 

y. c. p. 142. 

9. Thzis much overheard. The quarto reading; the folio has "thus 

10. Discovered. Revealed. Cf. Lear, ii. I. 68 : "I threaten'd to dis- 
cover him," etc. 

13. By the top. Cf. A. W. v. 3. 39 : " Let 's take the instant by the 
forward top." 

For break with, see on i. i. 275 above. 

17. Till it appear itself. Till it appear as a reality. H. suggests " ap- 
prove "for appear. 

18. Withal. With it. Cf. T. G. of V. ii. 7. 67: "he will scarce be 
pleas'd withal," etc. Gr. 196. 

21. Cousins. "Cousins were anciently enrolled among the depend- 
ants, if not domestics, of great families, such as that of Leonato. Petru- 
chio, while intent on the subjection of Katharine [T. of S. iv. i. 154] calls 
out, in terms imperative, for his * cousin Ferdinand ' " (Steevens). For 
the use of cousin in S. see Ham. p. 179 or A. Y. L. p. 147. 

Cry you mercy. Beg your pardon. See M. N. D. p. 159. 

SCENE III. i. The good year. Supposed to be corrupted from gou- 
jere and = " Pox on 't !" ( T. N. iii. 4. 308). Cf. M. W. i. 4. 129, Lear, v. 3. 
24, etc. The expression was, however, often used literally ; as in Holy- 
band's French Littleton, ed. 1609 : " God give you a good morrow and a 
good yeare, Dieu vous doit bon jour et bon an." Halliwell adds sev- 
eral similar examples. 

4. Breeds it. The // is not found in the early eds. but is given in the 
Coll. MS. 

8. At least. The quarto reading ; the folio has "yet." 

11. Born under Saturn. An astrological allusion. Those born under 
Saturn were supposed to be of a phlegmatic or saturnine disposition. 
Cf. T.A. ii.3.3i: 

" though Venus govern your desires, 
Saturn is dominator over mine." 

See also 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 286. 

Goest about. Dost undertake. See M. N. D. p. 177 or Hen. V. p. 174. 

12. Mortifying. Used in the literal sense = killing. Cf. M. of V. i. I. 
82 : "mortifying groans." See also Hen. V. i. i. 26. 

/ cannot hide, etc. "This is one of our author's natural touches. An 
envious and unsocial mind, too proud to give pleasure and too sullen to 
receive it, always endeavours to hide its malignity from" the world and 
from itself under the plainness of simple honesty or the dignity of 
haughty independence " (Johnson). 

14. Stomach. Appetite ; as in ii. 3. 232 below. See also T. G. of V. 
i. 2. 68, T. of S. iv. i. 161, etc. 

16. Claw. Tickle, flatter. The origin of the metaphor is illustrated 


by 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 282. See also Z. Z. L. iv. 2. 66. Reecl quotes Wil- 
son, Discourse upon Usury, 1572 : "therefore I will clawe him, and saye 
well might he fare, and godds blessing have he too. For the more he 
speaketh, the better it itcheth, and maketh better for me." 
* 1 8. Controlment. Constraint. Cf. T. A. ii. I. 68 and K. John, i. i. 20. 
20. Grace. Favour ; as in ii. 3. 26 below : " one woman shall not 
come in my grace," etc. 

23. Canker. Canker-rose, or dog-rose. It is similarly contrasted with 
the cultivated rose in Sonn. 54. 5 : 

" The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye 
As the perfumed tincture of the roses ;" 

and in I Hen. IV. i. 3. 176 : 

" To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose, 
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke ?" 

24. Blood. Disposition, temper. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 4. 38: "When 
you perceive his blood inclin'd to mirth," etc. 

25. Carriage. Bearing, deportment. Cf. C. of E. iii. 2. 14 : " Teach 
sin the carriage of a holy saint," etc. 

Rob love from any. Cf. Sonn. 35. 14: "that sweet thief which sourly 
robs from me ;" and Rich. II. i. 3. 173 : " Which robs my tongue from 
breathing native breath." 

34. For I use it only. " For I make nothing else my counsellor " 
(Steevens). For I make the folio has "I will make." 

40. Model. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. 3. 42 : 

" When we mean to build, 
We first survey the plot, then draw the model ; 
And when we see the figure of the house, 
Then must we rate the cost of the erection ; 
Which if we find outweighs ability, 
What do we then but draw anew the model," etc. 

41. What is he for a fool ? What sort of fool is he ? St. quotes B. J., 
Every Man out of his Humour, iii. 6 : " What is he for a creature ?" and 
Ram Alley, iv. 2 : " What is he for a man ?" 

43. Marry. See M. of V. p. 138. 

46. Proper. For the ironical use, cf. iv. i. 304 below : "a proper say- 
i ig !" See also Hen. VIII. i. i. 98, Macb. iii. 4. 60, etc. And for the 
contemptuous squire, cf. I Hen. VI. iv. I. 23, Oth. iv. 2. 145, etc. 

50. March-chick. That is, a chicken hatched in March ; a sneer at his 

52. Entertained for. Employed as. Cf. T. of A. iv. 3. 496 : "To en- 
tertain me as your steward still ;" Lear, iii. 6. 83 : " You, sir, I entertain 
for one of my hundred," etc. 

Smoking a musty room is suggestive of the uncleanly habits of the 
time. Steevens quotes Burton, Anat. of Melancholy : "the smooke of 
juniper is in great request with us at Oxford, to sweeten our chambers." 
Jn a letter from the Lords of the Council in the reign of Edward VI. we 
nre told that Lord Paget's house was so small that "after one month it 
would wax unsavery for hym to contynue in ;" and in the correspond- 
ence of the Earl of Shrewsbury with Lord Burleigh, during the confine- 

I 2 8 NOTES. 

ment of Mary Queen of Scots at Sheffield Castle, in 1572, we learn that 
she was to be removed for five or six days "to klense her chambar, being 
kept very unklenly." Again, in a memoir written by Anne Countess of 
Dorset, in 1603, we read : " we all went to Tibbals to see the Kinge, who 
used my mother and my aunt very gratiouslie ; but we all saw a great 
chaunge betweene the fashion of the Court as it was now, and of y 1 in y e 
Queene's, for we were all lovvzy by sittinge in S r Thomas Erskin's cham- 

53. Me. For the " ethical dative," see Gr. 220. 

54. Sad. Serious, earnest. See on i. i. 162 above. 

Arras. Tapestry hangings, so called from Arras in France. Cf. Ham. 
ii. 2. 163, iii. 3. 28, etc. 

59. Start-tip. Used by S. nowhere else. Upstart occurs as a noun in 
I Hen. VI. iv. 7. 87, and as an adjective in Rich. II. ii. 3. 122. 

"In the character of the chief villain of the drama, the Poet has whol- 
ly departed from the plot of Bandello's tale, which furnished him with 
the outline of the story. The novelist had ascribed the base deception, 
on which his story turns, to the revenge of a rejected lover, who, at the 
catastrophe, makes some amends for his guilt, by remorse and frank con- 
fession. Shakespeare has chosen to pourtray a less common and obvi- 
ous, but unhappily too true character, one of sullen malignity, to whom 
the happiness or success of others is sufficient reason for the bitterness 
of hatred, and cause enough to prompt to injury and crime. This char- 
acter has much the appearance of being the original conception and 
rough sketch of that wayward, dark disposition, which the Poet after- 
wards painted more elaborately, with some variation of circumstances 
and" temperament, in his 'honest lago'" (V.). 

6 1. Sure. To be relied on. Cf. Cor. i. i. 176 : 

" you are no surer, no, 
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice, 
Or hailstone in the sun." 

63. Cheer. Festive enjoyment. For the original meaning of the word, 
see M. of V. p. 152 or M. N. D. p. 163. 

65. Go prove. See A. Y. L. p. 137, note on Go buy. 


SCENE I. 4. Heart-burned. " The pain commonly called the heart- 
burn proceeds from an acid humour in the stomach, and is therefore 
properly enough imputed to tart looks " (Johnson). Cf. FalstafFs jest- 
ing use of the word in I Hen. IV. iii. 3. 59. 

17. Shrewd. Shrewish. Cf. J. C. p. 145. Curst has the same mean- 
ing, and the two words are used interchangeably and in combination. 
In the T.ofS. the heroine is called ''Katharine the curst" (i. 2. 128) or 
"Kate the curst" (ii. i. 87), and "curst and shrewd" (i. i. 185, i. 2. 70). 
See also M. N. D. p. 167, 


24. Just. Just so, exactly so. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 281 : " Yes, just." 
See also M.for M. iii. I. 68, Hen. V. iii. 7. 158, etc. 

27. In the woollen. That is, between the blankets, without sheets. 

35. Bear-herd. The early eds. have " Berrord," which probably in- 
dicates the common pronunciation. The Coll. MS. gives "bear-ward," 
which some prefer. Schmidt says that bear-herd is "the Shakespearian 
form of the word." The folio has "Beare-heard" in T. of S. ind. ii. 21 
and 2 Hen. IV. \. 2. 192. In 2 Hen. VI. v. I. 149 it has " Berard," and 
in 210 "Bearard." These are the only passages in which the word oc- 
curs. For bearward, see quotation in note on i. I. 34 above. 

The apes rode on the bear led about by the bear-herd. For the idea 
that old maids led apes into hell, cf. T.ofS.\\. I. 34. 

41. For the heavens. Some take this to be an oath, as in M. of V. ii. 
2. 12 : "for the heavens, rouse up a brave mind." 

45. Curtsy. The same word as courtesy, which some eds. give here. 
The quarto has "cursie" in both instances in this speech, and Halliwell 
prints "cursey," which he says is "a genuine archaic form of the word 
courtesy.' 1 '' See also on iv. I. 314 below. 

48. Father. Omitted in the folio. 

52. To be overmastered with. To have as master, to be ruled by. For 
with by, see Gr. 193. 

53. To make an account. To render an account. The folio omits an. 

54. / '// none. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 169: "keep thy Hermia; I will 
none ;" A. and C. ii. 5. 9 : "I '11 none now," etc. For other ellipses 
with will, see Gr. 405. 

56. Match. Marry. Cf. T. JV. i. 3. 116: "she '11 none o' the count; 
she '11 not match above her degree," etc. 

60. Important. Importunate. Cf. C. of E. v. I. 138: "your impor- 
tant letters;" A. W. iii. 7. 21 : "his important blood." In Lear, iv. 4. 
26, the quartos have "important," the folio "importuned." 

61. Measure. Moderation, a proper limit ; with a play on the other 
meaning .of a dance, as in L. L. L. iv. 3. 384 and Kick. II. iii. 4. 7. 

63. Cinque-pace. A kind of dance, as the context shows. Cf. T. N. 
i. 3. 139 and see Ham. p. 222. The Camb. ed. quotes Marston, Insatiate 
Countess, ii. : 

" Thinke of me as of the man 
Whose dancing dayes you see are not yet done. 
Len. Yet, you sinke a pace, sir.' ' 

For sink in 68 below the Coll. MS. has "sink apace." According to 
Nares, the cinque-pace was the same as \hegalliard. See Hen. V. p. 150. 

65. Mannerly. Also used adverbially in M. of V. ii. 9. 100 and Cymb. 
iii. 6. 92. 

66. Ancientry. "The port and behaviour of old age" (Schmidt). "It 
means old people in W. T. iii. 3, 63 : "wronging the ancientry." 

75. So. Provided that. Gr. 133. 

81. Favour. Face, look ; as in iii. 3. 17 below. Cf. M. for M. iv. 2. 
34 : " for surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that you have a hang- 
ing look," etc. 

Defend. Forbid, like the Fr. defendre. Cf. iv. 2. 18 below. See also 


I 3 


Oth. i. 3. 267 : "And heaven defend your good souls, that you think," 

83. Philemotfs roof. An allusion to the story of Philemon and Baucis 
in Ovid. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 3. 10 : "worse than Jove in a thatched house." 
This and the next two speeches form a rhymed couplet in the fourteen- 
syllable measure of Golding's translation of Ovid. For Jove the folio 
misprints " Love." 

86. Well) I would, etc. This speech, with the next two here assigned 
to Balthazar, is given to Benedick in the early eds. Theo. made the cor- 

89. Which is one? We should now say " What is one ?" 

96. Clerk. The reader of responses in the English church service ; 
suggested here by Balthazar's " Amen." Cf. Sonn. 85. 6 : " And like un- 
lettered clerk still cry 'Amen ;' " Rich. II. iv. I. 173 : "Am I both priest 
and clerk ? Well then, Amen." 

100. At a word. Cf. M. W. i. I. 109: "at a word, he hath, believe 
me ;" Cor. \. 3. 122 : " No, at a word, madam," etc. 

103. Do him so ill -well. That is, mimic his bad manner so well. 
^ Steevens compares M. of V. i. 2. 63 : "a better bad habit of frown- 

104. Dry hand. Fomerly regarded as the mark of a cold nature. Cf. 
T. N. i. 3. 77. 

Up and down. Thoroughly, exactly. Cf. T.G.ofV. ii. 3. 32 : " here 's 
my mother's breath up and down ;" T. of S. iv. 3. 89 : " What, up and 
down, carv'd like an apple-tart ?" T. A. v. 2. 107 : " For up and down 
she doth resemble thee." 

L09. There V an end. There is no more to be said about it. Cf. Hen. 
V. ii. i. u, iii. 2. 153, etc. There an end is used in the same sense; as in 
T. ofS. v. 2. 98, Rich. II. v. i. 69, etc. 

112. Nor will you not. For the double negative, see Gr. 406. 

115. The Hundred Merry Tales. A popular jest-book of the time, 
an imperfect copy of which was discovered and reprinted in 1815. 

117. What V he ? Who 's he ? See on i. I. 30 above. 

123. Only his gift is. His talent is only. For the transposition, cf. 
J. C. v. 4. 12 : " Only I yield to die," etc. Gr. 420. 

Impossible slanders are " such as, from their absurdity and impossibil- 
ity, bring their own confutation with them " (Johnson). Warb. wished 
to read " impassable " = " so ill invented that they will pass upon no- 

125. He both pleases, etc. "By his impious jests, she insinuates, he 
pleased libertines ; and by his devising slanders of them, he angered 
them" (Warb.). 

127. /// the fleet. J. H. explains this as "connected with this" (see 
114-116 above); but it simply means in the company, and the figure is 
carried out in boarded accosted. Cf. Ham. ii. 2. 170 : "I '11 board him 
presently," etc. 

132. Partridge wing. Formerly considered the most delicate part of 
the bird (Halliwell). Some eds. print "partridge' wing." 

145. Near. Intimate with. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 4. 14 : "you and he are 



near in love ;" 2 Hen. IV. v. I. 81 : "I would humour his men with the 
imputation of being near their master," etc. 

146. Enamoured. Followed by on also in I Hen. IV. v. 2. 70 and 2 
Hen. IV. i. 3. 102 ; by of in M. N. D. iii. I. 141, iv. I. 82, and R. and J. 
iii. 3. 2. Cf. Gr. 181. 

155. News. For the number, see on i. 2. 5 above. 

159. Use. Third person imperative; or "subjunctive used optatively 
or imperatively,' 1 as Abbott (Gr. 364, 365) calls it. 

162. Faith melteth into blood. Fidelity is melted in the heat of pas- 
sion. For blood in this sense, cf. ii. 3. 150 and iv. i. 56 below. See also 
A. Y. L. v. 4. 59, A. W. iii. 7. 21, etc. 

163. Proof. Experience. Cf. J. C. ii. i. 21 : " 't is a common proof;" 
flam. iv. 7. 1 13 : " passages of proof," etc. 

169. Willow. For other allusions to the willow as the emblem of un- 
happy love, see M. of V. v. I. 10, 3 Hen. VI. iii. 3. 228, iv. I. 100, Oth. iv. 3. 
28 fol., v. 2. 248, etc. Cf. Spenser, F. Q. i. I. 9 : "The Willow worne of 
forlorne Paramours ;" Lyly, Sappho and Phao, ii. 4 : " Enjoy thy care in 
covert ; weare willow in thy hat, and bayes in thy heart ;" Swan, Specu- 
lum Mnndi, 1635 : " it is yet a custom that he which is deprived of his 
love must wear a willow garland." Fuller, in his Worthies, describes the 
willow as "a sad tree, whereof such who have lost their love, make their 
mourning garlands, and we know what exiles hung up their harps upon 
such doleful 1 supporters. The twiggs hereof are physick to drive out the 
folly of children," etc. 

170. County. Count; the reading of the quarto here and in 317 be- 
low. The folio has "Count" here, and " Counte " there, but " Counties" 
in iv. I. 310. County is also found in M. of V. \. 2. 49, A. W. iii. 7. 22, 
T. N. i. 5. 320, and often in R. and J. Cf. Warner, Albions England: 
" Home and Egmond, counties brave." 

171. An usurer's chain. Gold chains were often worn by wealthy cit- 
izens in the poet's time, as they are now on public occasions by the al- 
dermen of London (Reed). 

175. Drovier. The spelling of both quarto and folio. 

187. Though bitter. The reading of the early eds., changed by Johnson 
to " the bitter." 

Puts the world) etc. Assumes to represent the world, and thus reports 
me. For gives me out, cf. A. W.\\. 3. 16 : "That gave him out incur- 
able," etc. 

193. A lodge in a warren. The hut occupied by a watchman in a rab- 
bit warren. Steevens remarks: "A parallel thought occurs in the first 
chapter of Isaiah, where the prophet, describing the desolation of Judah, 
says, * The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge 
in a garden of cucumbers.' I am informed that near Aleppo these lone- 
ly buildings are still made use of, it being necessary that the fields where 
water-melons, cucumbers, etc., are raised should be regularly watched. I 
learn from Tho. Newton's Ilerball to the Bible, 1587, that 'so soone as 
the cucumbers, etc., be gathered, these lodges are abandoned of the 
watchmen and keepers, and no more frequented.' From these forsaken 
buildings, it should seem, the prophet takes his comparison." 



213. Hath a quarrel to you. Cf. T. N. iii. 4. 248 : " I am sure no mah 
hath any quarrel to me ;" Cor. iv. 5. 133 : " Had we no quarrel else to 
Rome," etc. 

216. Misused. Abused, reviled. Cf. A. Y. L. iv. I. 205 : "you have 
simply misused our sex," etc. 

218. My very visor, etc. Steevens notes a similar thought in Statius, 
Thebaid, v. 658 : 

"ipsa insanire videtur 
Sphynx galeae custos." 

221. Impossible conveyance. " Incredible dexterity" (St.). Warb. 
would read "impassable," as in 123 above; Hanmer, "impetuous;" 
Johnson "importable" ( = insupportable), a word used by Spenser (F. 
Q. ii. 8. 35 : "importable powre") and other writers of the time. No 
change is necessary. The meaning, as Malone remarks, is " with a ra- 
pidity equal to that of jugglers, who appear to perform impossibilities." 
Conveyance was often used in the sense of sleight of hand, trickery. Cf. 
3 Hen. VL iii. 3. 160 : " thy sly conveyance," etc. 

223. She speaks poniards. Cf. Ham. iii. 2. 414 : " I will speak daggers 
to her." 

224. Terminations. Terms, words ; used by S. only here. 

227. Left. The Coll. MS. gives " lent." 

228. Have made Hercules have turned. Cf. Ham. v. I. 268: "I hop'd 
thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife," etc. Gr. 360. 

230. Ate. Cf. K. John, ii. I. 63 : " An Ate, stirring him to blood and 
strife ;" J. C. iii. I. 271 : " With Ate by his side, come hot from hell." 

231. Some scholar, etc. Because Latin, the language of the church, was 
used in exorcisms. See Ham. p. 172, note on Scholar. 

232. A man may live as quiet, etc. That is, to live in hell would be as 
quiet as to live in a sanctuary, compared with living where she is, and 
people sin on purpose in order to escape her in that way. 

240. Toothpicker. S. also uses toothpick ; as in A. IV. i. I. 171, K. 
John, \. I. 190, etc. 

241. Prester Johrfs foot. Prester or Presbyter John was a mythical 
Christian king of India. Some placed his dominions in Abyssinia; Sir 
John Mandeville locates them in an island called Pentexoire. The dif- 
ficulty of getting access to him is referred to in Hndibras : 

" While like the mighty Prester John, 
Whose person none dares look upon, 
But is preserv'd in close disguise 
From being made cheap to vulgar eyes." 

The great Cham was the Khan of Tartary. He is associated with 
Prester John in the old drama of Fortunatus : 

" And then I '11 revel it with Prester John, 
Or banquet with great Cham of Tartary." 

Steevens quotes Cartwright, The Siege, 1651 : "bid me take the Parthi- 
an king by the beard ; or draw an eye-tooth from the jaw royal of the 
Persian monarch." Cf. the old romance of Huon of Bourdeaux: " Thou 
must goe to the citie of Babylon to the Admiral Gaudisse, to bring me 



thy hand full of the heare of his beard, and foure of his greatest teeth. 
Alas, my lord, (quoth the Barrens,) we see well you desire greatly his 
death, when you charge him with such a message." 

242. The Pigmies. A race of dwarfs fabled to dwell beyond Mount 
Iinaus in India. Their wars with the cranes are celebrated in a poem 
ascribed to Homer. Cf. Milton, P. L. i. 575 : 

" that small infantry 
Warr'd on by cranes ;" 
and Id. i. 780 : 

" like that Pygmean race 
Beyond the Indian mount." 

251. Use. Interest, " usance " (M. of V. i. 3. 46, 109, 142). Cf. V. and 
A. 768 : " But gold that 's put to use more gold begets;" Sonn. 134. 10 : 
" Thou usurer, that put'st forth all to use," etc. 

263. Civil count. Some eds. print "civil, count." The meaning of 
civil is the same in either case, and is perhaps best illustrated by Cot- 
grave's definition of aigre-douce as a " civile orange, or orange that is 
betweene sweet and sower." Cf. Nash, Four Letters Confuted, 1592 : 
" For the order of my life, it is as civil as an orange." There is an ob- 
vious play upon civil and Seville. J. H. explains civil as "plain," and 
compares the use of the word as applied to dress. See T. N. iii. 4. 5 
and R. and J. iii. 2. 10. But the word is not there "plain, homely," as 
he makes it, but rather = grave, sober; that is, like civilian dress as 
distinguished from military dress with its brighter colours and showy 

264. Jealous complexion. Cf. the use of yellowness^ jealousy, in M. W. 
i. 3. in. 

265. Blazon. "Explanation" (Schmidt). Cf. Ham. \. 5. 21 : "this 
eternal blazon " (this unfolding of the mysteries of eternity). 

266. Conceit. Conception, idea. Cf. M. of V. iii. 4. 2 : 

" You have a noble and a true conceit 
Of godlike amity," etc. 

273. Cue. See Ham. p. 213. 

281. Poor fool. "Formerly an expression of tenderness " (Malone). 
Cf. T. G. of V. iv. 4. 98, T. N. v. i. 377, 3 Hen. VI. ii. 5. 36, etc. 

285. Good Lord, for alliance! This seems to mean "Heaven send 
me a husband !" (said sportively, of course), as St. explains it ; or " Good 
Lord, how many alliances are forming !" as Boswell gives it. 

To go to the world meant to marry; perhaps originally in distinction 
from going into the church, where celibacy was the rule. Cf. A. W. i. 3. 
20 : " if I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the world," etc. 
.So a ivoman of the world a married woman, in A. Y. L. v. 3. 5. 

286. Sun-burnt. Apparently = " homely, ill-favoured," as St. explains 
it. Cf. T. and C. i. 3. 282 : 

" The Grecian dames are sun-burnt and not worth 
The splinter of a lance." 

287. Heigh-ho for a husband! The title of an old ballad, preserved 
.in the Pepysian Collection, Magdalene College, Cambridge (Malone). 
Cf. iii. 4. 48 below. 


296. Matter. Sense. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. i. 68 : " For then he 's full of 
matter ;" Ham. ii. 2. 95 : " More matter with less art ;" Lear, iv. 6. 178 : 
" O matter and impertinency mix'd !" 

306. The melancholy element. We have many allusions in S. to the 
old notion that all things were composed of the four elements, earth, air, 
fire, and water. See J. C. p. 185 and Hen. V. p. 169. Cf. also So/in. 44. 
13, 45. 5, A. and C. v. 2. 292, etc. 

307. Sad. Serious. See on i. i. 162 above. 

309. Unhappiness. Theo. changed this to " an happiness ;" but Warb. 
reminds him that the word sometimes meant "a wild, wanton, unlucky 
trick," and quotes B. and F., The Maid of the Mill: 

" My dreams are like my thoughts, honest and innocent ; 
Yours are unhappy." 

Schmidt -explains unhappiness here as " wanton or mischievous tricks," 
and compares unhappy in A. W. iv. 5. 66 : "A shrewd knave and an 
unhappy " (that is, " roguish, full of tricks "). Seymour explains the 
passage thus : " She hath often dreamed of unhappiness, which yet was 
so short-lived that presently she was merry again and waked herself 
with laughing." 

311. Hear tell. ''This form of speech, which S. constantly puts into 
the mouth of personages of the -highest rank, but which is now never 
heard in Old England, except perhaps in the remotest rural districts, is 
in common use in New England " (W.). 

317. County. The quarto has " Countie," the folio "Counte." See 
on i. i. 170 above. 

To go to church. Cf. M. of V. iii. 2. 305 : " First go with me to church 
and" call me wife," etc. 

322. A just seven-night. An exact week. Cf. M. of V. iv. I. 327 : " a 
just pound." 

324. Breathing. Interval, delay. Cf. R. of L. 1720: "Untimely 

328. Mountain of affection. Johnson was sorely troubled by this 
colloquial expression, and suggested " mooting." Steevens and Ma- 
lone think that S. may have written it, as he has " many phrases 
equally harsh." The discussion fills almost a page of the Var. ed. of 

340. Strain. Family, lineage. Cf. Hen. V. ii. 4. 51 : "he is bred out 

> 32 
9 : " bred of hellish strene." 

Approved. Proved, tried. Cf. iv. I. 44 below : " an approved wan- 
ton ;" also 297 : " approved in the height a villain," etc. 

344. Queasy. Squeamish, fastidious. Cf. A. and C. iii. 6. 20 : " queasy 
with his insolence " (that is, sick of it) ; Lear, ii. I. 19 : " of queasy ques- 
tion" ( = nice question). 

SCENE II. i. Shall marry. Is to marry. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 4. 88, J. C. 
i. 3. 87, etc. Gr. 315. 


5. Medicinable. Medicinal. Cf. T.*and C. i. 3. 91 : "Sol ... whose 
medicinable eye ;" Oth. v. 2. 351 : " medicinable gum " ("medicinal" in 
quartos), etc. Gr. 3. 

Displeasure to him. Cf. "a quarrel to you" in ii. I. 213 above. See 
also Gr. 186. We find "displeasure at" in Per. i. 3. 21, and "displeas- 
ure against " in Temp. iv. i. 202, A. Y. L. i. 2. 90, and A. W. iv. 5. 80. 

6. Affection. Inclination, wish. Whatever thwarts his wishes agrees 
with mine. 

19. Temper. Compound, mix. Cf. R. and J. iii. 5. 98 : 
" Madam, if you could find out but a man 
To bear a poison, I would temper it ;" 

Ham. v. 2. 339 : " It is a poison temper'd by himself;" Cymb. v. 5. 250 : 
" To temper poisons for her." 

22. Estimation. Worth, merit ; as in A. W. v. 3. 4, etc. It is used in 
a concrete sense (= thing of worth) in T. and C. ii. 2. 91 and Cymb. i. 4. 

23. Stale. Wanton, harlot ; as in iv. i. 62 below. For another mean- 
ing, see Temp. p. 137. 

25. Misuse. Deceive. Cf. abuse in v. 2. 85 below : " the prince and 
Claudio mightily abused." Abuse is often used by S. in this sense, mis- 
use only in the present passage. 

32. Intend. Pretend. Cf. R. of L. 121: "Intending weariness with 
heavy spright." See also T. of S. iv. I. 206, Rich. III. iii. 5. 8, and T. of 
A. ii. 2. 219. On the other \&x*&> pretend was sometimes intend ; as in 
R. of L. 576, T. G. of V. ii. 6. 37, etc. 

37. Trial. That is, verifying it by their own observation. Instances 
= proofs ; as in M. for M. iv. 3. 134, T. and C. v. 2. 153, etc. 

39. Term me Claudio. Theo. changed Claudio to " Borachio," but 
this does not seem necessary. As Malone remarks, Claudio might 
suppose that his rival was addressed as Claudio in consequence of a 
secret agreement between the guilty pair, in order to prevent suspicion 
if Hero should be overheard. 

45. Grow this. Let this grow. See Gr. 361. 

46. The working this. We should now say either " working this " or 
"the working of this." See Gr. 373. 

50. Presently. See on i. i. 74 above ; and for^ learn, on i. 3. 65. 

SCENE III. 4. Orchard. Garden. See on i. 2. 8 above. 

10. Argument. Subject. See on i. I. 225 above. 

14. Ten mile. Cf. Macb. v. 5. 37 : "within this three mile;" and see 
on i. i. 75 above. 

16. Doublet. See A. Y. L. p. 158. 

1 8. Orthography. The abstract for the concrete. Cf. L. L. L. i. 2. 
190: "I am sure I shall turn sonnet." Pope changed it to "orthogra- 
pher,"and some read " orthographist." 

19. May. Can. See Gr. 309, and cf. 307. 

26. In my grace. Into my favour. For /'//, see Gr. 159 ; and for grace ^ 
on i. 3. 24 above. 

27. mi none. I '11 have nothing to do with her. See on ii. i. 54 above. 

I3 6 NOTES. 

28. Cheapen. Chaffer for, bid for. Cf. Per. iv. 6. 10 : " cheapen a kiss 
of her." In the Shropshire dialect cheapen 2^ the price of. Cf. Hey- 
wood, Edward IV. : " I see you come to cheap, and not to buy." Pals- 
grave gives, " I cheape, I demaunde the price of a thyng that I wolde 

29. Noble . . . angel. With a punning reference to the two coins, the 
noble and the angel. See Rich. II. p. 219, note on Thanks, noble peer. 
For the angel, see M. of V. p. 144. 

30. Her hair, etc. That is, her hair shall be of the natural colour, not 
dyed according to the fashion of the time. Stubbes, in his Anatomie of 
Abuses, 1595, says: "If any have haire of her owne naturall growing, 
which is not faire ynough, then will they die it in divers colours." Or 
the allusion may be to the wearing of false hair. Cf. iii. 4. 12 : "I like 
the new tire within excellently, if the hair were a thought browner." 
For the poet's antipathy to false hair, see M. of V. p. 149. 

32. The quarto has here " Enter prince, Leonato, Claudia, Musicke," 
and six lines below "Enter Balthaser with musicke." The folio has 
only one stage - direction : "Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudia, and lacke 
Wilson." This shows that the folio was printed from a copy of the 
quarto used in the theatre, Jack Wilson probably being the singer who 
took the part of Balthazar. The quarto itself would appear to have 
been printed from a stage copy ; for in iv. 2. I both that ed. and the folio 
assign the speech to " Keeper" doubtless a misprint for Kemp, who is 
known to have acted the part of Dogberry. The next speech is also 
given by both eds. to " Cowley" and another speech of Verges (iv. 2. 5) 
is assigned to the same actor. See also on iv. 2. I below. 

34. Haw still, etc. Cf. M. of V. v. I. 56 : 

" soft stillness and the night 
Become the touches of sweet harmony." 

38. Kid-fox. Young fox. Warb. changed it to " hid fox," which may 
be what S. wrote. 

40. Good my lord. See Gr. 13. 

41. To slander. For the omission of as, see Gr. 281. 

44. Woo. Solicit, urge. Cf. A. Y. L. i. 3. 137 : "Leave me alone to 
woo him ;" Oth. iii. 3. 293 : " Wooed me to steal it," etc. 

53. Nothing. The reading of the early eds. changed by Theo. to 
"noting ;" but, as W. has shown, nothing was then pronounced noting, 
and there is here a play on the two words, as on Goths and goats in A. 
Y. L. iii. 3. 9 (see note in our ed. p. 179). Nothing rhymes with doting 
in Sonn. 20. 12. 

W. sees the same pun in the title of the play. He says : " The play 
is Much Ado about Nothing only in a very vague and general sense, but 
Much Ado about Noting in one especially apt and descriptive ; for the 
much ado is produced entirely by noting. It begins with the noting of 
the Prince and Claudio, first by Antonio's man, and then by Borachio, 
who reveals their confidence to John ; it goes on with Benedick noting 
the Prince, Leonato, and Claudio in the garden, and again with Beatrice 
noting Margaret and Ursula in the same place ; the incident upon which 
its action turns is the noting of Borachio's interview with Margaret by 


the Prince and Claudio ; and, finally, the incident which reveals the plot 
is the noting of Borachio and Conrade by the Watch." Note = observe, 
watch, is common, in S. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 267 : " Slink by and note 
him ;" T. and C. i. 2. 251 : " Mark him, note him," etc. See also in the 
present play i. I. 145, iv. i. 156, etc. 

54. Divine air! Probably meant to be understood as a quotation. 

55. Guts. The word was not so offensive in the time of S. as now. 
See Ham. p. 241. Topsell, in his Hist, of Four-footed Beasts, 1607, stat- 
ing the uses of the sheep, gives " his guts and intrals for musicke." 

Hale. Draw ; etymologically the same as haul, which S. does not 
use, unless, with Schmidt, we recognize a solitary instance in 2 Hen. IV. 
v. 5. 37, where the quarto has " halde " and the folio "hall'd." Hale is 
also the form in Milton (P. L. ii. 596) and in the A. V. (Luke, xii. 58, Acts, 
viii. 3). S. uses the word fifteen times ; and he apparently uses exhale 
as if it were a derivative of hale (=draw out), as in Rich. III. i. 2. 58, 
1 66, etc. 

On the effect of music here, cf. T. N. ii. 3. 60 : "a catch that will 
draw three souls out of one weaver." 

56. When all 'j done. After all. Cf. M. N. D. iii. i. 16 : " I believe 
we must leave the killing out, when all is done." See also T. N. ii. 3. 
31 and Macb. iii. 4. 67. 

65. Aloe. An old form used very often by S. but generally changed 
to more by the modern editors, unless it is necessary for the rhyme, as 
here and in R. of L. 1479. See A. Y. L. p. 176. 

66. Dumps. Low spirits, melancholy ; as in T. A. i. I. 391, R. and J. 
iv. 5. 129, etc. It is used by S. in this sense only in the plural ; but the 
singular is found in other writers. Cf. Harrington, Ariosto : " Strake 
them into a dumpe, and made them sad;" Hall, Homer: "Leaving 
Prince Agamemnon then in dumpe and in suspense," etc. Dump also 
meant a melancholy strain of music. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 85 : " Tune a 
deploring dump." See also R. and J. iv. 5. 108 and R. of L. 1127. It 
was also sometimes applied to an elegy. Davies of Hereford has one 
entitled "A Dump upon the Death of the most noble Henrie, Earle of 

68. Leavy. The regular form of the word in S. and here required by 
the rhyme. 

76. Bode no mischief. The howling of a dog was deemed an ill omen. 

Had as lief. See A. Y. L. p. 139. 

Night-raven. Either the owl, or, as some explain it, the night-heron 
(Ardea nycticorax}. It is probably the same as the " night-crow " of 3 
Hen. VI. v. 6. 45. Cf. Milton, L 'All. 7 : " And the night-raven sings ;" 
B. ]., Poetaster : "The dismall night-raven and tragicke owle." 

83. To-day, that. The pointing of the early eds., followed by the 
Camb. editors and some others. Most of the modern eds. print " to- 
day ? that," etc. 

in the fenne countries and els -where, that doe shoot at woodcockes, 

138 NOTES. 

snipes, and wilde fowle, by sneaking behind a painted cloth which they 
carrey before them, having pictured in it the shape of a horse ; which 
while the silly fowle gazeth on, it is knockt down with hale shot, and so 
put in the fowler's budget." 

90. Sits the wind, etc. Cf. M. of V. i. i. 18 : "to know where sits the 
wind ;" Ham. i. 3. 56 : "The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, "etc. 

91. Some point the passage thus: "I cannot tell what to think of 
it ; but that she loves him with an enraged affection, it is past the in- 
finite of thought." EnrAged=\saA^ intense. Infinite infinite stretch, 
utmost power. 

97. Came. For the omission of the relative, see Gr. 244. Discovers 
= shows. Cf. i. 2. 10 above ; also 142 and iii. 2. 82 below. 

101. Sit you. For you, see Gr. 220. 

105. Would. Apparently used for should; but Abbott (Gr. 331) ex- 
plains it " I was willing and prepared to think," etc. 

112. Hold it up. Keep it up, continue it. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 239: 
" hold the sweet jest up ;" Ham. v. i. 34 : "they hold up Adam's profes- 
sion," etc. 

122. Writ. For the form, see Ham. p. 178 or Gr. 343. 

128. That. For this affirmative use of that, cf. J. C. ii. 1. 15 : " Crown 
him? That." 

129. Halfpence. That is, pieces as small as halfpence ; but Theo. ex- 
plains it as "pieces of the same bigness" and compares A. Y. L. iii. 2. 
372 : "all like one another, as halfpence are." The old silver halfpenny 
was smaller than our half-dime. 

130. To write. That is, as to write. See on .41 above. 

135. Cries. The early eds. have " curses," which seems out of place 
here. Cries is the very plausible emendation of the Coll. MS., and is 
adopted by W. and H. Perhaps S. wrote " curses, prays," and the print- 
er accidentally transposed the words. 

138. Ecstasy. Madness, passion. See Ham. p. 201 or Macb. p. 211. 
Overborne. Overcome. Cf. M. N. D. ii. I. 92, Hen. V. iv. chor. 39, etc. 

139. Afeard. Used by S. interchangeably with afraid. See M. N. D. 
p. 156 or Macb. p. 163. 

145. An alms. A charity, a good deed. The Coll. MS. has " alms- 
deed," which W. and H. adopt ; but this use of alms is natural enough 
in itself and not without precedent in our old literature. Halliwell 
quotes the interlude of The Disobedient Child: "It were almes, by my 
trothe, thou were well beaten." 

146. Excellent. An adverb, as often. Cf. iii. i. 98 below : " an excel- 
lent good name," etc. Exceeding (148) is also much used in the same 
way. Gr. i. 

150. Blood. See on ii. i. 162 above. 

154. Dotage. Doting affection ; as in 198 below. See also M. N. D. 
iv. i. 52, Oth. iv. i. 27, A. and C. i. !. i, etc. 

155. Daffed. The same as doff=do off. Here it means to put aside, 
as in v. I. 78 below. It is used literally in A. and C. iv. 4. 13 : 

" He that unbuckles this, till we do please 
To daff 't for our reix>se, shall hear a storm.'* 


165. Contemptible. Contemptuous. Cf. medicinable, ii. 2. 5 above. On 
the other hand, contemptuous is sometimes used in the sense of contempt- 
ible ; as in 2 Hen. VI. \. 3. 86 : " Contemptuous base-born callet as she 

166. Proper. Good-looking, handsome ; as in M. A 7 ". D. i. 2. 88, M. of 
V. i. 2. 77, etc. 

167. A good outward happiness. " A happy e'xterior, a prepossessing 
appearance" (Schmidt). Cf. "excellent differences " = different excel- 
lencies, in Ham. v. 2. 112, and see note in our ed. p. 271. 

1 68. Fore. See Hen V. p. 155. 

171. Wit. Wisdom, intellectual power; as the connection shows. 
See on i. i. 57 above, and cf. 213 below. 

181. Large. Free, broad. Cf. iv. i. 49 below : " I never tempted her 
with word too large," eta 

185. Counsel. " Reflection, deliberation " (Schmidt). 

189. Let it cool the while. Let it rest meanwhile. Cf. iii. 2. 115 below : 
"bear it coldly but till midnight." 

191. Unworthy. The folio has " unworthy to have^" 

196. Carry. Carry out, manage. Cf. iv. I. 208 below : "this well car- 
ried," etc. See also M. N. D. iii. 2. 240, T. N. iii. 4. 150, etc. 

198. And no such matter. And it is nothing of the kind, it is not so at 
all. Cf. Sonn. 87. 14 : " In sleep a king, but waking no such matter." 
See also i. i. 168 above and v. 4. 82 below. 

199. Merely. Entirely. See Temp. p. in or J. C. p. 129. 

A dumb show. A pantomime ; like that introduced in Ham. iii. 2 be- 
fore the play, and in Per. at the beginning of act iii. ' 

201. The conference was sadly borne. The conversation was seriously 
carried on. See on sad, i. I. 162 above. 

204. Have their full bent. Are at their utmost tension ; a metaphor 
taken from the bending of a bow. Cf. T. N. ii. 4. 38 : 

"Then let thy love be younger than thyself, 
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent." 

205. Censiired. Judged, estimated. Cf. Cor. ii. i. 25 : " do you two 
know how you are censured here in the city?" J. C. iii. 2. 16 : "censure 
me in your wisdom, and awake your senses that you may the better 
judge," etc. See also on the noun in Macb. p. 251 or Ham. p. 190. 

211. Reprove. Disprove, confute. Cf. V. and A. 787: "What have 
you urg'd that I cannot reprove?" 2 Hen. VI. iii. 1.40: "Reprove my 
allegation, if you can." 

213. Argument. Proof. Cf. L. L. L. i. 2. 175 : "a great argument of 
falsehood," etc. 

218. Quips. Sarcasms. Cf. T. G. of V. iv. 2. 12 : 

"all her sudden quips, 
The least whereof would quell a lover's hope ;" 

Milton, L'AH. 27 : " Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles," etc. 

Sentences. Maxims. Cf. R. of L. 244: "a sentence or an old man's 
saw ;" M. of V. i. 2. 1 1 : " Good sentences," etc. 

232. Choke a daw. The Coll. MS. has " not choke," which H. (school 
ed.) adopts, though not without hesitation. As the difference between 



the maximum that would not choke and the minimum that would is 
practically nil, the emendation seems a most superfluous one. 

Withal with. Cf. i. 2. 18 above, where it is with it. For stomach, 
see on i. 3. 14 above. 

239. y4 y<??>. Often used in this contemptuous way. Cf. M. of V. ii. 
2. 119 : "1 am a Jew if I serve the Jew any longer ;" i Hen. IV. ii. 4. 
198 : " I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew," etc. 


SCENE I. I. Thee. Apparently thou. See Gr. 212. 

3. Proposing. Conversing ; from the Yr.propos, discourse, talk (Stee- 
vens). Cf. the use of the noun in 12 just below. Q proposer speaker, 
orator, in Ham. ii. 2. 297. 

4. Whisper her ear. Cf. A. W. ii. 3. 75 : " The blushes in my cheeks 
thus whisper me f W. T. i. 2. 437 : " Your followers I will whisper to 
the business," etc. See Gr. 200. 

7. Pleached. See on thick-pleached, i. 2. 8 above. 

8. Honeysuckles. See M. N. D. p. 173. 

' 12. Propose. The quarto reading ; the folio has " purpose," which 
Reed defends as sometimes used in the same sense. He quotes Knox's 
Reformation in Scotland: "with him six persons; and getting entrie, 
held purpose with the porter ;" and again : " After supper he held com- 
fortable purpose of God's chosen children." Propose is, however, gen- 
erally adopted by the editors. For listen, see Gr. 199. 

1 6. Trace. Walk, pace. Cf. M. N. D. ii. i. 25 : "trace the forests wild." 

24. Lapwing. See Ham. p. 272. 

25. Conference. See on ii. 3. 202 above. 

36. Haggards. Wild or untrained hawks. Cf. T. of S. iv. i. 196 : 

."Another way I have to man my haggard, 

To make her come and know her keeper's call ;" 

Id. iv. 2. 39 : " this proud disdainful haggard ;" T. N. Hi. I. 71 : 

"And, like the haggard, check at every feather 
That comes before his eye." 

In Oth. iii. 3. 260, the word is used as an adjective = wild, untractable. 
42. Wish. Desire, bid. Cf. M.for M. v. I. 79 : 

Duke. You were not bid to speak. 
Lucio. No, my good lord ; 

Nor wish'd to hold my peace." 

For wrestle . . . to let, see Gr. 349. 

45. As full as fortunate. P'ully as fortunate (St., Camb. ed., and 
Schmidt). Most eds. point " as full, as fortunate." Both quarto and 
folio have "as full as." 

50. Of prouder stuff. Cf. J. C. iii. 2. 97 : "Ambition should be made 
of sterner stuff." See also Ham. iii. 4. 36, iv. 7. 31, etc. 

51. Disdain and scorn, etc. Cf. Euphues Golden Legacie, 1590 : " Her 


eyes were like those lampes that make the wealthie covert of the Heav- 
ens more gorgeous, sparkling favour and disdaine, courteous and yet 
coye, as if in them Venus had placed all her amorets, and Diana all her 

52. Misprising. Slighting, despising. Cf. A. Y. L. i. I. 177 : "I am 
altogether misprised ;" Id. i. 2. 192 : "your reputation shall not there- 
fore be misprised," etc. So misprision^ contempt in A. W. ii. 3. 159. 

54. Weak. " Almost =stupid" (Schmidt). Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 374: 
" Your wit makes wise things foolish." 

55. Project. Idea (Schmidt). 

56. Self-endeared. Self-loving, absorbed in love of self. 

60. How. However. Cf. Sonn. 28. 8 : " How far I toil, still farther 
off from thee ;" Cymb. iv. 2. 17: "How much the quantity, the weight 
as much," etc. See Gr. 46. 

6 1. Spell him backward. Misconstrue him ; " alluding to the practice 
of witches in uttering prayers" (Steevens). 

63. Black. Dark-complexioned. Cf. T. G. of V. v. 2. 12 : "Black 
men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes." 

Drawing of. For the of, see Gr. 178. An antic was a buffoon. ee 
Rich. II. p. 192. 

65. Low. For low as opposed to tall, cf. i. i. 152 above. See also 
M. N. D. iii. 2. 295 fol. 

An agate. Alluding to the figures cut in the agates set in rings. Cf. 
L. L. L. ii. i. 236 : " His heart, like an agate, with your print impress'd ;" 
2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 19 : "I was never manned with an agate till now." 
Warb. wished to read " aglet " (the Fr. aiguillette}. 

70. Simpleness. Simplicity, innocence. Cf. M. N. D. v. i. 83 : "sim- 
pleness and duty;" A. W. i. I. 51 : "the better for their simpleness." 
In R. and J. iii. 3. 77 it means silliness. 

71. Commendable. Accented on the first syllable, as regularly in S., ex- 
cept in M. of V. i. i. in, which Schmidt considers doubtful. Abbott (Gr. 
490) also excepts Ham. i. 2. 87, but the other accent seems better there. 

72. Not. Mason and Capell read "nor," and Rowe "for." 

From all fashions. Averse to the ordinary ways of people, for from 
= away from, out of, cf. Temp. i. i. 65 : " Which is from my remem- 
brance ;" J. C. i. 3. 35 : " Clean from the purpose" (see also Ham. iii. 2. 
22), etc. There is a play upon this sense of from in M. of V. iii. 2. 192 
and Rich. ///. iv. 4. 258. 

76. Press me to death. Alluding to the ancient punishment of the peine 
forte et dure, or pressing to death by heavy weights laid upon the body. 
CLM.forM. v. i. 528: "pressing to death, whipping, and hanging;" Rich. 
II. iii. 4. 72 : "I am press'd to death through want of speaking," etc. 

79. // were a better death, etc. The reading of the quarto, which has 
"then," the old form of than. The 1st folio reads "a better death, to 
die ;" and the 2d folio "a bitter death to die." W. adopts this last read- 
ing, on the ground that the one in the text "can only refer to Benedick's 
consuming away in sighs; whereas it is herself that Hero represents as 
being in clanger of being pressed to death with wit, if she reveal Bene- 
dick's passion, and ' therefore? she says, Met Benedick consume,' etc/' 



But when Hero speaks of being pressed to death with wit, it is a mere 
feminine hyperbole; she has of course no real fear of such a death. Her 
thoughts then turn to Benedick, who, like herself, would be exposed to the 
mocks of Beatrice if his passion became known to her; and she says, nat- 
urally enough, Better let him die of secret love than of Beatrice's scorn. 
The transition is as thoroughly feminine as the form of expression. 

80. Tickling. Metrically a trisyllable, like handling in 2 Hen. IV. 
iv. I. 161, tacklings in 3 Hen. VI. v. 4. 1 8, etc. See Gr. 477. 

89. Swift. Ready ; as in A. Y. L. v. 4. 65 : " he is very swift and sen- 
tentious," etc. 

90. Priz'd. Estimated ; as in iv. I. 216 below : "what we have we prize 
not to the worth." See also T. and C. iv. 4. 136, L. L. L. v. 2. 224, etc. 

96. Argument. " Discourse, or the powers of reasoning " (Johnson 
and Schmidt). 

101. Every day, to-morroiv. "Every day after to-morrow; a play on 
the question" (St.) 

103. Furnish. Dress. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 258: " furnished like a hunt- 
ex ;" R. and J. iv. 2. 35 : 

" such needful ornaments 
As you think fit to furnish me to-morrow." 

104. Lim*d. Ensnared as with birdlime. For the metaphor, cf. T. N. 
iii. 4. 82 : "I have limed her ;" Ham. iii. 3. 68 : 

" O limed soul that, struggling to be free, 
Art more engag'd !" 

See also R. of L. 88, Macb. iv. 2. 34, etc. For lim'd the folio has " tane." 
107. What fire is in mine ears ? Warb. sees here an allusion to the 
vulgar notion that the ears burn when other people are talking of us. 
As Reed notes, the .idea is very ancient, being mentioned by Pliny. Cf. 
Holland's translation: "Moreover is not this an opinion generally re- 
ceived, That when our ears do glow and tingle, some there be that in our 
absence doe talke of us ?" Steevens quotes The Castdl of Courtesie, 1582 : 

" That I doe credite giue 

vnto the saying old, 
Which is, when as the eares doe burne, 
some thing on thee is told." 

We are inclined to think, with Schmidt, that Beatrice does not refer to 
the proverb, but means simply " What fire pervades me by what I have 
heard !" 

no. No glory lives, etc. "The proud and contemptuous are never ex- 
tolled in their absence" (St.). The Coll. MS. reads " but in the lack." 

112. Taming, etc. "This image is taken from falconry. She had 
been charged with being as wild as haggards of the rock ; she therefore 
says that, wild as her heart is, she will tame it to the Hand" (Johnson). 

1 1 6. Reportingly. On hearsay. 

SCENE II. i. Consummate. For the form, cf. M.for M. v. I. 383 : 

f ' Do you the office, friar ; which consummate, 

Return him here again/' 
See Gr. 342. 


3. Bring. Accompany. Cf. W. T. iv. 3. 122 : " Shall I bring thee on 
the way ?" See also Gen. xviii. 16, Acts, xxi. 5, etc. Vouchsafe allow ; 
as in C. of E. v. I. 282 : ' vouchsafe me speak a word," etc. 

5. The new gloss, etc. Cf. Macb. \. 7. 34: "Which would be worn 
now in their newest gloss ;" Oth. i. 3. 227 : " the gloss of your new fort- 

As to show a child, etc. Cf. R. and J. iii. 2. 29 : 

"As is the night before some festival 
To an impatient child that hath new robes 
And may not wear them." 

7. Only. That is, only for his company. See on ii. i. 123 above. 

10. Hangman. Cf. M. of V. iv. I. 125 : "the hangman's axe ;" and see 
note in our ed. p. 157. D. thinks it possible that hangman in the present 
passage may be=rascal, rogue, as Johnson explains it in his Diet. It is 
certain that the word, having come to mean "an executioner in general," 
was afterwards used as a general term of reproach. It was also used 
sportively in this sense, and Nares gives this passage as an instance. 
He also cites Hey wood, I Edward IV. v. 3 : 

" How dost thou, Tom ? and how doth Ned? quoth he ; 
That honest, merry hangman, how doth he ?" 

11. As a bell, etc. "A covert allusion to the old proverb, 'As the 
fool thinketh, so the bell clinketh ' " (Steevens). Sound as a bell was a 
common expression, of which Halliwell gives many examples. 

19. The toothache. Boswell quotes B. and F., The False One: 

" You had best be troubled with the toothache too, 
For lovers ever are." 

22. Hang it first, and draw it afterwards. A quibbling allusion to 
"hanging, drawing, and quartering." Cf. M.for M. ii. i. 215 : "they will 
draw you, Master Froth, and you will hang them ;" K. John, ii. i. 504 : 

" Drawn in the flattering table of her eye ! 
Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow I 
And quarter' d in her heart !" 

24. Worm. A worm at the root of the tooth was formerly supposed 
to be the cause of toothache. Cf. Bartholomseus, De Prop. Rerum, 1535 : 
"some tyme by wormes they [the teeth] ben chaunged into yelow col- 
our, grene, or black : all this cometh of corrupt and evyll humours ;" 
and again : " Wormes of the teethe ben slayne with myrre and opium." 

25. Can. Pope's correction of the "cannot" of the early eds. 

28. Fancy. Love ; as often. See M. of V. p. 148 or M. N. D. p. 129. 
Don Pedro plays upon the word. 

31. Two countries at once. Steevens quotes Dekker, Seven deadly 
Sinnes of London, 1606: "For an Englishman's sute is like a traitor's 
body that hath been hanged, drawne, and quartered, and is set up in 
severall places : his codpiece is in Denmarke : the collor of his dublet 
and the belly, in France : the wing and narrow sleeve, in Italy : the 
short waste hangs oner a Dutch botcher's stall in Utrich : his huge 
sloppes speaks Spanish : Polonia gives him the bootes," etc. 

32. Slops. Large loose breeches ; as in the passage just quoted. Cf. 



2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 34 : " my short cloak and my slops ;" JR. and J. ii. 4. 47 : 
"your French slop." Steevens quotes B. J., Alchemist: 

"six great slops 
Bigger than three Dutch hoys." 

No doublet. M. Mason thought this should be "all doublet," to cor- 
respond with the actual dress of the old Spaniards. Steevens says : 
"no doublet; or, in other words, all cloak." 

The passage Or in the shape . . . no doublet was omitted in the folio, 
probably to avoid giving offence to the Spaniards, with whom James be- 
came a friend in 1604 (Malone). 

41. Stuffed tennis balls. Steevens cites Nash, Wonderful Prognostica- 
tion for 1591 : "they may sell their haire by the pound, to stuffe tennice 
balls;" and Henderson adds Ram Alley, 1611 : "Thy beard shall serve 
to stuff those balls by which I get me heat at tenice ;" and The Gentle 
Craft, 1600 : " He '11 shave it off, and stuffe tenice balls with it." 

49. Note. Mark, sign. Cf. W. T.\. 2. 287 : " a note infallible ;" Hen. 
V. iv. chor. 25 : " Upon his royal face there is no note," etc. 

The quarto assigns this speech to "2?<?;^.,"the folio to " Prin" 

50. To wash his face. "That the benign effect of the tender passion 
upon Benedick in this regard should be so particularly noticed requires, 
perhaps, the remark that in Shakespeare's time our race had not aban- 
doned itself to that reckless use of water, either for ablution or potation, 
which has more recently become one of its characteristic traits" (W.). 

.54. A lute-string. Love-songs were then generally sung to the music 
of the lute. Cf. Hen. IV. i. 2. 84 : "a lover's lute." The stops of a lute 
were " small lengths of wire on which the fingers press the strings " 
(Busby). They were also called/r<?fr. See Ham. p. 230, note on Fret. 

55. Conclude. The folio does not repeat the word. 

60. Conditions. Qualities ; as in Hen. V. iv. I. 108, A. W. iv. 3. 288, etc. 

62. Face upwards. Theo. wanted to read "heels upwards" or "face 
downwards," and Johnson and Steevens favoured the change ; but the 
true interpretation is probably suggested by W. T. iv. 4. 131 and Per. v. 


63. Charm for the toothache. Scot, in his Discover ie of Witchcraft, 
1584, gives many charms for the toothache, one of which is the repeat- 
ing of the following formula : " Strigiles faicesque dentatce, dentium dolo- 
rem persanate O horsse-combs and sickles that have so many teeth, 
come heale me now of my toothach." 

65. Hobby-horses. For the literal meaning of the word, see Ham. p. 
225. It was used figuratively as a term of familiarity or of contempt. 
Cf. L. L. L. iii. I. 31, W. T. \. 2. 276, and Oth. iv. I. 160. 

67. To break with. See on i. I. 275 above. 

72. Good den. Good evening. See Hen. V. p. 164, note on God-den. 

82. Discover. Reveal. See on i. 2. 10 above. 

84. Aim better at me. Form a better opinion of me. Cf. T. G. of V. 
iii. I. 45 : " That my discovery be not aimed at " (that is, guessed at, 
suspected). See also Rich. III. i. 3. 65 and Ham. iv. 5. 9. 

85. For. As for, as regards. Gr. 149. 

Holds you well. Thinks well of you. Cf. T. and C. ii. 3. 190 : " 'T is 


said he holds you well " (see also iv. I. 77) ; Oth. i. 3. 396 : " He holds 
me well." 

86. In dearuess of heart. Out of love to you. For holp, see on i. I. 
43 above. 

89. Circumstances shortened. Not to go into particulars. Schmidt 
makes it = without ceremony. Cf. T. of S. v. i. 28: "To leave frivolous 
circumstances," etc. 

90. A talking of. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 185 : "go a bat-fowling," etc. Gr. 

105. Trust that you see, etc. For the omission of the relative, espe- 
cially frequent after the demonstrative that, see Gr. 244. 

115. Bear it coldly. Keep quiet about it. Cf. ii. 3. 189 above: "let 
it cool the while." For midnight the folio has " night." 

117. Untawardly. Perversely, unluckily. S. uses the word nowhere 
else, but he has untoward ( = refractory, unmannerly) in T. of S. iv. 5. 79 
and K. John, i. i. 243. 

SCENE III. Dogberry gets his name from a shrub growing in the 
hedges throughout England, and Verges is the provincial pronunciation 
of verjuice (Steevens). Halliwell says that Dogberry occurs as a sur- 
name in a charter of the time of Richard II., and Varges as that of a 
usurer in MS. Ashmol. 38, where this epitaph is given : " Here lyes fa- 
ther Varges, who died to save charges." . ' 

7. Give them their charge. As Malone remarks, to charge his fellows 
seems to have been a regular part of the duty of the constable of the 
watch. Cf. Marston, Insatiate Countess: " Come on, my hearts : we are 
the city's security ; I '11 give you your charge." 

10. George. Halliwell reads " Francis," supposing him to be the per- 
son mentioned in iii. 5. 52 below ; but that is not certain. 

13. Well-favoured. Good-looking. See onfavottr, ii. i. 81 above. 

21. Lantern. Spelt " lanthorn " in the early eds. The sides of the 
lantern were then made of horn, and that may have suggested the or- 
thography, though it has no connection with the etymology of the word. 
Cf. the quibble in 2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 55 : " he hath the horn of abundance, 
and the lightness of his wife shines through it." The lantern, like the 
bill and bell, was a part of the regular equipment of the watch. Cf. 
Wit in a Constable, 1639 : 

" You 're chatting wisely o'er your bills and lanthorns, 
As becomes watchmen of discretion. " 

31. No noise. Cf. R. and J. i. 4. 40 : "Dun 's the mouse [apparently 
keep still], the constable's own word." 

38. Bills. The bill was a kind of pike or halberd, formerly the weap- 
on of the English infantry. See Rich. II. p. 190. Johnson says that it 
was still carried by the watchmen of Lichfield in his day. Steevens 
quotes Arden of Fever sham, 1592 : 

"the watch 
Are coming toward our house with glaives and bills." 

44. Not the men, etc. Halliwell says that this was the usual excuse 
made by the constables when they had searched innocent persons. 


146 NOTES. 

53. They that touch pitch. A popular proverb, found in Ecclesiasticus^ 
xiii. I : " He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith." 

60. If you hear a child cry, etc. Steevens remarks : " It is not impos- 
sible but that part of this scene was intended as a burlesque on The 
Statutes of the Streets, imprinted by Wolfe in 1595. Among these I find 
the following : 

'22. No man shall blowe any home in the night, within this citie, or 
whistle after the hour of nyne of the clock in the night, under paine of 

'23. No man shall use to goe with visoures, or disguised by night, un- 
der paine of imprisonment, 

'24. Made that night-walkers and evisdroppers, have like punish- 

'25. No hammer-man, as a smith, a pewterer, a founder, and all ar- 
tificers making great sound, shall not worke after the houre of nyne 
at night,' etc. 

'30. No man shall, after the houre of nyne at night, keep any rule,* 
whereby any such suddaine outcry be made in the still of the night, as 
making any affray, or beating his wyfe, or servant, or singing, or revyl- 
ing in his house, to the disturbaunce of his neighbours, under payne of 
iiis. iiiid.,' etc." 

Ben Jonson is thought to have ridiculed this scene in the induction to 
his Bartholomew Fair: "And then a substantial watch to have stole in 
up'on 'em, and taken them away with mistaking words, as the fashion is 
in the stage practice." Yet, as M. Mason observes, Ben himself, in his 
Tale of a Tub, makes his wise men of Finsbury speak in the same blun- 
dering style. Gifford believes it very improbable that Jonson refers to 
S., as these "mistaking words" were common in the plays of the time, 
and are elsewhere put into the mouths of constables. 

69. Present. Represent ; but not one of Dogberry's blunders. Cf. 
Temp. iv. i. 167 : "when I presented Ceres ;" and see M. N. D. p. 156. 

73. Statues. The folio reading ; the quarto has " statutes." It is 
impossible to decide whether the blunder is Dogberry's or the folio 

78. Keep your fellows'* counsels and your cnvn. This is part of the oath 
of a grand juryman, and is one of many proofs of the poet's familiarity 
with legal formalities and technicalities. 

85. Coil. Bustle, confusion. Cf. v. 2. 83 below: "yonder 's old coil 
at home ;" and see M. N. D. p. 168. 

92. Scab. There is a play on the word, which sometimes meant a 
contemptible fellow. Cf. T. N. ii. 5. 82 : " Out, scab !" For the quib- 
ble, cf. T. and C. ii. I. 31, Cor. i. I. 169, and 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 296. 

95. Pent-house. A porch or shed with sloping roof, common in the 
domestic architecture of the time. There was one on the house in 
which S. was born, as is shown in the accompanying view copied from 
an old print. 

* Keep any rw/<?=pursue any line of conduct. Cf. night-rule in M. N. D. iii. 2. 5, 
and see note in our ed. p. 160. 




96. Like a true drunkard. Malone suggests that S. may have called 
him Borachio from the Spanish borracho, a drunkard, or borracha, a 
leathern bottle for wine. 

103. Villany. Warb. wished to read "villain" here; but it is natural 
that Borachio should repeat the word, and the use of the abstract for 
the concrete is a familiar rhetorical figure. 

106. Unconfirmed. Inexperienced; as in Z. Z. Z. iv. 2. 19: "his un- 
dressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or, rather, unlet- 
tered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed fashion." 

115. This seven year. A common phrase for a long time. See on i. 
i. 75 above, and cf. i Hen. IV. ii. 4. 343, etc. 

120. Bloods. Young fellows. Cf. j. C. iv. 3. 262: "I know young 
bloods look for a time of rest." Elsewhere it means men of spirit or 
mettle ; as in J. C. i. 2. 151 : "the breed of noble bloods." See also A". 
John, ii. i. 278, 461. 

122. Reechy. Reeky, smoky, dirty. See Ham. p. 240. 

123. In the old church window. That is, in the painted glass. There 
were threescore and ten of the god BeVs priests, as we learn from the 

124. Smirched. Smutched, soiled. Cf. iv. i. 131 below: "smirched 
thus and mir'd with infamy." See also A. Y. L. i. 3. 114 and Hen. F. 
iii. 3. 17. 

The shaven Hercules is probably the hero shaved to look like a 
woman while in the service of Omphale, his Lydian mistress (Stee- 
vens). Warb. thought that the reference was to Samson whom some 
Christian mythologists identified with Hercules. Sidney, in his De- 
fence of Poesie, tells of having seen " Hercules painted with his great 

148 NOTES. 

beard and furious face in a womans attire, spinning at Omphales com- 

132. Ale. See on i. 3. 53 above. 

135. Possessed. Influenced (Schmidt). Cf. i. i. 169 above : " pos- 
sessed with a fury." In 141 just below it has much the same sense. 

153. A lock. It was a fashion with the gallants of the time to wear a 
pendent lock of hair over the forehead or behind the ear, sometimes tied 
with ribbons, and called a love-lock. Fynes Moryson, in a description 
of the dress of Lord Mountjoy, says that his hair was " thinne on the 
head, where he wore it short, except a lock under his left eare, which he 
nourished the time of this warre [the Irish War, in 1599], and being 
woven up, hid it in his neck under his ruffe." When not on service he 
probably wore it displayed. The portrait of Edward Sackville, Earl of 
Dorset, painted by Vandyck, shows this lock with a large knot of rib- 
bon at the end of it hanging under the ear on the left side. See on 
i. I. 65 above, and cf. The Return from Parnassus, 1606 : 
" He whose thin fire dwells in a smoky roofe, 
Must take tobacco, and must wear a lock." 

157. Masters. In the quarto and the folio this speech and the next 
are both given to Conrade. In the folio, it reads thus : " Conr. Masters, 
neuer speake, we charge you, let vs obey you to goe with vs." The 
correction, which is generally adopted, was made by Theo. 

1 60. We are like to prove, etc. " Here is a cluster of conceits. Com- 
modity was formerly, as now, the usual term for an article of merchan- 
dise. To take up, besides its common meaning (to apprehend], was the 
phrase for obtaining goods on credit. ' If a man is thorough w r ith them 
in honest taking up,' says Falstaff [2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 45], 'then they must 
stand upon security.' Bill was the term both for a single bond and a hal- 
berd" (Malone). For the quibble, cf. 2 Hen. VI. iv. 7. 135 : "My lord, 
when shall we go to Cheapside, and take up commodities upon our bills?" 

162. In question. That is, subject to judicial examination (Steevens). 
Cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 68 : " He that \vas in question for the robbery ?" 

SCENE IV. 6. Rabato. Collar, ruff. Cf. Dekker, Guls Hornbook, 
1609 : " Your stiff-necked rebatoes (that have more arches for pride to 
row under, than can stand under five London-bridges) durst not then," 
etc. Cotgrave, in his Fr. Diet., as quoted by Nares, has "Rabat a re- 
batoe for a woman's ruffe." Cf. Marston, Scourge of Villanie: 
" Alas her soule struts round about her neck ; 
Her seate of sense is her rebato set." 

8. By my troth, J s not so good. This is the reading of botja quarto and 
folio, as in 17 just below. It is a contraction for "By my troth, it 's," 
etc. So this is is shortened into this\ as in Lear, iv. 6. 187: "This' a 
good block" ("This a" in the folio). See Gr. 461. 

12. Tire. Head-dress. Cf. Sonn. 53. 8: "And you in Grecian tires 
are painted new ;" T. G. of V. iv. 4. 190 : " If I had such a tire," etc. 

16. Exceeds. For the intransitive use, cf. Per. ii. 3. 16 : "To make 
some good, but others to exceed." The participle is often so used ; as 
in T.G.ofV. ii. i. 100 : " O exceeding puppet !" 


17. Night-gown. Dressing-gown, or "undress" gown. See Macb. p. 

/// respect of='m comparison with ; as in L. L. L. v. 2. 639 : " Hector 
was but a Troyan in respect of this," etc. 

18. Cuts. Schmidt defines cut as "a slope in a garment," whatever 
that may be, and compares T. of S. iv. 3. 90 : " Here 's snip and nip and 
cut and slish and slash ;" but it is doubtful whether it there has this 
technical meaning. Petruchio seems to be merely referring in a profane 

thy master cut out the govu. , 

Perhaps this dialect of the mantua-maker is beyond the ken of the male 

19. Down sleeves. " Hanging sleeves" (Schmidt). As side-sleeves un- 
doubtedly means long or hanging sleeves, Steevens reads "set with 
pearls down sleeves." In Laneham's Account of Queen Elizabeth's En- 
tertainment at Kenelworth- Castle, 1575, the minstrel's "gown had side- 
sleeves down to the mid-leg." Stowe, in his Chronicle, describes these 
sleeves as worn in the time of Henry IV., some of which, he says, "hung 
downe to the feete, and at least to the knees, full of cuts and jagges, 
whereupon were made these verses : 

' Now hath this land little neede of broomes, 
To sweepe away the filth out of the streete, 
Sen side-sleeves of pennilesse groomes 
Will it up licke be it drie or weete.' " 

Side or syde is said to be used, in the North of England and in Scot- 
land, in the sense of long when applied to garments. A side-gown "A. 
long one ; as in the Paston Letters : "a short blue gown that was made 
of a side-gown." Cf. Fitzherbert's Book of Husbandry : "Theyr cotes 
be so syde that they be fayne to tucke them up whan they ride, as wom- 
en do theyr kyrtels whan they go to the market." 

W. remarks here : " The dress was made after a fashion which is il- 
lustrated in many old portraits. Beside a sleeve which fitted more or 
less closely to the arm and extended to the wrist, there was another, for 
ornament, which hung from the shoulder, wide and open." If this ex- 
planation is correct, down sleeves would mean the inner close sleeves, 
side-sleeves the outer loose ones. 

Underborne. According to Schmidt and Halliwell, this is = trimmed, 
or faced. 

20. Quaint. Fanciful, or elegant. Cf. T. of S. iv. 3. 102: "a gown 
more quaint, more pleasing," etc. 

29. Saving your reverence. "Margaret means that Hero was so prud- 
ish as to think that the mere mention of the word husband required an 
apology " (Camb. ed.). 

33. Light. S. is fond of playing on the different senses of light; as 
here on that of light in weight and that of wanton (as in "a light wom- 
an "). Cf. C. of E. iii. 2. 52, M. N. >. iii. 2. 133, M. of V. iii. 2. 91, Rich. 
II. iii. 4. 86, T, and C. \. 3. 28, Cymb. v. 4. 25, etc. 

I5 o NOTES. 

39. Light o" 1 love. A popular old dance tune, referred to again in T. 
G. of V. i. 2. 83 : "Best sing it to the tune of 'Light o' love.'" Cf. 
Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen : " He gallops to the tune of * Light o' 
love.' " 

41. Yea, light o 1 love. The early eds. have " Ye light o' love," which 
Halliwell and the Camb. ed. retain. The former says that light o 1 love 
was a common term for a woman of light character. 

42. See. The folio has " look." In barns there is a quibbling refer- 
ence to bairns = children. Cf. W. T. iii. 3. 70 : " Mercy on 's, a barne ! 
a very pretty barne !" A. W. i. 3. 28 : "they say barnes are blessings." 

44. / scorn that with my heels. A common expression, which is play- 
ed upon by Lancelot in M. of V. ii. 2. 9 : " scorn running with thy heels." 

47. Ready. Dressed. See Macb. p. 202, note on Put on manly readi- 

48. For a hawk, etc. Heigh ho for a Husband was the title of an old 
ballad. See on ii. i. 287 above. 

49. For the letter, etc. Referring to ache which was pronounced aitch^ 
as explained in Temp. p. 119. Cf. Hey wood, Epigrammes, 1566 : 

"// is worst among letters in the crosse-row ; 
For if thou find him either in thine elbow, 
In thine arm. or leg, in any degree ; 
In thine head, or teeth, or toe, or knee ; 
Into what place soever //may pike him, 
Wherever thou find ache thou shalt not like him ;" 

and Wifs Recreation, 1640 : 

" Nor hawk, nor hound, nor horse, those hhh, 
But ach itself, 't is Brutus 1 bones attaches. ' 

It was only the noun, however, that had this pronunciation ; the verb 
was pronounced and often spelt ake. In V.and A. 875 and C. of E. iii. 
I. 58, the verb rhymes with brake and sake. The noun is of course dis- 
syllabic in the plural, as is evident from the measure in Temp. i. 2. 370, 
T. of A. i. i. 257, v. i. 202. 

50. Turned Turk. A proverbial expression completely changed for 
the worse. Cf. Ham. iii. 2. 287 : " if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk 
with me;" Cook, Greenes Tti Quoque : "This it is to turn Turk, from 
an absolute and most compleat gentleman, to a most absurd, ridiculous, 
and fond lover." 

52. Trow. That is, I trow \ wonder (Schmidt), or trow jy<? = think 

ye (Halliwell). Cf. M. W. \. 4. 140 : " Who 's there, I trow ^ Cymb. i. 6. 

47 : " What is the matter, trow t" In affirmative sentences, I trow is 

often = " I dare say, certainly" (Schmidt). Cf. Rich. II. ii. I. 218, i Hen. 

VI. ii. I. 41, v. I. 56, R. and J. i. 3. 33, etc. 

55. Gloves. Presents of gloves were much in fashion in the time of 

6 1. Professed apprehension. Set up for a wit; as the answer shows. 

66. Carduus Benedictus. The blessed thistle, or holy thistle, an annu- 
al plant from the south of Europe, which got its name from its reputa- 
tion as a cure-all. It was even supposed to cure the plague, which was 
the highest praise that could be given to a medicine in that day. Stee- 


vens quotes Cogan, Haven of Health, 1595 : "This herbe may worthily 
be called Benedictus, or Omnimorbia, that is, a salve for every sore, not 
knowen to physitians of old time, but lately revealed by the speciall 
providence of Almighty God." The Vertuose Boke of Dystillacyou of the 
Waters of all maner of Herbes, 1527, says that " Water of Cardo Bene- 
dictus . . . heleth al dysseases that brenneth." Hayne, in his Life of 
Luther, 1641, states that about 1527 Luther "fell sick of a congealing 
blood about his heart," but " drinking the water of carduus benedictus, 
he was presently helped." The plant retains little of its ancient repu- 
tation in our day ; though, according to Sweringen's Pharmaceutical 
Lexicon (Phila. 1873), ^ ^ s naturalized in this country and "considered 
tonic, diaphoretic, and emetic." 

71. Moral. " That is, some secret meaning, like the moral of a fable " 
(Johnson). Cf. T. of S. iv. 4. 79 : " to expound the meaning or moral of 
his signs and tokens." 

80. Eats his meat without grudging. " And yet now, in spite of his 
resolution to the contrary, he feeds on love, and likes his food" (Malone). 

82. Look with your eyes, etc. " That is, direct your eyes toward the 
same object, namely, a husband " (Steevens). 

84. A false gallop. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 119 : "the very false gallop of 
verses." It is apparently = " forced gait" (i Hen. IV. iii. i. 135). See 
A. Y.L. p. 171. 

SCENE V. 9. Off the matter. Astray, away from the subject. Cf. 
Cymb. i. 4. 17 : "a great deal from the matter." Off\s Capell's emen- 
dation for the " of" of the early eds. 

II. Honest as the skin between his brows. A proverbial expression. 
Cf. Gammer Gtirtorfs Needle, 1575: "I am as true, I would thou knew, 
as skin betwene thy brows ;" Cartwright, Ordinary, v. 2 : "I am as 
honest as the skin that is between thy brows," etc. t 

15. Palabras. That is, pocas palabras, Spanish- few words. Cf. T.of 
S. ind. i. 5 : "Therefore paucas pallabris ; let the world slide: sessa!" 
Henley cites The Spanish Tragedy: "Pocas pallabras, milde as the 
lambe." Palabras has become naturalized in palaver. 

17. Tedious. The tediousness of constables was proverbial. Cf. B. J., 
Cynthia's Revels: "Ten constables are not so tedious." 

19. The poor duke's officers. For the blundering transposition, cf. M. 
for M. ii. i. 47 : "I am the poor duke's constable " (cf. 185). 

23. A thousand pound. See on i. i. 75 above. The folio has "times" 
for pound. 

33. When the age, etc. An obvious blunder for the old proverb, 
"When the wine is in, the wit is out." Heywood, in his Epigrammes, 
gives it " When ale is in, wit is out." 

34. A world to see. " A treat to see " (Schmidt) ; " wonderful to see " 

and in the Myrrour of Good Manners compyled in Latin, etc., " Est ope- 
rae pretium cloctos spectare colonos" is rendered "A world it is to se 



wyse tyllers of the grounde." Many other examples of the expression 
might be given. 

35. God V a good man. Another proverbial expression. Steevens 
quotes the old morality of Lusty Juventus : 

" He wyl say, that God is a good Man, 
He can make him no better, and say the best he can ;" 

A Mery Geste of Robin Hoode : "For God is hold a righteous man;" 
Burton, Anat. of Melancholy : "God is a good man, and will doe no 
harme," etc. 

47. Suffigance. That is, sufficient. 

54. Examine those. The folio reading ; the quarto has " examination 
these." W. remarks : " The blunder in the quarto is entirely out of 
place in Dogberry's mouth ; it is not of the sort which S. has made 
characteristic of his mind. Dogberry mistakes the significance of 
words, but never errs in the forms of speech ; he is not able to discrim- 
inate between sounds that are like without being the same, but he is 
never at fault in grammar ; and this putting of a substantive into his 
mouth for a verb is entirely at variance with his habit of thought, and 
confounds his cacology with that which is of quite another sort." It 
may be added in support of the folio reading that Dogberry has just 
used the verb correctly. See 44 above. 

57. Non-come. " To a non compos mentis, put them out of their wits ; 
or, perhaps, he confounds the term with non plus" (Malone). 


SCENE I. 6. No. t \Ve must agree with Gervinus (see p. 17 above) that 
the behaviour of Claudio here is " heartless." We do not know that Mr. 
Charles Cowden Clarke is too hard upon him when he says (Shake- 
speare-Characters, p. 306): "Claudio is a fellow of no nobleness of 
character, for instead of being the last, he is the first to believe his mis- 
tress guilty of infidelity towards him, and he then adopts the basest and 
the most brutal mode of punishment by casting her off at the very altar. 
Genuine love is incapable of revenge of any sort I hold that to be a 
truism still less of a concocted and refined revenge. Claudio is a 
scoundrel ingrain." Miss Constance O'Brien (" Shakespeare's Young 
Men," in the Westminster Review, Oct. 1876) classes Claudio with Tybalt 
and Laertes. She says : " The young men of the fifth type . . . have all 
certain good points, but they are unbalanced men, and easily hurried 
into excesses through over-confidence in their own judgment. Tybalt, 
Claudio, and Laertes belong to this class, and they have all the same 
peculiarity. They are so fully persuaded of the justice and right of 
their own ideas that they take any means to gain their object, quite dis- 
regarding the cruelty, treachery, or meanness which they perpetrate. . . . 
Claudio is an accomplished and gallant gentleman, much liked by his 
friends, and really attached to Hero ; but he is so bent on avenging his 


own fancied wrong, so sure that he has the right to do so, that he quite 
ignores the cruel injustice of condemning his bride unheard. There is 
no real sense of justice about any of this class; their feeling of honour 
is touched, and they are wild for revenge, but they do not care how un- 
justly they get it. There is a little touch of affectation about Claudio, 
not so strong as in Tybalt ; but Don John talks of * the exquisite Clau- 
dio,' and Benedick jeers at his fantastical language and the love of finery 
which he develops after falling in love." Of Benedick, on the other 
hand, she says : " Benedick tries hard to appear to have neither heart 
nor feeling, but they come out in spite of him. His mocking laugh dies 
into silence when people are in real trouble ; he cannot resist trying to 
take Hero's part, and believes in her innocence more readily than her 
own father ... It is curious with what cool contempt he treats Claudio 
when Beatrice makes him quarrel with him, as if there had been a lurk- 
ing feeling in his mind that a weak nature was concealed under his 
friend's taking exterior." 

12. If either of you know^ etc. Douce remarks: "This is borrowed 
from our Marriage Ceremony, which (with a few slight changes in phrase- 
ology) is the same as was used in the time of Shakespeare." 

21. Some be of laughing, etc. A quotation from the old grammars. 
Cf. Lyly, Endymioii, 1591, where one of the characters exclaims " Hey- 
ho !" "What's that?" another asks; and the reply is : "An interjec- 
tion, whereof some are of mourning : as eho, vah." 

23. Stand thee. The thee is probably = thou. See on iii. I. I above. 

29. Render. Give. Cf. A. Y. L. i. 2. 21 : "What he hath taken away 
from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection," etc. 

30. Learn. Teach. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 365 : " For learning me your lan- 
guage," etc. See also A. Y. L. p. 141. 

37. Comes not, etc. Is not that modest blush the evidence of artless 
innocence ? 

41. Luxurious. Lustful ; as in Macb. iv. 3. 58, etc. It is the only 
sense in which S. uses either the adjective or the noun. See Hen. V. p. 
1 66, note on Luxury. 

44. Knit. Cf. M. N. D. i. i. 172 : " By that which knitteth souls and 
prospers loves ;" Cymb. ii. 3. 122 : "to knit their souls," etc. 

Approved. See on ii. I. 340 above. 

45. In your own proof . In your own trial of her (Tyrwhitt). 

47. Defeat. Ruin, destruction. Cf. Hen. V. \. 2. 107: "Making de- 
feat on the full power of France ;" Ham. ii. 2. 598 : 

" Upon whose property and most dear life 
A damn'd defeat was made." 

49. Large. Free, licentious. Cf. ii. 3. 181 above : "large jests." 
53. Out on thy seeming! The old eds. have "Out on thee seeming, I 
will," etc. K. and V. have " Out on the seeming !" W. gives " Out on 
thee ! Seeming !" The reading in the text was suggested by Pope, 
and is adopted by D., H., Halliwell, and others. 
/ will write against if, etc. Cf. Cymb. ii. 5. 32 : 

"I '11 write against them, 
Detest them, curse them." 

154 NOTES. 

55. As is the bud. " Before the air has tasted its sweetness " (John- 

58. Rage. The Coll. MS. has "range," and in the next line "wild" 
for wide. On the latter word, cf. T. and C. iii. I. 97, Lear, iv. 7. 50, etc. 

61. Gone about. Endeavoured. Cf. i. 3. n above. 

62. Stale. See on ii. 2. 23 above. 

63. Are these things, etc. Cf. Macb. i. 3. 83 : " Were such things here 
as we do speak about ?" 

65. Nuptial. S. uses only the singular in this sense, except in Per. 
v. 3. 80.. See Temp. p. 143, and cf. J. C. p. 183, note on His funerals. 

True ! O God ! This probably refers to what Don John has just said. 
Some eds. print " True, O God !" as if it were a reply to Benedick ; and 
perhaps it is. 

70. Move one qtiestion. Cf. T. and C. ii. 3. 89 : " We dare not move 
the question of our place." 

71. Kindly. Natural. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 84: "kindly tears," etc. 
In A. and C. ii. 5. 78, "kindly creatures "=such as the land naturally 
produces. Cf. " kindly fruits of the earth " in the Prayer-Book. 

89. Liberal. Licentious. See Ham. p. 258. 

90. Encounters. Meetings ; as in iii. 3. 136 above. See also Temp. 
iii. i. 74, v. i. 154, etc. 

93. Spoke. We have had spoken in 63 above. Gr. 343. 

96. Misgovernment. Want of self-control, misconduct. S. uses the 
word only here, but he has misgoverning in the same sense in R. of L. 


On thy much, cf. M.for M. v. I. 534 : " thy much goodness," etc. See 
also Matt. vi. 7. 

97. What a Hero, etc. Johnson says : " I am afraid here is intended 
a poor conceit upon the word Hero ;" but, as Halliwell remarks, this is 
very improbable. 

103. Conjecture. Suspicion. Cf. W. T. ii. i. 176: "as gross as ever 
touch'd conjecture ;" Ham. iv. 5. 15 : 

"she may strew 
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds." 

105. Gracious. Lovely, attractive ; as in T. N. i. 5. 281, K. John, iii. 4. 
8 1, 96, etc. The word is here a trisyllable. Gr. 479. 

109. Smother her spirits up. Cf. Hen. V. iv. 5. 20 : " To smother up 
the English," etc. 

114. May. Can. See on ii. 3. 19 above, and cf. iii. 2. 103 : " May this 
be so?" 

120. The story, etc. "That is, the story which her blushes discover 
to be true " (Johnson). Schmidt takes blood to be used in the same 
sense as in ii. i. 162 above. Seymour objects to the former explanation 
that Hero had fainted ; but we find the Friar afterwards referring to the 
" thousand blushing apparitions" he had noted in her face, and this may 
be a similar reference. 

123. Spirits. Monosyllabic, as often. Gr. 463. 

124. On the rearward. Cf. Sonn. 90. 6 : " In the rearward of a con- 
quer'd woe." See also 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 339. 


126. Chid. Similarly followed by at in T. G. of V. ii. I. 78, A. Y. L. 
iii. 5. 129, W. T. iv. 4. 6, etc. Elsewhere it is followed by with; as in 
Sonn. in. i, Oth. iv 2. 167, and Cymb. v. 4. 32. 

Frame. " Order, disposition of things " (Steevens). Schmidt, less 
happily, makes frame mould (as in W. T. ii. 3. 103), and explains the 
passage, " Did I grumble against the niggardness of nature's casting- 

127. One too much by thee. Cf. T. G. of V. v. 4. 52 : " too much by one." 
131. Who smirched. Who being smirched, if she were smirched. See 

Gr. 377. For smirched (cf. iii. 3. 124 above) the folio has " smeered." 

Mir'd. Soiled. Used again as a verb (=sink in mud) in T. of A. iv. 
3. 147 : " Paint till a horse may mire upon your face." Halliwell cites 
Palsgrave, Lesclarcissement de la Langue Francoyse, 1530 ' "I myar, I 
beraye with myar ; the poore man is myred up to the knees ;" and Tay- 
lor, Workes, 1630 : 

" I was well entred (forty winters since) 
As farre as possum in my A ccidence ; 
And reading but from possum to posset, 
There was I mii*d, and could no further get." 

134. And mine I lotfd, etc. Warb. strangely wanted to read "as mine 
I lov'd, as mine I prais'd, As mine," etc. For the ellipsis of the relative, 
see Gr. 244 ; and for on=of, Gr. 181. 

137. Valuing of her. "Estimating what she was to me" (Schmidt). 

138. That. So that. Gr. 283. On the passage, cf. Macb. ii. 6. 60 : 

" Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood 
Clean from my hand?" 

140. Season. For the metaphor, cf. A. W. i. i. 55: "'T is the best 
brine a maiden can season her praise in ;" T. N. i. i. 30 : 

"all this to season 

A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh 
And lasting in her sad remembrance ;" 

J\. and J. ii. 3. 72 : 

"How much salt water thrown away in waste, 

To season love, that of it doth not taste ! " 
See also Z. C. 18. 

142. Attir'd in wonder. Cf. R. of L. 1601 : " Why art thou thus attir'd 
in discontent ?" T. N. iv. 3. 3 : " 't is wonder that enwraps me thus." 
150. Two. Omitted in the folio. 

152. Wash\i. That is, he washed. For the ellipsis, see Gr. 399. 

153. Hear me, etc. In the early eds. this and the three following lines 
are printed as prose, and "been silent" (first transposed by W.) is given 
for our silent been. Other emendations have been suggested, but seem to 
be unnecessary. 

154. And given way, etc. And let these things take their course. 

155. By noting. From noting; because I have been noting or ob- 
serving. Gr. 146. 

157. Apparitions. Metrically equivalent to five syllables. Gr. 479. 

158. Shames. For the plural, cf. A. and C. i. 4. 72 : 

I5 6 NOTES. 

"Let his shames quickly 
Drive him to Rome." 

159. Bear. The folio reading, and preferable to the "beate" of the 
quarto ; though Coll. and V. adopt the latter. 

161. To burn the errors. Steevens compares R. and J. i. 2. 93 : 

" When the devout religion of mine eye 

Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires ; 
And these, who often drown'd could never die, 
Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars!" 

164. Doth warrant, etc. That is, confirm what I have read. 

1 66. Reverence, calling. The Coll. MS. gives " reverend calling," which 
is plausible, but no change is really required. 

1 68. Biting. Often used metaphorically by S. Cf. M. W. v. 5. 178: 
" a biting affliction ;" M. for M. i. 3. 19 : " most biting laws," etc. The 
Coll. MS. substitutes "blighting." 

171. Not denies. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 121 : "I not doubt;" Id. v. i. 38: 
" W T hereof the ewe not bites," etc. See also v. i. 22 below: "they 
themselves not feel." Gr. 305. 

174. What man, etc. Warb. sees great subtlety in this question. No 
man's name had been mentioned ; but had Hero been guilty it was very 
probi.ble that she would not have observed this, and might therefore 
have betrayed herself by giving the name. We suspect, however, that 
there is more of Warburton than of Shakespeare in this explanation. 

183. Misprision. Misapprehension, mistake. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 90 : 

"Of thy misprision must perforce ensue 
Some true love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true." 

184. The very bent of honour. The utmost degree of honour (John- 
son). Cf. ii. 3. 204 above: "her affections have their full bent;" and 
see note. Schmidt makes bent here inclination, disposition (as in R. 
and y ii. 2. 143, J. C. ii. I. 210, etc.), but the other meaning is more ap- 
propriate and more forcible. 

185. Wisdoms. A common use of the plural in S. See Rich. II. p. 
206, note on Sights ; or Macb. p. 209, note on Loves. 

186. Practice. Plotting, trickery ; as in M. for M. v. I. 107, 123, 239, 
etc. See also Ham. p. 255 or A. Y. L. p. 156. Walker puts this among 
the passages in which live and lie were probably confounded by the old 

187. Frame. Framing, devising. The Coll. MS. has "fraud and." 
192. Eat. For the form, see Rich. II. p. 104 or A. Y. L. p. 165. Gr. 343. 
Invention. Mental activity (Schmidt) ; as in Oth. iv. i. 201 : "of so 

high and plenteous wit and invention," etc. The word is here a quadri- 
syllable. See on apparitions, 157 above. 

195. In such a kind. Cf. ii. i. 58 above : "in that kind." For kind 
Walker suggested " cause," which the Coll. MS. also gives. The rhyme 
makes kind suspicious. 

198. To quit me of them. To requite myself in respect of them, to be 
even with them. Cf. Cor. iv. 5. 89 : " To be full quit of those my banish- 
ers ;" T. of S. iii. I. 92 : " Hortensio will be quit with thee," etc. See 
also Rich. II. p. 208 or Ham. p.. 269. 



Throughly. Thoroughly. Cf. Temp. iii. 3. 14, Ham. iv. 5. 136, etc. 
See M. of V. p. 144, note orr Through/ares. 

200. Princes. The early eds. have " the Princesse (left for dead)." 
The correction is due to Theo. 

203. Ostentation. Similarly used of funeral pomp in Ham. iv. 5. 215. 
Elsewhere it is = outward show, without the idea of pretentiousness. 
Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. 2. 54 : " all ostentation of sorrow;" A. and C. iii. 6. 52 : 

" The ostentation of our love, which, left unshown, 

Is often left unlov'd," etc. 

In L. L. L. v. 2. 409 (** full of maggot ostentation ") it has its modern 

204. For the old custom which is here alluded to, see on v. i. 269 

207. What shall become, etc. That is, what shall come, etc. Cf. T. N. 
ii. 2. 37 : " What will become of this ?" (that is, what will be the result 
of this ?), etc. 

208. Well carried. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 240 : " This sport, well carried, 
shall be chronicled." See on carry , ii. 3. 196 above. 

209. Remorse. Pity. See M. of V. p. 156 or Macb. p. 171. 

217. Whiles. Used interchangeably with while as a conjunction, but 
never as a noun. Gr. 137. The Coll. MS. transposes lacked and lost; 
but 7tf<r>Vdoes not mean missed, but missing, wanting. Cf. M. of V. i. I. 
37, M. N. D. ii. i. 223, etc. Even if it were a case of what the rhetoricians 
call " hysteron-proteron " (a figure recognized by Puttenham in his Arte 
of English Poesie, 1589), other examples are to be found in S. 

218. Rack. Stretch, strain, exaggerate. Cf. M. of V. i. i. 181 : 

"Try what my credit can in Venice do ; 
That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost," etc. 

221. Upon. In consequence of (Schmidt). Cf. v. i. 235 below: " And 
fled he is upon this villany." Gr. 191. 

222. Idea. Image. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 7. 13 : 

"Withal I did infer your lineaments, 

Being the right idea of your father ;" 

L. L. L. iv. 2. 69 : " forms, figures, shapes, objects, ideas," etc. S. uses 
the word only three times. 

223. Study. Schmidt takes this to be a figurative use of study '=& 
room for study, and compares Sonn. 24. 7 : " my bosom's shop ;" but 
study of imagination may be simply = imaginative study, imaginative re- 

226. Moving, delicate. So in the early eds. ; but some modern ones 
give " moving-delicate." Cf. Gr. 2. 

227. Eye and prospect. Cf. K. John. ii. I. 208: "Before the eye and 
prospect of your town." 

229. Liver. Anciently supposed to be the seat of love. Cf. R. of L. 
47, Temp. iv. i. 56, M. W. ii. i. 121, A. Y. L. iii. 2. 443, T. N. ii. 4. 101, ii. 5. 
1 06, etc. 

231. No, though he thought, etc. "A line instinct with touching knowl- 
edge of human charity. Pity attends the faults of the dead ; and sur- 
vivors visit sin with regret rather than reproach " (Clarke). 

158 NOTES. 

232. Success. That which is to succeed or follow, the issue. Cf. A. and 
C. iii. 5. 6 : " What is the success ?" 2 Hen: VI. ii. 2. 46 : " things ill-got 
had ever bad success;" T. and C. ii. 2. 117 : "bad success in a bad 
cause," etc. 

235. LeveWd. Technically = aimed ; as in L. C. 282, Rich. III. iv. 4. 
202, etc 

238. Sort. Fall out, result. Cf. v. 4. 7 below : " all things sort so 
well." See also M. N. D. iii. 2. 352, Ham. i. I. 109, etc. 

240. Reclusive. Used by S. nowhere else. 

242. Advise. That is, prevail upon by advice, persuade. Cf. Lear, v, 
I. 2 : "he is advis'd by aught," etc. See also M. N. D. p. 126, note on 
Be advised. 

243. Inwardness. Confidence, intimacy. The noun is used by S. only 
here, but we have inward= confidential in L. L. L. v. i. 102 : "what is 
inward between us," etc. Cf. Rich. III. iii. 4. 8 : " inward with the royal 
duke." So the noun inward confidential friend in M.for M. iii. 2. 138: 
" I was an inward of his." 

247. Being that. Since. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. I. 199 : "being you are to 
take soldiers," etc. Gr. 378. 

248. The smallest twine, etc. Johnson remarks : " This is one of our 
author's observations upon life. Men overpowered with distress eager- 
ly listen to the first offers of relief, close with every scheme, and believe 
every promise. He that has no longer any confidence in himself is glad 
to "repose his trust in any other that will undertake to guide him." 

249. Presently. See on i. I. 74 above. 

250. To strange sores, etc. Cf. Ham. iv. iii. 9 : 

"diseases desperate grown 
By desperate appliance are relieved, 
Or not at all." 

261. Even. Plain. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. 3. 2 : Give even way unto my 
rough affairs." 

262. May. Can. See on ii. 3. 19 above. 

270. By my sword. On swearing by the sword, see Ham. p. 197. 

271. By tt. These words are in the folio, but not in the quarto. 
274. Eat your word. Cf. A. Y. L. v. 4. 155 and the play upon the 

phrase m 2 Hen. IV. n. 2. 149. 

287. To deny it. By refusing it. For the "indefinite use" of the in- 
finitive, see Gr. 356. 

289. I am gone, though I am here. As Beatrice is about to go, Bene- 
dick seizes and detains her; she tries in vain to escape, and says "My 
heart is absent, though I am present in body." As Halliwell remarks, 
this is very effective on the stage. 

297. Approved. Proved. See on ii. i. 340 above. 

/;/ the height. In the highest degree. Cf. C. of E. v. i. 200 : "Even 
in the strength and height of injury." So to the height and at the height; 
as m Hen. VIII. i. 2. 214 : " to the height a traitor ;" A. Y. L. v. 2. 50 : 

at the height of heart-heaviness," etc. 

299. Bear her in hand. Keep her in expectation, flatter her with false 
hopes. Cf. T. ofS. iv. 2. 3, Macb. iii. i. 80, Ham. ii. 2. 67, Cymb. v. 5. 43, etc. 

ACT iy. SCENE II. 159 

302. I would eat, etc. Steevens quotes Chapman, Iliad, xxii. : 
" Hunger for slaughter, and a hate that eates thy heart to eate 

Thy foe's heart." 

So Hecuba (Iliad, xxiv.), speaking of Achilles, expresses a wish to use 
her teeth on his liver. 

304. Proper. Often used in this ironical way. See Macb. p. 218, note 
on O proper stuff. Cf. i. 3. 46 above : " A proper squire !" 

310. Counties. See on ii. i. 170 above. 

311. Count, Count Comfect. The quarto reads " counte, counte com- 
fect;" the folio, "Counte, comfect." Count Comfect is used in derision, 
like "My Lord Lollipop" (St.). W. sees a play upon both count and 
confect. " Her wit and her anger working together, she at once calls 
Claudio's accusation 'a goodly conte confect,' that is, a story made up, 
and him a count confect,' that is, a nobleman of sugar candy ; for he 
was plainly a pretty fellow and a dandy; and then she clenches the 
nail that she has driven home by adding * a sweet gallant, surely !' This 
sense of the passage ... is further evident from the inter-dependence of 
the whole exclamation, * Surely a princely testimony, a goodly count,' 
the first part of which would be strangely out of place if there were no 
pun in the second. In Shakespeare's time the French title Count was 
pronounced like conte or compte, meaning a fictitious story, a word which 
was then in common use." 

314. Courtesies. Mere forms of courtesy. Here both quarto and folio 
have " cursies," which Halliwell believes to be an old form used only in 
the sense of obeisance, or the outward manifestation of courtesy. Sec 
on ii. i. 45 above. The curtsy was formerly used by men as well as 
women. Cf. Rich. III. i. 3. 49 : " Duck with French nods and apish 
courtesy ;" L. L. L. i. 2. 66 : "a new-devised courtesy ;" A. W. v. 3. 324: 
" Let thy courtesies alone ; they are scurvy ones," etc. 

315. Trim. The word, like proper (see on 304 above) is often used 
ironically. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 363 : " Trim gallants ;" M. N. D. iii. 2. 157 : 
" A trim exploit," etc. Ones= tongues ; such change from singular to 
plural being not uncommon in Elizal3ethan English. Cf. Sonn. 78. 3 : 

" As every alien pen hath got my use, 

And under thee their poesie disperse ;" 

where the plural in their and in the subject of disperse is implied in every 

325. Engaged. Pledged ; that is, to challenge him. 

SCENE II. Enter . . . in gowns. The gowns of constables are often 
alluded to in writers of the time. Malone quotes The Blacke Booke, 
1604: "when they mist their constable, and sawe the blacke gowne of 
his office lye full in a puddle." 

i. This speech is assigned to " Keeper" in the early eds. (see on ii. 3. 32 
above), and " Kempe " is prefixed to most of the speeches of Dogberry 
in the remainder of the scene, as " Cowley " or " Couley " is to those of 
Verges. In line 4, however, we find "Andrew" a name that cannot be 
identified with that of any comic actor of the time ; but perhaps, as Hal- 
liwell suggests, it was the familiar appellation of some one of them. 

160 NOTES. 

5. Exhibition to examine. A blunder for "examination to exhibit" 

16-19. Yea sir . . . such villains. Found in the quarto, but omitted in 
the folio. As Theo., who restored the passage to the text, remarks, " it 
supplies a defect, for without it the town-clerk asks a question of the 
prisoners, and goes on without staying for any answer to it." Blackstone 
believes that the omission was made on account of the statute of James 
I. forbidding the use of the name of God on the stage. 

18. Defend. Forbid. See on ii. i. 81 above. 

23. / will go about with him. "I will go to work with him, he shall 
find his match in me " (Schmidt). See on i. 3. n above. 

28. They are both in a tale. " They both say the same " (Schmidt). 
"Dogberry had heard of getting at the truth by separate examination, 
and sagaciously asking a question to which they could not but both give 
the same answer, expresses his surprise at the failure of his wise experi- 
ment. The humour of the observation is admirable" (Pye). 

32. Eftest. Quickest, readiest (Boswell). Theo. changed it to " deft- 
est," and Steevens thought that it was meant to be a blunder for that 
word. Deftly occurs in Macb. iv. i. 68. 

46. By the mass. Halliwell remarks that this oath was then go- 
ing out of fashion, and is therefore appropriately put into the mouth 
of Verges "a good old man, sir." Cf. Sir John Harrington, Epi- 
grams ^ 1633 : 

" In elder times an ancient custome was, 
To sweare in weighty matters by the Masse ; 
But when the Masse went downe (as old men note) 
They swore then by the crosse of this same grote ; 
And when the Crosse was likewise held in scorne, 
Then, by their faith, the common oath was sworne. 
Last, having sworne away all faith and troth, 
Onely God-damne them is their common oath. 
Thus custome kept decorum by gradation, 
That losing Masse, Crosse, Faith, they find damnation." 

58. Upon. In consequence of. See on iv. i. 221 above. 
62. Let them, etc. The quarto reads : " Couley. Let them be in the 
hands of coxcombe." The folio has "Sex. Let them be in the hands 
of Coxcombe." Theo. retained the old text, but gave the speech to Con- 
rade, as W. does. The reading in our text is Malone's, who also sug- 

" Verges. Let them be in the hands of 
Conrade. Coxcomb!" 

There is not much to choose between these two emendations. The 
Camb. editors suggest that Let them be in the hands " may be the cor- 
ruption of a stage-direction [Let them bind them~\ or [Let them bind their 
hands]." The Coll. MS. gives 

" Verges. Let them be bound. 
Conrade. Hands off, coxcomb!" 

66. Naughty. Formerly used in a much stronger sense than at present. 
See M.ofV.ip. 152. 

69. My years. Mr. Weiss (see p. 26 above), in quoting this passage, 

ACT V. SCENE 7. !6i 

gives "my ears," but as we can find no authority for that reading, we 
take it to be a misprint ; Dogberry could hardly have confounded words 
so familiar as years and ears. 

75. Piece of flesh. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 68: "a good piece of flesh in- 
deed !" T. N. i. 5. 30: " as witty a piece of Eve's flesh as any in lllyria ;"' 
L. L. L. iii. I. 136 : " My sweet ounce of man's flesh !" 

77. Losses. The Coll. MS. has "leases," and some one has suggested 
" law-suits." The meaning seems to be, one that is " a rich fellow " still, 
though he " hath had losses." 


SCENE I. 7. Comforter. The quarto reading. The 1st folio has 
"comfort," changed in the 2d into "comfort els." 
7. Suit. Agree, coincide. Cf. 71 N. i. 2. 50 : 

"I will believe them hast a mind that suits 
With this thy fair and outward character.' ' 

10. Hanmer reads "speak to me;" but patience is a trisyllable, as in 19 
below. Gr. 479. 

12. Strain. Feeling (Schmidt). Ci.Sonn.qo. 13: "strains of woe ;" 
T.and C. ii. 2. 154: 

" Can it be 

That so degenerate a strain as this 
Should once set footing in your generous bosoms ?" 

See also Cor. v. 3. 149, T. of A. iv. 3. 213, etc. 

1 6. Bid sorrow) wag, etc. This is the great crux of the play. The quarto 
and folio read : " And, sorrow, wagge, crie hem," etc. CapelPs emenda- 
tion in the text is perhaps as satisfactory as any that has been proposed, 
and is adopted by St., D., H., the Camb. editors, and others. Among the 
others are " And sorrow wage ; cry hem " (Theo.) ; " And sorrow waive ; 
cry hem " (Hanmer) ; " And ' sorrow, waggery ; hem, when " (Johnson) ; 
" Cry, ' sorrow, wag ;' and hem " (also suggested by Johnson, and adopt- 
ed by Steevens) ; " In sorrow wag ; cry hem " (Malone) ; " And sor- 
row wag! cry hem" (D.) ; "Call sorrow joy, cry hem" (Coll. MS.) ; 
" And sorrowing, cry hem " (Heath, followed by Halliwell) ; " And sor- 
row's wag, cry hem" (W.), etc. Schmidt thinks that the old reading may 
be explained thus : " and if sorrow, a merry droll, will cry hem," etc. 

For wtfo-^begone, cf. M. W. i. 3. 7: "let them wag; trot, trot." See 
also Id. ii. I. 238, ii. 3. 74, 101 ; and cf. T. A. v. 2. 87 : 

" For well I wot the empress never wags 
But in her company there is a Moor." 

See also Ham. pp. 235, 265. 

iS. Candle-wasters. Those who sit up late, " burning the midnight oil ;" 
but whether in revelry, as Steevens explains it, or in study, as Whalley 
suggests, has been matter of dispute. St. and D. adopt the former in- 
terpretation ; but Schmidt favours the latter, making the passage 


1 62 NOTES. 

"drown grief with the wise saws of pedants and book-worms." Ingleby 
also explains it, "drown one's troubles in study." Whalley quotes B. J., 
Cynthia's Revels, iii. 2 : " Spoiled by a whoreson book-worm, a candle- 
waster." Lamp-wasters is similarly used in The Antiquary , iii. 

23. Passion. Emotion, sorrow. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 392 : " Allaying both 
their fury and my passion ;" L. L. L. v. 2. 118 : " passion's solemn tears," 
T. A. i. i. 106 : " A mother's tears in passion for her son," etc. 

24. Preceptial medicine. The medicine of precept or counsel. Cf. i. 3. 
II above : "a moral medicine." 

28. Wring. Writhe ; as in Hen. V. iv. I. 253 : 

" Whose sense no more can feel 
But his own wringing ;" 

and Cymb. iii. 6. 79 : " He wrings at some distress." 

30. Moral. Ready to moralize. Cf. Lear. iv. 2. 58 : "a moral fool." 
Schmidt makes it an adjective with this sense in A. Y. L. ii. 7. 29 : 

" When I did hear 

The motley fool thus moral on the time ;" 
but it is more likely a verb = moralize. 

32. Advertisement. Admonition, moral instruction (Johnson). Cf. A. 
W. iv. 3. 240 : " that is an advertisement to a proper maid in Florence, one 
Diana, to take heed ;" i Hen. IV. iv. i. 36 : " Yet doth he give us bold 
advertisement." See also Baret, Alvearie, 1580: "A warning and ad- 
monition, an advertisement, a counsaile, an advisement or instruction, 
admonitw." So the verb counsel, instruct ; as in M.forM. \. 1.42, v. i. 
388, and Hen. VIII. ii. 4. 178. Seymour explains the present passage : 
"my griefs are too violent to be expressed in words." 

37. The style of gods. Warb. thought this referred to " the extravagant 
titles the stoics gave their wise men ;" but, as Steevens remarks, it means 
simply " an exalted language, such as we may suppose would be written by 
beings superior to human calamities." Cf. B. and F., Four Plays in One : 

" Athens doth make women philosophers, 
And sure their children chat the talk of gods." 

38. Push. Rowe changed this to " pish," and Schmidt makes it an in- 
terjection = " pshaw, pish ;" as in T. of A. iii. 6. 1 19 : " Push ! did you see 
my cap ?" Boswell considers made a push at contended against, defied ; 
and cites from L'Estrange, " Away he goes, makes his push, stands the 
shock of battle," etc. ,i.push onset, attack, in J. C. v. 2. 5 : " And sud- 
den push gives them the overthrow," etc. 

Stifferance- ^ suffering ; as in Sonn. 58. 7, M. W. iv. 2. 2, 2 Hen. IV. v. 4. 
28, T.and C.\. I. 28, etc. 

46. Good den. See on iii. 2. 72 above. 

55. Beshrew. A mild form of imprecation. See M. N. D. p. 152. 

58. Fleer. Grin, sneer. Palsgrave defines it thus : " I flee re, I make 
an yvell countenaunce with the mouthe by uncoveryng of the tethe." Cf. 
R. and J. i. 5. 59 : " To fleer and scorn at our solemnity." See also L. L. 
L. v. 2. 109 and J. C. i. 3. 117. 

62. To thy head. Forby, in his East Anglian Vocabulary, says : " We 
say, I told him so to his head y not to his face, which is the usual phrase." 

64. Reverence. That is, the "privilege of age " mentioned just above, 

ACT V. SCENE /. 163 

65. Bruise of many days. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. I. IOC: "the bruises of 
the days before." 

66. Trial of a man. Manly combat. For trial in this sense, cf. Rick. 
II. i. i. 81, 151, i. 3. 99, iv. I. 56, 71, 90, 106, etc. 

71. Framed. Devised, fabricated. C the use of the noun in iv. 1. 187 

75. Fence. Skill in fencing ; as in 84 just below. In 3 Hen. VI. iv. i. 
44 ("fence impregnable") it means defence. Cf. the use of the verb- 
defend, in Id. iii. 3. 98 : " fence the right." 

76. May of youth. Cf. Hen. V. i. 2. 120 : "the very May-morn of his 

Lustihood. Spirit, vigour. Cf. T. and C. ii. 2. 50 : "lustihood deject." 
See also Spenser, F. Q. iii. 10. 45 : "All day they daunced with great 
lusty-hedd ;" Shep. Kal. May : " In lustihede and wanton meryment ;" 
Muiopotmos, 61 : " Yong Clarion, with vauntfull lustie-head," etc. 

77. Away! I will not have to do with yoit. Here again Claudio's be- 
haviour is unfeeling. " The prince, who is only an acquaintance of the 
father Leonato, and his brother Antonio, nevertheless manifests a gentle- 
manly consideration and even tenderness in their family disaster ; but 
Claudio is wholly untouched by the anguish of the old men at the loss of 
their child (she his own mistress too !) and at the stain upon their house. 
He has no word of sympathy or commiseration ; he wraps himself up in 
contempt of their aged and feeble defiance ; and immediately after they 
have gone out, upon Benedick's entering, he jests upon the danger that 
he and the prince have escaped of having their ' noses snapped off with 
two old men without teeth ' " (Clarke). 

78. Daff. Put off, put aside. See on ii. 3. 155 above. 

80. He shall kill, etc. " This brother Antony is the truest picture im- 
aginable of human nature. He had assumed the character of a sage to 
comfort his brother, overwhelmed with grief for his only daughter's affront 
and dishonour ; and had severely reproved him for not commanding his 
passion better on so trying an occasion. Yet, immediately after this, no 
sooner does he begin to suspect that his age and valour are slighted, but 
he falls into the most intemperate fit of rage himself. . . . This is copying 
nature with a penetration and exactness of judgment peculiar to Shake- 
speare" (Warb.). 

82. Win me and wear me. " Proverbial = let him laugh that wins; 
originally = win me and have or enjoy me" (Schmidt). Cf. Hen. V. v. 

2. 250 : " thou hast me, if thou hast me, at the worst ; and thou shalt 
wear me, if thou wear me, better and better," etc. See also ii. i. 294 

83. Come, sir boy, come, follow. The reading of the early eds. Pope 
changed it to "come, boy, follow." 

84. Foining. " A term in fencing = thrusting " (Douce). Cf. M. W. ii. 

3. 24 : " To see thee fight, to see thee foin." See also 2 Hen. IV. ii. i. 17 
and ii. 4. 252. We have/0/;/ as a noun ( thrust) in Lear, iv. 6. 251. So 
in Cotgrave's Fr. Diet. : " Coup d^estoc, a thrust, foine, stockado, stab." 
Halliwell quotes Harrington, Ariosto, 1591 : " Rogero never foyned, and 
seldome strake but flatling." 

164 NOTES. 

87. Content yourself. "Compose yourself, keep your temper" 
(Schmidt) ; as in 71 of S. i. I. 90, 203, ii. i. 343, T. and C. iii. 2. 151, etc. 

91. Jacks. Often used as a term of contempt. Cf. M. of V. iii. 4. 77 : 
" these bragging Jacks ;" I Hen. IV. iii. 3. 99 : " the prince is a Jack, a 
sneak-cup," etc. See also i. I. 162 above. 

94. Scambling. Scrambling. Cf. Hen. V. i. i. 4, v. 2. 218, etc. 
Outfacing. " Facing the matter out with looks " (Schmidt). Cf. A. Y. 

L. i. 3. 124 : 

" As many other mannish cowards have 
That do outface it with their semblances." 

Fashion-monging. Foppish. It is the reading of both quarto and fo- 
lio, changed in the later folios to "fashion-mongring." We have fashion- 
monger in R. of J. ii. 4. 34. Halliwell cites Wilson, Coblers Frophecie, 
1594: "the money-monging mate with all his knaverie." 

95. Cog. " To deceive, especially by smooth lies " (Schmidt). Cf. M. 
W. iii. 3. 76 : "I cannot cog, and say thou art this and that, like a many 
of these lisping hawthorn-buds, that come like women in men's apparel," 
etc. See also Rich. III. i. 3. 48, T. and C. v. 6. 1 1, T. of A. v. i. 98, etc. 

Flout. See on i. i. 162 above. 

Deprave. Slander. Cf. T. of A. \. 2. 145 : " Who lives that 's not 
depraved or depraves?" So depravation detraction in T. and C. v. 

2. 132. 

96. Anticly. Spelt "antiquely" in the early eds., which use antique 
and antick interchangeably without regard to the meaning. Cf. Macb. 
p. 234. 

Show. The early eds. and many modern ones have " and show." 
Spedding suggested the emendation. 

Otitward hideousness = "\\\\-&.\. in Hen. V. iii. 6. 81 is called 'a horrid 
suit of the camp ' " (Steevens). 

97. Off. The early eds. have "of;" corrected by Theo. Dangerous 
= threatening. 

101. Wake. Rouse, excite. Cf. Rich. II. i. 3. 132: "To wake our 
peace." See also Rich. III. i. 3. 288. Hanmer reads "rack" here, and 
Warb. " wrack." " Waste " has also been suggested. 

104. Full of proof . Fully proved. Cf. " full of rest " in I Hen. IV. iv. 

3. 27 and J. C. iv. 3. 202, etc. 

1 13. Almost a fray. Rowe omitted almost, but, as Halliwell notes, 
the repetition is quite in Shakespeare's manner. 

114. Had like. See A. Y. L. p. 197, note on And like. For with by, 
see Gr. 193. 

117. I doubt. I suspect. Cf. M. W. i. 4. 42 : "I doubt he be not well," 

119. In a false quarrel, etc. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 233 : "Thrice is he 
arm'd that hath his quarrel just," etc. 

122. High-proof. In a high degree ; used by S. only here. 

127. As -we do the minstrels. " An allusion perhaps to the itinerant 
sword-dancers" (Douce). Schmidt makes draw ^\^\\ the bow of a 
riddle; Coll. (so D. and Halliwell) = draw the instruments from their 


128. Pleasure. Cf. M. W.\. I. 251 : "what I do is to pleasure you;" 
M. of V. i. 3. 7 : " will you pleasure me ?" etc. 

131. Care killed a cat. A familiar old proverb. Cf. B. J., Every Man 
in His Humour, i. 3 : " hang sorrow, care '11 kill a cat," etc. 

133. In the career, etc. The metaphor is taken from the tilting-field, 
and is carried out by Claudio in his reply. 

135. Staff. Lance. See Macb. pp. 250, 253. Broke cress =\)roken 
crosswise, and not by a direct thrust. The former was considered dis- 
graceful. See A. Y. L. p. 181, note on Traverse. 

137. By this light. A common oath. Cf. Temp. ii. 2. 154, Hi. 2. 17, Z. 
L. L. iv. 3. 10, K. John, i. i. 259, etc. See also v. 4. 92 below. So "by 
this good light " (Temp. ii. 2. 147, W. T. ii. 3. 182), "by this day and this 
light" (Hen. V. iv. 8. 66), "God's light !" (2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 142, 159), etc. 

139. To turn his girdle. " Large belts were worn with the buckle 
before, but for wrestling the buckle was turned behind, to give the ad- 
versary a fairer grasp at the girdle. To turn the buckle behind, there- 
fore, was a challenge" (Holt White). Farmer cites a letter from Win- 
wood's Memorials, in which Win wood, writing from Paris, in 1602, about 
an affront he received there from an Englishman, says : "I said what I 
spake was not to make him angry. He replied, if I were angry, I might 
turn the buckle of my girdle behind me." Cf. Cowley, On the Govern- 
ment of Oliver Cromwell : " The next month he swears by the living 
God, that he will turn them out of doors, and he does so in his princely 
way of threatening, bidding them turne the buckles of their girdles be- 
hind them." Halliwell explains the passage : " you may change your 
temper or humour, alter it to the opposite side ;" W. and J. H. take it 
that the girdle is turned to get at the sword-hilt. 

143. How. In whatever way. Cf. iii. I. 60 above. With w/tat=\vith 
whatever weapon. 

144. Do me right. Give me satisfaction ; that is, accept my challenge. 
Cf. i. i. 215 above, and see A. Y. L. p. 165. Protest proclaim. 

150. Capon. Perhaps, as Schmidt suggests, with a play on the word 
(=cap on, that is, a fool's cap, or coxcomb) ; as in Cymb. ii. I. 25 : " You 
are cock and capon too ; and you crow, cock, with your comb on." Cf. 
C. of E. iii. i. 32. 

Curiously. Carefully, nicely. Cf. T. of S. iv. 3. 144: "The sleeves 
curiously cut." 

151. Naught. Good for nothing. See A. Y. L. p. 142. 

A woodcock. The bird was supposed to have no brains, and was 
therefore a popular metaphor for a fool. See Ham. pp. 191, 275. 

157. Just. See on ii. i. 24 above. 

159. A wise gentleman. This seems to have been used ironically, as 
wiseacre is now. 

He hath the tongues. That is, he knows foreign languages. Cf. T. G. 
of V. iv. i. 33 : 

" 2 Outlaw. Have you the tongues ? 
Valentine. My youthful travel therein made me happy." 

163. Trans-shape. Caricature, "spell backward" (iii. i. 61 above). 

165. Properest. Handsomest. Cf. ii. 3. 166 above. 

!66 NOTES. 

169. Deadly. Implacably. Adjectives are often used as adverbs (Gr. 
l), especially those ending in -ly. Cf. A. W.\.^. 117 : " thou didst hate 
her deadly ;" 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. 84 : "I hate thee deadly ;" Cor. ii. i. 67 : 
" they lie deadly," etc. 

171. God. The Coll. MS. substitutes "who." There is an allusion 
to Gen. iii. 8. 

173. The savage bull's horns. See i. I. 231 fol. 

190. In his doublet and hose. That is, without his cloak ; perhaps, as 
Steevens suggests, because going to fight a duel. Cf. M. W. iii. i. 46, 
where Page says to Evans, " In your doublet and hose this raw rheu- 
matic day!" and Evans replies, "There is reasons and causes for it," 
referring to the duel he is about to fight. JBoswell believes that "the 
words are probably meant to express what Rosalind in A. Y. L. [iii. 2. 
400] terms the 'careless desolation' of a lover." Perhaps we need not 
see more in the passage than a hit at Benedick's being in such profound 
earnest, having laid aside his wit as he might his cloak. 

193. A doctor. A learned man. For to in comparison to, see Ham. 
p. 183. 

194. Soft you. " Hold, stop " (Schmidt). See M. N. D. p. 176. 

Let me be. The reading of both quarto and folio. Halliwell adopts 
Capell's suggestion of "let be," and quotes Palsgrave, 1530: "I let be, 
I let alone ; let be this nycenesse, my frende." 

Pluck up, etc. " Rouse thyself, my heart, and be prepared for serious 
consequences!" (Steevens). Cf. T. of S. iv. 3. 38 : "Pluck up thy spir- 

197. Reasons. Some see here a pun on reasons and raisins, as in I 
Hen. IV. ii. 4. 264 : " if reasons were as plenty as blackberries." There 
is no doubt that reasons was pronounced like raisins. Cf. the pun on 
meat (pronounced mate} and maid in T. G. of V. i. 2. 68. 

201. Hearken after. Inquire concerning. Cf. Rich. III. i. I. 54 : " He 
hearkens after prophecies and dreams " (Schmidt). 

212. Division. Disposition, arrangement ; as in Oth. i. I. 23 : " the 
division of a battle." 

213. Well suited. " That is, one meaning is put into many different 
dresses ; the Prince having asked the same question in four modes of 
speech " (Johnson). Cf. Hen. V. iv. 2. 53 : " Description cannot suit it- 
self in words," etc. 

214. Who. Whom. Cf. i. I. 187 above. Gr. 274. 

215. To your answer. To answer for your conduct ; that is, in a legal 
sense. Cf. Hen. VIII. iv. 2. 18 : 

" Arrest.ed him at York, and brought him forward, 
As a man sorely tainted, to his answer," etc. 

216. Cunning. Knowing, wise. Cf. T. of S. ii. I. 56: "Cunning in 
music and the mathematics," etc. 

219. Wisdoms. See on iv. i. 185 above, and cf. Ham. i. 2. 15 : " Your 
better wisdoms," etc. 

222. Incensed. Instigated. Cf. W. T. v. i. 6 1 : 

" She had ; and would incense me 
To murder her I married.'' 

ACT V. SCENE /. 167 

See also Rich. II L iii. I. 152, iii. 2. 29, etc. Nares takes the word in the 
present passage, and in Rich. III. to be properly insense (=to put sense 
into, instruct, inform), " a provincial expression still quite current in 
Staffordshire, and probably Warwickshire." 

227. Upon. See on iv. I. 221 above, and cf. 235 just below. 

231. Whiles. See on iv. i. 217 above. 

233. Practice. Plotting. See on iv. I. 186 above. 

234. Campos' 1 d. Wholly made up. Cf. Temp. iii. I. 9 : 

"O, she is 

Ten times more gentle than her father 's crabbed, 
And he 's compos'd of harshness." 

237. That I lov'd it first. That is, in which I loved it first. The 
preposition is often thus omitted in relative sentences. See Gr. 394. 

248. Art thou, etc. The folio has "Art thou thou the slaue," and some 
modern eds. follow it in repeating thou ; but this injures the metre and 
does not add to the sense. Even W. follows the quarto here. 

255. Bethink you of it. Think of it, consider it. Cf. T. N. iii. 4. 327 : 
" he hath better bethought him of his quarrel ;" Rich. III. ii. 2. 96 : 
" Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother, 
Of the young prince your son," etc. 

258. Impose me to. Impose on me ; which is elsewhere the form of 
expression in S. Cf. L. L. L. iii. I. 130 : " impose on thee nothing but 
this," etc. 

266. Possess. Inform. Cf. M. of V. i. 3. 65 : " Is he yet possess'd 
How much ye would?" 

268. Labour. For the transitive use, cf. Rich. III. i. 4. 253 : " That he 
would labour my delivery," etc. 

Invention. Imagination. Cf. Hen. V. pro!. 2 : " the brightest heaven 
of invention," etc. 

269. Hang her an epitaph, etc. It was the custom of the time to af- 
fix memorial verses to the herse or canopy of black cloth erected tem- 
porarily over the tomb. Ben Jonson's well-known tribute to the Coun- 
tess of Pembroke, " Underneath this sable hearse," etc., is said to have 
been written for such a purpose. 

275. And she alone, etc. The poet seems to have forgotten that he 
has given Leonato a son in i. 2. i above. See on i. i. 287 above. 

282. Naughty. See on iv. 2. 66 above. 

284. Pack'd. Implicated, a confederate. Cf. C. of E. v. I. 219 : "The 
goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her," etc. 

288. By her. About her. Cf. M. of V. i. 2. 60 : " How say you by the 
French lord?" L. L. L. iv. 3. 150: "I would not have him know so 
much by me," etc. Gr. 145. 

293. A lock. Cf. iii. 3. 153 above. Prynne, in 1628, wrote a treatise 
entitled " The Unlovelinesse of Love-lockes, or a discourse proving the 
wearing of a locke to be unseemly ;" and in his Histriomastix he speaks 
of "long, unshorne, love-provoking haire, and lovelockes growne now 
too much in fashion with comly pages, youthes, and lewd, effeminate, 
ruffianly persons." 

Borrows money in God's name. That is, begs it ; alluding to Prov. 

!68 NOTES. 

xix. 17 (Steevens). HalHwell says that this phrase was used in the 
counterfeit passports of the beggars, as appears from Dekker's Eng- 
lish Villanies. He also cites Per ci vale's Dictionarie in Spanish and 
English, 1599: " Pordioseros, men that aske for God's sake, beggers." 

294. Hath used. Hath used to do, has made a practice of. Cf. J. C. 
i. i. 14 : "a trade that I may use with a safe conscience," etc. 

302. God save the foundation ! " The customary phrase employed by 
those who received alms at the gates of religious nouses" (Steevens). 

316. Lewd. Vile, base. See Rich. II. p. 152. Cf. Acts, xvii. 5. Hal- 
liwell quotes Ba.ret t A/vearte: " Lewd, ingratious, naughtie, impr obits, pra- 
vus, impurus" 

SCENE II. 5. There is a play on style and stile, and on come over in 
the senses of surpass and get over (Schmidt). Cf. L. L. L. \. \. 201 : 
" Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merri- 
ness ;" Id. iv. i. 98 : 

" Bay ft. I am much deceiv'd but I remember the style. 
Princess. Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile." 

7. Shall I always keep below stairs ? That is, in the servant's room, 
and never get married (Schmidt). Theo. wished to read "above stairs," 
and Steevens suggested " keep men below stairs." 

14. I givethee the bucklers. I yield thee the victory. Steevens quotes 
Greene, Coney - Catching, 1592 : "At this his master laught, and was 
glad, for further advantage, to yield the bucklers to his prentise ;" and 
Holland's Pliny: "it goeth against his stomach to yeeld the gauntlet 
and give the bucklers." 

19. Pikes. "The circular bucklers of the i6th century, now called 
more commonly targets, had frequently a central spike, or pike, usually 
affixed by a screw. It was probably found convenient to detach this 
spike occasionally ; for instance, in cleaning the buckler, etc. Vice is 
the French vis, a screw " (Thorns). 

24. The God of love, etc. The beginning of an old song by William 
Elderton (Ritson). 

30. Carpet-mongers. Carpet knights, effeminate persons. Cf. T. N. 
iii. 4. 258 : " He is knight, dubbed with unhatched rapier, and on carpet 

34. No rhyme to 'lady'' but ' baby? This rhyme occurs in the Musa- 
rum Delicice, quoted by Halliwell : 

" Whilst all those naked bedlams, painted babies, 
Spottified faces, and Frenchified ladies." 

37. Festival terms. In distinction from e very-day language. Cf. M. 
W. iii. 2. 69 : " he writes verses, he speaks holiday ;" and i Hen. IV. i. 
3. 46 : " With many holiday and lady terms." See also M. of V. ii. 9. 
98 : " highday wit," etc. 

42. I came. That is, camey^r. See on v. I. 237 above. 

45. Words is. See Gr. 333. 

48. His. Its. See Gr. 228. 

50. Undergoes. Is subject to. 

51. Subscribe him. Write him down, proclaim him. 


67. Of good neighbours. " That is, when men were not envious, but 
every one gave another his due" (Warb.). 

69 Monument. The folio has " monuments" and "bells ring. 

71. Question. That 's the question. Some eds. print " Question?"^ 
do you ask the question ? 

72. Rheum. Tears. Cf. K. John, iii. I. 22 : "Why holds thine eye 
that lamentable, rheum?" (see also iv. i. 33 and iv. 3. 108); Cor. v. 6. 
46: "a few drops of women's rheum;" Ham. ii. 2. 529: "with bisson 
rheum," etc. 

77 Don Worm. Conscience was formerly represented under the 
symbol of a worm. Cf. Rich. III. i. 3. 222 : " The worm of conscience 
still begnaw thy soul !" In an account of the expenses connected with 
one of the old Coventry mysteries, we find " Item, payd to ij wormes of 
conscience, xvj. d." 

83. Yonder 's old coil. In modern slang, " there s a high old time. 
For old as a " colloquial intensive," cf. M. of V. iv. 2. 15 : "old swear- 
incr-" Macb. ii. 3. 2: "old turning of the key," etc. See Macb. p. 197. 
CVw7 = turmoil, confusion. Halliwell cites Cotgrave, Fr. Diet.: " Faire 
le diable de vauuert, to play reaks, to keep an old coile, a horrible stirre. 
See also on iii. 3. 85 above. 

84. Abused. Deceived. Cf. Temp. v. i. 112 : "Or some enchanted 
trifle to abuse me," etc. See also Macb. p. 187. 

87. Presently. Immediately. See on i. i. 74 above. 

SCENE III. 3. Done to death. A common phrase in old writers. Cf. 
Promos and Cassandra, 1578 : " Is my Andrugio done to death ?" Mar- 
lowe, Lusfs Dominion : " Thinking her own son is done to death ;" 
Chapman, Homer: "Hector (in Chi) to death is done," etc. See also 
2 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 179: "Why, Warwick, who* should do the duke to 
death ?" 

5. Guerdon. Recompense. Cf. L. L. L. iii. i. 170: "There 's thy 
guerdon." S. uses the noun only twice ; but he has the verb in 2 Hen. 
VI. i. 4. 49 and 3 Hen. VI. iii. 3. 191. 

10. Dumb. The folio reading ; the quarto misprints " dead." 

11. Music. Musicians; as often. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 211 : "Play, mu- 
sic, then !" M. of V. v. i. 98 : " It is your music, madam, of the house ;" 
Hen. VIII. iv. 2. 94 : " Bid the music leave ; they are harsh to me," 

13. Knight. The Coll. MS. substitutes "bright;", but cf. A. W. i. 3. 
120: " Dian no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight sur- 
prised, without rescue in the first assault or ransom afterward." Malone 
quotes Two Noble Kinsmen : 

"O sacred, shadowy, cold, and constant queen, 
. . . who to thy female knights 
Allow' st no more blood than will make a blush, 
Which is their order's robe," etc. 

For the rhyme of night and knight, cf. M. W. ii. i. 15, 16. 

21. Heavily, heavily. The quarto reading; the folio has " Heauenly, 
heauenly" which is adopted by K., St., and W. " Uttered heavenly" is 



explained as "expelled (outer-ed) by the power of Heaven." Walker 
calls the folio reading "a most absurd error, generated (ut scepe) by the 
corruption of an uncommon word into a common one." In Ham. ii. 2. 
309, the folio has the same misprint of heavenly for heavily. Halliwell 
explains the passage thus : " The slayers of the virgin knight are per- 
forming a solemn requiem on the body of Hero, and they invoke Mid- 
night and the shades of the dead to assist, until her death be uttered, 
that is, proclaimed, published, sorrowfully, sorrowfully." Schmidt says : 
" the cry, Graves, yawn and yield your dead, shall be raised till death, 
etc. ;" we prefer, with Halliwell and Walker, to consider these words as 
"a call upon the surrounding dead to come forth from their graves, as 
auditors or sharers in the solemn lamentation." J. H. reads "heaven- 
ly," and takes the meaning to be, " Let these words be uttered in a heav- 
enly spirit until death, that is, so long as I live !" 

22. Now, unto, etc. Both quarto and folio assign this speech to "Z0." 
(Lord), but Rowe restored it to Claudio, to whom it clearly belongs. 

25. Wolves. Associated with night, as in M. N. D. v. i. 379, Macb. ii. 

1. 53, etc. The lines that follow are one of the most exquisite of Shake- 
speare's word-pictures of the sunrise. Cf. Milton's " dappled dawn" in 
L 1 Allegro. 

29. Several. Separate. See Temp. p. 131. Cf. its use as a noun 
(= individual) in W. T. i. 2. 226, and see also Hen. V. p. 146. 

30. Weeds. Garments, dress. Cf. M. N. D. ii. i. 256: "Weed wide 
enough to wrap a fairy in;" Id. ii. 2. 71 : " Weeds of Athens he doth 
wear," etc. 

32. Speed 'j. That is, speed us (3d person, imperative) ; Thirlby's 
emendation of the "speeds" of the early eds. "Claudio could not 
know, without being a prophet, that this new proposed match should 
have any luckier event Chan that designed with Hero ; certainly, there- 
fore, this should be a wish." Malone objects to the contraction speed 9 s; 
but D. compares L. L. L. ii. i. 25 : " Therefore to 's seemeth it a need- 
ful course." An example more in point would be W. T. i. 2. 91 : "I 
prithee tell me ; cram 's with praise, and make 's," etc. See also Id. i. 

2. 94: "you may ride 's ;" A. and C. ii. 7. 134 : "give 's your hand," 

33. Render up this woe. Offer this woful tribute. Cf. T. A. \. I. 160 : 

" Lo! at this tomb my tributary tears 
I render for my brethren's obsequies ;' ' 

and K. John, v. 7. 1 10 : " O, let us pay the time but needful woe !" 

SCENE IV. 3. Upon. On account of. See on iv. i. 221 above. 

6. Question. Inquiry, investigation. 

7. Sort. Turn out. Cf. iv. i. 238 above. 

8. By faith enforced. Compelled by my pledge, obliged in honour. 
Cf. T. G. of V. i. 2. 63 : " inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile," etc. 

17. Confirmed countenance. Steady face. Cf. Cor. i. 3. 65 : "has such 
a confirmed countenance." 

28. For. As for. Cf. iii. 2. 85 above. 

30. State. The reading of the early eds. changed by Johnson to " es- 



tate." Steevens makes marriage a trisyllable ; as in M. of V. ii. 9. 13, 
T. ofS. iii. 2. 142, R. of L. 221, etc. 

33. Comes. See Gr. 336. 

34. Assembly. A quadrisyllable here. Cf. Cor. i. I. 159: "You, the 
great toe of this assembly." Gr. 477. 

37. To marry with. Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 40 : " to marry with Deme- 
trius," etc. 

38. Ethiope. See M. N. D. p. 166. 
43. Bull. See on v. i. 173 above. 

45. Eiiropa. Europe ; with an obvious play upon the word. For the 
allusion, cf. M. W. v. 5. 4 and T.ofS.\. i. 173. 

52. Comes. Changed by Rowe to "come." Gr. 335. 
59. Like of me. Cf. P. P. 212 : 

" It was a lordling's daughter, the fairest one of three, 
That liked of her master as well as well might be ;" 

A. W. ii. 3. 131 : 

"thou dislikest 
Of virtue for the name," etc. 
See Gr. 177. 

62. Certainer. See Gr. 7. 

63. Defil'd. The quarto reading ; the folio omits the word. The 
Coll. MS. has "belied," which Coll. defends on the ground that Hero 
wouftl not be likely to speak of herself as defiled. Of course Hero 
meant defiled by slander (cf. what Leonato says immediately after), and 
now that her innocence was established no one present could misunder- 
stand her. 

66. Whiles. See on iv. I. 217 above. 

67. Qualify. Moderate, abate. Cf. Lear, i. 2. 176 : "till some little 
time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure," etc. 

68. After that. For that as a " conjunctional affix," see Gr. 287. 

69. Largely. "At large " (M. N. D. v. i. 152, etc.), in detail. 

70. Familiar. A quadrisyllable. Gr. 479. 

71. Presently. See on i. i. 74 above. 

72. Soft and fair. A common phrase of the time. Cf. soft you, v. I. 
194 above. 

82. No suck matter. See on ii. 3. 198 above. 

89. Writ. Used often by S. both as past tense and participle ; but 
we have written just above. Gr. 343. 

90. Affection tmto. Love for. Cf. Lear, i. 2. 94 : " my affection to your 
honour," etc. 

92. By this light. See on v. I. 137 above. Cf. by t 'his good day just be- 

97. Peace, etc. Given by the early eds. to Leonato ; corrected by Theo., 
who added the stage-direction. Cf. Rich. II. v. i. 95 : " One kiss shall 
stop our mouths," etc. See also ii. I. 278 above. 

100. Flout. Mock, jeer. See on i. i. 162 above. 

102. Beaten with brains. That is, mocked. Schmidt compares Ham. 
ii. 2. 376: "much throwing about of brains" ( = much satirical contro- 



108. In that. Inasmuch as. Cf. A. Y. L. i. I. 50 : " in that you are 
the first-born," etc. 

112. Double-dealer. "One notoriously unfaithful in love or wedlock" 

113. Exceeding. For the adverbial use, see on ii. 3. 146 above, and 
cf. iii. 4. 22, 47, etc. 

119. Of my word. Upon my word. Cf. R. and y. i. I. I, etc. Gr. 

121. More reverend. That is, because it is used by elderly people. 
The tipped staff was one of the usual accompaniments of old age (Hal- 
livvell). Cf. Chaucer, C. T. 7322 : " His felaw [one of the begging friars] 
had a staf typped with horn.' : In horn there is the well-worn hit at the 

124. With. By; as in ii. I. 53, iii. I. 66, 79, and v. i. 115 above. Gr. 


126. Brave. Becoming, fitting (Schmidt); or perhaps with a touch of 
irony, as often. Cf. Temp. iii. 2. 12, A. Y. L. iii. 4. 43, Ham. ii. 2. 611, etc. 


Note on p. 23. To the comments of Verplanck, Furnivall, and Ger- 
vinus on Campbell's opinion of Beatrice, may be added the following 
from Charles Cowden Clarke's Shakespeare-Characters, p. 295 : 

"In the general estimation of the world, Beatrice is one of those who 
wear their characters inside out. They have no reserves with society, 
for they require none. They may, perhaps, presume upon, or rather for- 
get that they possess a mercurial temperament, which, when unreined, is 
apt to start from its course and inconvenience their fellow-travellers ; 
but such a propensity is not an * odious ' one it is not hateful ; and this 
is the only feature in the character of Beatrice that Mr. Campbell could 
object to. She is warm-hearted, generous ; has a noble contempt of 
baseness of every kind ; is wholly untinctured with jealousy ; is the 
first to break out into invective when her cousin Hero is treated in 
that scoundrel manner by her affianced husband at the very altar, and 
even makes it a sine qua non with Benedick to prove his love for her- 
self by challenging the traducer of her cousin. . . . 

"Beatrice is not without consciousness of her power of wit; but it is 
rather the delight she takes in something that is an effluence of her own 
glad nature, than for any pride of display. She enjoys its exercise, too, 
as a means of playful despotism over one whom she secretly admires, 
while openly tormenting. . . . 

" The fact is, like many high-spirited women, Beatrice possesses a fund 
of hidden tenderness beneath her exterior gayety and sarcasm none 
the less profound from being withheld from casual view, and very sel- 
dom allowed to bewray itself. As proof of this, witness her affection 
for her uncle Leonato, and his strong esteem and love for her ; her pas- 
sionate attachment to her cousin Hero, and the occasional but extreme- 



ly significant betrayals of her partiality for Benedick ; her very seeking 
out opportunities to torment him being one proof (especially in a woman 
of her disposition and breeding) of her preference ; for women do not 
banter a man they dislike they mentally send him to Coventry, and do 
not raise him into importance by offering an objection, still less a rep- 
artee or a sarcasm. The only time we see Beatrice alone, and giving 
utterance to the thoughts of her heart that is, in soliloquy, which is the 
dramatic medium of representing self-communion [iii. i. 107-116] her 
words are full of warm and feminine tenderness, words that probably 
would not seem so pregnant of love-import, coming from another wom- 
an, more prone to express such feeling ; but, from Beatrice, meaning 
much. It is the very transcript of an honest and candid heart. . . . 

" It is not unusual to designate her (as well as Portia) as a ' masculine 
woman.' I can only say that every man who expresses this opinion 
commits a piece of egoism, for both women are endowed with qualities, 
moral and intellectual, that any man might be proud to inherit. And 
here it is impossible to forego a passing remark upon the generous, in- 
deed the chivalrous conduct of Shakespeare in portraying his women. 
Of all the writers that ever existed, no one ought to stand so high in the 
love and gratitude of women as he. He has indeed been their cham- 
pion, their laureate, their brother, their friend. He has been the man to 
lift them from a state of vassalage and degradation, wherein they were 
the mere toys, when not the she-serfs, of a sensual tyranny ; and he has 
asserted their prerogative, as intellectual creatures, to be the compan- 
ions (in the best sense), the advisers, the friends, the equals of men. He 
has endowed them with the true spirit of Christianity and brotherly love, 
' enduring all things, forgiving all things, hoping all things ;' and it is no 
less remarkable that, with a prodigality of generosity, he has not unfre- 
quently placed the heroes in his stories at a disadvantage with them. 
Observe, for instance, the two characters of Hero and Claudio in this 
very play." . . . 

r /- . IVUK, me genue aay, 

Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about 

-Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey" (v. 3 25). 


a (with verbal), 145. 

abused (^deceived), 169. 

account, to make an, 129. 

ache (pronunciation), 150. 

achiever, 118. 

Adam, 124. 

advertisement, 162. 

advise, 158. 

afeard, 138. 

affect (=love v , 124. 

affection, 135. 

affection unto, 171. 

after (adverb), 125. 

agate, 141. 

aim at, 144. 

alms, 138. 

ancientry, 129. 

angel (play upon), 136. 

answer (legal), 166. 

antic (buffoon), 141. 

anticly, 164. 

apparitions (pronunciation), 

I55 u 

apprehension, 150. 
approved (^proved), 

153, 158- 

argument (discourse), 142. 
argument (proof), 139. 
argument (^subject), 123, 


arras, 128. 
as (omitted), 138. 
as full as (=fully as), 140. 
assembly ( quadrisyllable ), 


at a word, 130. 
Ate, 132. 
attired in wonder, 155. 

badge, 118. 

baldrick, 123. 

barns (play upon), 150. 

bear-herd, 129. 

bear in hand, 158. 

bear it coldly, 145. 

beaten with brains, 171. 

become of (=come of), 157. 

being that, 158. 

bent, 139, 156. 

cinque-pace, 129. 

i6 9 . 

beshrew, 162. 

circumstances, 145. 


bethink you, 167. 

civil (play upon), 133. 


bill (play upon), 148. 

claw (=flatter), 126. 

bills, setting up, 118. 

clerk, 130. 

bills (weapons), 145. 

cog, 164. 

bird-bolt, 119. 

coil, 146, 169. 

biting, 156. 

commendable (accent), 141. 

black (dark), 141. 

commodity (play upon;, 148 

blazon, 133. 

composed, 167. 

block, 120. 

conceit, 133. 

blood (^disposition), 127. 

conditions, 144. 

blood (=passion), 131, 138. 

conference, 139, 140. 

bloods, 147. 

confirmed countenance, 170. 

boarded, 130. 

conjecture (--suspicion), 154. 

Borachio (derivation), 147. 

consummate, 142. 

borrow money in God's 

contemptible, 139 


name, 167. 

content yourself, 164. 

both in a tale, 160. 

controlment, 127. 

brave, 172. 

convert (intransitive), 121. 

break with, 125. 

conveyance, 132. 


breathing (interval), 134. 

counsel, 139. 

bring (=accompany), 143. 

Count Comfect, 159. 

broke cross, 165. 

county (= count), 131, 134, 

), i34, 

bucklers, to give the, 168. 


by (= about), 167. 

courtesies, 159. 

e), 142. 

by (:=from), 155. 

cousins, 126. 


by the mass, 160. 

cry you mercy, 126. 

), 123, 

by this (of time), 117. 

cunning (~knowing), 166. 

by this light, 165. 

curiously, 165. 

curtsy, 129, 159. 

candle-wasters, 161. 

cuts, 149. 

liable ), 

canker (=canker-rose), 127. 
capon (play upon), 165. 
Carduus benedictus, 150. 

daffed, 138, 163. 
dangerous, 164. 

care killed a cat, 165. 

deadly (adverb), 166. 

carpet-mongers, 168. 

dear, 121. 


carriage (^bearing), 127. 

defeat (=ruin), 153. 

carry (=manage), 139, 157. 
censured (judged), 139. 

defend (=forbid), 129, 160. 
deny (refuse), 158. 

certainer, 171. 

deprave (=slander), 164. 


chain (usurer's), 131. 

difference, for a, 120. 

Cham, the great, 132. 

discover (= re veal), 126, 138, 

charge (=burden), 121. 


charge (constable's), 145. 

displeasure to, 135. 


cheapen, 136. 

division, 166. 

to '57. 

cheer, 128. 

do him so ill-well, 130. 

, chid at, 155. 

do me right, 165. 


doctor (^learned man), 166. 

go about (undertake), 126, 

Jacks, 164. 

Dogberry, 145. 

154, 1 60. 

jade's trick, 121. 

Don Worm, 169. 

go in (join in), 122. 

Jew (contemptuous), 140. 

done to death, 169. 

go to church, 134. 

just (= exact), 134. 

dotage, 138. 
double-dealer, 172. 

go to the world, 133. 
God save the foundation ! 

just (just so), 129, 165. 

doubt (suspect), 164. 


keep below stairs, 168. 

down sleeves, 149. 

God 's a good man, 152. 

kid-fox, 136. 

draw, 164. 

good den, 144, 162. 

kind (^natural), 118. 

draw (play upon), 143. 

good year, the, 126. 

kindly (=natural , 154 

dumb show, 139. 

grace (^favour), 127, 135. 

kindness (=tenderness , 1 18. 

dumps, 137. 

gracious (=lovely), 154. 

knight (feminine), 169. 

guarded (=trimmed;, 124. 

eat (Beaten), 156. 

guerdon, 169. 

labour (transitive), 167. 

eat your word, 158. 

guts, 137. 

antern, 145. 

ecstasy (=madness), 138. 

lapwing, 140. 

eftest, 160. 

had as lief, 137. 

arge (=free, broad), 139, 153. 

enamoured on, 131. 

had like, 164. 

argely, 171. 

encounters, 154. 

haggards, 140. 

earn (=;teach), 153. 

enforced (=compelled), 170. 

hale (=draw), 137. 

eavy, 137. 

engaged (^pledged), 159. 

halfpence, 138. 

et it cool, 139. 

enraged ( intense" 1 , 138. 

hand, a dry, 130. 

evel (=aim), 158. 

entertained for, 127 

lang (play upon), 143. 

ewd (vile), 168. 

estimation (=worth), 135. 

langman, 143. 

liberal (^licentious), 154. 

Ethiope, 171. 
Euro pa, 171. 

lappiness, outward, 139. 
lave it full, 121. 

light (play upon), 149. 
Light o' love, 150. 

even (=plain), 158. 

aear tell, 134. 

like of me, 171. 

every day, tomorrow, 142. 

ieart-burned, 128. 

limed, 142. 

exceeding (adverb), 138, 172. 
exceeds (intransitive), 148. 

heavily, 169. 
Hercules, the shaven, 147. 

iver, 157. 
lock (=love-lock), 148, 167. 

excellent (adverb), 138. 

high-proof, 164. 

lodge in a warren, a, 131. 

eye and prospect, 157. 

his (=its), 168. 

ow (of stature), 141. 

faith, 120, 170. 

hobby-horses, 144. 
hold 'friends with, 121. 

lustihood, 163. 
lute-string, 144. 

familiar (quadrisyllable), 171. 

hold it up, 138. 

luxurious (lustful), 153. 

fancy (=love), 143. 
fashion-monging, 164. 
father (verb), 121. 

holds you well, 144. 
holp, 119. 
honest as the skin between 

mannerly (adverb \ 129. 
March-chick, 127. 

favour (=face), 129. 

his brows, 151. 

marry with, 171. 

fence, 163. 

how (^however), 141, 165. 

match (=marry), 129. 

festival terms, 168. 

Hundred Merry Tales, 130. 

matter (=sense), 134 

fetch in, 123. 

may (can), 135, 154, 158. 

fine (=end), 123. 

I '11 none, 129, 135. 

me, 128, 148. 

fire in the ears, 142. 

idea (=image), 157. 

measure (play upon), 129. 

fleer, 162. 
flight (=arrow), 119. 

important ( importunate ), 

medicinable, 135. 
meet with (=even with), 119. 

flout (=mock), 164, 171. 

impose me to, 167. 

merely (=entirely), 139. 

flout old ends, 124. 

impossible, 130, 132. 

mile (plural), 135. 

flouting-Jack, 121. 

in (^into), 135. 

mired, 155. 

foining, 163. 

in dearness of heart. 145. 

misgovernment, 154. 

fool, 133. 

in question, 148. 

misprising, 141. 

for (=as for), 144, 170. 

in respect of, 149. 

misprision, 156. 

fore, 139. 

in such a kind, 156. 

misuse (^deceive), 135. 

frame (=devising\ 156. 

in that, 172. 

misused (- abused), 132. 

frame (=order), 155. 

in the fleet. 130. 

model, 127. 

framed (=devised), 163. 

in the height, 158. 

moe, 137. 

from (away from), 141. 

incensed, 166. 

Montanto, 118. 

full of proof, 164. 

infinite, 138. 

moral, 151, 162. 

furnish (dress), 142. 

instances, 135. 

mortal, we are all, 120- 

gallop, false, 151. 

intend (=pretend), 135. 
invention, 156, 167. 

mortifying, 126. 
mountain of affection, 134. 

girdle, to turn his, 165. 

inwardness, 158. 

move (a question), 154. 

gives me out, 131. 

music (^musicians), 169. 


naught, 165. 

naughty, 160, 167. 

near (^intimate with), 130. 

news (number), 125, 131. 

night-gown, 149. 

night-raven, 137. 

no such matter, 122, 139, 171. 

noble (play upon), 136. 

non-come, 152. 

not (transposed), 156. 

note (mark), 144. 

nothing (pronunciation), 136. 

nuptial, 154. 

of (=by), 121. 

of my word, 172. 

off the matter, 151. 

old, 169. 

on (=of), 155. 

only (transposed), 130, 143. 

orchard (^garden), 126, 135. 

orthography, 135. 

ostentation, 157. 

outfacing, 164. 

outward hideousness, 164. 

overborne, 138. 

overmastered, 129. 

packed, 167. 

palabras, 151. 

partridge wing, 130. 

passion (=sorrow), 162. 

patience (trisyllable), 161. 

pent-house, 146. 

Philemon's roof, 130. 

piece of flesh, 161. 

Pigmies, 133. 

pikes, 168. 

pleached, 140. 

pleasant, 118. 

please it, 121. 

pleasure (verb), 165. 

pluck up, 1 66. 

possessed (influenced), 148. 

possessed (^informed), 167. 

pound (plural), 121, 151. 

practice (= plotting), 156, 


preceptial medicine, 162. 
predestinate, 121. 
present (^represent), 146. 
presently, 121, 125, 135, 158, 

169, 171. 

press to death, 141. 
Prester John, 132. 
prized (^estimated), 142. 
project, 141. 

proof (^experience), 131. 
proof (=trial), 153. 
proper (^handsome), 139, 


proper (ironical), 127, 159. 
propose (noun), 140. 

proposing ( = conversing ), 

stalk (verb), 137. 


start-up, 128. 

protest (^proclaim), 165. 

still (= constantly), 121. 

push, 162. 

stomach, 126. 

stops (of lute), 144. 

quaint, 149. 

strain (family), 134. 

qualify, 171. 

strain (=feeling), 161. 

quarrel to, a, 132. 

study, 157. 

queasy, 134. 

stuff, 140. 

question, 169. 

stuffed, 119. 

quips, 139. 

style (play upon), 168. 

quit (requite), 156. 

style ot gods, 162. 

subscribe, 168. 

rabato, 148. 

success (=issue), 158. 

rack, 157. 

sufferance, 162. 

ready (=dressed), 150. 

suffigance, 152. 

rearward, 154. 

suit (=agree), 161. 

reasons (play upon), 166. 

sun-burnt, 133. 

recheat, 123. 

sure, 128. 

reclusive, 158. 

swift (ready), 142. 

reechy, 147. 

sworn brother, 120. 

remorse (=pity), 157. 
render (=give), 153. 

take up (play upon), 148. 

render up this woe, 170. 
reportingly, 142. 

tax (rrreproach), 119. 
temper (=mix), 135. 

reprove (^disprove), 139. 

temporize, 124. 

reverence, 162. 

terminations, 132. 

rheum (=tears), 169. 

that, 125, 138, 171. 

rob from, 127. 

thee (=thou), 14, 153- 

there 's an end, 130. 

's (=it's), 148. 

thick-pleached, 126. 

sad (=serious), 121, 134. 
sadly (seriously), 139. 

this seven year, 147. 
throughly, 157. 

salved, 125. 
Saturn, born under, 126. 
saving your reverence, 149. 

thy much, 154. 
tickling (trisyllable), 142. 
tire (=head-dress), 148. 

scab (play upon), 146. 
scambling, 164. 

't is once, 125. 
to (in comparisons), 166. 

scape, 121. 

to thy head, 162. 

scorn with my heels, 150. 
season, 155. 

tongues, he hath the, 165. 
toothache, charm for, 144* 

self-endeared, 141. 

toothpicker, 132. 

sentences, 139 

trace (=walk), 140. 

several (^separate), 170. 

trans-shape, 165. 

shames, 155. 

trencher-man, 119. 

shrewd, 128. 

trial of a man, 163. 

side sleeves, 149. 

trim (ironical), 159. 

sigh away Sundays, 122. 

trow, 150. 

simpleness, 141. 

tuition, 124. 

sits the wind, etc., 138. 

turned Turk, 150. 

slops, 143. 

tyrant, 121. 

smirched, 147. 

so (provided that), 129. 

unconfirmed, 147. 

soft and fair, 171. 

underborne, 149. 

soft you, 1 66. 

undergoes, 168. 

sort (fall out), 158, 170. 

untowardly, 145. 

sort (=rank), 118. 

up and down, 130. 

speed 's, 170. 

upon, 157, 160, 167, 170. 

spell backward, 141. 

use (=interest), 133. 

spirits (monosyllable), 354. 

used (^practised), 168. 

squarer, 121. 

staff (=lance), 165. 

valuing of, 155. 

stale (=wanton), 135, 154. 

Verges, 145. 


i 7 8 


vice (= screw), 168. 
victual, 119. 
vouchsafe, 143. 

wag (begone), 161. 

wake (=rouse), 164. 

weak, 141. 

weeds (=dress), 170. 

well-favoured, 145. 

well-suited, 166. 

what (=who), 1 1 8, 130. 

what is he for a fool ? 127. 

when all's done, 137. 

whiles, 157, 167, 171. 
whisper (transitive), 140. 
who (=whom), 122, 166. 
willow (emblem of unhappy 

love), 131. 

win me and wear me, 163. 
winded, 123. 
wisdoms, 166. 
wish (=bid), 140. 
wit (=wisdom), 139. 
with (=by), 129, 172. 
withal, 126, 140. 
wits, five, 120. 

woe, 170. 

wolves, 170. 

woo, 136. 

woodcock (applied to a fool), 


woollen, in the, 129. 
world to see, a, 151. 
worm (causing toothache), 


worm (of conscience), 169. 
would, 138. _ 
wring (^writhe), 162. 
writ (^written), 138, 171. 

OMPHALE AND HERCULES (iii. 3. 124). 













HENRY IV. Part I. (In Press.) 


In the preparation of this edition of the English Classics it has been 
the aim to adapt them for school and home reading, in essentially the 
same way as Greek and Latin Classics are edited for educational purposes. 
The chief requisites of such a work are a pure text (expurgated, if neces- 
sary), and the notes needed for its thorough explanation and illustration. 

Each of Shakespeare's plays is complete in one volume, and is pre- 
ceded by an Introduction containing the "History of the Play," the 
" Sources of the Plot," and " Critical Comments on the Play." 

From HORACE HOWARD FURNESS, Ph.D., LL.D., Editor of the "New 
Variorum Shakespeare" 

In my opinion Mr. Rolfe's series of Shakespeare's Plays is thoroughly 
admirable. No one can examine these volumes and fail to be impressed 
with the conscientious accuracy and scholarly completeness with which 
they are edited. The educational purposes for which the notes are writ- 
ten Mr. Rolfe never loses sight of, but like "a well-experienced archer 
hits the mark his eye doth level at." 

Rolfe's Shakespeare. 

From F. J. FURNIVALL, Director of the New Shakspere Society, London. 

The merit I see in Mr. Rolfe's school editions of Shakspere's Plays 
over those most widely used in England is that Mr. Rolfe edits the plays 
as works of a poet, and not only as productions in Tudor English. Some 
editors think that all they have to do with a play is to state its source 
and explain its hard words and allusions ; they treat it as they would a 
charter or a catalogue of household furniture, and then rest satisfied. 
But Mr. Rolfe, while clearing up all verbal difficulties as carefully as any 
Dryasdust, always adds the choicest extracts he can find, on the spirit 
and special " note " of each play, and on the leading characteristics of its 
chief personages. He does not leave the student without help in getting 
at Shakspere's chief attributes, his characterization and poetic power. 
And every practical teacher knows that while every boy can look out 
hard words in a lexicon for himself, not one in a score can, unhelped, 
catch points of and realize character, and feel and express the distinctive 
individuality of each play as a poetic creation. 

From Prof. EDWARD DOWDEN, LL.D., of the University of Dublin, 

Author of " Shakspere : His Mind and Art." 

I incline to think that no edition is likely to be so useful for school and 
home reading as yours. Your notes contain so much accurate instruc- 
tion, with so little that is superfluous ; you do not neglect the aesthetic 
study of the play ; and in externals, paper, type, binding, etc., you make 
a book " pleasant to the eyes " (as well as " to be desired to make one 
wise ") no small matter, I think, with young readers and with old. 

From EDWIN A. ABBOTT, M.A., Author of " Shakespearian Grammar" 
I have not seen any edition that compresses so much necessary infor- 
mation into so small a space, nor any that so completely avoids the com- 
mon faults of commentaries on Shakespeare needless repetition, super- 
fluous explanation, and unscholar-like ignoring of difficulties. 

From HIRAM CORSON, M.A., Professor of Anglo-Saxon and English 

Literature, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. ' 

In the way of annotated editions of separate plays of Shakespeare, for 
educational purposes, I know of none quite up to Rolfe's. 




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