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And, by that fatherly and kindly power"
That you have in her, bid her answer truly.

LEON. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child. HERO. O God defend me! how am I beset!What kind of catechizing call you this?

CLAUD. To make you answer truly to your name. HERO. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name With any just reproach?


Marry, that can Hero; Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. What man was he talk'd with you yesternight 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


D. 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,"


kindly power-] That is, natural power. Kind is nature. JOHNSON.

Thus, in the Induction to The Taming of the Shrew: "This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs."

i.e. naturally. STEEVENS.


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

So, in The Fair Maid of Bristow, 1605:

* But Vallinger, most like a liberal villain,
"Did give her scandalous ignoble terms.'

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Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.


Fye, fye! 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 misgovernment.

CLAUD. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been," If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart! But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eye-lids shall conjecture' hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, And never shall it more be gracious.


LEON. Hath no man's dagger here a point for [HERO Swoons.


Again, in The Captain, by Beaumont and Fletcher:

"And give allowance to your liberal jests

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Upon his person." STEEVENS.

This sense of the word liberal is not peculiar to Shakspeare. John Taylor, in his Suite concerning Players, complains of the many aspersions very liberally, unmannerly, and ingratefully bestowed upon him." FARMER.


what a Hero hadst thou been,] I am afraid here is intended a poor conceit upon the word Hero. JOHNSON.


conjecture-] Conjecture is here used for suspicion. MALONE.

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* And never shall it more be gracious.] i. e. lovely, attractive.

So, in King John:

"There was not such a gracious creature born."



Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?] So, in Venice Preserved:

BEAT. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore sink you down?

D. JOHN. Come, let us go: these things, come thus to light,

Smother her spirits up.

[Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don JOHN, and CLAUDIO.

BENE. How doth the lady?

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Hero! why, Hero!-Uncle!-Signior Benedick!


LEON. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand! Death is the fairest cover for her shame,

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FRIAR. Yea; Wherefore should she not?

LEON. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly


Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
The story that is printed in her blood?2
Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes:
For did I think thou would'st 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?

"A thousand daggers, all in honest hands!
"And have not I a friend to stick one here?"


1 Dost thou look up?] The metre is here imperfect. Perhaps our author wrote-Dost thou still look up? STEEVEns. 2 The story that is printed in her blood?] That is, the story which her blushes discover to be true. JOHNSON.

Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame?3
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;
Who smirched thus, and mired 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,

3 Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame?] Frame is contrivance, order, disposition of things. So, in The Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1603:

there was no

"And therefore seek to set each thing in frame." Again, in Holinshed's Chronicle, p. 555: " man that studied to bring the unrulie to frame." Again, in Daniel's Verses on Montaigne :

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extracts of men,

"Though in a troubled frame confus'dly set." Again, in this play:

"Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies."


It seems to me, that by frugal nature's frame, Leonato alludes to the particular formation of himself, or of Hero's mother, rather than to the universal system of things. Frame means here framing, as it does where Benedick says of John, that

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"His spirits toil in frame of villainies.' Thus Richard says of Prince Edward, that he was----"Fram'd in the prodigality of nature."

And, in All's well that ends well, the King says to Bertram: "Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,

"Hath well compos'd thee."

But Leonato, dissatisfied with his own frame, was wont to complain of the frugality of nature. M. MASON.

The meaning, I think, is,-Grieved I at nature's being so frugal as to have framed for me only one child? MALONE.

Who smirched thus, &c.] Thus the quarto, 1600. The folio reads " smeared." To smirch is to daub, to sully. So, in King Henry V:

"Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd." &c.


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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 drops too few to wash her clean again;
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!?


Sir, sir, be patient: For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder, I know not what to say.

BEAT. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied! BENE. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night? BEAT. No, truly, not; although, until last night, I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow. LEON. Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger made,

But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd,

And mine that I was proud on ;] The sense requires that we should read, as in these three places. The reasoning of the speaker stands thus-Had this been my adopted child, her shame would not have rebounded on me. But this child was mine, as mine I loved her, praised her, was proud of her: consequently, as I claimed the glory, I must needs be subject to the shame, &c. WARBURTON.

Even of this small alteration there is no need. The speaker utters his emotion abruptly, But mine, and mine that I lov'd, &c. by an ellipsis frequent, perhaps too frequent, both in verse and prose. JOHNSON.

6 -the wide sea

Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,] The same thought is repeated in Macbeth:

"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood

"Clean from my hand?"

which may season give


To her foul tainted flesh!] The same metaphor from the kitchen occurs in Twelfth-Night:

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all this to season

"A brother's dead love." STEEVENS.

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