Shakespeare, W - Much Ado About Nothing (Arden, 2006).pdf

152 3 lead on go together as the person of highest

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152-3 lead on . . . go together As the person of highest rank, Don Pedro should precede the company into the house; he courteously refuses to enter before his host. 154 note (1) take special notice of (hence Benedick's reply); (2) remark, the first of many instances of this usage in the play. See also 2.3.55n. 140 That] This F all, Leonato.] Collier; all: Leonato, £ 140-1 SD] Ard 2 (Turning to the company.); Oxf' (ending his talk with Leonato) 142 tell him] tell you F3 147 SD] Hanmer suhst. 147-8 lord,... brother. ] Lord; . . . brother, Hanmer 152 SD] Oxf 153 SD all hut] Rowe; Manent Q_, Manet F 159
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1.1.156 Much Ado About Nothing 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 judgement? Or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant 160 to their sex? CLAUDIO No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgement. 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: 165 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 lik'st her. BENEDICK Would you buy her that you inquire after her? 170 CLAUDIO Can the world buy such a jewel? 160 custom habit professed well-known 160-1 tyrant to slanderer of 163-5 Why . . . praise The implication is that the actor or actress playing Hero is to be short (low), slight and dark - perhaps as opposed to Beatrice, of whom the actress Helena Faucit said: 'if what Wordsworth says was ever true of anyone, assuredly it was true of her, that "Vital feelings of delight / Had reared her to a stately height'" (Faucit, 297). 'Brown' was often contrasted with a more conventional beauty as in TC 1.2.90ff, or H8 3.2.294-6:*Tll startle you / Worse than the sacring-bell when the brown wench / Lay kissing in your arms, Lord Cardinal'; or the first line of John Donne's poem 'The Indifferent': 'I can love both fair and brown'. Benedick's formulation recalls the comments of John Lyly's Fidus to Euphues, in Euphues and His England (1580), concerning the virtues of witty women: 'And this is the greatest thing, to conceive readily and answer aptly . . . A nobleman in Siena, disposed to jest with a gentlewoman of mean birth yet excellent qualities, between game and earnest gan thus to salute her: "I know not how I should commend your beauty, because it is somewhat too brown, nor your stature, being somewhat too low, and of your wit I cannot judge." "No," quoth she, "I believe you. For none can judge of wit but they that have it" ... He perceiving all outward faults to be recompensed with inward favour, chose this virgin for his wife' (Lyly, Euphues, 60). 165 afford provide 169 how . . . her Claudio's need for corroboration of Hero's universal desirability will turn out to be closely coupled with fear of her faithlessness, and replicates a concern of Lyly's hero Euphues: 'If my lady yeeld to be my lover is it not likely she will be anoth- er's leman?' (Lvlv, Anatomy, 95). Cf.
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