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

Sicke sicke and very sicke sicke and for the time

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'Sicke, Sicke, and very sicke / & sicke and for the time' (Nashe, 3.260, also see 4.432). Ross Duffin also cites another song, 'My Heart is Leaned on the Land' (c. 1558), a more plaintive love ballad, with a 'sick' refrain: 'I so sick; make my bed, I will die now' (Duffin, 369). A.P. Rossiter observes that 'It is a notable point in Shakespeare's contrivance that he gives both wits their off-day, as soon as love has disturbed their freedom' (Rossiter, 48). Many productions account for the ailment by the choice of Beatrice's hiding place in 3.1 (see 3. In.). 40 Clap's into let us clap Light o'love as in TGV 1.2.83, a pop- ular dance tune, probably written by Leonard Gibson c. 1570, and apparent- ly a 'light' (i.e. wanton) one, as at 83-5: 'JULIA Best sing it to the tune of "Light o'love". / LUCETTA It is too heavy for so light a tune. / JULIA Heavy? Belike it hath some burden then?' Margaret tells Beatrice (and Hero) to cheer up. 41 burden refrain; bass harmonic under- song sung by male voices; heavy weight (like that of a man's body); child in the womb 42 Ye . . . heels are you, or will you be, light-heeled, i.e. unchaste (the mod- ern 'round-heeled' or 'short-heeled', i.e. easily tipped backwards). Cf. Henry Porter, Two Angry Women of Abingdon (1599): 'Light aloue, short heels, mistress Goursey' (Porter, 1. 740); and 5.4.116- 17: 'that we may lighten our own hearts and our wives' heels'. Beatrice's question perhaps suggests some capering stage action on Margaret's part. light o'love wanton 43 stables with punning reference to its sexual sense of 'erections' 44 barns with pun on bairns, the north- ern (and rustic) word for children 33 an] (and,) 40 'Light o'love'] Pope; Light a loue 42 o'love] faloue,) heels?] Capell (heels!,); heels, X> 43 see] looke F 249
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3.4.45 Much Ado About Nothing MARGARET O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with 45 my heels. BEATRICE 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill. Hey-ho! MARGARET For a hawk, a horse, or a husband? BEATRICE For the letter that begins them all: H. 50 MARGARET Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's no more sailing by the star. BEATRICE What means the fool, trow? MARGARET Nothing, I, but God send everyone their heart's desire. 55 HERO These gloves the count sent me, they are an excellent perfume. BEATRICE I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell. MARGARET A maid and stuffed! There's goodly catching of cold. 60 45 illegitimate construction false inter- pretation, with pun on bastard birth 45-6 scorn . . . heels (1) reject that with scorn, as one would grind with one's heel (OED heel sb. ' 13b); (2) outrun (3c), cf. MV22.8-9: 'scorn running with thy heels'; (3) kick, as does a horse 48 Hey-ho a yearning sigh of regret, with, as Margaret's punning response suggests, various objects; cf. 2.1.293-4: 'I may sit in a corner and cry "Hey-ho for a husband'". 50 H Both the letter and the word 'ache' were pronounced in the same way, as 'aitch'; hence quibbles such as Beatrice's on her cold, or John Heywood's A Dialogue . . . of All the Proverbs in the English Tongue (1546): 'H is worst among the letters in the crosse row, / For if thou find him other in thine elbow, / In thine arm, or leg, in any degree, / In thy head, or teeth, in thy toe or knee, / Into what place
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