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MUCH ADO

ABOUT NOTHING

II : A

PERSONS

REPRESENTED

DON PEDRO: PRINCE OF ARRAGON.
DON JOHN: HIS BASTARD BROTHER.
CLAUDIO: A YOUNG LORD OF FLORENCE, FAVOURITE

TO DON PEDRO.
BENEDICK: A YOUNG LORD OF PADUA, FAVOURITE

LIKEWISE TO DON PEDRO.
LEONATO: GOVERNOR OF MESSINA.
ANTONIO: HIS BROTHER.
BALTHAZAR: SERVANT TO DON PEDRO.
BORACHIO :)

FOLLOWERS OF Don JOHN.
CONRADE:)
DOGBERRY: A CONSTABLE.
VERGES: A HEADBOROUGH.
HUGH OATCAKE:

TWO OF THE WATCH.
GEORGE SEACOLE
FRANCIS SEACOLE: A SEXTON AND Town-CLERK.

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FRIAR FRANCIS.

A Boy.

INNOGEN: WIFE TO LEONATO.
HERO: DAUGHTER TO LEONATO.
BEATRICE: NIECE TO LEONATO.
MARGARET :) GENTLEWOMEN ATTENDING ON
URSULA:

HERO.

MESSENGERS, WATCH, ATTENDANTS.

SCENE-Messina.

MUCH ADO ABOUT

NOTHING

ACT I

SCENE I. LEONATO's Orchard.

ΙΟ

Enter LEONATO, Governor of Messina, INNOGEN his Wife,

HERO his Daughter, BEATRICE his Niece, with a

Messenger. LEON. I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Arragon

comes this night to Messina. Mess. He is very near by this; he was not three leagues

off when I left him. LEON. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action? Mess. But few of any sort,' and none of name. LEON. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever brings

home full numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath bestow'd much honour on a young Florentine call’d

Claudio. Mess. Much deserv'd on his part, and equally re

member'd 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 better'd expectation than you must expect of me to

tell you how. LEON. He hath an uncle, here in Messina, will be very

much glad of it. Mess. I have already deliver'd him letters, and there

appears much joy in him; even so much that joy could not shew itself modest enough without a badge

of bitterness. LEON. Did he break out into tears? Mess. In great measure. 1 quality.

18 31

ACT I LEON. A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces Sc. I truer than those that are so wash'd. How much

better it is to weep at joy than to joy at weeping ! BEAT. I pray you, is Signior Montanto? return'd from

the wars or no? Mess. I know none of that name, Lady; there was none such in the

army

of
any

sort.
LEON. What is he that you ask for, Niece ?
HERO. My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.
Mess. O, he's return'd; and as pleasant as ever he was.
BEAT. He set up his bills? here in Messina, and challeng'd

Cupid at the flight :: and my uncle's Fool, reading the
challenge, subscrib’d for Cupid, and challeng'd him
at the burbolt.* I pray you, how many hath he kill'd
and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he

kill’d? for, indeed, I promis'd to eat all of his killing. 40 LEON. 'Faith, Niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much;

but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. Mess. He hath done good service, Lady, in these wars. BEAT. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to

eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an

excellent stomach. Mess. And a good soldier too, Lady. BEAT. And a good soldier to a lady; but what is he to

a lord ? MESS. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuff'd with all

honourable virtues.
BEAT. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuff'd man.

But for the stuffing-well, we are all mortal!
LEON. You must not, Sir, mistake my niece: there is a

kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her:
they never meet but there is a skirmish of wit between

them. BEAT. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last

conflict, four of his five wits" went halting off, and now is the whole man govern'd with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his

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1 'a straight upright thrust' (Italian fencers'). 2 bills of challenge. 3 shafts (archers').

a blunt, short arrow used in birding. 5 'common wit, fantasy, imagination, estimation, memory.' 6 the distinguishing mark in the coat borne by several branches of one family.

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