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Dramatis Personæ.

DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
Leonato, Governor of Messina.
Don John, Bastard Brother to Don Pedro.
Claudio, a young Lord of Florence, Favourite to Don

Pedro.
Benedick, a young Lord of Padua, favour'd likewise by

Don Pedro.
Balthazar, Servant to Don Pedro,
Antonio, Brother to Leonato.
Borachio, Confident to Don John.
Conrade, Friend to Borachio.
Dogberry,

two foolisa Officers, Verges,

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Hero, Daughter to Leonato.
Beatrice, Niece to Leonato.
Margaret,

two Gentlewomen, attending on Hero, Ursula,

A Friar, Melenger, Watch, Town-Clerk, Sexton, and

Attendants.

SCENE, Melina in Sicily.

The Story is from Ariofio Orl. Fur. B. v.

Pope.

MUCH

Much ADO ABOUT NOTHING."

A CT I. SCENE I.

A Court 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 Melina.

Mel. 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 ?

Mes. But few of any Sort, and none of Name. Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the archiever

Much Ado about Nothing.) no one Speech address’d to her, Innogen, (the Mother of Hero) nor one Syllable spoken by her. in the oldest Quarto that I have Neither is there any one Passage, feen of this Play, printed in from which we have

any

Reason 1600, is mention'd to enter in to determine that Hero's Mother two several Scenes. The suc was living. It seems, as if the ceeding Editions have all con- Poet had in his first Plan detinued her Name in the Dramatis fign’d such a Character ; which, Perfona. But I have ventur'd

on a Survey of it, he found to expunge it; there being no would be superfluous; and theremention of her through the Play, fore he left it out. THEOBALD.

you how

brings home full numbers; I find here, that Don Peo dro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, callid Claudio.

Mes. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembred 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

. Leon. He hath an uncle here in Melina will be very much glad of it.

Mej. I have already delivered 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?
Mel. In great measure.

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer 3 than those that are so wash'd. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping !

Beat. I pray you, * is Signior Montanto return'd from the wars or no ?

Mel. I know none of that name, Lady; s there was none such in the army of any Sort.

Leon. What is he that you ask for, Neice?

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-joy could not shew. it is, none honefter, none more finSelf modeft enough, without a badge of bitterness.] '7 his is ju is Signior Montanto rediciously express d. Of all the turn'd] Montante, in Spanisli, transports of Joy, that which is is a huge two-handed/w rd, given, attended with tears is least of- with much humour, to one, the fenfive; because carrying with it speaker would represent as a this mark of pain, it allays the Boafter or Bravado. WARBURT. envy that usually attends an

there was none fuch in other's happiness. This he finely the arm; of any jiri.] Not meancalls a modef joy, such a one as ing there was none fuch of any did not infult the observer by an order or degree

u batever, buc indication of happiness unmixed that there was none such of any with pain.

WARBURTON. qual ty above the c«mmon. no faces truer] That

WARBURTON. 8

Hero.

5

3

Hero, My Cousin means-Signior Benedick of Padua.

Mej. 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 o at the flight ; and my Uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscrib’d for Cupid, and challeng'd him at the bird-bolt. 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.

Leon. Faith, Neice, you tax Signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.

Mel. He hath done good service, Lady, in these wars.

Beat. You had musty victuals, and he hath holp to eat it ; he's a very valiant trencher-man; he hath an excellent stomach.

Mel. And a good soldier too, Lady.

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

Mell. A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stuffc with all honourable virtues.

Beat. It is fo, indeed : he is no less than a stufft man: but for the stuffing, well, we are all mortal.

Leon. You must not, Sir, mistake my Neice; there is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her; they never meet, but there's a skirmish of Wit between them.

Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by That. In our last

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challengid Cupid at the bird-bolt, seems to mean the same flight;} The disuse of the bow as to challenge at children's armakes this passage obscure. Be. chery, with small arrows such nedik is represented as challeng- as are discharged at birds. In ing Cupid at archery. To chal- Twelfth Night Lady Olivia oplenge at the fli: ht' is, I believe, poses a bird-bolt to a cannon to wager who shall foot the ar- bullet, the lightest to the heaviett row furtheft without any particu- of missive weapons. lar mark. To challenge at the

con

conflict, four of his ? five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man govern’d with one: So that if he have 8 wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for 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 companion now ? he hath every month a new sworn brother.

Mejl. Is it posible ?

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

Mej. I see, Lady, 'the gentleman is not in your books.

Beat. No ; an he were, I would burn my Study.

HARM.

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7 - four of his five wit] In 8 wit enough to keep himself our authour's time wit was the WARM,] But how would that general term for intellectual make a difference between him and powers. So Davies on the Soul, his horse? We should read, Hit Wit, seeking truth from caufe to enough to keep himself FROM cause ascends,

This suits the fatirical And never rests till it the forft turn of her speech, in the chaattain;

racter she would give of BeneWill, seeking good, finds many mid- dick; and this would make the dle ends,

difference fpoken of. For 'tis But never says till it the laft the nature of horses, when

do
gain.

wounded, to run upon the point And in another part,

of the weapon. WARBURTON. But if a phrenzy do poles: the

he wears his faith) brain,

Not religious Profeffion, but Pros It so disiurbs and blots the form of feifion of friendship for the things,

speaker gives it as the reason of As fantasy proves altogether her aking, who was now his vain,

Companion ? that he had every And to the wit no true relation month a new fwon brother. brings.

WARBURTON. Then doth the wit, admitting all

the gentleman is not in for true,

pour books.] This is a phrase used, Build fond conclusions on those idle I believe, by more than under. grounds ;

Itand it. 10 be in one's books is The wits seem to have reckon to be in one's codicils or will, to ed five, by analogy to the five be amon; friends jet down for lesenses, or the five inlets of ideas. gacies,

But,

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