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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Vogelkey; } two foulish Oficers.

Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon.
Don John, his Bastard Brother.

, Claudio, a young Lord of Florence, Favourite to A Serton. Don Pedro.

A Friar. BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua, Favourite like- A Boy.

wise of Don Pedro. LEONATO, Governor of Messina.

HERO, Daughter to Leonato. ANTONIO, his Brother.

BEATRICE, Niece to Leonato. BA LTHAZAR, Servant to Don Pedro.

MARGARET,

URSULA, BO RACHIO,

Gentlewomen atlending on Hero. CONRAPE, Foliowers of Don John.

Messengers, Watch, and Allendants. SCENE, Messina.

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ACT I.
SCENE I. Before Leonato's House. no faces truer than those that are so washed. llow

much better is it to weep at joy. than to joy at Enter Leonato, Hero, BEATRICE, and others, with weeping ? a Messenger.

Beal. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned Leonato. I learn in this letter, that don Pedro of from the wars, or no? Arragon comes this night to Messina.

Mess. I know none of that name, lady ; there Mess. He is very near by this; he was not three was none such in the army of any sort. leagues off, when I left him.

Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ? Leon. How inany gentlemen have you lost in this Hero. My cousin ineans signior Benedick of action ?

Padua. Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name. Mess. O, he is returned ; and as pleasant as ever

Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever he was. brings home full numbers. I find here, that don Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young challenged Cupid at the flight: and my uncle's fool, Florentine, called Claudio.

reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally challenged him at the bird-bolt

. — I pray you, how remembered by don Pedro: He hath borne him- many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But self beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I promised figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion : he hath, indeed, to eat all of his killing. better bettered expectation, than you must expect of Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too me to tell you how.

much ; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. Lemn. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in the se very much glad of it.

Msess. I have already delivered him letters, and Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp there uppears much joy in him ; even so much, that to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath joy could not show itself modest enough, without a an excellent stomach. badge of bitterness.

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. Leon. Did he break out into tears ?

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady: - But what less. In great measure.'

is he to a lord ? Leon. A kind overflow of kindness : There are Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man.

Beat. Well, we are all mortal. "Abundance

Lem. You must not, sir, mistake iny niece: there

wars,

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- my dear

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is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick Beat. A dear happiness to women ; they would and her : they never meet, but there is a skirmish else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. of wit between them.

I am of your humour for that ; I had rather hear my Beal. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me. conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and Bene. Heaven keep your ladyship still in that now is the whole man governed with one : so that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him predestinate scratched face. bear it for a difference between himself and his Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an horse : for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to 'twere such a face as yours were. be known a reasonable creature. - Who is his com- Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. panion now? He hath every month a new sworn Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast brother. Mess. Is it possible ?

Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith tongue; and so good a continuer : But keep your but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with way ; I have done. the next block.

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your know you of old. books.

D. Pedro. This is the sum of all : Don John, Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. signior Claudio, and signior Benedick, But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him, young squarer ? now, that will make a voyage with we shall stay here at the least a month; and he him to the devil ?

heartily prays, some occasion may detain us longer : Mess. He is most in the company of the right I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his noble Claudio.

heart. Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, forsworn. — Let me bid you welcome, my lord : and the taker runs presently mad. Heaven help being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe the noble Claudio ! if he have caught the Benedick, you all duty. it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured. D. John. I thank you : I am not of many words, Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady.

but I thank you. Beat. Do, good friend.

Leon. Please it your grace lead on? Leon. You will never run mad, niece.

D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato ; we will go toBeat. No, not till a hot January.

gether. [Ereunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO. Mess. Don Pedro is approached.

Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of

signior Leonato ? Enter Don Pedro, altended by Balthazar and

Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. others, Don John, CLAUDIO, and BENEDICK.

Claud. Is she not a modest young lady? D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to should do, for my simple true judgment; or would avoid cost, and you encounter it.

you have me speak after my custom, as being a Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the professed tyrant to their sex ? likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment. comfort should remain : but, when you depart from Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.

for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too willing- too little for a great praise: only this commendly. - I think, this is your daughter.

ation I can afford her ; that were she other than she Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so. is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her ?

as she is, I do not like her. Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you Claud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport; I pray a child.

thee, tell me truly how thou likest her. D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we may Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after guess by this what you are, being a man. Truly, her ? the lady fathers herself: Be happy, lady! for you Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel ? are like an honourable father.

Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would you this with a sad brow? or do you play the floutnot have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, ing Jack; to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, as like him as she is.

and Vulcan a rare carpenter ? Come, in what key Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, shall a man take you, to go in the song ? signior Benedick; no body marks you.

Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain ! are you yet ever I look'd on. living?

Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she

no such matter : there's her cousin, an she were hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick? not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come beauty, as the first of May doth the last of Decemin her presence.

ber. But I hope, you have no intent to turn Bene. Tben is courtesy a turn-coat: - - But it is husband; have you ? certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted : Claud. I would scarce trust myself, though I had and I would I could find in my heart that I had not

sworn the contrary, if Hero would be a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.

Bene. Is it come to this? Hath not the world 2 Quarrelsome fellow.

one man, but he will wear his cap with suspicion ?

my wife.

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my lord.

Shall I never see a bachelor of three-score again? Claud. If this should ever happen, thou wouldst
Go to; an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a be horn-mad.
yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays. D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his
Look, don Pedro is returned to seek you.

quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.
Re-enter Don Pedro.

D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, you followed not to Leonato's?

repair to Leonato's; commend me to him, and tell Bene. I would, your grace would constrain me him, I will not fail him at supper; for, indeed, he to tell.

hath made great preparation. D. Pedro. I charge thee, on thy allegiance. Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for

Bene. You hear, count Claudio : I can be secret such an embassage; and so I commit you — as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on

;

Claud. To the tuition of heaven : From my my allegiance, — mark you this, on my allegiance : house, (if I had it,

- He is in love. With who? - now that is your D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, grace's part. - Mark, how short his answer is : Benedick. With Hero, Leonato's short daughter.

Bene. Nay, inock not, mock not: The body of Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments,

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither ; nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, heaven forbid it ere you fout old ends any further, examine your should be so.

conscience; and so I leave you. (Exit BENEDICK. Claud. If my passion change not shortly, heaven Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me forbid it should be otherwise.

good. D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach ; teach it is very well worthy

but how, Claud. You speak this to fetch me in,

And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
Claud. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ?

Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir: lord, I spoke mine.

Dost thou affect her, Claudio ? Claud. That I love her, I feel.

Claud.

O my lord, D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know.

When you went onward on this ended action, Bene. That I neither feel how she should be I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye, loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die Than to drive liking to the name of love : in it at the stake.

But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in Have left their places vacant, in their rooms the despite of beauty.

Come thronging soft and delicate desires, Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in All prompting me how fair young Hero is, the force of his will.

Saying, I lik’d her ere I went to wars. Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently, that she brought me up, I likewise give her most And tire the hearer with a book of words: humble thanks: but that I will have a recheats | If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it ; winded in my forehead, all women shall pardon And I will break with her, and with her father, me.

Because I will not do them the wrong to And thou shalt have her: Was't not to this end mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust That thou began'st to twist so fine a story? none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, finer,) I will live a bachelor.

That know love's grief by his complexion ! D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale But lest my liking might too sudden seem, with love.

I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise. Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader my lord! not with love: prove, that ever I lose more

than the flood ? blood with love, than I will get again with drink- The fairest grant is the necessity : ing, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once 5, thou lov'st; and hang me up for the sign of blind Cupid. And I will fit thee with the remedy.

D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this I know, we shall have revelling to-night; faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.

I will assume thy part in some disguise, Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and And tell fair Hero I am Claudio ; shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart, on the shoulder, and called Adam.

And take her hearing prisoner with the force D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try :

And strong encounter of my amorous tale : In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.

Then, after, to her father will I break; Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sen- And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine: sible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and In practice let us put it presently. (Ereunt. set them in my forehead : and let me be vilely paint

SCENE II. - A Room in Leonato's House. ed; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good horse to hire, let them signify under my sign,

Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO. - Here you may see Benedick, the married man. Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, 3 The tune sounded to call off the dogs.

your son ? Hath he provided this musick ? 4 The name of a famous archer,

> Once for all.

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Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, / weather that you make yourself: it is needful that I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed you frame the season for your own harvest. not of.

D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, Leon. Are they good ?

than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood Ant. As the event stamps them ; but they have to be disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage to a good cover, they show well outward. The prince rob love from any : in this, though I cannot be said and count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied alley in my orchard, were thus much overheard by that I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a man of mine: The prince discovered to Claudio, a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog ; therefore I that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant have decreed not to sing in my cage : If I had my to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and, if he mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would found her accordant, he meant to take the present do my liking; in the mean time, let me be that I time by the top, and instantly break with you of it. am, and seek not to alter me.

Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this? Con. Can you make no use of your discontent ?

Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for him, D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. and question him yourself.

Who comes here? What news, Borachio ? Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till it appear itself; — but I will acquaint my daughter

Enter BORACHIO. withal, that she may be the better prepared for an Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the answer, if peradventure this be true.

Go you, and prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leotell her of it. [Several persons cross the stage.] nato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended Cousins, you know what you have to do.

-0, I

marriage. cry you mercy, friend; you go with me, and I will

D. John. Will it serve for any model to build use your skill: — Good cousins, have a care this mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths busy time.

(Ereunt. himself to unquietness ? SCENE III.- Another Room in Leonato's House.

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.

D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ? Enter Don John and Conrade.

Bora. Even he. Con. My lord! why are you thus out of measure D. John. A proper squire ! And who, and who? sad ?

which way looks he? D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit. Leonato. Con. You should hear reason.

D. John. A very forward March-chick! How D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing came you to this? bringeth it?

Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient suf- smoking a musty room, comes me the prince and ferance.

Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference: I whipt D. John. I wonder, that thou being (as thou me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to upon, that the prince should woo Hero for himself, apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I prove food to my displeasure; that young start-up bave stomach, and wait for no man's leisure ; sleep hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross when I am drowsy, and tend to no man's business: him any way, I bless myself every way: You are laugh when I am merry, and claw7 no man in his both sure, and will assist me? humour.

Con. To the death, my lord. Con. Yea, but you must not make the full show D. John. Let us to the great supper; their cheer of this, till you may do it without controlment. You the greater, that I am subdued : 'Would the cook have of late stood out against your brother, and he were of my mind! Shall we go prove what's to hath ta'en you newly into his grace; where it is be done? impossible you should take true root, but by the fair Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.

ACT II.

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SCENE I. - A Hall in Leonato's House. the one is too like an image, and says nothing; and

the other, too like my lady's eldest son, evermore Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and tattling. others.

Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in Leon. Was not count John here at supper ? count John's mouth, and half count John's melanAnt. I saw him not.

choly in signior Benedick's face, Beal. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, can see him, but I am heart-burned an hour after. and money enough in his purse, such a man would

Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. win any woman in the world, — if he could get her

Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made good will. just in the mid-way between him and Benedick: Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get & Thickly-interwoven.

7 Flatter. thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.

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