Графични страници
PDF файл
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Much ado about Nothing *.



Don PEDRO, Prince of Arra-, Borachio, confident to Don John gon.

Conrade, friend to Borachio. Leonato, Governor of Mefina. Dogberry, Don John, bastard-brother" to Don Verges,{two foolish officers. Pedro.

Hero, daughter to Leonato. Claudio, a young Lord of Florence, Beatrice, niece to Leonato.

favourite to Don Pedro. Margaret, 7 two gentlewomere Benedick, a young Lord of Padua, Ursula, S attending on Hero.

favoured likewise by Don Pedro. A Friar, Mcllenger, Watch, Balthazar, servant to Don Pedro. Town-Clerk, Sexton, and AtAntonio, brother to Leonato.

tendants. SCENE, Mefina in Sicily.

A C Τ Ι.




A court before Leonato's house. Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice, with a messenger. Leon. LEARN in this letter, that Don Pedro of

Arragon comes this night to Meflina.

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 ?

Mel. But few of any fort, and none of name.

Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the atchiever brings home full numbers; I find here, that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.

Mef. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro : he hath borne himself be

* The story from Ariosto, Orl. Fur. 1. s. Mr Pope. VOL. II.


yond 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.

Mell. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him ; even so much, that joy could not sew itself modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.

Leon. Did he break out into tears ?
Dief. In great measure.

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

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

Mell. I know none of that name, Lady ; there was none such in the

army any

fort. Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece? Horo. My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua. Mel: Oh, he's return'd, and as pleasant as ever he



Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challeng'd Cupid at the flight; and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged 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 so his killing.”

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

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

Beat. “ You had multy victuals, and he hath holp ss 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 ?

* She gives him this name, to ridicule in him the character of a blustering foldier, the word montanto in Spanish signifying a two-landad foordo

Mell. A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stuff'd with all honourable virtues.

Beat. It is fo, 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's a fkirmish 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 : fo that, if he have wit enough to keep himself from harm, let him bear it for a 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.

Mel. Is it poflible ?

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

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

Beat. « No ; an he were, I would burn my study. “ But, I pray you, who is his companion is there

no young squarer now that will make a voyage with # him to the devil ?

Mel. He is moft in the company of the Right Noble Claudio.

Beat. O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease; he is sooner caught than the peftilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the Noble Claudio, if he have caught the Benedick; it will cost him a thoufand pounds ere he be cur'd.

Mell. I will hold friends with you, Lady.
Beat. Do, good friend.
Leon. You'll ne'er run mad, niece.
Beat. No, not till a hot January.
Mef Don Pedro is approach'd..


« ПредишнаНапред »