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Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice, with & Menger.
I LEARN in this letter, that Don Pedro of
Arragon comes this night to Meffina.
Me He is very near by this: he was not three leagues off when I left him.
Leon. How many gentlemen have you loft in this action?
Me. 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 beftowed much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.
Meff. Much deferved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: he hath borne himself beVOL. II.
*The ftory from Ariofo, Ori. Fur. 1. 5. Mr. Pote.
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 Meffina will be very much glad of it.
Mel I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that joy could not fhew itself modest enough, without badge
Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Mell. In great measure.
Leon. A kind overflow of kindnefs.
There are no
faces truer than thofe that are fo wafhed. 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?
Me. I know none of that name, Lady; there was none fuch in the army of any fort.
Leon.. What is he that you afk for; niece?
Hert. My coulin means Signior Benedick of Padua, Me. O, he's return'd, and as pleasant as ever he
Beat. He fet up his bills here in Meffina, and challeng'd Cupid at the fight; and my uncle's fool reading the challenge; fubfcribed for Cupid, and challenged "him at the bird-bolt. "1 pray you, how many hath
he kill'd and eaten in thefe wars? but how many "hath he kill'd? for indeed I promis'd to eat all of his "killing"
Leon. Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much; but he be meet with you, I doubt it not.
Me. He hath done good fervice, Lady, in thefe wars. Beat. "You had mufty victuals, and he hath holp "to eat it; he's a very valiant trencher-man, he hath 66 an excellent ftomach "
Meff. And a good foldier too, Lady.
Beat. And a good foldier to a lady? but what is he to a lord?
She gives him this name, to ridicule in him the character of bluftering foldier, the word montanto in Spanish fignifying a two handed fword.