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Beat. Why then, my cousin, Margaret, and

Ursula, Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did. Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for

me. Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead

for pie. Bene. 'Tis no such matter:-Then, you do not

love me? Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gen.

tleman. Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves

For here's a paper, written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.

And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts !--Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity. A

Beat. I would not deny you ;-but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption. Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth

[Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married

man? Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit. crackers cannot flout me out of my humour: dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram; No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing liandsome about him: In brief, since I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any pur. pose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for

man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.

-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that* thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.

Claud, I had well hoped, thou would'st have de nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends --let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.

Bene. First, o'my word; therefore, play, music.Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife: there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.

Enter a Messenger. Mess. Mylord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, And brought with armed men back to Messina.

Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll de vise thee brave punishments for him.--Strike up, pipers.

[Dance. (Exeunt.

* Because.

This play may be justly said to contain two of the suost sprightly characters that Shakspeare ever drew. The wit, the humourist, the gentleman, and the sol. dier, are combined in Benedick. It is to be lamented, indeed, that the first and most splendid of these distinctions, is disgraced by unnecessary profaneness; for the goodness of his heart is hardly sufficient to atone for the licence of his tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which flashes out in the conversa. tion of Beatrice, may be excused on account of the steadiness and friendship so apparent in her beha. viour, when she urges her lover to risque his life by a challenge to Claudio. In the conduct of the fable, however, there is an imperfection similar to that which Dr. Johnson has pointed out in The Merry Wives of Windsor:--the second contrivance is less ingenious than the first :-or, to speak more plainly, the same incident is become stale by repetition. I wish some other method had been found to entrap Beatrice, than that very one wbich before had been successfully practised on Benedick.

Much Ado About Nothing (as I understand from one of Mr. Vertue's MSS.), formerly passed under the title of Benedick and Beatrix, Heming the player received, on the 20th of May, 1613, the sum of forty pounds, and twenty pounds more as bis majesty's gratuity, for exhibiting six plays at Hampton Court, among which was this comedy.




Theseus, duke of Athens.
Egeus, father to Hermia.

{ in love with Hermia.
Demetrius, S
Philostrate, master of the revels to Thescus. .
Quince, the carpenter.
Snug, the joiner.
Bottom, the weaver.
Flute, the bellows-mender.
Snout, the tinker.
Starveling, the tailor.
Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, betrothed to

Hermia, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander.
Helena, in love with Demetrius.
Oberon, king of the fairies.
Titania, queen of the fairies.
Puck, or Robin-goodfellow, a fairy.

Mustard seed,

( Characters in the interlude, per. Wall, Moonshine,

formed by the clowns. Lion, Other fairies attending their king and qucen.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
Scene, Athens, and a wood not far from it.

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