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Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon.
Claudio, a young lord of Florence, favourite to
Benedick, a young lord of Padua, favoured likewise by Don Pedro.
Leonato, governor of Messina.
Antonio, his brother.
Balthazar, servant to Don Pedro.
followers of Don John.
two foolish officers.
Hero, daughter to Leonato.
}gentlewomen attending on Hero.
Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.
This May contains no of Shakespean most sprightly characters. The Wit, the theroon ist, the Gentlemen & the Soldier are combine in Benedick . get it is to be lamented that the first &f most splendid of there distinctions, is disgraced by unnecessary profaneness is The goodness of his heart is hardly suffice
ent to atone for the hecake of his tongu The too sarcastich levity, which flashes out the conversation of Beatrice, may be exdin on account of the seclines, & hership so apparent in her behaviour, when the urges lover to risk his life by a challenge to Clauds
This Play was formerly entitled, Benedick an Beatrix " _ it was performed at Hampton come before James th
the year 1613_
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
ACT I. SCENE 1.
BEFORE LEONATO'S HOUSE.
Enter Leonato, Hero, Beatrice, and others, with a Messenger.
Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.
Mess. 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?
Mess. But few of any sort, 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.
Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally remember'd 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 you how.
Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of it.
Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that joy could not show itself modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.
Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Mess. 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?
Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there was none such in the army of any sort.
Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece? Hero. My cousin means signoir Benedick of Padua. Mess. O, he is returned; and as pleasant as ever he was.
Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged 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 killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.
Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these
Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it; he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an excellent stomach.