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Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of And fled he is upon this villany. [treachery :Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth In the rare semblance that I loved it first.


Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs; by this time our sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of the matter: And masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.

Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton.

Leon. Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes;

That when I note another man like him,

I may avoid him: Which of these is he? Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me. [breath hast kill'd Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy Mine innocent child?

Bora. Yea, even I alone. Leon. No,not so,villain; thou beliest thyself; Here stand a pair of honourable men, A third is fled, that had a hand in it :I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death; Record it with your high and worthy deeds; 'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it. Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, [yourself;

Yet I must speak: Choose your revenge Impose me to what penance your invention Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not,

But in mistaking.

D. Pedro.


By my soul, nor I; yet, to satisfy this good old man, I would bend under any heavy weight That he'll enjoin me to.


I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio. [coming
Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your
To-night I take my leave.-This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack'd ‡ in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter That were impossible; but, I pray you both, Possess t the people in Messina here How innocent she died: and, if your love Can labour angbt in sad invention, Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb, And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night:To-morrow morning come you to my house; And since you could not be my son-in-law, Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter, Almost the copy of my child that's dead, And she alone is heir to both of us; Give her the right you should have given her And so dies my revenge. [cousin, Claud. O, noble sir, Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!

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Bora. No, by my soul, she was not; Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to But always hath been just and virtuous, [me; In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, sir, (which, indeed, is not under white and black,) this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment : And also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it; and borrows money in God's name; the which he hath used so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake: Pray you, examine him upon that point.

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you.

Leon. There's for thy pains.

Dogb. God save the foundation !

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which, I beseech your worship, to correct yourself, for the example of others. God keep your worship; wish your worship well; God restore you to health: I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it.Come, neighbour.

[Exeunt DOG BERRY, VERGES, and Watch. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. [to-morrow. Ant. Farewell, my lords; we look for you D. Pedro. We will not fail. Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero. [Exeunt Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO. Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk with Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd § [Exeunt.


SCENE II. Leonato's Garden. Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting. Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?

Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.

Marg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs? Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches. 559 19

Combined. § Ignorant.

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And knows me, and knows me,'

How pitiful I deserve,

I mean, in singing; but in loving,-Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have tried; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an innocent rhyme; for scorn, horn, a hard rhyme; for school, fool, a babbling rhyme; very ominous endings: No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.

Enter BEATRICE. Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?

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Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.

Bene. O, stay but till then!

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Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.


Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and

foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed.

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit: But, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes + my challenge; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with


Beat. For them all together: which maintained so politic a state of evil, that they will not adimit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?

Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.

Beat. In spite of your heart, I think; alas! poor heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.

Holiday phrases.

Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.

Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time of good neighbours; if a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monu ment, than the bell rings, and the widow weeps.

Beat. And how long is that, think you? Bene. Question ?-Why, an hour in cla mour, and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is most expedient for the wise, (if Don Worm his conscience, find no impediment to the contrary,) to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So much for praising myself, (who, I myself will bear witness, is praise-worthy,) and now tell me, How doth your cousin?

Beat. Very ill,

Bene. And how do you.
Beat. Very ill too.

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.


Urs. Madam, you must come to your un cle; yonder's old coil i at home: it is proved, my lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the Prince and Claudio mightily abused; and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and gone: will you come presently?

Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior? Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes; and, more. over, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.

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Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and Attend

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with music and tapers.

Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato? Atten. Itis, my lord.

Claud. Reads from a scroll.]

Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies:
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs

Gives her fame which never dies:
So the life, that died with shame,
Lives in death with glorious fume.
Hang thou there upon the tomb, [affix
ing it,

Praising her when I am dumb.Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.

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Pardon, Goddess of the night, Those that slew thy virgin knight; For the which, with songs of woe, Round about her tomb they go.

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Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night!

Yearly will I do this rite.

D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters; put your torches out: [tle day,

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D, Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. [row, Claudio; Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morWe here attend you; are you yet determin'd The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gen-To-day to marry with my brother's daughter? Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray: Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well. [several way.

Claud. Good morrow, masters; each his D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds;

And then to Leonato's we will go.

Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier is. sue speeds,

Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe! [Exeunt.


A Room in Leonato's House. Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, URSULA, Friar, and HERO. Friar. Did I not tell you she was inno


Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her,

Upon the error that you heard debated: But Margaret was in some fault for this; Although against her will, as it appears In the true course of all the question. Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. [enforc'd Bene. And so am I, being else by faith To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it. Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewo men all,

Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves; And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd: The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me:-You know your office, brother; You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio.

[Exeunt Ladies. Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. [think.

Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I Friar. To do what, signior? [them.Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; 'Tis [quite her. Bene. And I do with an eye of love reLeon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me,

most true.

From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your will?

Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical: But, for my will, my will is, your good will May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd In the estate of honourable marriage ;

Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an
[friar ready.
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the
D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why,
what's the matter,

That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage
Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
When he would play the noble beast in love.

Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low; And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,

And got a calf in that same noble feat,
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked.
Claud. For this I owe you: here come

other reckonings.

Which is the lady I must seize upon? [her.
Ant. This same is she, and I do give you
Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let
me see your face.
[her hand
Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take
Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
Claud. Give me your hand before this holy
friar ;

I am your husband, if you like of me.
Hero. And when I lived, I was your other
And when you loved, you were my other



Claud. Another Hero?


Nothing certainer : One Hero died defil'd; but I do live, And, surely as I live, I am a maid. [dead! D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.

Friar. All this amazement can I qualify; When, after that the holy rites are ended, I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death: Mean time, let wonder seem familiar, And to the chapel let us presently.

Bene. Soft and fair, friar.-Which is Beatrice?


Beat. I answer to that name; [Unmask-
What is your will?
Bene. Do not you love me?

No, no more than reason. Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and Claudio,

Have been deceived; for they swore you did.

Beat. Do not you love me?

No, no more than reason.
Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and
Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you
Bene. They swore that you were almost
sick for me.

Beut. They swore that you were well-nigh
dead for me.
[not love me?
Bene. 'Tis no such matter:-Then, you do
Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love
the gentleman.

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

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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,

Hero. 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.

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 hu

mour: Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, since I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose 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 kinsinan, live unbruised, and love my cousin.

Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that 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 own hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards."
Bene. First, o' my word; therefore, play,


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This play may be justly said to contain two of the most sprightly characters that Shakspeare ever drew. The wit, the humourist, the gentleman, and the soldier, 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 license of his tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which flashes out in the conversation of Beatrice, may be excused on account of the steadiness and friendship so apparent in her behaviour, 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 which 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 his Majesty's gratuity, for exhibiting six plays at Hampton Court, among which was this comedy.-STEEVENS.


THESEUS, Duke of Athens,

EGEUS, Father to Hermia. LYSANDER,

Persons represented.

DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia.

HERMIA, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander.

HELENA, in love with Demetrius.

OBERON, King of the Fairies.

PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies.


QUINCE, the Carpenter.

SNUG, the Joiner.

BOTTOM, the Weaver.

FLUTE, the Bellows-mender.







SNOUT, the Tinker

STARVELING, the Tailor.

trothed to Theseus,

HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, be- WALL,






Characters in the Interlude performed by the Clowns.

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Go, Philostrate, Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments; Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth; Turn melancholy forth to funerals, The pale companion is not for our pomp. [Exit PHILOSTRATE. Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key, With pomp, with triumph, and with revellingEnter EGRUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS. Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke! The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with thee?

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Ege. Full of vexation come I,with complaint Staud forth, Demetrius ;-My noble lord, Against my child, my daughter Hermia.This man hath my consent to marry her:Stand forth, Lysander; and,my gracious duke, This hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child: Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, st

And interchang'd love-tokens with my child :
Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung,
With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
And stol'n the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds t
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; mes-
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's


Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness:-And, my gracious duke,
Be it so she will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;
As she is mine, I may dispose of her :
Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death; according to our law,
Immediately provided in that case.


The. Whatsay you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair To you your father should be as a god; One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one To whom you are but as a form in wax, By him imprinted, and within bis power

+ Baubles.

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