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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING'.

A.CT I.

SC EN E' I.

A Court before Leonato's Houf.
Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice, with a Messenger.

L E ON A TO.

I

Learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.

Mel. He is very near by tliis; he was not three leagues off when I left him.

Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action ?

Mes. But few of any Sort, and none of Name.
Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the archiever

' Much Ado about Nothing.] no one Speech addressd to her, Imogen, (the Mother of Hero) nor one Syllable spoken by her. in the oldest Quarto that I have Neither is there any one Pafsage, feen of this Play, printed in from which we have any Realon .1600, is mention'd to enter in to determine that Hero's Mother two several Scenes. The suc- was living. It seems, as if the ceeding Editions have all con. Poet had in his first Plan de sinued her Name in the Dramatis fign'd fuch a Character, whicle, Persona. But I have ventur’d on a Survey of it, he found to expunge it ; there being no would be superfluous; and theremention of ber through the Play, fore he left it out. THEOBALD.

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brings home full numbers ; I find here, that Don Pee dro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, call's Claudio.

Mel. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembred by Don Pedro: he hath borne himself beyond the promse 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.

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

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

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer 3 than those that are so wash'd. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping!

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

Mel. I know none of that name, Lady'; there was none juch in the

army

of
any

Sort.
Leon. What is he that you ask for, Need!

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cere.

joy could not Mew it is, 'none bonefter, none more fine Jelf modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.] This is ju

is Signior Montanto rediciously express'd. Of all the turn'd.] Montante, in Spanish, transports of joy, that which is is a huge two-handed sword, given, attended with tears is leaft of. with much humour, to one, the fenfive; because, carrying with it speaker would represent as a this mark of pain, it allays the Boalter or Bravado. 'WAR BURT. envy that usually attends an

there was nore such in other's happinels. This be finely the army of any sort.] Not meaocalls a modes joy, such a one as ing there was none such of any

did not insult the observer by an order or degree u batever, bát indication of happiness unmixed that there was none such of ayy with pain. WARBURTON. quality above ibe comm: n. no faces truer] That

WARBURTON

Hero.

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Hero. My Cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.

Mej. O, he's recurn'd, and as pleasant as ever he was.

Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and chal. leng'd Cupid at the flight; and my Uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscrib’d for Cupid, and challengd him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he kill'd and eaten in these wars ? but how many hath he killd ? for, indeed, I promis’d to eat all of his killing.

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

Mej. He hath done good service, Lady, in these

wars.

Beat. You had musty victuals, and he hath holp to eat it; he's a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an excellent ftomach.

Mel. And a good soldier oo, Lady:

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady? but what is he to a lord ?

Mel. A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stufft with all honourable virtues.

Beat. It is so, indeed: he is no less than a stuffc 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 skirmish of Wit between them.

Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by That. In our last

challenge Cupid at the bird-bolt, seems to mean the same fight ;) che disuse of the bow as to challenge at children's ar. makes this passage obseure. Be- chery, with small arrows such a:dick is represented as challeng. as are discharged at birds. In ing Cupid at archery: To chal. Twelfon Night, Lady Olivia oplenge at the flight is, I believe, poses a bird-bolt io a canton to wager whu thall shoot the are bullet, the lightest to the heaviest Tow furtheft without any particuher mark. To challenge at the

of mislive weapons.

conflict,

conflict, four of his ? five wits went halting off

, and now is the whole man govern'd with one: So that if he have s wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horfe ; 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 fworn brother.

Mel. Is it possible?

Beat. Very easily posible ; ? he wears his faith buc as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.

Mes. I see, Lady', the gentleman is not in your books.

Beat. No ; an he were, I would burn my Study.

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HARM.

- four of his five wit] In wit enough to keep himself our author's time, wit was the WARM,] But how would that general term for intellectual make a difference between him and powers. So Davies on the Soul, his borye. We should read, Wit Wit, seeking truth, from cause to enough to keep himself FROM cause ascends,

This suits the satirical And never rests till it the first turn of her speech, in the chaaltain;

racter she would give of BextWill, seeking good, finds many mid- dick; and this would make the dle ends,

difference spoken of. For 'tis the But never stays till it the laf nature of horses, when wound. do gain.

ed, to run upon the point of the And in another part,

weapon

WARBURTON. But if a phrenzy do poljess the

he wears bis faith) brain,

Not religious Profession, but ProIt To disiurbs and blots ihe form of fefion of friendship; for the speak Ibings,

er gives it as the season of her As fantasi proves' altogether asking, who was now bij Comvain,

panion? that he had every month And to the wit no true relation

a new fworn brother. trings,

WARBURTON Then doth the wit, admitting all the gentleman is no! ix for true,

your books.) This is a phrase used, Build fond conclusions on those idle I believe, by more than under: grounds;

Itand it. To be in one's books i The wits seem to have reckon-' to be in one's codicils or will, to ed five, by analogy to the five be among friends fet down for lesenses, or the five inlets of ideas. gacies,

But,

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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 most 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 caker 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.

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

S CE N E II.

Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar, and

Don John

Pedro. Good Signior Leonato, you are come to meet your trouble : the fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it.

Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the like. ness of your Grace ; for trouble being goné, comfort Thould remain; but when you depart from me, forrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.

Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly: I think this is your daughter.

Leon. Her mother hath many times told me fo.

young Squarer-) A squarer they square. So the sense may I take to be a choleric, quarrel. be, Is there no hot-blooded zouth some fellow, for in this sense that will keep him company through Shakespeare uses the word to

to all his mad pranks ? Square. So in Midsummer Night's 3 You embrace your charge”] Dream it is said of Oberon and That is, your burthen, your enTitanir, that they never meet but cumbrance. VOL. III.

N

Bene.

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