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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
A SEXTON. Don John, his bastard Brother.
A FRIAR. CLAUDIO, a young Lord of Florence, favourite A Boy.
to Don Pedro. BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua, favourite Hero, Daughter to Leonato. likewise of Don Pedro.
BEATRICE, Niece to Leonato. LEONATO, Governor of Messina.
MARGARET, Gentlewomen attending on Hero. ANTONIO, his Brother.
Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.
SCENE, Messina. VEROSS,
Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and SCENE 1.—Before LEONATO's House.
challenged Cupid at the flight:* and my uncle's Enter LEONATO, HERO, Beatrice, and others, Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt.
fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for with a MESSENGER.
I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro in these wars? But how many hath he killed ? of Arragon comes this night to Messina. for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.
Mess. He is very near by this; he was not Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick three leagues off when I left him.'
too much; but he'll be meett with you, I doubt Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in it not. this action ?
Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in Mess. But few of any sort,* and none of these wars. name.
Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencherachiever brings home full numbers. I find here, man, he hath an excellent stomach. that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. on a young Florentine, called Claudio.
Beat. And a good soldier to a lady ;-But Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally what is be to a lord ? remembered by Don Pedro : He hath borne Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, stuffed with all honourable virtues. in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion : he Beat. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than stuffed man: but for the stuffing,–Well, we you must expect of me to tell you how. are all mortal.
Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will Leon. You must not, Sir, mistake my niece: be very much glad of it.
there is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Mess. I have already delivered him letters, Benedick and her : they never meet, but there and there appears much joy in him ; even so is a skirmish of wit between them. much, that joy could not show itself modest Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our enough, without a badge of bitterness. last conflict, four of his five wits went halting Leon. Did he break out into tears?
off, and now is the whole man governed with Mess. In great measure.t
one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himLeon. A kind overflow of kindness: There self warm, let him bear it for a difference are no faces truer than those that are so wash- between himself and his horse : for it is all the ed. How much better is it to weep at joy, than wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonto joy at weeping?
able creature.-Who is his companion now? Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto re- He hath every month a new sworn brother. turned from the wars, or no?
Mess. Is it possible? Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith was none such in the army of any sort. but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes
Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ? with the next block.§
Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in Padua.
your books. Mess. O, he is returned; and as pleasant as Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my ever he was.
study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? * At long lengths
Mould for a hal
Is there no young squarer* now, that will make | tell him, we shall stay here at least a month; a voyage with him to the devil ?
and he heartily prays, some occasion may da Mess. He is most in the company of the right tain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, noble Claudio.
but prays from his heart. Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a Leon. If you swear, my lord, yon shall not disease: he is sooner caught than the pesti- be forsworn.-Let me bid you welcome, my lence, and the taker runs presently mad. God lord : being reconciled to the prince your brohelp the noble Claudio! if he have caught the ther, I owe you all duty. Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound D. John. I thank you: I am not of many ere he be cured.
words, but I thank you. Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady. Leon. Please it your grace lead on? Beat. Do, good friend.
D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go Leon. You will never run mad, niece. together. Beat. No, not till a hot January.
(Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO Mess. Don Pedro is approached.
Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daugh
ter of signior Leonato? Enter Don. PEDRO, attended by BALTHAZAR, and
Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her others, Don John, CLAUDIO, und BENEDICK. Claud. Is she not a modest young lady?
D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man come to meet your trouble: the fashion of the should do, for my simple true judgement; or world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it. would you have me speak after my custom, as
Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the being a professed tyrant to their sex? likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgecomfort should remain ; but, when you department. from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low his leave.
for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, D. Pedro. You embrace your charget too wil. and too little for a great praise: only this comlingly.- I think, this is your daughter.
mendation I can afford her; that were she other Leon. Her mother hath many times told me than she is, she were unhandsome; and being so.
no other but as she is, I do not like her. Bene. Were you in doubt, Sir, that you ask- Claud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport; I pray ed her?
thee, tell me truly how thou likest her. Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire you a child.
after her. D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel ? may guess by this what you are, being a man. Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But Truly, the lady fathers herself :-Be happy, speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play lady!' for you are like an honourable father. the flouting Jack; to tell us Cupid is a good
Bene. Ii signior Leonato be her father, she hare-finder, and 'Vulcan a rare carpenter ? would not have his head on her shoulders, for Come, in what key shall a man take you, to all Messina, as like him as she is..
go in the song ? Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talk- Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady ing, signior Benedick; nobody marks you. that ever I looked on.
Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and yet living ?
I see no such matter: there's her cousin, an she Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior much in beauty, as the first of May doth the Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to dis- last of December. But I hope, you have no indain, if you come in her presence.
tent to turn husband; have you ? Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat:-But it Claud. I would scarce trust myself, though I is certain, I am loved of all ladies, only, you had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my excepted: and I would I could find in my heart wife. that I had not a hard heart; for,truly, I love none. Bene. Is it come to this, i'faith? Hath not
Beat. A dear happiness to women; they the world one man, but he will wear bis cap would else have been troubled with a perni- with suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor cious suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, of three-score again? Go to, i'faith ; an thou I am of your humour for that; I had rather wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear print of it, and sigh away Sundays. Look, be loves me.
Don Pedró is returned to seek you. Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that
Re-enter Don Pedro. mind! so some gentleman or other shall ’scape a predestinate scratched face.
D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, that you followed not to Leonato's ? an 'twere such a face as yours were.
Bene. I would, your grace would constrain Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. me to tell,
Beat. A bird of my tongue, is better than a D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegience. beast of yours.
Bene. You hear, count Claudio: Y can be Bene. I would my horse had the speed of secret as a dumb man, I would bave you think your tongue; and so good a continuer: But so; but on my allegience,-mark you this, on keep your way o' God's name; I have done. my allegience :-He is in love. With who ?
Beut. You always end with'a jade's trick; now that is your grace's part--Mark, how I know you of old.
short bis answer is :-With Hero, Leonato's D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato,-short daughter. signior Claudio, and signior Benedick,-my
Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. dear friend Leonato, hath invited you all. I Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not
so, nor 'twas not so ; but, indeed, God forbid Quarrelsomc fellow
+ Trust it should be so.
Claud. If my passion change not shortly, Claud. My liege, your highness now may do God forbid it should be otherwise.
me good. D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach ; teach it is very well worthy.
but how, Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn lord.
Any hard lesson that may do thee good. D. Pedro. By my troth, 1 speak my thought. Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ? Claud. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my Dost thou affect her, Claudio ? [heir
: lord, I spoke mine.
Claud. O my lord, Claud. That I love her, I feel.
When you went onward on this ended action, D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye,
Bene. That I neither feel how she should be That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand loved, por know how she should be worthy, is Than to drive liking to the name of love : the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts will die in it at the stake.
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate here- Come thronging soft and delicate desires, tic in the despite of beauty.
All prompting me how fair young Hero is, Cluud. And never could maintain his part, Saying, I lik’å her ere I went to wars. but in the force of his will.
b. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently, Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank And tire the hearer with a book of words: her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it; most humble thanks: but that I will have a re- And I will break with her, and with her father, cheat* winded in my forehead, or hang my And thou shalt have her: Was't not to this end, buglet in an invisible baldrick,t all women shall That thou began'st to twist so fine a story? pardon me. Because I will not do them the Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right That know love's grief by his complexion ! to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I But lest my liking might too sudden seem,
I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise. nay. Pedro. ne shall see thee, ere i die, look D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broadpale with love.
er than the flood ? Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with The fairest grant is the necessity: hunger, my lord; not with love: prove, that ever Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once," thou I lose more blood with love, than I will get again
lov'st; with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad. And I will fit thee with the remedy. maker's pen, and hang me up at the
door of a I know, we shall have revelling to-night; brothel-house, for the sign of blind Cupid. I will assume thy part in some disguise,
D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from And tell fair Hero I am Claudio; this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument. And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart,
Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, And take her hearing prisoner with the force and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him And strong encounter of my amorous tale: be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam. Then, after, to her father will I break; D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try :
And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine: In time the suvage bull doth bear the yoke. In practice let us put it presently. [Exeunt.
Bene. The savage bull may; but it ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's
SCENE II.- A Room in LEONATO's House. horns, and set them in my forehead : and let me
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO. be vilely painted; and in such great letters as Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cou. they write, Here is good horse to hire, let them sin, your son ? Hath he provided this music? signify under my sign,
-Here you may see Bene- Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, dičk the married man. Claud. If this should ever happen, thou ed not of.
I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamwould'st be horn-mad.
Leon. Are they good ? D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all Ant. As the event stamps them; but they his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this have a good cover, they show well outward. shortly.
The prince and count Claudio, walking in Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.
thick-pleachedt alley in my orchard, were thus D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the much overheard by a man of mine: The prince hours. In the mean time, good signior Bene- discovered to Claudio, that he loved my niece dick, repair to Leonato's; commend me to him, your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it and tell him, I will not fail him at supper; for, this night in a dance; and, if he found her acindeed, he hath made great preparation. cordant, he meant to take the present time by
Bene. I have almost matter enough in me the top, and instantly break with you of it. for such an embassage; and so I commit you- Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you
Cluud. To the tuition of God: From my house, this? (if I had it, D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving him, and question him yourself :
Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for friend, Benedick.
Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, Bene. Nay, mock not, mock pot: The body till it appears itself:
but I will acquaint my of your discourse is sometimes guarded with daughter withal, that she may be the better fragments, and the guards are but slightly bas- prepared for an answer, if peradventure this ted on neither : ere you fout old ends any fur- be true. Go you, and tell her of it. (Seterul ther, examine your conscience; and so I leave persons cross the stage.) Cousins, you know you.
[Exit BENEDICK. what you have to do.-0, I cry you mercy, The tune sounded to call off the dogs.
friend; you go with me, and I will use your Hunting-horn.
* Once for all
skill :-Good cousins have a care this busy D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this
(Exeunt. may prove food to my displeasure: that young
start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if SCENE III.-Another Room in LEONATO's
I can cross him any way, I bless myself every House.
way: You are both sure, and will assist ne? Enter Don John and CONRADE.
Con. To the death, my lord.
D. John. Let us to the great supper; their Con, What the goujere,* my lord! why are cheer is the greater that I ain subdued : 'Wouio you thus out of measure sad?
the cook were of my mind !-Shall we go prove D. John. There is no measure in the occasion what's to be done? that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. limit.
[Exeunt Con. You should hear reason. D. John. And when I have heard it, what
ACT II. blessing bringeth it? Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient
SCENE 1.-A Hall in LEONATO's House. sofferance. D. John. I wonder, that thou being (as thou
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE,
and others. say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mis- Leon. Was not count John here at supper? chief. 'I cannot hide what I am: I must be Ant. I saw him not. sad when I have cause, and smile at po man's Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for pever can see him, but I am heart-burned an no man's leisure; sleep when I am drowsy, and hour after. tend to no man's business ; laugh when I am Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. merry, and claw no man in his humour.
Beat. He were an excellent man, that were Con. Yea, but you must pot make the full made just in the mid-way between him and show of this, till you may do it without con- Benedick: the one is too like an image, and trolment. You have of late stood out against says nothing; and the other, too like my lady's your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into eldest son, evermore tattling: his grace; where it is impossible you should Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue take true root, but by the fair weather that you in count John's inouth, and half count John's make yourself: it is needful that you frame the melancholy in signior Benedick's face,season for your own harvest.
Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, D. John. I had rather be a cankert in a uncle, and money enough in his purse, such a hedge, than a rose in his grace; and it better man would win any woman in the world,-if fits my blood to be disdained of all than to fa- he could get her good will. shion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy man, it must not be denied that I am a plain-tongue. dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, Ant. In faith, she is too curst. and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I have Beat. Too curst is more than curst: I shall decreed not to sing in my cage: If I had my lessen God's sending that way: for it is said, mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, IGod sends a curst cow short horns; but to a cow would do my liking: in the mean time, let me too curst he sends none. be that I am, and seek not to alter me.
Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send Con. Can you make no use of your discon- you no horns. tent?
Beat. Just, if he send me no husband; for D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it the which blessing, I am at bim upon my knees only. Who comes here? What news Borachio? every morning and evening: Lord! I could
not endure a husband with a beard on his face; Enter BORACHIO.
I had rather lie in the woollen. Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; Leon. You may light upon a husband, that the prince, your brother, is royally entertained hath no beard. by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of Beat. What should I do with him? dress him aó intended marriage.
in my apparel, and make him my waiting-genD. John. Will it serve for any model to build tlewoman? He that hath a beard, is more than mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths a youth; and he that hath no beard is less than himself to unquietness ?
a man: and he that is more than a youth, is not Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. for me; and he that is less than a man, I am D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ? not for him. Therefore I will even take six. Bora. Even he.
pence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his D. John. A proper squire! And who, and apes into hell. who? which way looks he?
Leon. Well then, go you into hell ? Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir Beat. No; but to the gate; and there will of Leonato.
the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with D. Jolin. A very forward March chick! How horns on his head, and say, Get you to hearen, came you to this i
Beatrice, get you to heaven; here's no place for Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I you maids : so deliver I up my apes, and away was smoking a musty room, comes mé the to Saint Peter for the heavens ;' he shows me prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sado con where the bachelors sit, and there live we as ference: I whipt me behind the arras; and merry as the day is long. there heard it agreed upon, that the prince Ant. Well, niece, [To HERO.] I trust, you should woo Hero for himself, and having ob- will be ruled by your father. tained her, give her to count Claudio.
Beat. Yes, faith ; it is my cousin's duty to The venereal disease.
make courtesy, and say, Father, as it please Dog-roun
you :-but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a
hapulsome fellow, or else make another cour- Urs. Come, come; do you think I do not toy, add say, Father, is it plense me.
know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day hide itself? Go to, mum, you are be: graces fitted with a husband.
will appear, and there's an end. Beat. Not till God make men of some other Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so? metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman Bene. No, you shall pardon me. to be over-mastered with a piece of valiant Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are ? dust? to make an account of her life to a clod Bene. Not now. of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's Beat. That I was disdainful,--and that I had sons are my brethren; and truly, I hold it á sin my good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales; to match in my kindred.
Well, this was signior Benedick that said so. Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you: Bene. What's he? if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you Beat. I am sure, you know him well enough. know your answer.
Bene. Not I, believe me. Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, Beat. Did he never make you laugh? if you be not woo'd in good time: if the prince Bene. I pray you, what is he? be too important,* tell him, there is measure in Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very every thing, and so dance out the answer. For dull fool; only his giftis in devising impossible hear me, Hero; Wooing, wedding, and repent- slanders; none but libertines delight in him; ing, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque and the commendation is not in his wit, but in pace: the first suit is hot and' hasty, like a his villany; for he both pleases men, and anScotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wed- gers them, and then they laugh at him, and ding, mannerly-modest, as a measure full of beat him: I am sure, he is in the fleet; I would state and ancientry; and then comes repent- he had boardedt me. ance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into him what you say.
Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewd- or two on me; which, peradventure, not markly.
ed, or not laughed at, strikes him into inelanBeat. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a choly; and then there's a partridge'wing saved, church by day-light.
for the fool will eat no supper that night. (Music Leon. The revellers are entering; brother, within.) We must follow the leaders. make good room.
Bene. In every good thing.
Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave Enter Don Pedro, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BAL. them at the next turning. THAZAR; Don John, BORACHIO, MARGARET,
[Dance. Then Exeunt all but Don JOHN, URSULA, and others, musked.
BORACHIO, and CLAUDIO. D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with D. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on your friend?t
Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, with him about it: The ladies follow her, and and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; but one visor remains. and, especially, when I walk away.
Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by D. Pedro. With me in your company?
his bearing. I Hero. I may say so, when I please.
D. John. Are you not signior Benedick? D. Pedro. And when please you to say so?
Claud. You know me well; I am he. Hero. When I like your favour; for God de- D. John. Signior, you are very near my brofend, the lute should be like the case ! ther in his love: he is enamoured on Hero; I
D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within pray you, dissuade him from her, she is no the house is Jove.
equal for his birth : you may do the part of an Hero. Why, then yourvisorshould be thatch'd. honest man in it. D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. Claud. How know you he loves her ?
[Tukes her aside. D. John. I heard him swear his affection. Bene. Well, I would you did like me.
Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would Marg. So would not I, for your own sake; marry her to night. for I have many ill qualities.
D. John. Come, let us to the banquet. Bene. Which is one?
[Excunt Don John and BORACHIO. Marg. I say my prayers aloud.
Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, Bene. I love you the better; the hearers may But hear these ill news with the ears of Claucry, Amen.
dio. Marg. God match me with a good dancer! "Tis certain so;—the prince wooes for himself. Balth. Amen.
Friendship is constant in all other things, Mary. And God keep him out of my sight, Save in the office and affairs of love: when the dance is done!-Answer, derk. Therefore, all hearts in love use their own
Balth. No more words; the clerk is an. Let every eye negotiate for itself, (tongues; swered.
And trust no agent: for beauty is a witch, Urs. I know you well enough ; you are signior Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.ş Antonio.
This is an accident of hourly proof, [Hero Ant. At a word, I am not.
Which I mistrusted not: Farewell therefore, Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head,
Re-enter BENEDICK. Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. Bene. Count Claudio ?
Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, un- Claud. Yea, the same. less you were the very man: Here's his dry hand Bene. Come, will you go with me! up and down; you are he, you are he.
Claud. Whither? Ant. At a word, I am not.
Bene. Even tw the next willow, about your * Incredible
+ Accosted. linportunate