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Nay, said I, the gentleman is wise; Certain, said kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes: she, a wise gentleman : Nay, said I, he hath the what your wisdoms could not discover, these shaltongues ; That I believe, said she, for he swore a low fools have brought to light ; who, in the night, thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore overheard me confessing to this man, how Don on Tuesday morning ; there's a double longue ; John your brother incensed me to slander the lady there's two longues. Thus did she, an hour toge- Hero; how you were brought into the orchard, ther, trans-shape thy, particular virtues; yet, at and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; last, she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the pro- how you disgraced her, when you should marry perest man in Italy.

her : my villany they have upon record; which I Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and had rather seal with my death, than repeat over to said, she cared not.

my shame: the lady is dead upon mine and my D. Pedro. Yea, that she did ; but yet, for all master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would nothing but the reward of a villain. love him dearly: the old man's daughter told us all. D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him

your blood ? when he was hid in the garden.

Claud. I have drunk poison whiles he utler'd it. D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this? bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head ? Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells of it. Benedick the married man.

D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treaBene. Fare you well, boy; you know my mind;

chery: I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour: And Aed he is upon this villany. you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which,

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear God be thanked, hurt not.--My lord, for your many In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first. courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your

Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this company; your brother, the bastard, is fled from time our Sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of Messina : you have, among you, killed a sweet and the matter : and masters, do not forget to specify, innocent lady: for my lord Lack-beard, there, he when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass. and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him.

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato,

(Exit Benedick. and the Sexton too. D. Pedro. He is in earnest. Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll war

Re-enter Leonato and Antonio, with the Sexton. rant you, for the love of Beatrice.

Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his eyes; D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?

That when I note another man like him, Claud. Most sincerely.

I may avoid him: Which of these is he? D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit! Enter Dogberry, Verges, and the Watch, with

Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath

hast kill'd Conrade and Borachio.

Mine innocent child? Claud. He is then a giant to an ape: but then is Bora.

Yea, even I alone. an apc a doctor to such a man.

Leon. No, not so, villain ; ihou bely'st thysell; D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be; pluck up, my Here stand a pair of honourable men, heart, and be sad!' Did he not say my brother was A third is fled, that had a hand in it :fled ?

I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death ; Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame Record it with your high and worthy deeds; you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her ba-Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it. lance; nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once,

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, you must be looked to.

Yet I must speak: Choose your revenge yourself; D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men Impose me to what penance your invention bound ! Borachio, one!

Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn'd I not,
Claud. Hearken to their offence, my lord ! But in mistaking.
D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men

D. Pedro. By my soul, nor I; done ?

And yet, to satisfy this good old man, Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false re- I would bend under any heavy weight port; moreover, they have spoken untruths; se- That he'll enjoin me to. condarily, they are slarders ; sixth and lastly, they Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live, have belied a lady; thirdly, they have veritied un- That were impossible ; but, I pray you both, just things : and, to conclude, they are lying knaves. Possess the people in Messina here

D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done; How innocent she died: and, if your love thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and Can labour ought in sad invention, lastly, why they are committed ; and, to conclude, Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb, what you lay to their charge ?

And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night:Clarıd. Rightly reasoned, and in his own divi-To-morrow morning come you to my house; sion; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well And since you could not be my son-in-law, suited.

Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter, D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, Almost the copy of my child that's dead, that you are thus bound to your answer? this And she alone is heir to both of us; learned constable is too cunning to be understood: Give her the right you should have given her cousin, What's your offence?

And so dies my revenge. Bora, Sweet prince, let me go no further to Claud.

0, noble sir, mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me! '1) Serious. (2) Incited.

(3) Command. (4) Acquaint.


I do embrace your offer; and dispose

Bene. And therefore will come.
For henceforth of poor Claudio.
Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming;

The god of love, (Singing.)

That sils above, To-night I take my leave.-This naughty man

And knows me, and knows me,
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,

How pitiful I deserve, -
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

I mean, in singing ; but in loving,-Leander the Bora.

No, by my soul, she was not ; good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panNor knew not what she did, when she spoke

to me; dars, and a whole book full of these quondam carBut always hath been just and virtuous,

pet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the In any thing that I do know by her.

even road of a blank verse, why, they were never Doğb. Moreover, sir, (which, indeed, is not un- so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in der white and black,) this plaintiff here, the offen- love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have der, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be re

tried ; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an membered in his punishment: and also, the watch innocent rhyme ; for scorn, horn, a hard rhyme ; heard them talk of one Deformed: they say, he for school, Lool, a babbling rhyme; very ominous wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it;

endings : 'No, 'I was not born under à rhyming and borrows money in God's name; the which he planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.2 – hath used so long, and never paid, that now men

Enter Beatrice. grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called sake: pray you, examine him upon that point.

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

Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me. Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thanksul

Bene. O, stay but till then! and reverend youth; and I praise God for you.

Beat. Then, is spoken ; fare you well now :Leon. There's for thy pains. Dogb. God save the foundation!

and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for,

which is, with knowing what hath passed between Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

you and Claudio. Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your wor- kiss thee.

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon, I will ship ; which, I beseech your worship, to correct

Beat. Foul words is but soul wind, and foul wind yourself, for the example of others. God keep your is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; worship'; I wish your worship well; God restore therefore I will depart unkissed. you to health: I humbly give you leave to depart; Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohi-right sense, so forcible is thy wit: But, I must tell bit it.-Come, neighbour. Exeuni Dogberry, Verges, and Watch and either l'must shortly hear from him, or I will

thee plainly, Claudio undergoes: my challenge; Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, Ant. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first morrow.

fall in love with me? D. Pedro. We will not fail,

Beal. For them all together ; which maintained Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero. so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit

(Eseunt Don Pedro and Claudio. Leon. Bring

you those fellows on; we'll talk any good part to intermingle with them. But for with Margaret,

which of my good parts did you first suffer love

for me? How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

Bene. Suffer love ; a good epithet! I do suffer (Exeunt.

love, indeed, for I love thee against my will. SCENE II.-Leonato's Garden. Enter Bene Beat. In spite of your heart, I think; alas! poor

dick und Margatet, meeting. heart! If you spite it for my sake; I will spite it Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, de- for yours; for I will never love that which my serve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech friend hates. of Beatrice.

Bene. Thou and I are too wise woo peaceably. Marg. Will you then wrlle me a sonnet in praise Beal. It appears not in this confession: there's of my beauty?

not one wise man among twenty that will praise Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man himself

. living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived thou deservest it,

in the time of good neighbours: if a man do not Marg. To have no man come over me? why, erect in this age bis own tomb ere he dies, he shall shall I always keep below stairs ?

live no longer in monument, than the bell rings, Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's and the widow weeps. mouth, it catches.

Brat. And how long is that, think you? Marg. And your's as blunt as the sencer's foils, Bene. Question ?-Why, an hour in clamour, which hit, but hurt not.

and a quarter in rheum: Therefore, it is most expeBene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not dient for the wise (if Don Worm, his conscience, hurt a woman; and so I pray thee, call Beatrice : find no impediment to the contrary,) to be the I give thee the bucklers. Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of much for praising myself (who, I mysell will bear

trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself : So

witness, is praiseworthy,) and now tell me, How Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put doth your cousin? in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous Beat. Very ill. weapons for maids.

Bene. And how do you ? Morg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I Beat. Very ill too. think, hath legs.

(Ezil Margaret. Bene. Serve God, love me, and mond: there (1) Ignorant. (2) Holiday phrases.

(3) Is subject to.


our own.

will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste. Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd Enter Ursula.

To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it. Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle; Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, yonder's old coili at home: it is proved my lady Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves ; Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and And when I send for you, come hither mask'd : Claudio mightily abused; and Don John is the The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour author of all, who is fled and gone : will you come To visit me :-You know your office, brother; presently?

You must be father to your brother's daughter, Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior ? And give her to young Claudio. (Ereunt Ladies.

Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. be buried in thy eyes ; and, moreover, I will go Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. with thee to thy uncle's.

(Exeunt. Friar. To do what, signior?

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.SCENE III.-The inside of a church. Enter Signior Leonato, truth it is, goud signior,

Don Pedro, Claudio, and attendants with music Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. and lapers.

Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; 'Tis most Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato ?

true. Alten. It is, my lord.

Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. Claud. (Reads from a scroll. I

Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from

me, Done to death by slanderous tongues, From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your Was the Hero that here lies :

will ? Death, in guerdonof her wrongs,

Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical :
Gives her fame which never dies :

But, for my will, my will is, your good will
So the life, that died with shame,

May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd Lives in death with glorious fame.

In the estate of honourable marriage ;-)

In which, good friar, I shall desire your help. Hang thou there upon the tomb, (Asfixing it.

Leon. My heart is with your liking: Praising her when I am dumb.


And my help Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. Here comes the prince, and Claudio. SONG.

Enter Don Pedro and Claudio with attendants. Pardon, Goddess of the night,

D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. Those that slew thy virgin knight ;

Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, For the which, with songs of wo,

Round about her lomb they go.

We here attend you ; are you yet determin'd
Midnight, assist our moan;

To-day to marry with my brother's daughter ?
Help us to sigh and groan,

Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope. Heavily, heavily:

Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar ready.

[Eril Antonio. Graves, yawn, and yield your dead, Till death be úttered,

D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's Heavily, heavily.

the matter,

That you have such a February face,
Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night!

So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
Yearly will I do this rite.

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull:D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters ; put your Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold,

torches out: The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gen- As once Europa did at susty Jove,

And all Europa shall rejoice at thee; tle day,

When he would play the noble beast in love.
Before the wheels of Phæbus, round about

Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;
Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray:
Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well.

And some such strange bull leap'd your father's Claud. Good morrow, masters ; each his several And got a calf in that same noble feat,

way. D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other

Much like to you, for you have just his bleat. weeds:

Re-enter Antonio, with the Ladies mask'd. And then to Leonato's we will go.

Claud. For this I owe you: here come other Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue

reckonings. speeds,

Which is the lady I must seize upon ? Than this, for whom we render'd up this wo!

Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her.

(Ereunt. Claud. Why, then she's mire: Sweet, let me see SCENE IV. A room in Leonato's house. En

your face. ler Leonato, Antonio, Benedick, Beatrice, Ur

Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand sula, Friar and Hero.

Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar; Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent ? I am your husband, if you like of me. Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd Hero. And when I lived, I was your other wise: her,

(Unmasking: Upon the error that you heard debated :

And when you loved, you were my other husband. But Margaret was in some fault for this;

Claud. Another Hero ? Although against her will, as it appears


Nothing certainer : In the true course of all the question.

One Hero died defil'd; but I do live,

And, surely as I live, I am a maid. (1) Stir. (2) Reward.

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for me.

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead ! it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my concluLeon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander sión.-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have liv'd.

beaten thee; but in that' thou art like to be my Friar. All this amazement can I qualify i kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin. When after that the holy rites are ended,

Claud. I had well hoped, thou would'st have del'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:

nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out Mean time, let wonder seem familiar,

of thy single lite, to make thee a double dealer ; And to the chapel let us presently:

which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin Bene. Sost and fair, fríar. Which is Beatrice? do not look exceeding narrowly to thee. Beat. I answer to that name; [Unmasking. Bene. Come, come, we are friends :-let's have What is your will ?

a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten Bene, Do not you love me?

our hearts, and our wives' beels. Beat.

No, no more than reason. Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards. Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, Bene. First, o' my word; therefore, play, muand Claudio,

sic. - Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get Have been deceived ;' for they swore you did. thee a wise: there is no stati more reverend than Beat. Do not you love me?

one tipped with horn. Bene.

No, no more than reason.
Beat. Why then, my cousin, Margaret, and

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did.

flight, Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for And brought with armed men back to Messina.

Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll deBeat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead vise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up,


(Dance. Bene. 'Tis no such matter :—Then, you do not

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

This play may be justly said to contain two of Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves the most sprighily characters that Shakspeare ever

drew, The wit, the humourist, the gentleman, For here's a paper, written in his hand,

and the soldier, are combined in Benedick. It is to A halling sonnet of his own pure brain,

be lamented, indeed, that the first and most splenFashion'd to Beatrice.

did of these distinctions, is disgraced by unnecesHero.

And here's another, sary profaneness; for the goodness of his heart is Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, hardly suiticient to alone for the license of his Containing her affection unto Benedick.

tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which flashes out Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against in the conversation of Beatrice, may be excused our hearts !-Come, I will have thee; but, by this on account of the steadiness and friendship so aplight, I take thee for pity.

parent in her behaviour, when she urges her lover Beat. I would not deny you ;-but, by this good to risk his life by a challenge to Claudio. In the day, 1 yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to conduct of the fable, however, there is an impersave your life, for I was told you were in a consump- fection similar to that which Dr. Johnson has pointtion.

ed out in The Merry Wives of Windsor :-the Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth. second contrivance is less ingenious than the first:

(Kissing her. or, to speak more plainly, the same incident is beD. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married come stale by repetition. I wish some other method man?

had been found to entrap Beatrice, than that very Benc. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit- one which before had been successfully practised on crackers cannot flout me out of my humour: dost Benedick.


Much Ado About Nothing (as I understand if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear from one of Mr. Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed nothing handsome about him : In brief, since I do under the title of Benedick and Beatrix. Heming propose to marry, I will think nothing to any pur- the player received, on the 20th of May, 1613, the pose that the world can say against it; and there- sum of forty pounds, and twenty pounds more as tore never flout at me for what I have said against his majesty's gratuity, for exhibiting six plays at

Hampton Court, among which was this comedy. (1) Because.






Theseus, duke of Athens.

Oberon, king of the fairies. Egeus, father to Hermia.

Titania, queen of the fairies. Lysander,

Puck, or Robin Good-fellow, a fairy. Demetrius, in love with Hermia.

Peas-Blossom, Philostrate, master of the revels to Theseus. Cobweb,


fairies. Quince, the carpenter. Snug, the joiner.

Mustard-seed, Bottom, the weaver.

Pyramus, Flute, the bellows-mender.


Charucters in the interlude, pero Snout, the linker.

Moonshine, Starveling, the tailor.

formed by the Clowns.

Hippolyla, queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Other faries attending their king and queen.

Allendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
Hermia, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander.
Helena, in love with Demetrius.

Scene, Athens, and a wood not far from it.



And interchang'd love-tokens with my child :

Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung, SCENE I.-Athens. rooin in the palace of With feigning voice, verses of feigning love

Theseus. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philos. And stol’n the impression of her fantasy trate, and attendants.

With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,

Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; messengers, Theseus.

Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:

With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's h art; Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour

Turo'd her obedience, which is due to me, Draws on apace; four happy days bring in

To stubborn harshness :-and, my gracious duke, Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how slow

Be it so she will not here before your grace This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires,

Consent to marry with Demetrius, Like to a step-dame, or a dowager.

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens; Long withering out a young man's revenue.

As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in which shall be either to this gentleman, nights;

Or to her death ; according to our law, Four nights will quickly dream away the time;

Immediately provided in that case. And then the moon, like to a silver how

The. Whatsay you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair maid: New bent in heaven, shall behold the night

To you your father should be as a god; of our solemnities.

One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one The.

Go, Philostrate,

To whom you are but as a form in wax, Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;

By him imprinted, and within his power Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;

To leave the figure, or disfigure it. Turn melancholy forth to funerals,

Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. The pale companion is not for our pomp:

Her. So is Lysander.

The. (Exit Philostrate.

In himself he is : Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,

But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice, And won thy love, doing thee injuries;

The other must be held the worthier, But I will wed thee in another key,

Her, I would my father look'd but with my eyes. With pomp, with triumph,' and with revelling.

The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment

look. Enler Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius.

Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me.

I know not by what power I am made bold;
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke ! Nor how it may concern my modesty,
The. Thanks, good Egeus : what's the news In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts :
with thee ?

But I beseech your grace that I may know
Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint The worst that may befal me in this case,
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.. If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
Stand forth, Demetrius; My noble lord,

The. Either to die the death, or to abjure
This man hath my consent to marry her:-

For ever the society of men. Stand forth, Leander :-and, my gracious duke, Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires, This hath bewitchi'd the bosom of my child : Know of your youth, examine well your blood, Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, (1) Shows,

(2) Baubles,

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