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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon.
wise by Don Pedro.
followers of Don John. Conrade,
two-foolish officers. Verges,
gentlewornen attending on Hero.
Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.
SCE N E I..
Before LEONATO's House,
Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE,
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 threc leagucs 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 are chiever 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 lamlı, the fcats of a lion: he hath, iudeed, 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 therc 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 ?
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 kitow none of that name, Lady; there was uone such in the army of any sort.
Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ? Hero. My cousin mcans Siguior Benedick of Padua.
Mess. O, he is returned; and as pleasant as eyer he was.
Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina , and challenged Cupid at the Night: and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challeuged him at the bird • bolt. you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many liath he lilled? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.
L.eon. Faith, niece, you tax Signior' Benedick 100 much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
Mess. He hath done good scryice, Lady, in these
B:ar, You had musty victnal, and he hath holp to cat it: he is a very valiant trencher-mail, he hath an excellent stomach.
Mess. And a good soldier too, Lady,
Beat. And a good soidier to a lady; But what is he io a lord ?
Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man ; stuffed with all honouraiie virtues.
Beat. It is so, indced; he is no less than a stufied 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 Leo nedick and hér: they never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit beiween them. . Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that.
In our last conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one: so that if he have wit enongh to keep him. self warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the wealth he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion now?
He hath every mouth a new sworn brother.
Mess. Is it possible ?
Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith. but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.
Mess. 'I see, Lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
Beat, No: an he were, I would burn my study. Ent, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage wiil him to the devil?
Mess. 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 pestilence, and thč taker runs presently mad. God help the acolle Claudio ! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a ihousand ponud ere he be cured.
Mess. I will hold friends with you, Lady,