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DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
DON JOHN, his bastard Brother.
CLAUDIO, a young Lord of Florence.
BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua.
LEONATO, Governor of Messina.
ANTONIO, his Brother.
BALTHAZAR, Servant to Don Pedro.

followers of Don John.
DOGBERRY, a Constable.

VERGES, a Headborough.
A Sexton.
A Boy.
HERO, Daughter to Leonato.
BEATRICE, Niece to Leonato.
MARGARET, Waiting-gentlewomen attending

on Hero.

Messengers, Watch, Attendants, &c.
SCENE.- Messina.


Mess. I know none of that name, lady: there

33 SCENE I.-Before LEONATO's House.

was none such in the army of any sort.

Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece? Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE and others, Hero. My cousin means Signior Benedick of with a Messenger. Padua.

36 Leon. I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Mess. Ol he is returned, and as pleasant as Arragon comes this night to Messina.

ever he was. Mess. He is very near by this: he was not Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina and three leagues off when I left him.

4 challenged Cupid at the flight; and my uncle's Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, this action?

and challenged him at the bird-bolt. I pray Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name. you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these

Leon. A victory is twice itself when the wars? But how many bath he killed? for, indeed, achiever brings home full numbers. I find here I promised to eat all of his killing.

45 that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour on Leon. Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick a young Florentine called Claudio.

too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt Mess. Much deserved on his part and equally it not.

48 remembered by Don Pedro. He hath borne Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in himself beyond the promise of his age, doing these wars. in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion: he Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath hath indeed better bettered expectation than bolp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencheryou must expect of me to tell you how. 17 man; he hath an excellent stomach.

Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. be very much glad of it.

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady; but Mess. I have already delivered him letters, what is he to a lord?

56 and there appears much joy in him; even so Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man, much that joy could not show itself modest stuffed with all honourable virtues. enough without a badge of bitterness.

Beat. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a Leon. Did he break out into tears? 24 stuffed man; but for the stuffing, -well, we are Mess. In great measure.

all mortal. Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece. no faces truer than those that are so washed: There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior how much better is it to weep at joy than to joy Benedick and her: they never meet but there's at weeping!

29 a skirmish of wit between them. Beat. I pray you is Signior Mountanto re- Beat. Alas! he gets nothing by that. In our turned from the wars or no?

last conflict four of his five wits went halting off,



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Doble Claudio.



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and now is the whole man governed with one! Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking,

so that if he have wit enough to keep himself Signior Benedick: nobody marks you. i warm, let him bear it for a difference between Bene. What! my dear Lady Disdain, are you

bimself and his horse; for it is all the wealth yet living? that he hath left to be known a reasonable Beat. Is it possible Disdain should die while creature. Who is his companion now? He hath she hath such meet food to feed it as Signior every month a new sworn brother.

74 Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disMess. Is't possible?

dain, if you come in her presence. Beat

. Very easily possible: he wears his faith Bene. Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is but as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes certain I am loved of all ladies, only you exwith the next block.

cepted; and I would I could find in my heart Mless

. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love four books. Beat. No; an he were, I would burn my Beat. A dear happiness to women: they study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? would else have been troubled with a pernicious is there no young squarer now that will make a suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of Foyage with him to the devil?

84 your humour for that: I had rather hear my Mess . He is most in the company of the right dog bark at a crow than a man swear he

loves me. Beat

. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, mind; so some gentleman or other shall 'scape and the taker runs presently mad. God help a predestinate scratched face. the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Bene- Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an dick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere a' be 'twere such a face as yours were.

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady. Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a Beat . Do, good friend.

beast of yours. Leon. You will never run mad, niece.

Bene. I would my horse had the speed of Beat . No, not till a hot January.

your tongue, and so good a continuer. But Mess. Don Pedro is approached.

keep your way, i' God's name; I have done.

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick:

I know you of old. Enter Dox PEDRO, DON JOHN, CLAUDIO, BENE

D. Pedro. This is the sum of all, Leonato: DICK, BALTHAZAR, and Others.

Signior Claudio, and Signior Benedick, my dear D. Pedro

. Good Signior Leonato, you are friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him corne to meet your trouble: the fashion of the we shall stay here at the least a month, and world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it. 100 he heartily prays some occasion may detain Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but likeness of your Grace, for trouble being gone, prays from his heart. comfort should remain; but when you depart Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be from me, sorrow abides and happiness takes his forsworn. [To Don John.] 'Let me bid you

105 welcome, my lord: being reconciled to the prince D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too your brother, I owe you all duty. willingly. I think this is your daughter.

D. John. I thank you: I am not of many Leon. Her mother hath many times told words, but I thank you.


Leon. Please it your Grace lead on? Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you

D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will g

together. Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then you

[Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO. D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this what you are, being a man. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughTruly

, the lady fathers herself. Be happy, lady, ter of Signior Leonato? for you are like an honourable father.

Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. Bene

. If Signior Leonato be her father, she Claud. Is she not a modest young lady? 172 Fould not have his head on her shoulders for all Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man Messina, as like him as she is.

120 should do, for my simple true judgment; or





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sked her?

Tere a child.




for little for a great praise: only this commendan Gleaned. And by my two-faiths and troths, my

would you have me speak after my custom, as Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God being a professed tyrant to their sex? 176 forbid it should be otherwise.

Claud. No; I pray thee speak in sober judg. D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady ment.

is very well worthy. Bene. Why, i' faith, methinks she's too low Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. a high a praise, D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought.

in faith, my lord, tion I can afford her, that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome, and being no lord, I spoke mine.

237 other but as she is, I do not like her. 184 Claud. That I love her, I feel.

Claud. Thou thinkest I am in sport: I pray D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. thee tell me truly how thou likest her.

Bene. That I neither feel how she should be Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire loved nor know how she should be worthy, is the after her?

188 opinion that fire cannot melt out of me: I will Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel? die in it at the stake.

Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate speak you this with a sad brow, or do you play heretic in the despite of beauty.

245 the flouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good Claud. And never could maintain his part hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, but in the force of his will. in what key shall a man take you, to go in the Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank song?

her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her Claud. In mins eye she is the sweetest lady most humble thanks: but that I will have a that ever I looked on.

197 recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my Bene. I can see yet without spectacles and I bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall see no such matter: there's her cousin an she pardon me. Because I will not do them the were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right much in beauty as the first of May doth the last to trust none; and the fine is,—for the which I of December. But I hope you have no intent to may go the finer,--I will live a bachelor. 256 turn husband, have you?

D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale Claud. I would scarce trust myself, though I with love. had sworn to the contrary, if Hero would be my Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with wife.

206 hunger, my lord; not with love: prove that ever Bene. Is't come to this, i' faith? Hath not I lose more blood with love than I will get again the world one man but he will wear his cap with with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a balladsuspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of three maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a score again? Go to, i' faith; an thou wilt needs brothel-house for the sign of blind Cupid. 264 thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from and sigh away Sundays. Look! Don Pedro is this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument. returned to seek you.

213 Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat

and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him

be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam. Re-enter Don PEDRO.

D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try: D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, 'In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.' that you followed not to Leonato's?

Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the Bene. I would your Grace would constrain sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's me to tell.

217 horns and set them in my forehead; and let me D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. be vilely painted, and in such great letters as

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio: I can be they write, 'Here is good horse to hire,' let them secret as a dumb man; I would have you think signify under my sign “Here you may see so; but on my allegiance, mark you this, on my Benedick the married man.' allegiance: he is in love. With who? now that Claud. If this should ever happen, thou is your Grace's part. Mark how short his answer wouldst be horn-mad. is: with Hero, Leonato's short daughter. 224 D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his

Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: ‘it is not so, Bene. I look for an earthquake too then. nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the should be so.'

228 hours. In the meantime, good Signior Benedick,


280 288

if I had it,



but how,




repair to Leonato's: commend me to him and And the conclusion is, she shall be thine. tell him I will not fail him at supper; for indeed In practice let us put it presently. [Exeunt. he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me SCENE II.-A Room in LEONATO's House. for such an embassage; and so I commit youClaud. To the tuition of God: from my house,

Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, meeting.

Leon. How now, brother! Where is my D. Pedro. The sixth of July: your loving cousin, your son? Hath he provided this friend, Benedick.

music? Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not. The body Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, of your discourse is sometime guarded with frag- I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamt ments, and the guards are but slightly basted on not of. neither: ere you fout old ends any further,

Leon. Are they good? examine your conscience: and so I leave you. Ant. As the event stamps them: but they

[Exit. have a good cover; they show well outward. Claud. My liege, your highness now may do The prince and Count Claudio, walking in a me good.

300 thick-pleached alley in my orchard, were thus D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach: teach it much overheard by a man of mine: the prince

discovered to Claudio that he loved my niece And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it Ang hard lesson that may do thee good. this night in a dance; and, if he found her Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord? 304 accordant, he meant to take the present time by D. Pedro. No child but Hero; she's his only the top and instantly break with you of it. 17 heir.

Leon. Hath the fellow any wit that told you Dost thou affect her, Claudio?

this? Ol my lord,

Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for When you went onward on this ended action, him; and question him yourself. I looked upon her with a soldier's eye,


Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream till That lik’d, but

had a rougher task in hand it appear itself: but I will acquaint my daughter Than to drive liking to the name of love;

withal, that she may be the better prepared for But now I am return'd, and

that war-thoughts an answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you, Have left their places vacant, in their rooms 312 and tell her of it. [Several persons cross the Come thronging soft and delicate desires, stage.] Cousins, you know what you have to do. All prompting me how fair young Hero is, O! I cry you mercy, friend; go you with me, Saying, I likå her ere I went to wars.

and I will use your skill. Good cousin, have a D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently, care this busy time.

[Exeunt. And tire the hearer with a book of words. If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,

SCENE III.-Another Room in LEONATO's And I will break with her, and with her father,

And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end
That thou began'st to twist so fine a story? 321

Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, Con. What the good-year, my lord! why are
That know love's grief by his complexion! you thus out of measure sad?
But lest my liking might too sudden seem, 324 D. John. There is no measure in the occasion
I would have saly'd it with a longer treatise. that breeds; therefore the sadness is without
D. Pedro. What need the bridge much limit.
broader than the flood?

Con. You should hear reason. The fairest grant is the necessity.

D. John. And when I have heard it, what Look

, what will serve is fit: 'tis once, thou lov’gt, blessing brings it? And I will fit thee with the remedy.

Con. If not a present remedy, at least a I know we shall have revelling to-night:

patient sufferance. I will assume thy part in some disguise,

D. John. I wonder that thou, being, -as thou And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;

332 say'st thou art,-born under Saturn, goest about Ard in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart,

to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying misAnd take her hearing prisoner with the force chief, I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad

And strong encounter of my amorous tale: when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; Ś Iben, after to her father will I break;

336 l eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's






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leisure; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on no Con. man's business; laugh when I am merry,


72 To the death, my lord.

and claw no man in his humour.


D. John. Let us to the great supper: their Con. Yea; but you must not make the full cheer is the greater that I am subdued. Would show of this till you may do it without control the cook were of my mind! Shall we go prove ment. You have of late stood out against your what's to be done?

76 brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt. grace; where it is impossible you should take true root but by the fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful that you frame the season

ACT II. for your own harvest.

27 D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge

SCENE I.-A Hall in LEONATO's House. than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my

Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, blood to be disdained of all than to fashion a

and Others. carriage to rob love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it

Leon. Was not Count John here at supper? must not be denied but I am a plain-dealing

Ant. I saw him not. villain. I am trusted with a muzzle and en- Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I franchised with a clog; therefore I have decreed never can see him but I am heart-burned an not to sing in my cage. If I had my mouth, I hour after.

5 would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. liking in the meantime, let me be that I am, made just in the mid-way between him and

Beat. He were an excellent man that were and seek not to alter me.

Con. Can you make no use of your discontent? Benedick: the one is too like an image, and says

D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it nothing; and the other too like my lady's eldest only. Who comes here?

son, evermore tattling.

Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue Enter BORACHIO.

in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's What news, Borachio?

43 melancholy in Signior Benedick's face, – Bora. I came yonder from a great supper: Beat. With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, the prince, your brother, is royally entertained and money enough in his purse, such a man by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of would win any woman in the world, if a' could an intended marriage.

47 get her good will. D. John. Will it serve for any model to build Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get mischief on? What is he for a fool that be thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy troths himself to unquietness?

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. Ant. In faith, she's too curst.
D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio? Beat. Too curst is more than curst: I shall
Bora. Even he.

53 lessen God's sending that way; for it is said, D. John. A proper squire! And who, and 'God sends a curst cow short horns;' but to a who? which way looks he?

cow too curst he sends none. Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send of Leonato. 57 | you no horns?

28 D. John. A very forward March-chick! How Beat. Just, if he send me no husband; for came you to this?

the which blessing I am at him upon my knees Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I every morning and evening. Lord! I could not was smoking a musty room, comes me the prince endure a husband with a beard on his face: I and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference: had rather lie in the woollen. I whipt me behind the arras, and there heard it Leon. You may light on a husband that hath agreed upon that the prince should woo Hero no beard. for himself, and having obtained her, give her to Beat. What should I do with him? dress him Count Claudio.

66 in my apparel and make him my waiting-gentleD. John. Come, come; let us thither: this woman? He that hath a beard is more than a may prove food to my displeasure. That young youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow: if man; and he that is more than a youth is not I can cross him any way, I bless myself every for me; and he that is less than a man, I am not way. You are both sure, and will assist me? for him: therefore I will even take sixpence in





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