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Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon.

A Serton. Don John, his bastard brother.

A Friar.
Claudio, a young lord of Florence, favourite to A Boy.

Don Pedro.
Benedick, a young lord of Padua, favourite like-Hero, daughter to Leonato.

of Don Pedro.

Beatrice, niece to Leonato.
Leonato, governor of Messina.


, } gentlewomen atlending on Hero.
Antonio, his brother.
Balthazar, servant to Don Pedro.

Messengers, watch, and attendants.

followers of Don John.
two foolish officers.

Scene, Messina.




Mess. O, he is returned ; and as pleasant as

ever he was. SCENE I.-Before Leonato's house. Enter Leo Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and

nato, Hero, Beatrice, and others, with a Mes- challenged Cupid at the flight:) and my uncle's senger.

fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid,

and challenged him at the bird-bolt.--I pray you, Leonato.

how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars

But how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I proI LEARN in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arra- mised to eat all of his killing. gon, comes this night to Messina.

Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too Mess. He is very near by this; he was not three much; but he'll be meet* with you, I doubt it not. leagues off when I left him.

Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in wars. this action ?

Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name.

to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, he Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever hath an excellent stomach. brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady ;-But what Florentine, called Claudio.

is he to a lord ? Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally

Mess. lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed remembered by Don Pedro: he hath borne him- with all honourable virtues. self beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the

Beat. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, in- man:. but for the stufling, -Well, we are all mortal. deed, better bettered expectation, than you must

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece: there expect of me to tell you how.

is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be and her: they never meet, but there is a skirmish very much glad of it.

of wit between them. Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and

Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last there appears much joy in him ; even so much, conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, that joy could not show itself modest enough, with- and now is the whole man governed with one : so out a badge of bitterness.

that is he have wit enough to keep himself warm, Leon. Did he break out into tears?

let him bear it for a difference between himself and Mess. In great measure.?

his horse: for it is all the wealth that he hath lett, Leon. A kind overflow of kindness: There are to be known a reasonable creature.-Who is his no faces truer than those that are so washed. How companion now ? He hath every month a new much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at sworn brother. weeping?

Mess. Is it possible? Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned Beal. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but from the wars, or no ?

as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there next block. was none such in the army of any sort.

Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ?

books. Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of

Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. Padua.

But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there no

(1) Kind. (2) Abundance. (3) At long lengths.! (4) Even. (5) A cuckold. (6) Mould for a hal.

young squarer! now, that will make a voyage with heartily prays some occasion may detain us longer : him to the devil ?

I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from hus Mess. He is most in the company of the right heart. noble Claudio.

Leon. you swear, my lord, you shall not be Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a dis- forsworn.—Let me bid you welcome, my lord : ease : he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble you all duty. Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will D. John. I thank you : I am not of many words, cost him a thousand pound

ere he be cured.

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 to Leon. You will never run mad, niece.

gether. (Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio. Beat. No, not till a hot January.

Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter Mess. Don Pedro is approached.

of signior Leonato ?

Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. Enter Don Pedro, attended by Balthazar, and Claud. Is she not a modest young lady? others, Don John, Claudio, and Benedick.

Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come should do, for my simple true judgment; or would to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is you have me speak after my custom, as being a proto avoid cost, and you encounter it.

fessed tyrant to their sex ? Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the

Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judg. likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, com

ment. fort should remain ; but, when you depart from

Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low for a me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave. high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too lit

D. Pedro. You embrace your charge? too wil- tle for a great praise: only this commendation I can lingly.- I think, this is your daughter.

afford her; that were she other than she is, she were Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so. unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her ? not like her. Leon. Signior Benedick, no ; for then were you

Claud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport; I pray a child.

thee tell me truly how thou likest her? D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we may

Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after guess by this what you are, being a man. Truly,

her? the lady fathers herself :-Be happy, lady! for you

Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel ? are like an honourable father.

Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would you this with a sad brow? or do you play the foutnot have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, ing jack; to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and as like him as she is.

Vulcan a rare carpenter ? Come, in what key shall Bene. I wonuc.; that you will still be talking, a man take you, to go in the song ? signior Benedick ; no body marks you.

Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady thal Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet

ever I looked on. living?

Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while no such matter : there's her cousin, an she were not she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Bene- possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in dick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, is beauty, as the first of May doth the last of Decemyou come in her presence.

ber. But I hope you have no intent to turn hus. Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat:-But it is band; have you ? certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted :

Claud, I would scarce trust myself, though I had and I would I could find in my heart that I had not sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife. a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.

Bene. Is it come to this, i'faith ? Hath not the Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would world one man, but he will wear his cap with else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of threethank God, and my cold blood, I am of your hu- score again ? Go to, i'faith ; an thou wilt needs inour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, a crow, than a man swear he loves me.

and sigh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is re Bené. God keep your ladyship still in that mind !

turned to seek you. so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.

Re-enter Don Pedro. Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an

D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that 'were such a face as yours were.

you followed not to Leonato's ? Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Beat. A bird of my tongue, is better than a beast

Bene. I would, your grace would constrain me

to tell. of yours. Bene. I would my horse had the speed of your Bene. You hear, count Claudio : I can be secret

D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. tongue ; and so good a continuer : But keep your as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on way of God's name; I have done. Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know He is in love. With who?-now that is your grace's

my allegiance,-mark you this, on my allegiance:you of old. D. Pedro. This is the sum of all : Leonato, Leonato's short daughter.

part.-Mark, how short his answer is:-With Hero, signior Claudio, and signior Benedick,—my dear

Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. friend Leonato, hath invited you all. I tell hím, we

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, nor shall stay here at the least a month ; and he'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so,

Claud. If my passion change not shortly, Gou (1) Quarrelsome fellow. (2) Trust. forbid it should be otherwise.

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D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady D. Pedro. My love us thine to teach ; teach it is very well worthy.

but how,
Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
Claud. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.

Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ?
Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir
I spoke mine.

Dost thou affect her, Claudio ? Claud. That I love her, I feel.


0, my lord, D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. When you went onward on this ended action,

Bene. That I neither feel how she should be I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye, loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the That liked, but had a rougher task in hand opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die Than to drive liking to the name of love: in it at the stake.

But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic Have left their places vacant, in their rooms in the despite of beauty.

Come thronging soft and delicate desires, Claud. And never could maintain his part, but All prompting me how fair young Hero is, in the force of his will.

Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars. Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thảnk her; b. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently, that she brought me up, I likewise give her most And tire the hearer with a book of words: humble thanks : but that I will have a recheat. If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it ; winded in my forehead, or hang my buglein an And I will break with her, and with her father, invisible baldric, all women shall pardon me. Be- And thou shalt have her: 'Was't not to this end, cause I will not do them the wrong to mistrust any, That thou began'st to twist so fine a story? I will do myself the right to trust none; and the Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, fine is (for the which I may go the I will That know love's grieť by his complexion ! live a bachelor.

But lest my liking might too sudden seem, D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale I would have salvd it with a longer treatise. with love.

D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hun than the flood ? ger, my lord: not with love: prove, that ever I The fairest grant is the necessity: lose more blood with love, than I will get again Look, what will serve, is fit: 'lis once, thou lov'si with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad- And Í 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 this And tell fair Hero I am Claudio; 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 And take her hearing prisoner with the force shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clap- And strong encounter of my amorous tale : ped on the shoulder, and called Adam.

Then, after, to her father will I 5.eak; D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try :

And, the conclusion is, she snall be thine : In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke. In practice let us put it presently. (Exeurs

Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, SCENE II.-A room in Leonato's house. Enand set them in my forehead : and let me be vilely

ter Leonato and Antonio. painted; and in such great letters as they write, Here is' good horse to hire, let them signily under

Leon. How now, brother? where is my cousin, my sign, -Here you may see Benedick ihe married your son? Hath he provided this music?

Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed be horn-mad.

not of. D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his

Leon. Are they good ? quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.

Ant. As the event stamps them; but they hare Bene. I look for an earthquake too then. a good cover, they show well outward. The prince

D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the and count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, alley in my orchard, were thus much overheard repair to Leonato's ; commend me to him, and tell by a man of mine: The prince discovered to Clauhim, I will not fail him at supper ; for, indeed, he dio, that he loved my niece your daughter, and hath made great preparation.

Imeant to acknowledge it this night in a dance; Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for and, if he found her accordant, he meant to take such an embassage ; and so I commit you the present time by the top, and instantly break

Claud. To the tuition of God: From my house with you of it. if I had it)

León. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this? D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for him. friend, Benedick.

and question him yourself. Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not: The body of Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till your discourse is sometime guarded with frag- it appears itself:—but I will acquaint my daughter ments, and the guards are but slightly basted on withal, that she may be the better prepared for an neither: ere you fout old ends any further, examine answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you, and your conscience; and so I leave you. [Exit Bene. tell her of it. , [Several persons cross the stage. Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me Cousins, you know what you have to do.-0, good.

cry you mercy, friend; you go with me, and I (1) The tune sounded to call off the dogs. (4) The name of a famous archer. (5) Trimmed Hunting-horn. (3) Girdle.

16) Once for all. (7) Thickly interwoven


will use your skill :-Good cousins, have a care hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross this busy time.

(Exeunt. him any way, I bless myself every way: You are

both sure, and will assist me? SCENE III. Another room in Leonato's house.

Con. To the death, my lord.
Enter Don John and Conrade.

D. John. Let us to the great supper; their Con. What the goujere,' my lord ! why are you the cook were of my mind !—Shall we go prove

cheer is the greater, that I am subdued : "Would thus out of measure sad ?

D. John. There is no measure in the occasion what's to be done? that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit. Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. (Exeunt.

Con. You should hear reason.

D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing bringeth it?

ACT II. Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance.

SCENE I. A hall in Leonato's house. Enter D. John. I wonder that thou being (as thou Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, and others. say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief.

Leon. Was not count John here at supper ? I cannot hide what I am : I must be sad when I Ant. I saw him not. have cause, and smile at no man's jests ; eat when Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never I have a stomach, and wait for no man's leisure ; can see him, but I am heart-burned an hour after. sleep when I am drowsy, and tend to no man's Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. business ; laugh when I am merry, and claw2 no

Beat. He were an excellent man, that were man in his humour.

made just in the mid-way between him and BeneCon. Yea, but you must not make the full show dick: the one is too like an image, and says of this, till you may do it without controlment. nothing; and the other, too like my lady's eldest You have of late stood out against your brother, son, evermore tattling. and he hath ta’en you newly into his grace; where

Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in it is impossible you should take true root, but by count John's mouth, and half count John's melanthe fair weather that you make yourself: it is choly in signior Benedick's face,geedful that you frame the season for your own

Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, narvest.

and money enough in his purse, such a man would D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, win any woman in the world, if he could get her than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my blood good will. to be disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get to rob love from any : 'in this, though I cannot be thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy longue. said to be a flattering honest man, it must not be

Ant. In faith, she is too curst. denied that I am a plain-dealing villain. I am

Beat. Too curst is more than curst: I shall les. trusted with a muzzle, and enfranchised with a sen God's sending that way: for it is said, God clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my sends a curse cow short horns ; but to a cow too cage ; if I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had curst he sends none. my liberty, I would do my liking: in the mean Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you time, let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me. no horns. Con. Can you make no use of your discontent ?

Beat. Just, if he send me no husband; for the D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. which blessing, I am at him upon my knees every Who comes here? What news, Borachio ?

morning and evening: Lord! I could not endure

a husband with a beard on his face; I had rather Enter Borachio.

lie in the woollen. Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the

Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath prince, your brother, is royally entertained by no beard. Leonato; and I can give you intelligenee of an

Beat. What should I do with him ? dress him intended marriage.

in my apparel, and make him my waiting gentleD. John. Will it serve for any model to build woman? He that hath a beard, is more than a mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths youth; and he that hath no beard, is less than a himself to unquietness ?

man: and he that is more than a youth is not for Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. me; and he that is less than a man, I am not for D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ?

him. Therefore, I will even také sixpence in Bora. Even he.

earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell. D. John. A proper squire ! And who, and who?

Leon. Well then, go you into hell ? which way looks he?

Beat. No; but to the gate; and there will the Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on of Leonato.

his head, and say, Gel you to heaven, Beatrice, get D. John. A very forward March chick! How you to heaven ; here's no place for you maids : so came you to this ?

deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I the heavens; he shows me where the bachelors was smoking a musty room, comes me the prince sit, and there live we as merry as the day is long. and Claudio, hand in hand, in sado conference: I

Ant. Well, niece, (To Hero.] I trust, you will whipt me behind the arras; and there heard it be ruled by your father. agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero for Beat. Yes, faith ; it is my cousin's duty to make himself, and having obtained her, give her to count courtesy, and say, Father, as it please you :-but Claudio.

yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome felD. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may low, or else make another courtesy, and


FGprove food to my displeasure: that young start-up ther, as it please me. (1) The venereal disease. (2) Flatter.

(3) Dog-rose.

(4) Serious. Q

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and fitted with a husband.

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 dust ? Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are ? to make an account of her life to a clod of way Bene. Not now. ward marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are Beat. That I was disdainful,—and that I had my my brethren ; and truly, I hold it a sin to match in good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales ;-Well. my kindred.

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 know Beal. I am sure, you know him well enough. your answer.

Bene. Not I, believe me. Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, ir Beat. Did he never make you laugh ? you be not woo'd in good time: if the prince be too Bene. I pray you, what is he? important,' tell him, there is measure in every Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull thing, and so dance out the answer. For hear me, fool ; only his gist is in devising impossible slanHero; wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as á ders: none but libertines delight in him; and the Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as for he both pleaseth men, and angers them, and fantastical; the wedding, mannerlý modest, as a then they laugh at him, and beat him : I am sure, measure full of state and ancieniry; and then he is in the feet; I would he had boarded me. comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into what you say, his grave.

Beal. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. two on me; which peradventure, not marked, or

Beat. I have a good eye, uncle: I can see a not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and church by day-light.

then there's a partridge's wing saved, for the fool Leon. The revellers are entering ; brother, make will eat no supper that night. (Music within.] Fe good room.

must follow the leaders.

Bene. In every good thing.
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar;
Don John, Borachio, Margaret, Ursula, and them at the next turning.

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave others, masked.

[Dance. Then exeunt all but Don John, D. Pedro, Lady, will you walk about with your

Borachio, and Claudio. friend ?2

D. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and and hath withdrawn her father to break with him say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and espe- about it: the ladies follow her, and but one visor cially, when I walk away.

remains. D. Pedro. With me in your company ?

Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by his Hero. I may say so, when I please.

bearing. D. Pedro. And when please you to say so ? D. John. Are not you signior Benedick?

Hero. When I like your favour: for God de Claud. You know me well; I am he. fend, the lute should be like the case!

D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within in his love: he is cnamoured ou Hero; I pray you, the house is Jove.

dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth : Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd. you may do the part of an honest man in it. D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. Claud. How know you he loves her ?

[Takes 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; for I marry her to-night. have many ill qualities.

D. John. Come, let us to the banquet. Bene. Which is one ?

(Ereunt 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 Claudio.cry Amen.

"Tis certain so;—the prince woos for himself. Marg. God match me with a good dancer! Friendship is constant in all other things, Balth. Amen.

Save in the office and affairs of love: Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, when Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues ; the dance is done !-Answer, clerk.

Let every eye negotiate for itself,
Balth. No more words ; the clerk is answered. 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. Antonio.

This is an accident of hourly proof, Ant. At a word, I am not.

Which I mistrusted not: Farewell therefore, Hero! Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head. Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.

Re-enter Benedick. Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless Bene, Count Claudio ? you were the very man: Here's his dry hand up Claud. Yea, the same. and down; you are he, you are he.

Bene. Come, will you go with me? Ant. At a word, I am not,

Claud. Whither ? Urs. Come, come; do you think I do not know Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? business, count. What fashion will you wear the

garland of? About your neck, like a usurer's (1) Importunate. (2) Lover. (3) Forbid. Incredible. (5) Accosted.

(6) Carriage, demeanour. (7) Passion

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