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Dramatis Persona.

DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
Leonato, Governor of Messina.
Don John, Baftard Brother to Don Pedro.
Claudio, a young Lord of Florence, Favourite to Don

Pedro.
Benedick, a young Lord of Padua, favour'd likewise by

Don Pedro.
Balthazar, Servant to Don Pedro.
Antonio, Brother to Leonato.
Borachio, Confident to Don John.
Conrade, Friend to Borachio.
Dogberry,

two foolih Officers.
Verges,
Hero, Daughter to Leonato.
Beatrice, Neice to Leonato.

,

two Gentlewomen, attending on Hero.

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A Friar, Messenger, Watch, Town-Clerk, Sexton, and

Attendants.

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(1) MUCH ADO about NOTHING.

A

CT

1.

SCENE, a Court before Leonato's Flouise. Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice, with a

Mesenger.

LEONATO:
Learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of
Arragan comes this night to Melina.

Mey. He is very near by this; he was
I

not three leagues off when I left him.

Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?

Mej. But few of any Sort, and none of Name.

Leon. A victory is twice. it felf, when the atchiever brings home full numbers; I find here, that Don Pe.

dro (1) Much Ado about Nothing.) Innogen, (the Mother of Hero) in the oldest Quarto that I have seen of this Play, printed in 1600, is mention'd to enter in two several Scenes. The fucceeding Editions have all continued her Name in the Dra. matis Persona. But I have ventur’d to expunge it; there being no meation of her thro’ the Play, no one Speech address’d 10 her, nor one Syllable spoken by her. Neither is chere any

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you how.

dro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentina, call'd Claudio.

Mej. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembred by Don Pedro: he hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion : he hath, indeed, better better'd expectation, than you must expect of me to tell

Leon. He hath an uncle here in Melina will be very much glad of it.

Mel. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that joy could not shew it self modeft enough, without a badge of bite terness.

Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Mell. In great measure.

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer than those that are so walh'd. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping!

Beat. I pray you, is Signior Montanto return'd from the wars or no?

Mel. I know none of that name, Lady; there was none such in the army of any Sort.

Leon. What is he that you ask for, Neice?
Hero. My Cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.
Mel. O, he's return'd, and as pleasant as ever he

Beat. He set up his bills here in Meffina, and challeng'd Cupid at the flight; and my Uncle's fool, read. ing the challenge, subscrib'd for Cupid, and challeng'd him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he kill'd and eaten in these wars ? but how many hath he kill'd? for, indeed, I promis'd to eat all of his killing.

was.

one Passage, from which we have any Reason to determine that Hero's Mother was living. It seems, as if the Poet had in his first Plan design'd such a Character ; which, on a Survey of it, he found would be fuperfluous; and therefore be left it our

Leon.

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