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I do embrace your offer; and dispose

Bene. And therefore will come. For henceforth of poor Claudio.

The god of love, (Singing.) Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming;

Thal 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 1 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

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 car. But always hath been just and virtuous,

pei-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 Dogb. 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, fool

, a babbling rhyme; very ominous wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it; endings: No, I was not born under a 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.

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
Dagb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful

Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.

Bene, 0, stay but till then! and reverend youth; and I praise God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains.

Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now:Dogb. God save the foundation !

and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and which is

, with knowing what hath passed between Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your wor- kiss thce.

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon, I will ship; which, I beseech your worship, to correct Beal. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind yourself, for the example of others. God keep your is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisoine; 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. [Eceunl Dogberry, Verges, and Watch and either I'must shortly hear from him, or I will

thce 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

D. Pedro. We will not fail.

fall in love with me?
Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero. so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit

Beat. For them all together ; which maintained [Exeunt Don Pedro and Claudio. Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk which of my good parts did you first suffer love

any good part to intermíngle with them. But for with Margaret,

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

[Exeunt. love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.

Bene. Suffer love ; a good epithet! I do suffer SCENE II.-Leonato's Garden. Enler Bene- Beat. In spite of your heart, 1 think; alas! poor

dick and Margaret, meeling. 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 hatés. of Beatrice.

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

not one wise man among twenty that will praisc 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 his own tomb cre he dies, he sha!! 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.

Beat. And how long is that, think you? Marg. And your's as blunt as the sencers 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.

trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of much for praising myself (who, I myself will bear our own.

witness, is praiscworthy,) 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 ? Marg, Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I Beat. Very ill too. think, hath legs.

[Exit Margaret. Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there (1) Ignorant. (2) Holiday phrases.

(3) Is subject lo.


my help.

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

Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforcod 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 coill

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. (Excunt Ladies.

Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in ihy lap, and Ani. 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 ? SCENE III.-The inside of a church... Enter Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.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 ? Allen. It is, my lord.

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

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

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

will ? Dealh, 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, (Allixing it.

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


And 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,

Claudio; Round about her tomb they go.

We here attend you , are you yet determind Midnight, assist our inoan ;

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. Graves, yawn, and yield your dead,

[Eril Antonio. Tiil death be ultered,

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

the matter,

That you have such a February face,
Claud. Now, unto thy boncs 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:

And all Europa shall rejoice at thce ; The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gen. As once Europa did at lusty Jove, 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: And some such strange bull leap'd your father's Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well.

cow, Claud. Good morrow, masters ; each his several And got a call in that same noble feat, way.

Much like to you, for you have just his bleat. D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other wceds :

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.

(Exeunt. Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me see SCENE IV. Aroom in Leonato's house. En

your face. ter 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.


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 sion.-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; kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin. When after that the holy rites are ended,

Claud. I had well hoped, thou would'st

have deI'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death : nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out Mean time, let wonder secm familiar,

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

which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin Bene. Soft and fair, friar.-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' heels. 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 wife: there is no staff more reverend 'than Beat. Do not you love me?

one tipped with horn. Bene.

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

Enter a Messenger.
Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did.

Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in

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 de. Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead vise thee brave punishments for him.-Sirike up, for me. pipers,

(Dance. Bene. 'Tis no such matter :-Then, you do not love me?

(Excunt. 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 her;

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 halting sonnet of his own pure brain, be lamented, indeed, that the first and most splenFashion' to Beatrice.

did of these distinctions, is disgraced by unneces. Hero.

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

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

parent in her behaviour, when she urges her lover Beal. 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 imper. save your life, for I was told you were in a consump- section similar to that which Dr. Johnson has point

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 Bene. 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. thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram; No: 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 titlc 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 fairics. Egeus, father to Hermia.

Titania, queen of the fairies. Lysander,

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

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

fairies. Quince, the carpenter.

Moth, Snug, lhe joiner.

Mustard-seed, Bottom, the weaver,

Pyramus, Flute, the bellows-mender.

Thisbe, Characters in the interlude, pero Snout, the linker.


Moonshine, Starveling, the lailor.

formed by the Clowns.

Ilippolyta, queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Other faries altending their king and queen.

Allendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
Hermia, daughter to Egeus, in love wilh 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. A room 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 allendants.

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

Knacks, trides, nosegays, sweet-neats; messengers, Theseus.

Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:

With cunning hasi thou filch'd my daughter's hcart; Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour

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

To stubborn harshness :-and, my gracious duke,

Be it so she will not here before your grace
Another moon: but, oh, meihinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! she lingers iny desires,

Consent to marry with Demetrius,
Like to a step-damc, 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 ber 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 bow

The. Whatsay yo 1, Hermia? be advis’d, fair maid: New bent in heaven, shall behold the night

To you your friher should be as a god; Of our solcmnities.

One thai compos'd your beauties ; yca, 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 distigure it, Turn melancholy forth to funerals,

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

Her. So is Lysander.

In himself he is :
(Exit l'hilostrate.
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,

But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice,

The other must be held the worthier.
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in itnother key,

Iler. I would my father look'd but with my eyes. with triumph,' and with rcvelling.

The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment


Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
Enler Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius.

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 thec ?

But I bescech your grace that I may know
Egr. 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 dic the death, or to abjure
This man har my consent to marry her:-

For ever the sociсty of men. Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious duke, Therefore, sair Herinia, question your desires, This hath bewitch'd the bosoin 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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With pomp,

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