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DON PEDRO: PRINCE OF ARRAGON.
DON JOHN: HIS BASTARD BROTHER.
TO DON PEDRO.
BENEDICK: A YOUNG LORD OF PADUA, FAVOURITE
LIKEWISE TO DON PEDRO.
LEONATO: GOVERNOR OF MESSINA.
FOLLOWERS OF Don JOHN.
TWO OF THE WATCH.
INNOGEN: WIFE TO LEONATO.
MESSENGERS, WATCH, ATTENDANTS.
MUCH ADO ABOUT
SCENE I. LEONATO's Orchard.
Enter LEONATO, Governor of Messina, INNOGEN his Wife,
HERO his Daughter, BEATRICE his Niece, 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 three leagues
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 achiever brings
home full numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath bestow'd much honour on a young Florentine callid
Claudio. Mess. Much deserv'd on his part, and equally re
member'd 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 you
how. LEON. He hath an uncle, here in Messina, will be very
much glad of it. Mess. I have already deliver'd him letters, and there
appears much joy in him; even so much that joy could not shew itself modest enough without a badge
of bitterness. LEON. Did he break out into tears? Mess. In great measure.
ACT I LEON. A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces Sc. I truer than those that are so wash'd. How much
better it is to weep at joy than to joy at weeping! BEAT. I pray you, is Signior Montanto return'd from
the wars or no ?
in the army of any sort.
Cupid at the flight :: and my uncle's Fool, reading the
kill'd? for, indeed, I promis'd to eat all of his killing. 40 LEON. 'Faith, Niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much;
but he 'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. Mess. He hath done good service, Lady, in these wars. BEAT. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to
eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an
excellent stomach. Mess. And a good soldier too, Lady. BEAT. And a good soldier to a lady; but what is he to
a lord ? MESS. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuff'd with all
But for the stuffing-well, we are all mortal!
kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her :
them. BEAT. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last
conflict, four of his five witswent halting off, and now is the whole man govern’d with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his
i'a straight upright thrust' (Italian fencers'). 2 bills of challenge. 3 shafts (archers').
4 a blunt, short arrow used in birding. 5 .common wit, fantasy, imagination, estimation, memory.' 6 the distinguishing mark in the coat borne by several branches of one family.