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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.
Don PEDRO, prince of Arragon.
DOGBEBRY, Don John, his bastard brother.
two foolish officers, Claudio, a young lord of Florence, favourite to A Sexton. Don Pedro.
A Friar. BENEDICK, a young lord of Padua, favourite like- A Boy. wise of Don Pedro.
Hero, daughter to Leonato. • LEONATO, governor of Messina.
BEATRICE, niece to Leonato. Antonio, his brother.
Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.
} gentlewomen attending on Hero.
SCENE I.–Before Leonato's house. Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equalEnter Leonato, HERO, BEATRICE, and others, himself beyond the promise of his age; doing,
ly remembered by Don Pedro: He hath borne with a Messenger.
in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than of Arragon comes this night to Messina.
you must expect of me to tell you
how. Mess. He is very near by this; he was not Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will three leagues off, when I left him.
be very much glad of it. Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in Mess. I have already delivered him letters,
and there appears much joy in him; even so Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name. much, that joy could not show itself modest Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the enough without a badge of bitterness, achiever brings home full numbers. I find here, Leon. Did he break out into tears? that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour on Mess. In great measure. Florentine, called Claudio.
Leon. A kind overflow of kindness : There
you a child.
are no faces truer than those that are so washed. the noble Claudio ! if he have caught the BeneHow much better is it to weep at joy, than to dick, it will cost him a thousand pound, ere he joy at weeping ?
be cured. Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto return Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady. ed from the wars, or no ?
Beat. Do, good friend. Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there Leon. You will never run mad, niece. was none such in the army of any sort.
Beat. No, not till a hot January. Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece ? Mess. Don Pedro is approached.
Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua.
Enter Don Pedro, attended by Balthazar and Mess. O, he is returned; and as pleasant as
others, Don John, CLAUDIO, and BENEDICK. ever he was.
Brat. He set up his bills here in Messina, D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are and challenged Cupid at the flight: and my come to meet your trouble: the fashion of the uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it. for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt. Leon. Never came trouble to my house in I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten the likeness of your grace : for trouble being in these wars? But how many hath he killed ? gone, comfort should remain ; but, when you for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing., depart from me, sorrow abides, and happiness
Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick takes his leave. too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too wilit not.
lingly.-I think, this is your daughter. Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in Leon. Her mother hath many times told me these wars. Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that
asked holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man,
her? he hath an excellent stomach.
Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were Mess. And a good soldier too, lady.
Beat. And a good soldier to a lady ;-But D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we what is he to a lord ?
may guess by this what you are, being a man. Mess. A lord to a lord, a map to a man; Truly, the lady fathers herself: Be happy, lastuffed with all honourable virtues.
dy! for you are like an honourable father. Beat. It is so indeed; he is no less than a Bene. "If signior Leonato be her father, she stuffed man: but for the stuffing,-Well, we would not have his head on her shoulders, for are all mortal.
all Messina, as like him as she is. Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my
niece : Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, there is a kind of merry war betwixt signior signior Benedick; no body marks you. Benedick and her: they never meet, but there Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you is a skirmish of wit between them.
yet living? Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while last conflict four of his five wits went halting she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior off, and now is the whole man governed with Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disone: so that if he have wit enough to keep him- dain, if you come in her presence. self warm, let him bear it for a difference be Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat:—But it tween himself and his horse ; for it is all the is certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you exwealth that he hath left, to be known a reason- cepted: and I would I could find in my heart, able creature.—Who is his companion now? that I had not a hard heart; for truly, I love He hath every month a new sworn brother. Mess. Is it possible?
Beat. A dear happiness to women; they Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith would else have been troubled with a pernicious but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, I am with the next block.
of your humour for that; I had rather hear my Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves your books.
Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that study. But, I pray you, who is his companion mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape Is there no young squarer now, that will make a predestinate scratched face. a voyage with him to the devil ?
Beut. Scratching could not make it worse, an Mess. He is most in the company of the 'twere such a face as yours were. right noble Claudio.
Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher
. Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, beast of yours. and the taker runs presently mad. God help Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of
your tongue ; and so good a continuer: But keep and sigh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is your way o' God's name; I have done.
returned to seek you. Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.
Re-enter Don PEDRO. D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato,signior Claudio, and signior Benedick,-my dear D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him, that you followed not to Leonato's ? we shall stay here at the least a month; and Bene. I would, your grace would constrain me he heartily prays, some occasion may detain us to tell. longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. prays from his heart.
Bene. You hear, count Claudio : I can be seLeon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be cret as a dumb man, I would have you think so; forswom.—Let me bid you welcome, my lord: but on my allegiance,-mark you this, on my being reconciled to the prince your brother, I allegiance :—He is in love. With who ?-now ove you all duty.
that is your grace's part.—Mark, how short his D. John. I thank you: I am not of many answer is:--With Hero, Leonato’s short daughter. words, but I thank you.
Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. Leon. Please it your grace lead on?
Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go nor'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should together. [Ereunt all but Benedick and Claudio. be so.
Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God of signior Leonato?
forbid it should be otherwise. Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her ; for the lady Claud. Is she not a modest young lady? is very well worthy.
Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my lord. should do, for my simple true judgment; or D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. would you have me speak after my custom, as Claud. And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judg- lord, I spoke mine. ment.
Claud. That I love her, I feel. Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and Bene. That I neither feel how she should be too little for a great praise : only this commen- loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is dation I can afford her; that were she other than the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I she is, she were unhandsome ; and being no other will die in it at the stake. but as she is, I do not like her.
D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate hereClaud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport ; I pray tick in the despite of beauty. thee, tell me truly how thou likest her.
Claud. And never could maintain his part, but Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire in the force of his will. after her?
Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel ? her; that she brought me up, I likewise give
Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But her most humble thanks : but that I will have speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play a recheat winded in my forehead, or hang my the flouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter ? Come, in pardon me. Because I will not do them the what key shall a man take you, to go in the wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right song?
to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor. that ever I looked on.
1). Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I with love. see no such matter: there's her cousin, an she Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunwere not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as ger, my lord ; not with love : prove, that ever I much in beauty, as the first of May doth the last lose more blood with love, than I will get again of December. But I hope, you have no intent with drinking, pick out mine eyes with a balladto turn husband; have you?
maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a Chud. I would scarce trust myself, though I brothel-house, for the sign of blind Cupid. had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost tall from wife.
this faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument. Bene. Is it come to this, i'faith? Hath not the Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, world one man, but he will wear his cap with and shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of three- be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam. score again? Go to, i faith ; an thou wilt needs D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try : thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, I In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.
Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the | Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once, thou sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's lov’st ; horns, and set them in my forehead : and let me And I will fit thee with the remedy. be vilely painted ; and in such great letters as I know, we shall have revelling to-night; they write, Here is good horse to hire, let them I will assume thy part in some disguise, signify under my sign, -Here you may see Be- And tell fair Hero I am Claudio; nedick the married man.
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart, Claud. If this shouldever happen, thou would'st And take her hearing prisoner with the force be horn-mad.
And strong encounter of my amorous tale: D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all Then, after, to her father will I break; his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine: shortly.
In practice let us put it presently, [Ereunt. Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.
D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the SCENE II.-A room in Leonato's house. hours. In the mean time, good signior Bene
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO. dick, repair to Leonato's; commend me to him, and tell him, I will not fail him at supper ; for, Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, indeed, he hath made great preparation. your son ? Hath he provided this musick ?
Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, such an embassage ; and so I commit you I can tell you strange news that you yet dream
Claud. To the tuition of God: From my house, ed not of. (if I had it,)
Leon. Are they good ? D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving Ant. As the event stamps them ; but they have friend, Benedick.
a good cover, they show well outward.' The Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not: The body prince and count Claudio, walking in a thick. of your discourse is sometime guarded with frag- pleached alley in my orchard, were thus much ments, and the guards are but slightly basted on overheard by a man of mine: The prince disconeither : ere you flout old ends any further, vered to Claudio, that he loved my niece your examine your conscience; and so I leave you. daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night
[Erit Benedick. in a dance; and if he found her accordant, he Claud. My liege, your highness now may do meant to take the present time by the top, and me good.
instantly break with you of it. D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach ; teach it Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you but how,
this ? And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Ant. A good sharp fellow : I will send for him, Any hard lesson that may do thee good. and question him yourself.
Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ? Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only till it appear itself :-but I will acquaint my heir:
daughter withal, that she may be the better preDost thou affect her, Claudio ?
pared for an answer, if peradventure this be true. Claud.
0, my lord, Go yoų, and tell her of it. [Several persons When you went onward on this ended action, cross the stage,] Cousins, you know what you I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye,
have to do.-0, I cry you mercy, friend ; you
Enter Don John and CONRADE.
Con. What the goujere, my lord ! why are
that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without
Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, blessing bringeth it?
to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying misThe fairest grant is the necessity :
chief. í cannot hide what I am : I must be sad,
when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests ; | by Leonato; and I can give you intelligence of eat, when I have stomach, and wait for no man's an intended marriage. leisure ; sleep, when I am drowsy, and tend to D. John. Will it serve for any model to build no man's business ; laugh, when I am merry, mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths and claw no man in his humour.
himself to unquietness ? Con. Yea, but you must not make the full Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. show of this, till you may do it without control D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ment. You have of late stood out against your
Bora. Even he. brother, and he hath ta’en you newly into his D. John. A proper squire! And who, and grace ; where it is impossible you should take who? which way looks he ? true root, but by the fair weather that you make Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir yourself: it is needful that you frame the season of Leonato. for your own harvest.
D. John. A very forward March-chick! How D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, came you to this ? than a rose in his grace; and it better fits my Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I blood to be disdain'd of all, than to fashion a was smoking a musty room, comes me the prince carriage to rob love from any: in this, though I and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference : cannot be said to be a flattering honest man, it I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard must not be denied, that I am a plain-dealing it agreed upon, that the prince should woo Hero villain. I am trusted with a muzzle, and enfran- for himself, and, having obtained her, give her chised with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to count Claudio. to sing in my cage : If I had my mouth, I would D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking : may prove food to my displeasure : that young in the mean time, let me be that I am, and seek start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if not to alter me.
I can cross him any way, I bless myself every Con. Can you make no use of your discontent? | way: You are both sure, and will assist me? D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. Con. To the death, my lord. - Who comes here? What news, Borachio? D. John. Let us to the great supper; their
cheer is the greater, that I am subdued : 'Would Enter BORACHIO.
the cook were of my mind !-Shall we go prove
whạt's to be done? Bora. I came yonder from a great supper;
Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. the prince, your brother, is royally entertained
SCENE I.-A hall in Leonato's house. Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never
get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE,
tongue. and others.
Ant. In faith, she is too curst, Leon. Was not count John here at supper?
Beat. Too curst is more than curst: I shall Ant. I saw him not.
lessen God's sending that way: for it is said, Beat, How tartly that gentleman looks! I God sends a curst cow short horns ; but to a cow never can see him, but I am heart-burned an too curst he sends none. hour after.
Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. you no horns. Beat. He were an excellent man, that were
Beat. Just, if he send me no husband; for made just in the mid-way between him and the which blessing I am at him upon my knees Benedick: the one is too like an image, and every morning and evening: Lord! I could not says nothing; and the other, too like my lady's endure a husband with a beard on his face ; I eldest son, evermore tattling.
had rather lie in the woollen. Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in
Leon. You may light upon a husband that count John's mouth, and half count John's me- hath no beard. lancholy in signior Benedick's face, ---
Beat. What should I do with him ? dress Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, him in my apparel, and make him my waiting and money enough in his purse, such a man gentlewoman? He, that hath a beard, is more would win any woman in the world, if he could than a youth ; and he, that hath no beard, is get her good will,
less than a man: and he, that is more than a