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DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
Leonato, Governor of Messina.
Don John, Bastard 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.

two foolish Officers. Verges,


Hero, Daughter to Leonato.
Beatrice, Niece to Leonato.


two Gentlewomen attending on Hero. Ursula,

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


SCENE, Melina in Sicily.


(1) Much Ado about Nothing.

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SCENE, a Court before Leonato's Houses

Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice,

with a Messenger.

Learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of

Arragon comes this night to Messina.

Mel. He is very near by this; he was not three leagues off when I left him.

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

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

Leo. A victory is twice itself, when the atchiever brings home full numbers ; I find here, that Don Pedro

(1) Much Ado about Nothing.] Innogen, the Mother of Hero) in the oldest Quarto that I have seen of this Play, printed in 7600, is mention'd to enter in two several Scenes. The suca ceeding Editions have all continued her Name in the Dra. matis Personæ. But I have ventur’d to expunge it; there being no mention of her through the Play, no one Speech address'd to her, nor one Sylable spoken by her. Neither is there any

A 3


you how.

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

Mill: 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 Jamb 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 Messina will be very much glad of it

Med I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; éven so much, that joy could not thew itself inodeft enough, without a badge of bitterness.

Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Mil. In

great measure. Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces Fruer than thofe that are so wash'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?

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

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

Beut. He set up his bills here in Mefina, and challeng'd Cupid at che fight ; and my Uncle's fool, reading 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.

Leon. 'Faith, Niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much ; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.

one Paliage, 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 designed such a Character; which, on a Survey of it, he found would be fuperfiuvus; and therefore left it out.


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