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DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon,
DON JOHN, his bastard Brother.
CLAUDIO, a young Lord of Florence, favourile to

Don Pedro.
BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua, favourite

likewise to Don Pedro.
LEONATO, Governor of Messina.
ANTONIO, his Brother
BALTHAZAR, Servant to Don Pedro.

Followers of Don John.

Two foolish Officers.
A Serton.
4 Friar,
A Boy.
Hero, Daughter to Leonato.
BEATRICE, Niece to Leonato.
MARGARET, } Gentlewomen allending on Hero.
Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.
SCENE, - Messina.

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SCENE I.-Before Leonato's House. Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others,

with a Messenger. Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.

Dless. 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 itselr, when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.

Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally res beyond the promise of his age ; doing, in the figure



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of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered 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 delivered him letters, and there

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.

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces truer than those that are so washed.

How much better is it

is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping!

I pray you, is signior Montanto returned from the wars, or do

Mess. 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, niece ?
Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua.
Mess. 0," he is returned ; and as pleasant as ever be

Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged Cupid at the Night and my uncle's fool, reading

the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt.- 1 pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars But how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.

Leon. Faith, niece, you tax bignior Benedick too much; but he'll be meei with you, I doubt it not.

Mess. He hath dono good service, lady, in these wen.

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 good soldier to & lady ;-But what is he to a lord ?

Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all honourable virtues.

Beat. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a staffed man: but for the stuffing.-Well, we are all mortal.

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece: there is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and ber: they never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit

Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last

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