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Dramatis Perfona.

DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
Leonato, Governor of Messina.

Don John, Baftard-Brother to Don Pedro.
Claudio, a young Lord of Florence, Favourite to Don

Benedick, a young Lord of Padua, favour'd likewife by

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} two Gentlewomen, attending on Hero.

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


SCENE, Meffina in Sicily.



SCENE, a Court before Leonato's House.

Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice, with a Meffenger.


Learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of
Arragon comes this night to Mefina.
Mell. 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?

Meff. But few of any Sort, and none of Name. Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the atchiever brings home full numbers; I find here, that Don Pedro hath beftowed much honour on a young Florentine, call'd Claudio.

Mel. Much deferved 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 lamb the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bet

I The Story from Ariofto, Orl. Fur. 1. 5.
B 2

Mr. Pope. ter'd

ter'd expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.

Leon. He hath an uncle here in Melfina will be very much glad of it.

Mell. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that 2 joy could not fhew itself modeft enough, without a badge of bitterness.

Leon. Did he break out into tears?

Mell. In great measure.

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness.

There are no

faces truer than those that are fo wafh'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 fuch in the army of any Sort.

Leon. What is he that you ask for, Neice?

Hero. My Coufin means Signior Benedick of Padua. Meff. O, he's return'd, and as pleasant as ever he


Beat. He fet up his bills here in Messina, and challeng'd Cupid at the flight; and my Uncle's fool, reading the challenge, fubfcrib'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

2 joy could not shew it felf modeft enough, without a badge of bitterness.] This is judiciously exprefs'd. Of all the tranfports of Joy, that which is attended with tears is leaft offenfive; because carrying with it this mark of pain, it allays the envy that ufually attends another's happiness. This he finely calls a modeft joy, fuch a one as did not infult the obferver by an indication of happiness unmixed with pain.

3 is Signior Montanto return'd] Montante, in Spanish, is a huge two-handed-fword, given, with much humour, to one, the fpeaker would reprefent as a Boafter or Bravado.

4 there was none fuch in the army of any Sort.] Not meaning there was none fuch of any order or degree whatever, but that there was none fuch of any quality above the common. "hath

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