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swer ; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have
deceived even your very eyes : what your wisdoms could not
discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who in
the night overheard me confessing to this man how Don
John your brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero,
how you were brought into the orchard and saw me court
Margaret in Hero's garments, how you disgraced her when
you should marry her. My villany they have upon record ;
which I had rather seal with my death than repeat over to
my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my master's



false accusation ; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the re-
ward of a villain. 229

Don Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your
blood ?

Claudia. I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.

Don Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this ?

Borachio. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

Don Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery ;
And fled he is upon this villany.

Claudia. Sweet Hero ! now thy image doth appear
In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first.

Dogberry. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this time
our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter;
and, masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place
shall serve, that I am an ass. 241

Verges. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and
the sexton too.

Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton.

Leonato. Which is the villain ? let me see his eyes,
That, when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him ; which of these is he ?

Borachio. If you would know your wronger, look on me.

Leonato. Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd
Mine innocent child ?

Borachio. Yea, even I alone.

Leonato. No, not so, villain ; thou beliest thyself: 250

Here stand a pair of honourable men ;
A third is fled, that had a band in it.
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death :
Record it with your high and worthy deeds ;
'T was bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

Claudia. I know not how to pray your patience ;
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself;
Impose me to what penance your invention



Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn'd I not
But in mistaking.

Don Pedro. By my soul, nor I ; 260

And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he '11 enjoin me to.

Leonato. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;
That were impossible : but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died ; and if your love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb

And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night. 270

To-morrow morning come you to my house,
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew : my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child that 's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us ;
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

Claudio. O noble sir,

Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me !
I do embrace your offer ; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio. 280

Leonato. To-morrow then I will expect your coming ;
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who I believe was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother. .

Borachio. No, by my soul, she was not,

Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
But always hath been just and virtuous
In any thing that I do know by her. 288

Dogberry. Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white
and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass ; I


beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment. And
also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed ; they say
he wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it, and bor-
rows money in God's name, the which he hath used so long
and never paid that now men grow hard-hearted and will
lend nothing for God's sake : pray you, examine him upon
that point.

Leonato. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogberry. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and
reverend youth ; and I praise God for you. 300

Leonato. There 's for thy pains.

Dogberry. God save the foundation !

Leonato. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank

Dogberry. I leave an arrant knave with your worship ;
which I beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the
example of others. God keep your worship ! I wish your
worship well ; God restore you to health ! I humbly give
you leave to depart : and if a merry meeting may be wished,
God prohibit it ! Come, neighbour. 3 io

\Exeunt Dogberry and Verges.

Leonato. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.

Antonio. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to-morrow.

Don Pedro. We will not fail.

Claudia. To-night I '11 mourn with Hero.

Leonato. \To the Watch} Bring you these fellows on.
We '11 talk with Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[Exeunt, severally.

SCENE II. Leonato's Orchard.
Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting.

Benedick. Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
well at my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.


Margaret Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of
my beauty ?

Benedick. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living
shall come over it ; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.

Margaret. To have no man come over me ! why, shall I
always keep below stairs ?

Benedick. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth ;
it catches. 10

Margaret. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which
hit, but hurt not.

Benedick. A most manly wit, Margaret j it will not hurt a
woman ; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice : I give thee the

Margaret. Give us the swords ; we have bucklers of our

Benedick. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the
pikes with a vice ; and they are dangerous weapons for
maids. 20

Margaret. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think
hath legs.

Benedick. And therefore will come. \Exit Margaret.

[Sings] The god of love,

That sits above,
And knows me, and knows me,

How pitiful I deserve, 27

I mean in singing ; but in loving, Leander the good swim-
mer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and a whole book-
ful of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run
smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were
never so truly turned over and over as my poor self in love.
Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme ; I have tried : I can find
out no rhyme to Mady ' but 'baby,' an innocent rhyme ; for
' scorn/ ' horn,' a hard rhyme ; for ( school,' ' fool,' a babbling
rhyme ; very ominous endings : no, I was not born under a
rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.



Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee ?

Beatrice. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.

Benedick. O, stay but till then ! 40

Beatrice. ' Then ' is spoken ; fare you well now : and yet,
ere I go, let me go with that I came ; which is, with knowing
what hath passed between you and Claudio.

Benedick. Only foul words ; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

Beatrice. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but
foul breath, and foul breath is noisome ; therefore I will de-
part unkissed.

Benedick. Thou hast frightened the word out of his right
sense, so forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee plainly,
Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly
hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I
pray thee now, tell me for which of my bad parts didst
thou first fall in love with me? 53

Beatrice. For them all together ; which maintained so
politic a state of evil that they will not admit any good
part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good
parts did you first suffer love for me ?

Benedick. Suffer love ! a good epithet ! I do suffer love in-
deed, for I love thee against my will.

Beatrice. In spite of your heart, I think ; alas, poor heart !
If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours ; for I
will never love that which my friend hates. 62

Benedick. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

Beatrice. It appears not in this confession ; there 's not
one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.

Benedick. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived
in the time of good neighbours. If a man do not erect in
this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in
monument than the bell rings and the widow weeps.

Beatrice. And how long is that, think you ? 70


Benedick. Question : why, an hour in clamour and a quar-
ter in rheum ; therefore is it most expedient for the wise, if
Don Worm, his conscience, find no impediment to the con-
trary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to my-
self. So much for praising myself, who, I myself will bear
witness, is praiseworthy ; and now tell me, how doth your
cousin ?

Beatrice. Very ill.

Benedick. And how do you ?

Beatrice. Very ill too. 80

Benedick. Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I
leave you too, for here comes one in haste.


Ursula. Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder 's
old coil at home : it is proved my Lady Hero hath been
falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused ;
and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and gone.
Will you come presently ?

Beatrice. Will you go hear this news, signior? 88

Benedick. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be

buried in thy eyes ; and moreover I will go with thee to

thy uncle's. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. A Church.
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and three or four with tapers.

Claudio. Is this the monument of Leonato?

A Lord. It is, my lord.

Claudio. [Reading out of a scroll]

Done to death by slanderous tongues

Was the Hero that here lies ;
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,

Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame. 8


Hang thou there upon the tomb, {Affixing it.

Praising her when I am dumb.
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.


Pardon, goddess of the night.
Those that slew thy virgin knight ;
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.

Midnight, assist our moan ;

Help us to sigh and groan,
Heavily, heavily :

Graves, yawn and yield your dead,

Till death be uttered, 20

Heavily, heavily.

Claudia. Now, unto thy bones good night !

Yearly will I do this rite.
Don Pedro. Good morrow, masters ; put your torches out :

The wolves have prey'd ; and look, the gentle day,
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.
Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well.

Claudia. Good morrow, masters ; each his several way.
Don Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds ; 30

And then to Leonato's we will go.
Claudia. And Hymen now with luckier issue speed 's

Than this for whom we render'd up this woe ! [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato's House.



Friar Francis. Did I not tell you she was innocent ?
Leonato. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her
Upon the error that you heard debated ;


But Margaret was in some fault for this,
Although against her will, as it appears
In the true course of all the question.

Antonio. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

Benedick. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

Leonato. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, 10

Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
And when I send for you, come hither mask'd.

\Exeunt Ladies.

The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour
To visit me. You know your office, brother :
You must be father to your brother's daughter,
And give her to young Claudio.

Antonio. Which I will do with confirirTd countenance.

Benedick. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.

Friar Francis. To do what, signior ?

Benedick. To bind me, or undo me ; one of them. 20
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

Leonato. That eye my daughter lent her ; 't is most true.

Benedick. And I do with an eye of love requite her.

Leonato. The sight whereof I think you had from me,
From Claudio, and the prince ; but what 's your will ?

Benedick. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical ;
But, for my will, my will is your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the state of honourable marriage, 34

In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

Leonato. My heart is with your liking.

Friar Francis. And my help.

Here comes the prince and Claudio.

Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, and two or three others.
Don Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.


Leonato. Good morrow, prince ; good morrow, Claudio :
We here attend you. Are you yet determin'd
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?

Claudio. I '11 hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.

Leonato. Call her forth, brother ; here 's the friar ready.

{Exit Antonio.

Don Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what 's the
matter, 4 o

That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness ?

Claudio. I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
Tush, fear not, man ; we '11 tip thy horns with gold,
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
When he would play the noble beast in love.

Benedick. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low ;
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
And got a calf in that same noble feat 5 o

Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

Claudio. For this I owe you ; here comes other reckon-

Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked.
W T hich is the lady I must seize upon ?

Antonio. This same is she, and I do give you her.
Claudio. Why, then she 's mine. Sweet, let me see your


Leonato. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand
Before this friar and swear to marry her.

Claudio. Give me your hand ; before this holy friar,
I am your husband, if you like of me.

Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife ; 60

[ Unmasking.

And when you lov'd, you were my other husband.
Claudio. Another Hero !


Hero. Nothing certainer;

One Hero died defil'd, but I do live,
And surely as I live, I am a maid.

Don Pedro. The former Hero ! Hero that is dead !

Leonato. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander liv'd.

Friar Francis. All this amazement can I qualify ;
When after that the holy rites are ended,
I '11 tell you largely of fair Hero's death.
Meantime let wonder seem familiar, 7 o

And to the chapel let us presently.

Benedick. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice ?

Beatrice. \Unmasking\ 1 answer to that name. What is
your will ?

Benedick. Do not you love me ?

Beatrice. Why, no ; no more than reason.

Benedick. Why, then your uncle and the prince and

Have been deceiv'd ; they swore you did.

Beatrice. Do not you love me ?

Benedick. Troth, no ; no more than reason.

Beatrice. Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula
Are much deceiv'd ; for they did swear you did.

Benedick. They swore that you were almost sick for
me. 80

Beatrice. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for

Benedick. 'T is no such matter. Then you do not love

Beatrice. No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

Leonato. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentle-

Claudio. And I '11 be sworn upon 't that he loves her ;
For here 's a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.


Hero. And here 's another

Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick. 90 j

Benedick. A miracle ! here 's our own hands against our [
hearts. Come, I will have thee ; but, by this light, I take
thee for pity.

Beatrice. I would not deny you ; but, by this good day, I \
yield upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life,
for I was told you were in a consumption. 9 6/

Benedick. Peace ! I will stop your mouth. [Kissing her.

Don Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick, the married man ?

Benedick. I '11 tell thee what, prince ; a college of wit-
crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou
think I care for a satire or an epigram ? No ; if a man will
be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about
him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think
nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it ;
and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against
it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.
For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee ; but
in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised and
love my cousin. 109

Claudio. I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Bea-
trice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life,
to make thee a double-dealer ; which, out of question, thou
wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to

Benedick. Come, come, we are friends ; let 's have a dance
ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and
our wives' heels. .

Leonato. We '11 have dancing afterward.

Benedick. First, of my word ; therefore play, music.
Prince, thou art sad ; get thee a wife, get thee a wife :
there is no staff more reverend than one* tipped with



Enter a Messenger.

Messenger. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,
And brought with armed men back to Messina. 124

Benedick. Think not on him till to-morrow,; I '11 devise
thee brave punishments for him. Strike up, pipers. [Dance.





Abbott (or Gr.), Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar (third edition).
A. S., Anglo-Saxon.

A. V., Authorized Version of the Bible (1611).

B. and F., Beaumont and Fletcher.
B. J., Ben Jonson.

Camb. ed., " Cambridge edition" of Shakespeare, edited by Clark and Wright.
Cf. (confer), compare.
Coll., Collier (second edition).

Coll. MS., Manuscript Corrections of Second Folio, edited by Collier.
D., Dyce (second edition).
H., Hudson (first edition).
Id. (idem}, the same.

J. H., John Hunter's edition of Much Ado About Nothing (London, 1872).
K., Knight (second edition).

Nares, Glossary, edited by Halliwell and Wright (London, 1859).
Prol., Prologue.
S., Shakespeare.

Schmidt, A. Schmidt's Shakespeare- Lex icon (Berlin, 1874).
Sr., Singer.
St., Staunton.
Theo., Theobald.
W., White.

Walker, Wm. Sidney Walker's Critical Examination of the Text of Shakespeare
(London, 1860).
Warb., Warburton.

Wb., Webster's Dictionary (revised quarto edition of 1864).
Wore., Worcester's Dictionary (quarto edition).

The abbreviations of the names of Shakespeare's Plays will be readily understood ; as
T. N. for Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanus, 3 Hen. VI. for The Third Part of King
Henry the Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to The Passionate Pilgrim ; V. and A . to Venus
and Adonis ; JL. C. to Lover 1 's Complaint ', and Sonn. to the Sonnets.

When the abbreviation of the name of a play is followed by a reference to page,
Rolfe's edition of the play is meant.

The numbers of the lines (except for Much Ado) are those of the "Globe" ed. or
CrowelFs reprint of that ed.



SCENE L The stage -direction in the folio, as in the quarto, reads
" Enter Leonato Goner nour of Messina, Innogen his ivtfe" etc. ; but as
Innogen neither speaks nor is mentioned during the play, Theo. dropped
her name from the list of dramatis persons. As he suggests, the poet
may at first have intended to introduce her, but afterwards decided to
leave her out.

I. Don Pedro. Both the quarto and the folio have "Don Peter " here
and in 9 below, but elsewhere " Don Pedro."

3. By this. Cf. Macb. iii. i. 26 : " 'Twixt this and supper ;" Lear, i.
I. 118: " from this for ever," etc.


7. Sort. Possibly =rank (Schmidt), as in 29 below. Cf. Hen. V. iv. 7.
142, iv. 8. 80, etc.

8. Achiever. Used by S. nowhere else.

16. JF/7/ be. For the omission of the relative, see Gr. 244.
Very much glad. We should not now use this expression, though we
say " very much pleased," " very much delighted," etc.

19. Joy could not, etc. " Of all the transports of joy, that which is at-
tended with tears is least offensive ; because, carrying with it this mark
of pain, it allays the envy that usually attends another's happiness. This
he finely calls a modest joy, such an one as did not insult the observer
by an indication of happiness unmixed with pain" (Warb.). Capell says
that the joy " wore the modestest garb that joy can do, that is, silence '
and tears."

20. Badge. Steevens compares Chapman, Odyssey, x. :

" our eyes wore

The same wet badge of weak humanity ;"
and Macb. i. 4. 33 :

" My plenteous joys,

Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
In drops of sorrow."

23. Kind. Natural (Schmidt). Cf. R. of L. 1423: "Conceit deceit-

. ful, so compact, so kind." Kindness tenderness. Cf. T. N. ii. I. 41 :

" my bosom is full of kindness, and I am yet so near the manners of my

mother that upon the least occasion more mine eyes will tell tales of me."

26. Montanto. A term in fencing, meaning, according to Cotgrave,
'* an upright blow or thrust." Cf. M. W. ii. 3. 27 : " thy punto, thy stock,
thy-reverse, thy distance, thy montant." Steevens cites B. J., Every
Alan in his Humour: "your punto, your reverso, your stoccata, your
imbrocata, your passada, your montanto," etc.

29. Sort. See on 7 above.

30. What. Who; as often, "but only in the predicate" (Schmidt).
Cf. Temp. v. I. 185 : " What is this maid?" See also Ham. p. 253 and
cf. Gr. 254.

32. Pleasant. Facetious. Cf. Hen. V. \. 2. 259 : " We are glad the
Dauphin is so pleasant with us" (see also 281); M. for M. iii. 2. 120:
" You are pleasant, sir," etc.

34. Set up his bills. That is, posted his challenge, like a prize-fighter.
Steevens quotes B. J., Every Man out of his Humour : " I have set up
my bills without discovery ;" and Nash, Have With You, etc. : "setting
up bills, like a bearward or fencer, what fights we shall have, and what
weapons she will meet me at." He also gives this extract from an old
MS. : " Item a challenge playde before the King's majestic [Edward VI.]
at Westminster, by three maisters, Willyam Pascall, Robert Greene, and
W. Browne, at seven kynde of weapons. That is to. say, the axe, the
pike, the rapier and target, the rapier and cloke, and with two swords,
agaynst all alyens and strangers being borne without the King's domin-
ions, of what countrie so ever he or they were, geving them warninge by
theyr bills set up by the three maisters, the space of eight weeks before
the sayd challenge was playde ; and it was holclen four severall Sun-


dayes one after another." It appears from the same work that all chal-
lenges "to any maister within the realme of Englande being an Englishe
man " were against the rules of the " Noble Science of Defence." Saint
Paul's was a place where these bills or advertisements were much post-
ed. Nash, in his Pierce Pennilesse, speaks of " maisterlesse men that
set up theyr bills in Paules for services, and such as paste up theyr
papers on every post for arithmetique and writing schooles."

35. Flight. That is, shooting with the flight, a kind of long and light-
feathered arrow used for great distances. S. uses the word in this sense
only here, but it is common in writers of the time. Cf. B. and F., Bon-
duca: "not a flight drawn home;" Middleton, Game of Chess: "dis-
charg'd it like a flight," etc.

37. Bird-bolt. A short, thick, blunt-headed arrow, shot from a cross-
bow and used to kill rooks with. Cf. Marston, What You Will:

"ignorance should shoot
His gross-knobb' d bird-bolt."

Douce says : " The meaning of the whole is Benedick, from a vain con-
ceit of his influence over women, challenged Cupid at roving (a particu-
lar kind of archery in which flight- arrows are used) ; in other words, he
challenged him to shoot at hearts. The fool, to ridicule this piece of van-
ity, in his turn challenged Benedick to shoot at crows with the cross-bow
and bird-bolt ; an inferior kind of archery used by fools, who, for obvious
reasons, were not permitted to shoot with pointed arrows : whence the
proverb, ' A fool's bolt is soon shot.' " Cf. A. Y. L. v. 4. 67 and Hen. V.
iii. 7. 132. See also L. L L. iv. 3. 25 and T. N. i. 5. 100.

39. To eat, etc. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 7. 99 :

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