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Hym. Peace ho! I bar confusion,
'Tis I must make conclusion

Of these most strange events:
Here's eight that must take hands,
To join in Hymen's bands,

If truth holds true contents. ⚫
You and you no cross shall part

[To ORLANDO and ROSALIND.

You and you are heart in heart :

[TO OLIVER and CELIA.
You [To PHEBE to his love must accord,
Or have a woman to your lord :-
You and you are sure together,

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With measure heap'd in joy to the measures fall.

Jaq. Sir, by your patience; If I heard you rightly,

The duke hath put on a religious life,

And thrown into neglect the pompous court?
Jaq. de B. He hath.

Jaq. To him will I; out of these convertites [To TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY. There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.You to your former honour I bequeath;

As the winter to foul weather.
Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,
Feed yourselves with questioning;
That reason wonder may diminish,
How thus we met, and these things finish.

SONG.

Wedding is great Juno's crown

O blessed bond of board and bed! 'Tis Hymen peoples every town; High wedlock then be honoured: Honour, high honour and renown, To Hymen, god of every town!

Duke. S. O my dear niece, welcome thou art

to me;

Even daughter, welcome in no less degree.
Phe. I will not eat my word, now thou art
miue;

Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine. +
[TO SILVIUS.
Enter JAQUES de Bois.
Jaq. de B. Let me have audience for a word
or two :

I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,
That bring these tidings to this fair assembly:-
Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day
Men of great worth resorted to this forest,
Address'd a mighty power! which were on foot,
In his own conduct, purposely to take
His brother here, and put him to the sword:
And to the skirts of this wild wood he came;
Where, meeting with an old religious man,
After some question with bin, was converted
Both from his enterprise, and from the world:
His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother
And all their lands restor'd to them again
That were with him exil'd: This to be true,
I do engage my life.

Duke. S. Welcome, young man ;
Thou offer'st fairly to thy brothers' wedding:
The one his lands withheld; and to the other,
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom
First, in this forest, let us do those ends
That here were well begun, and well begot :
And after, every of this happy number,
That have endur'd shrewd days and nights

with us,

Shall share the good of our returned fortune,

[7% DUKE S. Your patience, and your virtue well deserves it:

You [To ORLANDO] to a love, that your true faith doth merit :

You [7% OLIVER] to your land, and love, and great allies :

You [To SILVIUS] to a long and well deserved bed;

And you [To TOUCHSTONE] to wrangling; for thy loving voyage

Is but for two months victual'd:-So to your
pleasures;

I am for other than for dancing measures.
Duke S. Stay, Jaques, stay.

Jaq. To see no pastime, I:-what you would

have

I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave.

[Exit Duke. S. Proceed, proceed we will begin these rites, And we do trust they'll end in true delights. {A dance

EPILOGUE.

Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue: but it is no more unhandsome, than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true, that a good play needs no epilogue: Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished ⚫ like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me my way is, to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please them and so I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women, (as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hate them,) that between you and the women, the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell.

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Eceunt.

t That I liked.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.

IN the fifth book of Orlando Furioso, and in B. II. c. iv. of Spenser's Fairie Queene, a story partly similar to the fable of this drama may be found; but a novel in the Histoires Tragiques of Belleforest (taken from Bandello) approaches nearest to the design, and probably suggested the idea, of Much ado about Nothing. The plot is pleasingly intricate; the characters novel and striking; the dialogue exceedingly vivacious, and well supported to the end. Beatrice and Benedick are two of the most sprightly and amusing characters that Shakspeare ever drew. Wit, humour, nobility, and courage, are combined in the latter though his sallies are not always restrained by reverence or discretion: and if the levity of the forme is somewhat opposed to the becoming reserve and delicacy of the female character, it shows to more advantage the steadiness of her friendship, and the amiable decision of her character, when urging her lover to challenge his most intimate friend; and as the best claim upon her affection, to risk bis life in viudicating the purity of her injured companion

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

Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that joy could not show 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 to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping?

Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned from the wars, or no?

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. Oh he is returned; and as pleasant as ever he was.

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

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for Cupid, and challenged him at the birdbolt.-I 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 signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars.

Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it he is a very valiant trencherman, he hath an excellent stomach.

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. Beat. And a good soldier to a 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 stuffed man: but for the stuffing,-Well, we are all mortal.

Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, as like him as she is.

Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; nobody marks you.

Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet living?

Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.

Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat :-But it is certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love

none.

Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that; I had rather bear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear be loves me.

Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.

Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as your's were.

Leon. You must not, Sir, mistake my niece: there is a kind of merry war betwixt siguior Benedick and her they never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit between them. Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference be-beast of your's. tween himself and his horse: for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature.-Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother.

Mess. Is it possible?

Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but of the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.

Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.

Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil.

Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.

Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a disease he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.

Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady.
Beat. Do, good friend.

Leon. You will never run mad, niece.
Beat. No, not till a hot January.
Mess. Don Pedro is approached

Enter Don PEDRO, attended by BALTHAZAR and others, Don JOHN, CLAUDIO, and BENE

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Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Beat. A bird of my tongue, is better than a

Bene. I would my horse had the speed of your tongue; and so good a continuer: But keep your way o' God's name; I have done.

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.

D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato,signior Claudio, and signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato, hath invited you all. I tell him, we shall stay here at least a month; and he heartily prays, some occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.

Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn.-Let me bid you welcome, my, lord: being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.

D. John. I thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank you.

Leon. Please it your grace lead on?

D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together.

[Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of signior Leonato ?

Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. Claud. Is she not a modest young lady? Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex ?

Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judg ment.

Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her; that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.

Claud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou likest her. Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after her.

But

Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel? Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack; to tell us Cupid is a good bare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a man take you, to go in the song?

Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on.

Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no such matter: there's ber cousin, an she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of May doth the

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