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DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
Dogberry, } two foolish Officers.
Hero, Daughter to Leonato.
, } two Gentlewomen, attending on Hero.
A Friar, Messenger, Watch, Town-Clerk, Sexton, and
SCENE, a Court before Leonato's House. Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice, with a
LE ON A To:
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 ?
Meff. But few of any Sort, and none of Name.
Leon. A victory is twice it felf, when the atchiever brings home full numbers ; I find here, that Don Pe
dre (1) Much Ado about Nothing.) Innogen, (the Mother of Hero) in the oldest Quarto that I have seen of this Play, printed in 1600, is mention'd to enter in two several Scenes. The succeeding Editions have all continued her Name in the Dra. matis Persona. But I have ventur'd to expunge it; there being no mention of her thro' the Play, no one Speech address'd to her, nor one Syllable spoken by her. Neither is there any
dro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, call'd Claudio.
Mej. 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 lamb the feats of a lion : he hath, indeed, better bet. ter'd expectation, than you must expect of me to tell
Leon. He hath an uncle here in Mefina will be very much glad of it.
Mej: I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that joy could not thew it self modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.
Leon. Did he break out into tears ?
Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer than those 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 ?
Mes. I know none of that name, Lady ; there was none fuch in the army of Sort.
Leon. What is he that you ask for, Neice?
Beat. He set up his bills here in Mefina, and challeng'd Cupid at the fight; and my Uncle's fool, reading the challenge, fubicrib'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 killd? for, indeed, I promisd to eat all of his killing
one Passage, 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 design'd such a Character ; which, on a Survey of it, he found would be superfluous; and therefore he left it out,