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P. 123, c. 2, 1 50. And hide the false, seems Id 1. 28 Stand like the forfeits in a barber's true) i. e. which seems true.

shop,] These forfeits, which were customary P. 121. c 1. 1.6. How he refelld me,] To refell formerly, were as much in mock as mark, both is to refute.

because the barber had no authority of himJd. I 12. My sisterly remorse-) i, e. pity.

self to enforce them, and also as they were of 1d. 1. 18. — fond wretch,] Fond wretch is foolish a ludicrous nature. I perfectly remember to wretch.

have seen them in Devonshire (printed like Id. 1 21. In hateful practice:) Practice was used King Charles's Rules), though I cannot re

by the old writers for any unlawful or insi- collect the contents. HENLEY. dious stratagem.

Id. l. 59.- - those giglots too,] A giglot is a wanId. 1.33 In countenance!) i. e. false appearance, ton Wench. hypocrisy:

Id. l. 8o. can do thee office ?) i. e. do thee ser. Id 1.74. -- his mere request,) i. e. his absolute vice. STEEVENS. request.

P. 126, c. 1, 1.7.

my passes ;) i. e. what has 12. 1 80 Whensoever he's convented,) i. e. ciled, past in my administration. summoned

Id. l. 15. Advertising, and holy - Attentive and 12 c.2,1 2 So vulgarly-i e. publicly.

faithful Id. I. II. In this I'll be impartial;} Impartial Id. I. 32. - be you as free to us.) Be as generous

was sometimes used in the sense of partial. to us. Id. l. 71. - her promised proportions.

Id. l. 36. Make rash remonstrance - 1 i. e. a Came short of composition ;) Her fortune, premature discovery. which was promised proportionate to mine, | Id. I. 61. -denies thee vantage :) The denial of fell short of the composition, that is, contract which will avail thee nothing. or bargain. Johnson.

Id. c. 2, 1.48. -- after more advice:) after more P. 13, c. I. i II. These poor informal women — ] consideration. i e. out of their senses.

P. 127, c. ), l. 20. - according to the trick :) Id. e. 2.1.5. to retort your manifest appeal,] To the trick of the times.

To refer back to Angelo the cause in which Id. c. 2, l. 17. that is more gratulate.) Some you appeal from Angelo to the Duke.

other reward in store for him more acceptable Id. I 23. Nor here provincial ) Nor here account- than thanks.

able, as out of his province.

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The story is taken from Ariosto, Orl, Fur. | particular story which I have just mentioned, viz B.V. Pope.

the 18th history in the third volume, no trans It is true, as Mr. Pope has observed, that lation has hitherto been met with. Bonewbat resembling the story of this play is This play was entered at Stationers' Hall,

bo be found in the fifth Book of the Orlando Aug. 23, 1600. STEEVENS. Purioso

. In Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. iv. Ariosto is continually quoted for the fable of s remote an original may be traced. A novel, Much Ado About Nothing; but I suspect our however

, of Belleforest, copied from another of poet to have been satisfied with the Geneura of Bandello, seems to have furnished Shakspeare Turberville. “The tale (says Harrington) is a

with his fable, as it approaches nearer in all its pretie comical matter, and hath bin written in particulars to the play before us, than any other English verse some few years past, learnedly and performance known to be extant. I have seen with good grace, by M. George Turbervil.”

wo many versions from this once popular collec- Ariosto, fol. 1591, p. 39. Farmer. Bon

, that I entertain no doubt but that a great I suppose this comedy to have been written majority of the tales it comprehends have made in 1600, in which year it was printed. MALONE. their appearance in an English dress. Or that

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This play may be justly said to contain two of the most sprightly characters that Shakspeare ever drew. The wit, the bumunst, the grntleman, and the soldier, are combined in Benedick. It is to be lamented, indeed, that the Erst and most splendid of these distinctions, is disgraced by unnecessary profaneness; for the goodness of his heart

hardly suficient to atone for the license of his tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which flashes out in the conser. ritra of Beatrice, may be excused on account of the steadiness and friendship so apparent in her behaviour, when sie urges ber loser to risk his life by a challenge to Claudio. In the conduct of the table, however, there is an

Pration similar to that which Dr. Johnson has pointed out in the Merry Wives of Windsor,-the second con trvance is less ingenious than the tirst :-or, to speak more plainly, the saine incident is become stale by repetition, Is some other metbed had been found to entrap Beatrice, than that very one which before had been success

practised on Benedick. Juch Ado About Nothing (as I understand from one of Mr. Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed under the title of Benedick and Beatrix. Heming the player received, on the 20th of May. 1613, the sum of luo pounds, and twenty pounds more as his majesty's gratuity, for exhibiting six plays at Hampton Court, among which was this comedy.

Steevens.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.

DOGBERRY, DON JOHN, his bastard Brother.

VERUES,

two foolish Officers. CLAUDIO, a young Lord of Florence, favourite to A Se.ston. Don Pedro.

A Friar.
BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua, favourite likewise

A Boy.
Don Pedro.
LEONATO, Gorernor of Messina,

HERO, Daughter to Leonato.

BEATRICE Niece to Leonato.
ANTONIO, his Brutker.
BALTHAZAR. Sertant to Dur Pedro.

MARGARET,
URSULA,

Gentlewomen attending on Hero. BUKACHIO,

} Followers of Don John. RADE,

Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.
SCENE,-Messina.

wars.

ACT I.

Leon. Faith, niece, yon tax signior Benedick too SCENE I.-Before Leonato's House. much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.

Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these Enter LEONATO, Hero, BEATRICE, and others, with a Messenger.

Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an Irrazon comes this night to Messina.

excellent stomach. Mess. He is very dear by this, he was not three Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. te les off, when I left him.

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady ;-but what is Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in this he to a lord ? ct

Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man ; stuffed Mess. Bot few of any sort, and none of name. with all honourable virtues. Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever Beat. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a fungs home full nambers. I find here, that Don stuffed man: but for the stutling,–Well, we are Apdro hath bestowed much honour on a young Flo- all mortal. Fatine, called Claudio.

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece ; there Vess. Much deserved on his part, and equally is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and ptembered by Don Pedro: he hath bome himself her: they never ineet, but there is a skirmish of wit eyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure between them. na lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last etter bettered expectation, than you must expect contlict four of his five wits went halting off, and I ne to tell you how.

now is the old man governed with one : 80 that it Lion. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him in mach glad of it.

bear it for a difference between bimself and his Mess I have already delivered him letters, and horse : for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be idre appears much joy in him ; even so much, that known a reasonable creature.-Who is bis compa

coald dot show itself modest enough without a panion now? He hath every month a new sworn wige of bitterness.

brother. Leon. Did he break out into tears?

Mess. Is it possible ? Mess. In great measure.

Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but Leon A kind overflow of kindness: there are as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the otaces truer than those that are so washed. How next block.

(books. sich better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your ***ping ?

Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there no or the wars, or do?

young squarer now, that will inake a voyage with Mess. I know pone of that name, lady; there was him to the devil ? se sach in the army of any sort.

Mess. He is most in the company of the right Lear. What is he that you ask for, niece? noble Claudio. Here. My cousin means signior Benedick of Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a 13.

[he was.

disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, Mess. O, he is returned ; and as pleasant as ever and the taker runs presently mad. God help the Brat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and noble Claudio ! if he have caught the Benedick, 16 alonged Cupid at the flight; and my upcle's fool, will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured

ding the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady. alieuzed him at the bird-bolt-I pray you, how Beat. Do, good friend. any bath he killed and eaten in these wars? But Leon. You will never run mad, niece. *** many bath he killed ? for, indeed, I promised to Beat. No, not till a hot Japuary: ut all of his killing.

Mess. Don Pedro is approached.

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