Excerpts for Much Ado About Nothing


?Act 1, Scene 1]


Enter LEONATO Governor of Messina, INNOGEN his wife,
HERO his daughter, and BEATRICE his niece,
with a MESSENGER

LEONATO
I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina.

MESSENGER
He is very near by this. He was not three leagues off when I left him.

LEONATO
How many gentlemen have you lost in this action? 5

MESSENGER
But few of any sort and none of name.

LEONATO
A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honor on a young Florentine called Claudio.

MESSENGER
Much deserved on his part, and, equally remembered 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 bettered expectation than you must expect of me to tell you how.

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

MESSENGER
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.

LEONATO
Did he break out into tears?

MESSENGER
In great measure.

LEONATO
A kind overflow of kindness; there are no faces truer then those that are so washed. How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!

BEATRICE
I pray you, is Signor Mountanto returned from the wars, or no?

MESSENGER
I know none of that name, lady. There was none such in the army of any sort.

LEONATO
What is he that you ask for niece?

HERO
My cousin means Signor Benedick of Padua.

MESSENGER
O, he's returned, and as pleasant as ever he was.


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