Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
Bene. I loue you the better, the hearers may cry Amen.
Marg. God match me with a good dauncer.
515Balth. Amen.
Marg. And God keepe him out of my sight when the
daunce is done: answer Clarke.
Balth. No more words, the Clarke is answered.
Vrsula I know you well enough, you are signior Antho-
Antho. At a word I am not.
Vrsula I knowe you by the wagling of your head.
Antho. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.
Vrsula You coulde neuer doe him so ill well, vnlesse you
525were the very man: heeres his drie hand vp and downe, you
are he, you are he.
Antho. At a word, I am not.
Vrsula Come, come, do you thinke I do not know you by
your excellent wit? can vertue hide it selfe? go to, mumme, you
530are he, graces will appeere, and theres an end.
Beat. Will you not tell me who tolde you so?
Bened. No, you shall pardon me.
Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are?
535Bened. Not now.
Beat. That I was disdainefull, and that I had my good wit
out of the hundred mery tales: wel, this was signior Benedick
that said so.
Bened. Whats he?
540Beat. I am sure you know him well enough.
Bened. Not I, beleeue me.
Beat. Did he neuer make you laugh?
Bened. I pray you what is he?
Beat. Why he is the princes ieaster, a very dul fool, only his
545gift is, in deuising impossible slaunders, none but Libertines
delight in him, and the commendation is not in his wit, but in
his villanie, for he both pleases men and angers them, and then
they laugh at him, and beate him: I am sure he is in the Fleete,
I would he had boorded me.
Bene. When I know the Gentleman, ile tell him what you