Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
Leo. A kind ouerflow of kindnesse, there are no faces truer
30then those that are so washt, how much better is it to weepe at
ioy, then to ioy at weeping?
Beatr. I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returnd from the
warres or no?
Messen. I know none of that name, ladie, there was none
35such in the army of any sort.
Leonato What is he that you aske for neece?
Hero My cosen meanes Signior Benedicke of Padua.
Mess. O hee's returnd, and as pleasant as euer he was.
Bea. He set vp his bills here in Messina, and challengde
40Cupid at the Flight, and my vncles foole reading the chalenge
subscribde for Cupid, and challengde him at the Burbolt: I
pray you, how many hath he kild and eaten in these warres?
but how many hath he kild? for indeede I promised to eate all
of his killing.
45Leo. Faith neece you taxe Signior Benedicke too much,
but heele be meet with you, I doubt it not.
Mess. He hath done good seruice lady in these warres.
Beat. You had musty vittaile, and he hath holpe to eate it,
he is a very valiaunt trencher man, he hath an excellent sto-
Mess. And a good souldier too, lady.
Beat. And a good souldiour to a Lady, but what is he to a
Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stufft with al hono-
55rable vertues.
Beat. It is so indeed, he is no lesse then a stuft man, but for
the stuffing wel, we are al mortall.
Leo. You must not, sir, mistake my neece, there is a kind
of mery warre betwixt Signior Benedicke and her, they neuer
60meet but there's a skirmish of wit betweene them.
Beat. Alas he gets nothing by that, in our last conflict, 4 of his
fiue wits went halting off, and now is the whole man gouernd
with one, so that if he haue wit enough to keep himself warm,
65let him beare it for a difference between himself and his horse,
for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasona-