Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)


about Nothing.
Frier Yea, wherefore should she not?
Leonato Wherfore? why doth not euery earthly thing,
Cry shame vpon her? could she here deny
1785The story that is printed in her bloud?
Do not liue Hero, do not ope thine eies:
For did I thinke thou wouldst not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirites were stronger than thy shames,
My selfe would on the rereward of reproches
1790Strike at thy life. Grieued I I had but one?
Chid I for that at frugall Natures frame?
O one too much by thee: why had I one?
Why euer wast thou louely in my eies?
Why had I not with charitable hand,
1795Tooke vp a beggars issue at my gates,
Who smirched thus, and mired with infamy,
I might haue said, no part of it is mine,
This shame deriues it selfe from vnknowne loynes,
But mine and mine I loued, and mine I praisde,
1800And mine that I was prowd on mine so much,
That I my selfe, was to my selfe not mine:
Valewing of her, why she, O she is falne,
Into a pit of incke, that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her cleane againe,
1805And salt too little, which may season giue
To her foule tainted flesh.
Ben. Sir, sir, be patient, for my part I am so attired in won-
der, I know not what to say.
Beat. O on my soule my cosin is belied.
1810Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?
Beat. No truly, not although vntill last night,
I haue this tweluemonth bin her bedfellow.
Leon. Confirmd, confirmd, O that is stronger made,
Which was before bard vp with ribs of yron,
1815Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie,
Who loued her so, that speaking of her foulenesse,
Washt it with teares! hence from her, let her die.
Frier Heare me a little, for I haue only bin silent so long, &
giuen way vnto this course of fortune, by noting of the lady, I
1820haue markt,
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