Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)


Much adoe
A thousand blushing apparitions,
To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames,
In angel whitenesse beate away those blushes,
And in her eie there hath appeard a fire,
1825To burne the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth: call me a foole,
Trust not my reading, nor my obseruations,
Which with experimental seale doth warrant
The tenure of my booke: trust not my age,
1830My reuerence, calling, nor diuinitie,
If this sweete ladie lie not guiltlesse here,
Vnder some biting errour.
Leonato Frier, it cannot be,
Thou seest that al the grace that she hath left,
1835Is, that she will not adde to her damnation,
A sinne of periury, she not denies it:
Why seekst thou then to couer with excuse,
That which appeares in proper nakednesse?
Frier Lady, what man is he you are accusde of?
1840Hero They know that do accuse me, I know none,
If I know more of any man aliue
Then that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Let all my sinnes lacke mercie, O my father,
Proue you that any man with me conuerst,
1845At houres vnmeete, or that I yesternight
Maintaind the change of words with any creature,
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.
Frier There is some strange misprision in the princes.
Bene. Two of them haue the very bent of honour,
1850And if their wisedomes be misled in this,
The practise of it liues in Iohn the Bastard,
Whose spirites toyle in frame of villanies.
Leonato I know not, if they speake but truth of her,
These hands shall teare her, if they wrong her honour,
1855The prowdest of them shal wel heare of it.
Time hath not yet so dried this bloud of mine,
Nor age so eate vp my inuention,
Nor