Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)


about Nothing.
Nor Fortune made such hauocke of my meanes,
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
1860But they shall find awakte in such a kind,
Both strength of limbe, and policy of mind,
Ability in meanes, and choise of friends,
To quit me of them throughly.
Frier Pawse awhile,
1865And let my counsell sway you in this case,
Your daughter here the princesse (left for dead,)
Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
And publish it, that she is dead indeede,
Maintaine a mourning ostentation,
1870And on your families old monument,
Hang mourneful epitaphes, and do all rites,
That appertaine vnto a buriall.
Leon. What shall become of this? what will this do?
Frier Mary this well caried, shall on her behalfe,
1875Change slaunder to remorse, that is some good,
But not for that dreame I on this strange course,
But on this trauaile looke for greater birth:
She dying, as it must be so maintaind,
Vpon the instant that she was accusde,
1880Shal be lamented, pittied, and excusde
Of euery hearer: for it so falls out,
That what we haue, we prize not to the worth,
Whiles we enioy it, but being lackt and lost,
Why then we racke the valew, then we find
1885The vertue that possession would not shew vs
Whiles it was ours, so will it fare with Claudio:
When hee shall heare she died vpon his words,
Th Idaea of her life shall sweetly creepe,
Into his study of imagination,
1890And euery louely Organ of her life,
Shall come apparelld in more precious habite,
More moouing delicate, and full of life,
Into the eie and prospect of his soule
Then when she liude indeed: then shall he mourne,
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