Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
1895If euer loue had interest in his liuer,
And wish he had not so accused her:
No, though he thought his accusation true:
Let this be so, and doubt not but successe
Will fashion the euent in better shape,
1900Then I can lay it downe in likelihood.
But if all ayme but this be leuelld false,
The supposition of the ladies death,
Will quench the wonder of her infamie.
And if it sort not wel, you may conceale her,
1905As best befits her wounded reputation,
In some reclusiue and religious life,
Out of all eies, tongues, minds, and iniuries.
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the Frier aduise you,
And though you know my inwardnesse and loue
1910Is very much vnto the prince and Claudio,
Yet, by mine honor, I will deale in this,
As secretly and iustly as your soule
Should with your body.
Leon. Being that I flow in griefe,
1915The smallest twine may leade me.
Frier Tis wel consented, presently away,
For to strange sores, strangely they straine the cure,
Come lady, die to liue, this wedding day
Perhaps is but prolong'd, haue patience and endure.
1920Bene. Lady Beatrice, haue you wept al this while?
Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer.
Bene. I will not desire that.
Beat. You haue no reason, I do it freely.
Bene. Surely I do beleeue your faire cosin is wronged.
1925Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserue of me that
would right her!
Bene. Is there any way to shew such friendship?
Beat. A very euen way, but no such friend.
Bene. May a man do it?
1930Beat. It is a mans office, but not yours.
Bene. I doe loue nothing in the worlde so well as you,