Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
2045Watch 1 And that Counte Claudio did meane vppon his
wordes, to disgrace Hero before the whole assemblie, and not
marrie her.
Kemp O villaine! thou wilt be condemnd into euerlasting
redemption for this.
2050Sexton VVhat else?
Watch This is all.
Sexton And this is more masters then you can deny, prince
Iohn is this morning secretlie stolne awaie: Hero was in this
manner accusde, in this verie manner refusde, and vppon the
2055griefe of this, sodainlie died: Maister Constable, let these men
be bound, and brought to Leonatoes, I will goe before and
shew him their examination.
Constable Come, let them be opiniond.
Couley Let them be in the hands of Coxcombe.
2060Kemp Gods my life, wheres the Sexton? let him write down
the Princes officer Coxcombe: come, bind them, thou naugh-
ty varlet.
Couley Away, you are an asse, you are an asse.
Kemp Doost thou not suspect my place? doost thou not
2065suspect my yeeres? O that he were here to write me downe an
asse! but maisters, remember that I am an asse, though it bee
not written downe, yet forget not that I am an asse: No thou
villaine, thou art full of pietie as shal be prou'de vpon thee by
good witnes, I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer,
2070and which is more, a housholder, and which is more, as pret-
ty a peece of flesh as anie is in Messina, and one that knowes
the Law, goe to, and a rich fellow enough, go to, and a fellow
that hath had losses, and one that hath two gownes, and euery
thing hansome about him: bring him away: O that I had bin
2075writ downe an asse!
Enter Leonato and his brother.
Brother If you go on thus, you will kill your selfe,
2080And tis not wisedome thus to second griefe,
Against your selfe.
Leonato I pray thee cease thy counsaile,
Which falles into mine eares as profitlesse,
As water in a syue: giue not me counsaile,