Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
Leo. No come brother, away, I wil be heard.
Exeunt amb.
Bro. And shal, or some of vs wil smart for it.
Enter Ben.
2200Prince See see, heere comes the man we went to seeke.
Claud. Now signior, what newes?
Bened. Good day my Lord:
Prince Welcome signior, you are almost come to parte al-
most a fray.
2205Claud. Wee had likt to haue had our two noses snapt off
with two old men without teeth.
Prince Leonato and his brother what thinkst thou? had we
fought, I doubt we should haue beene too yong for them.
2210Bened. In a false quarrell there is no true valour, I came to
seeke you both.
Claud. We haue beene vp and downe to seeke thee, for we
are high proofe melancholie, and would faine haue it beaten
away, wilt thou vse thy wit?
2215Bened. It is in my scabberd, shal I drawe it?
Prince Doest thou weare thy wit by thy side?
Claud. Neuer any did so, though very many haue been be-
side their wit, I will bid thee drawe, as wee doe the minstrels,
draw to pleasure vs.
2220Prince As I am an honest man he lookes pale, art thou
sicke, or angry?
Claud. What, courage man: what though care kild a catte,
thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
Bened. Sir, I shall meete your wit in the careere, and you
2225charge it against me, I pray you chuse another subiect
Claud. Nay then giue him another staffe, this last was broke
Prince By this light, he chaunges more and more, I thinke
2230he be angry indeed.
Claud. If he be, he knowes how to turne his girdle.
Bened. Shall I speake a word in your eare?
Claud. God blesse me from a challenge.
Bened. You are a villaine, I ieast not, I will make it good
2235howe you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare: doe
mee right, or I will protest your cowardise: you haue killd a