Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)


Much adoe
Bene. A most manly witte Margaret, it will not hurt a wo-
man: and so I pray thee call Beatrice, I giue thee the buck-
2440lers.
Marg. Giue vs the swordes, wee haue bucklers of our
owne.
Bene. If you vse them Margaret, you must putte in the
pikes with a vice, and they are daungerous weapons for
2445maides.
Mar. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I thinke hath
legges.
Exit Margarite.
Bene. And therefore wil come. The God of loue that sits
aboue, and knowes mee, and knowes me, how pittifull I de-
2450serue. I meane in singing, but in louing, Leander the good
swimmer, Troilus the first imploier of pandars, and a whole
booke full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names
yet runne smoothly in the euen rode of a blancke verse, why
they were neuer so truly turnd ouer and ouer as my poore selfe
2455in loue: mary I cannot shew it in rime, I haue tried, I can finde
out no rime to Ladie but babie, an innocent rime: for scorne,
horne, a hard rime: for schoole foole, a babling rime: very omi-
nous endings, no, I was not borne vnder a riming plannet,
2460nor I cannot wooe in festiuall termes: sweete Beatrice wouldst
thou come when I cald thee?
Enter Beatrice.
Beat. Yea signior, and depart when you bid me.
2465Bene. O stay but till then.
Beat. Then, is spoken: fare you wel now, and yet ere I goe,
let me goe with that I came, which is, with knowing what
hath past betweene you and Claudio.
Bene. Onely foule words, and therevpon I will kisse thee.
Beat. Foule words is but foule wind, and foule wind is but
foule breath, and foule breath is noisome, therfore I wil depart
vnkist.
Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sence,
2475so forcible is thy wit, but I must tel thee plainly, Claudio vnder-
goes my challenge, and either I must shortly heare from him,
or I will subscribe him a coward, and I pray thee now tell me,
for