Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

about Nothing.
Bene. Why then your vncle, and the prince, and Claudio,
Haue beene deceiued, they swore you did.
2635Beat. Do not you loue me?
Bene. Troth no, no more then reason.
Beat. Why then my cosin Margaret and Vrsula
Are much deceiu'd, for they did sweare you did.
Bene. They swore that you were almost sicke for me.
2640Beat. They swore that you were welnigh dead for me.
Bene. Tis no such matter, then you do not loue me.
Beat. No truly, but in friendly recompence.
Leon. Come cosin, I am sure you loue the gentleman.
Clau. And ile besworne vpon't, that he loues her,
2645For heres a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his owne pure braine,
Fashioned to Beatrice.
Hero And heres another,
Writ in my cosins hand, stolne from her pocket,
2650Containing her affection vnto Benedicke.
Bene. A miracle, heres our owne hands against our hearts:
come, I will haue thee, but by this light I take thee for pittie.
Beat. I would not denie you, but by this good day, I yeeld
2655vpon great perswasion, and partly to saue your life, for I was
told, you were in a consumption.
Leon. Peace I will stop your mouth.
Prince How dost thou Benedicke the married man?
Bene. Ile tel thee what prince: a colledge of witte-crackers
2660cannot flout me out of my humour, dost thou think I care for
a Satyre or an Epigramme? no, if a man will be beaten with
braines, a shall weare nothing hansome about him: in briefe,
since I doe purpose to marrie, I will think nothing to anie pur-
pose that the world can saie against it, and therfore neuer flout
2665at me, for what I haue said against it: for man is a giddie thing,
and this is my conclusion: for thy part Claudio, I did thinke
to haue beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my kinsman,
liue vnbruisde, and loue my cousen.
2670Clau. I had wel hopte thou wouldst haue denied Beatrice,
that I might haue cudgelld thee out of thy single life, to make