Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
Enter don Pedro, Iohn the bastard.
Pedro What secret hath held you here, that you followed
not to Leonatoes?
200Bene. I would your Grace would constraine me to tell.
Pedro I charge thee on thy allegeance.
Ben. You heare, Count Claudio, I can be secret as a dumb
man, I woulde haue you thinke so (but on my allegiance,
205marke you this, on my allegiance) he is in loue, with who? now
that is your Graces part: marke how short his answer is, with
Hero Leonatoes short daughter.
Clau. If this were so, so were it vttred.
210Bened. Like the olde tale, my Lord, it is not so, nor twas
not so: but indeede, God forbid it should be so.
Claudio If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it
should be otherwise.
Pedro Amen, if you loue her, for the Lady is very well
Claudio You speake this to fetch me in, my Lord.
Pedro By my troth I speake my thought.
Claudio And in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine.
Bened. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lorde, I
220spoke mine.
Clau. That I loue her, I feele.
Pedro That she is worthy, I know.
Bened. That I neither feele how she should be loued, nor
know how she should be worthie,
is the opinion that fire can
225not melt out of me, I will die in it at the stake.
Pedro Thou wast euer an obstinate heretique in the de-
spight of Beauty.
Clau. And neuer could maintaine his part, but in the force
230of his wil.
Bene. That a woman conceiued me, I thanke her: that she
brought me vp, I likewise giue her most humble thankes: but
that I will haue a rechate winded in my forehead, or hang my
bugle in an inuisible baldricke, all women shall pardon mee:
235because I will not doe them the wrong to mistrust any, I will
doe my selfe the right to trust none: and the fine is, (for the