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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Gretchen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Folio 1, 1623)

Much ado about Nothing. 109
loue, 'tis very possible hee'l scorne it, for the man (as you
know all) hath a contemptible spirit.
1010Clau. He is a very proper man.
Prin. He hath indeed a good outward happines.
Clau. 'Fore God, and in my minde very wise.
Prin. He doth indeed shew some sparkes that are like
1015Leon. And I take him to be valiant.
Prin. As Hector, I assure you, and in the managing of
quarrels you may see hee is wise, for either hee auoydes
them with great discretion, or vndertakes them with a
Christian-like feare.
1020Leon. If hee doe feare God, a must necessarilie keepe
peace, if hee breake the peace, hee ought to enter into a
quarrell with feare and trembling.
Prin. And so will he doe, for the man doth fear God,
howsoeuer it seemes not in him, by some large ieasts hee
1025will make: well, I am sorry for your niece, shall we goe
see Benedicke, and tell him of her loue.
Claud. Neuer tell him, my Lord, let her weare it out
with good counsell.
Leon. Nay that's impossible, she may weare her heart
1030out first.
Prin. Well, we will heare further of it by your daugh-
ter, let it coole the while, I loue Benedicke well, and I
could wish he would modestly examine himselfe, to see
how much he is vnworthy to haue so good a Lady.
1035Leon. My Lord, will you walke? dinner is ready.
Clau. If he do not doat on her vpon this, I wil neuer
trust my expectation.
Prin. Let there be the same Net spread for her, and
that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry:
1040the sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of ano-
thers dotage, and no such matter, that's the Scene that I
would see, which will be meerely a dumbe shew: let vs
send her to call him into dinner. Exeunt.
Bene. This can be no tricke, the conference was sadly
1045borne, they haue the truth of this from Hero, they seeme
to pittie the Lady: it seemes her affections haue the full
bent: loue me? why it must be requited: I heare how I
am censur'd, they say I will beare my selfe proudly, if I
perceiue the loue come from her: they say too, that she
1050will rather die than giue any signe of affection: I did ne-
uer thinke to marry, I must not seeme proud, happy are
they that heare their detractions, and can put them to
mending: they say the Lady is faire, 'tis a truth, I can
beare them witnesse: and vertuous, tis so, I cannot re-
1055prooue it, and wise, but for louing me, by my troth it is
no addition to her witte, nor no great argument of her
folly; for I wil be horribly in loue with her, I may chance
haue some odde quirkes and remnants of witte broken
on mee, because I haue rail'd so long against marriage:
1060but doth not the appetite alter? a man loues the meat in
his youth, that he cannot indure in his age. Shall quips
and sentences, and these paper bullets of the braine awe
a man from the careere of his humour? No, the world
must be peopled. When I said I would die a batcheler, I
1065did not think I should liue till I were maried, here comes
Beatrice: by this day, shee's a faire Lady, I doe spie some
markes of loue in her.

Enter Beatrice.

Beat. Against my wil I am sent to bid you come in to
Bene. Faire Beatrice, I thanke you for your paines.
Beat. I tooke no more paines for those thankes, then
you take paines to thanke me, if it had been painefull, I
would not haue come.
1075Bene. You take pleasure then in the message.
Beat. Yea iust so much as you may take vpon a kniues
point, and choake a daw withall: you haue no stomacke
signior, fare you well. Exit.
Bene. Ha, against my will I am sent to bid you come
1080into dinner: there's a double meaning in that: I tooke
no more paines for those thankes then you tooke paines
to thanke me, that's as much as to say, any paines that I
take for you is as easie as thankes: if I do not take pitty
of her I am a villaine, if I doe not loue her I am a Iew, I
1085will goe get her picture. Exit.

Actus Tertius.

Enter Hero and two Gentlemen, Margaret, and Vrsula.

Hero. Good Margaret runne thee to the parlour,
There shalt thou finde my Cosin Beatrice,
1090Proposing with the Prince and Claudio,
Whisper her eare, and tell her I and Vrsula,
Walke in the Orchard, and our whole discourse
Is all of her, say that thou ouer-heardst vs,
And bid her steale into the pleached bower,
1095Where hony-suckles ripened by the sunne,
Forbid the sunne to enter: like fauourites,
Made proud by Princes, that aduance their pride,
Against that power that bred it, there will she hide her,
To listen our purpose, this is thy office,
1100Beare thee well in it, and leaue vs alone.
Marg. Ile make her come I warrant you presently.
Hero. Now Vrsula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley vp and downe,
Our talke must onely be of Benedicke,
1105When I doe name him, let it be thy part,
To praise him more then euer man did merit,
My talke to thee must be how Benedicke
Is sicke in loue with Beatrice: of this matter,
Is little Cupids crafty arrow made,
1110That onely wounds by heare-say: now begin,
Enter Beatrice.
For looke where Beatrice like a Lapwing runs
Close by the ground, to heare our conference.
Vrs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
1115Cut with her golden ores the siluer streame,
And greedily deuoure the treacherous baite:
So angle we for Beatrice, who euen now,
Is couched in the wood-bine couerture,
Feare you not my part of the Dialogue.
1120Her. Then go we neare her that her eare loose nothing,
Of the false sweete baite that we lay for it:
No truely Vrsula, she is too disdainfull,
I know her spirits are as coy and wilde,
As Haggerds of the rocke.
1125Vrsula. But are you sure,
That Benedicke loues Beatrice so intirely?
Her. So saies the Prince, and my new trothed Lord.
Vrs. And did they bid you tell her of it, Madam?
Her. They did intreate me to acquaint her of it,
1130But I perswaded them, if they lou'd Benedicke,
K To