Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Much Ado About Nothing (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Gretchen Minton
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-516-2

    Copyright Gretchen Minton. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Gretchen Minton
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Much Ado About Nothing (Folio 1, 1623)

    Enter Hero, and Margaret, and Vrsula.
    Hero. Good Vrsula wake my cosin Beatrice, and de-
    sire her to rise.
    1505Vrsu. I will Lady.
    Her. And bid her come hither.
    Vrs. Well.
    Mar. Troth I thinke your other rebato were better.
    Bero. No pray thee good Meg, Ile vveare this.
    1510Marg. By my troth's not so good, and I vvarrant your
    cosin vvill say so.
    Bero. My cosin's a foole, and thou art another, ile
    vveare none but this.
    Mar. I like the new tire vvithin excellently, if the
    1515haire vvere a thought browner: and your gown's a most
    rare fashion yfaith, I saw the Dutchesse of Millaines
    gowne that they praise so.
    Bero. O that exceedes they say.
    Mar. By my troth's but a night-gowne in respect of
    1520yours, cloth a gold and cuts, and lac'd withsiluer, set with
    pearles, downe sleeues, side sleeues, and skirts, round vn-
    derborn with a blewish tinsel, but for a fine queint grace-
    full and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't.
    Hero. God giue mee ioy to weare it, for my heart is
    1525exceeding heauy.
    Marga. 'Twill be heauier soone, by the waight of a
    Hero. Fie vpon thee, art not asham'd?
    Marg. Of what Lady? of speaking honourably? is
    1530not marriage honourable in a beggar? is not your Lord
    honourable without marriage? I thinke you would haue
    me say, sauing your reuerence a husband: and bad thin-
    king doe not wrest true speaking, Ile offend no body, is
    there any harme in the heauier for a husband? none I
    1535thinke, and it be the right husband, and the right wife,
    otherwise 'tis light and not heauy, aske my Lady Beatrice
    else, here she comes.
    Enter Beatrice.
    Hero. Good morrow Coze.
    1540Beat. Good morrow sweet Hero.
    Hero. Why how now? do you speake in the sick tune?
    Beat. I am out of all other tune, me thinkes.
    Mar. Claps into Light a loue, (that goes without a
    burden,) do you sing it and Ile dance it.
    1545Beat. Ye Light aloue with your heeles, then if your
    husband haue stables enough, you'll looke he shall lacke
    no barnes.
    Mar. O illegitimate construction! I scorne that with
    my heeles.
    1550Beat. 'Tis almost fiue a clocke cosin, 'tis time you
    were ready, by my troth I am exceeding ill, hey ho.
    Mar. For a hauke, a horse, or a husband?
    Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H.
    Mar. Well, and you be not turn'd Turke, there's no
    1555more sayling by the starre.
    Beat. What meanes the foole trow?
    Mar. Nothing I, but God send euery one their harts
    Hero. These gloues the Count sent mee, they are an
    1560excellent perfume.
    Beat. I am stuft cosin, I cannot smell.
    Mar. A maid and stuft! there's goodly catching of
    Beat. O God helpe me, God help me, how long haue
    1565you profest apprehension?
    Mar. Euer since you left it, doth not my wit become
    me rarely?
    Beat. It is not seene enough, you should weare it in
    your cap, by my troth I am sicke.
    1570Mar. Get you some of this distill'd carduus benedictus
    and lay it to your heart, it is the onely thing for a qualm.
    Hero. There thou prickst her with a thissell.
    Beat. Benedictus, why benedictus? you haue some mo-
    rall in this benedictus.
    1575Mar. Morall? no by my troth, I haue no morall mea-
    ning, I meant plaine holy thissell, you may thinke per-
    chance that I thinke you are in loue, nay birlady I am not
    such a foole to thinke what I list, nor I list not to thinke
    what I can, nor indeed I cannot thinke, if I would thinke
    1580my hart out of thinking, that you are in loue, or that you
    will be in loue, or that you can be in loue: yet Benedicke
    was such another, and now is he become a man, he swore
    hee would neuer marry, and yet now in despight of his
    heart he eates his meat without grudging, and how you
    1585may be conuerted I know not, but me thinkes you looke
    with your eies as other women doe.
    Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keepes.
    Mar. Not a false gallop.
    Enter Vrsula.
    1590Vrsula. Madam, withdraw, the Prince, the Count, sig-
    nior Benedicke, Don Iohn, and all the gallants of the
    towne are come to fetch you to Church.
    Hero. Helpe to dresse mee good coze, good Meg,
    good Vrsula.