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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Gretchen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
Bene. Come, will you go with me?
Claudio Whither?
Bene. Euen to the next willow, about your owne busines,
595county: what fashion will you weare the garland of? about
your necke, like an Vsurers chaine? or vnder your arme, like a
Lieutenants scarffe? you must weare it one way, for the prince
hath got your Hero.
Claudio I wish him ioy of her.
600Bened. Why thats spoken like an honest Drouier, so they
sell bullockes: but did you thinke the Prince would haue ser-
ued you thus?
Claudio I pray you leaue me.
Benedicke Ho now you strike like the blindman, twas the
605boy that stole your meate, and youle beate the post.
Claudio If it will not be, ile leaue you. exit
Benedicke Alas poore hurt foule, now will hee creepe into
sedges: but that my Ladie Beatrice should know me, and not
know mee: the princes foole! hah, it may be I goe vnder that
610title because I am merry: yea but so I am apte to doe my selfe
wrong: I am not so reputed, it is the base (though bitter) dispo-
sition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so
giues me out: well, ile be reuenged as I may.
615 Enter the Prince, Hero, Leonato, Iohn and Borachio,
and Conrade.
Pedro Now signior, wheres the Counte, did you see him?
Benedicke Troth my lord, I haue played the part of Ladie
Fame, I found him heere as melancholy as a Lodge in a War-
620ren, I tolde him, and I thinke I tolde him true, that your grace
had got the goodwil of this yoong Lady, and I offred him my
company to a willow tree, either to make him a garland, as be-
ing forsaken, or to binde him vp a rod, as being worthie to bee
625Pedro To be whipt, whats his fault?
Benedicke The flatte transgression of a Schoole-boy, who
being ouer-ioyed with finding a birds nest, shewes it his com-
panion, and he steales it.
Pedro Wilt thou make a trust a transgression? the transgres-