Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1600)

    Much adoe
    2045Watch 1 And that Counte Claudio did meane vppon his
    wordes, to disgrace Hero before the whole assemblie, and not
    marrie her.
    Kemp O villaine! thou wilt be condemnd into euerlasting
    redemption for this.
    2050Sexton VVhat else?
    Watch This is all.
    Sexton And this is more masters then you can deny, prince
    Iohn is this morning secretlie stolne awaie: Hero was in this
    manner accusde, in this verie manner refusde, and vppon the
    2055griefe of this, sodainlie died: Maister Constable, let these men
    be bound, and brought to Leonatoes, I will goe before and
    shew him their examination.
    Constable Come, let them be opiniond.
    Couley Let them be in the hands of Coxcombe.
    2060Kemp Gods my life, wheres the Sexton? let him write down
    the Princes officer Coxcombe: come, bind them, thou naugh-
    ty varlet.
    Couley Away, you are an asse, you are an asse.
    Kemp Doost thou not suspect my place? doost thou not
    2065suspect my yeeres? O that he were here to write me downe an
    asse! but maisters, remember that I am an asse, though it bee
    not written downe, yet forget not that I am an asse: No thou
    villaine, thou art full of pietie as shal be prou'de vpon thee by
    good witnes, I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer,
    2070and which is more, a housholder, and which is more, as pret-
    ty a peece of flesh as anie is in Messina, and one that knowes
    the Law, goe to, and a rich fellow enough, go to, and a fellow
    that hath had losses, and one that hath two gownes, and euery
    thing hansome about him: bring him away: O that I had bin
    2075writ downe an asse!
    Enter Leonato and his brother.
    Brother If you go on thus, you will kill your selfe,
    2080And tis not wisedome thus to second griefe,
    Against your selfe.
    Leonato I pray thee cease thy counsaile,
    Which falles into mine eares as profitlesse,
    As water in a syue: giue not me counsaile,