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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Much ado about Nothing 113
    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.

    1595 Enter Leonato, and the Constable, and the Headborough.
    Leonato. What would you with mee, honest neigh-
    Const. Dog. Mary sir I would haue some confidence
    with you, that decernes you nearely.
    1600Leon. Briefe I pray you, for you see it is a busie time
    with me.
    Const. Dog. Mary this it is sir.
    Headb. Yes in truth it is sir.
    Leon. What is it my good friends?
    1605Con. Do. Goodman Verges sir speakes a little of the
    matter, an old man sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as
    God helpe I would desire they were, but infaith honest
    as the skin betweene his browes.
    Head. Yes I thank God, I am as honest as any man li-
    1610uing, that is an old man, and no honester then I.
    Con. Dog. Comparisons are odorous, palabras, neigh-
    bour Verges.
    Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.
    Con. Dog. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are
    1615the poore Dukes officers, but truely for mine owne part,
    if I were as tedious as a King I could finde in my heart to
    bestow it all of your worship.
    Leon. All thy tediousnesse on me, ah?
    Const.Dog. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more
    1620than 'tis, for I heare as good exclamation on your Wor-
    ship as of any man in the Citie, and though I bee but a
    poore man, I am glad to heare it.
    Head. And so am I.
    Leon. I would faine know what you haue to say.
    1625Head. Marry sir our watch to night, excepting your
    worships presence, haue tane a couple of as arrant
    knaues as any in Messina.
    Con. Dog. A good old man sir, hee will be talking as
    they say, when the age is in the wit is out, God helpe vs,
    1630it is a world to see: well said yfaith neighbour Verges,
    well, God's a good man, and two men ride of a horse,
    one must ride behinde, an honest soule yfaith sir, by my
    troth he is, as euer broke bread, but God is to bee wor-
    shipt, all men are not alike, alas good neighbour.
    1635Leon. Indeed neighbour he comes too short of you.
    Con. Do. Gifts that God giues.
    Leon. I must leaue you.
    Con. Dog. One word sir, our watch sir haue indeede
    comprehended two aspitious persons, & we would haue
    1640them this morning examined before your worship.
    Leon. Take their examination your selfe, and bring it
    me, I am now in great haste, as may appeare vnto you.
    Const. It shall be suffigance. (Exit.
    Leon. Drinke some wine ere you goe: fare you well.
    1645Messenger. My Lord, they stay for you to giue your
    daughter to her husband.
    Leon. Ile wait vpon them, I am ready.
    Dogb. Goe good partner, goe get you to Francis Sea-
    coale, bid him bring his pen and inkehorne to the Gaole:
    1650we are now to examine those men.
    Verges. And we must doe it wisely.
    Dogb. Wee will spare for no witte I warrant you:
    K3 heeres