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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 adoe about Nothing 105
    Leonata. Cosin you apprehend passing shrewdly.
    Beatrice. I haue a good eye vnckle, I can see a Church
    490by daylight.
    Leon. The reuellers are entring brother, make good

    Enter Prince, Pedro, Claudio, and Benedicke, and Balthasar,
    or dumbe Iohn, Maskers with a drum.
    495Pedro. Lady, will you walke about with your friend?
    Hero. So you walke softly, and looke sweetly, and say
    nothing, I am yours for the walke, and especially when I
    walke away.
    Pedro. With me in your company.
    500Hero. I may say so when I please.
    Pedro. And when please you to say so?
    Hero. When I like your fauour, for God defend the
    Lute should be like the case.
    Pedro. My visor is Philemons roofe, within the house
    505is Loue.
    Hero. Why then your visor should be thatcht.
    Pedro. Speake low if you speake Loue.
    Bene. Well, I would you did like me.
    Mar. So would not I for your owne sake, for I haue
    510manie ill qualities.
    Bene. Which is one?
    Mar. I say my prayers alowd.
    Ben. I loue you the better, the hearers may cry Amen.
    Mar. God match me with a good dauncer.
    515Balt. Amen.
    Mar. And God keepe him out of my sight when the
    daunce is done: answer Clarke.
    Balt. No more words, the Clarke is answered.
    Vrsula. I know you well enough, you are Signior An-
    Anth. At a word, I am not.
    Vrsula. I know you by the wagling of your head.
    Anth. To tell you true, I counterfet him.
    Vrsu. You could neuer doe him so ill well, vnlesse
    525you were the very man: here's his dry hand vp & down,
    you are he, you are he.
    Anth. At a word I am not.
    Vrsula. Come, come, doe you thinke I doe not know
    you by your excellent wit? can vertue hide it selfe? goe
    530to, mumme, you are he, graces will appeare, and there's
    an end.
    Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so?
    Bene. No, you shall pardon me.
    Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are?
    535Bened. Not now.
    Beat. That I was disdainfull, and that I had my good
    wit out of the hundred merry tales: well, this was Signi-
    or Benedicke that said so.
    Bene. What's he?
    540Beat. I am sure you know him well enough.
    Bene. Not I, beleeue me.
    Beat. Did he neuer make you laugh?
    Bene. I pray you what is he?
    Beat. Why he is the Princes ieaster, a very dull foole,
    545onely his gift is, in deuising impossible slanders, none
    but Libertines delight in him, and the commendation is
    not in his witte, but in his villanie, for hee both pleaseth
    men and angers them, and then they laugh at him, and
    beat him: I am sure he is in the Fleet, I would he had
    550boorded me.
    Bene. When I know the Gentleman, Ile tell him what
    you say.
    Beat. Do, do, hee'l but breake a comparison or two
    on me, which peraduenture (not markt, or not laugh'd
    555at) strikes him into melancholly, and then there's a Par-
    tridge wing saued, for the foole will eate no supper that
    night. We must follow the Leaders.
    Ben. In euery good thing.
    Bea. Nay, if they leade to any ill, I will leaue them
    560at the next turning. Exeunt.
    Musicke for the dance.
    Iohn. Sure my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath
    withdrawne her father to breake with him about it: the
    Ladies follow her, and but one visor remaines.
    565Borachio. And that is Claudio, I know him by his bea-
    Iohn. Are not you signior Benedicke?
    Clau. You know me well, I am hee.
    Iohn. Signior, you are verie neere my Brother in his
    570loue, he is enamor'd on Hero, I pray you disswade him
    from her, she is no equall for his birth: you may do the
    part of an honest man in it.
    Claudio. How know you he loues her?
    Iohn. I heard him sweare his affection,
    575Bor. So did I too, and he swore he would marrie her
    to night.
    Iohn. Come, let vs to the banquet. Ex. manet Clau.
    Clau. Thus answere I in name of Benedicke,
    But heare these ill newes with the eares of Claudio:
    580'Tis certaine so, the Prince woes for himselfe:
    Friendship is constant in all other things,
    Saue in the Office and affaires of loue:
    Therefore all hearts in loue vse their owne tongues.
    Let euerie eye negotiate for it selfe,
    585And trust no Agent: for beautie is a witch,
    Against whose charmes, faith melteth into blood:
    This is an accident of hourely proofe,
    Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore Hero.
    Enter Benedicke.
    590Ben. Count Claudio.
    Clau. Yea, the same.
    Ben. Come, will you go with me?
    Clau. Whither?
    Ben. Euen to the next Willow, about your own bu-
    595sinesse, Count. What fashion will you weare the Gar-
    land off? About your necke, like an Vsurers chaine? Or
    vnder your arme, like a Lieutenants scarfe? You must
    weare it one way, for the Prince hath got your Hero.
    Clau: I wish him ioy of her.
    600Ben. Why that's spoken like an honest Drouier, so
    they sel Bullockes: but did you thinke the Prince wold
    haue serued you thus?
    Clau. I pray you leaue me.
    Ben. Ho now you strike like the blindman, 'twas the
    605boy that stole your meate, and you'l beat the post.
    Clau. If it will not be, Ile leaue you. Exit.
    Ben. Alas poore hurt fowle, now will he creepe into
    sedges: But that my Ladie Beatrice should know me, &
    not know me: the Princes foole! Hah? It may be I goe
    610vnder that title, because I am merrie: yea but so I am
    apt to do my selfe wrong: I am not so reputed, it is the
    base (though bitter) disposition of Beatrice, that putt's
    the world into her person, and so giues me out: well, Ile
    be reuenged as I may.

    615 Enter the Prince.
    Pedro. Now Signior, where's the Count, did you
    see him?