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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Iohn and Borachio.
    Ioh. It is so, the Count Claudio shal marry the daugh-
    ter of Leonato.
    Bora. Yea my Lord, but I can crosse it.
    785Iohn. Any barre, any crosse, any impediment, will be
    medicinable to me, I am sicke in displeasure to him, and
    whatsoeuer comes athwart his affection, ranges euenly
    with mine, how canst thou crosse this marriage?
    Bor. Not honestly my Lord, but so couertly, that no
    790dishonesty shall appeare in me.
    Iohn. Shew me breefely how.
    Bor. I thinke I told your Lordship a yeere since, how
    much I am in the fauour of Margaret, the waiting gentle-
    woman to Hero.
    795Iohn. I remember.
    Bor. I can at any vnseasonable instant of the night,
    appoint her to look out at her Ladies chamber window.
    Iohn. What life is in that, to be the death of this mar-
    800Bor. The poyson of that lies in you to temper, goe
    you to the Prince your brother, spare not to tell him, that
    hee hath wronged his Honor in marrying the renowned
    Claudio, whose estimation do you mightily hold vp, to a
    contaminated stale, such a one as Hero.
    805Iohn. What proofe shall I make of that?
    Bor. Proofe enough, to misuse the Prince, to vexe
    Claudio, to vndoe Hero, and kill Leonato, looke you for a-
    ny other issue?
    Iohn. Onely to despight them, I will endeauour any
    Bor. Goe then, finde me a meete howre, to draw on
    Pedro and the Count Claudio alone, tell them that you
    know that Hero loues me, intend a kinde of zeale both
    to the Prince and Claudio (as in a loue of your brothers
    815honor who hath made this match) and his friends repu-
    tation, who is thus like to be cosen'd with the semblance
    of a maid, that you haue discouer'd thus: they will scarce-
    ly beleeue this without triall: offer them instances which
    shall beare no lesse likelihood, than to see mee at her
    820chamber window, heare me call Margaret, Hero; heare
    Margaret terme me Claudio, and bring them to see this
    the very night before the intended wedding, for in the
    meane time, I will so fashion the matter, that Hero shall
    be absent, and there shall appeare such seeming truths of
    825Heroes disloyaltie, that iealousie shall be cal'd assurance,
    and all the preparation ouerthrowne.
    Iohn. Grow this to what aduerse issue it can, I will
    put it in practise: be cunning in the working this, and
    thy fee is a thousand ducates.
    830Bor. Be thou constant in the accusation, and my cun-
    ning shall not shame me.
    Iohn. I will presentlie goe learne their day of marri-
    age. Exit.