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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    Vrsula Why did you so, dooth not the gentleman
    Deserue as full as fortunate a bed,
    1135As euer Beatrice shall couch vpon?
    Hero O God of loue! I know he doth deserue,
    As much as may be yeelded to a man:
    But nature neuer framde a womans hart,
    Of prowder stuffe then that of Beatrice:
    1140Disdaine and Scorne ride sparkling in her eies,
    Misprising what they looke on, and her wit
    Valewes it selfe so highly, that to her
    All matter els seemes weake: she cannot loue,
    Nor take no shape nor proiect of affection,
    1145She is so selfe indeared.
    Vrsula Sure I thinke so,
    And therefore certainely it were not good,
    She knew his loue lest sheele make sport at it.
    Hero Why you speake truth, I neuer yet saw man,
    1150How wise, how noble, yong, how rarely featured.
    But she would spel him backward: if faire faced,
    She would sweare the gentleman should be her sister:
    If blacke, why Nature drawing of an antique,
    Made a foule blot: if tall, a launce ill headed:
    1155If low, an agot very vildly cut:
    If speaking, why a vane blowne with all winds:
    If silent, why a blocke moued with none:
    So turnes she euery man the wrong side out,
    And neuer giues to Truth and Vertue, that
    1160Which simplenesse and merite purchaseth.
    Vrsula Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
    Hero No not to be so odde, and from all fashions,
    As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable,
    But who dare tell her so? if I should speake,
    1165She would mocke me into ayre, O she would laugh me
    Out of my selfe, presse me to death with wit,
    Therefore let Benedicke like couerd fire,
    Consume away in sighes, waste inwardly:
    It were a better death, then die with mockes,