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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    you should not be conioyned, I charge you on your soules to
    1670vtter it.
    Claudio Know you any, Hero?
    Hero None my lord.
    Frier Know you any, Counte?
    Leonato I dare make his answer, None.
    1675Clau. O what men dare do! what men may do! what men
    daily do, not knowing what they do!
    Bene. Howe nowe! interiections? why then, some be of
    laughing, as, ah, ha, he.
    Claudio Stand thee by Frier, father by your leaue,
    1680Will you with free and vnconstrained soule
    Giue me this maide your daughter?
    Leonata As freely sonne as God did giue her mee.
    Claudio And what haue I to giue you backe whose woorth
    May counterpoise this rich and pretious gift?
    1685Princn Nothing, vnlesse you render her againe.
    Claudio Sweete Prince, you learne me noble thankfulnes:
    There Leonato, take her backe againe,
    Giue not this rotten orenge to your friend,
    Shee's but the signe and semblance of her honor:
    1690Behold how like a maide she blushes heere!
    O what authoritie and shew of truth
    Can cunning sinne couer it selfe withall!
    Comes not that blood, as modest euidence,
    To witnesse simple Vertue? would you not sweare
    1695All you that see her, that she were a maide,
    By these exterior shewes? But she is none:
    She knowes the heate of a luxurious bed:
    Her blush is guiltinesse, not modestie.
    Leonato What do you meane, my lord?
    1700Claudio Not to be married,
    Not to knit my soule to an approoued wanton.
    Leonato Deere my lord, if you in your owne proofe,
    Haue vanquisht the resistance of her youth,
    And made defeate of her virginitie.
    1705Claudio I know what you would say: if I haue knowne her,