Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Gretchen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
Prince He is in earnest.
2280Claudio In most profound earnest, and ile warrant you, for
the loue of Beatrice.
Prince And hath challengde thee.
Claudio Most sincerely.
Prince What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his
2285dublet and hose, and leaues off his wit!
Enter Constables, Conrade, and Borachio.
Claudio He is then a Giant to an Ape, but then is an Ape a
Doctor to such a man.
Prince But soft you, let me be, plucke vp my heart, and be
2290sad, did he not say my brother was fled?
Const. Come you sir, if iustice cannot tame you, she shall
nere weigh more reasons in her ballance, nay, and you be a
cursing hypocrite once, you must be lookt to.
Prince How now, two of my brothers men bound? Bora-
2295chio one.
Claudio Hearken after their offence my Lord.
Prince Officers, what offence haue these men done?
Const. Mary sir, they haue committed false report, moreo-
uer they haue spoken vntruths, secondarily they are slanders,
2300sixt and lastly, they haue belyed a Lady, thirdly they haue ve-
refied vniust thinges, and to conclude, they are lying knaues.
Prince. First I aske thee what they haue done, thirdly I
ask thee whats their offence, sixt and lastly why they are com-
2305mitted, and to conclude, what you lay to their charge.
Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his owne diuision, and by
my troth theres one meaning wel suted.
Prince Who haue you offended maisters, that you are thus
2310bound to your answere? this learned Constable is too cunning
to be vnderstood, whats your offence?
Bor. Sweete prince, let me goe no farther to mine answere:
do you heare me, and let this Counte kill me: I haue deceiued
euen your very eyes: what your wisedoms could not discouer,
2315these shallowe fooles haue broght to light, who in the night o-
uerheard me confessing to this man, how Don Iohn your bro-
ther incensed me to slaunder the Lady Hero, howe you were