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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    Bene. A most manly witte Margaret, it will not hurt a wo-
    man: and so I pray thee call Beatrice, I giue thee the buck-
    Marg. Giue vs the swordes, wee haue bucklers of our
    Bene. If you vse them Margaret, you must putte in the
    pikes with a vice, and they are daungerous weapons for
    Mar. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I thinke hath
    legges. Exit Margarite.
    Bene. And therefore wil come. The God of loue that sits
    aboue, and knowes mee, and knowes me, how pittifull I de-
    2450serue. I meane in singing, but in louing, Leander the good
    swimmer, Troilus the first imploier of pandars, and a whole
    booke full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names
    yet runne smoothly in the euen rode of a blancke verse, why
    they were neuer so truly turnd ouer and ouer as my poore selfe
    2455in loue: mary I cannot shew it in rime, I haue tried, I can finde
    out no rime to Ladie but babie, an innocent rime: for scorne,
    horne, a hard rime: for schoole foole, a babling rime: very omi-
    nous endings, no, I was not borne vnder a riming plannet,
    2460nor I cannot wooe in festiuall termes: sweete Beatrice wouldst
    thou come when I cald thee?
    Enter Beatrice.
    Beat. Yea signior, and depart when you bid me.
    2465Bene. O stay but till then.
    Beat. Then, is spoken: fare you wel now, and yet ere I goe,
    let me goe with that I came, which is, with knowing what
    hath past betweene you and Claudio.
    Bene. Onely foule words, and therevpon I will kisse thee.
    Beat. Foule words is but foule wind, and foule wind is but
    foule breath, and foule breath is noisome, therfore I wil depart
    Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sence,
    2475so forcible is thy wit, but I must tel thee plainly, Claudio vnder-
    goes my challenge, and either I must shortly heare from him,
    or I will subscribe him a coward, and I pray thee now tell me,