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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter sir Iohn the bastard, and Conrade his companion.
    345Con. What the goodyeere my lord, why are you thus out of
    measure sad?
    Iohn There is no measure in the occasion that breeds, ther-
    fore the sadnesse is without limit.
    Con. You should heare reason.
    350Iohn And when I haue heard it, what blessing brings it?
    Con If not a present remedy, at least a patient sufferance.
    Iohn I wonder that thou (being as thou saist, thou art, borne
    vnder Saturne) goest about to apply a morall medicine, to a
    B2 mor-
    Much adoe
    355mortifying mischiefe: I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad
    when I haue cause, and smile at no mans iests, eate when I haue
    stomack, and wait for no mans leisure: sleep when I am drow-
    sie, and tend on no mans businesse, laugh when I am mery, and
    claw no man in his humor.
    Con. Yea but you must not make the full show of this till
    you may do it without controllment, you haue of late stoode
    out against your brother, and he hath tane you newly into his
    grace, where it is impossible you should take true root, but by
    365the faire weather that you make your self, it is needful that you
    frame the season for your owne haruest.
    Iohn I had rather be a canker in a hedge, then a rose in his
    grace, and it better fits my bloud to be disdain'd of all, then to
    370fashion a cariage to rob loue from any: in this (thogh I cannot
    be said to be a flatering honest man) it must not be denied but I
    am a plain dealing villaine, I am trusted with a mussel, and en-
    fraunchisde with a clogge, therfore I haue decreed, not to sing
    in my cage: if I had my mouth I would bite: if I had my liber-
    375ty I would do my liking: in the mean time, let me be that I am,
    and seeke not to alter me.
    Con. Can you make no vse of your discontent?
    Iohn I make all vse of it, for I vse it only,
    380Who comes here? what newes Borachio?
    Enter Borachio.
    Bor. I came yonder from a great supper, the prince your
    brother is royally entertain'd by Leonato, and I can giue you
    intelligence of an intended mariage.
    385Iohn Wil it serue for any model to build mischiefe on? what
    is he for a foole that betrothes himselfe to vnquietnesse?
    Bor. Mary it is your bothers right hand.
    Iohn Who, the most exquisite Claudio?
    390Bor. Euen he.
    Iohn A proper squier, and who, and who, which way looks
    Bor. Mary one Hero the daughter and heire of Leonato.
    395Iohn A very forward March-chicke, how came you to
    about Nothing.
    Bor Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoaking a
    musty roome, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand in
    hand in sad conference: I whipt me behind the arras, and there
    400heard it agreed vpon, that the prince should wooe Hero for
    himselfe, and hauing obtain'd her, giue her to Counte Clau-
    Iohn Come, come, let vs thither, this may proue food to my
    displeasure, that yong start-vp hath all the glory of my ouer-
    405throw: if I can crosse him any way, I blesse my selfe euery way,
    you are both sure, and wil assist me.
    Conr. To the death my Lord.
    Iohn Let vs to the great supper, their cheere is the greater
    410that I am subdued, would the cooke were a my mind, shall we
    go proue whats to be done?
    Bor. Weele wait vpon your lordship. exit.