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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Hero, and Margaret, and Vrsula.
    Hero Good Vrsula wake my cosin Beatrice, and desire her
    to rise.
    1505Vrsula I wil lady.
    Hero And bid her come hither.
    Vrsula Well.
    Marg. Troth I thinke your other rebato were better.
    Hero No pray thee good Meg, ile weare this.
    1510Marg. By my troth's not so good, and I warrant your cosin
    will say so.
    Hero My cosin's a foole, and thou art another, ile weare
    F none
    Much adoe
    none but this.
    Mar I like the new tire within excelently, if the haire were a
    1515thought browner: and your gown's a most rare fashion yfaith,
    I saw the Dutchesse of Millaines gowne that they praise so.
    Hero O that exceedes they say.
    Marg. By my troth's but a night-gown it respect of yours,
    1520cloth a gold and cuts, and lac'd with siluer, set with pearles,
    downe sleeues, side sleeues, and skirts, round vnderborne with
    a blewish tinsell, but for a fine queint graceful and excelent fa-
    shion, yours is worth ten on't.
    Hero God giue me ioy to weare it, for my heart is exceed-
    1525ing heauy.
    Marg. T'will be heauier soone by the weight of a
    Hero Fie vpon thee, art not ashamed?
    Marg. Of what lady? of speaking honourably? is not marri-
    1530age honourable in a beggar? is not your Lord honourable
    without mariage? I thinke you would haue me say, sauing your
    reuerence a husband: & bad thinking do not wrest true spea-
    king, ile offend no body, is there any harm in the heauier, for a
    husband? none I thinke, and it be the right husband, and the
    1535right wife, otherwise tis light and not heauy, aske my lady Beatrice
    els, here she comes.
    Enter Beatrice.
    Hero Good morrow coze.
    1540Beat. Good morrow sweete Hero.
    Hero Why how now? do you speake in the sicke tune?
    Beat. I am out of all other tune, me thinkes.
    Mar Clap's into Light a loue, (that goes without a burden,)
    do you sing it, and ile daunce it.
    1545Beat. Ye Light aloue with your heels, then if your husband
    haue stables enough youle see he shall lacke no barnes.
    Mar. O illegitimate construction! I scorne that with my
    1550Beat. Tis almost fiue a clocke cosin, tis time you were rea-
    dy, by my troth I am exceeding ill, hey ho.
    Mar. For a hauke, a horse, or a husband?
    about Nothing.
    Beat. For the letter that begins them al, H.
    Mar. Wel, and you be not turnde Turke, theres no more
    1555sayling by the starre.
    Beat. What meanes the foole trow?
    Mar. Nothing I, but God send euery one their hearts de-
    Hero These gloues the Counte sent me, they are an excel-
    1560lent perfume.
    Beat. I am stuft cosin, I cannot smell.
    Mar. A maide and stuft! theres goodly catching of
    Beat. O God help me, God help me, how long haue you
    1565profest apprehension?
    Mar. Euer since you left it, doth not my wit become me
    Beat. It is not seene enough, you should weare it in your
    cap, by my troth I am sicke.
    1570Mar. Get you some of this distill'd carduus benedictus,
    and lay it to your heart, it is the onely thing for a qualme.
    Hero There thou prickst her with a thissel.
    Beat. Benedictus, why benedictus? you haue some moral in this
    1575Mar. Morall? no by my troth I haue no morall meaning,
    I meant plaine holy thissel, you may thinke perchaunce that I
    think you are in loue, nay birlady I am not such a foole to think
    what I list, nor I list not to thinke what I can, nor indeed I can
    not think, if I would thinke my heart out of thinking, that you
    1580are in loue, or that you will be in loue, or that you can be in
    loue: yet Benedicke was such another, and now is he become a
    man, he swore he would neuer marry, and yet now in dispight
    of his heart he eates his meate without grudging, and how you
    1585may be conuerted I know not, but me thinkes you looke with
    your eies as other women do.
    Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keepes?
    Marg. Not a false gallop. Enter Vrsula.
    1590Vrsula Madame withdraw, the prince, the Count, signior
    Benedicke, Don Iohn, and all the gallants of the towne are
    F2 come
    Much adoe
    come to fetch you to church.
    Hero Help to dresse me good coze, good Meg, good Vr-