Much Ado About Nothing

Folger Shakespeare Library

http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org


From the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library

It is hard to imagine a world without Shakespeare. Since their composition four hundred years ago, Shakespeare’s plays and poems have traveled the globe, inviting those who see and read his works to make them their own.

Readers of the New Folger Editions are part of this ongoing process of “taking up Shakespeare,” finding our own thoughts and feelings in language that strikes us as old or unusual and, for that very reason, new. We still struggle to keep up with a writer who could think a mile a minute, whose words paint pictures that shift like clouds. These expertly edited texts are presented to the public as a resource for study, artistic adaptation, and enjoyment. By making the classic texts of the New Folger Editions available in electronic form as Folger Digital Texts, we place a trusted resource in the hands of anyone who wants them.

The New Folger Editions of Shakespeare’s plays, which are the basis for the texts realized here in digital form, are special because of their origin. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is the single greatest documentary source of Shakespeare’s works. An unparalleled collection of early modern books, manuscripts, and artwork connected to Shakespeare, the Folger’s holdings have been consulted extensively in the preparation of these texts. The Editions also reflect the expertise gained through the regular performance of Shakespeare’s works in the Folger’s Elizabethan Theater.

I want to express my deep thanks to editors Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine for creating these indispensable editions of Shakespeare’s works, which incorporate the best of textual scholarship with a richness of commentary that is both inspired and engaging. Readers who want to know more about Shakespeare and his plays can follow the paths these distinguished scholars have tread by visiting the Folger either in-person or online, where a range of physical and digital resources exist to supplement the material in these texts. I commend to you these words, and hope that they inspire.

Michael Witmore
Director, Folger Shakespeare Library



Textual Introduction
By Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine

Until now, with the release of the Folger Digital Texts, readers in search of a free online text of Shakespeare’s plays had to be content primarily with using the Moby™ Text, which reproduces a late-nineteenth century version of the plays. What is the difference? Many ordinary readers assume that there is a single text for the plays: what Shakespeare wrote. But Shakespeare’s plays were not published the way modern novels or plays are published today: as a single, authoritative text. In some cases, the plays have come down to us in multiple published versions, represented by various Quartos (Qq) and by the great collection put together by his colleagues in 1623, called the First Folio (F). There are, for example, three very different versions of Hamlet, two of King Lear, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, and others. Editors choose which version to use as their base text, and then amend that text with words, lines or speech prefixes from the other versions that, in their judgment, make for a better or more accurate text.

Other editorial decisions involve choices about whether an unfamiliar word could be understood in light of other writings of the period or whether it should be changed; decisions about words that made it into Shakespeare’s text by accident through four hundred years of printings and misprinting; and even decisions based on cultural preference and taste. When the Moby™ Text was created, for example, it was deemed “improper” and “indecent” for Miranda to chastise Caliban for having attempted to rape her. (See The Tempest, 1.2: “Abhorred slave,/Which any print of goodness wilt not take,/Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee…”). All Shakespeare editors at the time took the speech away from her and gave it to her father, Prospero.

The editors of the Moby™ Shakespeare produced their text long before scholars fully understood the proper grounds on which to make the thousands of decisions that Shakespeare editors face. The Folger Library Shakespeare Editions, on which the Folger Digital Texts depend, make this editorial process as nearly transparent as is possible, in contrast to older texts, like the Moby™, which hide editorial interventions. The reader of the Folger Shakespeare knows where the text has been altered because editorial interventions are signaled by square brackets (for example, from Othello: “square bracketIf she in chains of magic were not bound,square bracket”), half-square brackets (for example, from Henry V: “With half-square bracketbloodhalf-square bracket and sword and fire to win your right,”), or angle brackets (for example, from Hamlet: “O farewell, honest angle bracketsoldier.angle bracket Who hath relieved/you?”). At any point in the text, you can hover your cursor over a bracket for more information.

Because the Folger Digital Texts are edited in accord with twenty-first century knowledge about Shakespeare’s texts, the Folger here provides them to readers, scholars, teachers, actors, directors, and students, free of charge, confident of their quality as texts of the plays and pleased to be able to make this contribution to the study and enjoyment of Shakespeare.


Synopsis

The primary plot of Much Ado About Nothing turns on the courtship and scandal involving young Hero and her suitor, Claudio, but the witty war of words between Claudio’s friend Benedick and Hero’s cousin Beatrice often takes center stage.

Set in Messina, the play begins as Don Pedro’s army returns after a victory. Benedick, a gentleman soldier, resumes a verbal duel with Beatrice, the niece of Messina’s governor, Leonato. Count Claudio is smitten by Leonato’s daughter, Hero. After Don Pedro woos her in disguise for Claudio, the two young lovers plan to marry in a week. To fill in the time until the wedding, Don Pedro and the others set about tricking Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love with each other. Meanwhile, Don Pedro’s disgruntled brother, Don John, plots to ruin Hero and halt her wedding. Claudio believes Don John’s deception, is convinced Hero has a lover, and, at the wedding, brutally rejects her.

With Hero in hiding and falsely reported dead, Beatrice persuades Benedick to fight Claudio. Tragedy is averted when the bumbling city watch, having discovered Don John’s treachery, arrives and clears Hero’s name. With Claudio forgiven, both couples are ready to get married.


Characters in the Play
Leonato, Governor of Messina
Hero, his daughter
Beatrice, his niece
Leonato’s Brother
Margaret
Ursula
bracket
waiting gentlewomen to Hero
Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon
Count Claudio, a young lord from Florence
Signior Benedick, a gentleman from Padua
Balthasar
Signior Antonio
Don John, Don Pedro’s brother
Borachio
Conrade
bracket
Don John’s followers
Dogberry, Master Constable in Messina
Verges, Dogberry’s partner
George Seacoal, leader of the Watch
First Watchman
Second Watchman
Sexton
Friar Francis
Messenger to Leonato
Messenger to Don Pedro
Boy
Musicians, Lords, Attendants, Son to Leonato’s brother

editorial emendationACT 1editorial emendation
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Leonato, Governor of Messina, Hero his daughter,
and Beatrice his niece, with a Messenger.


LEONATO , editorial emendationwith a lettereditorial emendation  FTLN 0001I learn in this letter that Don
FTLN 0002 Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0003He is very near by this. He was not three
FTLN 0004 leagues off when I left him.
LEONATO  FTLN 00055How many gentlemen have you lost in this
FTLN 0006 action?
MESSENGER  FTLN 0007But few of any sort, and none of name.
LEONATO  FTLN 0008A victory is twice itself when the achiever
FTLN 0009 brings home full numbers. I find here that Don
FTLN 001010 Pedro hath bestowed much honor on a young
FTLN 0011 Florentine called Claudio.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0012Much deserved on his part, and equally
FTLN 0013 remembered by Don Pedro. He hath borne himself
FTLN 0014 beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure
FTLN 001515 of a lamb the feats of a lion. He hath indeed better
FTLN 0016 bettered expectation than you must expect of me to
FTLN 0017 tell you how.
LEONATO  FTLN 0018He hath an uncle here in Messina will be
FTLN 0019 very much glad of it.
MESSENGER  FTLN 002020I have already delivered him letters, and
FTLN 0021 there appears much joy in him, even so much that
FTLN 0022 joy could not show itself modest enough without a
FTLN 0023 badge of bitterness.
7

9
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

LEONATO  FTLN 0024Did he break out into tears?
MESSENGER  FTLN 002525In great measure.
LEONATO  FTLN 0026A kind overflow of kindness. There are no
FTLN 0027 faces truer than those that are so washed. How
FTLN 0028 much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at
FTLN 0029 weeping!
BEATRICE  FTLN 003030I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned
FTLN 0031 from the wars or no?
MESSENGER  FTLN 0032I know none of that name, lady. There
FTLN 0033 was none such in the army of any sort.
LEONATO  FTLN 0034What is he that you ask for, niece?
HERO  FTLN 003535My cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0036O, he’s returned, and as pleasant as ever
FTLN 0037 he was.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0038He set up his bills here in Messina and
FTLN 0039 challenged Cupid at the flight, and my uncle’s Fool,
FTLN 004040 reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid and
FTLN 0041 challenged him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how
FTLN 0042 many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But
FTLN 0043 how many hath he killed? For indeed I promised to
FTLN 0044 eat all of his killing.
LEONATO  FTLN 004545Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too
FTLN 0046 much, but he’ll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0047He hath done good service, lady, in these
FTLN 0048 wars.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0049You had musty victual, and he hath holp to
FTLN 005050 eat it. He is a very valiant trencherman; he hath an
FTLN 0051 excellent stomach.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0052And a good soldier too, lady.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0053And a good soldier to a lady, but what is he
FTLN 0054 to a lord?
MESSENGER  FTLN 005555A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stuffed
FTLN 0056 with all honorable virtues.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0057It is so indeed. He is no less than a stuffed
FTLN 0058 man, but for the stuffing—well, we are all mortal.

11
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

LEONATO  FTLN 0059You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is
FTLN 006060 a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and
FTLN 0061 her. They never meet but there’s a skirmish of wit
FTLN 0062 between them.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0063Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last
FTLN 0064 conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and
FTLN 006565 now is the whole man governed with one, so that if
FTLN 0066 he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him
FTLN 0067 bear it for a difference between himself and his
FTLN 0068 horse, for it is all the wealth that he hath left to
FTLN 0069 be known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion
FTLN 007070 now? He hath every month a new sworn
FTLN 0071 brother.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0072Is ’t possible?
BEATRICE  FTLN 0073Very easily possible. He wears his faith but
FTLN 0074 as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the
FTLN 007575 next block.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0076I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your
FTLN 0077 books.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0078No. An he were, I would burn my study. But
FTLN 0079 I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no
FTLN 008080 young squarer now that will make a voyage with
FTLN 0081 him to the devil?
MESSENGER  FTLN 0082He is most in the company of the right
FTLN 0083 noble Claudio.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0084O Lord, he will hang upon him like a
FTLN 008585 disease! He is sooner caught than the pestilence,
FTLN 0086 and the taker runs presently mad. God help the
FTLN 0087 noble Claudio! If he have caught the Benedick, it
FTLN 0088 will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0089I will hold friends with you, lady.
BEATRICE  FTLN 009090Do, good friend.
LEONATO  FTLN 0091You will never run mad, niece.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0092No, not till a hot January.
MESSENGER  FTLN 0093Don Pedro is approached.

13
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

Enter Don Pedro, editorial emendationPrince of Aragon, witheditorial emendation Claudio,
Benedick, Balthasar, and John the Bastard.


PRINCE  FTLN 0094Good Signior Leonato, are you come to meet
FTLN 009595 your trouble? The fashion of the world is to avoid
FTLN 0096 cost, and you encounter it.
LEONATO  FTLN 0097Never came trouble to my house in the
FTLN 0098 likeness of your Grace, for trouble being gone,
FTLN 0099 comfort should remain, but when you depart from
FTLN 0100100 me, sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave.
PRINCE  FTLN 0101You embrace your charge too willingly.  editorial emendationTurning
 to Hero.editorial emendation 
FTLN 0102I think this is your daughter.
LEONATO  FTLN 0103Her mother hath many times told me so.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0104Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?
LEONATO  FTLN 0105105Signior Benedick, no, for then were you a
FTLN 0106 child.
PRINCE  FTLN 0107You have it full, Benedick. We may guess by
FTLN 0108 this what you are, being a man. Truly the lady
FTLN 0109 fathers herself.—Be happy, lady, for you are like
FTLN 0110110 an honorable father.
editorial emendationLeonato and the Prince move aside.editorial emendation
BENEDICK  FTLN 0111If Signior Leonato be her father, she would
FTLN 0112 not have his head on her shoulders for all Messina,
FTLN 0113 as like him as she is.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0114I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior
FTLN 0115115 Benedick, nobody marks you.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0116What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet
FTLN 0117 living?
BEATRICE  FTLN 0118Is it possible disdain should die while she
FTLN 0119 hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick?
FTLN 0120120 Courtesy itself must convert to disdain if you come
FTLN 0121 in her presence.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0122Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain
FTLN 0123 I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted; and
FTLN 0124 I would I could find in my heart that I had not a
FTLN 0125125 hard heart, for truly I love none.

15
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

BEATRICE  FTLN 0126A dear happiness to women. They would
FTLN 0127 else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I
FTLN 0128 thank God and my cold blood I am of your humor
FTLN 0129 for that. I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow
FTLN 0130130 than a man swear he loves me.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0131God keep your Ladyship still in that mind,
FTLN 0132 so some gentleman or other shall ’scape a predestinate
FTLN 0133 scratched face.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0134Scratching could not make it worse an
FTLN 0135135 ’twere such a face as yours were.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0136Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0137A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of
FTLN 0138 yours.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0139I would my horse had the speed of your
FTLN 0140140 tongue and so good a continuer, but keep your
FTLN 0141 way, i’ God’s name, I have done.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0142You always end with a jade’s trick. I know
FTLN 0143 you of old.
editorial emendationLeonato and the Prince come forward.editorial emendation
PRINCE  FTLN 0144That is the sum of all, Leonato.—Signior
FTLN 0145145 Claudio and Signior Benedick, my dear friend
FTLN 0146 Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him we shall stay
FTLN 0147 here at the least a month, and he heartily prays
FTLN 0148 some occasion may detain us longer. I dare swear
FTLN 0149 he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.
LEONATO  FTLN 0150150If you swear, my lord, you shall not be
FTLN 0151 forsworn.  editorial emendationTo Don John.editorial emendation Let me bid you welcome,
FTLN 0152 my lord, being reconciled to the Prince your brother,
FTLN 0153 I owe you all duty.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0154I thank you. I am not of many words, but I
FTLN 0155155 thank you.
LEONATO  FTLN 0156Please it your Grace lead on?
PRINCE  FTLN 0157Your hand, Leonato. We will go together.
editorial emendationAlleditorial emendation exit except Benedick and Claudio.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0158Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of
FTLN 0159 Signior Leonato?

17
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

BENEDICK  FTLN 0160160I noted her not, but I looked on her.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0161Is she not a modest young lady?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0162Do you question me as an honest man
FTLN 0163 should do, for my simple true judgment? Or would
FTLN 0164 you have me speak after my custom, as being a
FTLN 0165165 professed tyrant to their sex?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0166No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0167Why, i’ faith, methinks she’s too low for a
FTLN 0168 high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too
FTLN 0169 little for a great praise. Only this commendation I
FTLN 0170170 can afford her, that were she other than she is, she
FTLN 0171 were unhandsome, and being no other but as she is,
FTLN 0172 I do not like her.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0173Thou thinkest I am in sport. I pray thee tell
FTLN 0174 me truly how thou lik’st her.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0175175Would you buy her that you enquire after
FTLN 0176 her?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0177Can the world buy such a jewel?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0178Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you
FTLN 0179 this with a sad brow? Or do you play the flouting
FTLN 0180180 jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder and
FTLN 0181 Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a
FTLN 0182 man take you to go in the song?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0183In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever
FTLN 0184 I looked on.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0185185I can see yet without spectacles, and I see
FTLN 0186 no such matter. There’s her cousin, an she were not
FTLN 0187 possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in
FTLN 0188 beauty as the first of May doth the last of December.
FTLN 0189 But I hope you have no intent to turn husband, have
FTLN 0190190 you?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0191I would scarce trust myself, though I had
FTLN 0192 sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0193Is ’t come to this? In faith, hath not the
FTLN 0194 world one man but he will wear his cap with
FTLN 0195195 suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore

19
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

FTLN 0196 again? Go to, i’ faith, an thou wilt needs thrust
FTLN 0197 thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh
FTLN 0198 away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is returned to seek
FTLN 0199 you.

Enter Don Pedro, editorial emendationPrince of Aragon.editorial emendation

PRINCE  FTLN 0200200What secret hath held you here that you followed
FTLN 0201 not to Leonato’s?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0202I would your Grace would constrain me to
FTLN 0203 tell.
PRINCE  FTLN 0204I charge thee on thy allegiance.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0205205You hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as
FTLN 0206 a dumb man, I would have you think so, but on my
FTLN 0207 allegiance—mark you this, on my allegiance—he
FTLN 0208 is in love. With who? Now, that is your Grace’s part.
FTLN 0209 Mark how short his answer is: with Hero, Leonato’s
FTLN 0210210 short daughter.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0211If this were so, so were it uttered.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0212Like the old tale, my lord: “It is not so, nor
FTLN 0213 ’twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be
FTLN 0214 so.”
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0215215If my passion change not shortly, God forbid
FTLN 0216 it should be otherwise.
PRINCE  FTLN 0217Amen, if you love her, for the lady is very well
FTLN 0218 worthy.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0219You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
PRINCE  FTLN 0220220By my troth, I speak my thought.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0221And in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0222And by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I
FTLN 0223 spoke mine.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0224That I love her, I feel.
PRINCE  FTLN 0225225That she is worthy, I know.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0226That I neither feel how she should be loved
FTLN 0227 nor know how she should be worthy is the opinion
FTLN 0228 that fire cannot melt out of me. I will die in it at the
FTLN 0229 stake.

21
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

PRINCE  FTLN 0230230Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the
FTLN 0231 despite of beauty.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0232And never could maintain his part but in the
FTLN 0233 force of his will.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0234That a woman conceived me, I thank her;
FTLN 0235235 that she brought me up, I likewise give her most
FTLN 0236 humble thanks. But that I will have a recheat
FTLN 0237 winded in my forehead or hang my bugle in an
FTLN 0238 invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me.
FTLN 0239 Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust
FTLN 0240240 any, I will do myself the right to trust none. And the
FTLN 0241 fine is, for the which I may go the finer, I will live a
FTLN 0242 bachelor.
PRINCE  FTLN 0243I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0244With anger, with sickness, or with hunger,
FTLN 0245245 my lord, not with love. Prove that ever I lose more
FTLN 0246 blood with love than I will get again with drinking,
FTLN 0247 pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker’s pen and
FTLN 0248 hang me up at the door of a brothel house for the
FTLN 0249 sign of blind Cupid.
PRINCE  FTLN 0250250Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou
FTLN 0251 wilt prove a notable argument.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0252If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and
FTLN 0253 shoot at me, and he that hits me, let him be clapped
FTLN 0254 on the shoulder and called Adam.
PRINCE  FTLN 0255255Well, as time shall try.
FTLN 0256 In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0257The savage bull may, but if ever the sensible
FTLN 0258 Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull’s horns and set
FTLN 0259 them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted,
FTLN 0260260 and in such great letters as they write “Here is good
FTLN 0261 horse to hire” let them signify under my sign “Here
FTLN 0262 you may see Benedick the married man.”
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0263If this should ever happen, thou wouldst be
FTLN 0264 horn-mad.

23
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

PRINCE  FTLN 0265265Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in
FTLN 0266 Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0267I look for an earthquake too, then.
PRINCE  FTLN 0268Well, you will temporize with the hours. In the
FTLN 0269 meantime, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato’s.
FTLN 0270270 Commend me to him, and tell him I will not
FTLN 0271 fail him at supper, for indeed he hath made great
FTLN 0272 preparation.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0273I have almost matter enough in me for such
FTLN 0274 an embassage, and so I commit you—
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0275275To the tuition of God. From my house, if I had
FTLN 0276 it—
PRINCE  FTLN 0277The sixth of July. Your loving friend,
FTLN 0278 Benedick.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0279Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your
FTLN 0280280 discourse is sometimes guarded with fragments,
FTLN 0281 and the guards are but slightly basted on neither.
FTLN 0282 Ere you flout old ends any further, examine your
FTLN 0283 conscience. And so I leave you. He exits.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 0284 My liege, your Highness now may do me good.
PRINCE 
FTLN 0285285 My love is thine to teach. Teach it but how,
FTLN 0286 And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
FTLN 0287 Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 0288 Hath Leonato any son, my lord?
PRINCE 
FTLN 0289 No child but Hero; she’s his only heir.
FTLN 0290290 Dost thou affect her, Claudio?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0291 O, my lord,
FTLN 0292 When you went onward on this ended action,
FTLN 0293 I looked upon her with a soldier’s eye,
FTLN 0294 That liked, but had a rougher task in hand
FTLN 0295295 Than to drive liking to the name of love.
FTLN 0296 But now I am returned and that war thoughts

25
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 1

FTLN 0297 Have left their places vacant, in their rooms
FTLN 0298 Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
FTLN 0299 All prompting me how fair young Hero is,
FTLN 0300300 Saying I liked her ere I went to wars.
PRINCE 
FTLN 0301 Thou wilt be like a lover presently
FTLN 0302 And tire the hearer with a book of words.
FTLN 0303 If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,
FTLN 0304 And I will break with her and with her father,
FTLN 0305305 And thou shalt have her. Was ’t not to this end
FTLN 0306 That thou began’st to twist so fine a story?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 0307 How sweetly you do minister to love,
FTLN 0308 That know love’s grief by his complexion!
FTLN 0309 But lest my liking might too sudden seem,
FTLN 0310310 I would have salved it with a longer treatise.
PRINCE 
FTLN 0311 What need the bridge much broader than the flood?
FTLN 0312 The fairest grant is the necessity.
FTLN 0313 Look what will serve is fit. ’Tis once, thou lovest,
FTLN 0314 And I will fit thee with the remedy.
FTLN 0315315 I know we shall have reveling tonight.
FTLN 0316 I will assume thy part in some disguise
FTLN 0317 And tell fair Hero I am Claudio,
FTLN 0318 And in her bosom I’ll unclasp my heart
FTLN 0319 And take her hearing prisoner with the force
FTLN 0320320 And strong encounter of my amorous tale.
FTLN 0321 Then after to her father will I break,
FTLN 0322 And the conclusion is, she shall be thine.
FTLN 0323 In practice let us put it presently.
They exit.




27
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 2

editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter Leonato, editorial emendationmeetingeditorial emendation an old man, brother to
Leonato.


LEONATO  FTLN 0324How now, brother, where is my cousin, your
FTLN 0325 son? Hath he provided this music?
LEONATO’S BROTHER  FTLN 0326He is very busy about it. But,
FTLN 0327 brother, I can tell you strange news that you yet
FTLN 03285 dreamt not of.
LEONATO  FTLN 0329Are they good?
LEONATO’S BROTHER  FTLN 0330As the events stamps them, but
FTLN 0331 they have a good cover; they show well outward.
FTLN 0332 The Prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached
FTLN 033310 alley in mine orchard, were thus much
FTLN 0334 overheard by a man of mine: the Prince discovered
FTLN 0335 to Claudio that he loved my niece your daughter and
FTLN 0336 meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance, and if
FTLN 0337 he found her accordant, he meant to take the
FTLN 033815 present time by the top and instantly break with you
FTLN 0339 of it.
LEONATO  FTLN 0340Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?
LEONATO’S BROTHER  FTLN 0341A good sharp fellow. I will send
FTLN 0342 for him, and question him yourself.
LEONATO  FTLN 034320No, no, we will hold it as a dream till it
FTLN 0344 appear itself. But I will acquaint my daughter
FTLN 0345 withal, that she may be the better prepared for an
FTLN 0346 answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell
FTLN 0347 her of it.

editorial emendationEnter Antonio’s son, with a Musician and Attendants.editorial emendation

FTLN 034825 Cousins, you know what you have to do.—O, I cry
FTLN 0349 you mercy, friend. Go you with me and I will use
FTLN 0350 your skill.—Good cousin, have a care this busy
FTLN 0351 time.
They exit.




29
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 3

editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter Sir John the Bastard, and Conrade, his
companion.


CONRADE  FTLN 0352What the goodyear, my lord, why are you
FTLN 0353 thus out of measure sad?
DON JOHN  FTLN 0354There is no measure in the occasion that
FTLN 0355 breeds. Therefore the sadness is without limit.
CONRADE  FTLN 03565You should hear reason.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0357And when I have heard it, what blessing
FTLN 0358 brings it?
CONRADE  FTLN 0359If not a present remedy, at least a patient
FTLN 0360 sufferance.
DON JOHN  FTLN 036110I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayst thou
FTLN 0362 art, born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral
FTLN 0363 medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide
FTLN 0364 what I am. I must be sad when I have cause, and
FTLN 0365 smile at no man’s jests; eat when I have stomach,
FTLN 036615 and wait for no man’s leisure; sleep when I am
FTLN 0367 drowsy, and tend on no man’s business; laugh when
FTLN 0368 I am merry, and claw no man in his humor.
CONRADE  FTLN 0369Yea, but you must not make the full show of
FTLN 0370 this till you may do it without controlment. You
FTLN 037120 have of late stood out against your brother, and he
FTLN 0372 hath ta’en you newly into his grace, where it is
FTLN 0373 impossible you should take true root but by the fair
FTLN 0374 weather that you make yourself. It is needful that
FTLN 0375 you frame the season for your own harvest.
DON JOHN  FTLN 037625I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a
FTLN 0377 rose in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
FTLN 0378 disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob
FTLN 0379 love from any. In this, though I cannot be said to be
FTLN 0380 a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I
FTLN 038130 am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a
FTLN 0382 muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I
FTLN 0383 have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my

31
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 3

FTLN 0384 mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do
FTLN 0385 my liking. In the meantime, let me be that I am, and
FTLN 038635 seek not to alter me.
CONRADE  FTLN 0387Can you make no use of your discontent?
DON JOHN  FTLN 0388I make all use of it, for I use it only. Who
FTLN 0389 comes here?

Enter Borachio.

FTLN 0390 What news, Borachio?
BORACHIO  FTLN 039140I came yonder from a great supper. The
FTLN 0392 Prince your brother is royally entertained by
FTLN 0393 Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an
FTLN 0394 intended marriage.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0395Will it serve for any model to build mischief
FTLN 039645 on? What is he for a fool that betroths himself to
FTLN 0397 unquietness?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0398Marry, it is your brother’s right hand.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0399Who, the most exquisite Claudio?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0400Even he.
DON JOHN  FTLN 040150A proper squire. And who, and who? Which
FTLN 0402 way looks he?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0403Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of
FTLN 0404 Leonato.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0405A very forward March chick! How came you
FTLN 040655 to this?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0407Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was
FTLN 0408 smoking a musty room, comes me the Prince and
FTLN 0409 Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference. I
FTLN 0410 whipped me behind the arras, and there heard it
FTLN 041160 agreed upon that the Prince should woo Hero for
FTLN 0412 himself, and having obtained her, give her to Count
FTLN 0413 Claudio.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0414Come, come, let us thither. This may prove
FTLN 0415 food to my displeasure. That young start-up hath
FTLN 041665 all the glory of my overthrow. If I can cross him any

33
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 1. SC. 3

FTLN 0417 way, I bless myself every way. You are both sure, and
FTLN 0418 will assist me?
CONRADE  FTLN 0419To the death, my lord.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0420Let us to the great supper. Their cheer is the
FTLN 042170 greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were o’
FTLN 0422 my mind! Shall we go prove what’s to be done?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0423We’ll wait upon your Lordship.
editorial emendationTheyeditorial emendation exit.




editorial emendationACT 2editorial emendation
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Leonato, his brother, Hero his daughter, and
Beatrice his niece, editorial emendationwith Ursula and Margaret.editorial emendation


LEONATO  FTLN 0424Was not Count John here at supper?
LEONATO’S BROTHER  FTLN 0425I saw him not.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0426How tartly that gentleman looks! I never
FTLN 0427 can see him but I am heartburned an hour after.
HERO  FTLN 04285He is of a very melancholy disposition.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0429He were an excellent man that were made
FTLN 0430 just in the midway between him and Benedick. The
FTLN 0431 one is too like an image and says nothing, and the
FTLN 0432 other too like my lady’s eldest son, evermore
FTLN 043310 tattling.
LEONATO  FTLN 0434Then half Signior Benedick’s tongue in
FTLN 0435 Count John’s mouth, and half Count John’s melancholy
FTLN 0436 in Signior Benedick’s face—
BEATRICE  FTLN 0437With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and
FTLN 043815 money enough in his purse, such a man would win
FTLN 0439 any woman in the world if he could get her
FTLN 0440 goodwill.
LEONATO  FTLN 0441By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a
FTLN 0442 husband if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
LEONATO’S BROTHER  FTLN 044320In faith, she’s too curst.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0444Too curst is more than curst. I shall lessen
FTLN 0445 God’s sending that way, for it is said “God sends a
37

39
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

FTLN 0446 curst cow short horns,” but to a cow too curst, he
FTLN 0447 sends none.
LEONATO  FTLN 044825So, by being too curst, God will send you no
FTLN 0449 horns.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0450Just, if He send me no husband, for the
FTLN 0451 which blessing I am at Him upon my knees every
FTLN 0452 morning and evening. Lord, I could not endure a
FTLN 045330 husband with a beard on his face. I had rather lie in
FTLN 0454 the woolen!
LEONATO  FTLN 0455You may light on a husband that hath no
FTLN 0456 beard.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0457What should I do with him? Dress him in my
FTLN 045835 apparel and make him my waiting gentlewoman?
FTLN 0459 He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he
FTLN 0460 that hath no beard is less than a man; and he that is
FTLN 0461 more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less
FTLN 0462 than a man, I am not for him. Therefore I will even
FTLN 046340 take sixpence in earnest of the bearherd, and lead
FTLN 0464 his apes into hell.
LEONATO  FTLN 0465Well then, go you into hell?
BEATRICE  FTLN 0466No, but to the gate, and there will the devil
FTLN 0467 meet me like an old cuckold with horns on his
FTLN 046845 head, and say “Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you
FTLN 0469 to heaven; here’s no place for you maids.” So deliver
FTLN 0470 I up my apes and away to Saint Peter; for the
FTLN 0471 heavens, he shows me where the bachelors sit, and
FTLN 0472 there live we as merry as the day is long.
LEONATO’S BROTHER , editorial emendationto Heroeditorial emendation  FTLN 047350Well, niece, I trust you
FTLN 0474 will be ruled by your father.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0475Yes, faith, it is my cousin’s duty to make
FTLN 0476 curtsy and say “Father, as it please you.” But yet for
FTLN 0477 all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or
FTLN 047855 else make another curtsy and say “Father, as it
FTLN 0479 please me.”
LEONATO  FTLN 0480Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted
FTLN 0481 with a husband.

41
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

BEATRICE  FTLN 0482Not till God make men of some other metal
FTLN 048360 than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be
FTLN 0484 overmastered with a piece of valiant dust? To make
FTLN 0485 an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl?
FTLN 0486 No, uncle, I’ll none. Adam’s sons are my brethren,
FTLN 0487 and truly I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.
LEONATO , editorial emendationto Heroeditorial emendation  FTLN 048865Daughter, remember what I told
FTLN 0489 you. If the Prince do solicit you in that kind, you
FTLN 0490 know your answer.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0491The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you
FTLN 0492 be not wooed in good time. If the Prince be too
FTLN 049370 important, tell him there is measure in everything,
FTLN 0494 and so dance out the answer. For hear me, Hero,
FTLN 0495 wooing, wedding, and repenting is as a Scotch jig, a
FTLN 0496 measure, and a cinquepace. The first suit is hot and
FTLN 0497 hasty like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the
FTLN 049875 wedding, mannerly modest as a measure, full of
FTLN 0499 state and ancientry; and then comes repentance,
FTLN 0500 and with his bad legs falls into the cinquepace faster
FTLN 0501 and faster till he sink into his grave.
LEONATO  FTLN 0502Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
BEATRICE  FTLN 050380I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church
FTLN 0504 by daylight.
LEONATO  FTLN 0505The revelers are entering, brother. Make
FTLN 0506 good room. editorial emendationLeonato and his brother step aside.editorial emendation

Enter, editorial emendationwith a Drum,editorial emendation Prince Pedro, Claudio, and
Benedick, editorial emendationSignior Antonio,editorial emendation and Balthasar, editorial emendationall in
masks, with Borachio and Doneditorial emendation John.


PRINCE , editorial emendationto Heroeditorial emendation  FTLN 0507Lady, will you walk a bout with your
FTLN 050885 friend? editorial emendationThey begin to dance.editorial emendation
HERO  FTLN 0509So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say
FTLN 0510 nothing, I am yours for the walk, and especially
FTLN 0511 when I walk away.
PRINCE  FTLN 0512With me in your company?
HERO  FTLN 051390I may say so when I please.

43
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

PRINCE  FTLN 0514And when please you to say so?
HERO  FTLN 0515When I like your favor, for God defend the lute
FTLN 0516 should be like the case.
PRINCE  FTLN 0517My visor is Philemon’s roof; within the house
FTLN 051895 is Jove.
HERO  FTLN 0519Why, then, your visor should be thatched.
PRINCE  FTLN 0520Speak low if you speak love.
editorial emendationThey move aside;
Benedick and Margaret move forward.editorial emendation

BENEDICK , editorial emendationto Margareteditorial emendation  FTLN 0521Well, I would you did like me.
MARGARET  FTLN 0522So would not I for your own sake, for I have
FTLN 0523100 many ill qualities.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0524Which is one?
MARGARET  FTLN 0525I say my prayers aloud.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0526I love you the better; the hearers may cry
FTLN 0527 “Amen.”
MARGARET  FTLN 0528105God match me with a good dancer.
editorial emendationThey separate; Benedick moves aside;
Balthasar moves forward.editorial emendation

BALTHASAR  FTLN 0529Amen.
MARGARET  FTLN 0530And God keep him out of my sight when the
FTLN 0531 dance is done. Answer, clerk.
BALTHASAR  FTLN 0532No more words. The clerk is answered.
editorial emendationThey move aside;
Ursula and Antonio move forward.editorial emendation

URSULA  FTLN 0533110I know you well enough. You are Signior
FTLN 0534 Antonio.
ANTONIO  FTLN 0535At a word, I am not.
URSULA  FTLN 0536I know you by the waggling of your head.
ANTONIO  FTLN 0537To tell you true, I counterfeit him.
URSULA  FTLN 0538115You could never do him so ill-well unless you
FTLN 0539 were the very man. Here’s his dry hand up and
FTLN 0540 down. You are he, you are he.
ANTONIO  FTLN 0541At a word, I am not.
URSULA  FTLN 0542Come, come, do you think I do not know you
FTLN 0543120 by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to,

45
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

FTLN 0544 mum, you are he. Graces will appear, and there’s an
FTLN 0545 end.
editorial emendationThey move aside;
Benedick and Beatrice move forward.editorial emendation

BEATRICE  FTLN 0546Will you not tell me who told you so?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0547No, you shall pardon me.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0548125Nor will you not tell me who you are?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0549Not now.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0550That I was disdainful, and that I had my
FTLN 0551 good wit out of The Hundred Merry Tales! Well, this
FTLN 0552 was Signior Benedick that said so.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0553130What’s he?
BEATRICE  FTLN 0554I am sure you know him well enough.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0555Not I, believe me.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0556Did he never make you laugh?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0557I pray you, what is he?
BEATRICE  FTLN 0558135Why, he is the Prince’s jester, a very dull
FTLN 0559 fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders.
FTLN 0560 None but libertines delight in him, and the commendation
FTLN 0561 is not in his wit but in his villainy, for he
FTLN 0562 both pleases men and angers them, and then they
FTLN 0563140 laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in the
FTLN 0564 fleet.I would he had boarded me.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0565When I know the gentleman, I’ll tell him
FTLN 0566 what you say.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0567Do, do. He’ll but break a comparison or two
FTLN 0568145 on me, which peradventure not marked or not
FTLN 0569 laughed at strikes him into melancholy, and then
FTLN 0570 there’s a partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat
FTLN 0571 no supper that night.  editorial emendationMusic for the dance.editorial emendation We must
FTLN 0572 follow the leaders.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0573150In every good thing.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0574Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them
FTLN 0575 at the next turning.
Dance. editorial emendationTheneditorial emendation exit editorial emendationall except
Don John, Borachio, and Claudio.editorial emendation


47
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

DON JOHN , editorial emendationto Borachioeditorial emendation  FTLN 0576Sure my brother is amorous
FTLN 0577 on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break
FTLN 0578155 with him about it. The ladies follow her, and but one
FTLN 0579 visor remains.
BORACHIO  FTLN 0580And that is Claudio. I know him by his
FTLN 0581 bearing.
DON JOHN , editorial emendationto Claudioeditorial emendation  FTLN 0582Are not you Signior Benedick?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0583160You know me well. I am he.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0584Signior, you are very near my brother in his
FTLN 0585 love. He is enamored on Hero. I pray you dissuade
FTLN 0586 him from her. She is no equal for his birth. You
FTLN 0587 may do the part of an honest man in it.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0588165How know you he loves her?
DON JOHN  FTLN 0589I heard him swear his affection.
BORACHIO  FTLN 0590So did I too, and he swore he would marry
FTLN 0591 her tonight.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0592Come, let us to the banquet.
They exit. Claudio remains.
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationunmaskingeditorial emendation 
FTLN 0593170 Thus answer I in name of Benedick,
FTLN 0594 But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio.
FTLN 0595 ’Tis certain so. The Prince woos for himself.
FTLN 0596 Friendship is constant in all other things
FTLN 0597 Save in the office and affairs of love.
FTLN 0598175 Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues.
FTLN 0599 Let every eye negotiate for itself
FTLN 0600 And trust no agent, for beauty is a witch
FTLN 0601 Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.
FTLN 0602 This is an accident of hourly proof,
FTLN 0603180 Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore, Hero.

Enter Benedick.

BENEDICK  FTLN 0604Count Claudio?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0605Yea, the same.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0606Come, will you go with me?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0607Whither?

49
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

BENEDICK  FTLN 0608185Even to the next willow, about your own
FTLN 0609 business, county. What fashion will you wear the
FTLN 0610 garland of? About your neck like an usurer’s chain?
FTLN 0611 Or under your arm like a lieutenant’s scarf? You
FTLN 0612 must wear it one way, for the Prince hath got your
FTLN 0613190 Hero.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0614I wish him joy of her.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0615Why, that’s spoken like an honest drover; so
FTLN 0616 they sell bullocks. But did you think the Prince
FTLN 0617 would have served you thus?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0618195I pray you, leave me.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0619Ho, now you strike like the blind man.
FTLN 0620 ’Twas the boy that stole your meat, and you’ll beat
FTLN 0621 the post.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0622If it will not be, I’ll leave you. He exits.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0623200Alas, poor hurt fowl, now will he creep into
FTLN 0624 sedges. But that my Lady Beatrice should know
FTLN 0625 me, and not know me! The Prince’s fool! Ha, it may
FTLN 0626 be I go under that title because I am merry. Yea, but
FTLN 0627 so I am apt to do myself wrong. I am not so reputed!
FTLN 0628205 It is the base, though bitter, disposition of Beatrice
FTLN 0629 that puts the world into her person and so gives me
FTLN 0630 out. Well, I’ll be revenged as I may.

Enter the Prince, Hero, editorial emendationandeditorial emendation Leonato.

PRINCE  FTLN 0631Now, signior, where’s the Count? Did you see
FTLN 0632 him?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0633210Troth, my lord, I have played the part of
FTLN 0634 Lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a
FTLN 0635 lodge in a warren. I told him, and I think I told him
FTLN 0636 true, that your Grace had got the goodwill of this
FTLN 0637 young lady, and I offered him my company to a
FTLN 0638215 willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being
FTLN 0639 forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to
FTLN 0640 be whipped.
PRINCE  FTLN 0641To be whipped? What’s his fault?

51
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

BENEDICK  FTLN 0642The flat transgression of a schoolboy who,
FTLN 0643220 being overjoyed with finding a bird’s nest, shows it
FTLN 0644 his companion, and he steals it.
PRINCE  FTLN 0645Wilt thou make a trust a transgression? The
FTLN 0646 transgression is in the stealer.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0647Yet it had not been amiss the rod had been
FTLN 0648225 made, and the garland too, for the garland he
FTLN 0649 might have worn himself, and the rod he might
FTLN 0650 have bestowed on you, who, as I take it, have stolen
FTLN 0651 his bird’s nest.
PRINCE  FTLN 0652I will but teach them to sing and restore them
FTLN 0653230 to the owner.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0654If their singing answer your saying, by my
FTLN 0655 faith, you say honestly.
PRINCE  FTLN 0656The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you. The
FTLN 0657 gentleman that danced with her told her she is
FTLN 0658235 much wronged by you.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0659O, she misused me past the endurance of a
FTLN 0660 block! An oak but with one green leaf on it would
FTLN 0661 have answered her. My very visor began to assume
FTLN 0662 life and scold with her. She told me, not thinking I
FTLN 0663240 had been myself, that I was the Prince’s jester, that I
FTLN 0664 was duller than a great thaw, huddling jest upon jest
FTLN 0665 with such impossible conveyance upon me that I
FTLN 0666 stood like a man at a mark with a whole army
FTLN 0667 shooting at me. She speaks poniards, and every
FTLN 0668245 word stabs. If her breath were as terrible as her
FTLN 0669 terminations, there were no living near her; she
FTLN 0670 would infect to the North Star. I would not marry
FTLN 0671 her though she were endowed with all that Adam
FTLN 0672 had left him before he transgressed. She would have
FTLN 0673250 made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft
FTLN 0674 his club to make the fire, too. Come, talk not of her.
FTLN 0675 You shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I
FTLN 0676 would to God some scholar would conjure her, for
FTLN 0677 certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet

53
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

FTLN 0678255 in hell as in a sanctuary, and people sin upon
FTLN 0679 purpose because they would go thither. So indeed
FTLN 0680 all disquiet, horror, and perturbation follows her.

Enter Claudio and Beatrice.

PRINCE  FTLN 0681Look, here she comes.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0682Will your Grace command me any service
FTLN 0683260 to the world’s end? I will go on the slightest errand
FTLN 0684 now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send
FTLN 0685 me on. I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the
FTLN 0686 furthest inch of Asia, bring you the length of Prester
FTLN 0687 John’s foot, fetch you a hair off the great Cham’s
FTLN 0688265 beard, do you any embassage to the Pygmies, rather
FTLN 0689 than hold three words’ conference with this harpy.
FTLN 0690 You have no employment for me?
PRINCE  FTLN 0691None but to desire your good company.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0692O God, sir, here’s a dish I love not! I cannot
FTLN 0693270 endure my Lady Tongue. He exits.
PRINCE , editorial emendationto Beatriceeditorial emendation  FTLN 0694Come, lady, come, you have lost
FTLN 0695 the heart of Signior Benedick.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0696Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile, and I
FTLN 0697 gave him use for it, a double heart for his single
FTLN 0698275 one. Marry, once before he won it of me with false
FTLN 0699 dice. Therefore your Grace may well say I have lost
FTLN 0700 it.
PRINCE  FTLN 0701You have put him down, lady, you have put
FTLN 0702 him down.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0703280So I would not he should do me, my lord,
FTLN 0704 lest I should prove the mother of fools. I have
FTLN 0705 brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
PRINCE  FTLN 0706Why, how now, count, wherefore are you sad?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0707Not sad, my lord.
PRINCE  FTLN 0708285How then, sick?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0709Neither, my lord.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0710The Count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry,

55
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

FTLN 0711 nor well, but civil count, civil as an orange, and
FTLN 0712 something of that jealous complexion.
PRINCE  FTLN 0713290I’ faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true,
FTLN 0714 though I’ll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is
FTLN 0715 false.—Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name,
FTLN 0716 and fair Hero is won. I have broke with her father
FTLN 0717 and his goodwill obtained. Name the day of marriage,
FTLN 0718295 and God give thee joy.
LEONATO  FTLN 0719Count, take of me my daughter, and with her
FTLN 0720 my fortunes. His Grace hath made the match, and
FTLN 0721 all grace say “Amen” to it.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0722Speak, count, ’tis your cue.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0723300Silence is the perfectest herald of joy. I were
FTLN 0724 but little happy if I could say how much.—Lady, as
FTLN 0725 you are mine, I am yours. I give away myself for you
FTLN 0726 and dote upon the exchange.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0727Speak, cousin, or, if you cannot, stop his
FTLN 0728305 mouth with a kiss and let not him speak neither.
PRINCE  FTLN 0729In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0730Yea, my lord. I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on
FTLN 0731 the windy side of care. My cousin tells him in his ear
FTLN 0732 that he is in her heart.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0733310And so she doth, cousin.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0734Good Lord for alliance! Thus goes everyone
FTLN 0735 to the world but I, and I am sunburnt. I may sit in a
FTLN 0736 corner and cry “Heigh-ho for a husband!”
PRINCE  FTLN 0737Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0738315I would rather have one of your father’s
FTLN 0739 getting. Hath your Grace ne’er a brother like you?
FTLN 0740 Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could
FTLN 0741 come by them.
PRINCE  FTLN 0742Will you have me, lady?
BEATRICE  FTLN 0743320No, my lord, unless I might have another for
FTLN 0744 working days. Your Grace is too costly to wear
FTLN 0745 every day. But I beseech your Grace pardon me. I
FTLN 0746 was born to speak all mirth and no matter.

57
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 1

PRINCE  FTLN 0747Your silence most offends me, and to be merry
FTLN 0748325 best becomes you, for out o’ question you were
FTLN 0749 born in a merry hour.
BEATRICE  FTLN 0750No, sure, my lord, my mother cried, but then
FTLN 0751 there was a star danced, and under that was I
FTLN 0752 born.—Cousins, God give you joy!
LEONATO  FTLN 0753330Niece, will you look to those things I told
FTLN 0754 you of?
BEATRICE  FTLN 0755I cry you mercy, uncle.—By your Grace’s
FTLN 0756 pardon. Beatrice exits.
PRINCE  FTLN 0757By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.
LEONATO  FTLN 0758335There’s little of the melancholy element in
FTLN 0759 her, my lord. She is never sad but when she sleeps,
FTLN 0760 and not ever sad then, for I have heard my daughter
FTLN 0761 say she hath often dreamt of unhappiness and
FTLN 0762 waked herself with laughing.
PRINCE  FTLN 0763340She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
LEONATO  FTLN 0764O, by no means. She mocks all her wooers
FTLN 0765 out of suit.
PRINCE  FTLN 0766She were an excellent wife for Benedick.
LEONATO  FTLN 0767O Lord, my lord, if they were but a week
FTLN 0768345 married, they would talk themselves mad.
PRINCE  FTLN 0769County Claudio, when mean you to go to
FTLN 0770 church?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0771Tomorrow, my lord. Time goes on crutches
FTLN 0772 till love have all his rites.
LEONATO  FTLN 0773350Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence
FTLN 0774 a just sevennight, and a time too brief, too, to have
FTLN 0775 all things answer my mind.
PRINCE , editorial emendationto Claudioeditorial emendation  FTLN 0776Come, you shake the head at so
FTLN 0777 long a breathing, but I warrant thee, Claudio, the
FTLN 0778355 time shall not go dully by us. I will in the interim
FTLN 0779 undertake one of Hercules’ labors, which is to bring
FTLN 0780 Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a
FTLN 0781 mountain of affection, th’ one with th’ other. I
FTLN 0782 would fain have it a match, and I doubt not but to

59
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 2

FTLN 0783360 fashion it, if you three will but minister such
FTLN 0784 assistance as I shall give you direction.
LEONATO  FTLN 0785My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten
FTLN 0786 nights’ watchings.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0787And I, my lord.
PRINCE  FTLN 0788365And you too, gentle Hero?
HERO  FTLN 0789I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my
FTLN 0790 cousin to a good husband.
PRINCE  FTLN 0791And Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband
FTLN 0792 that I know. Thus far can I praise him: he is of
FTLN 0793370 a noble strain, of approved valor, and confirmed
FTLN 0794 honesty. I will teach you how to humor your
FTLN 0795 cousin that she shall fall in love with Benedick.—
FTLN 0796 And I, with your two helps, will so practice on
FTLN 0797 Benedick that, in despite of his quick wit and his
FTLN 0798375 queasy stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice.
FTLN 0799 If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer; his
FTLN 0800 glory shall be ours, for we are the only love gods. Go
FTLN 0801 in with me, and I will tell you my drift.
editorial emendationTheyeditorial emendation exit.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter editorial emendationDoneditorial emendation John and Borachio.

DON JOHN  FTLN 0802It is so. The Count Claudio shall marry the
FTLN 0803 daughter of Leonato.
BORACHIO  FTLN 0804Yea, my lord, but I can cross it.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0805Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be
FTLN 08065 med’cinable to me. I am sick in displeasure to him,
FTLN 0807 and whatsoever comes athwart his affection ranges
FTLN 0808 evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this
FTLN 0809 marriage?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0810Not honestly, my lord, but so covertly that
FTLN 081110 no dishonesty shall appear in me.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0812Show me briefly how.

61
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 2

BORACHIO  FTLN 0813I think I told your Lordship a year since,
FTLN 0814 how much I am in the favor of Margaret, the
FTLN 0815 waiting gentlewoman to Hero.
DON JOHN  FTLN 081615I remember.
BORACHIO  FTLN 0817I can, at any unseasonable instant of the
FTLN 0818 night, appoint her to look out at her lady’s chamber
FTLN 0819 window.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0820What life is in that to be the death of this
FTLN 082120 marriage?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0822The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go
FTLN 0823 you to the Prince your brother; spare not to tell
FTLN 0824 him that he hath wronged his honor in marrying
FTLN 0825 the renowned Claudio, whose estimation do you
FTLN 082625 mightily hold up, to a contaminated stale, such a
FTLN 0827 one as Hero.
DON JOHN  FTLN 0828What proof shall I make of that?
BORACHIO  FTLN 0829Proof enough to misuse the Prince, to vex
FTLN 0830 Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato. Look you
FTLN 083130 for any other issue?
DON JOHN  FTLN 0832Only to despite them I will endeavor
FTLN 0833 anything.
BORACHIO  FTLN 0834Go then, find me a meet hour to draw Don
FTLN 0835 Pedro and the Count Claudio alone. Tell them that
FTLN 083635 you know that Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal
FTLN 0837 both to the Prince and Claudio, as in love of your
FTLN 0838 brother’s honor, who hath made this match, and his
FTLN 0839 friend’s reputation, who is thus like to be cozened
FTLN 0840 with the semblance of a maid, that you have discovered
FTLN 084140 thus. They will scarcely believe this without
FTLN 0842 trial. Offer them instances, which shall bear no less
FTLN 0843 likelihood than to see me at her chamber window,
FTLN 0844 hear me call Margaret “Hero,” hear Margaret term
FTLN 0845 me “Claudio,” and bring them to see this the very
FTLN 084645 night before the intended wedding, for in the meantime
FTLN 0847 I will so fashion the matter that Hero shall be
FTLN 0848 absent, and there shall appear such seeming truth

63
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 0849 of Hero’s disloyalty that jealousy shall be called
FTLN 0850 assurance and all the preparation overthrown.
DON JOHN  FTLN 085150Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will
FTLN 0852 put it in practice. Be cunning in the working this,
FTLN 0853 and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
BORACHIO  FTLN 0854Be you constant in the accusation, and my
FTLN 0855 cunning shall not shame me.
DON JOHN  FTLN 085655I will presently go learn their day of
FTLN 0857 marriage.
editorial emendationTheyeditorial emendation exit.


editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter Benedick alone.

BENEDICK  FTLN 0858Boy!

editorial emendationEnter Boy.editorial emendation

BOY  FTLN 0859Signior?
BENEDICK  FTLN 0860In my chamber window lies a book. Bring it
FTLN 0861 hither to me in the orchard.
BOY  FTLN 08625I am here already, sir.
BENEDICK  FTLN 0863I know that, but I would have thee hence
FTLN 0864 and here again. editorial emendationBoyeditorial emendation exits.
FTLN 0865 I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much
FTLN 0866 another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors
FTLN 086710 to love, will, after he hath laughed at such
FTLN 0868 shallow follies in others, become the argument of
FTLN 0869 his own scorn by falling in love—and such a man is
FTLN 0870 Claudio. I have known when there was no music
FTLN 0871 with him but the drum and the fife, and now had he
FTLN 087215 rather hear the tabor and the pipe; I have known
FTLN 0873 when he would have walked ten mile afoot to see a
FTLN 0874 good armor, and now will he lie ten nights awake
FTLN 0875 carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont
FTLN 0876 to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest

65
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 087720 man and a soldier, and now is he turned orthography;
FTLN 0878 his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so
FTLN 0879 many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see
FTLN 0880 with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not
FTLN 0881 be sworn but love may transform me to an oyster,
FTLN 088225 but I’ll take my oath on it, till he have made an
FTLN 0883 oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool.
FTLN 0884 One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet
FTLN 0885 I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all
FTLN 0886 graces be in one woman, one woman shall not
FTLN 088730 come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain;
FTLN 0888 wise, or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen
FTLN 0889 her; fair, or I’ll never look on her; mild, or come not
FTLN 0890 near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good
FTLN 0891 discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall
FTLN 089235 be of what color it please God. Ha! The Prince and
FTLN 0893 Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbor.
editorial emendationHe hides.editorial emendation

Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthasar
with music.


PRINCE  FTLN 0894Come, shall we hear this music?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 0895 Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
FTLN 0896 As hushed on purpose to grace harmony!
PRINCE , editorial emendationaside to Claudioeditorial emendation 
FTLN 089740 See you where Benedick hath hid himself?
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationaside to Princeeditorial emendation 
FTLN 0898 O, very well my lord. The music ended,
FTLN 0899 We’ll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.
PRINCE 
FTLN 0900 Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again.
BALTHASAR 
FTLN 0901 O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
FTLN 090245 To slander music any more than once.

67
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

PRINCE 
FTLN 0903 It is the witness still of excellency
FTLN 0904 To put a strange face on his own perfection.
FTLN 0905 I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
BALTHASAR 
FTLN 0906 Because you talk of wooing, I will sing,
FTLN 090750 Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
FTLN 0908 To her he thinks not worthy, yet he woos,
FTLN 0909 Yet will he swear he loves.
PRINCE  FTLN 0910 Nay, pray thee, come,
FTLN 0911 Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
FTLN 091255 Do it in notes.
BALTHASAR  FTLN 0913 Note this before my notes:
FTLN 0914 There’s not a note of mine that’s worth the noting.
PRINCE 
FTLN 0915 Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks!
FTLN 0916 Note notes, forsooth, and nothing. editorial emendationMusic plays.editorial emendation
BENEDICK , editorial emendationasideeditorial emendation  FTLN 091760Now, divine air! Now is his soul
FTLN 0918 ravished. Is it not strange that sheeps’ guts should
FTLN 0919 hale souls out of men’s bodies? Well, a horn for my
FTLN 0920 money, when all’s done.
editorial emendationBALTHASAR  singseditorial emendation 
FTLN 0921 Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
FTLN 092265  Men were deceivers ever,
FTLN 0923 One foot in sea and one on shore,
FTLN 0924  To one thing constant never.
FTLN 0925 Then sigh not so, but let them go,
FTLN 0926  And be you blithe and bonny,
FTLN 092770 Converting all your sounds of woe
FTLN 0928  Into Hey, nonny nonny.

FTLN 0929 Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
FTLN 0930  Of dumps so dull and heavy.
FTLN 0931 The fraud of men was ever so,
FTLN 093275  Since summer first was leavy.

69
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 0933 Then sigh not so, but let them go,
FTLN 0934  And be you blithe and bonny,
FTLN 0935 Converting all your sounds of woe
FTLN 0936  Into Hey, nonny nonny.

PRINCE  FTLN 093780By my troth, a good song.
BALTHASAR  FTLN 0938And an ill singer, my lord.
PRINCE  FTLN 0939Ha, no, no, faith, thou sing’st well enough for a
FTLN 0940 shift.
BENEDICK , editorial emendationasideeditorial emendation  FTLN 0941An he had been a dog that should
FTLN 094285 have howled thus, they would have hanged him. And
FTLN 0943 I pray God his bad voice bode no mischief. I had as
FTLN 0944 lief have heard the night raven, come what plague
FTLN 0945 could have come after it.
PRINCE  FTLN 0946Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray
FTLN 094790 thee get us some excellent music, for tomorrow
FTLN 0948 night we would have it at the Lady Hero’s chamber
FTLN 0949 window.
BALTHASAR  FTLN 0950The best I can, my lord.
PRINCE  FTLN 0951Do so. Farewell. Balthasar exits.
FTLN 095295 Come hither, Leonato. What was it you told me of
FTLN 0953 today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with
FTLN 0954 Signior Benedick?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0955O, ay.  editorial emendationAside to Prince.editorial emendation Stalk on, stalk on; the
FTLN 0956 fowl sits.—I did never think that lady would have
FTLN 0957100 loved any man.
LEONATO  FTLN 0958No, nor I neither, but most wonderful that
FTLN 0959 she should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she
FTLN 0960 hath in all outward behaviors seemed ever to
FTLN 0961 abhor.
BENEDICK , editorial emendationasideeditorial emendation  FTLN 0962105Is ’t possible? Sits the wind in that
FTLN 0963 corner?
LEONATO  FTLN 0964By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to
FTLN 0965 think of it, but that she loves him with an enraged
FTLN 0966 affection, it is past the infinite of thought.
PRINCE  FTLN 0967110Maybe she doth but counterfeit.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0968Faith, like enough.

71
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

LEONATO  FTLN 0969O God! Counterfeit? There was never counterfeit
FTLN 0970 of passion came so near the life of passion as
FTLN 0971 she discovers it.
PRINCE  FTLN 0972115Why, what effects of passion shows she?
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationaside to Leonatoeditorial emendation  FTLN 0973Bait the hook well; this fish
FTLN 0974 will bite.
LEONATO  FTLN 0975What effects, my lord? She will sit you—you
FTLN 0976 heard my daughter tell you how.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0977120She did indeed.
PRINCE  FTLN 0978How, how I pray you? You amaze me. I would
FTLN 0979 have thought her spirit had been invincible against
FTLN 0980 all assaults of affection.
LEONATO  FTLN 0981I would have sworn it had, my lord, especially
FTLN 0982125 against Benedick.
BENEDICK , editorial emendationasideeditorial emendation  FTLN 0983I should think this a gull but that the
FTLN 0984 white-bearded fellow speaks it. Knavery cannot,
FTLN 0985 sure, hide himself in such reverence.
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationaside to Princeeditorial emendation  FTLN 0986He hath ta’en th’ infection.
FTLN 0987130 Hold it up.
PRINCE  FTLN 0988Hath she made her affection known to
FTLN 0989 Benedick?
LEONATO  FTLN 0990No, and swears she never will. That’s her
FTLN 0991 torment.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0992135’Tis true indeed, so your daughter says. “Shall
FTLN 0993 I,” says she, “that have so oft encountered him with
FTLN 0994 scorn, write to him that I love him?”
LEONATO  FTLN 0995This says she now when she is beginning to
FTLN 0996 write to him, for she’ll be up twenty times a night,
FTLN 0997140 and there will she sit in her smock till she have writ
FTLN 0998 a sheet of paper. My daughter tells us all.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 0999Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember
FTLN 1000 a pretty jest your daughter told editorial emendationus of.editorial emendation
LEONATO  FTLN 1001O, when she had writ it and was reading it
FTLN 1002145 over, she found “Benedick” and “Beatrice” between
FTLN 1003 the sheet?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1004That.

73
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

LEONATO  FTLN 1005O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence,
FTLN 1006 railed at herself that she should be so
FTLN 1007150 immodest to write to one that she knew would flout
FTLN 1008 her. “I measure him,” says she, “by my own spirit,
FTLN 1009 for I should flout him if he writ to me, yea, though I
FTLN 1010 love him, I should.”
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1011Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps,
FTLN 1012155 sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses:
FTLN 1013 “O sweet Benedick, God give me patience!”
LEONATO  FTLN 1014She doth indeed, my daughter says so, and
FTLN 1015 the ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my
FTLN 1016 daughter is sometimes afeared she will do a desperate
FTLN 1017160 outrage to herself. It is very true.
PRINCE  FTLN 1018It were good that Benedick knew of it by some
FTLN 1019 other, if she will not discover it.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1020To what end? He would make but a sport of it
FTLN 1021 and torment the poor lady worse.
PRINCE  FTLN 1022165An he should, it were an alms to hang him.
FTLN 1023 She’s an excellent sweet lady, and, out of all suspicion,
FTLN 1024 she is virtuous.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1025And she is exceeding wise.
PRINCE  FTLN 1026In everything but in loving Benedick.
LEONATO  FTLN 1027170O, my lord, wisdom and blood combating in
FTLN 1028 so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one that
FTLN 1029 blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her, as I have
FTLN 1030 just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.
PRINCE  FTLN 1031I would she had bestowed this dotage on me. I
FTLN 1032175 would have daffed all other respects and made her
FTLN 1033 half myself. I pray you tell Benedick of it, and hear
FTLN 1034 what he will say.
LEONATO  FTLN 1035Were it good, think you?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1036Hero thinks surely she will die, for she says
FTLN 1037180 she will die if he love her not, and she will die ere
FTLN 1038 she make her love known, and she will die if he woo
FTLN 1039 her rather than she will bate one breath of her
FTLN 1040 accustomed crossness.

75
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

PRINCE  FTLN 1041She doth well. If she should make tender of
FTLN 1042185 her love, ’tis very possible he’ll scorn it, for the man,
FTLN 1043 as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1044He is a very proper man.
PRINCE  FTLN 1045He hath indeed a good outward happiness.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1046Before God, and in my mind, very wise.
PRINCE  FTLN 1047190He doth indeed show some sparks that are like
FTLN 1048 wit.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1049And I take him to be valiant.
PRINCE  FTLN 1050As Hector, I assure you, and in the managing
FTLN 1051 of quarrels you may say he is wise, for either he
FTLN 1052195 avoids them with great discretion or undertakes
FTLN 1053 them with a most Christianlike fear.
LEONATO  FTLN 1054If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep
FTLN 1055 peace. If he break the peace, he ought to enter into
FTLN 1056 a quarrel with fear and trembling.
PRINCE  FTLN 1057200And so will he do, for the man doth fear God,
FTLN 1058 howsoever it seems not in him by some large jests
FTLN 1059 he will make. Well, I am sorry for your niece. Shall
FTLN 1060 we go seek Benedick and tell him of her love?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1061Never tell him, my lord, let her wear it out
FTLN 1062205 with good counsel.
LEONATO  FTLN 1063Nay, that’s impossible; she may wear her
FTLN 1064 heart out first.
PRINCE  FTLN 1065Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter.
FTLN 1066 Let it cool the while. I love Benedick well, and I
FTLN 1067210 could wish he would modestly examine himself to
FTLN 1068 see how much he is unworthy so good a lady.
LEONATO  FTLN 1069My lord, will you walk? Dinner is ready.
editorial emendationLeonato, Prince, and Claudio begin to exit.editorial emendation
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationaside to Prince and Leonatoeditorial emendation  FTLN 1070If he do not
FTLN 1071 dote on her upon this, I will never trust my
FTLN 1072215 expectation.
PRINCE , editorial emendationaside to Leonatoeditorial emendation  FTLN 1073Let there be the same net
FTLN 1074 spread for her, and that must your daughter and her
FTLN 1075 gentlewomen carry. The sport will be when they

77
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

FTLN 1076 hold one an opinion of another’s dotage, and no
FTLN 1077220 such matter. That’s the scene that I would see,
FTLN 1078 which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her
FTLN 1079 to call him in to dinner.
editorial emendationPrince, Leonato, and Claudio exit.editorial emendation
BENEDICK , editorial emendationcoming forwardeditorial emendation  FTLN 1080This can be no trick. The
FTLN 1081 conference was sadly borne; they have the truth of
FTLN 1082225 this from Hero; they seem to pity the lady. It seems
FTLN 1083 her affections have their full bent. Love me? Why, it
FTLN 1084 must be requited! I hear how I am censured. They
FTLN 1085 say I will bear myself proudly if I perceive the love
FTLN 1086 come from her. They say, too, that she will rather
FTLN 1087230 die than give any sign of affection. I did never think
FTLN 1088 to marry. I must not seem proud. Happy are they
FTLN 1089 that hear their detractions and can put them to
FTLN 1090 mending. They say the lady is fair; ’tis a truth, I can
FTLN 1091 bear them witness. And virtuous; ’tis so, I cannot
FTLN 1092235 reprove it. And wise, but for loving me; by my troth,
FTLN 1093 it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of
FTLN 1094 her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her! I
FTLN 1095 may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of
FTLN 1096 wit broken on me because I have railed so long
FTLN 1097240 against marriage, but doth not the appetite alter? A
FTLN 1098 man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot
FTLN 1099 endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and
FTLN 1100 these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the
FTLN 1101 career of his humor? No! The world must be peopled.
FTLN 1102245 When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not
FTLN 1103 think I should live till I were married. Here comes
FTLN 1104 Beatrice. By this day, she’s a fair lady. I do spy some
FTLN 1105 marks of love in her.

Enter Beatrice.

BEATRICE  FTLN 1106Against my will, I am sent to bid you come
FTLN 1107250 in to dinner.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1108Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

79
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 2. SC. 3

BEATRICE  FTLN 1109I took no more pains for those thanks than
FTLN 1110 you take pains to thank me. If it had been painful, I
FTLN 1111 would not have come.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1112255You take pleasure then in the message?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1113Yea, just so much as you may take upon a
FTLN 1114 knife’s point and choke a daw withal. You have no
FTLN 1115 stomach, signior. Fare you well. She exits.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1116Ha! “Against my will I am sent to bid you
FTLN 1117260 come in to dinner.” There’s a double meaning in
FTLN 1118 that. “I took no more pains for those thanks than
FTLN 1119 you took pains to thank me.” That’s as much as to
FTLN 1120 say “Any pains that I take for you is as easy as
FTLN 1121 thanks.” If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I
FTLN 1122265 do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her picture.
He exits.




editorial emendationACT 3editorial emendation
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Hero and two gentlewomen, Margaret and Ursula.

HERO 
FTLN 1123 Good Margaret, run thee to the parlor.
FTLN 1124 There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice
FTLN 1125 Proposing with the Prince and Claudio.
FTLN 1126 Whisper her ear and tell her I and Ursula
FTLN 11275 Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
FTLN 1128 Is all of her. Say that thou overheardst us,
FTLN 1129 And bid her steal into the pleachèd bower
FTLN 1130 Where honeysuckles ripened by the sun
FTLN 1131 Forbid the sun to enter, like favorites
FTLN 113210 Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
FTLN 1133 Against that power that bred it. There will she hide
FTLN 1134 her
FTLN 1135 To listen our propose. This is thy office.
FTLN 1136 Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
MARGARET 
FTLN 113715 I’ll make her come, I warrant you, presently.
editorial emendationShe exits.editorial emendation
HERO 
FTLN 1138 Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
FTLN 1139 As we do trace this alley up and down,
FTLN 1140 Our talk must only be of Benedick.
FTLN 1141 When I do name him, let it be thy part
FTLN 114220 To praise him more than ever man did merit.
83

85
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1143 My talk to thee must be how Benedick
FTLN 1144 Is sick in love with Beatrice. Of this matter
FTLN 1145 Is little Cupid’s crafty arrow made,
FTLN 1146 That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin,
FTLN 114725 For look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs
FTLN 1148 Close by the ground, to hear our conference.

Enter Beatrice, editorial emendationwho hides in the bower.editorial emendation

URSULA , editorial emendationaside to Heroeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1149 The pleasant’st angling is to see the fish
FTLN 1150 Cut with her golden oars the silver stream
FTLN 1151 And greedily devour the treacherous bait.
FTLN 115230 So angle we for Beatrice, who even now
FTLN 1153 Is couchèd in the woodbine coverture.
FTLN 1154 Fear you not my part of the dialogue.
HERO , editorial emendationaside to Ursulaeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1155 Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
FTLN 1156 Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.—
editorial emendationThey walk near the bower.editorial emendation
FTLN 115735 No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful.
FTLN 1158 I know her spirits are as coy and wild
FTLN 1159 As haggards of the rock.
URSULA  FTLN 1160 But are you sure
FTLN 1161 That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?
HERO 
FTLN 116240 So says the Prince and my new-trothèd lord.
URSULA 
FTLN 1163 And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?
HERO 
FTLN 1164 They did entreat me to acquaint her of it,
FTLN 1165 But I persuaded them, if they loved Benedick,
FTLN 1166 To wish him wrestle with affection
FTLN 116745 And never to let Beatrice know of it.
URSULA 
FTLN 1168 Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman

87
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1169 Deserve as full as fortunate a bed
FTLN 1170 As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?
HERO 
FTLN 1171 O god of love! I know he doth deserve
FTLN 117250 As much as may be yielded to a man,
FTLN 1173 But Nature never framed a woman’s heart
FTLN 1174 Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.
FTLN 1175 Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
FTLN 1176 Misprizing what they look on, and her wit
FTLN 117755 Values itself so highly that to her
FTLN 1178 All matter else seems weak. She cannot love,
FTLN 1179 Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
FTLN 1180 She is so self-endeared.
URSULA  FTLN 1181 Sure, I think so,
FTLN 118260 And therefore certainly it were not good
FTLN 1183 She knew his love, lest she’ll make sport at it.
HERO 
FTLN 1184 Why, you speak truth. I never yet saw man,
FTLN 1185 How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured,
FTLN 1186 But she would spell him backward. If fair-faced,
FTLN 118765 She would swear the gentleman should be her
FTLN 1188 sister;
FTLN 1189 If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antic,
FTLN 1190 Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed;
FTLN 1191 If low, an agate very vilely cut;
FTLN 119270 If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
FTLN 1193 If silent, why, a block moved with none.
FTLN 1194 So turns she every man the wrong side out,
FTLN 1195 And never gives to truth and virtue that
FTLN 1196 Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.
URSULA 
FTLN 119775 Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
HERO 
FTLN 1198 No, not to be so odd and from all fashions
FTLN 1199 As Beatrice is cannot be commendable.
FTLN 1200 But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,

89
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 1

FTLN 1201 She would mock me into air. O, she would laugh
FTLN 120280 me
FTLN 1203 Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
FTLN 1204 Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire,
FTLN 1205 Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.
FTLN 1206 It were a better death than die with mocks,
FTLN 120785 Which is as bad as die with tickling.
URSULA 
FTLN 1208 Yet tell her of it. Hear what she will say.
HERO 
FTLN 1209 No, rather I will go to Benedick
FTLN 1210 And counsel him to fight against his passion;
FTLN 1211 And truly I’ll devise some honest slanders
FTLN 121290 To stain my cousin with. One doth not know
FTLN 1213 How much an ill word may empoison liking.
URSULA 
FTLN 1214 O, do not do your cousin such a wrong!
FTLN 1215 She cannot be so much without true judgment,
FTLN 1216 Having so swift and excellent a wit
FTLN 121795 As she is prized to have, as to refuse
FTLN 1218 So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.
HERO 
FTLN 1219 He is the only man of Italy,
FTLN 1220 Always excepted my dear Claudio.
URSULA 
FTLN 1221 I pray you be not angry with me, madam,
FTLN 1222100 Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedick,
FTLN 1223 For shape, for bearing, argument, and valor,
FTLN 1224 Goes foremost in report through Italy.
HERO 
FTLN 1225 Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.
URSULA 
FTLN 1226 His excellence did earn it ere he had it.
FTLN 1227105 When are you married, madam?
HERO 
FTLN 1228 Why, every day, tomorrow. Come, go in.

91
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 2

FTLN 1229 I’ll show thee some attires and have thy counsel
FTLN 1230 Which is the best to furnish me tomorrow.
editorial emendationThey move away from the bower.editorial emendation
URSULA , editorial emendationaside to Heroeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1231 She’s limed, I warrant you. We have caught her,
FTLN 1232110 madam.
HERO , editorial emendationaside to Ursulaeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1233 If it prove so, then loving goes by haps;
FTLN 1234 Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps. editorial emendationHero and Ursula exit.editorial emendation
BEATRICE , editorial emendationcoming forwardeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1235 What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
FTLN 1236  Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much?
FTLN 1237115 Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adieu!
FTLN 1238  No glory lives behind the back of such.
FTLN 1239 And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
FTLN 1240  Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.
FTLN 1241 If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
FTLN 1242120  To bind our loves up in a holy band.
FTLN 1243 For others say thou dost deserve, and I
FTLN 1244 Believe it better than reportingly.
She exits.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter Prince, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato.

PRINCE  FTLN 1245I do but stay till your marriage be consummate,
FTLN 1246 and then go I toward Aragon.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1247I’ll bring you thither, my lord, if you’ll vouchsafe
FTLN 1248 me.
PRINCE  FTLN 12495Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new
FTLN 1250 gloss of your marriage as to show a child his new
FTLN 1251 coat and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold
FTLN 1252 with Benedick for his company, for from the crown
FTLN 1253 of his head to the sole of his foot he is all mirth. He

93
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 2

FTLN 125410 hath twice or thrice cut Cupid’s bowstring, and the
FTLN 1255 little hangman dare not shoot at him. He hath a
FTLN 1256 heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the
FTLN 1257 clapper, for what his heart thinks, his tongue
FTLN 1258 speaks.
BENEDICK  FTLN 125915Gallants, I am not as I have been.
LEONATO  FTLN 1260So say I. Methinks you are sadder.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1261I hope he be in love.
PRINCE  FTLN 1262Hang him, truant! There’s no true drop of
FTLN 1263 blood in him to be truly touched with love. If he be
FTLN 126420 sad, he wants money.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1265I have the toothache.
PRINCE  FTLN 1266Draw it.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1267Hang it!
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1268You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
PRINCE  FTLN 126925What, sigh for the toothache?
LEONATO  FTLN 1270Where is but a humor or a worm.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1271Well, everyone editorial emendationcaneditorial emendation master a grief but he
FTLN 1272 that has it.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1273Yet say I, he is in love.
PRINCE  FTLN 127430There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless
FTLN 1275 it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises, as to
FTLN 1276 be a Dutchman today, a Frenchman tomorrow, or
FTLN 1277 in the shape of two countries at once, as a German
FTLN 1278 from the waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard
FTLN 127935 from the hip upward, no doublet. Unless he have a
FTLN 1280 fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no
FTLN 1281 fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1282If he be not in love with some woman, there
FTLN 1283 is no believing old signs. He brushes his hat o’
FTLN 128440 mornings. What should that bode?
PRINCE  FTLN 1285Hath any man seen him at the barber’s?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1286No, but the barber’s man hath been seen
FTLN 1287 with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath
FTLN 1288 already stuffed tennis balls.

95
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 2

LEONATO  FTLN 128945Indeed he looks younger than he did, by the
FTLN 1290 loss of a beard.
PRINCE  FTLN 1291Nay, he rubs himself with civet. Can you smell
FTLN 1292 him out by that?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1293That’s as much as to say, the sweet youth’s in
FTLN 129450 love.
editorial emendationPRINCEeditorial emendation  FTLN 1295The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1296And when was he wont to wash his face?
PRINCE  FTLN 1297Yea, or to paint himself? For the which I hear
FTLN 1298 what they say of him.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 129955Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept
FTLN 1300 into a lute string and now governed by stops—
PRINCE  FTLN 1301Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude,
FTLN 1302 conclude, he is in love.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1303Nay, but I know who loves him.
PRINCE  FTLN 130460That would I know, too. I warrant, one that
FTLN 1305 knows him not.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1306Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of
FTLN 1307 all, dies for him.
PRINCE  FTLN 1308She shall be buried with her face upwards.
BENEDICK  FTLN 130965Yet is this no charm for the toothache.—
FTLN 1310 Old signior, walk aside with me. I have studied eight
FTLN 1311 or nine wise words to speak to you, which these
FTLN 1312 hobby-horses must not hear.
editorial emendationBenedick and Leonato exit.editorial emendation
PRINCE  FTLN 1313For my life, to break with him about Beatrice!
CLAUDIO  FTLN 131470’Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this
FTLN 1315 played their parts with Beatrice, and then the two
FTLN 1316 bears will not bite one another when they meet.

Enter John the Bastard.

DON JOHN  FTLN 1317My lord and brother, God save you.
PRINCE  FTLN 1318Good e’en, brother.
DON JOHN  FTLN 131975If your leisure served, I would speak with
FTLN 1320 you.
PRINCE  FTLN 1321In private?

97
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 2

DON JOHN  FTLN 1322If it please you. Yet Count Claudio may
FTLN 1323 hear, for what I would speak of concerns him.
PRINCE  FTLN 132480What’s the matter?
DON JOHN , editorial emendationto Claudioeditorial emendation  FTLN 1325Means your Lordship to be
FTLN 1326 married tomorrow?
PRINCE  FTLN 1327You know he does.
DON JOHN  FTLN 1328I know not that, when he knows what I
FTLN 132985 know.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1330If there be any impediment, I pray you discover
FTLN 1331 it.
DON JOHN  FTLN 1332You may think I love you not. Let that
FTLN 1333 appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I
FTLN 133490 now will manifest. For my brother, I think he holds
FTLN 1335 you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect
FTLN 1336 your ensuing marriage—surely suit ill spent and
FTLN 1337 labor ill bestowed.
PRINCE  FTLN 1338Why, what’s the matter?
DON JOHN  FTLN 133995I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances
FTLN 1340 shortened, for she has been too long
FTLN 1341 a-talking of, the lady is disloyal.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1342Who, Hero?
DON JOHN  FTLN 1343Even she: Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every
FTLN 1344100 man’s Hero.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1345Disloyal?
DON JOHN  FTLN 1346The word is too good to paint out her
FTLN 1347 wickedness. I could say she were worse. Think you
FTLN 1348 of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not
FTLN 1349105 till further warrant. Go but with me tonight, you
FTLN 1350 shall see her chamber window entered, even the
FTLN 1351 night before her wedding day. If you love her then,
FTLN 1352 tomorrow wed her. But it would better fit your
FTLN 1353 honor to change your mind.
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationto Princeeditorial emendation  FTLN 1354110May this be so?
PRINCE  FTLN 1355I will not think it.
DON JOHN  FTLN 1356If you dare not trust that you see, confess
FTLN 1357 not that you know. If you will follow me, I will

99
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 1358 show you enough, and when you have seen more
FTLN 1359115 and heard more, proceed accordingly.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1360If I see anything tonight why I should not
FTLN 1361 marry her, tomorrow in the congregation, where I
FTLN 1362 should wed, there will I shame her.
PRINCE  FTLN 1363And as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will
FTLN 1364120 join with thee to disgrace her.
DON JOHN  FTLN 1365I will disparage her no farther till you are
FTLN 1366 my witnesses. Bear it coldly but till midnight, and
FTLN 1367 let the issue show itself.
PRINCE  FTLN 1368O day untowardly turned!
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1369125O mischief strangely thwarting!
DON JOHN  FTLN 1370O plague right well prevented! So will you
FTLN 1371 say when you have seen the sequel.
editorial emendationThey exit.editorial emendation


editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter Dogberry and his compartner editorial emendationVergeseditorial emendation
with the Watch.


DOGBERRY  FTLN 1372Are you good men and true?
VERGES  FTLN 1373Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer
FTLN 1374 salvation, body and soul.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1375Nay, that were a punishment too good for
FTLN 13765 them if they should have any allegiance in them,
FTLN 1377 being chosen for the Prince’s watch.
VERGES  FTLN 1378Well, give them their charge, neighbor
FTLN 1379 Dogberry.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1380First, who think you the most desartless
FTLN 138110 man to be constable?
FIRST WATCHMAN  FTLN 1382Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal,
FTLN 1383 for they can write and read.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1384Come hither, neighbor Seacoal.  editorial emendationSeacoal
 steps forward.editorial emendation 
FTLN 1385God hath blessed you with a good

101
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 138615 name. To be a well-favored man is the gift of
FTLN 1387 fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 1388Both which, master constable—
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1389You have. I knew it would be your answer.
FTLN 1390 Well, for your favor, sir, why, give God thanks, and
FTLN 139120 make no boast of it, and for your writing and
FTLN 1392 reading, let that appear when there is no need of
FTLN 1393 such vanity. You are thought here to be the most
FTLN 1394 senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch;
FTLN 1395 therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge:
FTLN 139625 you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to
FTLN 1397 bid any man stand, in the Prince’s name.
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 1398How if he will not stand?
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1399Why, then, take no note of him, but let him
FTLN 1400 go, and presently call the rest of the watch together
FTLN 140130 and thank God you are rid of a knave.
VERGES  FTLN 1402If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is
FTLN 1403 none of the Prince’s subjects.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1404True, and they are to meddle with none but
FTLN 1405 the Prince’s subjects.—You shall also make no
FTLN 140635 noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble and
FTLN 1407 to talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.
editorial emendationSECONDeditorial emendation WATCHMAN  FTLN 1408We will rather sleep than talk.
FTLN 1409 We know what belongs to a watch.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1410Why, you speak like an ancient and most
FTLN 141140 quiet watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping
FTLN 1412 should offend; only have a care that your bills be not
FTLN 1413 stolen. Well, you are to call at all the alehouses and
FTLN 1414 bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 1415How if they will not?
DOGBERRY  FTLN 141645Why then, let them alone till they are sober.
FTLN 1417 If they make you not then the better answer, you
FTLN 1418 may say they are not the men you took them for.
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 1419Well, sir.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1420If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by
FTLN 142150 virtue of your office, to be no true man, and for such

103
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 1422 kind of men, the less you meddle or make with
FTLN 1423 them, why, the more is for your honesty.
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 1424If we know him to be a thief, shall we not
FTLN 1425 lay hands on him?
DOGBERRY  FTLN 142655Truly, by your office you may, but I think
FTLN 1427 they that touch pitch will be defiled. The most
FTLN 1428 peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to
FTLN 1429 let him show himself what he is and steal out of
FTLN 1430 your company.
VERGES  FTLN 143160You have been always called a merciful man,
FTLN 1432 partner.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1433Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will,
FTLN 1434 much more a man who hath any honesty in him.
VERGES , editorial emendationto the Watcheditorial emendation  FTLN 1435If you hear a child cry in the
FTLN 143665 night, you must call to the nurse and bid her still it.
editorial emendationSECONDeditorial emendation WATCHMAN  FTLN 1437How if the nurse be asleep and
FTLN 1438 will not hear us?
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1439Why, then depart in peace, and let the
FTLN 1440 child wake her with crying, for the ewe that will
FTLN 144170 not hear her lamb when it baas will never answer a
FTLN 1442 calf when he bleats.
VERGES  FTLN 1443’Tis very true.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1444This is the end of the charge. You, constable,
FTLN 1445 are to present the Prince’s own person. If you
FTLN 144675 meet the Prince in the night, you may stay him.
VERGES  FTLN 1447Nay, by ’r Lady, that I think he cannot.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1448Five shillings to one on ’t, with any man that
FTLN 1449 knows the statutes, he may stay him—marry, not
FTLN 1450 without the Prince be willing, for indeed the watch
FTLN 145180 ought to offend no man, and it is an offense to stay a
FTLN 1452 man against his will.
VERGES  FTLN 1453By ’r Lady, I think it be so.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1454Ha, ah ha!—Well, masters, goodnight. An
FTLN 1455 there be any matter of weight chances, call up me.
FTLN 145685 Keep your fellows’ counsels and your own, and
FTLN 1457 goodnight.—Come, neighbor.
editorial emendationDogberry and Verges begin to exit.editorial emendation

105
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 3

editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 1458Well, masters, we hear our charge. Let us go
FTLN 1459 sit here upon the church bench till two, and then all
FTLN 1460 to bed.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 146190One word more, honest neighbors. I pray
FTLN 1462 you watch about Signior Leonato’s door, for the
FTLN 1463 wedding being there tomorrow, there is a great coil
FTLN 1464 tonight. Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.
editorial emendationDogberry and Vergeseditorial emendation exit.

Enter Borachio and Conrade.

BORACHIO  FTLN 1465What, Conrade!
editorial emendationSEACOAL , asideeditorial emendation  FTLN 146695Peace, stir not.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1467Conrade, I say!
CONRADE  FTLN 1468Here, man, I am at thy elbow.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1469Mass, and my elbow itched, I thought there
FTLN 1470 would a scab follow.
CONRADE  FTLN 1471100I will owe thee an answer for that. And now
FTLN 1472 forward with thy tale.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1473Stand thee close, then, under this penthouse,
FTLN 1474 for it drizzles rain, and I will, like a true
FTLN 1475 drunkard, utter all to thee.
editorial emendationSEACOAL , asideeditorial emendation  FTLN 1476105Some treason, masters. Yet stand
FTLN 1477 close.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1478Therefore know, I have earned of editorial emendationDoneditorial emendation
FTLN 1479 John a thousand ducats.
CONRADE  FTLN 1480Is it possible that any villainy should be so
FTLN 1481110 dear?
BORACHIO  FTLN 1482Thou shouldst rather ask if it were possible
FTLN 1483 any villainy should be so rich. For when rich
FTLN 1484 villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may
FTLN 1485 make what price they will.
CONRADE  FTLN 1486115I wonder at it.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1487That shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou
FTLN 1488 knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a
FTLN 1489 cloak, is nothing to a man.

107
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 3

CONRADE  FTLN 1490Yes, it is apparel.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1491120I mean the fashion.
CONRADE  FTLN 1492Yes, the fashion is the fashion.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1493Tush, I may as well say the fool’s the fool.
FTLN 1494 But seest thou not what a deformed thief this
FTLN 1495 fashion is?
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation WATCHMAN , editorial emendationasideeditorial emendation  FTLN 1496125I know that Deformed. He
FTLN 1497 has been a vile thief this seven year. He goes up and
FTLN 1498 down like a gentleman. I remember his name.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1499Didst thou not hear somebody?
CONRADE  FTLN 1500No, ’twas the vane on the house.
BORACHIO  FTLN 1501130Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief
FTLN 1502 this fashion is, how giddily he turns about all the
FTLN 1503 hot bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty,
FTLN 1504 sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh’s soldiers
FTLN 1505 in the reechy painting, sometimes like god Bel’s
FTLN 1506135 priests in the old church window, sometimes like
FTLN 1507 the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten
FTLN 1508 tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massy as his
FTLN 1509 club?
CONRADE  FTLN 1510All this I see, and I see that the fashion wears
FTLN 1511140 out more apparel than the man. But art not thou
FTLN 1512 thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast
FTLN 1513 shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the
FTLN 1514 fashion?
BORACHIO  FTLN 1515Not so, neither. But know that I have tonight
FTLN 1516145 wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman,
FTLN 1517 by the name of Hero. She leans me out at
FTLN 1518 her mistress’ chamber window, bids me a thousand
FTLN 1519 times goodnight. I tell this tale vilely. I should first
FTLN 1520 tell thee how the Prince, Claudio, and my master,
FTLN 1521150 planted and placed and possessed by my master
FTLN 1522 Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiable
FTLN 1523 amiable encounter.
CONRADE  FTLN 1524And thought they Margaret was Hero?
BORACHIO  FTLN 1525Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio,

109
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 3

FTLN 1526155 but the devil my master knew she was Margaret;
FTLN 1527 and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them,
FTLN 1528 partly by the dark night, which did deceive them,
FTLN 1529 but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any
FTLN 1530 slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio
FTLN 1531160 enraged, swore he would meet her as he was
FTLN 1532 appointed next morning at the temple, and there,
FTLN 1533 before the whole congregation, shame her with
FTLN 1534 what he saw o’ernight and send her home again
FTLN 1535 without a husband.
FIRST WATCHMAN  FTLN 1536165We charge you in the Prince’s name
FTLN 1537 stand!
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 1538Call up the right Master Constable.  editorial emendationSecond
 Watchman exits.editorial emendation 
FTLN 1539We have here recovered the most
FTLN 1540 dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in
FTLN 1541170 the commonwealth.
FIRST WATCHMAN  FTLN 1542And one Deformed is one of them. I
FTLN 1543 know him; he wears a lock.

editorial emendationEnter Dogberry, Verges, and Second Watchman.editorial emendation

editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 1544Masters, masters—
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation WATCHMAN , editorial emendationto Borachioeditorial emendation  FTLN 1545You’ll be made bring
FTLN 1546175 Deformed forth, I warrant you.
editorial emendationDOGBERRY , to Borachio and Conradeeditorial emendation  FTLN 1547Masters, never
FTLN 1548 speak, we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.
BORACHIO , editorial emendationto Conradeeditorial emendation  FTLN 1549We are like to prove a goodly
FTLN 1550 commodity, being taken up of these men’s bills.
CONRADE  FTLN 1551180A commodity in question, I warrant you.—
FTLN 1552 Come, we’ll obey you.
They exit.




111
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 4

editorial emendationScene 4editorial emendation
Enter Hero, and Margaret, and Ursula.

HERO  FTLN 1553Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice and
FTLN 1554 desire her to rise.
URSULA  FTLN 1555I will, lady.
HERO  FTLN 1556And bid her come hither.
URSULA  FTLN 15575Well. editorial emendationUrsula exits.editorial emendation
MARGARET  FTLN 1558Troth, I think your other rebato were
FTLN 1559 better.
HERO  FTLN 1560No, pray thee, good Meg, I’ll wear this.
MARGARET  FTLN 1561By my troth, ’s not so good, and I warrant
FTLN 156210 your cousin will say so.
HERO  FTLN 1563My cousin’s a fool, and thou art another. I’ll
FTLN 1564 wear none but this.
MARGARET  FTLN 1565I like the new tire within excellently, if the
FTLN 1566 hair were a thought browner; and your gown’s a
FTLN 156715 most rare fashion, i’ faith. I saw the Duchess of
FTLN 1568 Milan’s gown that they praise so.
HERO  FTLN 1569O, that exceeds, they say.
MARGARET  FTLN 1570By my troth, ’s but a nightgown editorial emendationineditorial emendation respect
FTLN 1571 of yours—cloth o’ gold, and cuts, and laced with
FTLN 157220 silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves,
FTLN 1573 and skirts round underborne with a bluish tinsel.
FTLN 1574 But for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent fashion,
FTLN 1575 yours is worth ten on ’t.
HERO  FTLN 1576God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is
FTLN 157725 exceeding heavy.
MARGARET  FTLN 1578’Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a
FTLN 1579 man.
HERO  FTLN 1580Fie upon thee! Art not ashamed?
MARGARET  FTLN 1581Of what, lady? Of speaking honorably? Is
FTLN 158230 not marriage honorable in a beggar? Is not your
FTLN 1583 lord honorable without marriage? I think you
FTLN 1584 would have me say “Saving your reverence, a husband.”
FTLN 1585 An bad thinking do not wrest true speaking,

113
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 4

FTLN 1586 I’ll offend nobody. Is there any harm in “the heavier
FTLN 158735 for a husband”? None, I think, an it be the right
FTLN 1588 husband and the right wife. Otherwise, ’tis light and
FTLN 1589 not heavy. Ask my lady Beatrice else. Here she
FTLN 1590 comes.

Enter Beatrice.

HERO  FTLN 1591Good morrow, coz.
BEATRICE  FTLN 159240Good morrow, sweet Hero.
HERO  FTLN 1593Why, how now? Do you speak in the sick tune?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1594I am out of all other tune, methinks.
MARGARET  FTLN 1595Clap ’s into Light o’ love. That goes
FTLN 1596 without a burden. Do you sing it, and I’ll dance it.
BEATRICE  FTLN 159745You light o’ love with your heels! Then, if
FTLN 1598 your husband have stables enough, you’ll see he
FTLN 1599 shall lack no barns.
MARGARET  FTLN 1600O, illegitimate construction! I scorn that
FTLN 1601 with my heels.
BEATRICE  FTLN 160250’Tis almost five o’clock, cousin. ’Tis time
FTLN 1603 you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill.
FTLN 1604 Heigh-ho!
MARGARET  FTLN 1605For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1606For the letter that begins them all, H.
MARGARET  FTLN 160755Well, an you be not turned Turk, there’s no
FTLN 1608 more sailing by the star.
BEATRICE  FTLN 1609What means the fool, trow?
MARGARET  FTLN 1610Nothing, I; but God send everyone their
FTLN 1611 heart’s desire.
HERO  FTLN 161260These gloves the Count sent me, they are an
FTLN 1613 excellent perfume.
BEATRICE  FTLN 1614I am stuffed, cousin. I cannot smell.
MARGARET  FTLN 1615A maid, and stuffed! There’s goodly catching
FTLN 1616 of cold.
BEATRICE  FTLN 161765O, God help me, God help me! How long
FTLN 1618 have you professed apprehension?

115
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 4

MARGARET  FTLN 1619Ever since you left it. Doth not my wit
FTLN 1620 become me rarely?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1621It is not seen enough; you should wear it in
FTLN 162270 your cap. By my troth, I am sick.
MARGARET  FTLN 1623Get you some of this distilled carduus benedictus
FTLN 1624 and lay it to your heart. It is the only thing for
FTLN 1625 a qualm.
HERO  FTLN 1626There thou prick’st her with a thistle.
BEATRICE  FTLN 162775Benedictus! Why benedictus? You have some
FTLN 1628 moral in this benedictus?
MARGARET  FTLN 1629Moral? No, by my troth, I have no moral
FTLN 1630 meaning; I meant plain holy thistle. You may think
FTLN 1631 perchance that I think you are in love. Nay, by ’r
FTLN 163280 Lady, I am not such a fool to think what I list, nor I
FTLN 1633 list not to think what I can, nor indeed I cannot
FTLN 1634 think, if I would think my heart out of thinking, that
FTLN 1635 you are in love or that you will be in love or that you
FTLN 1636 can be in love. Yet Benedick was such another, and
FTLN 163785 now is he become a man. He swore he would never
FTLN 1638 marry, and yet now, in despite of his heart, he eats
FTLN 1639 his meat without grudging. And how you may be
FTLN 1640 converted I know not, but methinks you look with
FTLN 1641 your eyes as other women do.
BEATRICE  FTLN 164290What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
MARGARET  FTLN 1643Not a false gallop.

Enter Ursula.

URSULA  FTLN 1644Madam, withdraw. The Prince, the Count,
FTLN 1645 Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of
FTLN 1646 the town are come to fetch you to church.
HERO  FTLN 164795Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good
FTLN 1648 Ursula.
editorial emendationThey exit.editorial emendation




117
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 5

editorial emendationScene 5editorial emendation
Enter Leonato, and editorial emendationDogberry,editorial emendation the Constable, and
editorial emendationVerges,editorial emendation the Headborough.


LEONATO  FTLN 1649What would you with me, honest neighbor?
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1650Marry, sir, I would have some confidence
FTLN 1651 with you that decerns you nearly.
LEONATO  FTLN 1652Brief, I pray you, for you see it is a busy time
FTLN 16535 with me.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1654Marry, this it is, sir.
VERGES  FTLN 1655Yes, in truth, it is, sir.
LEONATO  FTLN 1656What is it, my good friends?
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1657Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the
FTLN 165810 matter. An old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt
FTLN 1659 as, God help, I would desire they were, but, in faith,
FTLN 1660 honest as the skin between his brows.
VERGES  FTLN 1661Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man
FTLN 1662 living that is an old man and no honester than I.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 166315Comparisons are odorous. Palabras, neighbor
FTLN 1664 Verges.
LEONATO  FTLN 1665Neighbors, you are tedious.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1666It pleases your Worship to say so, but we
FTLN 1667 are the poor duke’s officers. But truly, for mine
FTLN 166820 own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find
FTLN 1669 in my heart to bestow it all of your Worship.
LEONATO  FTLN 1670All thy tediousness on me, ah?
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1671Yea, an ’twere a thousand pound more
FTLN 1672 than ’tis, for I hear as good exclamation on your
FTLN 167325 Worship as of any man in the city, and though I be
FTLN 1674 but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.
VERGES  FTLN 1675And so am I.
LEONATO  FTLN 1676I would fain know what you have to say.
VERGES  FTLN 1677Marry, sir, our watch tonight, excepting your
FTLN 167830 Worship’s presence, ha’ ta’en a couple of as arrant
FTLN 1679 knaves as any in Messina.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1680A good old man, sir. He will be talking. As

119
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 5

FTLN 1681 they say, “When the age is in, the wit is out.” God
FTLN 1682 help us, it is a world to see!—Well said, i’ faith,
FTLN 168335 neighbor Verges.—Well, God’s a good man. An two
FTLN 1684 men ride of a horse, one must ride behind. An
FTLN 1685 honest soul, i’ faith, sir, by my troth he is, as ever
FTLN 1686 broke bread, but God is to be worshiped, all men
FTLN 1687 are not alike, alas, good neighbor.
LEONATO  FTLN 168840Indeed, neighbor, he comes too short of you.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1689Gifts that God gives.
LEONATO  FTLN 1690I must leave you.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1691One word, sir. Our watch, sir, have indeed
FTLN 1692 comprehended two aspicious persons, and we
FTLN 169345 would have them this morning examined before
FTLN 1694 your Worship.
LEONATO  FTLN 1695Take their examination yourself and bring it
FTLN 1696 me. I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto
FTLN 1697 you.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 169850It shall be suffigance.
LEONATO  FTLN 1699Drink some wine ere you go. Fare you well.

editorial emendationEnter a Messenger.editorial emendation

MESSENGER  FTLN 1700My lord, they stay for you to give your
FTLN 1701 daughter to her husband.
LEONATO  FTLN 1702I’ll wait upon them. I am ready. He exits, editorial emendationwith the Messenger.editorial emendation
DOGBERRY  FTLN 170355Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis
FTLN 1704 Seacoal. Bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the
FTLN 1705 jail. We are now to examination these men.
VERGES  FTLN 1706And we must do it wisely.
DOGBERRY  FTLN 1707We will spare for no wit, I warrant you.
FTLN 170860 Here’s that shall drive some of them to a noncome.
FTLN 1709 Only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication
FTLN 1710 and meet me at the jail.
editorial emendationThey exit.editorial emendation




editorial emendationACT 4editorial emendation
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Prince, editorial emendationJohn theeditorial emendation Bastard, Leonato, Friar,
Claudio, Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice, editorial emendationwith
Attendants.editorial emendation


LEONATO  FTLN 1711Come, Friar Francis, be brief, only to the
FTLN 1712 plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their
FTLN 1713 particular duties afterwards.
FRIAR , editorial emendationto Claudioeditorial emendation  FTLN 1714You come hither, my lord, to marry
FTLN 17155 this lady?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1716No.
LEONATO  FTLN 1717To be married to her.—Friar, you come to
FTLN 1718 marry her.
FRIAR  FTLN 1719Lady, you come hither to be married to this
FTLN 172010 count?
HERO  FTLN 1721I do.
FRIAR  FTLN 1722If either of you know any inward impediment
FTLN 1723 why you should not be conjoined, I charge you on
FTLN 1724 your souls to utter it.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 172515Know you any, Hero?
HERO  FTLN 1726None, my lord.
FRIAR  FTLN 1727Know you any, count?
LEONATO  FTLN 1728I dare make his answer, none.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1729O, what men dare do! What men may do!
FTLN 173020 What men daily do, not knowing what they do!
BENEDICK  FTLN 1731How now, interjections? Why, then, some
FTLN 1732 be of laughing, as ah, ha, he!
123

125
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

CLAUDIO 
FTLN 1733 Stand thee by, friar.—Father, by your leave,
FTLN 1734 Will you with free and unconstrainèd soul
FTLN 173525 Give me this maid, your daughter?
LEONATO 
FTLN 1736 As freely, son, as God did give her me.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 1737 And what have I to give you back whose worth
FTLN 1738 May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
PRINCE 
FTLN 1739 Nothing, unless you render her again.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 174030 Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.—
FTLN 1741 There, Leonato, take her back again.
FTLN 1742 Give not this rotten orange to your friend.
FTLN 1743 She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor.
FTLN 1744 Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
FTLN 174535 O, what authority and show of truth
FTLN 1746 Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
FTLN 1747 Comes not that blood as modest evidence
FTLN 1748 To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
FTLN 1749 All you that see her, that she were a maid,
FTLN 175040 By these exterior shows? But she is none.
FTLN 1751 She knows the heat of a luxurious bed.
FTLN 1752 Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
LEONATO 
FTLN 1753 What do you mean, my lord?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1754 Not to be married,
FTLN 175545 Not to knit my soul to an approvèd wanton.
LEONATO 
FTLN 1756 Dear my lord, if you in your own proof
FTLN 1757 Have vanquished the resistance of her youth,
FTLN 1758 And made defeat of her virginity—
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 1759 I know what you would say: if I have known her,
FTLN 176050 You will say she did embrace me as a husband,

127
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1761 And so extenuate the forehand sin.
FTLN 1762 No, Leonato,
FTLN 1763 I never tempted her with word too large,
FTLN 1764 But, as a brother to his sister, showed
FTLN 176555 Bashful sincerity and comely love.
HERO 
FTLN 1766 And seemed I ever otherwise to you?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 1767 Out on thee, seeming! I will write against it.
FTLN 1768 You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
FTLN 1769 As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown.
FTLN 177060 But you are more intemperate in your blood
FTLN 1771 Than Venus, or those pampered animals
FTLN 1772 That rage in savage sensuality.
HERO 
FTLN 1773 Is my lord well that he doth speak so wide?
LEONATO 
FTLN 1774 Sweet prince, why speak not you?
PRINCE  FTLN 177565 What should I
FTLN 1776 speak?
FTLN 1777 I stand dishonored that have gone about
FTLN 1778 To link my dear friend to a common stale.
LEONATO 
FTLN 1779 Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?
DON JOHN 
FTLN 178070 Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1781This looks not like a nuptial.
HERO  FTLN 1782True! O God!
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1783Leonato, stand I here?
FTLN 1784 Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince’s brother?
FTLN 178575 Is this face Hero’s? Are our eyes our own?
LEONATO 
FTLN 1786 All this is so, but what of this, my lord?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 1787 Let me but move one question to your daughter,

129
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1788 And by that fatherly and kindly power
FTLN 1789 That you have in her, bid her answer truly.
LEONATO 
FTLN 179080 I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
HERO 
FTLN 1791 O, God defend me, how am I beset!—
FTLN 1792 What kind of catechizing call you this?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 1793 To make you answer truly to your name.
HERO 
FTLN 1794 Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
FTLN 179585 With any just reproach?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 1796 Marry, that can Hero!
FTLN 1797 Hero itself can blot out Hero’s virtue.
FTLN 1798 What man was he talked with you yesternight
FTLN 1799 Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
FTLN 180090 Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.
HERO 
FTLN 1801 I talked with no man at that hour, my lord.
PRINCE 
FTLN 1802 Why, then, are you no maiden.—Leonato,
FTLN 1803 I am sorry you must hear. Upon mine honor,
FTLN 1804 Myself, my brother, and this grievèd count
FTLN 180595 Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night
FTLN 1806 Talk with a ruffian at her chamber window,
FTLN 1807 Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain,
FTLN 1808 Confessed the vile encounters they have had
FTLN 1809 A thousand times in secret.
DON JOHN 
FTLN 1810100 Fie, fie, they are not to be named, my lord,
FTLN 1811 Not to be spoke of!
FTLN 1812 There is not chastity enough in language,
FTLN 1813 Without offense, to utter them.—Thus, pretty lady,
FTLN 1814 I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 1815105 O Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been

131
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1816 If half thy outward graces had been placed
FTLN 1817 About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart!
FTLN 1818 But fare thee well, most foul, most fair. Farewell,
FTLN 1819 Thou pure impiety and impious purity.
FTLN 1820110 For thee I’ll lock up all the gates of love
FTLN 1821 And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
FTLN 1822 To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
FTLN 1823 And never shall it more be gracious.
LEONATO 
FTLN 1824 Hath no man’s dagger here a point for me?
editorial emendationHero falls.editorial emendation
BEATRICE 
FTLN 1825115 Why, how now, cousin, wherefore sink you down?
DON JOHN 
FTLN 1826 Come, let us go. These things, come thus to light,
FTLN 1827 Smother her spirits up.
editorial emendationClaudio, Prince, and Don John exit.editorial emendation
BENEDICK 
FTLN 1828 How doth the lady?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1829 Dead, I think.—Help, uncle!—
FTLN 1830120 Hero, why Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!
LEONATO 
FTLN 1831 O Fate, take not away thy heavy hand!
FTLN 1832 Death is the fairest cover for her shame
FTLN 1833 That may be wished for.
BEATRICE  FTLN 1834How now, cousin Hero? editorial emendationHero stirs.editorial emendation
FRIAR , editorial emendationto Heroeditorial emendation  FTLN 1835125Have comfort, lady.
LEONATO , editorial emendationto Heroeditorial emendation 
FTLN 1836 Dost thou look up?
FRIAR  FTLN 1837 Yea, wherefore should she not?
LEONATO 
FTLN 1838 Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly thing
FTLN 1839 Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
FTLN 1840130 The story that is printed in her blood?—
FTLN 1841 Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes,
FTLN 1842 For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,

133
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1843 Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
FTLN 1844 Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
FTLN 1845135 Strike at thy life. Grieved I I had but one?
FTLN 1846 Chid I for that at frugal Nature’s frame?
FTLN 1847 O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
FTLN 1848 Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
FTLN 1849 Why had I not with charitable hand
FTLN 1850140 Took up a beggar’s issue at my gates,
FTLN 1851 Who, smirchèd thus, and mired with infamy,
FTLN 1852 I might have said “No part of it is mine;
FTLN 1853 This shame derives itself from unknown loins”?
FTLN 1854 But mine, and mine I loved, and mine I praised,
FTLN 1855145 And mine that I was proud on, mine so much
FTLN 1856 That I myself was to myself not mine,
FTLN 1857 Valuing of her—why she, O she, is fall’n
FTLN 1858 Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
FTLN 1859 Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,
FTLN 1860150 And salt too little which may season give
FTLN 1861 To her foul tainted flesh!
BENEDICK  FTLN 1862 Sir, sir, be patient.
FTLN 1863 For my part, I am so attired in wonder
FTLN 1864 I know not what to say.
BEATRICE 
FTLN 1865155 O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
BENEDICK 
FTLN 1866 Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?
BEATRICE 
FTLN 1867 No, truly not, although until last night
FTLN 1868 I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
LEONATO 
FTLN 1869 Confirmed, confirmed! O, that is stronger made
FTLN 1870160 Which was before barred up with ribs of iron!
FTLN 1871 Would the two princes lie and Claudio lie,
FTLN 1872 Who loved her so that, speaking of her foulness,
FTLN 1873 Washed it with tears? Hence from her. Let her die!
FRIAR  FTLN 1874Hear me a little,

135
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1875165 For I have only editorial emendationsilent beeneditorial emendation so long,
FTLN 1876 And given way unto this course of fortune,
FTLN 1877 By noting of the lady. I have marked
FTLN 1878 A thousand blushing apparitions
FTLN 1879 To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames
FTLN 1880170 In angel whiteness beat away those blushes,
FTLN 1881 And in her eye there hath appeared a fire
FTLN 1882 To burn the errors that these princes hold
FTLN 1883 Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool,
FTLN 1884 Trust not my reading nor my observations,
FTLN 1885175 Which with experimental seal doth warrant
FTLN 1886 The tenor of my book; trust not my age,
FTLN 1887 My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
FTLN 1888 If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
FTLN 1889 Under some biting error.
LEONATO  FTLN 1890180 Friar, it cannot be.
FTLN 1891 Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left
FTLN 1892 Is that she will not add to her damnation
FTLN 1893 A sin of perjury. She not denies it.
FTLN 1894 Why seek’st thou then to cover with excuse
FTLN 1895185 That which appears in proper nakedness?
FRIAR 
FTLN 1896 Lady, what man is he you are accused of?
HERO 
FTLN 1897 They know that do accuse me. I know none.
FTLN 1898 If I know more of any man alive
FTLN 1899 Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
FTLN 1900190 Let all my sins lack mercy!—O my father,
FTLN 1901 Prove you that any man with me conversed
FTLN 1902 At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
FTLN 1903 Maintained the change of words with any creature,
FTLN 1904 Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death!
FRIAR 
FTLN 1905195 There is some strange misprision in the princes.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 1906 Two of them have the very bent of honor,

137
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1907 And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
FTLN 1908 The practice of it lives in John the Bastard,
FTLN 1909 Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.
LEONATO 
FTLN 1910200 I know not. If they speak but truth of her,
FTLN 1911 These hands shall tear her. If they wrong her honor,
FTLN 1912 The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
FTLN 1913 Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
FTLN 1914 Nor age so eat up my invention,
FTLN 1915205 Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
FTLN 1916 Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
FTLN 1917 But they shall find, awaked in such a kind,
FTLN 1918 Both strength of limb and policy of mind,
FTLN 1919 Ability in means and choice of friends,
FTLN 1920210 To quit me of them throughly.
FRIAR  FTLN 1921 Pause awhile,
FTLN 1922 And let my counsel sway you in this case.
FTLN 1923 Your daughter here the princes left for dead.
FTLN 1924 Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
FTLN 1925215 And publish it that she is dead indeed.
FTLN 1926 Maintain a mourning ostentation,
FTLN 1927 And on your family’s old monument
FTLN 1928 Hang mournful epitaphs and do all rites
FTLN 1929 That appertain unto a burial.
LEONATO 
FTLN 1930220 What shall become of this? What will this do?
FRIAR 
FTLN 1931 Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf
FTLN 1932 Change slander to remorse. That is some good.
FTLN 1933 But not for that dream I on this strange course,
FTLN 1934 But on this travail look for greater birth.
FTLN 1935225 She, dying, as it must be so maintained,
FTLN 1936 Upon the instant that she was accused,
FTLN 1937 Shall be lamented, pitied, and excused
FTLN 1938 Of every hearer. For it so falls out
FTLN 1939 That what we have we prize not to the worth

139
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1940230 Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
FTLN 1941 Why then we rack the value, then we find
FTLN 1942 The virtue that possession would not show us
FTLN 1943 Whiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio.
FTLN 1944 When he shall hear she died upon his words,
FTLN 1945235 Th’ idea of her life shall sweetly creep
FTLN 1946 Into his study of imagination,
FTLN 1947 And every lovely organ of her life
FTLN 1948 Shall come appareled in more precious habit,
FTLN 1949 More moving, delicate, and full of life,
FTLN 1950240 Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
FTLN 1951 Than when she lived indeed. Then shall he mourn,
FTLN 1952 If ever love had interest in his liver,
FTLN 1953 And wish he had not so accused her,
FTLN 1954 No, though he thought his accusation true.
FTLN 1955245 Let this be so, and doubt not but success
FTLN 1956 Will fashion the event in better shape
FTLN 1957 Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
FTLN 1958 But if all aim but this be leveled false,
FTLN 1959 The supposition of the lady’s death
FTLN 1960250 Will quench the wonder of her infamy.
FTLN 1961 And if it sort not well, you may conceal her,
FTLN 1962 As best befits her wounded reputation,
FTLN 1963 In some reclusive and religious life,
FTLN 1964 Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 1965255 Signior Leonato, let the Friar advise you.
FTLN 1966 And though you know my inwardness and love
FTLN 1967 Is very much unto the Prince and Claudio,
FTLN 1968 Yet, by mine honor, I will deal in this
FTLN 1969 As secretly and justly as your soul
FTLN 1970260 Should with your body.
LEONATO  FTLN 1971 Being that I flow in grief,
FTLN 1972 The smallest twine may lead me.
FRIAR 
FTLN 1973 ’Tis well consented. Presently away,

141
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

FTLN 1974  For to strange sores strangely they strain the
FTLN 1975265  cure.—
FTLN 1976 Come, lady, die to live. This wedding day
FTLN 1977  Perhaps is but prolonged. Have patience and
FTLN 1978  endure.
editorial emendationAll but Beatrice and Benedickeditorial emendation exit.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1979Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1980270Yea, and I will weep a while longer.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1981I will not desire that.
BEATRICE  FTLN 1982You have no reason. I do it freely.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1983Surely I do believe your fair cousin is
FTLN 1984 wronged.
BEATRICE  FTLN 1985275Ah, how much might the man deserve of me
FTLN 1986 that would right her!
BENEDICK  FTLN 1987Is there any way to show such friendship?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1988A very even way, but no such friend.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1989May a man do it?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1990280It is a man’s office, but not yours.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1991I do love nothing in the world so well as
FTLN 1992 you. Is not that strange?
BEATRICE  FTLN 1993As strange as the thing I know not. It were as
FTLN 1994 possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you,
FTLN 1995285 but believe me not, and yet I lie not, I confess
FTLN 1996 nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my
FTLN 1997 cousin.
BENEDICK  FTLN 1998By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me!
BEATRICE  FTLN 1999Do not swear and eat it.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2000290I will swear by it that you love me, and I will
FTLN 2001 make him eat it that says I love not you.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2002Will you not eat your word?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2003With no sauce that can be devised to it. I
FTLN 2004 protest I love thee.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2005295Why then, God forgive me.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2006What offense, sweet Beatrice?
BEATRICE  FTLN 2007You have stayed me in a happy hour. I was
FTLN 2008 about to protest I loved you.

143
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 1

BENEDICK  FTLN 2009And do it with all thy heart.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2010300I love you with so much of my heart that
FTLN 2011 none is left to protest.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2012Come, bid me do anything for thee.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2013Kill Claudio.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2014Ha! Not for the wide world.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2015305You kill me to deny it. Farewell.
editorial emendationShe begins to exit.editorial emendation
BENEDICK  FTLN 2016Tarry, sweet Beatrice.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2017I am gone, though I am here. There is no
FTLN 2018 love in you. Nay, I pray you let me go.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2019Beatrice—
BEATRICE  FTLN 2020310In faith, I will go.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2021We’ll be friends first.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2022You dare easier be friends with me than
FTLN 2023 fight with mine enemy.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2024Is Claudio thine enemy?
BEATRICE  FTLN 2025315Is he not approved in the height a villain
FTLN 2026 that hath slandered, scorned, dishonored my kinswoman?
FTLN 2027 O, that I were a man! What, bear her in
FTLN 2028 hand until they come to take hands, and then, with
FTLN 2029 public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated
FTLN 2030320 rancor—O God, that I were a man! I would eat his
FTLN 2031 heart in the marketplace.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2032Hear me, Beatrice—
BEATRICE  FTLN 2033Talk with a man out at a window! A proper
FTLN 2034 saying.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2035325Nay, but Beatrice—
BEATRICE  FTLN 2036Sweet Hero, she is wronged, she is slandered,
FTLN 2037 she is undone.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2038Beat—
BEATRICE  FTLN 2039Princes and counties! Surely a princely testimony,
FTLN 2040330 a goodly count, Count Comfect, a sweet
FTLN 2041 gallant, surely! O, that I were a man for his sake! Or
FTLN 2042 that I had any friend would be a man for my sake!
FTLN 2043 But manhood is melted into curtsies, valor into

145
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 2

FTLN 2044 compliment, and men are only turned into tongue,
FTLN 2045335 and trim ones, too. He is now as valiant as Hercules
FTLN 2046 that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man
FTLN 2047 with wishing; therefore I will die a woman with
FTLN 2048 grieving.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2049Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love
FTLN 2050340 thee.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2051Use it for my love some other way than
FTLN 2052 swearing by it.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2053Think you in your soul the Count Claudio
FTLN 2054 hath wronged Hero?
BEATRICE  FTLN 2055345Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2056Enough, I am engaged. I will challenge
FTLN 2057 him. I will kiss your hand, and so I leave you. By
FTLN 2058 this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account.
FTLN 2059 As you hear of me, so think of me. Go comfort your
FTLN 2060350 cousin. I must say she is dead, and so farewell.
editorial emendationThey exit.editorial emendation


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter the Constables editorial emendationDogberry and Verges,editorial emendation and the
Town Clerk, editorial emendationor Sexton,editorial emendation in gowns, editorial emendationwith the Watch,
Conrade, andeditorial emendation Borachio.


editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2061Is our whole dissembly appeared?
editorial emendationVERGESeditorial emendation  FTLN 2062O, a stool and a cushion for the Sexton.
editorial emendationA stool is brought in; the Sexton sits.editorial emendation
SEXTON  FTLN 2063Which be the malefactors?
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2064Marry, that am I, and my partner.
editorial emendationVERGESeditorial emendation  FTLN 20655Nay, that’s certain, we have the exhibition to
FTLN 2066 examine.
SEXTON  FTLN 2067But which are the offenders that are to be
FTLN 2068 examined? Let them come before Master
FTLN 2069 Constable.

147
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 2

editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 207010Yea, marry, let them come before me.
editorial emendationConrade and Borachio are brought forward.editorial emendation
FTLN 2071 What is your name, friend?
BORACHIO  FTLN 2072Borachio.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2073Pray, write down “Borachio.”—Yours,
FTLN 2074 sirrah?
CONRADE  FTLN 207515I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is
FTLN 2076 Conrade.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2077Write down “Master Gentleman Conrade.”—
FTLN 2078 Masters, do you serve God?
BORACHIO/CONRADE  FTLN 2079Yea, sir, we hope.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 208020Write down that they hope they serve
FTLN 2081 God; and write God first, for God defend but God
FTLN 2082 should go before such villains!—Masters, it is
FTLN 2083 proved already that you are little better than false
FTLN 2084 knaves, and it will go near to be thought so shortly.
FTLN 208525 How answer you for yourselves?
CONRADE  FTLN 2086Marry, sir, we say we are none.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2087A marvelous witty fellow, I assure you,
FTLN 2088 but I will go about with him.—Come you hither,
FTLN 2089 sirrah, a word in your ear. Sir, I say to you it is
FTLN 209030 thought you are false knaves.
BORACHIO  FTLN 2091Sir, I say to you we are none.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2092Well, stand aside.—’Fore God, they are
FTLN 2093 both in a tale. Have you writ down that they are
FTLN 2094 none?
SEXTON  FTLN 209535Master constable, you go not the way to
FTLN 2096 examine. You must call forth the watch that are
FTLN 2097 their accusers.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2098Yea, marry, that’s the eftest way.—Let
FTLN 2099 the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you in the
FTLN 210040 Prince’s name, accuse these men.
FIRST WATCHMAN  FTLN 2101This man said, sir, that Don John, the
FTLN 2102 Prince’s brother, was a villain.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2103Write down Prince John a villain. Why,
FTLN 2104 this is flat perjury, to call a prince’s brother villain!

149
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 2

BORACHIO  FTLN 210545Master constable—
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2106Pray thee, fellow, peace. I do not like thy
FTLN 2107 look, I promise thee.
SEXTON , editorial emendationto Watcheditorial emendation  FTLN 2108What heard you him say else?
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 2109Marry, that he had received a thousand
FTLN 211050 ducats of Don John for accusing the Lady Hero
FTLN 2111 wrongfully.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2112Flat burglary as ever was committed.
editorial emendationVERGESeditorial emendation  FTLN 2113Yea, by Mass, that it is.
SEXTON  FTLN 2114What else, fellow?
FIRST WATCHMAN  FTLN 211555And that Count Claudio did mean,
FTLN 2116 upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole
FTLN 2117 assembly, and not marry her.
editorial emendationDOGBERRY , to Borachioeditorial emendation  FTLN 2118O, villain! Thou wilt be condemned
FTLN 2119 into everlasting redemption for this!
SEXTON  FTLN 212060What else?
editorial emendationSEACOALeditorial emendation  FTLN 2121This is all.
SEXTON  FTLN 2122And this is more, masters, than you can deny.
FTLN 2123 Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away.
FTLN 2124 Hero was in this manner accused, in this very
FTLN 212565 manner refused, and upon the grief of this suddenly
FTLN 2126 died.—Master constable, let these men be bound
FTLN 2127 and brought to Leonato’s. I will go before and show
FTLN 2128 him their examination. editorial emendationHe exits.editorial emendation
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2129Come, let them be opinioned.
editorial emendationVERGESeditorial emendation  FTLN 213070Let them be in the hands—
editorial emendationCONRADEeditorial emendation  FTLN 2131Off, coxcomb!
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2132God’s my life, where’s the Sexton? Let
FTLN 2133 him write down the Prince’s officer “coxcomb.”
FTLN 2134 Come, bind them.—Thou naughty varlet!
editorial emendationCONRADEeditorial emendation  FTLN 213575Away! You are an ass, you are an ass!
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2136Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost
FTLN 2137 thou not suspect my years? O, that he were here to
FTLN 2138 write me down an ass! But masters, remember that
FTLN 2139 I am an ass, though it be not written down, yet
FTLN 214080 forget not that I am an ass.—No, thou villain, thou

151
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 2

FTLN 2141 art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by
FTLN 2142 good witness. I am a wise fellow and, which is more,
FTLN 2143 an officer and, which is more, a householder and,
FTLN 2144 which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in
FTLN 214585 Messina, and one that knows the law, go to, and a
FTLN 2146 rich fellow enough, go to, and a fellow that hath had
FTLN 2147 losses, and one that hath two gowns and everything
FTLN 2148 handsome about him.—Bring him away.—O, that I
FTLN 2149 had been writ down an ass!
editorial emendationTheyeditorial emendation exit.




editorial emendationACT 5editorial emendation
editorial emendationScene 1editorial emendation
Enter Leonato and his brother.

LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2150 If you go on thus, you will kill yourself,
FTLN 2151 And ’tis not wisdom thus to second grief
FTLN 2152 Against yourself.
LEONATO  FTLN 2153 I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
FTLN 21545 Which falls into mine ears as profitless
FTLN 2155 As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel,
FTLN 2156 Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
FTLN 2157 But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
FTLN 2158 Bring me a father that so loved his child,
FTLN 215910 Whose joy of her is overwhelmed like mine,
FTLN 2160 And bid him speak of patience.
FTLN 2161 Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
FTLN 2162 And let it answer every strain for strain,
FTLN 2163 As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
FTLN 216415 In every lineament, branch, shape, and form.
FTLN 2165 If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
FTLN 2166 editorial emendationBideditorial emendation sorrow wag, cry “hem” when he should
FTLN 2167 groan,
FTLN 2168 Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
FTLN 216920 With candle-wasters, bring him yet to me,
FTLN 2170 And I of him will gather patience.
FTLN 2171 But there is no such man. For, brother, men
155

157
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

FTLN 2172 Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
FTLN 2173 Which they themselves not feel, but tasting it,
FTLN 217425 Their counsel turns to passion, which before
FTLN 2175 Would give preceptial med’cine to rage,
FTLN 2176 Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
FTLN 2177 Charm ache with air and agony with words.
FTLN 2178 No, no, ’tis all men’s office to speak patience
FTLN 217930 To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
FTLN 2180 But no man’s virtue nor sufficiency
FTLN 2181 To be so moral when he shall endure
FTLN 2182 The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel.
FTLN 2183 My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 218435 Therein do men from children nothing differ.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2185 I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood,
FTLN 2186 For there was never yet philosopher
FTLN 2187 That could endure the toothache patiently,
FTLN 2188 However they have writ the style of gods
FTLN 218940 And made a push at chance and sufferance.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2190 Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself.
FTLN 2191 Make those that do offend you suffer too.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2192 There thou speak’st reason. Nay, I will do so.
FTLN 2193 My soul doth tell me Hero is belied,
FTLN 219445 And that shall Claudio know; so shall the Prince
FTLN 2195 And all of them that thus dishonor her.

Enter Prince and Claudio.

LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2196 Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily.
PRINCE 
FTLN 2197 Good e’en, good e’en.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2198 Good day to both of you.

159
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

LEONATO 
FTLN 219950 Hear you, my lords—
PRINCE  FTLN 2200 We have some haste,
FTLN 2201 Leonato.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2202 Some haste, my lord! Well, fare you well, my lord.
FTLN 2203 Are you so hasty now? Well, all is one.
PRINCE 
FTLN 220455 Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2205 If he could right himself with quarrelling,
FTLN 2206 Some of us would lie low.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2207 Who wrongs him?
LEONATO 
FTLN 2208 Marry, thou dost wrong me, thou dissembler, thou.
FTLN 220960 Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword.
FTLN 2210 I fear thee not.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2211 Marry, beshrew my hand
FTLN 2212 If it should give your age such cause of fear.
FTLN 2213 In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
LEONATO 
FTLN 221465 Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me.
FTLN 2215 I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
FTLN 2216 As under privilege of age to brag
FTLN 2217 What I have done being young, or what would do
FTLN 2218 Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
FTLN 221970 Thou hast so wronged mine innocent child and me
FTLN 2220 That I am forced to lay my reverence by,
FTLN 2221 And with gray hairs and bruise of many days
FTLN 2222 Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
FTLN 2223 I say thou hast belied mine innocent child.
FTLN 222475 Thy slander hath gone through and through her
FTLN 2225 heart,
FTLN 2226 And she lies buried with her ancestors,
FTLN 2227 O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
FTLN 2228 Save this of hers, framed by thy villainy.

161
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

CLAUDIO 
FTLN 222980 My villainy?
LEONATO  FTLN 2230 Thine, Claudio, thine, I say.
PRINCE 
FTLN 2231 You say not right, old man.
LEONATO  FTLN 2232 My lord, my lord,
FTLN 2233 I’ll prove it on his body if he dare,
FTLN 223485 Despite his nice fence and his active practice,
FTLN 2235 His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2236 Away! I will not have to do with you.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2237 Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast killed my child.
FTLN 2238 If thou kill’st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 223990 He shall kill two of us, and men indeed,
FTLN 2240 But that’s no matter. Let him kill one first.
FTLN 2241 Win me and wear me! Let him answer me.—
FTLN 2242 Come, follow me, boy. Come, sir boy, come, follow
FTLN 2243 me.
FTLN 224495 Sir boy, I’ll whip you from your foining fence,
FTLN 2245 Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
LEONATO  FTLN 2246Brother—
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2247 Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece,
FTLN 2248 And she is dead, slandered to death by villains
FTLN 2249100 That dare as well answer a man indeed
FTLN 2250 As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.—
FTLN 2251 Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milksops!
LEONATO  FTLN 2252Brother Anthony—
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2253 Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,
FTLN 2254105 And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple—
FTLN 2255 Scambling, outfacing, fashionmonging boys,
FTLN 2256 That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
FTLN 2257 Go anticly and show outward hideousness,

163
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

FTLN 2258 And speak off half a dozen dang’rous words
FTLN 2259110 How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst,
FTLN 2260 And this is all.
LEONATO  FTLN 2261But brother Anthony—
LEONATO’S BROTHER  FTLN 2262Come, ’tis no matter.
FTLN 2263 Do not you meddle. Let me deal in this.
PRINCE 
FTLN 2264115 Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.
FTLN 2265 My heart is sorry for your daughter’s death,
FTLN 2266 But, on my honor, she was charged with nothing
FTLN 2267 But what was true and very full of proof.
LEONATO  FTLN 2268My lord, my lord—
PRINCE  FTLN 2269120I will not hear you.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2270 No? Come, brother, away. I will be heard.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2271 And shall, or some of us will smart for it.
editorial emendationLeonato and his brothereditorial emendation exit.

Enter Benedick.

PRINCE 
FTLN 2272 See, see, here comes the man we went to seek.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2273Now, signior, what news?
BENEDICK , editorial emendationto Princeeditorial emendation  FTLN 2274125Good day, my lord.
PRINCE  FTLN 2275Welcome, signior. You are almost come to
FTLN 2276 part almost a fray.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2277We had editorial emendationlikeeditorial emendation to have had our two noses
FTLN 2278 snapped off with two old men without teeth.
PRINCE  FTLN 2279130Leonato and his brother. What think’st thou?
FTLN 2280 Had we fought, I doubt we should have been too
FTLN 2281 young for them.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2282In a false quarrel there is no true valor. I
FTLN 2283 came to seek you both.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2284135We have been up and down to seek thee, for
FTLN 2285 we are high-proof melancholy and would fain have
FTLN 2286 it beaten away. Wilt thou use thy wit?

165
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

BENEDICK  FTLN 2287It is in my scabbard. Shall I draw it?
PRINCE  FTLN 2288Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2289140Never any did so, though very many have
FTLN 2290 been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do
FTLN 2291 the minstrels: draw to pleasure us.
PRINCE  FTLN 2292As I am an honest man, he looks pale.—Art
FTLN 2293 thou sick, or angry?
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationto Benedickeditorial emendation  FTLN 2294145What, courage, man! What
FTLN 2295 though care killed a cat? Thou hast mettle enough
FTLN 2296 in thee to kill care.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2297Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an
FTLN 2298 you charge it against me. I pray you, choose another
FTLN 2299150 subject.
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationto Princeeditorial emendation  FTLN 2300Nay, then, give him another staff.
FTLN 2301 This last was broke ’cross.
PRINCE  FTLN 2302By this light, he changes more and more. I
FTLN 2303 think he be angry indeed.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2304155If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2305Shall I speak a word in your ear?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2306God bless me from a challenge!
BENEDICK , editorial emendationaside to Claudioeditorial emendation  FTLN 2307You are a villain. I jest
FTLN 2308 not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you
FTLN 2309160 dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will
FTLN 2310 protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet
FTLN 2311 lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me
FTLN 2312 hear from you.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2313Well, I will meet you, so I may have good
FTLN 2314165 cheer.
PRINCE  FTLN 2315What, a feast, a feast?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2316I’ faith, I thank him. He hath bid me to a
FTLN 2317 calf’s head and a capon, the which if I do not carve
FTLN 2318 most curiously, say my knife’s naught. Shall I not
FTLN 2319170 find a woodcock too?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2320Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
PRINCE  FTLN 2321I’ll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the
FTLN 2322 other day. I said thou hadst a fine wit. “True,” said

167
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

FTLN 2323 she, “a fine little one.” “No,” said I, “a great wit.”
FTLN 2324175 “Right,” says she, “a great gross one.” “Nay,” said I,
FTLN 2325 “a good wit.” “Just,” said she, “it hurts nobody.”
FTLN 2326 “Nay,” said I, “the gentleman is wise.” “Certain,”
FTLN 2327 said she, “a wise gentleman.” “Nay,” said I, “he
FTLN 2328 hath the tongues.” “That I believe,” said she, “for he
FTLN 2329180 swore a thing to me on Monday night which he
FTLN 2330 forswore on Tuesday morning; there’s a double
FTLN 2331 tongue, there’s two tongues.” Thus did she an hour
FTLN 2332 together transshape thy particular virtues. Yet at
FTLN 2333 last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the
FTLN 2334185 proper’st man in Italy.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2335For the which she wept heartily and said she
FTLN 2336 cared not.
PRINCE  FTLN 2337Yea, that she did. But yet for all that, an if she
FTLN 2338 did not hate him deadly, she would love him
FTLN 2339190 dearly. The old man’s daughter told us all.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2340All, all. And, moreover, God saw him when
FTLN 2341 he was hid in the garden.
PRINCE  FTLN 2342But when shall we set the savage bull’s horns
FTLN 2343 on the sensible Benedick’s head?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2344195Yea, and text underneath: “Here dwells Benedick,
FTLN 2345 the married man”?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2346Fare you well, boy. You know my mind. I
FTLN 2347 will leave you now to your gossip-like humor. You
FTLN 2348 break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God
FTLN 2349200 be thanked, hurt not.—My lord, for your many
FTLN 2350 courtesies I thank you. I must discontinue your
FTLN 2351 company. Your brother the Bastard is fled from
FTLN 2352 Messina. You have among you killed a sweet and
FTLN 2353 innocent lady. For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and
FTLN 2354205 I shall meet, and till then peace be with him.
editorial emendationBenedick exits.editorial emendation
PRINCE  FTLN 2355He is in earnest.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2356In most profound earnest, and, I’ll warrant
FTLN 2357 you, for the love of Beatrice.

169
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

PRINCE  FTLN 2358And hath challenged thee?
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2359210Most sincerely.
PRINCE  FTLN 2360What a pretty thing man is when he goes in his
FTLN 2361 doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2362He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape
FTLN 2363 a doctor to such a man.
PRINCE  FTLN 2364215But soft you, let me be. Pluck up, my heart,
FTLN 2365 and be sad. Did he not say my brother was fled?

Enter Constables editorial emendationDogberry and Verges, and the Watch,
witheditorial emendation Conrade and Borachio.


editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2366Come you, sir. If justice cannot tame you,
FTLN 2367 she shall ne’er weigh more reasons in her balance.
FTLN 2368 Nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must
FTLN 2369220 be looked to.
PRINCE  FTLN 2370How now, two of my brother’s men bound?
FTLN 2371 Borachio one!
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2372Hearken after their offense, my lord.
PRINCE  FTLN 2373Officers, what offense have these men done?
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2374225Marry, sir, they have committed false
FTLN 2375 report; moreover, they have spoken untruths;
FTLN 2376 secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they
FTLN 2377 have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust
FTLN 2378 things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
PRINCE  FTLN 2379230First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I
FTLN 2380 ask thee what’s their offense; sixth and lastly, why
FTLN 2381 they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay
FTLN 2382 to their charge.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2383Rightly reasoned, and in his own division;
FTLN 2384235 and, by my troth, there’s one meaning well suited.
PRINCE , editorial emendationto Borachio and Conradeeditorial emendation  FTLN 2385Who have you offended,
FTLN 2386 masters, that you are thus bound to your
FTLN 2387 answer? This learned constable is too cunning to be
FTLN 2388 understood. What’s your offense?
BORACHIO  FTLN 2389240Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine
FTLN 2390 answer. Do you hear me, and let this count kill me.

171
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

FTLN 2391 I have deceived even your very eyes. What your
FTLN 2392 wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools
FTLN 2393 have brought to light, who in the night overheard
FTLN 2394245 me confessing to this man how Don John your
FTLN 2395 brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero, how
FTLN 2396 you were brought into the orchard and saw me
FTLN 2397 court Margaret in Hero’s garments, how you disgraced
FTLN 2398 her when you should marry her. My villainy
FTLN 2399250 they have upon record, which I had rather seal with
FTLN 2400 my death than repeat over to my shame. The lady is
FTLN 2401 dead upon mine and my master’s false accusation.
FTLN 2402 And, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a
FTLN 2403 villain.
PRINCE , editorial emendationto Claudioeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2404255 Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2405 I have drunk poison whiles he uttered it.
PRINCE , editorial emendationto Borachioeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2406 But did my brother set thee on to this?
BORACHIO  FTLN 2407Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of
FTLN 2408 it.
PRINCE 
FTLN 2409260 He is composed and framed of treachery,
FTLN 2410 And fled he is upon this villainy.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2411 Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear
FTLN 2412 In the rare semblance that I loved it first.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2413Come, bring away the plaintiffs. By this
FTLN 2414265 time our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of
FTLN 2415 the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specify,
FTLN 2416 when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
editorial emendationVERGESeditorial emendation  FTLN 2417Here, here comes Master Signior Leonato,
FTLN 2418 and the Sexton too.

Enter Leonato, his brother, and the Sexton.


173
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

LEONATO 
FTLN 2419270 Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes,
FTLN 2420 That, when I note another man like him,
FTLN 2421 I may avoid him. Which of these is he?
BORACHIO 
FTLN 2422 If you would know your wronger, look on me.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2423 Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast killed
FTLN 2424275 Mine innocent child?
BORACHIO  FTLN 2425 Yea, even I alone.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2426 No, not so, villain, thou beliest thyself.
FTLN 2427 Here stand a pair of honorable men—
FTLN 2428 A third is fled—that had a hand in it.—
FTLN 2429280 I thank you, princes, for my daughter’s death.
FTLN 2430 Record it with your high and worthy deeds.
FTLN 2431 ’Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2432 I know not how to pray your patience,
FTLN 2433 Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself.
FTLN 2434285 Impose me to what penance your invention
FTLN 2435 Can lay upon my sin. Yet sinned I not
FTLN 2436 But in mistaking.
PRINCE  FTLN 2437 By my soul, nor I,
FTLN 2438 And yet to satisfy this good old man
FTLN 2439290 I would bend under any heavy weight
FTLN 2440 That he’ll enjoin me to.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2441 I cannot bid you bid my daughter live—
FTLN 2442 That were impossible—but, I pray you both,
FTLN 2443 Possess the people in Messina here
FTLN 2444295 How innocent she died. And if your love
FTLN 2445 Can labor aught in sad invention,
FTLN 2446 Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
FTLN 2447 And sing it to her bones. Sing it tonight.
FTLN 2448 Tomorrow morning come you to my house,

175
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 1

FTLN 2449300 And since you could not be my son-in-law,
FTLN 2450 Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter,
FTLN 2451 Almost the copy of my child that’s dead,
FTLN 2452 And she alone is heir to both of us.
FTLN 2453 Give her the right you should have giv’n her cousin,
FTLN 2454305 And so dies my revenge.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2455 O, noble sir!
FTLN 2456 Your overkindness doth wring tears from me.
FTLN 2457 I do embrace your offer and dispose
FTLN 2458 For henceforth of poor Claudio.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2459310 Tomorrow then I will expect your coming.
FTLN 2460 Tonight I take my leave. This naughty man
FTLN 2461 Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
FTLN 2462 Who I believe was packed in all this wrong,
FTLN 2463 Hired to it by your brother.
BORACHIO  FTLN 2464315No, by my soul, she was not,
FTLN 2465 Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
FTLN 2466 But always hath been just and virtuous
FTLN 2467 In anything that I do know by her.
editorial emendationDOGBERRY , to Leonatoeditorial emendation  FTLN 2468Moreover, sir, which indeed is
FTLN 2469320 not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the
FTLN 2470 offender, did call me ass. I beseech you, let it be
FTLN 2471 remembered in his punishment. And also the watch
FTLN 2472 heard them talk of one Deformed. They say he
FTLN 2473 wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it and
FTLN 2474325 borrows money in God’s name, the which he hath
FTLN 2475 used so long and never paid that now men grow
FTLN 2476 hardhearted and will lend nothing for God’s sake.
FTLN 2477 Pray you, examine him upon that point.
LEONATO  FTLN 2478I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2479330Your Worship speaks like a most thankful
FTLN 2480 and reverent youth, and I praise God for you.
LEONATO , editorial emendationgiving him moneyeditorial emendation  FTLN 2481There’s for thy pains.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2482God save the foundation.

177
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 2

LEONATO  FTLN 2483Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I
FTLN 2484335 thank thee.
editorial emendationDOGBERRYeditorial emendation  FTLN 2485I leave an arrant knave with your Worship,
FTLN 2486 which I beseech your Worship to correct
FTLN 2487 yourself, for the example of others. God keep your
FTLN 2488 Worship! I wish your Worship well. God restore you
FTLN 2489340 to health. I humbly give you leave to depart, and if a
FTLN 2490 merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it.—
FTLN 2491 Come, neighbor. editorial emendationDogberry and Verges exit.editorial emendation
LEONATO 
FTLN 2492 Until tomorrow morning, lords, farewell.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2493 Farewell, my lords. We look for you tomorrow.
PRINCE 
FTLN 2494345 We will not fail.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2495 Tonight I’ll mourn with Hero.
LEONATO , editorial emendationto Watcheditorial emendation 
FTLN 2496 Bring you these fellows on.—We’ll talk with
FTLN 2497 Margaret,
FTLN 2498 How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 2editorial emendation
Enter Benedick and Margaret.

BENEDICK  FTLN 2499Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
FTLN 2500 well at my hands by helping me to the speech of
FTLN 2501 Beatrice.
MARGARET  FTLN 2502Will you then write me a sonnet in praise
FTLN 25035 of my beauty?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2504In so high a style, Margaret, that no man
FTLN 2505 living shall come over it, for in most comely truth
FTLN 2506 thou deservest it.
MARGARET  FTLN 2507To have no man come over me? Why, shall I
FTLN 250810 always keep below stairs?

179
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 2

BENEDICK  FTLN 2509Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound’s
FTLN 2510 mouth; it catches.
MARGARET  FTLN 2511And yours as blunt as the fencer’s foils,
FTLN 2512 which hit but hurt not.
BENEDICK  FTLN 251315A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt
FTLN 2514 a woman. And so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. I give
FTLN 2515 thee the bucklers.
MARGARET  FTLN 2516Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our
FTLN 2517 own.
BENEDICK  FTLN 251820If you use them, Margaret, you must put in
FTLN 2519 the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous
FTLN 2520 weapons for maids.
MARGARET  FTLN 2521Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I
FTLN 2522 think hath legs.
BENEDICK  FTLN 252325And therefore will come.
Margaret exits.
editorial emendationSingseditorial emendation FTLN 2524  The god of love
FTLN 2525  That sits above,
FTLN 2526 And knows me, and knows me,
FTLN 2527  How pitiful I deserve—

FTLN 252830 I mean in singing. But in loving, Leander the good
FTLN 2529 swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and
FTLN 2530 a whole book full of these quondam carpetmongers,
FTLN 2531 whose names yet run smoothly in the even
FTLN 2532 road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly
FTLN 253335 turned over and over as my poor self in love. Marry,
FTLN 2534 I cannot show it in rhyme. I have tried. I can find out
FTLN 2535 no rhyme to “lady” but “baby”—an innocent
FTLN 2536 rhyme; for “scorn,” “horn”—a hard rhyme; for
FTLN 2537 “school,” “fool”—a babbling rhyme; very ominous
FTLN 253840 endings. No, I was not born under a rhyming
FTLN 2539 planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.

Enter Beatrice.

FTLN 2540 Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called
FTLN 2541 thee?

181
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 2

BEATRICE  FTLN 2542Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.
BENEDICK  FTLN 254345O, stay but till then!
BEATRICE  FTLN 2544“Then” is spoken. Fare you well now. And
FTLN 2545 yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came, which is,
FTLN 2546 with knowing what hath passed between you and
FTLN 2547 Claudio.
BENEDICK  FTLN 254850Only foul words, and thereupon I will kiss
FTLN 2549 thee.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2550Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is
FTLN 2551 but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome. Therefore
FTLN 2552 I will depart unkissed.
BENEDICK  FTLN 255355Thou hast frighted the word out of his right
FTLN 2554 sense, so forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee
FTLN 2555 plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge, and either
FTLN 2556 I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe
FTLN 2557 him a coward. And I pray thee now tell me, for
FTLN 255860 which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love
FTLN 2559 with me?
BEATRICE  FTLN 2560For them all together, which maintained so
FTLN 2561 politic a state of evil that they will not admit any
FTLN 2562 good part to intermingle with them. But for which
FTLN 256365 of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2564Suffer love! A good epithet. I do suffer love
FTLN 2565 indeed, for I love thee against my will.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2566In spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor
FTLN 2567 heart, if you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for
FTLN 256870 yours, for I will never love that which my friend
FTLN 2569 hates.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2570Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2571It appears not in this confession. There’s not
FTLN 2572 one wise man among twenty that will praise
FTLN 257375 himself.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2574An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived
FTLN 2575 in the time of good neighbors. If a man do not erect
FTLN 2576 in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no
FTLN 2577 longer in monument than the bell rings and the
FTLN 257880 widow weeps.

183
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 3

BEATRICE  FTLN 2579And how long is that, think you?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2580Question: why, an hour in clamor and a
FTLN 2581 quarter in rheum. Therefore is it most expedient for
FTLN 2582 the wise, if Don Worm, his conscience, find no
FTLN 258385 impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of
FTLN 2584 his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for
FTLN 2585 praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is
FTLN 2586 praiseworthy. And now tell me, how doth your
FTLN 2587 cousin?
BEATRICE  FTLN 258890Very ill.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2589And how do you?
BEATRICE  FTLN 2590Very ill, too.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2591Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I
FTLN 2592 leave you too, for here comes one in haste.

Enter Ursula.

URSULA  FTLN 259395Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder’s
FTLN 2594 old coil at home. It is proved my Lady Hero
FTLN 2595 hath been falsely accused, the Prince and Claudio
FTLN 2596 mightily abused, and Don John is the author of all,
FTLN 2597 who is fled and gone. Will you come presently?
editorial emendationUrsula exits.editorial emendation
BEATRICE  FTLN 2598100Will you go hear this news, signior?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2599I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be
FTLN 2600 buried in thy eyes—and, moreover, I will go with
FTLN 2601 thee to thy uncle’s.
editorial emendationTheyeditorial emendation exit.


editorial emendationScene 3editorial emendation
Enter Claudio, Prince, and three or four editorial emendationLordseditorial emendation with
tapers, editorial emendationand Musicians.editorial emendation


CLAUDIO  FTLN 2602Is this the monument of Leonato?
editorial emendationFIRSTeditorial emendation LORD  FTLN 2603It is, my lord.

185
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 3

editorial emendationCLAUDIO , reading aneditorial emendation Epitaph. 

FTLN 2604 Done to death by slanderous tongues
FTLN 2605  Was the Hero that here lies.
FTLN 26065 Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
FTLN 2607  Gives her fame which never dies.
FTLN 2608 So the life that died with shame
FTLN 2609 Lives in death with glorious fame.

editorial emendationHe hangs up the scroll.editorial emendation
FTLN 2610 Hang thou there upon the tomb,
FTLN 261110 Praising her when I am editorial emendationdumb.editorial emendation
FTLN 2612 Now music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.

Song 
FTLN 2613 Pardon, goddess of the night,
FTLN 2614 Those that slew thy virgin knight,
FTLN 2615 For the which with songs of woe,
FTLN 261615 Round about her tomb they go.
FTLN 2617  Midnight, assist our moan.
FTLN 2618  Help us to sigh and groan
FTLN 2619  Heavily, heavily.
FTLN 2620  Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
FTLN 262120  Till death be utterèd,
FTLN 2622  Heavily, heavily.

editorial emendationCLAUDIOeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2623 Now, unto thy bones, goodnight.
FTLN 2624 Yearly will I do this rite.
PRINCE 
FTLN 2625 Good morrow, masters. Put your torches out.
FTLN 262625 The wolves have preyed, and look, the gentle day
FTLN 2627 Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about
FTLN 2628 Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray.
FTLN 2629 Thanks to you all, and leave us. Fare you well.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2630 Good morrow, masters. Each his several way.
editorial emendationLords and Musicians exit.editorial emendation

187
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

PRINCE 
FTLN 263130 Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds,
FTLN 2632 And then to Leonato’s we will go.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2633 And Hymen now with luckier issue speed ’s,
FTLN 2634 Than this for whom we rendered up this woe.
They exit.


editorial emendationScene 4editorial emendation
Enter Leonato, Benedick, editorial emendationBeatrice,editorial emendation Margaret, Ursula,
editorial emendationLeonato’s brother,editorial emendation Friar, Hero.


FRIAR 
FTLN 2635 Did I not tell you she was innocent?
LEONATO 
FTLN 2636 So are the Prince and Claudio, who accused her
FTLN 2637 Upon the error that you heard debated.
FTLN 2638 But Margaret was in some fault for this,
FTLN 26395 Although against her will, as it appears
FTLN 2640 In the true course of all the question.
LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2641 Well, I am glad that all things sorts so well.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2642 And so am I, being else by faith enforced
FTLN 2643 To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
LEONATO 
FTLN 264410 Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
FTLN 2645 Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
FTLN 2646 And when I send for you, come hither masked.
FTLN 2647 The Prince and Claudio promised by this hour
FTLN 2648 To visit me.—You know your office, brother.
FTLN 264915 You must be father to your brother’s daughter,
FTLN 2650 And give her to young Claudio. The ladies exit.

189
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

LEONATO’S BROTHER 
FTLN 2651 Which I will do with confirmed countenance.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2652 Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
FRIAR  FTLN 2653To do what, signior?
BENEDICK 
FTLN 265420 To bind me, or undo me, one of them.—
FTLN 2655 Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
FTLN 2656 Your niece regards me with an eye of favor.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2657 That eye my daughter lent her; ’tis most true.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2658 And I do with an eye of love requite her.
LEONATO 
FTLN 265925 The sight whereof I think you had from me,
FTLN 2660 From Claudio, and the Prince. But what’s your will?
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2661 Your answer, sir, is enigmatical.
FTLN 2662 But for my will, my will is your goodwill
FTLN 2663 May stand with ours, this day to be conjoined
FTLN 266430 In the state of honorable marriage—
FTLN 2665 In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2666 My heart is with your liking.
FRIAR  FTLN 2667 And my help.
FTLN 2668 Here comes the Prince and Claudio.

Enter Prince, and Claudio, and two or three other.

PRINCE  FTLN 266935Good morrow to this fair assembly.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2670 Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio.
FTLN 2671 We here attend you. Are you yet determined
FTLN 2672 Today to marry with my brother’s daughter?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2673 I’ll hold my mind were she an Ethiope.

191
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

LEONATO 
FTLN 267440 Call her forth, brother. Here’s the Friar ready.
editorial emendationLeonato’s brother exits.editorial emendation
PRINCE 
FTLN 2675 Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matter
FTLN 2676 That you have such a February face,
FTLN 2677 So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2678 I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
FTLN 267945 Tush, fear not, man. We’ll tip thy horns with gold,
FTLN 2680 And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
FTLN 2681 As once Europa did at lusty Jove
FTLN 2682 When he would play the noble beast in love.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2683 Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low,
FTLN 268450 And some such strange bull leapt your father’s cow
FTLN 2685 And got a calf in that same noble feat
FTLN 2686 Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2687 For this I owe you. Here comes other reck’nings.

Enter editorial emendationLeonato’seditorial emendation brother, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret,
Ursula, editorial emendationthe ladies masked.editorial emendation


FTLN 2688 Which is the lady I must seize upon?
LEONATO 
FTLN 268955 This same is she, and I do give you her.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2690 Why, then, she’s mine.—Sweet, let me see your face.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2691 No, that you shall not till you take her hand
FTLN 2692 Before this friar and swear to marry her.
CLAUDIO , editorial emendationto Heroeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2693 Give me your hand before this holy friar.
editorial emendationThey take hands.editorial emendation
FTLN 269460 I am your husband, if you like of me.

193
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

HERO 
FTLN 2695 And when I lived, I was your other wife,
FTLN 2696 And when you loved, you were my other husband.
editorial emendationShe unmasks.editorial emendation
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2697 Another Hero!
HERO  FTLN 2698 Nothing certainer.
FTLN 269965 One Hero died defiled, but I do live,
FTLN 2700 And surely as I live, I am a maid.
PRINCE 
FTLN 2701 The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
LEONATO 
FTLN 2702 She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
FRIAR 
FTLN 2703 All this amazement can I qualify,
FTLN 270470 When after that the holy rites are ended,
FTLN 2705 I’ll tell you largely of fair Hero’s death.
FTLN 2706 Meantime let wonder seem familiar,
FTLN 2707 And to the chapel let us presently.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2708 Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice?
BEATRICE , editorial emendationunmaskingeditorial emendation 
FTLN 270975 I answer to that name. What is your will?
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2710 Do not you love me?
BEATRICE  FTLN 2711 Why no, no more than reason.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2712 Why then, your uncle and the Prince and Claudio
FTLN 2713 Have been deceived. They swore you did.
BEATRICE 
FTLN 271480 Do not you love me?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2715 Troth, no, no more than reason.
BEATRICE 
FTLN 2716 Why then, my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula
FTLN 2717 Are much deceived, for they did swear you did.

195
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

BENEDICK 
FTLN 2718 They swore that you were almost sick for me.
BEATRICE 
FTLN 271985 They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
BENEDICK 
FTLN 2720 ’Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
BEATRICE 
FTLN 2721 No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
LEONATO 
FTLN 2722 Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
CLAUDIO 
FTLN 2723 And I’ll be sworn upon ’t that he loves her,
FTLN 272490 For here’s a paper written in his hand,
FTLN 2725 A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
FTLN 2726 Fashioned to Beatrice. editorial emendationHe shows a paper.editorial emendation
HERO  FTLN 2727 And here’s another,
FTLN 2728 Writ in my cousin’s hand, stol’n from her pocket,
FTLN 272995 Containing her affection unto Benedick.
editorial emendationShe shows a paper.editorial emendation
BENEDICK  FTLN 2730A miracle! Here’s our own hands against
FTLN 2731 our hearts. Come, I will have thee, but by this light
FTLN 2732 I take thee for pity.
BEATRICE  FTLN 2733I would not deny you, but by this good day, I
FTLN 2734100 yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your
FTLN 2735 life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
editorial emendationBENEDICKeditorial emendation  FTLN 2736Peace! I will stop your mouth.
editorial emendationThey kiss.editorial emendation
PRINCE 
FTLN 2737 How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
BENEDICK  FTLN 2738I’ll tell thee what, prince: a college of
FTLN 2739105 wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor.
FTLN 2740 Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram?
FTLN 2741 No. If a man will be beaten with brains, he shall
FTLN 2742 wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I
FTLN 2743 do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
FTLN 2744110 purpose that the world can say against it, and

197
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 5. SC. 4

FTLN 2745 therefore never flout at me for what I have said
FTLN 2746 against it. For man is a giddy thing, and this is my
FTLN 2747 conclusion.—For thy part, Claudio, I did think to
FTLN 2748 have beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my
FTLN 2749115 kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.
CLAUDIO  FTLN 2750I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied
FTLN 2751 Beatrice, that I might have cudgeled thee out of thy
FTLN 2752 single life, to make thee a double-dealer, which out
FTLN 2753 of question thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look
FTLN 2754120 exceeding narrowly to thee.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2755Come, come, we are friends. Let’s have a
FTLN 2756 dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our
FTLN 2757 own hearts and our wives’ heels.
LEONATO  FTLN 2758We’ll have dancing afterward.
BENEDICK  FTLN 2759125First, of my word! Therefore play, music.—
FTLN 2760 Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife.
FTLN 2761 There is no staff more reverend than one tipped
FTLN 2762 with horn.

Enter Messenger.

MESSENGER , editorial emendationto Princeeditorial emendation 
FTLN 2763 My lord, your brother John is ta’en in flight,
FTLN 2764130 And brought with armed men back to Messina.
BENEDICK , editorial emendationto Princeeditorial emendation  FTLN 2765Think not on him till tomorrow.
FTLN 2766 I’ll devise thee brave punishments for him.—Strike
FTLN 2767 up, pipers! editorial emendationMusic plays. Theyeditorial emendation dance.
editorial emendationThey exit.editorial emendation