William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing in the complete original text.
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Much Ado about Nothing

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Act III. Scene II.

Scene II.—A Room in LEONATO'S House.


D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be
consummate, and then go I toward Arragon.
Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll
vouchsafe me.
D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil
in the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a
child his new coat and forbid him to wear it. I
will only be bold with Benedick for his company;
for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his
foot, he is all mirth: he hath twice or thrice cut
Cupid's bow-string, and the little hangman dare
not shoot at him. He hath a heart as sound as
a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what
his heart thinks his tongue speaks.
Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been.
Leon. So say I: methinks you are sadder.
Claud. I hope he be in love.
D. Pedro. Hang him, truant! there's no true
drop of blood in him, to be truly touched with
love. If he be sad, he wants money.
Bene. I have the tooth-ache.
D. Pedro. Draw it.
Bene. Hang it.
Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it
D. Pedro. What! sigh for the tooth-ache?
Leon. Where Is but a humour or a worm?
Bene. Well, every one can master a grief but
he that has it.
Claud. Yet say I, he is in love.
D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in I
him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange
disguises; as, to be a Dutchman to-day, a French-
man to-morrow, or in the shape of two countries
at once, as a German from the waist downward,
all slops, and a Spaniard from the hip upward,
no doublet. Unless he have a fancy to this
foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for
fancy, as you would have it appear he is.
Claud. If he be not in love with some woman,
there is no believing old signs: a' brushes his hat
a mornings; what should that bode?
D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the
Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been
seen with him; and the old ornament of his
cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.
Leon. Indeed he looks younger than he did,
by the loss of a beard.
D. Pedro. Nay, a' rubs himself with civet:
can you smell him out by that?
Claud. That's as much as to say the sweet
youth's in love.
D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melan-
Claud. And when was he wont to wash his
D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the
which, I hear what they say of him.
Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is
now crept into a lute-string, and new-governed
by stops.
D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for
him. Conclude, conclude he is in love.
Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.
D. Pedro. That would I know too: I warrant,
one that knows him not.
Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and in
despite of all, dies for him.
D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face
Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache.
Old signior, walk aside with me: I have studied
eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which
these hobby-horses must not hear.
D. Pedro. For my life, to break with hint
about Beatrice.
Claud. 'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have
by this played their parts with Beatrice, and
then the two bears will not bite one another
when they meet.

D. John. My lord and brother. God save you!
D. Pedro. Good den, brother.
D. John. If your leisure served, I would speak
with you.
D. Pedro. In private?
D. John. If it please you; yet Count Claudio
may hear, for what I would speak of concerns
D. Pedro. What's the matter?
D. John. [To CLAUDIO.] Means your lordship
to be married to-morrow?
D. Pedro. You know he does.
D. John. I know not that, when he knows
what I know.
Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray
you discover it.
D. John. You may think I love you not: let
that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by
that I now will manifest. For my brother, I
think he holds you well, and in dearness of
heart hath help to effect your ensuing marriage;
surely suit ill-spent, and labour ill bestowed!
D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?
D. John. I came hither to tell you; and cir-
cumstances shortened,—for she hath been too
long a talking of,—the lady is disloyal.
Claud. Who, Hero?
D. John. Even she: Leonato's Hero, your
Hero, every man's Hero.
Claud. Disloyal?
D. John. The word's too good to paint out
her wickedness; I could say, she were worse:
think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to
it. Wonder not till further warrant: go but with
me to-night, you shall see her chamber-window
entered, even the night before her wedding-day:
if you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it
would better fit your honour to change your
Claud. May this be so?
D. Pedro. I will not think it.
D. John. If you dare not trust that you see,
confess not that you know. If you will follow
me, I will show you enough; and when you have
seen more and heard more, proceed accordingly.
Claud. If I see any thing to-night why I
should not marry her to-morrow, in the con-
gregation, where I should wed, there will I shame
D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain
her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.
D. John. I will disparage her no further till
you are my witnesses: bear it coldly but till
midnight, and let the issue show itself.
D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned!
Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting!
D. John. O plague right well prevented! So
will you say when you have seen the sequel.
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