The Bodleian First Folio

A digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, Bodleian Arch. G c.7.



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Reference: I3v - Comedies, p. 102

Left Column


Much adoe about Nothing. Pedro.

You embrace your charge too willingly: I

[95]

thinke this is your daughter.

Leonato.

Her mother hath many times told me so.

Bened.

Were you in doubt that you askt her?

Leonato.

Signior Benedicke, no, for then were you a

childe.

Pedro.
[100]

You haue it full Benedicke, we may ghesse by

this, what you are, being a man, truely the Lady fathers

her selfe: be happie Lady, for you are like an honorable

father.

Ben.

If Signior Leonato be her father, she would not

[105]

haue his head on her shoulders for al Messina, as like him

as she is.

Beat.

I wonder that you will still be talking, signior

Benedicke, no body markes you.

Ben.

What my deere Ladie Disdaine! are you yet

[110]

liuing?

Beat.

Is it possible Disdaine should die, while shee

hath such meete foode to feede it, as Signior Benedicke?

Curtesie it selfe must conuert to Disdaine, if you come in

her presence.

Bene.
[115]

Then is curtesie a turneȑcoate, but it is cer­

taine I am loued of all Ladies, onely you excepted: and

I would I could finde in my heart that I had not a hard

heart, for truely I loue none.

Beat.

A deere happinesse to women, they would else

[120]

haue beene troubled with a pernitious Suter, I thanke

God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that, I

had rather heare my Dog barke at a Crow, than a man

sweare he loues me.

Bene.

God keepe your Ladiship still in that minde,

[125]

so some Gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate

scratcht face.

Beat.

Scratching could not make it worse, and 'twere

such a face as yours were.

Bene.

Well, you are a rare Parrat teacher.

Beat.
[130]

A bird of my tongue, is better than a beast of

your.

Ben.

I would my horse had the speed of your tongue,

and so good a continuer, but keepe your way a Gods

name, I haue done.

Beat.
[135]

You alwaies end with a Iades tricke, I know

you of old.

Pedro.

This is the summe of all: Leonato, signior Clau­ dio , and signior Benedicke; my deere friend Leonato, hath

inuited you all, I tell him we shall stay here, at the least

[140]

a moneth, and he heartily praies some occasion may de­

taine vs longer: I dare sweare hee is no hypocrite,

but praies from his heart.

Leon.

If you sweare, my Lord, you shall not be for­

sworne, let mee bid you welcome, my Lord, being re­

[145]

conciled to the Prince your brother: I owe you all

duetie.

Iohn.

I thanke you, I am not of many words, but I

thanke you.

Leon.

Please it your grace leade on ?

Pedro.
[150]

Your hand Leonato, we will goe together.

Exeunt. Manet Benedicke and Claudio. Clau.

Benedicke, didst thou note the daughter of sig­

nior Leonato?

Bene.

I noted her not, but I lookt on her.

Claud.

Is she not a modest yong Ladie?

Bene.
[155]

Doe you question me as an honest man should

doe, for my simple true iudgement? or would you haue

me speake after my custome, as being a professed tyrant

to their sexe ?

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Clau.

No, I pray thee speake in sober iudgement.

Bene.
[160]

Why yfaith me thinks shee's too low for a hie

praise, too browne for a faire praise, and too little for a

great praise, onely this commendation I can affoord her,

that were shee other then she is, she were vnhandsome,

and being no other, but as she is, I doe not like her.

Clau.
[165]

Thou think'st I am in sport, I pray thee tell me

truely how thou lik'st her.

Bene.

Would you buie her, that you enquier after

her ?

Clau.

Can the world buie such a iewell?

Ben.
[170]

Yea, and a case to put it into, but speake you this

with a sad brow? Or doe you play the flowting iacke, to

tell vs Cupid is a good Hare‑finder, and Vulcan a rare

Carpenter: Come, in what key shall aman a man take you to

goe in the song?

Clau.
[175]

In mine eie, she is the sweetest Ladie that euer

I lookt on.

Bene.

I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no

such matter: there's her cosin, and she were not possest

with a furie, exceedes her as much in beautie, as the first

[180]

of Maie doth the last of December: but I hope you haue

no intent to turne husband, haue you?

Clau.

I would scarce trust my selfe, though I had

sworne the contrarie, if Hero would be my wife.

Bene.

Ist come to this? in faith hath not the world one

[185]

man but he will weare his cap with suspition? shall I ne­

uer see a batcheller of three score againe? goe to yfaith,

and thou wilt needes thrust thy necke into a yoke, weare

the print of it, and sigh away sundaies: looke, don Pedro

is returned to seeke you.

Enter don Pedro, Iohn the bastard. Pedr.
[190]

What secret hath held you here, that you fol­

lowed not to Leonatoes?

Bened.

I would your Grace would constraine mee to

tell.

Pedro.

I charge thee on thy allegeance.

Ben.
[195]

You heare, Count Claudio, I can be secret as a

dumbe man, I would haue you thinke so (but on my al­

legiance, marke you this, on my allegiance) hee is in

loue, With who? now that is your Graces part: marke

how short his answere is, with Hero, Leonatoes short

[200]

daughter.

Clau.

If this were so, so were it vttred.

Bened.

Like the old tale, my Lord, it is not so, nor 'twas

not so: but indeede, God forbid it should be so.

Clau.

If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it

[205]

should be otherwise.

Pedro.

Amen, if you loue her, for the Ladie is verie

well worthie.

Clau.

You speake this to fetch me in, my Lord.

Pedr.

By my troth I speake my thought.

Clau.
[210]

And in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine.

Bened.

And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I

speake mine.

Clau.

That I loue her, I feele.

Pedr.

That she is worthie, I know.

Bened.
[215]

That I neither feele how shee should be lo­

ued, nor know how shee should be worthie, is the

opinion that fire cannot melt out of me, I will die in it at

the stake.

Pedr.

Thou wast euer an obstinate heretique in the de­

[220]

spight of Beautie.

Clau.

And neuer could maintaine his part, but in the

force of his will.

Bene. That

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[Act 1, Scene 2] Enter Leonato and an old man, brother to Leonato. Leo.
[310]

How now brother, where is my cosen your son:

hath he prouided this musicke?

Old.

He is very busie about it, but brother, I can tell

you newes that you yet dreamt not of.

Lo.

Are they good ?

Old.
[315]

As the euents stamps them, but they haue a good

couer: they shew well outward, the Prince and Count

Claudio walking in a thick pleached alley in my orchard,

were thus ouer‑heard by a man of mine: the Prince dis­

couered to Claudio that hee loued my niece your daugh­

[320]

ter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance;

and if hee found her accordant, hee meant to take the

present time by the top, and instantly breake with you

of it.

Leo.

Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?

Old.
[325]

A good sharpe fellow, I will send for him, and

question him your selfe.

Leo.

No, no; wee will hold it as a dreame, till it ap­

peare it selfe: but I will acquaint my daughter withall,

that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if per­

[330]

aduenture this bee true: goe you and tell her of it: coo­

sins, you know what you haue to doe, O I crie you mer­

cie friend, goe you with mee and I will vse your skill,

good cosin haue a care this busie time.

Exeunt.
 

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   <stage rend="italic center" type="entrance">Enter Leonato and an old man, brother to Leonato.</stage>
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      <speaker rend="italic">Leo.</speaker>
      <p n="310">How now brother, where is my cosen your son:
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         <hi rend="italic">Claudio</hi>walking in a thick pleached alley in my orchard,
      <lb n="318"/>were thus ouer‑heard by a man of mine: the Prince dis­
      <lb n="319"/>couered to<hi rend="italic">Claudio</hi>that hee loued my niece your daugh­
      <lb n="320"/>ter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance;
      <lb n="321"/>and if hee found her accordant, hee meant to take the
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      <speaker rend="italic">Leo.</speaker>
      <p n="324">Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?</p>
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      <speaker rend="italic">Leo.</speaker>
      <p n="327">No, no; wee will hold it as a dreame, till it ap­
      <lb n="328"/>peare it selfe: but I will acquaint my daughter withall,
      <lb n="329"/>that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if per­
      <lb n="330"/>aduenture this bee true: goe you and tell her of it: coo­
      <lb n="331"/>sins, you know what you haue to doe, O I crie you mer­
      <lb n="332"/>cie friend, goe you with mee and I will vse your skill,
      <lb n="333"/>good cosin haue a care this busie time.</p>
   </sp>
   <stage rend="italic rightJustified" type="exit">Exeunt.</stage>
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