Much Ado About Nothing
Act II, Scene 3
- Enter Benedick alone.
- Enter Boy.
Benedick3 - 4
- In my chamber-window lies a book, bring it hither to me in
- the orchard.
- I am here already, sir.
Benedick6 - 32
- I know that, but I would have thee hence, and here again. I
- do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is
- a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after
- he hath laugh’d at such shallow follies in others, become
- the argument of his own scorn by falling in love—and such a
- man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with
- him but the drum and the fife, and now had he rather hear
- the tabor and the pipe; I have known when he would have
- walk’d ten mile afoot to see a good armor, and now will he
- lie ten nights awake carving the fashion of a new doublet;
- he was wont to speak plain and to the purpose (like an
- honest man and a soldier), and now is he turn’d
- orthography—his words are a very fantastical banquet, just
- so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with
- these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not be sworn
- but love may transform me to an oyster, but I’ll take my
- oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall
- never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well;
- another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am
- well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall
- not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain;
- wise, or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen her;
- fair, or I’ll never look on her; mild, or come not near me;
- noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an
- excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what color it
- please God. Hah! The Prince and Monsieur Love. I will hide
- me in the arbor.
- Enter Prince Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio. Music within.
- Come, shall we hear this music?
Claudio34 - 35
- Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
- As hush’d on purpose to grace harmony!
- See you where Benedick hath hid himself?
Claudio37 - 38
- O, very well, my lord. The music ended,
- We’ll fit the hid-fox with a pennyworth.
- Enter Balthasar with Music.
- Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again.
Balthasar40 - 41
- O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
- To slander music any more than once.
Don Pedro42 - 44
- It is the witness still of excellency
- To put a strange face on his own perfection.
- I pray thee sing, and let me woo no more.
Balthasar45 - 48
- Because you talk of wooing, I will sing,
- Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
- To her he thinks not worthy, yet he woos,
- Yet will he swear he loves.
Don Pedro49 - 51
- Nay, pray thee come,
- Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
- Do it in notes.
Balthasar52 - 53
- Note this before my notes:
- There’s not a note of mine that’s worth the noting.
Don Pedro54 - 55
- Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks—
- Note notes, forsooth, and nothing.
Benedick56 - 58
- Now, divine air! Now is his soul ravish’d! Is it not strange
- that sheep’s guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?
- Well, a horn for my money when all’s done.
- The Song
Balthasar59 - 71
- Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
- Men were deceivers ever,
- One foot in sea, and one on shore,
- To one thing constant never.
- Then sigh not so, but let them go,
- And be you blithe and bonny,
- Converting all your sounds of woe
- Into hey nonny nonny.
- Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
- Of dumps so dull and heavy;
- The fraud of men was ever so,
- Since summer first was leavy.
- Then sigh not so, etc.
- By my troth, a good song.
- And an ill singer, my lord.
- Ha, no, no, faith, thou sing’st well enough for a shift.
Benedick75 - 78
- And he had been a dog that should have howl’d thus, they
- would have hang’d him, and I pray God his bad voice bode no
- mischief. I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come
- what plague could have come after it.
Don Pedro79 - 81
- Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray thee get us
- some excellent music; for tomorrow night we would have it at
- the Lady Hero’s chamber-window.
- The best I can, my lord.
- Exit Balthasar.
Don Pedro83 - 85
- Do so, farewell. Come hither, Leonato. What was it you told
- me of today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with
- Signior Benedick?
Claudio86 - 87
- O ay, stalk on, stalk on, the fowl sits.—I did never think
- that lady would have lov’d any man.
Leonato88 - 90
- No, nor I neither, but most wonderful that she should so
- dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward
- behaviors seem’d ever to abhor.
- Is’t possible? Sits the wind in that corner?
Leonato92 - 94
- By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it but
- that she loves him with an enrag’d affection; it is past the
- infinite of thought.
- May be she doth but counterfeit.
- Faith, like enough.
Leonato97 - 98
- O God! Counterfeit? There was never counterfeit of passion
- came so near the life of passion as she discovers it.
- Why, what effects of passion shows she?
- Bait the hook well, this fish will bite.
Leonato101 - 102
- What effects, my lord? She will sit you—you heard my
- daughter tell you how.
- She did indeed.
Don Pedro104 - 106
- How, how, I pray you? You amaze me, I would have thought her
- spirit had been invincible against all assaults of
Leonato107 - 108
- I would have sworn it had, my lord, especially against
Benedick109 - 111
- I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded
- fellow speaks it. Knavery cannot sure hide himself in such
- He hath ta’en th’ infection. Hold it up.
- Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?
- No, and swears she never will. That’s her torment.
Claudio115 - 117
- ’Tis true indeed, so your daughter says. “Shall I,” says
- she, “that have so oft encount’red him with scorn, write to
- him that I love him?”
Leonato118 - 121
- This says she now when she is beginning to write to him, for
- she’ll be up twenty times a night, and there will she sit in
- her smock till she have writ a sheet of paper. My daughter
- tells us all.
Claudio122 - 123
- Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest
- your daughter told us of.
Leonato124 - 125
- O, when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found
- “Benedick” and “Beatrice” between the sheet?
Leonato127 - 131
- O, she tore the letter into a thousand half-pence; rail’d at
- herself, that she should be so immodest to write to one that
- she knew would flout her. “I measure him,” says she, “by my
- own spirit, for I should flout him, if he writ to me, yea,
- though I love him, I should.”
Claudio132 - 134
- Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her
- heart, tears her hair, prays, curses: “O sweet Benedick! God
- give me patience!”
Leonato135 - 137
- She doth indeed, my daughter says so; and the ecstasy hath
- so much overborne her that my daughter is sometime afeard
- she will do a desperate outrage to herself. It is very true.
Don Pedro138 - 139
- It were good that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she
- will not discover it.
Claudio140 - 141
- To what end? He would make but a sport of it, and torment
- the poor lady worse.
Don Pedro142 - 144
- And he should, it were an alms to hang him. She’s an
- excellent sweet lady, and (out of all suspicion) she is
- And she is exceeding wise.
- In every thing but in loving Benedick.
Leonato147 - 150
- O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body,
- we have ten proofs to one that blood hath the victory. I am
- sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her
Don Pedro151 - 153
- I would she had bestow’d this dotage on me, I would have
- daff’d all other respects, and made her half myself. I pray
- you tell Benedick of it, and hear what ’a will say.
- Were it good, think you?
Claudio155 - 158
- Hero thinks surely she will die, for she says she will die
- if he love her not, and she will die ere she make her love
- known, and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will
- bate one breath of her accustom’d crossness.
Don Pedro159 - 161
- She doth well. If she should make tender of her love, ’tis
- very possible he’ll scorn it, for the man (as you know all)
- hath a contemptible spirit.
- He is a very proper man.
- He hath indeed a good outward happiness.
- Before God, and in my mind, very wise.
- He doth indeed show some sparks that are like wit.
- And I take him to be valiant.
Don Pedro167 - 170
- As Hector, I assure you, and in the managing of quarrels you
- may say he is wise, for either he avoids them with great
- discretion, or undertakes them with a most Christian-like
Leonato171 - 173
- If he do fear God, ’a must necessarily keep peace; if he
- break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear
- and trembling.
Don Pedro174 - 177
- And so will he do, for the man doth fear God, howsoever it
- seems not in him by some large jests he will make. Well, I
- am sorry for your niece. Shall we go seek Benedick, and tell
- him of her love?
Claudio178 - 179
- Never tell him, my lord. Let her wear it out with good
- Nay, that’s impossible, she may wear her heart out first.
Don Pedro181 - 184
- Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter, let it
- cool the while. I love Benedick well, and I could wish he
- would modestly examine himself, to see how much he is
- unworthy so good a lady.
- My lord, will you walk? Dinner is ready.
Claudio186 - 187
- If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my
Don Pedro188 - 193
- Let there be the same net spread for her, and that must your
- daughter and her gentlewomen carry. The sport will be, when
- they hold one an opinion of another’s dotage, and no such
- matter; that’s the scene that I would see, which will be
- merely a dumb show. Let us send her to call him in to
- Exeunt Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato.
Benedick194 - 215
- Coming forward.
- This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne; they
- have the truth of this from Hero; they seem to pity the
- lady. It seems her affections have their full bent. Love me?
- Why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censur’d; they say
- I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from
- her; they say too that she will rather die than give any
- sign of affection. I did never think to marry. I must not
- seem proud; happy are they that hear their detractions, and
- can put them to mending. They say the lady is fair; ’tis a
- truth, I can bear them witness; and virtuous; ’tis so, I
- cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving me; by my troth,
- it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her
- folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may chance
- have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me,
- because I have rail’d so long against marriage; but doth not
- the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that
- he cannot endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and
- these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career
- of his humor? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I
- would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I
- were married. Here comes Beatrice. By this day, she’s a fair
- lady. I do spy some marks of love in her.
- Enter Beatrice.
- Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.
- Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.
Beatrice218 - 219
- I took no more pains for those thanks than you take pains to
- thank me. If it had been painful, I would not have come.
- You take pleasure then in the message?
Beatrice221 - 223
- Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knive’s point, and
- choke a daw withal. You have no stomach, signior, fare you
Benedick224 - 230
- Ha! “Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to
- dinner”—there’s a double meaning in that. “I took no more
- pains for those thanks than you took pains to thank
- me”—that’s as much as to say, “Any pains that I take for you
- is as easy as thanks.” If I do not take pity of her, I am a
- villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her