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Much Ado About Nothing: Act II, Scene 3

Much Ado About Nothing
Act II, Scene 3

Leonato’s orchard.

  1. Enter Benedick alone.

Benedick

1
  1. Boy!
  1. Enter Boy.

Boy

2
  1. Signior?

Benedick

3 - 4
  1. In my chamber-window lies a book, bring it hither to me in
  2. the orchard.

Boy

5
  1. I am here already, sir.
  1. Exit.

Benedick

6 - 32
  1. I know that, but I would have thee hence, and here again. I
  2. do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is
  3. a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after
  4. he hath laugh’d at such shallow follies in others, become
  5. the argument of his own scorn by falling in loveand such a
  6. man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with
  7. him but the drum and the fife, and now had he rather hear
  8. the tabor and the pipe; I have known when he would have
  9. walk’d ten mile afoot to see a good armor, and now will he
  10. lie ten nights awake carving the fashion of a new doublet;
  11. he was wont to speak plain and to the purpose (like an
  12. honest man and a soldier), and now is he turn’d
  13. orthographyhis words are a very fantastical banquet, just
  14. so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with
  15. these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not be sworn
  16. but love may transform me to an oyster, but I’ll take my
  17. oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall
  18. never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well;
  19. another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am
  20. well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall
  21. not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain;
  22. wise, or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen her;
  23. fair, or I’ll never look on her; mild, or come not near me;
  24. noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an
  25. excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what color it
  26. please God. Hah! The Prince and Monsieur Love. I will hide
  27. me in the arbor.
  1. Withdraws.
  1. Enter Prince Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio. Music within.

Don Pedro

33
  1. Come, shall we hear this music?

Claudio

34 - 35
  1. Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
  2. As hush’d on purpose to grace harmony!

Don Pedro

36
  1. See you where Benedick hath hid himself?

Claudio

37 - 38
  1. O, very well, my lord. The music ended,
  2. We’ll fit the hid-fox with a pennyworth.
  1. Enter Balthasar with Music.

Don Pedro

39
  1. Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again.

Balthasar

40 - 41
  1. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
  2. To slander music any more than once.

Don Pedro

42 - 44
  1. It is the witness still of excellency
  2. To put a strange face on his own perfection.
  3. I pray thee sing, and let me woo no more.

Balthasar

45 - 48
  1. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing,
  2. Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
  3. To her he thinks not worthy, yet he woos,
  4. Yet will he swear he loves.

Don Pedro

49 - 51
  1.                             Nay, pray thee come,
  2. Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
  3. Do it in notes.

Balthasar

52 - 53
  1.                 Note this before my notes:
  2. There’s not a note of mine that’s worth the noting.

Don Pedro

54 - 55
  1. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks
  2. Note notes, forsooth, and nothing.
  1. Air.

Benedick

56 - 58
  1. Now, divine air! Now is his soul ravish’d! Is it not strange
  2. that sheep’s guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?
  3. Well, a horn for my money when all’s done.
  1. The Song

Balthasar

59 - 71
  1. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
  2. Men were deceivers ever,
  3. One foot in sea, and one on shore,
  4. To one thing constant never.
  5. Then sigh not so, but let them go,
  6. And be you blithe and bonny,
  7. Converting all your sounds of woe
  8. Into hey nonny nonny.
  9. Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
  10. Of dumps so dull and heavy;
  11. The fraud of men was ever so,
  12. Since summer first was leavy.
  13. Then sigh not so, etc.

Don Pedro

72
  1. By my troth, a good song.

Balthasar

73
  1. And an ill singer, my lord.

Don Pedro

74
  1. Ha, no, no, faith, thou sing’st well enough for a shift.

Benedick

75 - 78
  1. And he had been a dog that should have howl’d thus, they
  2. would have hang’d him, and I pray God his bad voice bode no
  3. mischief. I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come
  4. what plague could have come after it.

Don Pedro

79 - 81
  1. Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray thee get us
  2. some excellent music; for tomorrow night we would have it at
  3. the Lady Hero’s chamber-window.

Balthasar

82
  1. The best I can, my lord.
  1. Exit Balthasar.

Don Pedro

83 - 85
  1. Do so, farewell. Come hither, Leonato. What was it you told
  2. me of today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with
  3. Signior Benedick?

Claudio

86 - 87
  1. Aside.
  2. O ay, stalk on, stalk on, the fowl sits.—I did never think
  3. that lady would have lov’d any man.

Leonato

88 - 90
  1. No, nor I neither, but most wonderful that she should so
  2. dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward
  3. behaviors seem’d ever to abhor.

Benedick

91
  1. Is’t possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

Leonato

92 - 94
  1. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it but
  2. that she loves him with an enrag’d affection; it is past the
  3. infinite of thought.

Don Pedro

95
  1. May be she doth but counterfeit.

Claudio

96
  1. Faith, like enough.

Leonato

97 - 98
  1. O God! Counterfeit? There was never counterfeit of passion
  2. came so near the life of passion as she discovers it.

Don Pedro

99
  1. Why, what effects of passion shows she?

Claudio

100
  1. Aside.
  2. Bait the hook well, this fish will bite.

Leonato

101 - 102
  1. What effects, my lord? She will sit youyou heard my
  2. daughter tell you how.

Claudio

103
  1. She did indeed.

Don Pedro

104 - 106
  1. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me, I would have thought her
  2. spirit had been invincible against all assaults of
  3. affection.

Leonato

107 - 108
  1. I would have sworn it had, my lord, especially against
  2. Benedick.

Benedick

109 - 111
  1. I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded
  2. fellow speaks it. Knavery cannot sure hide himself in such
  3. reverence.

Claudio

112
  1. Aside.
  2. He hath ta’en th’ infection. Hold it up.

Don Pedro

113
  1. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?

Leonato

114
  1. No, and swears she never will. That’s her torment.

Claudio

115 - 117
  1. ’Tis true indeed, so your daughter says. Shall I,” says
  2. she, that have so oft encount’red him with scorn, write to
  3. him that I love him?”

Leonato

118 - 121
  1. This says she now when she is beginning to write to him, for
  2. she’ll be up twenty times a night, and there will she sit in
  3. her smock till she have writ a sheet of paper. My daughter
  4. tells us all.

Claudio

122 - 123
  1. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest
  2. your daughter told us of.

Leonato

124 - 125
  1. O, when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found
  2. Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?

Claudio

126
  1. That.

Leonato

127 - 131
  1. O, she tore the letter into a thousand half-pence; rail’d at
  2. herself, that she should be so immodest to write to one that
  3. she knew would flout her. I measure him,” says she, by my
  4. own spirit, for I should flout him, if he writ to me, yea,
  5. though I love him, I should.”

Claudio

132 - 134
  1. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her
  2. heart, tears her hair, prays, curses: O sweet Benedick! God
  3. give me patience!”

Leonato

135 - 137
  1. She doth indeed, my daughter says so; and the ecstasy hath
  2. so much overborne her that my daughter is sometime afeard
  3. she will do a desperate outrage to herself. It is very true.

Don Pedro

138 - 139
  1. It were good that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she
  2. will not discover it.

Claudio

140 - 141
  1. To what end? He would make but a sport of it, and torment
  2. the poor lady worse.

Don Pedro

142 - 144
  1. And he should, it were an alms to hang him. She’s an
  2. excellent sweet lady, and (out of all suspicion) she is
  3. virtuous.

Claudio

145
  1. And she is exceeding wise.

Don Pedro

146
  1. In every thing but in loving Benedick.

Leonato

147 - 150
  1. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body,
  2. we have ten proofs to one that blood hath the victory. I am
  3. sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her
  4. guardian.

Don Pedro

151 - 153
  1. I would she had bestow’d this dotage on me, I would have
  2. daff’d all other respects, and made her half myself. I pray
  3. you tell Benedick of it, and hear what ’a will say.

Leonato

154
  1. Were it good, think you?

Claudio

155 - 158
  1. Hero thinks surely she will die, for she says she will die
  2. if he love her not, and she will die ere she make her love
  3. known, and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will
  4. bate one breath of her accustom’d crossness.

Don Pedro

159 - 161
  1. She doth well. If she should make tender of her love, ’tis
  2. very possible he’ll scorn it, for the man (as you know all)
  3. hath a contemptible spirit.

Claudio

162
  1. He is a very proper man.

Don Pedro

163
  1. He hath indeed a good outward happiness.

Claudio

164
  1. Before God, and in my mind, very wise.

Don Pedro

165
  1. He doth indeed show some sparks that are like wit.

Claudio

166
  1. And I take him to be valiant.

Don Pedro

167 - 170
  1. As Hector, I assure you, and in the managing of quarrels you
  2. may say he is wise, for either he avoids them with great
  3. discretion, or undertakes them with a most Christian-like
  4. fear.

Leonato

171 - 173
  1. If he do fear God, ’a must necessarily keep peace; if he
  2. break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear
  3. and trembling.

Don Pedro

174 - 177
  1. And so will he do, for the man doth fear God, howsoever it
  2. seems not in him by some large jests he will make. Well, I
  3. am sorry for your niece. Shall we go seek Benedick, and tell
  4. him of her love?

Claudio

178 - 179
  1. Never tell him, my lord. Let her wear it out with good
  2. counsel.

Leonato

180
  1. Nay, that’s impossible, she may wear her heart out first.

Don Pedro

181 - 184
  1. Well, we will hear further of it by your daughter, let it
  2. cool the while. I love Benedick well, and I could wish he
  3. would modestly examine himself, to see how much he is
  4. unworthy so good a lady.

Leonato

185
  1. My lord, will you walk? Dinner is ready.

Claudio

186 - 187
  1. Aside.
  2. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my
  3. expectation.

Don Pedro

188 - 193
  1. Aside.
  2. Let there be the same net spread for her, and that must your
  3. daughter and her gentlewomen carry. The sport will be, when
  4. they hold one an opinion of another’s dotage, and no such
  5. matter; that’s the scene that I would see, which will be
  6. merely a dumb show. Let us send her to call him in to
  7. dinner.
  1. Exeunt Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato.

Benedick

194 - 215
  1. Coming forward.
  2. This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne; they
  3. have the truth of this from Hero; they seem to pity the
  4. lady. It seems her affections have their full bent. Love me?
  5. Why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censur’d; they say
  6. I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from
  7. her; they say too that she will rather die than give any
  8. sign of affection. I did never think to marry. I must not
  9. seem proud; happy are they that hear their detractions, and
  10. can put them to mending. They say the lady is fair; ’tis a
  11. truth, I can bear them witness; and virtuous; ’tis so, I
  12. cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving me; by my troth,
  13. it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her
  14. folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may chance
  15. have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me,
  16. because I have rail’d so long against marriage; but doth not
  17. the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that
  18. he cannot endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and
  19. these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career
  20. of his humor? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I
  21. would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I
  22. were married. Here comes Beatrice. By this day, she’s a fair
  23. lady. I do spy some marks of love in her.
  1. Enter Beatrice.

Beatrice

216
  1. Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.

Benedick

217
  1. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

Beatrice

218 - 219
  1. I took no more pains for those thanks than you take pains to
  2. thank me. If it had been painful, I would not have come.

Benedick

220
  1. You take pleasure then in the message?

Beatrice

221 - 223
  1. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knive’s point, and
  2. choke a daw withal. You have no stomach, signior, fare you
  3. well.
  1. Exit.

Benedick

224 - 230
  1. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to
  2. dinner”—there’s a double meaning in that. I took no more
  3. pains for those thanks than you took pains to thank
  4. me”—that’s as much as to say, Any pains that I take for you
  5. is as easy as thanks.” If I do not take pity of her, I am a
  6. villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her
  7. picture.
  1. Exit.
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