Prescanned Shakespeare.com
presented by Acoustic Learning


Much Ado About Nothing

Act III, Scene 2

A room in LEONATO'S house
 
[Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO]
 
DON PEDRO
I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I toward Arragon.
 
CLAUDIO
I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.
 
DON 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.
 
BENEDICK
Gallants, I am not as I have been.
 
LEONATO
So say I methinks you are sadder.
 
CLAUDIO
I hope he be in love.
 
DON 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.
 
BENEDICK
I have the toothache.
 
DON PEDRO
Draw it.
 
BENEDICK
Hang it.
 
CLAUDIO
You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
 
DON PEDRO
What. sigh for the toothache?
 
LEONATO
Where is but a humor or a worm.
 
BENEDICK
Well, every one can master a grief but he that has it.
 
CLAUDIO
Yet say I, he is in love.
 
DON PEDRO
There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be a Dutchman today, a Frenchman tomorrow, 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.
 
CLAUDIO
If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat of mornings; what should that bode?
 
DON PEDRO
Hath any man seen him at the barber's?
 
CLAUDIO
No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.
 
LEONATO
Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
 
DON PEDRO
Nay, he rubs himself with civet: can you smell him out by that?
 
CLAUDIO
That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.
 
DON PEDRO
The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
 
CLAUDIO
And when was he wont to wash his face?
 
DON PEDRO
Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.
 
CLAUDIO
Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lute-string and now governed by stops.
 
DON PEDRO
Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude, conclude he is in love.
 
CLAUDIO
Nay, but I know who loves him.
 
DON PEDRO
That would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.
 
CLAUDIO
Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.
 
DON PEDRO
She shall be buried with her face upwards.
 
BENEDICK
Yet is this no charm for the toothache. 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.
 
[Exeunt BENEDICK and LEONATO]
 
DON PEDRO
For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
 
CLAUDIO
'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.
 
DON JOHN
My lord and brother, God save you.
 
DON PEDRO
Good den, brother.
 
DON JOHN
If your leisure served, I would speak with you.
 
DON PEDRO
In private?
 
DON JOHN
If it please you: yet Count Claudio may hear; for what I would speak of concerns him.
 
DON PEDRO
What's the matter?
 
DON JOHN
Means your lordship to be married tomorrow?
 
DON PEDRO
You know he does.
 
DON JOHN
I know not that, when he knows what I know.
 
CLAUDIO
If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.
 
DON 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 holp to effect your ensuing marriage;--surely suit ill spent and labor ill bestowed.
 
DON PEDRO
Why, what's the matter?
 
DON JOHN
I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortened, for she has been too long a talking of, the lady is disloyal.
 
CLAUDIO
Who, Hero?
 
DON PEDRO
Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero:
 
CLAUDIO
Disloyal?
 
DON JOHN
The word is 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 tonight, you shall see her chamber-window entered, even the night before her wedding-day: if you love her then, tomorrow wed her; but it would better fit your honor to change your mind.
 
CLAUDIO
May this be so?
 
DON PEDRO
I will not think it.
 
DON 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.
 
CLAUDIO
If I see any thing tonight why I should not marry her tomorrow in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.
 
DON PEDRO
And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.
 
DON JOHN
I will disparage her no farther till you are my witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself.
 
DON PEDRO
O day untowardly turned.
 
CLAUDIO
O mischief strangely thwarting.
 
DON JOHN
O plague right well prevented. so will you say when you have seen the sequel.
 
[Exeunt]

← Previous Scene | Next Scene →


Home