This page contains the original text of Act 3, Scene 2 of Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare’s original Much Ado About Nothing text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Scene per page. All Acts and Scenes are linked to from the bottom of this page.
ACT 3. SCENE 2. A room in LEONATO’S house
Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO
I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and
then go I toward Arragon.
I’ll bring you thither, my lord, if you’ll
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
Gallants, I am not as I have been.
So say I methinks you are sadder.
I hope he be in love.
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.
I have the toothache.
You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
What! sigh for the toothache?
Where is but a humour or a worm.
Well, every one can master a grief but he that has
Yet say I, he is in love.
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 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.
If he be not in love with some woman, there is no
believing old signs: a’ brushes his hat o’
mornings; what should that bode?
Hath any man seen him at the barber’s?
No, but the barber’s man hath been seen with him,
and the old ornament of his cheek hath already
Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
Nay, a’ rubs himself with civet: can you smell him
out by that?
That’s as much as to say, the sweet youth’s in love.
The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
And when was he wont to wash his face?
Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear
what they say of him.
Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into
a lute-string and now governed by stops.
Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude,
conclude he is in love.
Nay, but I know who loves him.
That would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.
Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of
all, dies for him.
She shall be buried with her face upwards.
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
For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
‘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.
Enter DON JOHN
My lord and brother, God save you!
Good den, brother.
If your leisure served, I would speak with you.
If it please you: yet Count Claudio may hear; for
what I would speak of concerns him.
What’s the matter?
[To CLAUDIO] Means your lordship to be married
You know he does.
I know not that, when he knows what I know.
If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.
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
labour ill bestowed.
Why, what’s the matter?
I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances
shortened, for she has been too long a talking of,
the lady is disloyal.
Even she; Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every man’s Hero:
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 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 mind.
May this be so?
I will not think it.
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.
If I see any thing to-night why I should not marry
her to-morrow in the congregation, where I should
wed, there will I shame her.
And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join
with thee to disgrace her.
I will disparage her no farther till you are my
witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and
let the issue show itself.
O day untowardly turned!
O mischief strangely thwarting!
O plague right well prevented! so will you say when
you have seen the sequel.
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