Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 3

ACT II. Scene 3. — LEONATO'S Garden.

[Enter Benedick.]


[Enter a Boy.]


In my chamber-window lies a book; bring it hither to me in the

I am here already, sir.

I know that; but I would have thee hence, and here again.
[Exit Boy.]
I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool
when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laughed
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
walked ten mile afoot to see a good armour; 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 turned 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
colour it please God. Ha! the prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me
in the arbour.

[Enter DON PEDRO, LEONATO, and CLAUDIO, followed by BALTHAZAR and

Come, shall we hear this music?

Yea, my good lord.
How still the evening is,
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!

See you where Benedick hath hid himself?

O! very well, my lord: the music ended,
We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth.

Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song again.

O! good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
To slander music any more than once.

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.

Because you talk of wooing, I will sing;
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
To her he thinks not worthy; yet he wooes;
Yet will he swear he loves.

Nay, pray thee come;
Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.

Note this before my notes;
There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.

Why these are very crotchets that he speaks;
Notes, notes, forsooth, and nothing!


Now, divine air! now is his soul ravished! Is it not strange that
sheep's gutsshould hale souls out of men's bodies? Well, a horn for
my money, when all's done.

[Balthasar sings.]
   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 mo
     Of dumps so dull and heavy;
   The fraud of men was ever so,
     Since summer first was leavy.
       Then sigh not so,
       But let them go,
     And be you blithe and bonny,
   Converting all your sounds of woe
     Into Hey nonny, nonny.

By my troth, a good song.

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