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

CLAUDIO.
And she is exceeding wise.

DON PEDRO.
In everything but in loving Benedick.

LEONATO.
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 guardian.

DON PEDRO.
I would she had bestowed this dotage on me; I would have daffed all
other respects and made her half myself. I pray you, tell Benedick of
it, and hear what a' will say.

LEONATO.
Were it good, think you?

CLAUDIO.
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 accustomed
crossness.

DON PEDRO.
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.

CLAUDIO.
He is a very proper man.

DON PEDRO.
He hath indeed a good outward happiness.

CLAUDIO.
Fore God, and in my mind, very wise.

DON PEDRO.
He doth indeed show some sparks that are like wit.

CLAUDIO.
And I take him to be valiant.

DON PEDRO.
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 fear.

LEONATO.
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 PEDRO.
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?

CLAUDIO.
Never tell him, my lord: let her wear it out with good counsel.

LEONATO.
Nay, that's impossible: she may wear her heart out first.

DON PEDRO.
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.

LEONATO.
My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready.

CLAUDIO.
[Aside.] If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my
expectation.

DON PEDRO.
[Aside.] Let there be the same net spread for her; and that must your
daughter and her gentle-woman 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 dinner.

[Exeunt DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and LEONATO.]

BENEDICK.
[Advancing from the arbour.] 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 censured: 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 railed 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
humour? 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.]

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

BENEDICK.
Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

BEATRICE.
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.

BENEDICK.
You take pleasure then in the message?

BEATRICE.
Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choke
a daw withal. You have no stomach, signior: fare you well.

[Exit.]

BENEDICK.
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 picture.

[Exit.]

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