Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 1

DON PEDRO.
With me in your company?

HERO.
I may say so, when I please.

DON PEDRO.
And when please you to say so?

HERO.
When I like your favour; for God defend the lute should be like
the case!

DON PEDRO.
My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.

HERO.
Why, then, your visor should be thatch'd.

DON PEDRO.
Speak low, if you speak love.

[Takes her aside.]

BALTHAZAR.
Well, I would you did like me.

MARGARET.
So would not I, for your own sake; for I have many ill qualities.

BALTHAZAR.
Which is one?

MARGARET.
I say my prayers aloud.

BALTHAZAR.
I love you the better; the hearers may cry Amen.

MARGARET.
God match me with a good dancer!

BALTHAZAR.
Amen.

MARGARET.
And God keep him out of my sight when the dance is done! Answer,
clerk.

BALTHAZAR.
No more words: the clerk is answered.

URSULA.
I know you well enough: you are Signior Antonio.

ANTONIO.
At a word, I am not.

URSULA.
I know you by the waggling of your head.

ANTONIO.
To tell you true, I counterfeit him.

URSULA.
You could never do him so ill-well, unless you were the very man.
Here's his dry hand up and down: you are he, you are he.

ANTONIO.
At a word, I am not.

URSULA.
Come, come; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit?
Can virtue hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear,
and there's an end.

BEATRICE.
Will you not tell me who told you so?

BENEDICK.
No, you shall pardon me.

BEATRICE.
Nor will you not tell me who you are?

BENEDICK.
Not now.

BEATRICE.
That I was disdainful, and that I had my good wit out of the
'Hundred Merry Tales.' Well, this was Signior Benedick that said so.

BENEDICK.
What's he?

BEATRICE.
I am sure you know him well enough.

BENEDICK.
Not I, believe me.

BEATRICE.
Did he never make you laugh?

BENEDICK.
I pray you, what is he?

BEATRICE.
Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool; only his gift is
in devising impossible slanders: none but libertines delight in him;
and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he
both pleases men and angers them, and then they laugh at him and beat
him. I am sure he is in the fleet: I would he had boarded me!

BENEDICK.
When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.

BEATRICE.
Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which,
peradventure not marked or not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy;
and then there's a partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no
supper that night.
[Music within.] We must follow the leaders.

BENEDICK.
In every good thing.

BEATRICE.
Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.

[Dance. Then exeunt all but DON JOHN, BORACHIO, and CLAUDIO.]

DON JOHN.
Sure my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father
to break with him about it. The ladies follow her and but one visor
remains.

BORACHIO.
And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.

DON JOHN.
Are you not Signior Benedick?

CLAUDIO.
You know me well; I am he.

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