Much Ado About Nothing: Act II, Scene iii


Much Ado About Nothing          Act 2, Scene 3          Benedick

(This text is featured in our interview with John Douglas Thompson)

7        I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much
8        another man is a fool when he dedicates his
9        behaviors to love, will, after he hath laughed at
10        such shallow follies in others, become the argument
11        of his own scorn by failing in love: and such a man
12        is Claudio. I have known when there was no music
13        with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he
14        rather hear the tabour and the pipe: I have known
15        when he would have walked ten mile a-foot to see a
16        good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake,
17        carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to
18        speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man
19        and a soldier; and now is he turned orthography; his
20        words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many
21        strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with
22        these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not
23        be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster; but
24        I’ll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster
25        of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman
26        is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am
27        well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all
28        graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in
29        my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain; wise,
30        or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen her;
31        fair, or I’ll never look on her; mild, or come not
32        near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good
33        discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall
34        be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and
35        Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.

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