Much Ado About Nothing

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 1

page Act 3 Scene 1 Page 4

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80Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire,
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.
It were a better death than die with mocks,
Which is as bad as die with tickling.
So Benedick should conceal his emotions. Like a fire that gets covered up, Benedick should smother his love and waste away. It would be better to die that way than to die from being mocked, which is as bad as being killed by tickling.

URSULA

Yet tell her of it. Hear what she will say.

URSULA

But you should tell her about this, and hear what she has to say.

HERO

85No, rather I will go to Benedick
And counsel him to fight against his passion;
And truly I’ll devise some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with. One doth not know
How much an ill word may empoison liking.

HERO

No, instead I’ll go to Benedick and advise him to fight his emotions. I’ll make up some awful things about my cousin and ruin her reputation. You don’t know how quickly affection can be killed with a single nasty word.

URSULA

90O, do not do your cousin such a wrong!
She cannot be so much without true judgment,
Having so swift and excellent a wit
As she is prized to have, as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.

URSULA

Oh, don’t injure your cousin like that! With the quick, intelligent wit she’s rumored to have, she can’t really be such a bad judge of character that she’d refuse a man as exceptional as Signior Benedick.

HERO

95He is the only man of Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.

HERO

He’s the only worthy man in Italy, aside from my dear Claudio.

URSULA

I pray you, be not angry with me, madam,
Speaking my fancy. Signor Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument and valor,
100Goes foremost in report through Italy.

URSULA

Don’t be angry with me for speaking my mind, but throughout Italy, Benedick is considered the best man in looks, bearing, intelligence, and bravery.

HERO

Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.

HERO

True, he has an excellent reputation.

URSULA

His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.
When are you married, madam?

URSULA

And he deserves it, having been excellent before he had a reputation for it. When are you getting married, madam?