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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1 Page 6

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BEATRICE

Is it possible disdain should die while she hath such meet
food to feed it as Signor Benedick? Courtesy itself must
convert to disdain if you come in her presence.

BEATRICE

How could disdain die when you’re here? When you’re around, even Lady Courtesy becomes Lady Disdain.

BENEDICK

Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of
100all ladies, only you excepted. And I would I could find in
my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none.

BENEDICK

That makes Lady Courtesy a traitor. All ladies love me, except you. It’s too bad I’m so hard-hearted, because I really don’t love anyone.

BEATRICE

A dear happiness to women. They would else have been
troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold
blood I am of your humor for that. I had rather hear my dog
105bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.

BEATRICE

Women are lucky, then. You would make a nasty suitor. Thankfully, I feel the same way you do. I have no need for romance. I would rather listen to my dog bark at a crow than hear a man swear that he loves me.

BENEDICK

God keep your Ladyship still in that mind, so some gentle-
man or other shall ’scape a predestinate scratched face.

BENEDICK

Well, I hope you stay in that frame of mind or some poor man will end up with his face all scratched up.

BEATRICE

Scratching could not make it worse an ’twere such a face as
yours were.

BEATRICE

If he has a face like yours, a good scratching couldn’t make him look any worse.

BENEDICK

110Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

BENEDICK

Listen to you, instructing me like a parrot would.

BEATRICE

A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.

BEATRICE

I’d rather be a squawking bird than an animal like you.

BENEDICK

I would my horse had the speed of your tongue and so good
a continuer. But keep your way, i' God’s name. I have done.

BENEDICK

I wish my horse moved as fast as your mouth and was as tireless. That’s it—I’m done.

BEATRICE

You always end with a jade’s trick. I know you of old.

BEATRICE

You always slip out of the argument like this. I know you from before.
LEONATO and DON PEDRO come forward
LEONATO and DON PEDRO come forward

DON PEDRO

115That is the sum of all, Leonato.—Signior Claudio and
Signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato hath invited you
all. I tell him we shall stay here at the least a month, and he
heartily prays some occasion may detain us longer. I dare
swear he is no hypocrite but prays from his heart.

DON PEDRO

And that’s everything, Leonato.—Claudio, Benedick—my dear friend Leonato has invited you all to stay here at Messina. I told him we’ll stay for at least a month, and he says that he hopes we’ll stay longer. I think he’s actually serious, and not just being polite.