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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1 Page 7

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LEONATO

120If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn. (to DON
JOHN) Let me bid you welcome, my lord. Being reconciled
to the Prince your brother, I owe you all duty.

LEONATO

I am being serious, my lord. (to DON JOHN) I welcome you here as well. Now that you and your brother have made friends again, I owe you the same allegiance I owe Don Pedro.

DON JOHN

I thank you. I am not of many words, but I thank you.

DON JOHN

Thank you. I’m not a man who talks a lot, but I thank you.

LEONATO

Please it your Grace lead on?

LEONATO

If it pleases you, your highness, will you lead us all inside?

DON PEDRO

125Your hand, Leonato. We will go together.

DON PEDRO

Give me your hand, Leonato. We will go in together.
Exeunt. Manent BENEDICK andCLAUDIO
Everyone exits except BENEDICK andCLAUDIO.

CLAUDIO

Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?

CLAUDIO

Benedick, did you notice Signior Leonato’s daughter?

BENEDICK

I noted her not, but I looked on her.

BENEDICK

I saw her, but I didn’t notice her.

CLAUDIO

Is she not a modest young lady?

CLAUDIO

Isn’t she a well-mannered young lady?

BENEDICK

Do you question me as an honest man should do, for my
130simple true judgment? Or would you have me speak after
my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?

BENEDICK

Do you want my true opinion? Or do you want me to criticize her like I do all women?

CLAUDIO

No, I pray thee speak in sober judgment.

CLAUDIO

No, please, speak seriously.

BENEDICK

Why, i' faith, methinks she’s too low for a high praise, too
brown for a fair praise, and too little for a great praise. Only
135this commendation I can afford her, that were she other
than she is, she were unhandsome, and being no other but
as she is, I do not like her.

BENEDICK

Well, it seems to me that she is too short to be praised highly, too dark to be praised fairly, and too small to be praised greatly. I can only say this about her: if she looked different than she does, she would be ugly, and since she can’t be anything but herself, I don’t like her.

CLAUDIO

Thou thinkest I am in sport. I pray thee tell me truly how
thou lik’st her.

CLAUDIO

You think I’m kidding. Please tell me seriously what you think of her.