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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1 Page 9

Original Text

Modern Text

DON PEDRO

160What secret hath held you here that you followed not to
Leonato’s?

DON PEDRO

What secrets between you have kept you from following us to Leonato’s?

BENEDICK

I would your grace would constrain me to tell.

BENEDICK

Your highness will have to force me to tell.

DON PEDRO

I charge thee on thy allegiance.

DON PEDRO

Your loyalty to me requires you to tell me what you’ve been talking about.

BENEDICK

You hear, Count Claudio? I can be secret as a dumb man, I
165would have you think so, but on my allegiance—mark you
this, on my allegiance—(to DON PEDRO) he is in love. With
who? Now, that is your Grace’s part. Mark how short his
answer is: with Hero, Leonato’s short daughter.

BENEDICK

Look, Claudio, I can keep secrets like a mute; I want you to know that. But I owe Don Pedro my allegiance—look, I have to tell him—(to DON PEDRO) Claudio is in love. With whom? That’s what you’re supposed to ask me next, your Grace. Look how short the answer is—with Hero, Leonato’s short daughter.

CLAUDIO

If this were so, so were it uttered.

CLAUDIO

If you say so.

BENEDICK

170Like the old tale, my lord: “It is not so nor ’twas not so but,
indeed, God forbid it should be so.”

BENEDICK

Listen to him deny it, like that man in the old tale “Mr. Fox”: “It isn’t true and wasn’t true and God forbid it should be so.”

CLAUDIO

If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be
otherwise.

CLAUDIO

Unless my feelings change very soon, I have to admit it’s true.

DON PEDRO

Amen, if you love her, for the lady is very well worthy.

DON PEDRO

It’s good if you love Hero, because she’s worthy of your love.

CLAUDIO

175You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.

CLAUDIO

You’re trying to trick me, my lord.

DON PEDRO

By my troth, I speak my thought.

DON PEDRO

I swear, I’m telling you what I honestly think.

CLAUDIO

And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.

CLAUDIO

And I swear I spoke honestly to Benedick—I am in love with Hero.