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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1 Page 12

Original Text

Modern Text

CLAUDIO

To the tuition of God. From my house, if I had it—

CLAUDIO

“Into God’s hands. From my house, if I had a house—”

DON PEDRO

The sixth of July. Your loving friend, Benedick.

DON PEDRO

“The sixth of July. Sincerely, your loving friend, Benedick.”

BENEDICK

Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your discourse is
225sometimes guarded with fragments and the guards are but
slightly basted on neither. Ere you flout old ends any
further, examine your conscience. And so I leave you.

BENEDICK

Oh, stop joking around. You know, sometimes you two dress up your conversation with flimsy little bits of wit that don’t hold together too well. Before you make

fun

Benedick and Claudio are making fun of the fact that “I commit you” is, in Shakespeare’s time, a common way to end a formal letter.

fun
of everyone else, look at yourselves in the mirror! And with that, I’m leaving.
Exit
He exits.

CLAUDIO

My liege, your highness now may do me good.

CLAUDIO

My lord, you could really help me out now.

DON PEDRO

My love is thine to teach. Teach it but how,
230And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Any hard lesson that may do thee good.

DON PEDRO

I am at your service. Just tell me what you want me to do, and however hard it is, you’ll see that I’m eager to do it.

CLAUDIO

Hath Leonato any son, my lord?

CLAUDIO

Does Leonato have a son, my lord?

DON PEDRO

No child but Hero; she’s his only heir.
Dost thou affect her, Claudio?

DON PEDRO

Hero is his only child, and his only heir. Do you like her, Claudio?

CLAUDIO

    O, my lord,
235When you went onward on this ended action,
I looked upon her with a soldier’s eye,
That liked but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love.
But now I am returned and that war thoughts
240Have left their places vacant, in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is,
Saying I liked her ere I went to wars.

CLAUDIO

Oh, my lord, when we left Messina to fight the war, I looked at Hero with the eyes of a soldier. I liked what I saw, but my mind was so occupied with the rough, violent task ahead of me that there was no chance that like would turn intolove. But now that I’m back, the room in my head that I used to fill with war plans has become crowded with soft and delicate feelings. They all lead me to the same thought—how beautiful young Hero is and how I must have liked her even before I left to fight.