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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 13

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DON PEDRO

Thou wilt be like a lover presently
245And tire the hearer with a book of words.
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,
And I will break with her and with her father,
And thou shalt have her. Was ’t not to this end
That thou began’st to twist so fine a story?

DON PEDRO

You will become a true lover soon, and exhaust your friends with your endless chatter about your feelings. Look, if you really love the beautiful Hero, enjoy it. I will speak to her and her father about the matter, and I’ll convince Leonato to promise Hero to you. Isn’t that the reason you told me all this?

CLAUDIO

250How sweetly you do minister to love,
That know love’s grief by his complexion!
But lest my liking might too sudden seem,
I would have salved it with a longer treatise.

CLAUDIO

You can see that I’m sick with love, and you’re taking care of me in just the right way! But I didn’t want you to think that I’m hasty in my emotions. I was going to explain my feelings with a longer story.

DON PEDRO

What need the bridge much broader than the flood?
255The fairest grant is the necessity.
Look what will serve is fit. 'Tis once, thou lovest,
And I will fit thee with the remedy.
I know we shall have reveling tonight.
I will assume thy part in some disguise
260And tell fair Hero I am Claudio,
And in her bosom I’ll unclasp my heart
And take her hearing prisoner with the force
And strong encounter of my amorous tale.
Then after to her father will I break,
265And the conclusion is, she shall be thine.
In practice let us put it presently.

DON PEDRO

Why speak longer than you have to? That’s like building a bridge wider than the river it crosses. Whatever gets the job done is best. You love Hero; that’s all I need to know to want to find a remedy. They’re going to have a costume party with dancing tonight. I’ll disguise myself as you and pour out “my” feelings to Hero, taking her prisoner with the force of my love story. Then I’ll talk to her father. And in the end, she’s yours! Let’s get started right away.
Exeunt
They exit.