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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1
No Fear Act 1 Scene 1 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

BEATRICE

60Very easily possible. He wears his faith but as the fashion of
his hat; it ever changes with the next block.

BEATRICE

It’s entirely possible. He’s incredibly fickle—his affection changes faster than the latest fashions.

MESSENGER

I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.

MESSENGER

I can see you don’t like this gentleman.

BEATRICE

No. An he were, I would burn my study. But I pray you,
who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now that
65will make a voyage with him to the devil?

BEATRICE

No, absolutely not. But please tell me, who’s his best friend? Isn’t there some new swaggering young ruffian who will happily go to hell with Benedick?

MESSENGER

He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.

MESSENGER

He spends most of his time with the good, noble Claudio.

BEATRICE

O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease! He is sooner
caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently
mad. God help the noble Claudio! If he have caught the
70Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere a be cured.

BEATRICE

Oh God, Benedick will plague him like a disease! Benedick is an infection that’s easy to catch but hard to get rid of—and he’ll drive you crazy once you’ve been infected. God help Claudio! If he’s caught the Benedick, he’ll lose all his money before he’s cured.

MESSENGER

I will hold friends with you, lady.

MESSENGER

I’m going to make sure I stay on your good side, lady.

BEATRICE

Do, good friend.

BEATRICE

Do that, my friend.

LEONATO

You will never run mad, niece.

LEONATO

You will never fall victim to Benedick’s charms, my niece.

BEATRICE

No, not till a hot January.

BEATRICE

No, not until we see a hot January.

MESSENGER

75Don Pedro is approached.

MESSENGER

Don Pedro is here.
Enter DON PEDRO, Prince of Aragon, with CLAUDIO, BENEDICK,BALTHASAR, and DON JOHN the bastard
DON PEDRO, Prince of Aragon, enters with CLAUDIO, BENEDICK,BALTHASAR, and

DON JOHN

Don John is Don Pedro’s illegitimate half-brother.

DON JOHN
, the bastard.

DON PEDRO

Good Signor Leonato, are you come to meet your trouble?
The fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter
it.

DON PEDRO

My dear Signior Leonato, hosting my whole army is such a huge burden, but you accept it—and me—with open arms. Most people choose to avoid trouble, but you run to it.