quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Quotes » Much Ado About Nothing » What secret hath held you here that you followed not to Leonato’s?

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

What secret hath held you here that you followed
not to Leonato’s?
I would your Grace would constrain me to tell.
I charge thee on thy allegiance.

I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.

You hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as
a dumb man, I would have you think so, but on my
allegiance—mark you this, on my allegiance—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.
If this were so, so were it uttered.
Like the old tale, my lord: “It is not so, nor
’twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.”
If my passion change not shortly, God forbid
it should be otherwise.
Amen, if you love her, for the lady is very well worthy.
You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
By my troth, I speak my thought.
And in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.
And by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I
spoke mine.
That I love her, I feel.
That she is worthy, I know.
That I neither feel how she should be loved nor
know how she should be worthy is the opinion that
fire cannot melt out of me. I will die in it at the stake.
Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the
despite of beauty.
And never could maintain his part but in the
force of his will.
That a woman conceived me, I thank her;
that she brought me up, I likewise give her most
humble thanks. But that I will have a recheat
winded in my forehead or hang my bugle in an
invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me.
Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust
any, I will do myself the right to trust none.
And the fine is, for the which I may go the finer,
I will live a bachelor.
I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
With anger, with sickness, or with hunger,
my lord, not with love. Prove that ever I lose more
blood with love than I will get again with drinking,
pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker’s pen and
hang me up at the door of a brothel house for the
sign of blind Cupid.
Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou
wilt prove a notable argument.
If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and
shoot at me, and he that hits me, let him be clapped
on the shoulder and called Adam.
Well, as time shall try. In time the savage bull doth
bear the yoke.
The savage bull may, but if ever the sensible
Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull’s horns and set
them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted,
and in such great letters as they write “Here is good
horse to hire” let them signify under my sign “Here
you may see Benedick the married man.”
If this should ever happen, thou wouldst be
Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in
Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
I look for an earthquake too, then.
Well, you will temporize with the hours. In the
meantime, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato’s.
Commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him
at supper, for indeed he hath made great preparation.
I have almost matter enough in me for such
an embassage, and so I commit you—
To the tuition of God. From my house, if I had it—
The sixth of July. Your loving friend, Benedick.
Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your
discourse is sometimes 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.

Act 1
Scene 1
Line 200

Source Type:

Spoken by:
, ,