Speeches (Lines) for Beatrice
in "Much Ado about Nothing"

Total: 106

---
# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,28

Leonato. A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces
truer than those that are so washed. How much
better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!

Beatrice. I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the
wars or no?


2

I,1,35

Messenger. O, he's returned; and as pleasant as ever he was.

Beatrice. He set up his bills here in Messina and challenged
Cupid at the flight; and my uncle's fool, reading
the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged
him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he
killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath
he killed? for indeed I promised to eat all of his killing.


3

I,1,44

Messenger. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars.

Beatrice. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it:
he is a very valiant trencherman; he hath an
excellent stomach.


4

I,1,48

Messenger. And a good soldier too, lady.

Beatrice. And a good soldier to a lady: but what is he to a lord?


5

I,1,51

Messenger. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all
honourable virtues.

Beatrice. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man:
but for the stuffing,—well, we are all mortal.


6

I,1,57

Leonato. You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a
kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her:
they never meet but there's a skirmish of wit
between them.

Beatrice. Alas! he gets nothing by that. In our last
conflict four of his five wits went halting off, and
now is the whole man governed with one: so that if
he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him
bear it for a difference between himself and his
horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left,
to be known a reasonable creature. Who is his
companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother.


7

I,1,66

Messenger. Is't possible?

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


8

I,1,70

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

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 will make a voyage with him to the devil?


9

I,1,74

Messenger. He is most in the company of the right 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 Benedick, it will cost him a
thousand pound ere a' be cured.


10

I,1,80

Messenger. I will hold friends with you, lady.

Beatrice. Do, good friend.


11

I,1,82

Leonato. You will never run mad, niece.

Beatrice. No, not till a hot January.


12

I,1,104

Benedick. If Signior Leonato be her father, she would not
have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, as
like him as she is.

Beatrice. I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior
Benedick: nobody marks you.


13

I,1,107

Benedick. What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?

Beatrice. Is it possible disdain should die while she hath
such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick?
Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come
in her presence.


14

I,1,115

Benedick. Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I
am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I
would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard
heart; for, truly, I love none.

Beatrice. A dear happiness to women: they would else have
been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God
and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I
had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man
swear he loves me.


15

I,1,123

Benedick. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some
gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate
scratched face.

Beatrice. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such
a face as yours were.


16

I,1,126

Benedick. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

Beatrice. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.


17

I,1,130

Benedick. I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and
so good a continuer. But keep your way, i' God's
name; I have done.

Beatrice. You always end with a jade's trick: I know you of old.


18

II,1,401

Antonio. I saw him not.

Beatrice. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see
him but I am heart-burned an hour after.


19

II,1,404

Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition.

Beatrice. He were an excellent man that were made just in the
midway between him and Benedick: the one is too
like an image and says nothing, and the other too
like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.


20

II,1,411

Leonato. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's
mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior
Benedick's face,—

Beatrice. With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money
enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman
in the world, if a' could get her good-will.


21

II,1,417

Antonio. In faith, she's too curst.

Beatrice. Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's
sending that way; for it is said, 'God sends a curst
cow short horns;' but to a cow too curst he sends none.


22

II,1,421

Leonato. So, by being too curst, God will send you no horns.

Beatrice. Just, if he send me no husband; for the which
blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and
evening. Lord, I could not endure a husband with a
beard on his face: I had rather lie in the woollen.


23

II,1,426

Leonato. You may light on a husband that hath no beard.

Beatrice. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel
and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a
beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no
beard is less than a man: and he that is more than
a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a
man, I am not for him: therefore, I will even take
sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and lead his
apes into hell.


24

II,1,435

Leonato. Well, then, go you into hell?

Beatrice. No, but to the gate; and there will the devil meet
me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his head, and
say 'Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to
heaven; here's no place for you maids:' so deliver
I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the
heavens; he shows me where the bachelors sit, and
there live we as merry as the day is long.


25

II,1,444

Antonio. [To HERO] Well, niece, I trust you will be ruled
by your father.

Beatrice. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy
and say 'Father, as it please you.' But yet for all
that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else
make another curtsy and say 'Father, as it please
me.'


26

II,1,450

Leonato. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.

Beatrice. Not till God make men of some other metal than
earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be
overmastered with a pierce of valiant dust? to make
an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl?
No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren;
and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.


27

II,1,458

Leonato. Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince
do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.

Beatrice. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be
not wooed in good time: if the prince be too
important, tell him there is measure in every thing
and so dance out the answer. For, hear me, Hero:
wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig,
a measure, and a cinque pace: the first suit is hot
and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as
fantastical; the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a
measure, full of state and ancientry; and then comes
repentance and, with his bad legs, falls into the
cinque pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.


28

II,1,470

Leonato. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.

Beatrice. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by daylight.


29

II,1,510

Ursula. Come, come, do you think I do not know you by your
excellent wit? can virtue hide itself? Go to,
mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an
end.

Beatrice. Will you not tell me who told you so?


30

II,1,512

Benedick. No, you shall pardon me.

Beatrice. Nor will you not tell me who you are?


31

II,1,514

Benedick. Not now.

Beatrice. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good wit
out of the 'Hundred Merry Tales:'—well this was
Signior Benedick that said so.


32

II,1,518

Benedick. What's he?

Beatrice. I am sure you know him well enough.


33

II,1,520

Benedick. Not I, believe me.

Beatrice. Did he never make you laugh?


34

II,1,522

Benedick. I pray you, what is he?

Beatrice. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very dull fool;
only his gift is in devising impossible slanders:
none but libertines delight in him; and the
commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany;
for he both pleases men and angers them, and then
they laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in
the fleet: I would he had boarded me.


35

II,1,530

Benedick. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.

Beatrice. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me;
which, peradventure not marked or not laughed at,
strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a
partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no
supper that night.
[Music]
We must follow the leaders.


36

II,1,538

Benedick. In every good thing.

Beatrice. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at
the next turning.


37

II,1,659

Don Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of
Signior Benedick.

Beatrice. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave
him use for it, a double heart for his single one:
marry, once before he won it of me with false dice,
therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.


38

II,1,664

Don Pedro. You have put him down, lady, you have put him down.

Beatrice. So I would not he should do me, my lord, lest I
should prove the mother of fools. I have brought
Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.


39

II,1,671

Claudio. Neither, my lord.

Beatrice. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor
well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and
something of that jealous complexion.


40

II,1,683

Leonato. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my
fortunes: his grace hath made the match, and an
grace say Amen to it.

Beatrice. Speak, count, 'tis your cue.


41

II,1,688

Claudio. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were
but little happy, if I could say how much. Lady, as
you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for
you and dote upon the exchange.

Beatrice. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth
with a kiss, and let not him speak neither.


42

II,1,691

Don Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.

Beatrice. Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on
the windy side of care. My cousin tells him in his
ear that he is in her heart.


43

II,1,695

Claudio. And so she doth, cousin.

Beatrice. Good Lord, for alliance! Thus goes every one to the
world but I, and I am sunburnt; I may sit in a
corner and cry heigh-ho for a husband!


44

II,1,699

Don Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.

Beatrice. I would rather have one of your father's getting.
Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your
father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.


45

II,1,703

Don Pedro. Will you have me, lady?

Beatrice. No, my lord, unless I might have another for
working-days: your grace is too costly to wear
every day. But, I beseech your grace, pardon me: I
was born to speak all mirth and no matter.


46

II,1,710

Don Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best
becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in
a merry hour.

Beatrice. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there
was a star danced, and under that was I born.
Cousins, God give you joy!


47

II,1,714

Leonato. Niece, will you look to those things I told you of?

Beatrice. I cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's pardon.


48

II,3,1054

(stage directions). [Enter BEATRICE]

Beatrice. Against my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.


49

II,3,1056

Benedick. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

Beatrice. I took no more pains for those thanks than you take
pains to thank me: if it had been painful, I would
not have come.


50

II,3,1060

Benedick. You take pleasure then in the message?

Beatrice. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's
point and choke a daw withal. You have no stomach,
signior: fare you well.


51

III,1,1186

(stage directions). [Exeunt HERO and URSULA]

Beatrice. [Coming forward]
What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu!
No glory lives behind the back of such.
And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand:
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band;
For others say thou dost deserve, and I
Believe it better than reportingly.


52

III,4,1528

Hero. Good morrow, coz.

Beatrice. Good morrow, sweet Hero.


53

III,4,1530

Hero. Why how now? do you speak in the sick tune?

Beatrice. I am out of all other tune, methinks.


54

III,4,1533

Margaret. Clap's into 'Light o' love;' that goes without a
burden: do you sing it, and I'll dance it.

Beatrice. Ye light o' love, with your heels! then, if your
husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall
lack no barns.


55

III,4,1537

Margaret. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.

Beatrice. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; tis time you were
ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill: heigh-ho!


56

III,4,1540

Margaret. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?

Beatrice. For the letter that begins them all, H.


57

III,4,1543

Margaret. Well, and you be not turned Turk, there's no more
sailing by the star.

Beatrice. What means the fool, trow?


58

III,4,1547

Hero. These gloves the count sent me; they are an
excellent perfume.

Beatrice. I am stuffed, cousin; I cannot smell.


59

III,4,1549

Margaret. A maid, and stuffed! there's goodly catching of cold.

Beatrice. O, God help me! God help me! how long have you
professed apprehension?


60

III,4,1552

Margaret. Even since you left it. Doth not my wit become me rarely?

Beatrice. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your
cap. By my troth, I am sick.


61

III,4,1557

Hero. There thou prickest her with a thistle.

Beatrice. Benedictus! why Benedictus? you have some moral in
this Benedictus.


62

III,4,1572

Margaret. Moral! no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning; I
meant, plain holy-thistle. You may think perchance
that I think you are in love: nay, by'r lady, I am
not such a fool to think what I list, nor I list
not to think what I can, nor indeed I cannot think,
if I would think my heart out of thinking, that you
are in love or that you will be in love or that you
can be in love. Yet Benedick was such another, and
now is he become a man: he swore he would never
marry, and yet now, in despite of his heart, he eats
his meat without grudging: and how you may be
converted I know not, but methinks you look with
your eyes as other women do.

Beatrice. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?


63

IV,1,1755

(stage directions). [HERO swoons]

Beatrice. Why, how now, cousin! wherefore sink you down?


64

IV,1,1760

Benedick. How doth the lady?

Beatrice. Dead, I think. Help, uncle!
Hero! why, Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!


65

IV,1,1765

Leonato. O Fate! take not away thy heavy hand.
Death is the fairest cover for her shame
That may be wish'd for.

Beatrice. How now, cousin Hero!


66

IV,1,1796

Benedick. Sir, sir, be patient.
For my part, I am so attired in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beatrice. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!


67

IV,1,1798

Benedick. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

Beatrice. No, truly not; although, until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.


68

IV,1,1910

Benedick. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?

Beatrice. Yea, and I will weep a while longer.


69

IV,1,1912

Benedick. I will not desire that.

Beatrice. You have no reason; I do it freely.


70

IV,1,1914

Benedick. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.

Beatrice. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her!


71

IV,1,1916

Benedick. Is there any way to show such friendship?

Beatrice. A very even way, but no such friend.


72

IV,1,1918

Benedick. May a man do it?

Beatrice. It is a man's office, but not yours.


73

IV,1,1921

Benedick. I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is
not that strange?

Beatrice. As strange as the thing I know not. It were as
possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as
you: but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I
confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my cousin.


74

IV,1,1926

Benedick. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.

Beatrice. Do not swear, and eat it.


75

IV,1,1929

Benedick. I will swear by it that you love me; and I will make
him eat it that says I love not you.

Beatrice. Will you not eat your word?


76

IV,1,1932

Benedick. With no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest
I love thee.

Beatrice. Why, then, God forgive me!


77

IV,1,1934

Benedick. What offence, sweet Beatrice?

Beatrice. You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to
protest I loved you.


78

IV,1,1937

Benedick. And do it with all thy heart.

Beatrice. I love you with so much of my heart that none is
left to protest.


79

IV,1,1940

Benedick. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

Beatrice. Kill Claudio.


80

IV,1,1942

Benedick. Ha! not for the wide world.

Beatrice. You kill me to deny it. Farewell.


81

IV,1,1944

Benedick. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beatrice. I am gone, though I am here: there is no love in
you: nay, I pray you, let me go.


82

IV,1,1947

Benedick. Beatrice,—

Beatrice. In faith, I will go.


83

IV,1,1949

Benedick. We'll be friends first.

Beatrice. You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy.


84

IV,1,1951

Benedick. Is Claudio thine enemy?

Beatrice. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that
hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O
that I were a man! What, bear her in hand until they
come to take hands; and then, with public
accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,
—O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart
in the market-place.


85

IV,1,1959

Benedick. Hear me, Beatrice,—

Beatrice. Talk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!


86

IV,1,1961

Benedick. Nay, but, Beatrice,—

Beatrice. Sweet Hero! She is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.


87

IV,1,1963

Benedick. Beat—

Beatrice. Princes and counties! Surely, a princely testimony,
a goodly count, Count Comfect; a sweet gallant,
surely! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I
had any friend would be a man for my sake! But
manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into
compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and
trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules
that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a
man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.


88

IV,1,1973

Benedick. Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.

Beatrice. Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.


89

IV,1,1975

Benedick. Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?

Beatrice. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.


90

V,2,2450

Benedick. And therefore will come.
[Exit MARGARET]
[Sings]
The god of love,
That sits above,
And knows me, and knows me,
How pitiful I deserve,—
I mean in singing; but in loving, Leander the good
swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and
a whole bookful of these quondam carpet-mangers,
whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a
blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned
over and over as my poor self in love. Marry, I
cannot show it in rhyme; I have tried: I can find
out no rhyme to 'lady' but 'baby,' an innocent
rhyme; for 'scorn,' 'horn,' a hard rhyme; for,
'school,' 'fool,' a babbling rhyme; very ominous
endings: no, I was not born under a rhyming planet,
nor I cannot woo in festival terms.
[Enter BEATRICE]
Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?

Beatrice. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.


91

V,2,2452

Benedick. O, stay but till then!

Beatrice. 'Then' is spoken; fare you well now: and yet, ere
I go, let me go with that I came; which is, with
knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.


92

V,2,2456

Benedick. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

Beatrice. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but
foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I
will depart unkissed.


93

V,2,2465

Benedick. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense,
so forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee
plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either
I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe
him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me for
which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?

Beatrice. For them all together; which maintained so politic
a state of evil that they will not admit any good
part to intermingle with them. But for which of my
good parts did you first suffer love for me?


94

V,2,2471

Benedick. Suffer love! a good epithet! I do suffer love
indeed, for I love thee against my will.

Beatrice. In spite of your heart, I think; alas, poor heart!
If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for
yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.


95

V,2,2475

Benedick. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

Beatrice. It appears not in this confession: there's not one
wise man among twenty that will praise himself.


96

V,2,2482

Benedick. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in
the lime of good neighbours. If a man do not erect
in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live
no longer in monument than the bell rings and the
widow weeps.

Beatrice. And how long is that, think you?


97

V,2,2490

Benedick. Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter in
rheum: therefore is it most expedient for the
wise, if Don Worm, his conscience, find no
impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his
own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for
praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is
praiseworthy: and now tell me, how doth your cousin?

Beatrice. Very ill.


98

V,2,2492

Benedick. And how do you?

Beatrice. Very ill too.


99

V,2,2501

Ursula. Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's old
coil at home: it is proved my Lady Hero hath been
falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily
abused; and Don John is the author of all, who is
fed and gone. Will you come presently?

Beatrice. Will you go hear this news, signior?


100

V,4,2624

Benedick. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?

Beatrice. [Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?


101

V,4,2626

Benedick. Do not you love me?

Beatrice. Why, no; no more than reason.


102

V,4,2629

Benedick. Why, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio
Have been deceived; they swore you did.

Beatrice. Do not you love me?


103

V,4,2631

Benedick. Troth, no; no more than reason.

Beatrice. Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula
Are much deceived; for they did swear you did.


104

V,4,2634

Benedick. They swore that you were almost sick for me.

Beatrice. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.


105

V,4,2636

Benedick. 'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?

Beatrice. No, truly, but in friendly recompense.


106

V,4,2648

Benedick. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts.
Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take
thee for pity.

Beatrice. I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield
upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life,
for I was told you were in a consumption.


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