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

Total: 134

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

1

I,1,95

Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?

2

I,1,101

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

3

I,1,106

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

4

I,1,111

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.

5

I,1,120

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

6

I,1,125

Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

7

I,1,127

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.

8

I,1,147

I noted her not; but I looked on her.

9

I,1,149

Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for
my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak
after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?

10

I,1,153

Why, i' faith, methinks she's too low for a high
praise, too brown for a fair praise and too little
for a great praise: only this commendation I can
afford her, that were she other than she is, she
were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I
do not like her.

11

I,1,161

Would you buy her, that you inquire after her?

12

I,1,163

Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this
with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack,
to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder and Vulcan a
rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a man take
you, to go in the song?

13

I,1,170

I can see yet without spectacles and I see no such
matter: there's her cousin, an she were not
possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty
as the first of May doth the last of December. But I
hope you have no intent to turn husband, have you?

14

I,1,177

Is't come to this? In faith, hath not the world
one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion?
Shall I never see a bachelor of three-score again?
Go to, i' faith; an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck
into a yoke, wear the print of it and sigh away
Sundays. Look Don Pedro is returned to seek you.

15

I,1,186

I would your grace would constrain me to tell.

16

I,1,188

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.

17

I,1,195

Like the old tale, my lord: 'it is not so, nor
'twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be
so.'

18

I,1,204

And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine.

19

I,1,207

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.

20

I,1,214

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.

21

I,1,223

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.

22

I,1,231

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.

23

I,1,236

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.'

24

I,1,245

I look for an earthquake too, then.

25

I,1,251

I have almost matter enough in me for such an
embassage; and so I commit you—

26

I,1,255

Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your
discourse is sometime 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.

27

II,1,511

No, you shall pardon me.

28

II,1,513

Not now.

29

II,1,517

What's he?

30

II,1,519

Not I, believe me.

31

II,1,521

I pray you, what is he?

32

II,1,529

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

33

II,1,537

In every good thing.

34

II,1,568

Count Claudio?

35

II,1,570

Come, will you go with me?

36

II,1,572

Even to the next willow, about your own business,
county. What fashion will you wear the garland of?
about your neck, like an usurer's chain? or under
your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf? You must wear
it one way, for the prince hath got your Hero.

37

II,1,578

Why, that's spoken like an honest drovier: so they
sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would
have served you thus?

38

II,1,582

Ho! now you strike like the blind man: 'twas the
boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.

39

II,1,586

Alas, poor hurt fowl! now will he creep into sedges.
But that my Lady Beatrice should know me, and not
know me! The prince's fool! Ha? It may be I go
under that title because I am merry. Yea, but so I
am apt to do myself wrong; I am not so reputed: it
is the base, though bitter, disposition of Beatrice
that puts the world into her person and so gives me
out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may.

40

II,1,596

Troth, my lord, I have played the part of Lady Fame.
I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a
warren: I told him, and I think I told him true,
that your grace had got the good will of this young
lady; and I offered him my company to a willow-tree,
either to make him a garland, as being forsaken, or
to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to be whipped.

41

II,1,604

The flat transgression of a schoolboy, who, being
overjoyed with finding a birds' nest, shows it his
companion, and he steals it.

42

II,1,609

Yet it had not been amiss the rod had been made,
and the garland too; for the garland he might have
worn himself, and the rod he might have bestowed on
you, who, as I take it, have stolen his birds' nest.

43

II,1,615

If their singing answer your saying, by my faith,
you say honestly.

44

II,1,620

O, she misused me past the endurance of a block!
an oak but with one green leaf on it would have
answered her; my very visor began to assume life and
scold with her. She told me, not thinking I had been
myself, that I was the prince's jester, that I was
duller than a great thaw; huddling jest upon jest
with such impossible conveyance upon me that I stood
like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at
me. She speaks poniards, and every word stabs:
if her breath were as terrible as her terminations,
there were no living near her; she would infect to
the north star. I would not marry her, though she
were endowed with all that Adam bad left him before
he transgressed: she would have made Hercules have
turned spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make
the fire too. Come, talk not of her: you shall find
her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I would to God
some scholar would conjure her; for certainly, while
she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell as in a
sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose, because they
would go thither; so, indeed, all disquiet, horror
and perturbation follows her.

45

II,1,644

Will your grace command me any service to the
world's end? I will go on the slightest errand now
to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me on;
I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the
furthest inch of Asia, bring you the length of
Prester John's foot, fetch you a hair off the great
Cham's beard, do you any embassage to the Pigmies,
rather than hold three words' conference with this
harpy. You have no employment for me?

46

II,1,654

O God, sir, here's a dish I love not: I cannot
endure my Lady Tongue.

47

II,3,813

Boy!

48

II,3,816

In my chamber-window lies a book: bring it hither
to me in the orchard.

49

II,3,819

I know that; but I would have thee hence, and here again.
[Exit Boy]
I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much
another man is a fool when he dedicates his
behaviors to love, will, after he hath laughed at
such shallow follies in others, become the argument
of his own scorn by failing in love: and such a man
is Claudio. I have known when there was no music
with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he
rather hear the tabour and the pipe: I have known
when he would have walked ten mile a-foot to see a
good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake,
carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to
speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man
and a soldier; and now is he turned orthography; his
words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many
strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with
these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not
be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster; but
I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster
of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman
is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am
well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all
graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in
my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise,
or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her;
fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not
near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good
discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall
be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and
Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.

50

II,3,877

Now, divine air! now is his soul ravished! Is it
not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out
of men's bodies? Well, a horn for my money, when
all's done.

51

II,3,898

An he had been a dog that should have howled thus,
they would have hanged him: and I pray God his bad
voice bode no mischief. I had as lief have heard the
night-raven, come what plague could have come after
it.

52

II,3,917

Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

53

II,3,936

I should think this a gull, but that the
white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot,
sure, hide himself in such reverence.

54

II,3,1026

[Coming forward] This can be no trick: the
conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of
this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady: it
seems her affections have their full bent. Love me!
why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured:
they say I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive
the love come from her; they say too that she will
rather die than give any sign of affection. I did
never think to marry: I must not seem proud: happy
are they that hear their detractions and can put
them to mending. They say the lady is fair; 'tis a
truth, I can bear them witness; and virtuous; 'tis
so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving
me; by my troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor
no great argument of her folly, for I will be
horribly in love with her. I may chance have some
odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me,
because I have railed so long against marriage: but
doth not the appetite alter? a man loves the meat
in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.
Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of
the brain awe a man from the career of his humour?
No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would
die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I
were married. Here comes Beatrice. By this day!
she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in
her.

55

II,3,1055

Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

56

II,3,1059

You take pleasure then in the message?

57

II,3,1064

Ha! 'Against my will I am sent to bid you come in
to dinner;' there's a double meaning in that 'I took
no more pains for those thanks than you took pains
to thank me.' that's as much as to say, Any pains
that I take for you is as easy as thanks. If I do
not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I do not
love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her picture.

58

III,2,1213

Gallants, I am not as I have been.

59

III,2,1219

I have the toothache.

60

III,2,1221

Hang it!

61

III,2,1225

Well, every one can master a grief but he that has
it.

62

III,2,1260

Yet is this no charm for the toothache. Old
signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight
or nine wise words to speak to you, which these
hobby-horses must not hear.

63

IV,1,1661

How now! interjections? Why, then, some be of
laughing, as, ah, ha, he!

64

IV,1,1710

This looks not like a nuptial.

65

IV,1,1759

How doth the lady?

66

IV,1,1793

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

67

IV,1,1797

Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

68

IV,1,1837

Two of them have the very bent of honour;
And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
The practise of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.

69

IV,1,1896

Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:
And though you know my inwardness and love
Is very much unto the prince and Claudio,
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
As secretly and justly as your soul
Should with your body.

70

IV,1,1909

Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?

71

IV,1,1911

I will not desire that.

72

IV,1,1913

Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.

73

IV,1,1915

Is there any way to show such friendship?

74

IV,1,1917

May a man do it?

75

IV,1,1919

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

76

IV,1,1925

By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.

77

IV,1,1927

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

78

IV,1,1930

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

79

IV,1,1933

What offence, sweet Beatrice?

80

IV,1,1936

And do it with all thy heart.

81

IV,1,1939

Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

82

IV,1,1941

Ha! not for the wide world.

83

IV,1,1943

Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

84

IV,1,1946

Beatrice,—

85

IV,1,1948

We'll be friends first.

86

IV,1,1950

Is Claudio thine enemy?

87

IV,1,1958

Hear me, Beatrice,—

88

IV,1,1960

Nay, but, Beatrice,—

89

IV,1,1962

Beat—

90

IV,1,1972

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

91

IV,1,1974

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

92

IV,1,1976

Enough, I am engaged; I will challenge him. I will
kiss your hand, and so I leave you. By this hand,
Claudio shall render me a dear account. As you
hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your
cousin: I must say she is dead: and so, farewell.

93

V,1,2191

Good day, my lord.

94

V,1,2198

In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came
to seek you both.

95

V,1,2203

It is in my scabbard: shall I draw it?

96

V,1,2212

Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, and you
charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.

97

V,1,2219

Shall I speak a word in your ear?

98

V,1,2221

[Aside to CLAUDIO] You are a villain; I jest not:
I will make it good how you dare, with what you
dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will
protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet
lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me
hear from you.

99

V,1,2233

Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

100

V,1,2259

Fare you well, boy: you know my mind. I will leave
you now to your gossip-like humour: you break jests
as braggarts do their blades, which God be thanked,
hurt not. My lord, for your many courtesies I thank
you: I must discontinue your company: your brother
the bastard is fled from Messina: you have among
you killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my Lord
Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet: and, till
then, peace be with him.

101

V,2,2411

Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at
my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

102

V,2,2414

In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living
shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou
deservest it.

103

V,2,2419

Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; it catches.

104

V,2,2422

A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a
woman: and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice: I give
thee the bucklers.

105

V,2,2426

If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the
pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous weapons for maids.

106

V,2,2429

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?

107

V,2,2451

O, stay but till then!

108

V,2,2455

Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

109

V,2,2459

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?

110

V,2,2469

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

111

V,2,2474

Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

112

V,2,2477

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.

113

V,2,2483

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?

114

V,2,2491

And how do you?

115

V,2,2493

Serve God, love me and mend. There will I leave
you too, for here comes one in haste.

116

V,2,2502

I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be
buried in thy eyes; and moreover I will go with
thee to thy uncle's.

117

V,4,2552

And so am I, being else by faith enforced
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

118

V,4,2563

Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.

119

V,4,2565

To bind me, or undo me; one of them.
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

120

V,4,2569

And I do with an eye of love requite her.

121

V,4,2572

Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
But, for my will, my will is your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the state of honourable marriage:
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

122

V,4,2596

Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
And got a calf in that same noble feat
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

123

V,4,2623

Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?

124

V,4,2625

Do not you love me?

125

V,4,2627

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

126

V,4,2630

Troth, no; no more than reason.

127

V,4,2633

They swore that you were almost sick for me.

128

V,4,2635

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

129

V,4,2645

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

130

V,4,2651

Peace! I will stop your mouth.

131

V,4,2654

I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of
wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost
thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No:
if a man will be beaten with brains, a' shall wear
nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do
purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
purpose that the world can say against it; and
therefore never flout at me for what I have said
against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my
conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to
have beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my
kinsman, live unbruised and love my cousin.

132

V,4,2671

Come, come, we are friends: let's have a dance ere
we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts
and our wives' heels.

133

V,4,2675

First, of my word; therefore play, music. Prince,
thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife:
there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.

134

V,4,2681

Think not on him till to-morrow:
I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.
Strike up, pipers.

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