Tag Archives: shakespeare

I were but little happy, if I could say how much.

{In the following scene from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” young Claudio and Hero are told they get to spend their lives together, and they have very little to say. Shakespeare certainly had characters who could carry on with the best of them, but he also knew when less is more. I love this exchange. In case you don’t know the story, Count Claudio and Hero (yes, a woman) are the lovers, Leonardo is Hero’s father, and Beatrice is her cousin.}

Leonardo: Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes. His Grace hath made the match, and all grace say amen to it.

Beatrice: Speak, Count, ’tis your cue.

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.

{From Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Scene 1. I think the movie version with Kenneth Branaugh is a great introduction to this play, and to Shakespeare in general.}

Shall I Speak Ill of Him

Nurse: Will you speak well of him that kill’d your cousin?

Juliet: Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name,
When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?

– William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, III.2)

{I love Shakespeare, and this bit has always rung true with me. People judge us, not just by ourselves, but by how our loved ones treat us and what they say about us. This is especially true, I think, for spouses. So, show grace to the ones you love; they depend on you to uphold their good name.}