Much Ado About Nothing eText - Act V

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Act V

Scene I

[Before Leonato's House]

Enter Leonato and his brother [Antonio].

Enter Prince [Don Pedro] and Claudio.

Enter Benedick.

[Exeunt Leonato and Antonio]

[Exit.]

Enter constable [Dogberry, and Verges, with the Watch, leading]Conrade and Borachio.

Enter Leonato, [his brother, Antonio, and the sexton.]]

[Gives money.]

Exeunt [Dogberry and Verges.]

Exeunt.

ANTONIO:
If you go on thus, you will kill yourself,
And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief
Against yourself.
LEONATO:
I pray thee cease thy counsel,
Which falls into mine ears as profitless(5)
As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel,
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
Bring me a father that so loved his child,
Whose joy of her is overwhelmed like mine,(10)
And bid him speak to me of patience.
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain,
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form.(15)
If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
Bid sorrow wag, cry ‘hem’ when he should groan,
Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
With candle-wasters—bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.(20)
But there is no such man; for, brother, men
Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,(25)
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache with air and agony with words.
No, no! 'Tis all men's office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
But no man's virtue nor sufficiency(30)
To be so moral when he shall endure
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel.
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
ANTONIO:
Therein do men from children nothing differ.
LEONATO:
I pray thee peace. I will be flesh and blood;(35)
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently,
However they have writ the style of gods
And made a push at chance and sufferance.
ANTONIO:
Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself.(40)
Make those that do offend you suffer too.
LEONATO:
There thou speak'st reason. Nay, I will do so.
My soul doth tell me Hero is belied;
And that shall Claudio know; so shall the prince,
And all of them that thus dishonour her.(45)
ANTONIO:
Here comes the prince and Claudio hastily.
DON PEDRO:
Good den, good den.
CLAUDIO:
Good day to both of you.
LEONATO:
Hear you, my lords!
DON PEDRO:
We have some haste, Leonato.(50)
LEONATO:
Some haste, my lord! well, fare you well, my lord.
Are you so hasty now? Well, all is one.
DON PEDRO:
Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
ANTONIO:
If he could right himself with quarrelling,
Some of us would lie low.(55)
CLAUDIO:
Who wrongs him?
LEONATO:
Marry, thou dost wrong me, thou dissembler, thou!
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
I fear thee not.
CLAUDIO:
Marry, beshrew my hand(60)
If it should give your age such cause of fear.
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
LEONATO:
Tush, tush, man! never fleer and jest at me.
I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
As under privilege of age to brag(65)
What I have done being young, or what would do,
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou hast so wronged mine innocent child and me
That I am forced to lay my reverence by
And, with grey hairs and bruise of many days,(70)
Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
I say thou hast belied mine innocent child;
Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart,
And she lied buried with her ancestors;
O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,(75)
Save this of hers, framed by thy villainy!
CLAUDIO:
My villainy?
LEONATO:
Thine, Claudio; thine I say.
DON PEDRO:
You say not right, old man.
LEONATO:
My lord, my lord,(80)
I'll prove it on his body if he dare,
Despite his nice fence and his active practice,
His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
CLAUDIO:
Away! I will not have to do with you.
LEONATO:
Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast killed my child.(85)
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
ANTONIO:
He shall kill two of us, and men indeed.
But that's no matter; let him kill one first.
Win me and wear me! Let him answer me.
Come, follow me, boy.(90)
Come, sir boy, come follow me.
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence!
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
LEONATO:
Brother Anthony—
ANTONIO:
Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,(95)
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple,
Scambling, outfacing, fashion-monging boys,
That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
Go anticly, and show outward hideousness,
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,(100)
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst;
And this is all.
LEONATO:
But, brother Anthony—
ANTONIO:
Come, 'tis no matter.
Do not you meddle; let me deal in this.(105)
DON PEDRO:
Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death;
But, on my honour, she was charged with nothing
But what was true, and very full of proof.
LEONATO:
My lord, my lord—(110)
DON PEDRO:
I will not hear you.
LEONATO:
No? Come, brother, away!—I will be heard.
ANTONIO:
And shall, or some of us will smart for it.
DON PEDRO:
See, see! Here comes the man we went to seek.
CLAUDIO:
Now, signior, what news?(115)
BENEDICK:
Good day, my lord.
DON PEDRO:
Welcome, signior. You are almost come to part
almost a fray.
CLAUDIO:
We had liked to have had our two noses snapped off
with two old men without teeth.(120)
DON PEDRO:
Leonato and his brother. What think'st thou? Had
we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for
them.
BENEDICK:
In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came to
seek you both.(125)
CLAUDIO:
We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are
high-proof melancholy, and would fain have it beaten
away. Wilt thou use thy wit?
BENEDICK:
It is in my scabbard. Shall I draw it?
DON PEDRO:
Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?(130)
CLAUDIO:
Never any did so, though very many have been
beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the
minstrel—draw to pleasure us.
DON PEDRO:
As I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thou
sick or angry?(135)
CLAUDIO:
What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat,
thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
BENEDICK:
Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career an you
charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.
CLAUDIO:
Nay then, give him another staff; this last was broke(140)
cross.
DON PEDRO:
By this light, he changes more and more. I think
he be angry indeed.
CLAUDIO:
If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
BENEDICK:
Shall I speak a word in your ear?(145)
CLAUDIO:
God bless me from a challenge!
BENEDICK:
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(150)
you. Let me hear from you.

[Aside to Claudio]

CLAUDIO:
Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.
DON PEDRO:
What, a feast, a feast?
CLAUDIO:
I' faith, I thank him, he hath bid me to a calf's head
and a capon, the which if I do not carve most curiously, say(155)
my knife's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too?
BENEDICK:
Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
DON PEDRO:
I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other
day. I said thou hadst a fine wit: ‘True,’ said she, ‘a fine little
one.’ ‘No,’ said I, ‘a great wit.’ ‘Right,’ says she, ‘a great gross(160)
one.’ ‘Nay,’ said I, ‘a good wit.’ ‘Just,’ said she, ‘it hurts
nobody.’ ‘Nay,’ said I, ‘the gentleman is wise.’ ‘Certain,’ said
she, a wise gentleman.' ‘Nay,’ said I, ‘he hath the tongues.’
‘That I believe’ said she, ‘for he swore a thing to me on
Monday night which he forswore on Tuesday morning.(165)
There's a double tongue; there's two tongues.’ Thus did she
an hour together transshape thy particular virtues. Yet at
last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man
in Italy.
CLAUDIO:
For the which she wept heartily and said she cared not.(170)
DON PEDRO:
Yea, that she did; but yet, for all that, an if she did
not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly. The old
man's daughter told us all.
CLAUDIO:
All, all! and moreover, God saw him when he was hid
in the garden.(175)
DON PEDRO:
But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on
the sensible Benedick's head?
CLAUDIO:
Yea, and text underneath, ‘Here dwells Benedick, the
married man’?
BENEDICK:
Fare you well, boy; you know my mind. I will leave(180)
you now to your gossiplike humour. You break jests as braggards
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(185)
lady. For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet; and
till then peace be with him.
DON PEDRO:
He is in earnest.
CLAUDIO:
In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for
the love of Beatrice.(190)
DON PEDRO:
And hath challenged thee.
CLAUDIO:
Most sincerely.
DON PEDRO:
What a pretty thing man is when he goes in his
doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
CLAUDIO:
He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor(195)
to such a man.
DON PEDRO:
But, soft you, let me be! Pluck up, my heart, and
be sad! Did he not say my brother was fled?
DOGBERRY:
Come you, sir. If justice cannot tame you, she shall
ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance. Nay, an you be(200)
a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
DON PEDRO:
How now? two of my brother's men bound?
Borachio one.
CLAUDIO:
Hearken after their offence, my lord.
DON PEDRO:
Officers, what offence have these men done?(205)
DOGBERRY:
Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover,
they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are
slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly,
they have verified unjust things; and to conclude, they
are lying knaves.(210)
DON PEDRO:
First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I
ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they
are committed; and to conclude, what you lay to their
charge?
CLAUDIO:
Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; and by(215)
my troth there's one meaning well suited.
DON PEDRO:
Who have you offended, masters, that you are
thus bound to your answer? This learned constable is too
cunning to be understood. What's your offence?
BORACHIO:
Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer.(220)
Do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have
deceived even your very eyes. What your wisdoms could
not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light,
who in the night overheard me confessing to this man,
how Don John your brother incensed me to slander the(225)
Lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard and saw
me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you disgraced
her when you should marry her. My villainy they have upon
record, which I had rather seal with my death than repeat
over to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my(230)
master's false accusation; and briefly, I desire nothing but the
reward of a villain.
DON PEDRO:
Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
CLAUDIO:
I have drunk poison whiles he uttered it.
DON PEDRO:
But did my brother set thee on to this?(235)
BORACHIO:
Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.
DON PEDRO:
He is composed and framed of treachery,
And fled he is upon this villainy.
CLAUDIO:
Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear
In the rare semblance that I loved it first.(240)
DOGBERRY:
Come, bring away the plaintiffs. By this time our
sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter. And,
masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall
serve, that I am an ass.
VERGES:
Here, here comes Master Signior Leonato, and the(245)
sexton too.
LEONATO:
Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes,
That, when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him. Which of these is he?
BORACHIO:
If you would know your wronger, look on me.(250)
LEONATO:
Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast killed
Mine innocent child?
BORACHIO:
Yea, even I alone.
LEONATO:
No, not so, villain! thou beliest thyself.
Here stand a pair of honourable men—(255)
A third is fled—that had a hand in it.
I thank you princes for my daughter's death.
Record it with your high and worthy deeds.
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
CLAUDIO:
I know not how to pray your patience;(260)
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin. Yet sinned I not
But in mistaking.
DON PEDRO:
By my soul, nor I!(265)
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.
LEONATO:
I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;
That were impossible; but I pray you both,(270)
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died; and if your love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
And sing it to her bones—sing it to-night.(275)
To-morrow morning come you to my house,
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us.(280)
Give her the right you should have giv'n her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.
CLAUDIO:
O noble sir!
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me.
I do embrace your offer; and dispose(285)
For henceforth of poor Claudio.
LEONATO:
To-morrow then I will expect your coming;
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who I believe was packed in all this wrong,(290)
Hired to it by your brother.
BORACHIO:
No, by my soul, she was not;
Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me;
But always hath been just and virtuous
In anything that I do know by her.(295)
DOGBERRY:
Moreover, my lord, which indeed is not under
white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call
me ass. I beseech you let it be remembered in his punishment.
And also the watch heard them talk of one
Deformed. They say he wears a key in his ear, and a lock(300)
hanging by it, and borrows money in God's name, the
which he hath used so long and never paid that now men
grow hard-hearted and will lend nothing for God's sake.
Pray you examine him upon that point.
LEONATO:
I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.(305)
DOGBERRY:
Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverent
youth, and I praise God for you.
LEONATO:
There's for thy pains.
DOGBERRY:
God save the foundation!
LEONATO:
Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.(310)
DOGBERRY:
I leave an arrant knave with your worship, which I
beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the example of
others. God keep your worship! I wish your worship well.
God restore you to health! I humbly give you leave to
depart; and if a merry meeting may be wished, God(315)
prohibit it! Come neighbour.
LEONATO:
Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.
ANTONIO:
Farewell, my lords. We look for you to-morrow.
DON PEDRO:
We will not fail.
CLAUDIO:
To-night I'll mourn with Hero.(320)
LEONATO:
Bring you these fellows on.–We'll talk with Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[To the Watch]

Scene II

[Leonato's Garden]

Enter Benedick and Margaret.

Enter Ursula.

Exeunt.

BENEDICK:
Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my
hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
MARGARET:
Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my
beauty?
BENEDICK:
In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall(5)
come over it; for in most comely truth thou deservest it.
MARGARET:
To have no man come over me? Why, shall I always
keep below stairs?
BENEDICK:
Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth—it
catches.(10)
MARGARET:
And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit but
hurt not.
BENEDICK:
A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a woman.
And so I pray thee call Beatrice. I give thee the bucklers.
MARGARET:
Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our own.(15)
BENEDICK:
If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes
with a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
MARGARET:
Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think hath
legs.
BENEDICK:
And therefore will come.(20)
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(25)
swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and a
whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers,
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(30)
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 cannot woo in festival terms.(35)
Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?

Exit Margaret.

[Sings]

Enter Beatrice.

BEATRICE:
Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.
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 for, which is, with knowing(40)
what hath passed between you and Claudio.
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.(45)
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(50)
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?(55)
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.(60)
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.
BENEDICK:
An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time
of good neighbours. If a man do not erect in this age his own(65)
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?
BENEDICK:
Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter in
rheum. Therefore is it most expedient for the wise, if Don(70)
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.(75)
BENEDICK:
And how do you?
BEATRICE:
Very ill too.
BENEDICK:
Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I leave you
too, for here comes one in haste.
URSULA:
Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's old coil(80)
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 fled and gone. Will you
come presently?
BEATRICE:
Will you go hear this news, signior?(85)
BENEDICK:
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.

Scene III

[The Inside of a Church]

Enter Claudio, Prince [Don Pedro], and three or four with tapers.

[Exeunt.]

CLAUDIO:
Is this the monument of Leonato?
LORD:
It is, my lord.
CLAUDIO:
Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies.
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,(5)
Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame.
Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Praising her when I am dumb.(10)
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.
Pardon, goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight;
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.(15)
Midnight, assist our moan,
Help us to sigh and groan
Heavily, heavily,
Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered(20)
Heavily, heavily.

[Reads from a scroll]

Epitaph.

[Hanging up the scroll.]

[Song.]

CLAUDIO:
Now unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite.
DON PEDRO:
Good morrow, masters. Put your torches out.
The wolves have preyed, and look, the gentle day,(25)
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about
Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.
Thanks to you all, and leave us. Fare you well.
CLAUDIO:
Good morrow, masters. Each his several way.
DON PEDRO:
Come, let us hence and put on other weeds,(30)
And then to Leonato's we will go.
CLAUDIO:
And Hymen now with luckier issue speeds
Than this for whom we rendered up this woe.

Scene IV

[A Room in Leonato's House]

Enter Leonato, Benedick, [Beatrice], Margaret, Ursula, [Antonio], Friar [Francis and] Hero.

Exeunt Ladies.

Enter Prince [Don Pedro] and Claudio with attendants.

[Exit Antonio.]

[Kisses her.]

Enter Messenger.

Dance. [Exeunt.]

FRIAR:
Did I not tell you she was innocent?
LEONATO:
So are the prince and Claudio, who accused her
Upon the error that you heard debated.
But Margaret was in some fault for this,
Although against her will, as it appears(5)
In the true course of all the question.
ANTONIO:
Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.
BENEDICK:
And so am I, being else by faith enforced
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
LEONATO:
Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,(10)
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
And when I send for you, come hither masked.
The prince and Claudio promised by this hour
To visit me. You know your office, brother:
You must be father to your brother's daughter,(15)
And give her to young Claudio.
ANTONIO:
Which I will do with confirmed countenance.
BENEDICK:
Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
FRIAR:
To do what, signior?
BENEDICK:
To bind me, or undo me—one of them.(20)
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
LEONATO:
That eye my daughter lent her. 'Tis most true.
BENEDICK:
And I do with an eye of love requite her.
LEONATO:
The sight whereof I think you had from me,(25)
From Claudio, and the prince; but what's your will?
BENEDICK:
Your answer, my lord, is enigmatical;
But, for my will, my will is, your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoined
In the state of honourable marriage;(30)
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
LEONATO:
My heart is with your liking.
FRIAR:
And my help. Here comes the prince and Claudio.
DON PEDRO:
Good morrow to this fair assembly.
LEONATO:
Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio.(35)
We here attend you. Are you yet determined
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
CLAUDIO:
I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
LEONATO:
Call her forth, brother. Here's the friar ready.
DON PEDRO:
Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what's the matter(40)
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
CLAUDIO:
I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
Tush, fear not, man! We'll tip thy horns with gold,
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,(45)
As once Europa did at lusty Jove
When he would play the noble beast in love.
BENEDICK:
Bull Jove, my lord, had an amiable low,
And some such strange bull leaped your father's cow
And got a calf in that same noble feat.(50)
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
CLAUDIO:
For this I owe you.
Here comes other reckonings. Which is the lady I must
seize upon?

Enter [Leonato's] brother, [Antonio], Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, Ursula, [the ladies wearing masks].

ANTONIO:
This same is she, and I do give you her.(55)
CLAUDIO:
Why then, she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.
LEONATO:
No, that you shall not till you take her hand
Before this friar and swear to marry her.
CLAUDIO:
Give me your hand before this holy friar. I am your
husband if you like of me.(60)
HERO:
And when I lived I was your other wife; [Unmasks.]
And when you loved you were my other husband.
CLAUDIO:
Another Hero!
HERO:
Nothing certainer.
One Hero died defiled; but I do live,(65)
And surely as I live, I am a maid.
DON PEDRO:
The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
LEONATO:
She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
FRIAR:
All this amazement can I qualify,
When, after that the holy rites are ended,(70)
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death.
Meantime let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.
BENEDICK:
Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?
BEATRICE:
[Unmasks] I answer to that name. What is your will?(75)
BENEDICK:
Do not you love me?
BEATRICE:
Why, no; no more than reason.
BENEDICK:
Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and Claudio
Have been deceived; for they swore you did.
BEATRICE:
Do not you love me?(80)
BENEDICK:
Troth, no; no more than reason.
BEATRICE:
Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula Are much
deceived; for they did swear you did.
BENEDICK:
They swore that you were almost sick for me.
BEATRICE:
They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.(85)
BENEDICK:
'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
BEATRICE:
No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
LEONATO:
Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
CLAUDIO:
And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;
For here's a paper written in his hand,(90)
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashioned to Beatrice.
HERO:
And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.(95)
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.(100)
BENEDICK:
Peace! I will stop your mouth.
DON PEDRO:
How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
BENEDICK:
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(105)
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,(110)
Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou
art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my
cousin.
CLAUDIO:
I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied
Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single(115)
life, to make thee a double-dealer, which out of question
thou wilt be if my cousin do not look exceeding
narrowly to thee.
BENEDICK:
Come, come, we are friends. Let's have a dance ere
we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and(120)
our wives' heels.
LEONATO:
We'll have dancing afterward.
BENEDICK:
First, of my word! Therefore play, music. Prince,
thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife! There is no
staff more reverent than one tipped with horn.(125)
MESSENGER:
My lord, your brother Don John is taken in flight,
And brought with armed men back to Messina.
BENEDICK:
Think not on him till tomorrow. I'll devise thee
brave punishments for him. Strike up, pipers!