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Much Ado about Nothing

ACT I

SCENE I. Before LEONATO'S house.

LEONATOI learn in this letter that Don Peter of Arragon
comes this night to Messina.
MessengerHe is very near by this: he was not three leagues off
when I left him.
LEONATOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 5How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?
MessengerBut few of any sort, and none of name.
LEONATOA victory is twice itself when the achiever brings
home full numbers. I find here that Don Peter hath
bestowed much honour on a young Florentine called Claudio.
MessengerAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 10Much deserved on his part and equally remembered by
Don Pedro: he hath borne himself beyond the
promise of his age, doing, in the figure of a lamb,
the feats of a lion: he hath indeed better
bettered expectation than you must expect of me to
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 15tell you how.
LEONATOHe hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much
glad of it.
MessengerI have already delivered him letters, and there
appears much joy in him; even so much that joy could
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 20not show itself modest enough without a badge of
bitterness.
LEONATODid he break out into tears?
MessengerIn great measure.
LEONATOA kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 25truer than those that are so washed. How much
better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!
BEATRICEI pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the
wars or no?
MessengerI know none of that name, lady: there was none such
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 30in the army of any sort.
LEONATOWhat is he that you ask for, niece?
HEROMy cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.
MessengerO, he's returned; and as pleasant as ever he was.
BEATRICEHe set up his bills here in Messina and challenged
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 35Cupid 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.
LEONATOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 40Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much;
but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
MessengerHe hath done good service, lady, in these wars.
BEATRICEYou had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it:
he is a very valiant trencherman; he hath an
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 45excellent stomach.
MessengerAnd a good soldier too, lady.
BEATRICEAnd a good soldier to a lady: but what is he to a lord?
MessengerA lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all
honourable virtues.
BEATRICEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 50It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man:
but for the stuffing, — well, we are all mortal.
LEONATOYou 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 55between them.
BEATRICEAlas! 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 60bear 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.
MessengerIs't possible?
BEATRICEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 65Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as
the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the
next block.
MessengerI see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
BEATRICENo; an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 70you, who is his companion? Is there no young
squarer now that will make a voyage with him to the devil?
MessengerHe is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.
BEATRICEO Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease: he
is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 75runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if
he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a
thousand pound ere a' be cured.
MessengerI will hold friends with you, lady.
BEATRICEDo, good friend.
LEONATOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 80You will never run mad, niece.
BEATRICENo, not till a hot January.
MessengerDon Pedro is approached.
DON PEDROGood Signior Leonato, you are come to meet your
trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 85cost, and you encounter it.
LEONATONever came trouble to my house in the likeness of
your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should
remain; but when you depart from me, sorrow abides
and happiness takes his leave.
DON PEDROAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 90You embrace your charge too willingly. I think this
is your daughter.
LEONATOHer mother hath many times told me so.
BENEDICKWere you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?
LEONATOSignior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.
DON PEDROAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 95You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this
what you are, being a man. Truly, the lady fathers
herself. Be happy, lady; for you are like an
honourable father.
BENEDICKIf Signior Leonato be her father, she would not
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 100have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, as
like him as she is.
BEATRICEI wonder that you will still be talking, Signior
Benedick: nobody marks you.
BENEDICKWhat, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?
BEATRICEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 105Is 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.
BENEDICKThen is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 110am 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.
BEATRICEA dear happiness to women: they would else have
been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 115and 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.
BENEDICKGod keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some
gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 120scratched face.
BEATRICEScratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such
a face as yours were.
BENEDICKWell, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
BEATRICEA bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.
BENEDICKAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 125I 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.
BEATRICEYou always end with a jade's trick: I know you of old.
DON PEDROThat is the sum of all, Leonato. Signior Claudio
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 130and Signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato hath
invited you all. I tell him we shall stay here at
the least a month; and he heartily prays some
occasion may detain us longer. I dare swear he is no
hypocrite, but prays from his heart.
LEONATOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 135If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn.
Let me bid you welcome, my lord: being reconciled to
the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.
DON JOHNI thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank
you.
LEONATOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 140Please it your grace lead on?
DON PEDROYour hand, Leonato; we will go together.
CLAUDIOBenedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?
BENEDICKI noted her not; but I looked on her.
CLAUDIOIs she not a modest young lady?
BENEDICKAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 145Do 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?
CLAUDIONo; I pray thee speak in sober judgment.
BENEDICKWhy, i' faith, methinks she's too low for a high
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 150praise, 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.
CLAUDIOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 155Thou thinkest I am in sport: I pray thee tell me
truly how thou likest her.
BENEDICKWould you buy her, that you inquire after her?
CLAUDIOCan the world buy such a jewel?
BENEDICKYea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 160with 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?
CLAUDIOIn mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 165looked on.
BENEDICKI 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 170hope you have no intent to turn husband, have you?
CLAUDIOI would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the
contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
BENEDICKIs't come to this? In faith, hath not the world
one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion?
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 175Shall 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.
DON PEDROWhat secret hath held you here, that you followed
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 180not to Leonato's?
BENEDICKI would your grace would constrain me to tell.
DON PEDROI charge thee on thy allegiance.
BENEDICKYou hear, Count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumb
man; I would have you think so; but, on my
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 185allegiance, 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.
CLAUDIOIf this were so, so were it uttered.
BENEDICKAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 190Like the old tale, my lord: 'it is not so, nor
'twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be
so.'
CLAUDIOIf my passion change not shortly, God forbid it
should be otherwise.
DON PEDROAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 195Amen, if you love her; for the lady is very well worthy.
CLAUDIOYou speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
DON PEDROBy my troth, I speak my thought.
CLAUDIOAnd, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.
BENEDICKAnd, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I spoke mine.
CLAUDIOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 200That I love her, I feel.
DON PEDROThat she is worthy, I know.
BENEDICKThat 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.
DON PEDROAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 205Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the despite
of beauty.
CLAUDIOAnd never could maintain his part but in the force
of his will.
BENEDICKThat a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 210brought 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 215right to trust none; and the fine is, for the which
I may go the finer, I will live a bachelor.
DON PEDROI shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
BENEDICKWith anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my lord,
not with love: prove that ever I lose more blood
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 220with 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.
DON PEDROWell, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 225wilt prove a notable argument.
BENEDICKIf 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.
DON PEDROWell, as time shall try: 'In time the savage bull
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 230doth bear the yoke.'
BENEDICKThe 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 235good horse to hire,' let them signify under my sign
'Here you may see Benedick the married man.'
CLAUDIOIf this should ever happen, thou wouldst be horn-mad.
DON PEDRONay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in
Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
BENEDICKAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 240I look for an earthquake too, then.
DON PEDROWell, you 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 245great preparation.
BENEDICKI have almost matter enough in me for such an
embassage; and so I commit you —
CLAUDIOTo the tuition of God: From my house, if I had it, —
DON PEDROThe sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick.
BENEDICKAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 250Nay, 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.
CLAUDIOAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 255My liege, your highness now may do me good.
DON PEDROMy love is thine to teach: teach it but how,
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
CLAUDIOHath Leonato any son, my lord?
DON PEDROAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 260No child but Hero; she's his only heir.
Dost thou affect her, Claudio?
CLAUDIOO, my lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 265That liked, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love:
But now I am return'd and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 270All prompting me how fair young Hero is,
Saying, I liked her ere I went to wars.
DON PEDROThou wilt be like a lover presently
And tire the hearer with a book of words.
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 275And I will break with her and with her father,
And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end
That thou began'st to twist so fine a story?
CLAUDIOHow sweetly you do minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complexion!
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 280But lest my liking might too sudden seem,
I would have salved it with a longer treatise.
DON PEDROWhat need the bridge much broader than the flood?
The fairest grant is the necessity.
Look, what will serve is fit: 'tis once, thou lovest,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 285And I will fit thee with the remedy.
I know we shall have revelling to-night:
I will assume thy part in some disguise
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio,
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 290And take her hearing prisoner with the force
And strong encounter of my amorous tale:
Then after to her father will I break;
And the conclusion is, she shall be thine.
In practise let us put it presently.

ACT I

SCENE II. A room in LEONATO's house.

LEONATOHow now, brother! Where is my cousin, your son?
hath he provided this music?
ANTONIOHe is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell
you strange news that you yet dreamt not of.
LEONATOAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 5Are they good?
ANTONIOAs the event stamps them: but they have a good
cover; they show well outward. The prince and Count
Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley in mine
orchard, were thus much overheard by a man of mine:
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 10the prince discovered to Claudio that he loved my
niece your daughter and meant to acknowledge it
this night in a dance: and if he found her
accordant, he meant to take the present time by the
top and instantly break with you of it.
LEONATOAct 1 Sc 2 Ln 15Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?
ANTONIOA good sharp fellow: I will send for him; and
question him yourself.
LEONATONo, no; we will hold it as a dream till it appear
itself: but I will acquaint my daughter withal,
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 20that she may be the better prepared for an answer,
if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell her of it.
Cousins, you know what you have to do. O, I cry you
mercy, friend; go you with me, and I will use your
skill. Good cousin, have a care this busy time.

ACT I

SCENE III. The same.

CONRADEWhat the good-year, my lord! why are you thus out
of measure sad?
DON JOHNThere is no measure in the occasion that breeds;
therefore the sadness is without limit.
CONRADEAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 5You should hear reason.
DON JOHNAnd when I have heard it, what blessing brings it?
CONRADEIf not a present remedy, at least a patient
sufferance.
DON JOHNI wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou art,
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 10born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral
medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide
what I am: I must be sad when I have cause and smile
at no man's jests, eat when I have stomach and wait
for no man's leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 15tend on no man's business, laugh when I am merry and
claw no man in his humour.
CONRADEYea, but you must not make the full show of this
till you may do it without controlment. You have of
late stood out against your brother, and he hath
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 20ta'en you newly into his grace; where it is
impossible you should take true root but by the
fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful
that you frame the season for your own harvest.
DON JOHNI had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 25his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob
love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied
but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 30a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I
have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my
mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do
my liking: in the meantime let me be that I am and
seek not to alter me.
CONRADEAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 35Can you make no use of your discontent?
DON JOHNI make all use of it, for I use it only.
Who comes here?
What news, Borachio?
BORACHIOI came yonder from a great supper: the prince your
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 40brother is royally entertained by Leonato: and I
can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
DON JOHNWill it serve for any model to build mischief on?
What is he for a fool that betroths himself to
unquietness?
BORACHIOAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 45Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
DON JOHNWho? the most exquisite Claudio?
BORACHIOEven he.
DON JOHNA proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks
he?
BORACHIOAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 50Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
DON JOHNA very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
BORACHIOBeing entertained for a perfumer, as I was smoking a
musty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand
in hand in sad conference: I whipt me behind the
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 55arras; and there heard it agreed upon that the
prince should woo Hero for himself, and having
obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.
DON JOHNCome, come, let us thither: this may prove food to
my displeasure. That young start-up hath all the
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 60glory of my overthrow: if I can cross him any way, I
bless myself every way. You are both sure, and will assist me?
CONRADETo the death, my lord.
DON JOHNLet us to the great supper: their cheer is the
greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 65my mind! Shall we go prove what's to be done?
BORACHIOWe'll wait upon your lordship.

ACT II

SCENE I. A hall in LEONATO'S house.

LEONATOWas not Count John here at supper?
ANTONIOI saw him not.
BEATRICEHow tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see
him but I am heart-burned an hour after.
HEROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 5He is of a very melancholy disposition.
BEATRICEHe 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.
LEONATOAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 10Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's
mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior
Benedick's face, —
BEATRICEWith a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money
enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 15in the world, if a' could get her good-will.
LEONATOBy my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a
husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
ANTONIOIn faith, she's too curst.
BEATRICEToo curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 20sending that way; for it is said, 'God sends a curst
cow short horns;' but to a cow too curst he sends none.
LEONATOSo, by being too curst, God will send you no horns.
BEATRICEJust, if he send me no husband; for the which
blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 25evening. Lord, I could not endure a husband with a
beard on his face: I had rather lie in the woollen.
LEONATOYou may light on a husband that hath no beard.
BEATRICEWhat should I do with him? dress him in my apparel
and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 30beard 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 35apes into hell.
LEONATOWell, then, go you into hell?
BEATRICENo, 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 40heaven; 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.
ANTONIO Well, niece, I trust you will be ruled
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 45by your father.
BEATRICEYes, 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 50me.'
LEONATOWell, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.
BEATRICENot 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 55an 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.
LEONATODaughter, remember what I told you: if the prince
do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.
BEATRICEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 60The 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,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 65a 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 70cinque pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
LEONATOCousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
BEATRICEI have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by daylight.
LEONATOThe revellers are entering, brother: make good room.
DON PEDROLady, will you walk about with your friend?
HEROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 75So you walk softly and look sweetly and say nothing,
I am yours for the walk; and especially when I walk away.
DON PEDROWith me in your company?
HEROI may say so, when I please.
DON PEDROAnd when please you to say so?
HEROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 80When I like your favour; for God defend the lute
should be like the case!
DON PEDROMy visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.
HEROWhy, then, your visor should be thatched.
DON PEDROSpeak low, if you speak love.
BALTHASARAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 85Well, I would you did like me.
MARGARETSo would not I, for your own sake; for I have many
ill-qualities.
BALTHASARWhich is one?
MARGARETI say my prayers aloud.
BALTHASARAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 90I love you the better: the hearers may cry, Amen.
MARGARETGod match me with a good dancer!
BALTHASARAmen.
MARGARETAnd God keep him out of my sight when the dance is
done! Answer, clerk.
BALTHASARAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 95No more words: the clerk is answered.
URSULAI know you well enough; you are Signior Antonio.
ANTONIOAt a word, I am not.
URSULAI know you by the waggling of your head.
ANTONIOTo tell you true, I counterfeit him.
URSULAAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 100You could never do him so ill-well, unless you were
the very man. Here's his dry hand up and down: you
are he, you are he.
ANTONIOAt a word, I am not.
URSULACome, come, do you think I do not know you by your
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 105excellent wit? can virtue hide itself? Go to,
mum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an
end.
BEATRICEWill you not tell me who told you so?
BENEDICKNo, you shall pardon me.
BEATRICEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 110Nor will you not tell me who you are?
BENEDICKNot now.
BEATRICEThat I was disdainful, and that I had my good wit
out of the 'Hundred Merry Tales:' — well this was
Signior Benedick that said so.
BENEDICKAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 115What's he?
BEATRICEI am sure you know him well enough.
BENEDICKNot I, believe me.
BEATRICEDid he never make you laugh?
BENEDICKI pray you, what is he?
BEATRICEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 120Why, 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 125they laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in
the fleet: I would he had boarded me.
BENEDICKWhen I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.
BEATRICEDo, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me;
which, peradventure not marked or not laughed at,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 130strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a
partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat no
supper that night.
We must follow the leaders.
BENEDICKIn every good thing.
BEATRICEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 135Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at
the next turning.
DON JOHNSure my brother is amorous on Hero and hath
withdrawn her father to break with him about it.
The ladies follow her and but one visor remains.
BORACHIOAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 140And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.
DON JOHNAre not you Signior Benedick?
CLAUDIOYou know me well; I am he.
DON JOHNSignior, you are very near my brother in his love:
he is enamoured on Hero; I pray you, dissuade him
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 145from her: she is no equal for his birth: you may
do the part of an honest man in it.
CLAUDIOHow know you he loves her?
DON JOHNI heard him swear his affection.
BORACHIOSo did I too; and he swore he would marry her to-night.
DON JOHNAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 150Come, let us to the banquet.
CLAUDIOThus answer I in the name of Benedick,
But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio.
'Tis certain so; the prince wooes for himself.
Friendship is constant in all other things
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 155Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate for itself
And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch
Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 160This is an accident of hourly proof,
Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, Hero!
BENEDICKCount Claudio?
CLAUDIOYea, the same.
BENEDICKCome, will you go with me?
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 165Whither?
BENEDICKEven 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 170it one way, for the prince hath got your Hero.
CLAUDIOI wish him joy of her.
BENEDICKWhy, that's spoken like an honest drovier: so they
sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would
have served you thus?
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 175I pray you, leave me.
BENEDICKHo! now you strike like the blind man: 'twas the
boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.
CLAUDIOIf it will not be, I'll leave you.
BENEDICKAlas, poor hurt fowl! now will he creep into sedges.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 180But 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 185that puts the world into her person and so gives me
out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may.
DON PEDRONow, signior, where's the count? did you see him?
BENEDICKTroth, my lord, I have played the part of Lady Fame.
I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 190warren: 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.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 195To be whipped! What's his fault?
BENEDICKThe flat transgression of a schoolboy, who, being
overjoyed with finding a birds' nest, shows it his
companion, and he steals it.
DON PEDROWilt thou make a trust a transgression? The
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 200transgression is in the stealer.
BENEDICKYet 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.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 205I will but teach them to sing, and restore them to
the owner.
BENEDICKIf their singing answer your saying, by my faith,
you say honestly.
DON PEDROThe Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you: the
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 210gentleman that danced with her told her she is much
wronged by you.
BENEDICKO, 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 215scold 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 220me. 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 225he 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 230she 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.
DON PEDROLook, here she comes.
BENEDICKAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 235Will 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 240Prester 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?
DON PEDRONone, but to desire your good company.
BENEDICKAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 245O God, sir, here's a dish I love not: I cannot
endure my Lady Tongue.
DON PEDROCome, lady, come; you have lost the heart of
Signior Benedick.
BEATRICEIndeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 250him 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.
DON PEDROYou have put him down, lady, you have put him down.
BEATRICESo I would not he should do me, my lord, lest I
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 255should prove the mother of fools. I have brought
Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
DON PEDROWhy, how now, count! wherefore are you sad?
CLAUDIONot sad, my lord.
DON PEDROHow then? sick?
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 260Neither, my lord.
BEATRICEThe count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor
well; but civil count, civil as an orange, and
something of that jealous complexion.
DON PEDROI' faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 265though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is
false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and
fair Hero is won: I have broke with her father,
and his good will obtained: name the day of
marriage, and God give thee joy!
LEONATOAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 270Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my
fortunes: his grace hath made the match, and an
grace say Amen to it.
BEATRICESpeak, count, 'tis your cue.
CLAUDIOSilence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 275but 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.
BEATRICESpeak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth
with a kiss, and let not him speak neither.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 280In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.
BEATRICEYea, 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.
CLAUDIOAnd so she doth, cousin.
BEATRICEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 285Good 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!
DON PEDROLady Beatrice, I will get you one.
BEATRICEI would rather have one of your father's getting.
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 290Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your
father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.
DON PEDROWill you have me, lady?
BEATRICENo, my lord, unless I might have another for
working-days: your grace is too costly to wear
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 295every day. But, I beseech your grace, pardon me: I
was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
DON PEDROYour silence most offends me, and to be merry best
becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in
a merry hour.
BEATRICEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 300No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there
was a star danced, and under that was I born.
Cousins, God give you joy!
LEONATONiece, will you look to those things I told you of?
BEATRICEI cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's pardon.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 305By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.
LEONATOThere's little of the melancholy element in her, my
lord: she is never sad but when she sleeps, and
not ever sad then; for I have heard my daughter say,
she hath often dreamed of unhappiness and waked
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 310herself with laughing.
DON PEDROShe cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
LEONATOO, by no means: she mocks all her wooers out of suit.
DON PEDROShe were an excellent wife for Benedict.
LEONATOO Lord, my lord, if they were but a week married,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 315they would talk themselves mad.
DON PEDROCounty Claudio, when mean you to go to church?
CLAUDIOTo-morrow, my lord: time goes on crutches till love
have all his rites.
LEONATONot till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a just
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 320seven-night; and a time too brief, too, to have all
things answer my mind.
DON PEDROCome, you shake the head at so long a breathing:
but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall not go
dully by us. I will in the interim undertake one of
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 325Hercules' labours; which is, to bring Signior
Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a mountain of
affection the one with the other. I would fain have
it a match, and I doubt not but to fashion it, if
you three will but minister such assistance as I
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 330shall give you direction.
LEONATOMy lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten
nights' watchings.
CLAUDIOAnd I, my lord.
DON PEDROAnd you too, gentle Hero?
HEROAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 335I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my
cousin to a good husband.
DON PEDROAnd Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that
I know. Thus far can I praise him; he is of a noble
strain, of approved valour and confirmed honesty. I
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 340will teach you how to humour your cousin, that she
shall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your
two helps, will so practise on Benedick that, in
despite of his quick wit and his queasy stomach, he
shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 345Cupid is no longer an archer: his glory shall be
ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in with me,
and I will tell you my drift.

ACT II

SCENE II. The same.

DON JOHNIt is so; the Count Claudio shall marry the
daughter of Leonato.
BORACHIOYea, my lord; but I can cross it.
DON JOHNAny bar, any cross, any impediment will be
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 5medicinable to me: I am sick in displeasure to him,
and whatsoever comes athwart his affection ranges
evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this marriage?
BORACHIONot honestly, my lord; but so covertly that no
dishonesty shall appear in me.
DON JOHNAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 10Show me briefly how.
BORACHIOI think I told your lordship a year since, how much
I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting
gentlewoman to Hero.
DON JOHNI remember.
BORACHIOAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 15I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night,
appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber window.
DON JOHNWhat life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?
BORACHIOThe poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you to
the prince your brother; spare not to tell him that
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 20he hath wronged his honour in marrying the renowned
Claudio — whose estimation do you mightily hold
up — to a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero.
DON JOHNWhat proof shall I make of that?
BORACHIOProof enough to misuse the prince, to vex Claudio,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 25to undo Hero and kill Leonato. Look you for any
other issue?
DON JOHNOnly to despite them, I will endeavour any thing.
BORACHIOGo, then; find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro and
the Count Claudio alone: tell them that you know
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 30that Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to the
prince and Claudio, as, — in love of your brother's
honour, who hath made this match, and his friend's
reputation, who is thus like to be cozened with the
semblance of a maid, — that you have discovered
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 35thus. They will scarcely believe this without trial:
offer them instances; which shall bear no less
likelihood than to see me at her chamber-window,
hear me call Margaret Hero, hear Margaret term me
Claudio; and bring them to see this the very night
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 40before the intended wedding, — for in the meantime I
will so fashion the matter that Hero shall be
absent, — and there shall appear such seeming truth
of Hero's disloyalty that jealousy shall be called
assurance and all the preparation overthrown.
DON JOHNAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 45Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put
it in practise. Be cunning in the working this, and
thy fee is a thousand ducats.
BORACHIOBe you constant in the accusation, and my cunning
shall not shame me.
DON JOHNAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 50I will presently go learn their day of marriage.

ACT II

SCENE III. LEONATO'S orchard.

BENEDICKBoy!
BoySignior?
BENEDICKIn my chamber-window lies a book: bring it hither
to me in the orchard.
BoyAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 5I am here already, sir.
BENEDICKI know that; but I would have thee hence, and here again.
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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 10such 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 15when 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 20words 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 25of 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,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 30or 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 35Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.
DON PEDROCome, shall we hear this music?
CLAUDIOYea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
DON PEDROSee you where Benedick hath hid himself?
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 40O, very well, my lord: the music ended,
We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.
DON PEDROCome, Balthasar, we'll hear that song again.
BALTHASARO, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
To slander music any more than once.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 45It is the witness still of excellency
To put a strange face on his own perfection.
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
BALTHASARBecause you talk of wooing, I will sing;
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 50To her he thinks not worthy, yet he wooes,
Yet will he swear he loves.
DON PEDRONow, pray thee, come;
Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.
BALTHASARAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 55Note this before my notes;
There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting.
DON PEDROWhy, these are very crotchets that he speaks;
Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing.
BENEDICKNow, divine air! now is his soul ravished! Is it
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 60not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out
of men's bodies? Well, a horn for my money, when
all's done.
BALTHASARSigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 65One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never:
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 70Into Hey nonny, nonny.
Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leafy:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 75Then sigh not so, &c.
DON PEDROBy my troth, a good song.
BALTHASARAnd an ill singer, my lord.
DON PEDROHa, no, no, faith; thou singest well enough for a shift.
BENEDICKAn he had been a dog that should have howled thus,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 80they 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.
DON PEDROYea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray thee,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 85get us some excellent music; for to-morrow night we
would have it at the Lady Hero's chamber-window.
BALTHASARThe best I can, my lord.
DON PEDRODo so: farewell.
Come hither, Leonato. What was it you told me of
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 90to-day, that your niece Beatrice was in love with
Signior Benedick?
CLAUDIOO, ay: stalk on. stalk on; the fowl sits. I did
never think that lady would have loved any man.
LEONATONo, nor I neither; but most wonderful that she
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 95should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in
all outward behaviors seemed ever to abhor.
BENEDICKIs't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?
LEONATOBy my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think
of it but that she loves him with an enraged
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 100affection: it is past the infinite of thought.
DON PEDROMay be she doth but counterfeit.
CLAUDIOFaith, like enough.
LEONATOO God, counterfeit! There was never counterfeit of
passion came so near the life of passion as she
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 105discovers it.
DON PEDROWhy, what effects of passion shows she?
CLAUDIOBait the hook well; this fish will bite.
LEONATOWhat effects, my lord? She will sit you, you heard
my daughter tell you how.
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 110She did, indeed.
DON PEDROHow, how, pray you? You amaze me: I would have I
thought her spirit had been invincible against all
assaults of affection.
LEONATOI would have sworn it had, my lord; especially
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 115against Benedick.
BENEDICKI should think this a gull, but that the
white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot,
sure, hide himself in such reverence.
CLAUDIOHe hath ta'en the infection: hold it up.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 120Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?
LEONATONo; and swears she never will: that's her torment.
CLAUDIO'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: 'Shall
I,' says she, 'that have so oft encountered him
with scorn, write to him that I love him?'
LEONATOAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 125This says she now when she is beginning to write to
him; for she'll be up twenty times a night, and
there will she sit in her smock till she have writ a
sheet of paper: my daughter tells us all.
CLAUDIONow you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 130pretty jest your daughter told us of.
LEONATOO, when she had writ it and was reading it over, she
found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?
CLAUDIOThat.
LEONATOO, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence;
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 135railed at herself, that she should be so immodest
to write to one that she knew would flout her; 'I
measure him,' says she, 'by my own spirit; for I
should flout him, if he writ to me; yea, though I
love him, I should.'
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 140Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs,
beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; 'O
sweet Benedick! God give me patience!'
LEONATOShe doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the
ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my daughter
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 145is sometime afeared she will do a desperate outrage
to herself: it is very true.
DON PEDROIt were good that Benedick knew of it by some
other, if she will not discover it.
CLAUDIOTo what end? He would make but a sport of it and
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 150torment the poor lady worse.
DON PEDROAn he should, it were an alms to hang him. She's an
excellent sweet lady; and, out of all suspicion,
she is virtuous.
CLAUDIOAnd she is exceeding wise.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 155In every thing but in loving Benedick.
LEONATOO, my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender
a body, we have ten proofs to one that blood hath
the victory. I am sorry for her, as I have just
cause, being her uncle and her guardian.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 160I would she had bestowed this dotage on me: I would
have daffed all other respects and made her half
myself. I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear
what a' will say.
LEONATOWere it good, think you?
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 165Hero thinks surely she will die; for she says she
will die, if he love her not, and she will die, ere
she make her love known, and she will die, if he woo
her, rather than she will bate one breath of her
accustomed crossness.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 170She doth well: if she should make tender of her
love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the
man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.
CLAUDIOHe is a very proper man.
DON PEDROHe hath indeed a good outward happiness.
CLAUDIOAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 175Before God! and, in my mind, very wise.
DON PEDROHe doth indeed show some sparks that are like wit.
CLAUDIOAnd I take him to be valiant.
DON PEDROAs Hector, I assure you: and in the managing of
quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 180avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes
them with a most Christian-like fear.
LEONATOIf he do fear God, a' must necessarily keep peace:
if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a
quarrel with fear and trembling.
DON PEDROAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 185And so will he do; for the man doth fear God,
howsoever it seems not in him by some large jests
he will make. Well I am sorry for your niece. Shall
we go seek Benedick, and tell him of her love?
CLAUDIONever tell him, my lord: let her wear it out with
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 190good counsel.
LEONATONay, that's impossible: she may wear her heart out first.
DON PEDROWell, we will hear further of it by your daughter:
let it cool the while. I love Benedick well; and I
could wish he would modestly examine himself, to see
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 195how much he is unworthy so good a lady.
LEONATOMy lord, will you walk? dinner is ready.
CLAUDIOIf he do not dote on her upon this, I will never
trust my expectation.
DON PEDROLet there be the same net spread for her; and that
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 200must your daughter and her gentlewomen carry. The
sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of
another's dotage, and no such matter: that's the
scene that I would see, which will be merely a
dumb-show. Let us send her to call him in to dinner.
BENEDICKAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 205 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:
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 210they 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 215them 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 220horribly 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.
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 225Shall 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!
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 230she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in
her.
BEATRICEAgainst my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.
BENEDICKFair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.
BEATRICEI took no more pains for those thanks than you take
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 235pains to thank me: if it had been painful, I would
not have come.
BENEDICKYou take pleasure then in the message?
BEATRICEYea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's
point and choke a daw withal. You have no stomach,
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 240signior: fare you well.
BENEDICKHa! '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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 245that 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.

ACT III

SCENE I. LEONATO'S garden.

HEROGood Margaret, run thee to the parlor;
There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice
Proposing with the prince and Claudio:
Whisper her ear and tell her, I and Ursula
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 5Walk in the orchard and our whole discourse
Is all of her; say that thou overheard'st us;
And bid her steal into the pleached bower,
Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun,
Forbid the sun to enter, like favourites,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 10Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it: there will she hide her,
To listen our purpose. This is thy office;
Bear thee well in it and leave us alone.
MARGARETI'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.
HEROAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 15Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick.
When I do name him, let it be thy part
To praise him more than ever man did merit:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 20My talk to thee must be how Benedick
Is sick in love with Beatrice. Of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay.
Now begin;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 25For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.
URSULAThe pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 30So angle we for Beatrice; who even now
Is couched in the woodbine coverture.
Fear you not my part of the dialogue.
HEROThen go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 35No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful;
I know her spirits are as coy and wild
As haggerds of the rock.
URSULABut are you sure
That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?
HEROAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 40So says the prince and my new-trothed lord.
URSULAAnd did they bid you tell her of it, madam?
HEROThey did entreat me to acquaint her of it;
But I persuaded them, if they loved Benedick,
To wish him wrestle with affection,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 45And never to let Beatrice know of it.
URSULAWhy did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full as fortunate a bed
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?
HEROO god of love! I know he doth deserve
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 50As much as may be yielded to a man:
But Nature never framed a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice;
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprising what they look on, and her wit
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 55Values itself so highly that to her
All matter else seems weak: she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endeared.
URSULASure, I think so;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 60And therefore certainly it were not good
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it.
HEROWhy, you speak truth. I never yet saw man,
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured,
But she would spell him backward: if fair-faced,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 65She would swear the gentleman should be her sister;
If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antique,
Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an agate very vilely cut;
If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 70If silent, why, a block moved with none.
So turns she every man the wrong side out
And never gives to truth and virtue that
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.
URSULASure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
HEROAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 75No, not to be so odd and from all fashions
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable:
But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,
She would mock me into air; O, she would laugh me
Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 80Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly:
It were a better death than die with mocks,
Which is as bad as die with tickling.
URSULAYet tell her of it: hear what she will say.
HEROAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 85No; rather I will go to Benedick
And counsel him to fight against his passion.
And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with: one doth not know
How much an ill word may empoison liking.
URSULAAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 90O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.
She cannot be so much without true judgment —
Having so swift and excellent a wit
As she is prized to have — as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.
HEROAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 95He is the only man of Italy.
Always excepted my dear Claudio.
URSULAI pray you, be not angry with me, madam,
Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument and valour,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 100Goes foremost in report through Italy.
HEROIndeed, he hath an excellent good name.
URSULAHis excellence did earn it, ere he had it.
When are you married, madam?
HEROWhy, every day, to-morrow. Come, go in:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 105I'll show thee some attires, and have thy counsel
Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow.
URSULAShe's limed, I warrant you: we have caught her, madam.
HEROIf it proves so, then loving goes by haps:
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.
BEATRICEAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 110(STAGEDIR "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.
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 115And, 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
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 120Believe it better than reportingly.

ACT III

SCENE II. A room in LEONATO'S house

DON PEDROI do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and
then go I toward Arragon.
CLAUDIOI'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll
vouchsafe me.
DON PEDROAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 5Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss
of your marriage as to show a child his new coat
and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold
with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown
of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 10mirth: he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's
bow-string and the little hangman dare not shoot at
him; he hath a heart as sound as a bell and his
tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks his
tongue speaks.
BENEDICKAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 15Gallants, I am not as I have been.
LEONATOSo say I methinks you are sadder.
CLAUDIOI hope he be in love.
DON PEDROHang him, truant! there's no true drop of blood in
him, to be truly touched with love: if he be sad,
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 20he wants money.
BENEDICKI have the toothache.
DON PEDRODraw it.
BENEDICKHang it!
CLAUDIOYou must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
DON PEDROAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 25What! sigh for the toothache?
LEONATOWhere is but a humour or a worm.
BENEDICKWell, every one can master a grief but he that has
it.
CLAUDIOYet say I, he is in love.
DON PEDROAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 30There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be
a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be
a Dutchman today, a Frenchman to-morrow, or in the
shape of two countries at once, as, a German from
the waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard from
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 35the hip upward, no doublet. Unless he have a fancy
to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no
fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.
CLAUDIOIf he be not in love with some woman, there is no
believing old signs: a' brushes his hat o'
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 40mornings; what should that bode?
DON PEDROHath any man seen him at the barber's?
CLAUDIONo, but the barber's man hath been seen with him,
and the old ornament of his cheek hath already
stuffed tennis-balls.
LEONATOAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 45Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
DON PEDRONay, a' rubs himself with civet: can you smell him
out by that?
CLAUDIOThat's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.
DON PEDROThe greatest note of it is his melancholy.
CLAUDIOAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 50And when was he wont to wash his face?
DON PEDROYea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear
what they say of him.
CLAUDIONay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into
a lute-string and now governed by stops.
DON PEDROAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 55Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude,
conclude he is in love.
CLAUDIONay, but I know who loves him.
DON PEDROThat would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.
CLAUDIOYes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 60all, dies for him.
DON PEDROShe shall be buried with her face upwards.
BENEDICKYet 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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 65hobby-horses must not hear.
DON PEDROFor my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
CLAUDIO'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this
played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two
bears will not bite one another when they meet.
DON JOHNAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 70My lord and brother, God save you!
DON PEDROGood den, brother.
DON JOHNIf your leisure served, I would speak with you.
DON PEDROIn private?
DON JOHNIf it please you: yet Count Claudio may hear; for
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 75what I would speak of concerns him.
DON PEDROWhat's the matter?
DON JOHN Means your lordship to be married
to-morrow?
DON PEDROYou know he does.
DON JOHNAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 80I know not that, when he knows what I know.
CLAUDIOIf there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.
DON JOHNYou may think I love you not: let that appear
hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will
manifest. For my brother, I think he holds you
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 85well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect
your ensuing marriage; — surely suit ill spent and
labour ill bestowed.
DON PEDROWhy, what's the matter?
DON JOHNI came hither to tell you; and, circumstances
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 90shortened, for she has been too long a talking of,
the lady is disloyal.
CLAUDIOWho, Hero?
DON PEDROEven she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero:
CLAUDIODisloyal?
DON JOHNAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 95The word is too good to paint out her wickedness; I
could say she were worse: think you of a worse
title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till
further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall
see her chamber-window entered, even the night
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 100before her wedding-day: if you love her then,
to-morrow wed her; but it would better fit your honour
to change your mind.
CLAUDIOMay this be so?
DON PEDROI will not think it.
DON JOHNAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 105If you dare not trust that you see, confess not
that you know: if you will follow me, I will show
you enough; and when you have seen more and heard
more, proceed accordingly.
CLAUDIOIf I see any thing to-night why I should not marry
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 110her to-morrow in the congregation, where I should
wed, there will I shame her.
DON PEDROAnd, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join
with thee to disgrace her.
DON JOHNI will disparage her no farther till you are my
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 115witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and
let the issue show itself.
DON PEDROO day untowardly turned!
CLAUDIOO mischief strangely thwarting!
DON JOHNO plague right well prevented! so will you say when
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 120you have seen the sequel.

ACT III

SCENE III. A street.

DOGBERRYAre you good men and true?
VERGESYea, or else it were pity but they should suffer
salvation, body and soul.
DOGBERRYNay, that were a punishment too good for them, if
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 5they should have any allegiance in them, being
chosen for the prince's watch.
VERGESWell, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.
DOGBERRYFirst, who think you the most desertless man to be
constable?
First WatchmanAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 10Hugh Otecake, sir, or George Seacole; for they can
write and read.
DOGBERRYCome hither, neighbour Seacole. God hath blessed
you with a good name: to be a well-favoured man is
the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.
Second WatchmanAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 15Both which, master constable, —
DOGBERRYYou have: I knew it would be your answer. Well,
for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make
no boast of it; and for your writing and reading,
let that appear when there is no need of such
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 20vanity. You are thought here to be the most
senseless and fit man for the constable of the
watch; therefore bear you the lantern. This is your
charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are
to bid any man stand, in the prince's name.
Second WatchmanAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 25How if a' will not stand?
DOGBERRYWhy, then, take no note of him, but let him go; and
presently call the rest of the watch together and
thank God you are rid of a knave.
VERGESIf he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 30of the prince's subjects.
DOGBERRYTrue, and they are to meddle with none but the
prince's subjects. You shall also make no noise in
the streets; for, for the watch to babble and to
talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.
WatchmanAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 35We will rather sleep than talk: we know what
belongs to a watch.
DOGBERRYWhy, you speak like an ancient and most quiet
watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should
offend: only, have a care that your bills be not
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 40stolen. Well, you are to call at all the
ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
WatchmanHow if they will not?
DOGBERRYWhy, then, let them alone till they are sober: if
they make you not then the better answer, you may
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 45say they are not the men you took them for.
WatchmanWell, sir.
DOGBERRYIf you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue
of your office, to be no true man; and, for such
kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them,
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 50why the more is for your honesty.
WatchmanIf we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay
hands on him?
DOGBERRYTruly, by your office, you may; but I think they
that touch pitch will be defiled: the most peaceable
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 55way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him
show himself what he is and steal out of your company.
VERGESYou have been always called a merciful man, partner.
DOGBERRYTruly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more
a man who hath any honesty in him.
VERGESAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 60If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call
to the nurse and bid her still it.
WatchmanHow if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?
DOGBERRYWhy, then, depart in peace, and let the child wake
her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 65lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats.
VERGES'Tis very true.
DOGBERRYThis is the end of the charge: — you, constable, are
to present the prince's own person: if you meet the
prince in the night, you may stay him.
VERGESAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 70Nay, by'r our lady, that I think a' cannot.
DOGBERRYFive shillings to one on't, with any man that knows
the statutes, he may stay him: marry, not without
the prince be willing; for, indeed, the watch ought
to offend no man; and it is an offence to stay a
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 75man against his will.
VERGESBy'r lady, I think it be so.
DOGBERRYHa, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there be
any matter of weight chances, call up me: keep your
fellows' counsels and your own; and good night.
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 80Come, neighbour.
WatchmanWell, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit here
upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.
DOGBERRYOne word more, honest neighbours. I pray you watch
about Signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 85there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night.
Adieu: be vigitant, I beseech you.
BORACHIOWhat Conrade!
Watchman Peace! stir not.
BORACHIOConrade, I say!
CONRADEAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 90Here, man; I am at thy elbow.
BORACHIOMass, and my elbow itched; I thought there would a
scab follow.
CONRADEI will owe thee an answer for that: and now forward
with thy tale.
BORACHIOAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 95Stand thee close, then, under this pent-house, for
it drizzles rain; and I will, like a true drunkard,
utter all to thee.
Watchman Some treason, masters: yet stand close.
BORACHIOTherefore know I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.
CONRADEAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 100Is it possible that any villany should be so dear?
BORACHIOThou shouldst rather ask if it were possible any
villany should be so rich; for when rich villains
have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what
price they will.
CONRADEAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 105I wonder at it.
BORACHIOThat shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou knowest that
the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is
nothing to a man.
CONRADEYes, it is apparel.
BORACHIOAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 110I mean, the fashion.
CONRADEYes, the fashion is the fashion.
BORACHIOTush! I may as well say the fool's the fool. But
seest thou not what a deformed thief this fashion
is?
WatchmanAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 115 I know that Deformed; a' has been a vile
thief this seven year; a' goes up and down like a
gentleman: I remember his name.
BORACHIODidst thou not hear somebody?
CONRADENo; 'twas the vane on the house.
BORACHIOAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 120Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this
fashion is? how giddily a' turns about all the hot
bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty?
sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers
in the reeky painting, sometime like god Bel's
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 125priests in the old church-window, sometime like the
shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten tapestry,
where his codpiece seems as massy as his club?
CONRADEAll this I see; and I see that the fashion wears
out more apparel than the man. But art not thou
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 130thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast
shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?
BORACHIONot so, neither: but know that I have to-night
wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the
name of Hero: she leans me out at her mistress'
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 135chamber-window, bids me a thousand times good
night, — I tell this tale vilely: — I should first
tell thee how the prince, Claudio and my master,
planted and placed and possessed by my master Don
John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiable encounter.
CONRADEAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 140And thought they Margaret was Hero?
BORACHIOTwo of them did, the prince and Claudio; but the
devil my master knew she was Margaret; and partly
by his oaths, which first possessed them, partly by
the dark night, which did deceive them, but chiefly
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 145by my villany, which did confirm any slander that
Don John had made, away went Claudio enraged; swore
he would meet her, as he was appointed, next morning
at the temple, and there, before the whole
congregation, shame her with what he saw o'er night
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 150and send her home again without a husband.
First WatchmanWe charge you, in the prince's name, stand!
Second WatchmanCall up the right master constable. We have here
recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that
ever was known in the commonwealth.
First WatchmanAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 155And one Deformed is one of them: I know him; a'
wears a lock.
CONRADEMasters, masters, —
Second WatchmanYou'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.
CONRADEMasters, —
First WatchmanAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 160Never speak: we charge you let us obey you to go with us.
BORACHIOWe are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken
up of these men's bills.
CONRADEA commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, we'll obey you.

ACT III

SCENE IV. HERO's apartment.

HEROGood Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire
her to rise.
URSULAI will, lady.
HEROAnd bid her come hither.
URSULAAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 5Well.
MARGARETTroth, I think your other rabato were better.
HERONo, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
MARGARETBy my troth, 's not so good; and I warrant your
cousin will say so.
HEROAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 10My cousin's a fool, and thou art another: I'll wear
none but this.
MARGARETI like the new tire within excellently, if the hair
were a thought browner; and your gown's a most rare
fashion, i' faith. I saw the Duchess of Milan's
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 15gown that they praise so.
HEROO, that exceeds, they say.
MARGARETBy my troth, 's but a night-gown in respect of
yours: cloth o' gold, and cuts, and laced with
silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves,
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 20and skirts, round underborne with a bluish tinsel:
but for a fine, quaint, graceful and excellent
fashion, yours is worth ten on 't.
HEROGod give me joy to wear it! for my heart is
exceeding heavy.
MARGARETAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 25'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.
HEROFie upon thee! art not ashamed?
MARGARETOf what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not
marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord
honourable without marriage? I think you would have
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 30me say, 'saving your reverence, a husband:' and bad
thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend
nobody: is there any harm in 'the heavier for a
husband'? None, I think, and it be the right husband
and the right wife; otherwise 'tis light, and not
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 35heavy: ask my Lady Beatrice else; here she comes.
HEROGood morrow, coz.
BEATRICEGood morrow, sweet Hero.
HEROWhy how now? do you speak in the sick tune?
BEATRICEI am out of all other tune, methinks.
MARGARETAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 40Clap's into 'Light o' love;' that goes without a
burden: do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
BEATRICEYe light o' love, with your heels! then, if your
husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall
lack no barns.
MARGARETAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 45O 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!
MARGARETFor a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
BEATRICEFor the letter that begins them all, H.
MARGARETAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 50Well, and you be not turned Turk, there's no more
sailing by the star.
BEATRICEWhat means the fool, trow?
MARGARETNothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire!
HEROThese gloves the count sent me; they are an
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 55excellent perfume.
BEATRICEI am stuffed, cousin; I cannot smell.
MARGARETA maid, and stuffed! there's goodly catching of cold.
BEATRICEO, God help me! God help me! how long have you
professed apprehension?
MARGARETAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 60Even since you left it. Doth not my wit become me rarely?
BEATRICEIt is not seen enough, you should wear it in your
cap. By my troth, I am sick.
MARGARETGet you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus,
and lay it to your heart: it is the only thing for a qualm.
HEROAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 65There thou prickest her with a thistle.
BEATRICEBenedictus! why Benedictus? you have some moral in
this Benedictus.
MARGARETMoral! no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning; I
meant, plain holy-thistle. You may think perchance
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 70that 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
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 75can 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
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 80your eyes as other women do.
BEATRICEWhat pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
MARGARETNot a false gallop.
URSULAMadam, withdraw: the prince, the count, Signior
Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 85town, are come to fetch you to church.
HEROHelp to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.

ACT III

SCENE V. Another room in LEONATO'S house.

LEONATOWhat would you with me, honest neighbour?
DOGBERRYMarry, sir, I would have some confidence with you
that decerns you nearly.
LEONATOBrief, I pray you; for you see it is a busy time with me.
DOGBERRYAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 5Marry, this it is, sir.
VERGESYes, in truth it is, sir.
LEONATOWhat is it, my good friends?
DOGBERRYGoodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the
matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 10blunt as, God help, I would desire they were; but,
in faith, honest as the skin between his brows.
VERGESYes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living
that is an old man and no honester than I.
DOGBERRYComparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
LEONATOAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 15Neighbours, you are tedious.
DOGBERRYIt pleases your worship to say so, but we are the
poor duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part,
if I were as tedious as a king, I could find it in
my heart to bestow it all of your worship.
LEONATOAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 20All thy tediousness on me, ah?
DOGBERRYYea, an 'twere a thousand pound more than 'tis; for
I hear as good exclamation on your worship as of any
man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I
am glad to hear it.
VERGESAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 25And so am I.
LEONATOI would fain know what you have to say.
VERGESMarry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your
worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant
knaves as any in Messina.
DOGBERRYAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 30A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they
say, when the age is in, the wit is out: God help
us! it is a world to see. Well said, i' faith,
neighbour Verges: well, God's a good man; an two men
ride of a horse, one must ride behind. An honest
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 35soul, i' faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever
broke bread; but God is to be worshipped; all men
are not alike; alas, good neighbour!
LEONATOIndeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
DOGBERRYGifts that God gives.
LEONATOAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 40I must leave you.
DOGBERRYOne word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed
comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would
have them this morning examined before your worship.
LEONATOTake their examination yourself and bring it me: I
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 45am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you.
DOGBERRYIt shall be suffigance.
LEONATODrink some wine ere you go: fare you well.
MessengerMy lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to
her husband.
LEONATOAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 50I'll wait upon them: I am ready.
DOGBERRYGo, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacole;
bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol: we
are now to examination these men.
VERGESAnd we must do it wisely.
DOGBERRYAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 55We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's
that shall drive some of them to a non-come: only
get the learned writer to set down our
excommunication and meet me at the gaol.

ACT IV

SCENE I. A church.

LEONATOCome, Friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain
form of marriage, and you shall recount their
particular duties afterwards.
FRIAR FRANCISYou come hither, my lord, to marry this lady.
CLAUDIOAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 5No.
LEONATOTo be married to her: friar, you come to marry her.
FRIAR FRANCISLady, you come hither to be married to this count.
HEROI do.
FRIAR FRANCISIf either of you know any inward impediment why you
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 10should not be conjoined, charge you, on your souls,
to utter it.
CLAUDIOKnow you any, Hero?
HERONone, my lord.
FRIAR FRANCISKnow you any, count?
LEONATOAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 15I dare make his answer, none.
CLAUDIOO, what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily
do, not knowing what they do!
BENEDICKHow now! interjections? Why, then, some be of
laughing, as, ah, ha, he!
CLAUDIOAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 20Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave:
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Give me this maid, your daughter?
LEONATOAs freely, son, as God did give her me.
CLAUDIOAnd what have I to give you back, whose worth
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 25May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
DON PEDRONothing, unless you render her again.
CLAUDIOSweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.
There, Leonato, take her back again:
Give not this rotten orange to your friend;
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 30She's but the sign and semblance of her honour.
Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood as modest evidence
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 35To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows? But she is none:
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed;
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
LEONATOAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 40What do you mean, my lord?
CLAUDIONot to be married,
Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.
LEONATODear my lord, if you, in your own proof,
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 45And made defeat of her virginity, —
CLAUDIOI know what you would say: if I have known her,
You will say she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate the 'forehand sin:
No, Leonato,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 50I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity and comely love.
HEROAnd seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
CLAUDIOOut on thee! Seeming! I will write against it:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 55You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown;
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals
That rage in savage sensuality.
HEROAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 60Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?
LEONATOSweet prince, why speak not you?
DON PEDROWhat should I speak?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.
LEONATOAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 65Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?
DON JOHNSir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
BENEDICKThis looks not like a nuptial.
HEROTrue! O God!
CLAUDIOLeonato, stand I here?
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 70Is this the prince? is this the prince's brother?
Is this face Hero's? are our eyes our own?
LEONATOAll this is so: but what of this, my lord?
CLAUDIOLet me but move one question to your daughter;
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 75That you have in her, bid her answer truly.
LEONATOI charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
HEROO, God defend me! how am I beset!
What kind of catechising call you this?
CLAUDIOTo make you answer truly to your name.
HEROAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 80Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
With any just reproach?
CLAUDIOMarry, that can Hero;
Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue.
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 85Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.
HEROI talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.
DON PEDROWhy, then are you no maiden. Leonato,
I am sorry you must hear: upon mine honour,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 90Myself, my brother and this grieved count
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window
Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain,
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 95A thousand times in secret.
DON JOHNFie, fie! they are not to be named, my lord,
Not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language
Without offence to utter them. Thus, pretty lady,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 100I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
CLAUDIOO Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been,
If half thy outward graces had been placed
About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart!
But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 105Thou pure impiety and impious purity!
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love,
And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
And never shall it more be gracious.
LEONATOAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 110Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?
BEATRICEWhy, how now, cousin! wherefore sink you down?
DON JOHNCome, let us go. These things, come thus to light,
Smother her spirits up.
BENEDICKHow doth the lady?
BEATRICEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 115Dead, I think. Help, uncle!
Hero! why, Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!
LEONATOO Fate! take not away thy heavy hand.
Death is the fairest cover for her shame
That may be wish'd for.
BEATRICEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 120How now, cousin Hero!
FRIAR FRANCISHave comfort, lady.
LEONATODost thou look up?
FRIAR FRANCISYea, wherefore should she not?
LEONATOWherefore! Why, doth not every earthly thing
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 125Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
The story that is printed in her blood?
Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes:
For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 130Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Grieved I, I had but one?
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame?
O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 135Why had I not with charitable hand
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates,
Who smirch'd thus and mired with infamy,
I might have said 'No part of it is mine;
This shame derives itself from unknown loins'?
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 140But mine and mine I loved and mine I praised
And mine that I was proud on, mine so much
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her, — why, she, O, she is fallen
Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 145Hath drops too few to wash her clean again
And salt too little which may season give
To her foul-tainted flesh!
BENEDICKSir, sir, be patient.
For my part, I am so attired in wonder,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 150I know not what to say.
BEATRICEO, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
BENEDICKLady, were you her bedfellow last night?
BEATRICENo, truly not; although, until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
LEONATOAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 155Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger made
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron!
Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie,
Who loved her so, that, speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her! let her die.
FRIAR FRANCISAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 160Hear me a little; for I have only been
Silent so long and given way unto
This course of fortune
By noting of the lady. I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 165To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness beat away those blushes;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool;
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 170Trust not my reading nor my observations,
Which with experimental seal doth warrant
The tenor of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 175Under some biting error.
LEONATOFriar, it cannot be.
Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left
Is that she will not add to her damnation
A sin of perjury; she not denies it:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 180Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That which appears in proper nakedness?
FRIAR FRANCISLady, what man is he you are accused of?
HEROThey know that do accuse me; I know none:
If I know more of any man alive
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 185Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Let all my sins lack mercy! O my father,
Prove you that any man with me conversed
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 190Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death!
FRIAR FRANCISThere is some strange misprision in the princes.
BENEDICKTwo 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,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 195Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.
LEONATOI know not. If they speak but truth of her,
These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour,
The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 200Nor age so eat up my invention,
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
But they shall find, awaked in such a kind,
Both strength of limb and policy of mind,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 205Ability in means and choice of friends,
To quit me of them throughly.
FRIAR FRANCISPause awhile,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Your daughter here the princes left for dead:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 210Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
And publish it that she is dead indeed;
Maintain a mourning ostentation
And on your family's old monument
Hang mournful epitaphs and do all rites
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 215That appertain unto a burial.
LEONATOWhat shall become of this? what will this do?
FRIAR FRANCISMarry, this well carried shall on her behalf
Change slander to remorse; that is some good:
But not for that dream I on this strange course,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 220But on this travail look for greater birth.
She dying, as it must so be maintain'd,
Upon the instant that she was accused,
Shall be lamented, pitied and excused
Of every hearer: for it so falls out
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 225That what we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack'd and lost,
Why, then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
Whiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio:
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 230When he shall hear she died upon his words,
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
Into his study of imagination,
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 235More moving-delicate and full of life,
Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
Than when she lived indeed; then shall he mourn,
If ever love had interest in his liver,
And wish he had not so accused her,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 240No, though he thought his accusation true.
Let this be so, and doubt not but success
Will fashion the event in better shape
Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
But if all aim but this be levell'd false,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 245The supposition of the lady's death
Will quench the wonder of her infamy:
And if it sort not well, you may conceal her,
As best befits her wounded reputation,
In some reclusive and religious life,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 250Out of all eyes, tongues, minds and injuries.
BENEDICKSignior 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 255As secretly and justly as your soul
Should with your body.
LEONATOBeing that I flow in grief,
The smallest twine may lead me.
FRIAR FRANCIS'Tis well consented: presently away;
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 260For to strange sores strangely they strain the cure.
Come, lady, die to live: this wedding-day
Perhaps is but prolong'd: have patience and endure.
BENEDICKLady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
BEATRICEYea, and I will weep a while longer.
BENEDICKAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 265I will not desire that.
BEATRICEYou have no reason; I do it freely.
BENEDICKSurely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.
BEATRICEAh, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her!
BENEDICKIs there any way to show such friendship?
BEATRICEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 270A very even way, but no such friend.
BENEDICKMay a man do it?
BEATRICEIt is a man's office, but not yours.
BENEDICKI do love nothing in the world so well as you: is
not that strange?
BEATRICEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 275As 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.
BENEDICKBy my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
BEATRICEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 280Do not swear, and eat it.
BENEDICKI will swear by it that you love me; and I will make
him eat it that says I love not you.
BEATRICEWill you not eat your word?
BENEDICKWith no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 285I love thee.
BEATRICEWhy, then, God forgive me!
BENEDICKWhat offence, sweet Beatrice?
BEATRICEYou have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to
protest I loved you.
BENEDICKAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 290And do it with all thy heart.
BEATRICEI love you with so much of my heart that none is
left to protest.
BENEDICKCome, bid me do any thing for thee.
BEATRICEKill Claudio.
BENEDICKAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 295Ha! not for the wide world.
BEATRICEYou kill me to deny it. Farewell.
BENEDICKTarry, sweet Beatrice.
BEATRICEI am gone, though I am here: there is no love in
you: nay, I pray you, let me go.
BENEDICKAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 300Beatrice, —
BEATRICEIn faith, I will go.
BENEDICKWe'll be friends first.
BEATRICEYou dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy.
BENEDICKIs Claudio thine enemy?
BEATRICEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 305Is 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,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 310 — O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart
in the market-place.
BENEDICKHear me, Beatrice, —
BEATRICETalk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!
BENEDICKNay, but, Beatrice, —
BEATRICEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 315Sweet Hero! She is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.
BENEDICKBeat —
BEATRICEPrinces 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 320had 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
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 325man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
BENEDICKTarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.
BEATRICEUse it for my love some other way than swearing by it.
BENEDICKThink you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?
BEATRICEYea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.
BENEDICKAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 330Enough, 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.

ACT IV

SCENE II. A prison.

DOGBERRYIs our whole dissembly appeared?
VERGESO, a stool and a cushion for the sexton.
SextonWhich be the malefactors?
DOGBERRYMarry, that am I and my partner.
VERGESAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 5Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibition to examine.
SextonBut which are the offenders that are to be
examined? let them come before master constable.
DOGBERRYYea, marry, let them come before me. What is your
name, friend?
BORACHIOAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 10Borachio.
DOGBERRYPray, write down, Borachio. Yours, sirrah?
CONRADEI am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
DOGBERRYWrite down, master gentleman Conrade. Masters, do
you serve God?
CONRADEAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 15Yea, sir, we hope.
DOGBERRYWrite down, that they hope they serve God: and
write God first; for God defend but God should go
before such villains! Masters, it is proved already
that you are little better than false knaves; and it
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 20will go near to be thought so shortly. How answer
you for yourselves?
CONRADEMarry, sir, we say we are none.
DOGBERRYA marvellous witty fellow, I assure you: but I
will go about with him. Come you hither, sirrah; a
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 25word in your ear: sir, I say to you, it is thought
you are false knaves.
BORACHIOSir, I say to you we are none.
DOGBERRYWell, stand aside. 'Fore God, they are both in a
tale. Have you writ down, that they are none?
SextonAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 30Master constable, you go not the way to examine:
you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.
DOGBERRYYea, marry, that's the eftest way. Let the watch
come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's
name, accuse these men.
First WatchmanAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 35This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's
brother, was a villain.
DOGBERRYWrite down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat
perjury, to call a prince's brother villain.
BORACHIOMaster constable, —
DOGBERRYAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 40Pray thee, fellow, peace: I do not like thy look,
I promise thee.
SextonWhat heard you him say else?
Second WatchmanMarry, that he had received a thousand ducats of
Don John for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully.
DOGBERRYAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 45Flat burglary as ever was committed.
VERGESYea, by mass, that it is.
SextonWhat else, fellow?
First WatchmanAnd that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to
disgrace Hero before the whole assembly. and not marry her.
DOGBERRYAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 50O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting
redemption for this.
SextonWhat else?
WatchmanThis is all.
SextonAnd this is more, masters, than you can deny.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 55Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away;
Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner
refused, and upon the grief of this suddenly died.
Master constable, let these men be bound, and
brought to Leonato's: I will go before and show
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 60him their examination.
DOGBERRYCome, let them be opinioned.
VERGESLet them be in the hands —
CONRADEOff, coxcomb!
DOGBERRYGod's my life, where's the sexton? let him write
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 65down the prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them.
Thou naughty varlet!
CONRADEAway! you are an ass, you are an ass.
DOGBERRYDost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not
suspect my years? O that he were here to write me
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 70down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an
ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not
that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of
piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness.
I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 75and, which is more, a householder, and, which is
more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in
Messina, and one that knows the law, go to; and a
rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath
had losses, and one that hath two gowns and every
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 80thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that
I had been writ down an ass!

ACT V

SCENE I. Before LEONATO'S house.

ANTONIOIf you go on thus, you will kill yourself:
And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief
Against yourself.
LEONATOI pray thee, cease thy counsel,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 5Which falls into mine ears as profitless
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,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 10Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
And bid him speak 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,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 15In every lineament, branch, shape, and form:
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,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 20And I of him will gather patience.
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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 25Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
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,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 30But no man's virtue nor sufficiency
To be so moral when he shall endure
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel:
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
ANTONIOTherein do men from children nothing differ.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 35I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood;
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.
ANTONIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 40Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself;
Make those that do offend you suffer too.
LEONATOThere 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 45And all of them that thus dishonour her.
ANTONIOHere comes the prince and Claudio hastily.
DON PEDROGood den, good den.
CLAUDIOGood day to both of you.
LEONATOHear you. my lords, —
DON PEDROAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 50We have some haste, Leonato.
LEONATOSome haste, my lord! well, fare you well, my lord:
Are you so hasty now? well, all is one.
DON PEDRONay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
ANTONIOIf he could right himself with quarreling,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 55Some of us would lie low.
CLAUDIOWho wrongs him?
LEONATOMarry, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou: —
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
I fear thee not.
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 60Marry, beshrew my hand,
If it should give your age such cause of fear:
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
LEONATOTush, tush, man; never fleer and jest at me:
I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 65As under privilege of age to brag
What I have done being young, or what would do
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me
That I am forced to lay my reverence by
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 70And, with grey hairs and bruise of many days,
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 lies buried with her ancestors;
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 75O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Save this of hers, framed by thy villany!
CLAUDIOMy villany?
LEONATOThine, Claudio; thine, I say.
DON PEDROYou say not right, old man.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 80My lord, my lord,
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare,
Despite his nice fence and his active practise,
His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
CLAUDIOAway! I will not have to do with you.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 85Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my child:
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
ANTONIOHe 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.
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 90Come, follow me, boy; come, sir boy, come, follow me:
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
LEONATOBrother, —
ANTONIOContent yourself. God knows I loved my niece;
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 95And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains,
That dare as well answer a man indeed
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue:
Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops!
LEONATOBrother Antony, —
ANTONIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 100Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple, —
Scrambling, out-facing, fashion-monging boys,
That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
Go anticly, show outward hideousness,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 105And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst;
And this is all.
LEONATOBut, brother Antony, —
ANTONIOCome, 'tis no matter:
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 110Do not you meddle; let me deal in this.
DON PEDROGentlemen 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.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 115My lord, my lord, —
DON PEDROI will not hear you.
LEONATONo? Come, brother; away! I will be heard.
ANTONIOAnd shall, or some of us will smart for it.
DON PEDROSee, see; here comes the man we went to seek.
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 120Now, signior, what news?
BENEDICKGood day, my lord.
DON PEDROWelcome, signior: you are almost come to part
almost a fray.
CLAUDIOWe had like to have had our two noses snapped off
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 125with two old men without teeth.
DON PEDROLeonato and his brother. What thinkest thou? Had
we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.
BENEDICKIn a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came
to seek you both.
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 130We 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?
BENEDICKIt is in my scabbard: shall I draw it?
DON PEDRODost thou wear thy wit by thy side?
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 135Never any did so, though very many have been beside
their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the
minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.
DON PEDROAs I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thou
sick, or angry?
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 140What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat,
thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
BENEDICKSir, I shall meet your wit in the career, and you
charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.
CLAUDIONay, then, give him another staff: this last was
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 145broke cross.
DON PEDROBy this light, he changes more and more: I think
he be angry indeed.
CLAUDIOIf he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
BENEDICKShall I speak a word in your ear?
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 150God 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 155lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me
hear from you.
CLAUDIOWell, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.
DON PEDROWhat, a feast, a feast?
CLAUDIOI' faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf's
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 160head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most
curiously, say my knife's naught. Shall I not find
a woodcock too?
BENEDICKSir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
DON PEDROI'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 165other 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 one.'
'Nay,' said I, 'a good wit:' 'Just,' said she, 'it
hurts nobody.' 'Nay,' said I, 'the gentleman
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 170is 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;
there's a double tongue; there's two tongues.' Thus
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 175did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular
virtues: yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou
wast the properest man in Italy.
CLAUDIOFor the which she wept heartily and said she cared
not.
DON PEDROAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 180Yea, 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.
CLAUDIOAll, all; and, moreover, God saw him when he was
hid in the garden.
DON PEDROAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 185But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on
the sensible Benedick's head?
CLAUDIOYea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick the
married man'?
BENEDICKFare you well, boy: you know my mind. I will leave
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 190you 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 195you killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my Lord
Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet: and, till
then, peace be with him.
DON PEDROHe is in earnest.
CLAUDIOIn most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 200the love of Beatrice.
DON PEDROAnd hath challenged thee.
CLAUDIOMost sincerely.
DON PEDROWhat a pretty thing man is when he goes in his
doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 205He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a
doctor to such a man.
DON PEDROBut, soft you, let me be: pluck up, my heart, and
be sad. Did he not say, my brother was fled?
DOGBERRYCome you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 210shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay,
an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
DON PEDROHow now? two of my brother's men bound! Borachio
one!
CLAUDIOHearken after their offence, my lord.
DON PEDROAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 215Officers, what offence have these men done?
DOGBERRYMarry, 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 220things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
DON PEDROFirst, 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.
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 225Rightly reasoned, and in his own division: and, by
my troth, there's one meaning well suited.
DON PEDROWho 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?
BORACHIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 230Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer:
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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 235to this man how Don John your brother incensed me
to slander the 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 villany they have upon record; which
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 240I had rather seal with my death than repeat over
to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my
master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire
nothing but the reward of a villain.
DON PEDRORuns not this speech like iron through your blood?
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 245I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.
DON PEDROBut did my brother set thee on to this?
BORACHIOYea, and paid me richly for the practise of it.
DON PEDROHe is composed and framed of treachery:
And fled he is upon this villany.
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 250Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear
In the rare semblance that I loved it first.
DOGBERRYCome, 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 255and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
VERGESHere, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the
Sexton too.
LEONATOWhich is the villain? let me see his eyes,
That, when I note another man like him,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 260I may avoid him: which of these is he?
BORACHIOIf you would know your wronger, look on me.
LEONATOArt thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd
Mine innocent child?
BORACHIOYea, even I alone.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 265No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself:
Here stand a pair of honourable men;
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:
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 270'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
CLAUDIOI know not how to pray your patience;
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 275But in mistaking.
DON PEDROBy my soul, nor I:
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 280I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;
That were impossible: but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died; and if your love
Can labour ought in sad invention,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 285Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night:
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,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 290Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us:
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.
CLAUDIOO noble sir,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 295Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.
LEONATOTo-morrow then I will expect your coming;
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 300Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who I believe was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hired to it by your brother.
BORACHIONo, by my soul, she was not,
Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 305But always hath been just and virtuous
In any thing that I do know by her.
DOGBERRYMoreover, sir, 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 310punishment. And also, the watch heard them talk of
one Deformed: they say be wears a key in his ear and
a lock 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 315for God's sake: pray you, examine him upon that point.
LEONATOI thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
DOGBERRYYour worship speaks like a most thankful and
reverend youth; and I praise God for you.
LEONATOThere's for thy pains.
DOGBERRYAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 320God save the foundation!
LEONATOGo, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.
DOGBERRYI 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 325your worship well; God restore you to health! I
humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry
meeting may be wished, God prohibit it! Come, neighbour.
LEONATOUntil to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.
ANTONIOFarewell, my lords: we look for you to-morrow.
DON PEDROAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 330We will not fail.
CLAUDIOTo-night I'll mourn with Hero.
LEONATO Bring you these fellows on. We'll
talk with Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

ACT V

SCENE II. LEONATO'S garden.

BENEDICKPray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at
my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
MARGARETWill you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?
BENEDICKIn so high a style, Margaret, that no man living
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 5shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou
deservest it.
MARGARETTo have no man come over me! why, shall I always
keep below stairs?
BENEDICKThy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; it catches.
MARGARETAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 10And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit,
but hurt not.
BENEDICKA most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a
woman: and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice: I give
thee the bucklers.
MARGARETAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 15Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our own.
BENEDICKIf you use them, Margaret, you must put in the
pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
MARGARETWell, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think hath legs.
BENEDICKAnd therefore will come.
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 20The 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 25swimmer, 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 30cannot 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,
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 35nor I cannot woo in festival terms.
Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?
BEATRICEYea, signior, and depart when you bid me.
BENEDICKO, stay but till then!
BEATRICE'Then' is spoken; fare you well now: and yet, ere
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 40I go, let me go with that I came; which is, with
knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.
BENEDICKOnly foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.
BEATRICEFoul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but
foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 45will depart unkissed.
BENEDICKThou 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 50him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me for
which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
BEATRICEFor 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 55good parts did you first suffer love for me?
BENEDICKSuffer love! a good epithet! I do suffer love
indeed, for I love thee against my will.
BEATRICEIn spite of your heart, I think; alas, poor heart!
If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 60yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.
BENEDICKThou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
BEATRICEIt appears not in this confession: there's not one
wise man among twenty that will praise himself.
BENEDICKAn old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 65the 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.
BEATRICEAnd how long is that, think you?
BENEDICKAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 70Question: 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 75praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is
praiseworthy: and now tell me, how doth your cousin?
BEATRICEVery ill.
BENEDICKAnd how do you?
BEATRICEVery ill too.
BENEDICKAct 5 Sc 2 Ln 80Serve God, love me and mend. There will I leave
you too, for here comes one in haste.
URSULAMadam, 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
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 85abused; and Don John is the author of all, who is
fed and gone. Will you come presently?
BEATRICEWill you go hear this news, signior?
BENEDICKI will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be
buried in thy eyes; and moreover I will go with
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 90thee to thy uncle's.

ACT V

SCENE III. A church.

CLAUDIOIs this the monument of Leonato?
LordIt is, my lord.
CLAUDIO(STAGEDIR "Reading out of a scroll")
Done to death by slanderous tongues
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 5Was the Hero that here lies:
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame.
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 10Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Praising her when I am dumb.
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.
Pardon, goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight;
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 15For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.
Midnight, assist our moan;
Help us to sigh and groan,
Heavily, heavily:
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 20Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,
Heavily, heavily.
CLAUDIONow, unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite.
DON PEDROAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 25Good morrow, masters; put your torches out:
The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day,
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.
CLAUDIOAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 30Good morrow, masters: each his several way.
DON PEDROCome, let us hence, and put on other weeds;
And then to Leonato's we will go.
CLAUDIOAnd Hymen now with luckier issue speed's
Than this for whom we render'd up this woe.

ACT V

SCENE IV. A room in LEONATO'S house.

FRIAR FRANCISDid I not tell you she was innocent?
LEONATOSo are the prince and Claudio, who accused her
Upon the error that you heard debated:
But Margaret was in some fault for this,
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 5Although against her will, as it appears
In the true course of all the question.
ANTONIOWell, I am glad that all things sort so well.
BENEDICKAnd so am I, being else by faith enforced
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 10Well, daughter, and you gentle-women all,
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
And when I send for you, come hither mask'd.
The prince and Claudio promised by this hour
To visit me. You know your office, brother:
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 15You must be father to your brother's daughter
And give her to young Claudio.
ANTONIOWhich I will do with confirm'd countenance.
BENEDICKFriar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
FRIAR FRANCISTo do what, signior?
BENEDICKAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 20To bind me, or undo me; one of them.
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
LEONATOThat eye my daughter lent her: 'tis most true.
BENEDICKAnd I do with an eye of love requite her.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 25The sight whereof I think you had from me,
From Claudio and the prince: but what's your will?
BENEDICKYour answer, sir, is enigmatical:
But, for my will, my will is your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 30In the state of honourable marriage:
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
LEONATOMy heart is with your liking.
FRIAR FRANCISAnd my help.
Here comes the prince and Claudio.
DON PEDROAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 35Good morrow to this fair assembly.
LEONATOGood morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio:
We here attend you. Are you yet determined
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
CLAUDIOI'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
LEONATOAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 40Call her forth, brother; here's the friar ready.
DON PEDROGood morrow, Benedick. Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
CLAUDIOI think he thinks upon the savage bull.
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 45Tush, fear not, man; we'll tip thy horns with gold
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
When he would play the noble beast in love.
BENEDICKBull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 50And 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.
CLAUDIOFor this I owe you: here comes other reckonings.
Which is the lady I must seize upon?
ANTONIOAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 55This same is she, and I do give you her.
CLAUDIOWhy, then she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.
LEONATONo, that you shall not, till you take her hand
Before this friar and swear to marry her.
CLAUDIOGive me your hand: before this holy friar,
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 60I am your husband, if you like of me.
HEROAnd when I lived, I was your other wife:
And when you loved, you were my other husband.
CLAUDIOAnother Hero!
HERONothing certainer:
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 65One Hero died defiled, but I do live,
And surely as I live, I am a maid.
DON PEDROThe former Hero! Hero that is dead!
LEONATOShe died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
FRIAR FRANCISAll this amazement can I qualify:
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 70When after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:
Meantime let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.
BENEDICKSoft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?
BEATRICEAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 75 I answer to that name. What is your will?
BENEDICKDo not you love me?
BEATRICEWhy, no; no more than reason.
BENEDICKWhy, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio
Have been deceived; they swore you did.
BEATRICEAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 80Do not you love me?
BENEDICKTroth, no; no more than reason.
BEATRICEWhy, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula
Are much deceived; for they did swear you did.
BENEDICKThey swore that you were almost sick for me.
BEATRICEAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 85They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
BENEDICK'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
BEATRICENo, truly, but in friendly recompense.
LEONATOCome, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
CLAUDIOAnd I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 90For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.
HEROAnd here's another
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 95Containing her affection unto Benedick.
BENEDICKA miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts.
Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take
thee for pity.
BEATRICEI would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 100upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life,
for I was told you were in a consumption.
BENEDICKPeace! I will stop your mouth.
DON PEDROHow dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
BENEDICKI'll tell thee what, prince; a college of
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 105wit-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
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 110purpose 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
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 115kinsman, live unbruised and love my cousin.
CLAUDIOI had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice,
that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single
life, to make thee a double-dealer; which, out of
question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look
Act 5 Sc 4 Ln 120exceedingly narrowly to thee.
BENEDICKCome, come, we are friends: let's have a dance ere
we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts
and our wives' heels.
LEONATOWe'll have dancing afterward.
BENEDICKAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 125First, 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.
MessengerMy lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,
And brought with armed men back to Messina.
BENEDICKAct 5 Sc 4 Ln 130Think not on him till to-morrow:
I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.
Strike up, pipers.