Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Much Ado About Nothing > Act V, scene IV


FRIAR FRANCIS: Did I not tell you she was innocent?

LEONATO: So are the prince and Claudio, who accused her
	Upon the error that you heard debated:
	But Margaret was in some fault for this,
	Although against her will, as it appears
	In the true course of all the question.

ANTONIO: Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

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

LEONATO: Well, daughter, and you gentle-women all,
	Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
	And when I send for you, come hither mask'd.

	[Exeunt Ladies]

	The prince and Claudio promised by this hour
	To visit me. You know your office, brother:
	You must be father to your brother's daughter
	And give her to young Claudio.

ANTONIO: Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.

BENEDICK: Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.

FRIAR FRANCIS: To do what, signior?

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

LEONATO: That eye my daughter lent her: 'tis most true.

BENEDICK: And I do with an eye of love requite her.

LEONATO: The sight whereof I think you had from me,
	From Claudio and the prince: but what's your will?

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

LEONATO: My heart is with your liking.

FRIAR FRANCIS: And my help.
	Here comes the prince and Claudio.

	[Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, and two or
	three others]

DON PEDRO: Good morrow to this fair assembly.

LEONATO: Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio:
	We here attend you. Are you yet determined
	To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?

CLAUDIO: I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.

LEONATO: Call her forth, brother; here's the friar ready.


DON PEDRO: Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what's the matter,
	That you have such a February face,
	So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?

CLAUDIO: I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
	Tush, fear not, man; we'll tip thy horns with gold
	And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
	As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
	When he would play the noble beast in love.

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

CLAUDIO: For this I owe you: here comes other reckonings.

	[Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked]

	Which is the lady I must seize upon?

ANTONIO: This same is she, and I do give you her.

CLAUDIO: Why, then she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.

LEONATO: No, that you shall not, till you take her hand
	Before this friar and swear to marry her.

CLAUDIO: Give me your hand: before this holy friar,
	I am your husband, if you like of me.

HERO: And when I lived, I was your other wife:


	And when you loved, you were my other husband.

CLAUDIO: Another Hero!

HERO:                   Nothing certainer:
	One Hero died defiled, but I do live,
	And surely as I live, I am a maid.

DON PEDRO: The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

LEONATO: She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.

FRIAR FRANCIS: All this amazement can I qualify:
	When 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.

BENEDICK: Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?

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

BENEDICK: Do not you love me?

BEATRICE: Why, no; no more than reason.

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

BEATRICE: Do not you love me?

BENEDICK: Troth, no; no more than reason.

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

BENEDICK: They swore that you were almost sick for me.

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

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

BEATRICE: No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

LEONATO: Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

CLAUDIO: And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;
	For here's a paper written in his hand,
	A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
	Fashion'd to Beatrice.

HERO: And here's another
	Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
	Containing her affection unto Benedick.

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

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

BENEDICK: Peace! I will stop your mouth.

	[Kissing her]

DON PEDRO: How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?

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

CLAUDIO: I 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
	exceedingly narrowly to thee.

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

LEONATO: We'll have dancing afterward.

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

	[Enter a Messenger]

Messenger: My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,
	And brought with armed men back to Messina.

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



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