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Much Ado About Nothing: Act IV, Scene 1

Much Ado About Nothing
Act IV, Scene 1

Scene 1

Messina. Inside a church.

  1. Enter Prince Don Pedro, Don John the Bastard, Leonato, Friar
  2. Francis, Claudio, Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice with
  3. Attendants.

Leonato

1 - 3
  1. Come, Friar Francis, be briefonly to the plain form of
  2. marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties
  3. afterwards.

Friar Francis

4
  1. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady.

Claudio

5
  1. No.

Leonato

6
  1. To be married to her. Friar, you come to marry her.

Friar Francis

7
  1. Lady, you come hither to be married to this count.

Hero

8
  1. I do.

Friar Francis

9 - 10
  1. If either of you know any inward impediment why you should
  2. not be conjoin’d, I charge you on your souls to utter it.

Claudio

11
  1. Know you any, Hero?

Hero

12
  1. None, my lord.

Friar Francis

13
  1. Know you any, Count?

Leonato

14
  1. I dare make his answer, none.

Claudio

15 - 16
  1. O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not
  2. knowing what they do!

Benedick

17 - 18
  1. How now! Interjections? Why then, some be of laughing, as,
  2. ah, ha, he!

Claudio

19 - 21
  1. Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave,
  2. Will you with free and unconstrained soul
  3. Give me this maid, your daughter?

Leonato

22
  1. As freely, son, as God did give her me.

Claudio

23 - 24
  1. And what have I to give you back whose worth
  2. May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?

Don Pedro

25
  1. Nothing, unless you render her again.

Claudio

26 - 38
  1. Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.
  2. There, Leonato, take her back again.
  3. Give not this rotten orange to your friend,
  4. She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor.
  5. Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
  6. O, what authority and show of truth
  7. Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
  8. Comes not that blood as modest evidence
  9. To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
  10. All you that see her, that she were a maid,
  11. By these exterior shows? But she is none:
  12. She knows the heat of a luxurious bed;
  13. Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.

Leonato

39
  1. What do you mean, my lord?

Claudio

40 - 41
  1.                            Not to be married,
  2. Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.

Leonato

42 - 44
  1. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof,
  2. Have vanquish’d the resistance of her youth,
  3. And made defeat of her virginity

Claudio

45 - 51
  1. I know what you would say. If I have known her,
  2. You will say, she did embrace me as a husband,
  3. And so extenuate the ’forehand sin.
  4. No, Leonato,
  5. I never tempted her with word too large,
  6. But as a brother to his sister, show’d
  7. Bashful sincerity and comely love.

Hero

52
  1. And seem’d I ever otherwise to you?

Claudio

53 - 58
  1. Out on thee seeming! I will write against it:
  2. You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
  3. As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown;
  4. But you are more intemperate in your blood
  5. Than Venus, or those pamp’red animals
  6. That rage in savage sensuality.

Hero

59
  1. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?

Leonato

60
  1. Sweet Prince, why speak not you?

Don Pedro

61 - 63
  1.                                  What should I speak?
  2. I stand dishonor’d, that have gone about
  3. To link my dear friend to a common stale.

Leonato

64
  1. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?

Don John

65
  1. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.

Benedick

66
  1. This looks not like a nuptial.

Hero

67
  1.                                True”! O God!

Claudio

68 - 70
  1. Leonato, stand I here?
  2. Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince’s brother?
  3. Is this face Hero’s? Are our eyes our own?

Leonato

71
  1. All this is so, but what of this, my lord?

Claudio

72 - 74
  1. Let me but move one question to your daughter,
  2. And by that fatherly and kindly power
  3. That you have in her, bid her answer truly.

Leonato

75
  1. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.

Hero

76 - 77
  1. O God defend me, how am I beset!
  2. What kind of catechizing call you this?

Claudio

78
  1. To make you answer truly to your name.

Hero

79 - 80
  1. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
  2. With any just reproach?

Claudio

81 - 85
  1.                         Marry, that can Hero,
  2. Hero itself can blot out Hero’s virtue.
  3. What man was he talk’d with you yesternight
  4. Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
  5. Now if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero

86
  1. I talk’d with no man at that hour, my lord.

Don Pedro

87 - 94
  1. Why then are you no maiden. Leonato,
  2. I am sorry you must hear. Upon mine honor,
  3. Myself, my brother, and this grieved count
  4. Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night
  5. Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window,
  6. Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain,
  7. Confess’d the vile encounters they have had
  8. A thousand times in secret.

Don John

95 - 99
  1. Fie, fie, they are not to be named, my lord,
  2. Not to be spoke of;
  3. There is not chastity enough in language
  4. Without offense to utter them. Thus, pretty lady,
  5. I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

Claudio

100 - 108
  1. O Hero! What a Hero hadst thou been,
  2. If half thy outward graces had been placed
  3. About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart!
  4. But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! Farewell,
  5. Thou pure impiety and impious purity!
  6. For thee I’ll lock up all the gates of love,
  7. And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
  8. To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
  9. And never shall it more be gracious.

Leonato

109
  1. Hath no man’s dagger here a point for me?
  1. Hero swoons.

Beatrice

110
  1. Why, how now, cousin, wherefore sink you down?

Don John

111 - 112
  1. Come, let us go. These things, come thus to light,
  2. Smother her spirits up.
  1. Exeunt Don Pedro, Don John, and Claudio.

Benedick

113
  1. How doth the lady?

Beatrice

114 - 115
  1.                    Dead, I think. Help, uncle!
  2. Hero, why, Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!

Leonato

116 - 118
  1. O Fate! Take not away thy heavy hand,
  2. Death is the fairest cover for her shame
  3. That may be wish’d for.

Beatrice

119
  1.                         How now, cousin Hero?

Friar Francis

120
  1. Have comfort, lady.

Leonato

121
  1. Dost thou look up?

Friar Francis

122
  1.                    Yea, wherefore should she not?

Leonato

123 - 146
  1. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly thing
  2. Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
  3. The story that is printed in her blood?
  4. Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes;
  5. For did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,
  6. Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
  7. Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
  8. Strike at thy life. Griev’d I, I had but one?
  9. Chid I for that at frugal nature’s frame?
  10. O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
  11. Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
  12. Why had I not with charitable hand
  13. Took up a beggar’s issue at my gates,
  14. Who smirched thus and mir’d with infamy,
  15. I might have said, No part of it is mine;
  16. This shame derives itself from unknown loins”?
  17. But mine, and mine I lov’d, and mine I prais’d,
  18. And mine that I was proud on, mine so much
  19. That I myself was to myself not mine,
  20. Valuing of herwhy, she, O she is fall’n
  21. Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
  22. Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,
  23. And salt too little which may season give
  24. To her foul tainted flesh!

Benedick

147 - 149
  1.                            Sir, sir, be patient.
  2. For my part I am so attir’d in wonder,
  3. I know not what to say.

Beatrice

150
  1. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!

Benedick

151
  1. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

Beatrice

152 - 153
  1. No, truly, not, although until last night,
  2. I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.

Leonato

154 - 158
  1. Confirm’d, confirm’d! O, that is stronger made
  2. Which was before barr’d up with ribs of iron!
  3. Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie,
  4. Who lov’d her so, that speaking of her foulness,
  5. Wash’d it with tears? Hence from her, let her die.

Friar Francis

159 - 174
  1. Hear me a little,
  2. For I have only been silent so long,
  3. And given way unto this course of fortune,
  4. By noting of the lady. I have mark’d
  5. A thousand blushing apparitions
  6. To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames
  7. In angel whiteness beat away those blushes,
  8. And in her eye there hath appear’d a fire
  9. To burn the errors that these princes hold
  10. Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool,
  11. Trust not my reading, nor my observations,
  12. Which with experimental seal doth warrant
  13. The tenure of my book; trust not my age,
  14. My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
  15. If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
  16. Under some biting error.

Leonato

175 - 180
  1.                          Friar, it cannot be.
  2. Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left
  3. Is that she will not add to her damnation
  4. A sin of perjury; she not denies it.
  5. Why seek’st thou then to cover with excuse
  6. That which appears in proper nakedness?

Friar Francis

181
  1. Lady, what man is he you are accus’d of?

Hero

182 - 189
  1. They know that do accuse me, I know none.
  2. If I know more of any man alive
  3. Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
  4. Let all my sins lack mercy! O my father,
  5. Prove you that any man with me convers’d
  6. At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
  7. Maintain’d the change of words with any creature,
  8. Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death!

Friar Francis

190
  1. There is some strange misprision in the princes.

Benedick

191 - 194
  1. Two of them have the very bent of honor,
  2. And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
  3. The practice of it lives in John the Bastard,
  4. Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.

Leonato

195 - 205
  1. I know not. If they speak but truth of her,
  2. These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honor,
  3. The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
  4. Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
  5. Nor age so eat up my invention,
  6. Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
  7. Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
  8. But they shall find, awak’d in such a kind,
  9. Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
  10. Ability in means, and choice of friends,
  11. To quit me of them throughly.

Friar Francis

206 - 214
  1.                               Pause awhile,
  2. And let my counsel sway you in this case.
  3. Your daughter here the princes left for dead,
  4. Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
  5. And publish it that she is dead indeed.
  6. Maintain a mourning ostentation,
  7. And on your family’s old monument
  8. Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites
  9. That appertain unto a burial.

Leonato

215
  1. What shall become of this? What will this do?

Friar Francis

216 - 249
  1. Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf
  2. Change slander to remorse; that is some good.
  3. But not for that dream I on this strange course,
  4. But on this travail look for greater birth:
  5. She dying, as it must be so maintain’d,
  6. Upon the instant that she was accus’d,
  7. Shall be lamented, pitied, and excus’d
  8. Of every hearer; for it so falls out
  9. That what we have we prize not to the worth
  10. Whiles we enjoy it, but being lack’d and lost,
  11. Why then we rack the value; then we find
  12. The virtue that possession would not show us
  13. Whiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio:
  14. When he shall hear she died upon his words,
  15. Th’ idea of her life shall sweetly creep
  16. Into his study of imagination,
  17. And every lovely organ of her life
  18. Shall come apparell’d in more precious habit,
  19. More moving, delicate, and full of life,
  20. Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
  21. Than when she liv’d indeed. Then shall he mourn,
  22. If ever love had interest in his liver,
  23. And wish he had not so accused her;
  24. No, though he thought his accusation true.
  25. Let this be so, and doubt not but success
  26. Will fashion the event in better shape
  27. Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
  28. But if all aim but this be levell’d false,
  29. The supposition of the lady’s death
  30. Will quench the wonder of her infamy.
  31. And if it sort not well, you may conceal her,
  32. As best befits her wounded reputation,
  33. In some reclusive and religious life,
  34. Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.

Benedick

250 - 255
  1. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you,
  2. And though you know my inwardness and love
  3. Is very much unto the Prince and Claudio,
  4. Yet, by mine honor, I will deal in this
  5. As secretly and justly as your soul
  6. Should with your body.

Leonato

256 - 257
  1.                        Being that I flow in grief,
  2. The smallest twine may lead me.

Friar Francis

258 - 261
  1. ’Tis well consented; presently away,
  2. For to strange sores strangely they strain the cure.
  3. Come, lady, die to live; this wedding-day
  4. Perhaps is but prolong’d, have patience and endure.
  1. Exit with all but Benedick and Beatrice.

Benedick

262
  1. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?

Beatrice

263
  1. Yea, and I will weep a while longer.

Benedick

264
  1. I will not desire that.

Beatrice

265
  1. You have no reason, I do it freely.

Benedick

266
  1. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wrong’d.

Beatrice

267 - 268
  1. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right
  2. her!

Benedick

269
  1. Is there any way to show such friendship?

Beatrice

270
  1. A very even way, but no such friend.

Benedick

271
  1. May a man do it?

Beatrice

272
  1. It is a man’s office, but not yours.

Benedick

273 - 274
  1. I do love nothing in the world so well as youis not that
  2. strange?

Beatrice

275 - 278
  1. As strange as the thing I know not. It were as possible for
  2. me to say I lov’d nothing so well as you, but believe me
  3. not; and yet I lie not: I confess nothing, nor I deny
  4. nothing. I am sorry for my cousin.

Benedick

279
  1. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.

Beatrice

280
  1. Do not swear and eat it.

Benedick

281 - 282
  1. I will swear by it that you love me, and I will make him eat
  2. it that says I love not you.

Beatrice

283
  1. Will you not eat your word?

Benedick

284 - 285
  1. With no sauce that can be devis’d to it. I protest I love
  2. thee.

Beatrice

286
  1. Why then God forgive me!

Benedick

287
  1. What offense, sweet Beatrice?

Beatrice

288 - 289
  1. You have stay’d me in a happy hour, I was about to protest I
  2. lov’d you.

Benedick

290
  1. And do it with all thy heart.

Beatrice

291 - 292
  1. I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to
  2. protest.

Benedick

293
  1. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

Beatrice

294
  1. Kill Claudio.

Benedick

295
  1. Ha, not for the wide world.

Beatrice

296
  1. You kill me to deny it. Farewell.

Benedick

297
  1. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beatrice

298 - 299
  1. I am gone, though I am here; there is no love in you. Nay, I
  2. pray you let me go.

Benedick

300
  1. Beatrice

Beatrice

301
  1. In faith, I will go.

Benedick

302
  1. We’ll be friends first.

Beatrice

303 - 304
  1. You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine
  2. enemy.

Benedick

305
  1. Is Claudio thine enemy?

Beatrice

306 - 311
  1. Is ’a not approv’d in the height a villain, that hath
  2. slander’d, scorn’d, dishonor’d my kinswoman? O that I were a
  3. man! What, bear her in hand until they come to take hands,
  4. and then with public accusation, uncover’d slander,
  5. unmitigated rancorO God, that I were a man! I would eat his
  6. heart in the market-place.

Benedick

312
  1. Hear me, Beatrice

Beatrice

313
  1. Talk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!

Benedick

314
  1. Nay, but, Beatrice

Beatrice

315
  1. Sweet Hero, she is wrong’d, she is sland’red, she is undone.

Benedick

316
  1. Beat

Beatrice

317 - 324
  1. Princes and counties! Surely a princely testimony, a goodly
  2. count, Count Comfect, a sweet gallant surely! O that I were
  3. a man for his sake! Or that I had any friend would be a man
  4. for my sake! But manhood is melted into cur’sies, valor into
  5. compliment, and men are only turn’d into tongue, and trim
  6. ones too. He is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a
  7. lie, and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing,
  8. therefore I will die a woman with grieving.

Benedick

325
  1. Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.

Beatrice

326
  1. Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.

Benedick

327
  1. Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wrong’d Hero?

Beatrice

328
  1. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.

Benedick

329 - 333
  1. Enough, I am engag’d, I will challenge him. I will kiss your
  2. hand, and so I leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall render
  3. me a dear account. As you hear of me, so think of me. Go
  4. comfort your cousin. I must say she is dead; and so
  5. farewell.
  1. Exeunt.
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