Much Ado About Nothing
Act 4, Scene 1
Messina. Inside a church.
- Enter Prince Don Pedro, Don John the Bastard, Leonato, Friar
- Francis, Claudio, Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice with
Leonato4 - 6
- Come, Friar Francis, be brief—only to the plain form of
- marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties
- You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady.
- To be married to her. Friar, you come to marry her.
- Lady, you come hither to be married to this count.
- I do.
Friar Francis12 - 13
- If either of you know any inward impediment why you should
- not be conjoin’d, I charge you on your souls to utter it.
- Know you any, Hero?
- None, my lord.
- Know you any, Count?
- I dare make his answer, none.
Claudio18 - 19
- O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not
- knowing what they do!
Benedick20 - 21
- How now! Interjections? Why then, some be of laughing, as,
- ah, ha, he!
Claudio22 - 24
- Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave,
- Will you with free and unconstrained soul
- Give me this maid, your daughter?
- As freely, son, as God did give her me.
Claudio26 - 27
- And what have I to give you back whose worth
- May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
- Nothing, unless you render her again.
Claudio29 - 41
- Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.
- There, Leonato, take her back again.
- Give not this rotten orange to your friend,
- She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor.
- 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
- To 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.
- What do you mean, my lord?
Claudio43 - 44
- Not to be married,
- Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.
Leonato45 - 47
- Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof,
- Have vanquish’d the resistance of her youth,
- And made defeat of her virginity—
Claudio48 - 54
- I 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,
- I never tempted her with word too large,
- But as a brother to his sister, show’d
- Bashful sincerity and comely love.
- And seem’d I ever otherwise to you?
Claudio56 - 61
- Out on thee seeming! I will write against it:
- You 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 pamp’red animals
- That rage in savage sensuality.
- Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?
- Sweet Prince, why speak not you?
Don Pedro64 - 66
- What should I speak?
- I stand dishonor’d, that have gone about
- To link my dear friend to a common stale.
- Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?
- Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
- This looks not like a nuptial.
- “True”! O God!
Claudio71 - 73
- Leonato, stand I here?
- Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince’s brother?
- Is this face Hero’s? Are our eyes our own?
- All this is so, but what of this, my lord?
Claudio75 - 77
- Let me but move one question to your daughter,
- And by that fatherly and kindly power
- That you have in her, bid her answer truly.
- I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
Hero79 - 80
- O God defend me, how am I beset!
- What kind of catechizing call you this?
- To make you answer truly to your name.
Hero82 - 83
- Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
- With any just reproach?
Claudio84 - 88
- Marry, that can Hero,
- Hero itself can blot out Hero’s virtue.
- What man was he talk’d with you yesternight
- Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
- Now if you are a maid, answer to this.
- I talk’d with no man at that hour, my lord.
Don Pedro90 - 97
- Why then are you no maiden. Leonato,
- I am sorry you must hear. Upon mine honor,
- Myself, 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
- A thousand times in secret.
Don John98 - 102
- Fie, fie, they are not to be named, my lord,
- Not to be spoke of;
- There is not chastity enough in language
- Without offense to utter them. Thus, pretty lady,
- I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
Claudio103 - 111
- O 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,
- Thou 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.
- Hath no man’s dagger here a point for me?
- Hero swoons.
- Why, how now, cousin, wherefore sink you down?
Don John115 - 116
- Come, let us go. These things, come thus to light,
- Smother her spirits up.
- Exeunt Don Pedro, Don John, and Claudio.
- How doth the lady?
Beatrice119 - 120
- Dead, I think. Help, uncle!
- Hero, why, Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!
Leonato121 - 123
- O Fate! Take not away thy heavy hand,
- Death is the fairest cover for her shame
- That may be wish’d for.
- How now, cousin Hero?
- Have comfort, lady.
- Dost thou look up?
- Yea, wherefore should she not?
Leonato128 - 151
- Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly thing
- Cry 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,
- Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
- Strike at thy life. Griev’d 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?
- Why had I not with charitable hand
- Took up a beggar’s issue at my gates,
- Who smirched thus and mir’d with infamy,
- I might have said, “No part of it is mine;
- This shame derives itself from unknown loins”?
- But mine, and mine I lov’d, and mine I prais’d,
- 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 fall’n
- Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
- Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,
- And salt too little which may season give
- To her foul tainted flesh!
Benedick152 - 154
- Sir, sir, be patient.
- For my part I am so attir’d in wonder,
- I know not what to say.
- O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
- Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?
Beatrice157 - 158
- No, truly, not, although until last night,
- I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
Leonato159 - 163
- Confirm’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 lov’d her so, that speaking of her foulness,
- Wash’d it with tears? Hence from her, let her die.
Friar Francis164 - 179
- Hear 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
- To 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,
- Trust not my reading, nor my observations,
- Which with experimental seal doth warrant
- The tenure of my book; trust not my age,
- My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
- If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
- Under some biting error.
Leonato180 - 185
- Friar, 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.
- Why seek’st thou then to cover with excuse
- That which appears in proper nakedness?
- Lady, what man is he you are accus’d of?
Hero187 - 194
- They know that do accuse me, I know none.
- If I know more of any man alive
- Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
- Let all my sins lack mercy! O my father,
- Prove you that any man with me convers’d
- At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
- Maintain’d the change of words with any creature,
- Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death!
- There is some strange misprision in the princes.
Benedick196 - 199
- Two of them have the very bent of honor,
- And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
- The practice of it lives in John the Bastard,
- Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.
Leonato200 - 210
- I know not. If they speak but truth of her,
- These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honor,
- The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
- Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
- Nor 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, awak’d in such a kind,
- Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
- Ability in means, and choice of friends,
- To quit me of them throughly.
Friar Francis211 - 219
- Pause awhile,
- And let my counsel sway you in this case.
- Your daughter here the princes left for dead,
- Let 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
- That appertain unto a burial.
- What shall become of this? What will this do?
Friar Francis221 - 254
- Marry, 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,
- But on this travail look for greater birth:
- She dying, as it must be so maintain’d,
- Upon the instant that she was accus’d,
- Shall be lamented, pitied, and excus’d
- Of every hearer; for it so falls out
- That 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:
- When he shall hear she died upon his words,
- Th’ 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,
- More moving, delicate, and full of life,
- Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
- Than when she liv’d indeed. Then shall he mourn,
- If ever love had interest in his liver,
- And wish he had not so accused her;
- No, 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,
- The 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,
- Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
Benedick255 - 260
- Signior 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 honor, I will deal in this
- As secretly and justly as your soul
- Should with your body.
Leonato261 - 262
- Being that I flow in grief,
- The smallest twine may lead me.
Friar Francis263 - 266
- ’Tis well consented; presently away,
- For 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.
- Exit with all but Benedick and Beatrice.
- Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
- Yea, and I will weep a while longer.
- I will not desire that.
- You have no reason, I do it freely.
- Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wrong’d.
Beatrice273 - 274
- Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right
- Is there any way to show such friendship?
- A very even way, but no such friend.
- May a man do it?
- It is a man’s office, but not yours.
Benedick279 - 280
- I do love nothing in the world so well as you—is not that
Beatrice281 - 284
- As strange as the thing I know not. It were as possible for
- me to say I lov’d 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.
- By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
- Do not swear and eat it.
Benedick287 - 288
- I will swear by it that you love me, and I will make him eat
- it that says I love not you.
- Will you not eat your word?
Benedick290 - 291
- With no sauce that can be devis’d to it. I protest I love
- Why then God forgive me!
- What offense, sweet Beatrice?
Beatrice294 - 295
- You have stay’d me in a happy hour, I was about to protest I
- lov’d you.
- And do it with all thy heart.
Beatrice297 - 298
- I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to
- Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
- Kill Claudio.
- Ha, not for the wide world.
- You kill me to deny it. Farewell.
- Tarry, sweet Beatrice.
Beatrice304 - 305
- I am gone, though I am here; there is no love in you. Nay, I
- pray you let me go.
- In faith, I will go.
- We’ll be friends first.
Beatrice309 - 310
- You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine
- Is Claudio thine enemy?
Beatrice312 - 317
- Is ’a not approv’d in the height a villain, that hath
- slander’d, scorn’d, dishonor’d my kinswoman? O that I were a
- man! What, bear her in hand until they come to take hands,
- and then with public accusation, uncover’d slander,
- unmitigated rancor—O God, that I were a man! I would eat his
- heart in the market-place.
- Hear me, Beatrice—
- Talk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!
- Nay, but, Beatrice—
- Sweet Hero, she is wrong’d, she is sland’red, she is undone.
Beatrice323 - 330
- Princes 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 had any friend would be a man
- for my sake! But manhood is melted into cur’sies, valor into
- compliment, and men are only turn’d 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 man with wishing,
- therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
- Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.
- Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.
- Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wrong’d Hero?
- Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.
Benedick335 - 339
- Enough, I am engag’d, 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