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Much Ado About Nothing


William Shakespeare's signature

William Shakespeare

This is the Bookwise complete ebook of Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, available to read online as an alternative to epub, mobi, kindle, pdf or text only versions. For information about the status of this work, see Copyright Notice.


In Messina, Italy, a young prince named Don Pedro arrives from Aragon to visit a friend of his, Leonato. With him he brings a Florentine named Claudio, a soldier named Benedick, and his bastard brother, Don Jon. Upon their arrival, Claudio falls in love with Leonato's daughter, Hero and wishes to marry her. Don Jon, out of desire to cause mischief, interferes once unsuccessfully and once successfully in thwarting the gullible Claudio into thinking that Hero and that Claudio's friends are disloyal. Arguably, the leading couple of the play are the soldier Benedick, and Hero's cousin, Beatrice, who, at the beginning of the play, seem to detest each other, until Don Pedro persuades everyone that they can make Benedick and Beatrice fall in love with one another.

Source: Wikipedia

Dramatis Personæ

Dramatis Personæ

Leonato, Governor of Messina

Hero, his daughter

Beatrice, his niece

Leonato’s Brother



waiting gentlewomen to Hero

Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon

Count Claudio, a young lord from Florence

Signior Benedick, a gentleman from Padua


Signior Antonio

Don John, Don Pedro’s brother



Don John’s followers

Dogberry, Master Constable in Messina

Verges, Dogberry’s partner

George Seacoal, leader of the Watch

First Watchman

Second Watchman


Friar Francis

Messenger to Leonato

Messenger to Don Pedro


Musicians, Lords, Attendants, Son to Leonato’s brother


Scene 1

Enter Leonato, Governor of Messina, Hero his daughter, and Beatrice his niece, with a Messenger.

line 0001LEONATOwith a letter I learn in this letter that Don
line 0002Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina.
line 0003MESSENGERHe is very near by this. He was not three
line 0004leagues off when I left him.
5line 0005LEONATOHow many gentlemen have you lost in this
line 0006action?
line 0007MESSENGERBut few of any sort, and none of name.
line 0008LEONATOA victory is twice itself when the achiever
line 0009brings home full numbers. I find here that Don
10line 0010Pedro hath bestowed much honor on a young
line 0011Florentine called Claudio.
line 0012MESSENGERMuch deserved on his part, and equally
line 0013remembered by Don Pedro. He hath borne himself
line 0014beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure
15line 0015of a lamb the feats of a lion. He hath indeed better
line 0016bettered expectation than you must expect of me to
line 0017tell you how.
line 0018LEONATOHe hath an uncle here in Messina will be
line 0019very much glad of it.
20line 0020MESSENGERI have already delivered him letters, and
line 0021there appears much joy in him, even so much that
line 0022joy could not show itself modest enough without a
line 0023badge of bitterness.
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 9 line 0024LEONATODid he break out into tears?
25line 0025MESSENGERIn great measure.
line 0026LEONATOA kind overflow of kindness. There are no
line 0027faces truer than those that are so washed. How
line 0028much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at
line 0029weeping!
30line 0030BEATRICEI pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned
line 0031from the wars or no?
line 0032MESSENGERI know none of that name, lady. There
line 0033was none such in the army of any sort.
line 0034LEONATOWhat is he that you ask for, niece?
35line 0035HEROMy cousin means Signior Benedick of Padua.
line 0036MESSENGERO, he’s returned, and as pleasant as ever
line 0037he was.
line 0038BEATRICEHe set up his bills here in Messina and
line 0039challenged Cupid at the flight, and my uncle’s Fool,
40line 0040reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid and
line 0041challenged him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how
line 0042many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But
line 0043how many hath he killed? For indeed I promised to
line 0044eat all of his killing.
45line 0045LEONATOFaith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too
line 0046much, but he’ll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
line 0047MESSENGERHe hath done good service, lady, in these
line 0048wars.
line 0049BEATRICEYou had musty victual, and he hath holp to
50line 0050eat it. He is a very valiant trencherman; he hath an
line 0051excellent stomach.
line 0052MESSENGERAnd a good soldier too, lady.
line 0053BEATRICEAnd a good soldier to a lady, but what is he
line 0054to a lord?
55line 0055MESSENGERA lord to a lord, a man to a man, stuffed
line 0056with all honorable virtues.
line 0057BEATRICEIt is so indeed. He is no less than a stuffed
line 0058man, but for the stuffing—well, we are all mortal.
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 11 line 0059LEONATOYou must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is
60line 0060a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and
line 0061her. They never meet but there’s a skirmish of wit
line 0062between them.
line 0063BEATRICEAlas, he gets nothing by that. In our last
line 0064conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and
65line 0065now is the whole man governed with one, so that if
line 0066he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him
line 0067bear it for a difference between himself and his
line 0068horse, for it is all the wealth that he hath left to
line 0069be known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion
70line 0070now? He hath every month a new sworn
line 0071brother.
line 0072MESSENGERIs ’t possible?
line 0073BEATRICEVery easily possible. He wears his faith but
line 0074as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the
75line 0075next block.
line 0076MESSENGERI see, lady, the gentleman is not in your
line 0077books.
line 0078BEATRICENo. An he were, I would burn my study. But
line 0079I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no
80line 0080young squarer now that will make a voyage with
line 0081him to the devil?
line 0082MESSENGERHe is most in the company of the right
line 0083noble Claudio.
line 0084BEATRICEO Lord, he will hang upon him like a
85line 0085disease! He is sooner caught than the pestilence,
line 0086and the taker runs presently mad. God help the
line 0087noble Claudio! If he have caught the Benedick, it
line 0088will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.
line 0089MESSENGERI will hold friends with you, lady.
90line 0090BEATRICEDo, good friend.
line 0091LEONATOYou will never run mad, niece.
line 0092BEATRICENo, not till a hot January.
line 0093MESSENGERDon Pedro is approached.
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 13

Enter Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, with Claudio, Benedick, Balthasar, and John the Bastard.

line 0094PRINCEGood Signior Leonato, are you come to meet
95line 0095your trouble? The fashion of the world is to avoid
line 0096cost, and you encounter it.
line 0097LEONATONever came trouble to my house in the
line 0098likeness of your Grace, for trouble being gone,
line 0099comfort should remain, but when you depart from
100line 0100me, sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave.
line 0101PRINCEYou embrace your charge too willingly. Turning to Hero.
line 0102I think this is your daughter.
line 0103LEONATOHer mother hath many times told me so.
line 0104BENEDICKWere you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?
105line 0105LEONATOSignior Benedick, no, for then were you a
line 0106child.
line 0107PRINCEYou have it full, Benedick. We may guess by
line 0108this what you are, being a man. Truly the lady
line 0109fathers herself.—Be happy, lady, for you are like
110line 0110an honorable father.

Leonato and the Prince move aside.

line 0111BENEDICKIf Signior Leonato be her father, she would
line 0112not have his head on her shoulders for all Messina,
line 0113as like him as she is.
line 0114BEATRICEI wonder that you will still be talking, Signior
115line 0115Benedick, nobody marks you.
line 0116BENEDICKWhat, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet
line 0117living?
line 0118BEATRICEIs it possible disdain should die while she
line 0119hath such meet food to feed it as Signior Benedick?
120line 0120Courtesy itself must convert to disdain if you come
line 0121in her presence.
line 0122BENEDICKThen is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain
line 0123I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted; and
line 0124I would I could find in my heart that I had not a
125line 0125hard heart, for truly I love none.
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 15 line 0126BEATRICEA dear happiness to women. They would
line 0127else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I
line 0128thank God and my cold blood I am of your humor
line 0129for that. I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow
130line 0130than a man swear he loves me.
line 0131BENEDICKGod keep your Ladyship still in that mind,
line 0132so some gentleman or other shall ’scape a predestinate
line 0133scratched face.
line 0134BEATRICEScratching could not make it worse an
135line 0135’twere such a face as yours were.
line 0136BENEDICKWell, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
line 0137BEATRICEA bird of my tongue is better than a beast of
line 0138yours.
line 0139BENEDICKI would my horse had the speed of your
140line 0140tongue and so good a continuer, but keep your
line 0141way, i’ God’s name, I have done.
line 0142BEATRICEYou always end with a jade’s trick. I know
line 0143you of old.

Leonato and the Prince come forward.

line 0144PRINCEThat is the sum of all, Leonato.—Signior
145line 0145Claudio and Signior Benedick, my dear friend
line 0146Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him we shall stay
line 0147here at the least a month, and he heartily prays
line 0148some occasion may detain us longer. I dare swear
line 0149he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.
150line 0150LEONATOIf you swear, my lord, you shall not be
line 0151forsworn. To Don John. Let me bid you welcome,
line 0152my lord, being reconciled to the Prince your brother,
line 0153I owe you all duty.
line 0154DON JOHNI thank you. I am not of many words, but I
155line 0155thank you.
line 0156LEONATOPlease it your Grace lead on?
line 0157PRINCEYour hand, Leonato. We will go together.

All exit except Benedick and Claudio.

line 0158CLAUDIOBenedick, didst thou note the daughter of
line 0159Signior Leonato?
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 17 160line 0160BENEDICKI noted her not, but I looked on her.
line 0161CLAUDIOIs she not a modest young lady?
line 0162BENEDICKDo you question me as an honest man
line 0163should do, for my simple true judgment? Or would
line 0164you have me speak after my custom, as being a
165line 0165professed tyrant to their sex?
line 0166CLAUDIONo, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment.
line 0167BENEDICKWhy, i’ faith, methinks she’s too low for a
line 0168high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too
line 0169little for a great praise. Only this commendation I
170line 0170can afford her, that were she other than she is, she
line 0171were unhandsome, and being no other but as she is,
line 0172I do not like her.
line 0173CLAUDIOThou thinkest I am in sport. I pray thee tell
line 0174me truly how thou lik’st her.
175line 0175BENEDICKWould you buy her that you enquire after
line 0176her?
line 0177CLAUDIOCan the world buy such a jewel?
line 0178BENEDICKYea, and a case to put it into. But speak you
line 0179this with a sad brow? Or do you play the flouting
180line 0180jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder and
line 0181Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key shall a
line 0182man take you to go in the song?
line 0183CLAUDIOIn mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever
line 0184I looked on.
185line 0185BENEDICKI can see yet without spectacles, and I see
line 0186no such matter. There’s her cousin, an she were not
line 0187possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in
line 0188beauty as the first of May doth the last of December.
line 0189But I hope you have no intent to turn husband, have
190line 0190you?
line 0191CLAUDIOI would scarce trust myself, though I had
line 0192sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.
line 0193BENEDICKIs ’t come to this? In faith, hath not the
line 0194world one man but he will wear his cap with
195line 0195suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 19 line 0196again? Go to, i’ faith, an thou wilt needs thrust
line 0197thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh
line 0198away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is returned to seek
line 0199you.

Enter Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon.

200line 0200PRINCEWhat secret hath held you here that you followed
line 0201not to Leonato’s?
line 0202BENEDICKI would your Grace would constrain me to
line 0203tell.
line 0204PRINCEI charge thee on thy allegiance.
205line 0205BENEDICKYou hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as
line 0206a dumb man, I would have you think so, but on my
line 0207allegiance—mark you this, on my allegiance—he
line 0208is in love. With who? Now, that is your Grace’s part.
line 0209Mark how short his answer is: with Hero, Leonato’s
210line 0210short daughter.
line 0211CLAUDIOIf this were so, so were it uttered.
line 0212BENEDICKLike the old tale, my lord: “It is not so, nor
line 0213’twas not so, but, indeed, God forbid it should be
line 0214so.”
215line 0215CLAUDIOIf my passion change not shortly, God forbid
line 0216it should be otherwise.
line 0217PRINCEAmen, if you love her, for the lady is very well
line 0218worthy.
line 0219CLAUDIOYou speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
220line 0220PRINCEBy my troth, I speak my thought.
line 0221CLAUDIOAnd in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.
line 0222BENEDICKAnd by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I
line 0223spoke mine.
line 0224CLAUDIOThat I love her, I feel.
225line 0225PRINCEThat she is worthy, I know.
line 0226BENEDICKThat I neither feel how she should be loved
line 0227nor know how she should be worthy is the opinion
line 0228that fire cannot melt out of me. I will die in it at the
line 0229stake.
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 21 230line 0230PRINCEThou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the
line 0231despite of beauty.
line 0232CLAUDIOAnd never could maintain his part but in the
line 0233force of his will.
line 0234BENEDICKThat a woman conceived me, I thank her;
235line 0235that she brought me up, I likewise give her most
line 0236humble thanks. But that I will have a recheat
line 0237winded in my forehead or hang my bugle in an
line 0238invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me.
line 0239Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust
240line 0240any, I will do myself the right to trust none. And the
line 0241fine is, for the which I may go the finer, I will live a
line 0242bachelor.
line 0243PRINCEI shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.
line 0244BENEDICKWith anger, with sickness, or with hunger,
245line 0245my lord, not with love. Prove that ever I lose more
line 0246blood with love than I will get again with drinking,
line 0247pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker’s pen and
line 0248hang me up at the door of a brothel house for the
line 0249sign of blind Cupid.
250line 0250PRINCEWell, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou
line 0251wilt prove a notable argument.
line 0252BENEDICKIf I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat and
line 0253shoot at me, and he that hits me, let him be clapped
line 0254on the shoulder and called Adam.
255line 0255PRINCEWell, as time shall try.
line 0256In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.
line 0257BENEDICKThe savage bull may, but if ever the sensible
line 0258Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull’s horns and set
line 0259them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted,
260line 0260and in such great letters as they write “Here is good
line 0261horse to hire” let them signify under my sign “Here
line 0262you may see Benedick the married man.”
line 0263CLAUDIOIf this should ever happen, thou wouldst be
line 0264horn-mad.
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 23 265line 0265PRINCENay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in
line 0266Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
line 0267BENEDICKI look for an earthquake too, then.
line 0268PRINCEWell, you will temporize with the hours. In the
line 0269meantime, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato’s.
270line 0270Commend me to him, and tell him I will not
line 0271fail him at supper, for indeed he hath made great
line 0272preparation.
line 0273BENEDICKI have almost matter enough in me for such
line 0274an embassage, and so I commit you—
275line 0275CLAUDIOTo the tuition of God. From my house, if I had
line 0276it—
line 0277PRINCEThe sixth of July. Your loving friend,
line 0278Benedick.
line 0279BENEDICKNay, mock not, mock not. The body of your
280line 0280discourse is sometimes guarded with fragments,
line 0281and the guards are but slightly basted on neither.
line 0282Ere you flout old ends any further, examine your
line 0283conscience. And so I leave you.He exits.
line 0284My liege, your Highness now may do me good.
285line 0285My love is thine to teach. Teach it but how,
line 0286And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
line 0287Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
line 0288Hath Leonato any son, my lord?
line 0289No child but Hero; she’s his only heir.
290line 0290Dost thou affect her, Claudio?
line 0291CLAUDIOO, my lord,
line 0292When you went onward on this ended action,
line 0293I looked upon her with a soldier’s eye,
line 0294That liked, but had a rougher task in hand
295line 0295Than to drive liking to the name of love.
line 0296But now I am returned and that war thoughts
Act 1 Scene 1 - Pg 25 line 0297Have left their places vacant, in their rooms
line 0298Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
line 0299All prompting me how fair young Hero is,
300line 0300Saying I liked her ere I went to wars.
line 0301Thou wilt be like a lover presently
line 0302And tire the hearer with a book of words.
line 0303If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,
line 0304And I will break with her and with her father,
305line 0305And thou shalt have her. Was ’t not to this end
line 0306That thou began’st to twist so fine a story?
line 0307How sweetly you do minister to love,
line 0308That know love’s grief by his complexion!
line 0309But lest my liking might too sudden seem,
310line 0310I would have salved it with a longer treatise.
line 0311What need the bridge much broader than the flood?
line 0312The fairest grant is the necessity.
line 0313Look what will serve is fit. ’Tis once, thou lovest,
line 0314And I will fit thee with the remedy.
315line 0315I know we shall have reveling tonight.
line 0316I will assume thy part in some disguise
line 0317And tell fair Hero I am Claudio,
line 0318And in her bosom I’ll unclasp my heart
line 0319And take her hearing prisoner with the force
320line 0320And strong encounter of my amorous tale.
line 0321Then after to her father will I break,
line 0322And the conclusion is, she shall be thine.
line 0323In practice let us put it presently.

They exit.

Act 1 Scene 2 - Pg 27

Scene 2

Enter Leonato, meeting an old man, brother to Leonato.

line 0324LEONATOHow now, brother, where is my cousin, your
line 0325son? Hath he provided this music?
line 0326LEONATO’S BROTHERHe is very busy about it. But,
line 0327brother, I can tell you strange news that you yet
5line 0328dreamt not of.
line 0329LEONATOAre they good?
line 0330LEONATO’S BROTHERAs the events stamps them, but
line 0331they have a good cover; they show well outward.
line 0332The Prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached
10line 0333alley in mine orchard, were thus much
line 0334overheard by a man of mine: the Prince discovered
line 0335to Claudio that he loved my niece your daughter and
line 0336meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance, and if
line 0337he found her accordant, he meant to take the
15line 0338present time by the top and instantly break with you
line 0339of it.
line 0340LEONATOHath the fellow any wit that told you this?
line 0341LEONATO’S BROTHERA good sharp fellow. I will send
line 0342for him, and question him yourself.
20line 0343LEONATONo, no, we will hold it as a dream till it
line 0344appear itself. But I will acquaint my daughter
line 0345withal, that she may be the better prepared for an
line 0346answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell
line 0347her of it.

Enter Antonio’s son, with a Musician and Attendants.

25line 0348Cousins, you know what you have to do.—O, I cry
line 0349you mercy, friend. Go you with me and I will use
line 0350your skill.—Good cousin, have a care this busy
line 0351time.

They exit.

Act 1 Scene 3 - Pg 29

Scene 3

Enter Sir John the Bastard, and Conrade, his companion.

line 0352CONRADEWhat the goodyear, my lord, why are you
line 0353thus out of measure sad?
line 0354DON JOHNThere is no measure in the occasion that
line 0355breeds. Therefore the sadness is without limit.
5line 0356CONRADEYou should hear reason.
line 0357DON JOHNAnd when I have heard it, what blessing
line 0358brings it?
line 0359CONRADEIf not a present remedy, at least a patient
line 0360sufferance.
10line 0361DON JOHNI wonder that thou, being, as thou sayst thou
line 0362art, born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral
line 0363medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide
line 0364what I am. I must be sad when I have cause, and
line 0365smile at no man’s jests; eat when I have stomach,
15line 0366and wait for no man’s leisure; sleep when I am
line 0367drowsy, and tend on no man’s business; laugh when
line 0368I am merry, and claw no man in his humor.
line 0369CONRADEYea, but you must not make the full show of
line 0370this till you may do it without controlment. You
20line 0371have of late stood out against your brother, and he
line 0372hath ta’en you newly into his grace, where it is
line 0373impossible you should take true root but by the fair
line 0374weather that you make yourself. It is needful that
line 0375you frame the season for your own harvest.
25line 0376DON JOHNI had rather be a canker in a hedge than a
line 0377rose in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
line 0378disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob
line 0379love from any. In this, though I cannot be said to be
line 0380a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I
30line 0381am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a
line 0382muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I
line 0383have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my
Act 1 Scene 3 - Pg 31 line 0384mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do
line 0385my liking. In the meantime, let me be that I am, and
35line 0386seek not to alter me.
line 0387CONRADECan you make no use of your discontent?
line 0388DON JOHNI make all use of it, for I use it only. Who
line 0389comes here?

Enter Borachio.

line 0390What news, Borachio?
40line 0391BORACHIOI came yonder from a great supper. The
line 0392Prince your brother is royally entertained by
line 0393Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an
line 0394intended marriage.
line 0395DON JOHNWill it serve for any model to build mischief
45line 0396on? What is he for a fool that betroths himself to
line 0397unquietness?
line 0398BORACHIOMarry, it is your brother’s right hand.
line 0399DON JOHNWho, the most exquisite Claudio?
line 0400BORACHIOEven he.
50line 0401DON JOHNA proper squire. And who, and who? Which
line 0402way looks he?
line 0403BORACHIOMarry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of
line 0404Leonato.
line 0405DON JOHNA very forward March chick! How came you
55line 0406to this?
line 0407BORACHIOBeing entertained for a perfumer, as I was
line 0408smoking a musty room, comes me the Prince and
line 0409Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference. I
line 0410whipped me behind the arras, and there heard it
60line 0411agreed upon that the Prince should woo Hero for
line 0412himself, and having obtained her, give her to Count
line 0413Claudio.
line 0414DON JOHNCome, come, let us thither. This may prove
line 0415food to my displeasure. That young start-up hath
65line 0416all the glory of my overthrow. If I can cross him any
Act 1 Scene 3 - Pg 33 line 0417way, I bless myself every way. You are both sure, and
line 0418will assist me?
line 0419CONRADETo the death, my lord.
line 0420DON JOHNLet us to the great supper. Their cheer is the
70line 0421greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were o’
line 0422my mind! Shall we go prove what’s to be done?
line 0423BORACHIOWe’ll wait upon your Lordship.

They exit.


Scene 1

Enter Leonato, his brother, Hero his daughter, and Beatrice his niece, with Ursula and Margaret.

line 0424LEONATOWas not Count John here at supper?
line 0425LEONATO’S BROTHERI saw him not.
line 0426BEATRICEHow tartly that gentleman looks! I never
line 0427can see him but I am heartburned an hour after.
5line 0428HEROHe is of a very melancholy disposition.
line 0429BEATRICEHe were an excellent man that were made
line 0430just in the midway between him and Benedick. The
line 0431one is too like an image and says nothing, and the
line 0432other too like my lady’s eldest son, evermore
10line 0433tattling.
line 0434LEONATOThen half Signior Benedick’s tongue in
line 0435Count John’s mouth, and half Count John’s melancholy
line 0436in Signior Benedick’s face—
line 0437BEATRICEWith a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and
15line 0438money enough in his purse, such a man would win
line 0439any woman in the world if he could get her
line 0440goodwill.
line 0441LEONATOBy my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a
line 0442husband if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
20line 0443LEONATO’S BROTHERIn faith, she’s too curst.
line 0444BEATRICEToo curst is more than curst. I shall lessen
line 0445God’s sending that way, for it is said “God sends a
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 39 line 0446curst cow short horns,” but to a cow too curst, he
line 0447sends none.
25line 0448LEONATOSo, by being too curst, God will send you no
line 0449horns.
line 0450BEATRICEJust, if He send me no husband, for the
line 0451which blessing I am at Him upon my knees every
line 0452morning and evening. Lord, I could not endure a
30line 0453husband with a beard on his face. I had rather lie in
line 0454the woolen!
line 0455LEONATOYou may light on a husband that hath no
line 0456beard.
line 0457BEATRICEWhat should I do with him? Dress him in my
35line 0458apparel and make him my waiting gentlewoman?
line 0459He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he
line 0460that hath no beard is less than a man; and he that is
line 0461more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less
line 0462than a man, I am not for him. Therefore I will even
40line 0463take sixpence in earnest of the bearherd, and lead
line 0464his apes into hell.
line 0465LEONATOWell then, go you into hell?
line 0466BEATRICENo, but to the gate, and there will the devil
line 0467meet me like an old cuckold with horns on his
45line 0468head, and say “Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you
line 0469to heaven; here’s no place for you maids.” So deliver
line 0470I up my apes and away to Saint Peter; for the
line 0471heavens, he shows me where the bachelors sit, and
line 0472there live we as merry as the day is long.
50line 0473LEONATO’S BROTHERto Hero Well, niece, I trust you
line 0474will be ruled by your father.
line 0475BEATRICEYes, faith, it is my cousin’s duty to make
line 0476curtsy and say “Father, as it please you.” But yet for
line 0477all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or
55line 0478else make another curtsy and say “Father, as it
line 0479please me.”
line 0480LEONATOWell, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted
line 0481with a husband.
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 41 line 0482BEATRICENot till God make men of some other metal
60line 0483than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be
line 0484overmastered with a piece of valiant dust? To make
line 0485an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl?
line 0486No, uncle, I’ll none. Adam’s sons are my brethren,
line 0487and truly I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.
65line 0488LEONATOto Hero Daughter, remember what I told
line 0489you. If the Prince do solicit you in that kind, you
line 0490know your answer.
line 0491BEATRICEThe fault will be in the music, cousin, if you
line 0492be not wooed in good time. If the Prince be too
70line 0493important, tell him there is measure in everything,
line 0494and so dance out the answer. For hear me, Hero,
line 0495wooing, wedding, and repenting is as a Scotch jig, a
line 0496measure, and a cinquepace. The first suit is hot and
line 0497hasty like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the
75line 0498wedding, mannerly modest as a measure, full of
line 0499state and ancientry; and then comes repentance,
line 0500and with his bad legs falls into the cinquepace faster
line 0501and faster till he sink into his grave.
line 0502LEONATOCousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
80line 0503BEATRICEI have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church
line 0504by daylight.
line 0505LEONATOThe revelers are entering, brother. Make
line 0506good room.Leonato and his brother step aside.

Enter, with a Drum, Prince Pedro, Claudio, and Benedick, Signior Antonio, and Balthasar, all in masks, with Borachio and Don John.

line 0507PRINCEto Hero Lady, will you walk a bout with your
85line 0508friend?They begin to dance.
line 0509HEROSo you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say
line 0510nothing, I am yours for the walk, and especially
line 0511when I walk away.
line 0512PRINCEWith me in your company?
90line 0513HEROI may say so when I please.
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 43 line 0514PRINCEAnd when please you to say so?
line 0515HEROWhen I like your favor, for God defend the lute
line 0516should be like the case.
line 0517PRINCEMy visor is Philemon’s roof; within the house
95line 0518is Jove.
line 0519HEROWhy, then, your visor should be thatched.
line 0520PRINCESpeak low if you speak love.

They move aside; Benedick and Margaret move forward.

line 0521BENEDICKto Margaret Well, I would you did like me.
line 0522MARGARETSo would not I for your own sake, for I have
100line 0523many ill qualities.
line 0524BENEDICKWhich is one?
line 0525MARGARETI say my prayers aloud.
line 0526BENEDICKI love you the better; the hearers may cry
line 0527“Amen.”
105line 0528MARGARETGod match me with a good dancer.

They separate; Benedick moves aside; Balthasar moves forward.

line 0529BALTHASARAmen.
line 0530MARGARETAnd God keep him out of my sight when the
line 0531dance is done. Answer, clerk.
line 0532BALTHASARNo more words. The clerk is answered.

They move aside; Ursula and Antonio move forward.

110line 0533URSULAI know you well enough. You are Signior
line 0534Antonio.
line 0535ANTONIOAt a word, I am not.
line 0536URSULAI know you by the waggling of your head.
line 0537ANTONIOTo tell you true, I counterfeit him.
115line 0538URSULAYou could never do him so ill-well unless you
line 0539were the very man. Here’s his dry hand up and
line 0540down. You are he, you are he.
line 0541ANTONIOAt a word, I am not.
line 0542URSULACome, come, do you think I do not know you
120line 0543by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to,
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 45 line 0544mum, you are he. Graces will appear, and there’s an
line 0545end.

They move aside; Benedick and Beatrice move forward.

line 0546BEATRICEWill you not tell me who told you so?
line 0547BENEDICKNo, you shall pardon me.
125line 0548BEATRICENor will you not tell me who you are?
line 0549BENEDICKNot now.
line 0550BEATRICEThat I was disdainful, and that I had my
line 0551good wit out of The Hundred Merry Tales! Well, this
line 0552was Signior Benedick that said so.
130line 0553BENEDICKWhat’s he?
line 0554BEATRICEI am sure you know him well enough.
line 0555BENEDICKNot I, believe me.
line 0556BEATRICEDid he never make you laugh?
line 0557BENEDICKI pray you, what is he?
135line 0558BEATRICEWhy, he is the Prince’s jester, a very dull
line 0559fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders.
line 0560None but libertines delight in him, and the commendation
line 0561is not in his wit but in his villainy, for he
line 0562both pleases men and angers them, and then they
140line 0563laugh at him and beat him. I am sure he is in the
line 0564fleet. I would he had boarded me.
line 0565BENEDICKWhen I know the gentleman, I’ll tell him
line 0566what you say.
line 0567BEATRICEDo, do. He’ll but break a comparison or two
145line 0568on me, which peradventure not marked or not
line 0569laughed at strikes him into melancholy, and then
line 0570there’s a partridge wing saved, for the fool will eat
line 0571no supper that night. Music for the dance. We must
line 0572follow the leaders.
150line 0573BENEDICKIn every good thing.
line 0574BEATRICENay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them
line 0575at the next turning.

Dance. Then exit all except Don John, Borachio, and Claudio.

Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 47 line 0576DON JOHNto Borachio Sure my brother is amorous
line 0577on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break
155line 0578with him about it. The ladies follow her, and but one
line 0579visor remains.
line 0580BORACHIOAnd that is Claudio. I know him by his
line 0581bearing.
line 0582DON JOHNto Claudio Are not you Signior Benedick?
160line 0583CLAUDIOYou know me well. I am he.
line 0584DON JOHNSignior, you are very near my brother in his
line 0585love. He is enamored on Hero. I pray you dissuade
line 0586him from her. She is no equal for his birth. You
line 0587may do the part of an honest man in it.
165line 0588CLAUDIOHow know you he loves her?
line 0589DON JOHNI heard him swear his affection.
line 0590BORACHIOSo did I too, and he swore he would marry
line 0591her tonight.
line 0592DON JOHNCome, let us to the banquet.

They exit. Claudio remains.

170line 0593Thus answer I in name of Benedick,
line 0594But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio.
line 0595’Tis certain so. The Prince woos for himself.
line 0596Friendship is constant in all other things
line 0597Save in the office and affairs of love.
175line 0598Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues.
line 0599Let every eye negotiate for itself
line 0600And trust no agent, for beauty is a witch
line 0601Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.
line 0602This is an accident of hourly proof,
180line 0603Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore, Hero.

Enter Benedick.

line 0604BENEDICKCount Claudio?
line 0605CLAUDIOYea, the same.
line 0606BENEDICKCome, will you go with me?
line 0607CLAUDIOWhither?
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 49 185line 0608BENEDICKEven to the next willow, about your own
line 0609business, county. What fashion will you wear the
line 0610garland of? About your neck like an usurer’s chain?
line 0611Or under your arm like a lieutenant’s scarf? You
line 0612must wear it one way, for the Prince hath got your
190line 0613Hero.
line 0614CLAUDIOI wish him joy of her.
line 0615BENEDICKWhy, that’s spoken like an honest drover; so
line 0616they sell bullocks. But did you think the Prince
line 0617would have served you thus?
195line 0618CLAUDIOI pray you, leave me.
line 0619BENEDICKHo, now you strike like the blind man.
line 0620’Twas the boy that stole your meat, and you’ll beat
line 0621the post.
line 0622CLAUDIOIf it will not be, I’ll leave you.He exits.
200line 0623BENEDICKAlas, poor hurt fowl, now will he creep into
line 0624sedges. But that my Lady Beatrice should know
line 0625me, and not know me! The Prince’s fool! Ha, it may
line 0626be I go under that title because I am merry. Yea, but
line 0627so I am apt to do myself wrong. I am not so reputed!
205line 0628It is the base, though bitter, disposition of Beatrice
line 0629that puts the world into her person and so gives me
line 0630out. Well, I’ll be revenged as I may.

Enter the Prince, Hero, and Leonato.

line 0631PRINCENow, signior, where’s the Count? Did you see
line 0632him?
210line 0633BENEDICKTroth, my lord, I have played the part of
line 0634Lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a
line 0635lodge in a warren. I told him, and I think I told him
line 0636true, that your Grace had got the goodwill of this
line 0637young lady, and I offered him my company to a
215line 0638willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being
line 0639forsaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to
line 0640be whipped.
line 0641PRINCETo be whipped? What’s his fault?
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 51 line 0642BENEDICKThe flat transgression of a schoolboy who,
220line 0643being overjoyed with finding a bird’s nest, shows it
line 0644his companion, and he steals it.
line 0645PRINCEWilt thou make a trust a transgression? The
line 0646transgression is in the stealer.
line 0647BENEDICKYet it had not been amiss the rod had been
225line 0648made, and the garland too, for the garland he
line 0649might have worn himself, and the rod he might
line 0650have bestowed on you, who, as I take it, have stolen
line 0651his bird’s nest.
line 0652PRINCEI will but teach them to sing and restore them
230line 0653to the owner.
line 0654BENEDICKIf their singing answer your saying, by my
line 0655faith, you say honestly.
line 0656PRINCEThe Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you. The
line 0657gentleman that danced with her told her she is
235line 0658much wronged by you.
line 0659BENEDICKO, she misused me past the endurance of a
line 0660block! An oak but with one green leaf on it would
line 0661have answered her. My very visor began to assume
line 0662life and scold with her. She told me, not thinking I
240line 0663had been myself, that I was the Prince’s jester, that I
line 0664was duller than a great thaw, huddling jest upon jest
line 0665with such impossible conveyance upon me that I
line 0666stood like a man at a mark with a whole army
line 0667shooting at me. She speaks poniards, and every
245line 0668word stabs. If her breath were as terrible as her
line 0669terminations, there were no living near her; she
line 0670would infect to the North Star. I would not marry
line 0671her though she were endowed with all that Adam
line 0672had left him before he transgressed. She would have
250line 0673made Hercules have turned spit, yea, and have cleft
line 0674his club to make the fire, too. Come, talk not of her.
line 0675You shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel. I
line 0676would to God some scholar would conjure her, for
line 0677certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 53 255line 0678in hell as in a sanctuary, and people sin upon
line 0679purpose because they would go thither. So indeed
line 0680all disquiet, horror, and perturbation follows her.

Enter Claudio and Beatrice.

line 0681PRINCELook, here she comes.
line 0682BENEDICKWill your Grace command me any service
260line 0683to the world’s end? I will go on the slightest errand
line 0684now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send
line 0685me on. I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the
line 0686furthest inch of Asia, bring you the length of Prester
line 0687John’s foot, fetch you a hair off the great Cham’s
265line 0688beard, do you any embassage to the Pygmies, rather
line 0689than hold three words’ conference with this harpy.
line 0690You have no employment for me?
line 0691PRINCENone but to desire your good company.
line 0692BENEDICKO God, sir, here’s a dish I love not! I cannot
270line 0693endure my Lady Tongue.He exits.
line 0694PRINCEto Beatrice Come, lady, come, you have lost
line 0695the heart of Signior Benedick.
line 0696BEATRICEIndeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile, and I
line 0697gave him use for it, a double heart for his single
275line 0698one. Marry, once before he won it of me with false
line 0699dice. Therefore your Grace may well say I have lost
line 0700it.
line 0701PRINCEYou have put him down, lady, you have put
line 0702him down.
280line 0703BEATRICESo I would not he should do me, my lord,
line 0704lest I should prove the mother of fools. I have
line 0705brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
line 0706PRINCEWhy, how now, count, wherefore are you sad?
line 0707CLAUDIONot sad, my lord.
285line 0708PRINCEHow then, sick?
line 0709CLAUDIONeither, my lord.
line 0710BEATRICEThe Count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry,
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 55 line 0711nor well, but civil count, civil as an orange, and
line 0712something of that jealous complexion.
290line 0713PRINCEI’ faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true,
line 0714though I’ll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is
line 0715false.—Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name,
line 0716and fair Hero is won. I have broke with her father
line 0717and his goodwill obtained. Name the day of marriage,
295line 0718and God give thee joy.
line 0719LEONATOCount, take of me my daughter, and with her
line 0720my fortunes. His Grace hath made the match, and
line 0721all grace say “Amen” to it.
line 0722BEATRICESpeak, count, ’tis your cue.
300line 0723CLAUDIOSilence is the perfectest herald of joy. I were
line 0724but little happy if I could say how much.—Lady, as
line 0725you are mine, I am yours. I give away myself for you
line 0726and dote upon the exchange.
line 0727BEATRICESpeak, cousin, or, if you cannot, stop his
305line 0728mouth with a kiss and let not him speak neither.
line 0729PRINCEIn faith, lady, you have a merry heart.
line 0730BEATRICEYea, my lord. I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on
line 0731the windy side of care. My cousin tells him in his ear
line 0732that he is in her heart.
310line 0733CLAUDIOAnd so she doth, cousin.
line 0734BEATRICEGood Lord for alliance! Thus goes everyone
line 0735to the world but I, and I am sunburnt. I may sit in a
line 0736corner and cry “Heigh-ho for a husband!”
line 0737PRINCELady Beatrice, I will get you one.
315line 0738BEATRICEI would rather have one of your father’s
line 0739getting. Hath your Grace ne’er a brother like you?
line 0740Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could
line 0741come by them.
line 0742PRINCEWill you have me, lady?
320line 0743BEATRICENo, my lord, unless I might have another for
line 0744working days. Your Grace is too costly to wear
line 0745every day. But I beseech your Grace pardon me. I
line 0746was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
Act 2 Scene 1 - Pg 57 line 0747PRINCEYour silence most offends me, and to be merry
325line 0748best becomes you, for out o’ question you were
line 0749born in a merry hour.
line 0750BEATRICENo, sure, my lord, my mother cried, but then
line 0751there was a star danced, and under that was I
line 0752born.—Cousins, God give you joy!
330line 0753LEONATONiece, will you look to those things I told
line 0754you of?
line 0755BEATRICEI cry you mercy, uncle.—By your Grace’s
line 0756pardon.Beatrice exits.
line 0757PRINCEBy my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.
335line 0758LEONATOThere’s little of the melancholy element in
line 0759her, my lord. She is never sad but when she sleeps,
line 0760and not ever sad then, for I have heard my daughter
line 0761say she hath often dreamt of unhappiness and
line 0762waked herself with laughing.
340line 0763PRINCEShe cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.
line 0764LEONATOO, by no means. She mocks all her wooers
line 0765out of suit.
line 0766PRINCEShe were an excellent wife for Benedick.
line 0767LEONATOO Lord, my lord, if they were but a week
345line 0768married, they would talk themselves mad.
line 0769PRINCECounty Claudio, when mean you to go to
line 0770church?
line 0771CLAUDIOTomorrow, my lord. Time goes on crutches
line 0772till love have all his rites.
350line 0773LEONATONot till Monday, my dear son, which is hence
line 0774a just sevennight, and a time too brief, too, to have
line 0775all things answer my mind.
line 0776PRINCEto Claudio Come, you shake the head at so
line 0777long a breathing, but I warrant thee, Claudio, the
355line 0778time shall not go dully by us. I will in the interim
line 0779undertake one of Hercules’ labors, which is to bring
line 0780Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a
line 0781mountain of affection, th’ one with th’ other. I
line 0782would fain have it a match, and I doubt not but to
Act 2 Scene 2 - Pg 59 360line 0783fashion it, if you three will but minister such
line 0784assistance as I shall give you direction.
line 0785LEONATOMy lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten
line 0786nights’ watchings.
line 0787CLAUDIOAnd I, my lord.
365line 0788PRINCEAnd you too, gentle Hero?
line 0789HEROI will do any modest office, my lord, to help my
line 0790cousin to a good husband.
line 0791PRINCEAnd Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband
line 0792that I know. Thus far can I praise him: he is of
370line 0793a noble strain, of approved valor, and confirmed
line 0794honesty. I will teach you how to humor your
line 0795cousin that she shall fall in love with Benedick.—
line 0796And I, with your two helps, will so practice on
line 0797Benedick that, in despite of his quick wit and his
375line 0798queasy stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice.
line 0799If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer; his
line 0800glory shall be ours, for we are the only love gods. Go
line 0801in with me, and I will tell you my drift.

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter Don John and Borachio.

line 0802DON JOHNIt is so. The Count Claudio shall marry the
line 0803daughter of Leonato.
line 0804BORACHIOYea, my lord, but I can cross it.
line 0805DON JOHNAny bar, any cross, any impediment will be
5line 0806med’cinable to me. I am sick in displeasure to him,
line 0807and whatsoever comes athwart his affection ranges
line 0808evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this
line 0809marriage?
line 0810BORACHIONot honestly, my lord, but so covertly that
10line 0811no dishonesty shall appear in me.
line 0812DON JOHNShow me briefly how.
Act 2 Scene 2 - Pg 61 line 0813BORACHIOI think I told your Lordship a year since,
line 0814how much I am in the favor of Margaret, the
line 0815waiting gentlewoman to Hero.
15line 0816DON JOHNI remember.
line 0817BORACHIOI can, at any unseasonable instant of the
line 0818night, appoint her to look out at her lady’s chamber
line 0819window.
line 0820DON JOHNWhat life is in that to be the death of this
20line 0821marriage?
line 0822BORACHIOThe poison of that lies in you to temper. Go
line 0823you to the Prince your brother; spare not to tell
line 0824him that he hath wronged his honor in marrying
line 0825the renowned Claudio, whose estimation do you
25line 0826mightily hold up, to a contaminated stale, such a
line 0827one as Hero.
line 0828DON JOHNWhat proof shall I make of that?
line 0829BORACHIOProof enough to misuse the Prince, to vex
line 0830Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato. Look you
30line 0831for any other issue?
line 0832DON JOHNOnly to despite them I will endeavor
line 0833anything.
line 0834BORACHIOGo then, find me a meet hour to draw Don
line 0835Pedro and the Count Claudio alone. Tell them that
35line 0836you know that Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal
line 0837both to the Prince and Claudio, as in love of your
line 0838brother’s honor, who hath made this match, and his
line 0839friend’s reputation, who is thus like to be cozened
line 0840with the semblance of a maid, that you have discovered
40line 0841thus. They will scarcely believe this without
line 0842trial. Offer them instances, which shall bear no less
line 0843likelihood than to see me at her chamber window,
line 0844hear me call Margaret “Hero,” hear Margaret term
line 0845me “Claudio,” and bring them to see this the very
45line 0846night before the intended wedding, for in the meantime
line 0847I will so fashion the matter that Hero shall be
line 0848absent, and there shall appear such seeming truth
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 63 line 0849of Hero’s disloyalty that jealousy shall be called
line 0850assurance and all the preparation overthrown.
50line 0851DON JOHNGrow this to what adverse issue it can, I will
line 0852put it in practice. Be cunning in the working this,
line 0853and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
line 0854BORACHIOBe you constant in the accusation, and my
line 0855cunning shall not shame me.
55line 0856DON JOHNI will presently go learn their day of
line 0857marriage.

They exit.

Scene 3

Enter Benedick alone.

line 0858BENEDICKBoy!

Enter Boy.

line 0859BOYSignior?
line 0860BENEDICKIn my chamber window lies a book. Bring it
line 0861hither to me in the orchard.
5line 0862BOYI am here already, sir.
line 0863BENEDICKI know that, but I would have thee hence
line 0864and here again.Boy exits.
line 0865I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much
line 0866another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors
10line 0867to love, will, after he hath laughed at such
line 0868shallow follies in others, become the argument of
line 0869his own scorn by falling in love—and such a man is
line 0870Claudio. I have known when there was no music
line 0871with him but the drum and the fife, and now had he
15line 0872rather hear the tabor and the pipe; I have known
line 0873when he would have walked ten mile afoot to see a
line 0874good armor, and now will he lie ten nights awake
line 0875carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont
line 0876to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 65 20line 0877man and a soldier, and now is he turned orthography;
line 0878his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so
line 0879many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see
line 0880with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not
line 0881be sworn but love may transform me to an oyster,
25line 0882but I’ll take my oath on it, till he have made an
line 0883oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool.
line 0884One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet
line 0885I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all
line 0886graces be in one woman, one woman shall not
30line 0887come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain;
line 0888wise, or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen
line 0889her; fair, or I’ll never look on her; mild, or come not
line 0890near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good
line 0891discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall
35line 0892be of what color it please God. Ha! The Prince and
line 0893Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbor.

He hides.

Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthasar with music.

line 0894PRINCECome, shall we hear this music?
line 0895Yea, my good lord. How still the evening is,
line 0896As hushed on purpose to grace harmony!
PRINCEaside to Claudio
40line 0897See you where Benedick hath hid himself?
CLAUDIOaside to Prince
line 0898O, very well my lord. The music ended,
line 0899We’ll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.
line 0900Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again.
line 0901O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
45line 0902To slander music any more than once.
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 67 PRINCE
line 0903It is the witness still of excellency
line 0904To put a strange face on his own perfection.
line 0905I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
line 0906Because you talk of wooing, I will sing,
50line 0907Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
line 0908To her he thinks not worthy, yet he woos,
line 0909Yet will he swear he loves.
line 0910PRINCENay, pray thee, come,
line 0911Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
55line 0912Do it in notes.
line 0913BALTHASARNote this before my notes:
line 0914There’s not a note of mine that’s worth the noting.
line 0915Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks!
line 0916Note notes, forsooth, and nothing.Music plays.
60line 0917BENEDICKaside Now, divine air! Now is his soul
line 0918ravished. Is it not strange that sheeps’ guts should
line 0919hale souls out of men’s bodies? Well, a horn for my
line 0920money, when all’s done.
line 0921Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
65line 0922Men were deceivers ever,
line 0923One foot in sea and one on shore,
line 0924To one thing constant never.
line 0925Then sigh not so, but let them go,
line 0926And be you blithe and bonny,
70line 0927Converting all your sounds of woe
line 0928Into Hey, nonny nonny.

line 0929Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
line 0930Of dumps so dull and heavy.
line 0931The fraud of men was ever so,
75line 0932Since summer first was leavy.
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 69 line 0933Then sigh not so, but let them go,
line 0934And be you blithe and bonny,
line 0935Converting all your sounds of woe
line 0936Into Hey, nonny nonny.
80line 0937PRINCEBy my troth, a good song.
line 0938BALTHASARAnd an ill singer, my lord.
line 0939PRINCEHa, no, no, faith, thou sing’st well enough for a
line 0940shift.
line 0941BENEDICKaside An he had been a dog that should
85line 0942have howled thus, they would have hanged him. And
line 0943I pray God his bad voice bode no mischief. I had as
line 0944lief have heard the night raven, come what plague
line 0945could have come after it.
line 0946PRINCEYea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray
90line 0947thee get us some excellent music, for tomorrow
line 0948night we would have it at the Lady Hero’s chamber
line 0949window.
line 0950BALTHASARThe best I can, my lord.
line 0951PRINCEDo so. Farewell.Balthasar exits.
95line 0952Come hither, Leonato. What was it you told me of
line 0953today, that your niece Beatrice was in love with
line 0954Signior Benedick?
line 0955CLAUDIOO, ay. Aside to Prince. Stalk on, stalk on; the
line 0956fowl sits.—I did never think that lady would have
100line 0957loved any man.
line 0958LEONATONo, nor I neither, but most wonderful that
line 0959she should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she
line 0960hath in all outward behaviors seemed ever to
line 0961abhor.
105line 0962BENEDICKaside Is ’t possible? Sits the wind in that
line 0963corner?
line 0964LEONATOBy my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to
line 0965think of it, but that she loves him with an enraged
line 0966affection, it is past the infinite of thought.
110line 0967PRINCEMaybe she doth but counterfeit.
line 0968CLAUDIOFaith, like enough.
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 71 line 0969LEONATOO God! Counterfeit? There was never counterfeit
line 0970of passion came so near the life of passion as
line 0971she discovers it.
115line 0972PRINCEWhy, what effects of passion shows she?
line 0973CLAUDIOaside to Leonato Bait the hook well; this fish
line 0974will bite.
line 0975LEONATOWhat effects, my lord? She will sit you—you
line 0976heard my daughter tell you how.
120line 0977CLAUDIOShe did indeed.
line 0978PRINCEHow, how I pray you? You amaze me. I would
line 0979have thought her spirit had been invincible against
line 0980all assaults of affection.
line 0981LEONATOI would have sworn it had, my lord, especially
125line 0982against Benedick.
line 0983BENEDICKaside I should think this a gull but that the
line 0984white-bearded fellow speaks it. Knavery cannot,
line 0985sure, hide himself in such reverence.
line 0986CLAUDIOaside to Prince He hath ta’en th’ infection.
130line 0987Hold it up.
line 0988PRINCEHath she made her affection known to
line 0989Benedick?
line 0990LEONATONo, and swears she never will. That’s her
line 0991torment.
135line 0992CLAUDIO’Tis true indeed, so your daughter says. “Shall
line 0993I,” says she, “that have so oft encountered him with
line 0994scorn, write to him that I love him?”
line 0995LEONATOThis says she now when she is beginning to
line 0996write to him, for she’ll be up twenty times a night,
140line 0997and there will she sit in her smock till she have writ
line 0998a sheet of paper. My daughter tells us all.
line 0999CLAUDIONow you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember
line 1000a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
line 1001LEONATOO, when she had writ it and was reading it
145line 1002over, she found “Benedick” and “Beatrice” between
line 1003the sheet?
line 1004CLAUDIOThat.
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 73 line 1005LEONATOO, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence,
line 1006railed at herself that she should be so
150line 1007immodest to write to one that she knew would flout
line 1008her. “I measure him,” says she, “by my own spirit,
line 1009for I should flout him if he writ to me, yea, though I
line 1010love him, I should.”
line 1011CLAUDIOThen down upon her knees she falls, weeps,
155line 1012sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses:
line 1013“O sweet Benedick, God give me patience!”
line 1014LEONATOShe doth indeed, my daughter says so, and
line 1015the ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my
line 1016daughter is sometimes afeared she will do a desperate
160line 1017outrage to herself. It is very true.
line 1018PRINCEIt were good that Benedick knew of it by some
line 1019other, if she will not discover it.
line 1020CLAUDIOTo what end? He would make but a sport of it
line 1021and torment the poor lady worse.
165line 1022PRINCEAn he should, it were an alms to hang him.
line 1023She’s an excellent sweet lady, and, out of all suspicion,
line 1024she is virtuous.
line 1025CLAUDIOAnd she is exceeding wise.
line 1026PRINCEIn everything but in loving Benedick.
170line 1027LEONATOO, my lord, wisdom and blood combating in
line 1028so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one that
line 1029blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her, as I have
line 1030just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.
line 1031PRINCEI would she had bestowed this dotage on me. I
175line 1032would have daffed all other respects and made her
line 1033half myself. I pray you tell Benedick of it, and hear
line 1034what he will say.
line 1035LEONATOWere it good, think you?
line 1036CLAUDIOHero thinks surely she will die, for she says
180line 1037she will die if he love her not, and she will die ere
line 1038she make her love known, and she will die if he woo
line 1039her rather than she will bate one breath of her
line 1040accustomed crossness.
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 75 line 1041PRINCEShe doth well. If she should make tender of
185line 1042her love, ’tis very possible he’ll scorn it, for the man,
line 1043as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.
line 1044CLAUDIOHe is a very proper man.
line 1045PRINCEHe hath indeed a good outward happiness.
line 1046CLAUDIOBefore God, and in my mind, very wise.
190line 1047PRINCEHe doth indeed show some sparks that are like
line 1048wit.
line 1049CLAUDIOAnd I take him to be valiant.
line 1050PRINCEAs Hector, I assure you, and in the managing
line 1051of quarrels you may say he is wise, for either he
195line 1052avoids them with great discretion or undertakes
line 1053them with a most Christianlike fear.
line 1054LEONATOIf he do fear God, he must necessarily keep
line 1055peace. If he break the peace, he ought to enter into
line 1056a quarrel with fear and trembling.
200line 1057PRINCEAnd so will he do, for the man doth fear God,
line 1058howsoever it seems not in him by some large jests
line 1059he will make. Well, I am sorry for your niece. Shall
line 1060we go seek Benedick and tell him of her love?
line 1061CLAUDIONever tell him, my lord, let her wear it out
205line 1062with good counsel.
line 1063LEONATONay, that’s impossible; she may wear her
line 1064heart out first.
line 1065PRINCEWell, we will hear further of it by your daughter.
line 1066Let it cool the while. I love Benedick well, and I
210line 1067could wish he would modestly examine himself to
line 1068see how much he is unworthy so good a lady.
line 1069LEONATOMy lord, will you walk? Dinner is ready.

Leonato, Prince, and Claudio begin to exit.

line 1070CLAUDIOaside to Prince and Leonato If he do not
line 1071dote on her upon this, I will never trust my
215line 1072expectation.
line 1073PRINCEaside to Leonato Let there be the same net
line 1074spread for her, and that must your daughter and her
line 1075gentlewomen carry. The sport will be when they
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 77 line 1076hold one an opinion of another’s dotage, and no
220line 1077such matter. That’s the scene that I would see,
line 1078which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her
line 1079to call him in to dinner.

Prince, Leonato, and Claudio exit.

line 1080BENEDICKcoming forward This can be no trick. The
line 1081conference was sadly borne; they have the truth of
225line 1082this from Hero; they seem to pity the lady. It seems
line 1083her affections have their full bent. Love me? Why, it
line 1084must be requited! I hear how I am censured. They
line 1085say I will bear myself proudly if I perceive the love
line 1086come from her. They say, too, that she will rather
230line 1087die than give any sign of affection. I did never think
line 1088to marry. I must not seem proud. Happy are they
line 1089that hear their detractions and can put them to
line 1090mending. They say the lady is fair; ’tis a truth, I can
line 1091bear them witness. And virtuous; ’tis so, I cannot
235line 1092reprove it. And wise, but for loving me; by my troth,
line 1093it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of
line 1094her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her! I
line 1095may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of
line 1096wit broken on me because I have railed so long
240line 1097against marriage, but doth not the appetite alter? A
line 1098man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot
line 1099endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and
line 1100these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the
line 1101career of his humor? No! The world must be peopled.
245line 1102When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not
line 1103think I should live till I were married. Here comes
line 1104Beatrice. By this day, she’s a fair lady. I do spy some
line 1105marks of love in her.

Enter Beatrice.

line 1106BEATRICEAgainst my will, I am sent to bid you come
250line 1107in to dinner.
line 1108BENEDICKFair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.
Act 2 Scene 3 - Pg 79 line 1109BEATRICEI took no more pains for those thanks than
line 1110you take pains to thank me. If it had been painful, I
line 1111would not have come.
255line 1112BENEDICKYou take pleasure then in the message?
line 1113BEATRICEYea, just so much as you may take upon a
line 1114knife’s point and choke a daw withal. You have no
line 1115stomach, signior. Fare you well.She exits.
line 1116BENEDICKHa! “Against my will I am sent to bid you
260line 1117come in to dinner.” There’s a double meaning in
line 1118that. “I took no more pains for those thanks than
line 1119you took pains to thank me.” That’s as much as to
line 1120say “Any pains that I take for you is as easy as
line 1121thanks.” If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I
265line 1122do not love her, I am a Jew. I will go get her picture.

He exits.


Scene 1

Enter Hero and two gentlewomen, Margaret and Ursula.

line 1123Good Margaret, run thee to the parlor.
line 1124There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice
line 1125Proposing with the Prince and Claudio.
line 1126Whisper her ear and tell her I and Ursula
5line 1127Walk in the orchard, and our whole discourse
line 1128Is all of her. Say that thou overheardst us,
line 1129And bid her steal into the pleachèd bower
line 1130Where honeysuckles ripened by the sun
line 1131Forbid the sun to enter, like favorites,
10line 1132Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
line 1133Against that power that bred it. There will she hide
line 1134her
line 1135To listen our propose. This is thy office.
line 1136Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
15line 1137I’ll make her come, I warrant you, presently.

She exits.

line 1138Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
line 1139As we do trace this alley up and down,
line 1140Our talk must only be of Benedick.
line 1141When I do name him, let it be thy part
20line 1142To praise him more than ever man did merit.
Act 3 Scene 1 - Pg 85 line 1143My talk to thee must be how Benedick
line 1144Is sick in love with Beatrice. Of this matter
line 1145Is little Cupid’s crafty arrow made,
line 1146That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin,
25line 1147For look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs
line 1148Close by the ground, to hear our conference.

Enter Beatrice, who hides in the bower.

URSULAaside to Hero
line 1149The pleasant’st angling is to see the fish
line 1150Cut with her golden oars the silver stream
line 1151And greedily devour the treacherous bait.
30line 1152So angle we for Beatrice, who even now
line 1153Is couchèd in the woodbine coverture.
line 1154Fear you not my part of the dialogue.
HEROaside to Ursula
line 1155Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
line 1156Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it.—

They walk near the bower.

35line 1157No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful.
line 1158I know her spirits are as coy and wild
line 1159As haggards of the rock.
line 1160URSULABut are you sure
line 1161That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?
40line 1162So says the Prince and my new-trothèd lord.
line 1163And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?
line 1164They did entreat me to acquaint her of it,
line 1165But I persuaded them, if they loved Benedick,
line 1166To wish him wrestle with affection
45line 1167And never to let Beatrice know of it.
line 1168Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Act 3 Scene 1 - Pg 87 line 1169Deserve as full as fortunate a bed
line 1170As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?
line 1171O god of love! I know he doth deserve
50line 1172As much as may be yielded to a man,
line 1173But Nature never framed a woman’s heart
line 1174Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice.
line 1175Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
line 1176Misprizing what they look on, and her wit
55line 1177Values itself so highly that to her
line 1178All matter else seems weak. She cannot love,
line 1179Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
line 1180She is so self-endeared.
line 1181URSULASure, I think so,
60line 1182And therefore certainly it were not good
line 1183She knew his love, lest she’ll make sport at it.
line 1184Why, you speak truth. I never yet saw man,
line 1185How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured,
line 1186But she would spell him backward. If fair-faced,
65line 1187She would swear the gentleman should be her
line 1188sister;
line 1189If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antic,
line 1190Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed;
line 1191If low, an agate very vilely cut;
70line 1192If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds;
line 1193If silent, why, a block moved with none.
line 1194So turns she every man the wrong side out,
line 1195And never gives to truth and virtue that
line 1196Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.
75line 1197Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
line 1198No, not to be so odd and from all fashions
line 1199As Beatrice is cannot be commendable.
line 1200But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,
Act 3 Scene 1 - Pg 89 line 1201She would mock me into air. O, she would laugh
80line 1202me
line 1203Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
line 1204Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire,
line 1205Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.
line 1206It were a better death than die with mocks,
85line 1207Which is as bad as die with tickling.
line 1208Yet tell her of it. Hear what she will say.
line 1209No, rather I will go to Benedick
line 1210And counsel him to fight against his passion;
line 1211And truly I’ll devise some honest slanders
90line 1212To stain my cousin with. One doth not know
line 1213How much an ill word may empoison liking.
line 1214O, do not do your cousin such a wrong!
line 1215She cannot be so much without true judgment,
line 1216Having so swift and excellent a wit
95line 1217As she is prized to have, as to refuse
line 1218So rare a gentleman as Signior Benedick.
line 1219He is the only man of Italy,
line 1220Always excepted my dear Claudio.
line 1221I pray you be not angry with me, madam,
100line 1222Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedick,
line 1223For shape, for bearing, argument, and valor,
line 1224Goes foremost in report through Italy.
line 1225Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.
line 1226His excellence did earn it ere he had it.
105line 1227When are you married, madam?
line 1228Why, every day, tomorrow. Come, go in.
Act 3 Scene 2 - Pg 91 line 1229I’ll show thee some attires and have thy counsel
line 1230Which is the best to furnish me tomorrow.

They move away from the bower.

URSULAaside to Hero
line 1231She’s limed, I warrant you. We have caught her,
110line 1232madam.
HEROaside to Ursula
line 1233If it prove so, then loving goes by haps;
line 1234Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

Hero and Ursula exit.

BEATRICEcoming forward
line 1235What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
line 1236Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much?
115line 1237Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adieu!
line 1238No glory lives behind the back of such.
line 1239And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
line 1240Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.
line 1241If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
120line 1242To bind our loves up in a holy band.
line 1243For others say thou dost deserve, and I
line 1244Believe it better than reportingly.

She exits.

Scene 2

Enter Prince, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato.

line 1245PRINCEI do but stay till your marriage be consummate,
line 1246and then go I toward Aragon.
line 1247CLAUDIOI’ll bring you thither, my lord, if you’ll vouchsafe
line 1248me.
5line 1249PRINCENay, that would be as great a soil in the new
line 1250gloss of your marriage as to show a child his new
line 1251coat and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold
line 1252with Benedick for his company, for from the crown
line 1253of his head to the sole of his foot he is all mirth. He
Act 3 Scene 2 - Pg 93 10line 1254hath twice or thrice cut Cupid’s bowstring, and the
line 1255little hangman dare not shoot at him. He hath a
line 1256heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the
line 1257clapper, for what his heart thinks, his tongue
line 1258speaks.
15line 1259BENEDICKGallants, I am not as I have been.
line 1260LEONATOSo say I. Methinks you are sadder.
line 1261CLAUDIOI hope he be in love.
line 1262PRINCEHang him, truant! There’s no true drop of
line 1263blood in him to be truly touched with love. If he be
20line 1264sad, he wants money.
line 1265BENEDICKI have the toothache.
line 1266PRINCEDraw it.
line 1267BENEDICKHang it!
line 1268CLAUDIOYou must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
25line 1269PRINCEWhat, sigh for the toothache?
line 1270LEONATOWhere is but a humor or a worm.
line 1271BENEDICKWell, everyone can master a grief but he
line 1272that has it.
line 1273CLAUDIOYet say I, he is in love.
30line 1274PRINCEThere is no appearance of fancy in him, unless
line 1275it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises, as to
line 1276be a Dutchman today, a Frenchman tomorrow, or
line 1277in the shape of two countries at once, as a German
line 1278from the waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard
35line 1279from the hip upward, no doublet. Unless he have a
line 1280fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no
line 1281fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.
line 1282CLAUDIOIf he be not in love with some woman, there
line 1283is no believing old signs. He brushes his hat o’
40line 1284mornings. What should that bode?
line 1285PRINCEHath any man seen him at the barber’s?
line 1286CLAUDIONo, but the barber’s man hath been seen
line 1287with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath
line 1288already stuffed tennis balls.
Act 3 Scene 2 - Pg 95 45line 1289LEONATOIndeed he looks younger than he did, by the
line 1290loss of a beard.
line 1291PRINCENay, he rubs himself with civet. Can you smell
line 1292him out by that?
line 1293CLAUDIOThat’s as much as to say, the sweet youth’s in
50line 1294love.
line 1295PRINCEThe greatest note of it is his melancholy.
line 1296CLAUDIOAnd when was he wont to wash his face?
line 1297PRINCEYea, or to paint himself? For the which I hear
line 1298what they say of him.
55line 1299CLAUDIONay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept
line 1300into a lute string and now governed by stops—
line 1301PRINCEIndeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude,
line 1302conclude, he is in love.
line 1303CLAUDIONay, but I know who loves him.
60line 1304PRINCEThat would I know, too. I warrant, one that
line 1305knows him not.
line 1306CLAUDIOYes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of
line 1307all, dies for him.
line 1308PRINCEShe shall be buried with her face upwards.
65line 1309BENEDICKYet is this no charm for the toothache.—
line 1310Old signior, walk aside with me. I have studied eight
line 1311or nine wise words to speak to you, which these
line 1312hobby-horses must not hear.

Benedick and Leonato exit.

line 1313PRINCEFor my life, to break with him about Beatrice!
70line 1314CLAUDIO’Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this
line 1315played their parts with Beatrice, and then the two
line 1316bears will not bite one another when they meet.

Enter John the Bastard.

line 1317DON JOHNMy lord and brother, God save you.
line 1318PRINCEGood e’en, brother.
75line 1319DON JOHNIf your leisure served, I would speak with
line 1320you.
line 1321PRINCEIn private?
Act 3 Scene 2 - Pg 97 line 1322DON JOHNIf it please you. Yet Count Claudio may
line 1323hear, for what I would speak of concerns him.
80line 1324PRINCEWhat’s the matter?
line 1325DON JOHNto Claudio Means your Lordship to be
line 1326married tomorrow?
line 1327PRINCEYou know he does.
line 1328DON JOHNI know not that, when he knows what I
85line 1329know.
line 1330CLAUDIOIf there be any impediment, I pray you discover
line 1331it.
line 1332DON JOHNYou may think I love you not. Let that
line 1333appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I
90line 1334now will manifest. For my brother, I think he holds
line 1335you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect
line 1336your ensuing marriage—surely suit ill spent and
line 1337labor ill bestowed.
line 1338PRINCEWhy, what’s the matter?
95line 1339DON JOHNI came hither to tell you; and, circumstances
line 1340shortened, for she has been too long
line 1341a-talking of, the lady is disloyal.
line 1342CLAUDIOWho, Hero?
line 1343DON JOHNEven she: Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every
100line 1344man’s Hero.
line 1345CLAUDIODisloyal?
line 1346DON JOHNThe word is too good to paint out her
line 1347wickedness. I could say she were worse. Think you
line 1348of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not
105line 1349till further warrant. Go but with me tonight, you
line 1350shall see her chamber window entered, even the
line 1351night before her wedding day. If you love her then,
line 1352tomorrow wed her. But it would better fit your
line 1353honor to change your mind.
110line 1354CLAUDIOto Prince May this be so?
line 1355PRINCEI will not think it.
line 1356DON JOHNIf you dare not trust that you see, confess
line 1357not that you know. If you will follow me, I will
Act 3 Scene 3 - Pg 99 line 1358show you enough, and when you have seen more
115line 1359and heard more, proceed accordingly.
line 1360CLAUDIOIf I see anything tonight why I should not
line 1361marry her, tomorrow in the congregation, where I
line 1362should wed, there will I shame her.
line 1363PRINCEAnd as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will
120line 1364join with thee to disgrace her.
line 1365DON JOHNI will disparage her no farther till you are
line 1366my witnesses. Bear it coldly but till midnight, and
line 1367let the issue show itself.
line 1368PRINCEO day untowardly turned!
125line 1369CLAUDIOO mischief strangely thwarting!
line 1370DON JOHNO plague right well prevented! So will you
line 1371say when you have seen the sequel.

They exit.

Scene 3

Enter Dogberry and his compartner Verges with the Watch.

line 1372DOGBERRYAre you good men and true?
line 1373VERGESYea, or else it were pity but they should suffer
line 1374salvation, body and soul.
line 1375DOGBERRYNay, that were a punishment too good for
5line 1376them if they should have any allegiance in them,
line 1377being chosen for the Prince’s watch.
line 1378VERGESWell, give them their charge, neighbor
line 1379Dogberry.
line 1380DOGBERRYFirst, who think you the most desartless
10line 1381man to be constable?
line 1382FIRST WATCHMANHugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal,
line 1383for they can write and read.
line 1384DOGBERRYCome hither, neighbor Seacoal. Seacoal steps forward.
line 1385God hath blessed you with a good
Act 3 Scene 3 - Pg 101 15line 1386name. To be a well-favored man is the gift of
line 1387fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.
line 1388SEACOALBoth which, master constable—
line 1389DOGBERRYYou have. I knew it would be your answer.
line 1390Well, for your favor, sir, why, give God thanks, and
20line 1391make no boast of it, and for your writing and
line 1392reading, let that appear when there is no need of
line 1393such vanity. You are thought here to be the most
line 1394senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch;
line 1395therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge:
25line 1396you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to
line 1397bid any man stand, in the Prince’s name.
line 1398SEACOALHow if he will not stand?
line 1399DOGBERRYWhy, then, take no note of him, but let him
line 1400go, and presently call the rest of the watch together
30line 1401and thank God you are rid of a knave.
line 1402VERGESIf he will not stand when he is bidden, he is
line 1403none of the Prince’s subjects.
line 1404DOGBERRYTrue, and they are to meddle with none but
line 1405the Prince’s subjects.—You shall also make no
35line 1406noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble and
line 1407to talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.
line 1408SECOND WATCHMANWe will rather sleep than talk.
line 1409We know what belongs to a watch.
line 1410DOGBERRYWhy, you speak like an ancient and most
40line 1411quiet watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping
line 1412should offend; only have a care that your bills be not
line 1413stolen. Well, you are to call at all the alehouses and
line 1414bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
line 1415SEACOALHow if they will not?
45line 1416DOGBERRYWhy then, let them alone till they are sober.
line 1417If they make you not then the better answer, you
line 1418may say they are not the men you took them for.
line 1419SEACOALWell, sir.
line 1420DOGBERRYIf you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by
50line 1421virtue of your office, to be no true man, and for such
Act 3 Scene 3 - Pg 103 line 1422kind of men, the less you meddle or make with
line 1423them, why, the more is for your honesty.
line 1424SEACOALIf we know him to be a thief, shall we not
line 1425lay hands on him?
55line 1426DOGBERRYTruly, by your office you may, but I think
line 1427they that touch pitch will be defiled. The most
line 1428peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to
line 1429let him show himself what he is and steal out of
line 1430your company.
60line 1431VERGESYou have been always called a merciful man,
line 1432partner.
line 1433DOGBERRYTruly, I would not hang a dog by my will,
line 1434much more a man who hath any honesty in him.
line 1435VERGESto the Watch If you hear a child cry in the
65line 1436night, you must call to the nurse and bid her still it.
line 1437SECOND WATCHMANHow if the nurse be asleep and
line 1438will not hear us?
line 1439DOGBERRYWhy, then depart in peace, and let the
line 1440child wake her with crying, for the ewe that will
70line 1441not hear her lamb when it baas will never answer a
line 1442calf when he bleats.
line 1443VERGES’Tis very true.
line 1444DOGBERRYThis is the end of the charge. You, constable,
line 1445are to present the Prince’s own person. If you
75line 1446meet the Prince in the night, you may stay him.
line 1447VERGESNay, by ’r Lady, that I think he cannot.
line 1448DOGBERRYFive shillings to one on ’t, with any man that
line 1449knows the statutes, he may stay him—marry, not
line 1450without the Prince be willing, for indeed the watch
80line 1451ought to offend no man, and it is an offense to stay a
line 1452man against his will.
line 1453VERGESBy ’r Lady, I think it be so.
line 1454DOGBERRYHa, ah ha!—Well, masters, goodnight. An
line 1455there be any matter of weight chances, call up me.
85line 1456Keep your fellows’ counsels and your own, and
line 1457goodnight.—Come, neighbor.

Dogberry and Verges begin to exit.

Act 3 Scene 3 - Pg 105 line 1458SEACOALWell, masters, we hear our charge. Let us go
line 1459sit here upon the church bench till two, and then all
line 1460to bed.
90line 1461DOGBERRYOne word more, honest neighbors. I pray
line 1462you watch about Signior Leonato’s door, for the
line 1463wedding being there tomorrow, there is a great coil
line 1464tonight. Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.

Dogberry and Verges exit.

Enter Borachio and Conrade.

line 1465BORACHIOWhat, Conrade!
95line 1466SEACOALaside Peace, stir not.
line 1467BORACHIOConrade, I say!
line 1468CONRADEHere, man, I am at thy elbow.
line 1469BORACHIOMass, and my elbow itched, I thought there
line 1470would a scab follow.
100line 1471CONRADEI will owe thee an answer for that. And now
line 1472forward with thy tale.
line 1473BORACHIOStand thee close, then, under this penthouse,
line 1474for it drizzles rain, and I will, like a true
line 1475drunkard, utter all to thee.
105line 1476SEACOALaside Some treason, masters. Yet stand
line 1477close.
line 1478BORACHIOTherefore know, I have earned of Don
line 1479John a thousand ducats.
line 1480CONRADEIs it possible that any villainy should be so
110line 1481dear?
line 1482BORACHIOThou shouldst rather ask if it were possible
line 1483any villainy should be so rich. For when rich
line 1484villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may
line 1485make what price they will.
115line 1486CONRADEI wonder at it.
line 1487BORACHIOThat shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou
line 1488knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a
line 1489cloak, is nothing to a man.
Act 3 Scene 3 - Pg 107 line 1490CONRADEYes, it is apparel.
120line 1491BORACHIOI mean the fashion.
line 1492CONRADEYes, the fashion is the fashion.
line 1493BORACHIOTush, I may as well say the fool’s the fool.
line 1494But seest thou not what a deformed thief this
line 1495fashion is?
125line 1496FIRST WATCHMANaside I know that Deformed. He
line 1497has been a vile thief this seven year. He goes up and
line 1498down like a gentleman. I remember his name.
line 1499BORACHIODidst thou not hear somebody?
line 1500CONRADENo, ’twas the vane on the house.
130line 1501BORACHIOSeest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief
line 1502this fashion is, how giddily he turns about all the
line 1503hot bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty,
line 1504sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh’s soldiers
line 1505in the reechy painting, sometimes like god Bel’s
135line 1506priests in the old church window, sometimes like
line 1507the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten
line 1508tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massy as his
line 1509club?
line 1510CONRADEAll this I see, and I see that the fashion wears
140line 1511out more apparel than the man. But art not thou
line 1512thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast
line 1513shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the
line 1514fashion?
line 1515BORACHIONot so, neither. But know that I have tonight
145line 1516wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman,
line 1517by the name of Hero. She leans me out at
line 1518her mistress’ chamber window, bids me a thousand
line 1519times goodnight. I tell this tale vilely. I should first
line 1520tell thee how the Prince, Claudio, and my master,
150line 1521planted and placed and possessed by my master
line 1522Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiable
line 1523amiable encounter.
line 1524CONRADEAnd thought they Margaret was Hero?
line 1525BORACHIOTwo of them did, the Prince and Claudio,
Act 3 Scene 3 - Pg 109 155line 1526but the devil my master knew she was Margaret;
line 1527and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them,
line 1528partly by the dark night, which did deceive them,
line 1529but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any
line 1530slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio
160line 1531enraged, swore he would meet her as he was
line 1532appointed next morning at the temple, and there,
line 1533before the whole congregation, shame her with
line 1534what he saw o’ernight and send her home again
line 1535without a husband.
165line 1536FIRST WATCHMANWe charge you in the Prince’s name
line 1537stand!
line 1538SEACOALCall up the right Master Constable. Second Watchman exits.
line 1539We have here recovered the most
line 1540dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in
170line 1541the commonwealth.
line 1542FIRST WATCHMANAnd one Deformed is one of them. I
line 1543know him; he wears a lock.

Enter Dogberry, Verges, and Second Watchman.

line 1544DOGBERRYMasters, masters—
line 1545FIRST WATCHMANto Borachio You’ll be made bring
175line 1546Deformed forth, I warrant you.
line 1547DOGBERRYto Borachio and Conrade Masters, never
line 1548speak, we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.
line 1549BORACHIOto Conrade We are like to prove a goodly
line 1550commodity, being taken up of these men’s bills.
180line 1551CONRADEA commodity in question, I warrant you.—
line 1552Come, we’ll obey you.

They exit.

Act 3 Scene 4 - Pg 111

Scene 4

Enter Hero, and Margaret, and Ursula.

line 1553HEROGood Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice and
line 1554desire her to rise.
line 1555URSULAI will, lady.
line 1556HEROAnd bid her come hither.
5line 1557URSULAWell.Ursula exits.
line 1558MARGARETTroth, I think your other rebato were
line 1559better.
line 1560HERONo, pray thee, good Meg, I’ll wear this.
line 1561MARGARETBy my troth, ’s not so good, and I warrant
10line 1562your cousin will say so.
line 1563HEROMy cousin’s a fool, and thou art another. I’ll
line 1564wear none but this.
line 1565MARGARETI like the new tire within excellently, if the
line 1566hair were a thought browner; and your gown’s a
15line 1567most rare fashion, i’ faith. I saw the Duchess of
line 1568Milan’s gown that they praise so.
line 1569HEROO, that exceeds, they say.
line 1570MARGARETBy my troth, ’s but a nightgown in respect
line 1571of yours—cloth o’ gold, and cuts, and laced with
20line 1572silver, set with pearls, down sleeves, side sleeves,
line 1573and skirts round underborne with a bluish tinsel.
line 1574But for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent fashion,
line 1575yours is worth ten on ’t.
line 1576HEROGod give me joy to wear it, for my heart is
25line 1577exceeding heavy.
line 1578MARGARET’Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a
line 1579man.
line 1580HEROFie upon thee! Art not ashamed?
line 1581MARGARETOf what, lady? Of speaking honorably? Is
30line 1582not marriage honorable in a beggar? Is not your
line 1583lord honorable without marriage? I think you
line 1584would have me say “Saving your reverence, a husband.”
line 1585An bad thinking do not wrest true speaking,
Act 3 Scene 4 - Pg 113 line 1586I’ll offend nobody. Is there any harm in “the heavier
35line 1587for a husband”? None, I think, an it be the right
line 1588husband and the right wife. Otherwise, ’tis light and
line 1589not heavy. Ask my lady Beatrice else. Here she
line 1590comes.

Enter Beatrice.

line 1591HEROGood morrow, coz.
40line 1592BEATRICEGood morrow, sweet Hero.
line 1593HEROWhy, how now? Do you speak in the sick tune?
line 1594BEATRICEI am out of all other tune, methinks.
line 1595MARGARETClap ’s into “Light o’ love.” That goes
line 1596without a burden. Do you sing it, and I’ll dance it.
45line 1597BEATRICEYou light o’ love with your heels! Then, if
line 1598your husband have stables enough, you’ll see he
line 1599shall lack no barns.
line 1600MARGARETO, illegitimate construction! I scorn that
line 1601with my heels.
50line 1602BEATRICE’Tis almost five o’clock, cousin. ’Tis time
line 1603you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill.
line 1604Heigh-ho!
line 1605MARGARETFor a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
line 1606BEATRICEFor the letter that begins them all, H.
55line 1607MARGARETWell, an you be not turned Turk, there’s no
line 1608more sailing by the star.
line 1609BEATRICEWhat means the fool, trow?
line 1610MARGARETNothing, I; but God send everyone their
line 1611heart’s desire.
60line 1612HEROThese gloves the Count sent me, they are an
line 1613excellent perfume.
line 1614BEATRICEI am stuffed, cousin. I cannot smell.
line 1615MARGARETA maid, and stuffed! There’s goodly catching
line 1616of cold.
65line 1617BEATRICEO, God help me, God help me! How long
line 1618have you professed apprehension?
Act 3 Scene 4 - Pg 115 line 1619MARGARETEver since you left it. Doth not my wit
line 1620become me rarely?
line 1621BEATRICEIt is not seen enough; you should wear it in
70line 1622your cap. By my troth, I am sick.
line 1623MARGARETGet you some of this distilled carduus benedictus
line 1624and lay it to your heart. It is the only thing for
line 1625a qualm.
line 1626HEROThere thou prick’st her with a thistle.
75line 1627BEATRICEBenedictus! Why benedictus? You have some
line 1628moral in this benedictus?
line 1629MARGARETMoral? No, by my troth, I have no moral
line 1630meaning; I meant plain holy thistle. You may think
line 1631perchance that I think you are in love. Nay, by ’r
80line 1632Lady, I am not such a fool to think what I list, nor I
line 1633list not to think what I can, nor indeed I cannot
line 1634think, if I would think my heart out of thinking, that
line 1635you are in love or that you will be in love or that you
line 1636can be in love. Yet Benedick was such another, and
85line 1637now is he become a man. He swore he would never
line 1638marry, and yet now, in despite of his heart, he eats
line 1639his meat without grudging. And how you may be
line 1640converted I know not, but methinks you look with
line 1641your eyes as other women do.
90line 1642BEATRICEWhat pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
line 1643MARGARETNot a false gallop.

Enter Ursula.

line 1644URSULAMadam, withdraw. The Prince, the Count,
line 1645Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of
line 1646the town are come to fetch you to church.
95line 1647HEROHelp to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good
line 1648Ursula.

They exit.

Act 3 Scene 5 - Pg 117

Scene 5

Enter Leonato, and Dogberry, the Constable, and Verges, the Headborough.

line 1649LEONATOWhat would you with me, honest neighbor?
line 1650DOGBERRYMarry, sir, I would have some confidence
line 1651with you that decerns you nearly.
line 1652LEONATOBrief, I pray you, for you see it is a busy time
5line 1653with me.
line 1654DOGBERRYMarry, this it is, sir.
line 1655VERGESYes, in truth, it is, sir.
line 1656LEONATOWhat is it, my good friends?
line 1657DOGBERRYGoodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the
10line 1658matter. An old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt
line 1659as, God help, I would desire they were, but, in faith,
line 1660honest as the skin between his brows.
line 1661VERGESYes, I thank God I am as honest as any man
line 1662living that is an old man and no honester than I.
15line 1663DOGBERRYComparisons are odorous. Palabras, neighbor
line 1664Verges.
line 1665LEONATONeighbors, you are tedious.
line 1666DOGBERRYIt pleases your Worship to say so, but we
line 1667are the poor duke’s officers. But truly, for mine
20line 1668own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find
line 1669in my heart to bestow it all of your Worship.
line 1670LEONATOAll thy tediousness on me, ah?
line 1671DOGBERRYYea, an ’twere a thousand pound more
line 1672than ’tis, for I hear as good exclamation on your
25line 1673Worship as of any man in the city, and though I be
line 1674but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.
line 1675VERGESAnd so am I.
line 1676LEONATOI would fain know what you have to say.
line 1677VERGESMarry, sir, our watch tonight, excepting your
30line 1678Worship’s presence, ha’ ta’en a couple of as arrant
line 1679knaves as any in Messina.
line 1680DOGBERRYA good old man, sir. He will be talking. As
Act 3 Scene 5 - Pg 119 line 1681they say, “When the age is in, the wit is out.” God
line 1682help us, it is a world to see!—Well said, i’ faith,
35line 1683neighbor Verges.—Well, God’s a good man. An two
line 1684men ride of a horse, one must ride behind. An
line 1685honest soul, i’ faith, sir, by my troth he is, as ever
line 1686broke bread, but God is to be worshiped, all men
line 1687are not alike, alas, good neighbor.
40line 1688LEONATOIndeed, neighbor, he comes too short of you.
line 1689DOGBERRYGifts that God gives.
line 1690LEONATOI must leave you.
line 1691DOGBERRYOne word, sir. Our watch, sir, have indeed
line 1692comprehended two aspicious persons, and we
45line 1693would have them this morning examined before
line 1694your Worship.
line 1695LEONATOTake their examination yourself and bring it
line 1696me. I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto
line 1697you.
50line 1698DOGBERRYIt shall be suffigance.
line 1699LEONATODrink some wine ere you go. Fare you well.

Enter a Messenger.

line 1700MESSENGERMy lord, they stay for you to give your
line 1701daughter to her husband.
line 1702LEONATOI’ll wait upon them. I am ready.

He exits, with the Messenger.

55line 1703DOGBERRYGo, good partner, go, get you to Francis
line 1704Seacoal. Bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the
line 1705jail. We are now to examination these men.
line 1706VERGESAnd we must do it wisely.
line 1707DOGBERRYWe will spare for no wit, I warrant you.
60line 1708Here’s that shall drive some of them to a noncome.
line 1709Only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication
line 1710and meet me at the jail.

They exit.


Scene 1

Enter Prince, John the Bastard, Leonato, Friar, Claudio, Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice, with Attendants.

line 1711LEONATOCome, Friar Francis, be brief, only to the
line 1712plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their
line 1713particular duties afterwards.
line 1714FRIARto Claudio You come hither, my lord, to marry
5line 1715this lady?
line 1716CLAUDIONo.
line 1717LEONATOTo be married to her.—Friar, you come to
line 1718marry her.
line 1719FRIARLady, you come hither to be married to this
10line 1720count?
line 1721HEROI do.
line 1722FRIARIf either of you know any inward impediment
line 1723why you should not be conjoined, I charge you on
line 1724your souls to utter it.
15line 1725CLAUDIOKnow you any, Hero?
line 1726HERONone, my lord.
line 1727FRIARKnow you any, count?
line 1728LEONATOI dare make his answer, none.
line 1729CLAUDIOO, what men dare do! What men may do!
20line 1730What men daily do, not knowing what they do!
line 1731BENEDICKHow now, interjections? Why, then, some
line 1732be of laughing, as ah, ha, he!
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 125 CLAUDIO
line 1733Stand thee by, friar.—Father, by your leave,
line 1734Will you with free and unconstrainèd soul
25line 1735Give me this maid, your daughter?
line 1736As freely, son, as God did give her me.
line 1737And what have I to give you back whose worth
line 1738May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
line 1739Nothing, unless you render her again.
30line 1740Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.—
line 1741There, Leonato, take her back again.
line 1742Give not this rotten orange to your friend.
line 1743She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor.
line 1744Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
35line 1745O, what authority and show of truth
line 1746Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
line 1747Comes not that blood as modest evidence
line 1748To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
line 1749All you that see her, that she were a maid,
40line 1750By these exterior shows? But she is none.
line 1751She knows the heat of a luxurious bed.
line 1752Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
line 1753What do you mean, my lord?
line 1754CLAUDIONot to be married,
45line 1755Not to knit my soul to an approvèd wanton.
line 1756Dear my lord, if you in your own proof
line 1757Have vanquished the resistance of her youth,
line 1758And made defeat of her virginity—
line 1759I know what you would say: if I have known her,
50line 1760You will say she did embrace me as a husband,
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 127 line 1761And so extenuate the forehand sin.
line 1762No, Leonato,
line 1763I never tempted her with word too large,
line 1764But, as a brother to his sister, showed
55line 1765Bashful sincerity and comely love.
line 1766And seemed I ever otherwise to you?
line 1767Out on thee, seeming! I will write against it.
line 1768You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
line 1769As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown.
60line 1770But you are more intemperate in your blood
line 1771Than Venus, or those pampered animals
line 1772That rage in savage sensuality.
line 1773Is my lord well that he doth speak so wide?
line 1774Sweet prince, why speak not you?
65line 1775PRINCEWhat should I
line 1776speak?
line 1777I stand dishonored that have gone about
line 1778To link my dear friend to a common stale.
line 1779Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?
70line 1780Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
line 1781BENEDICKThis looks not like a nuptial.
line 1782HEROTrue! O God!
line 1783CLAUDIOLeonato, stand I here?
line 1784Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince’s brother?
75line 1785Is this face Hero’s? Are our eyes our own?
line 1786All this is so, but what of this, my lord?
line 1787Let me but move one question to your daughter,
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 129 line 1788And by that fatherly and kindly power
line 1789That you have in her, bid her answer truly.
80line 1790I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
line 1791O, God defend me, how am I beset!—
line 1792What kind of catechizing call you this?
line 1793To make you answer truly to your name.
line 1794Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
85line 1795With any just reproach?
line 1796CLAUDIOMarry, that can Hero!
line 1797Hero itself can blot out Hero’s virtue.
line 1798What man was he talked with you yesternight
line 1799Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
90line 1800Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.
line 1801I talked with no man at that hour, my lord.
line 1802Why, then, are you no maiden.—Leonato,
line 1803I am sorry you must hear. Upon mine honor,
line 1804Myself, my brother, and this grievèd count
95line 1805Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night
line 1806Talk with a ruffian at her chamber window,
line 1807Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain,
line 1808Confessed the vile encounters they have had
line 1809A thousand times in secret.
100line 1810Fie, fie, they are not to be named, my lord,
line 1811Not to be spoke of!
line 1812There is not chastity enough in language,
line 1813Without offense, to utter them.—Thus, pretty lady,
line 1814I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
105line 1815O Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 131 line 1816If half thy outward graces had been placed
line 1817About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart!
line 1818But fare thee well, most foul, most fair. Farewell,
line 1819Thou pure impiety and impious purity.
110line 1820For thee I’ll lock up all the gates of love
line 1821And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
line 1822To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
line 1823And never shall it more be gracious.
line 1824Hath no man’s dagger here a point for me?

Hero falls.

115line 1825Why, how now, cousin, wherefore sink you down?
line 1826Come, let us go. These things, come thus to light,
line 1827Smother her spirits up.

Claudio, Prince, and Don John exit.

line 1828How doth the lady?
line 1829BEATRICEDead, I think.—Help, uncle!—
120line 1830Hero, why Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!
line 1831O Fate, take not away thy heavy hand!
line 1832Death is the fairest cover for her shame
line 1833That may be wished for.
line 1834BEATRICEHow now, cousin Hero?Hero stirs.
125line 1835FRIARto Hero Have comfort, lady.
line 1836Dost thou look up?
line 1837FRIARYea, wherefore should she not?
line 1838Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly thing
line 1839Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
130line 1840The story that is printed in her blood?—
line 1841Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes,
line 1842For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 133 line 1843Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
line 1844Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
135line 1845Strike at thy life. Grieved I I had but one?
line 1846Chid I for that at frugal Nature’s frame?
line 1847O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
line 1848Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
line 1849Why had I not with charitable hand
140line 1850Took up a beggar’s issue at my gates,
line 1851Who, smirchèd thus, and mired with infamy,
line 1852I might have said “No part of it is mine;
line 1853This shame derives itself from unknown loins”?
line 1854But mine, and mine I loved, and mine I praised,
145line 1855And mine that I was proud on, mine so much
line 1856That I myself was to myself not mine,
line 1857Valuing of her—why she, O she, is fall’n
line 1858Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
line 1859Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,
150line 1860And salt too little which may season give
line 1861To her foul tainted flesh!
line 1862BENEDICKSir, sir, be patient.
line 1863For my part, I am so attired in wonder
line 1864I know not what to say.
155line 1865O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
line 1866Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?
line 1867No, truly not, although until last night
line 1868I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
line 1869Confirmed, confirmed! O, that is stronger made
160line 1870Which was before barred up with ribs of iron!
line 1871Would the two princes lie and Claudio lie,
line 1872Who loved her so that, speaking of her foulness,
line 1873Washed it with tears? Hence from her. Let her die!
line 1874FRIARHear me a little,
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 135 165line 1875For I have only silent been so long,
line 1876And given way unto this course of fortune,
line 1877By noting of the lady. I have marked
line 1878A thousand blushing apparitions
line 1879To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames
170line 1880In angel whiteness beat away those blushes,
line 1881And in her eye there hath appeared a fire
line 1882To burn the errors that these princes hold
line 1883Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool,
line 1884Trust not my reading nor my observations,
175line 1885Which with experimental seal doth warrant
line 1886The tenor of my book; trust not my age,
line 1887My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
line 1888If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
line 1889Under some biting error.
180line 1890LEONATOFriar, it cannot be.
line 1891Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left
line 1892Is that she will not add to her damnation
line 1893A sin of perjury. She not denies it.
line 1894Why seek’st thou then to cover with excuse
185line 1895That which appears in proper nakedness?
line 1896Lady, what man is he you are accused of?
line 1897They know that do accuse me. I know none.
line 1898If I know more of any man alive
line 1899Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
190line 1900Let all my sins lack mercy!—O my father,
line 1901Prove you that any man with me conversed
line 1902At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
line 1903Maintained the change of words with any creature,
line 1904Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death!
195line 1905There is some strange misprision in the princes.
line 1906Two of them have the very bent of honor,
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 137 line 1907And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
line 1908The practice of it lives in John the Bastard,
line 1909Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.
200line 1910I know not. If they speak but truth of her,
line 1911These hands shall tear her. If they wrong her honor,
line 1912The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
line 1913Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
line 1914Nor age so eat up my invention,
205line 1915Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
line 1916Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
line 1917But they shall find, awaked in such a kind,
line 1918Both strength of limb and policy of mind,
line 1919Ability in means and choice of friends,
210line 1920To quit me of them throughly.
line 1921FRIARPause awhile,
line 1922And let my counsel sway you in this case.
line 1923Your daughter here the princes left for dead.
line 1924Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
215line 1925And publish it that she is dead indeed.
line 1926Maintain a mourning ostentation,
line 1927And on your family’s old monument
line 1928Hang mournful epitaphs and do all rites
line 1929That appertain unto a burial.
220line 1930What shall become of this? What will this do?
line 1931Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf
line 1932Change slander to remorse. That is some good.
line 1933But not for that dream I on this strange course,
line 1934But on this travail look for greater birth.
225line 1935She, dying, as it must be so maintained,
line 1936Upon the instant that she was accused,
line 1937Shall be lamented, pitied, and excused
line 1938Of every hearer. For it so falls out
line 1939That what we have we prize not to the worth
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 139 230line 1940Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
line 1941Why then we rack the value, then we find
line 1942The virtue that possession would not show us
line 1943Whiles it was ours. So will it fare with Claudio.
line 1944When he shall hear she died upon his words,
235line 1945Th’ idea of her life shall sweetly creep
line 1946Into his study of imagination,
line 1947And every lovely organ of her life
line 1948Shall come appareled in more precious habit,
line 1949More moving, delicate, and full of life,
240line 1950Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
line 1951Than when she lived indeed. Then shall he mourn,
line 1952If ever love had interest in his liver,
line 1953And wish he had not so accused her,
line 1954No, though he thought his accusation true.
245line 1955Let this be so, and doubt not but success
line 1956Will fashion the event in better shape
line 1957Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
line 1958But if all aim but this be leveled false,
line 1959The supposition of the lady’s death
250line 1960Will quench the wonder of her infamy.
line 1961And if it sort not well, you may conceal her,
line 1962As best befits her wounded reputation,
line 1963In some reclusive and religious life,
line 1964Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
255line 1965Signior Leonato, let the Friar advise you.
line 1966And though you know my inwardness and love
line 1967Is very much unto the Prince and Claudio,
line 1968Yet, by mine honor, I will deal in this
line 1969As secretly and justly as your soul
260line 1970Should with your body.
line 1971LEONATOBeing that I flow in grief,
line 1972The smallest twine may lead me.
line 1973’Tis well consented. Presently away,
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 141 line 1974For to strange sores strangely they strain the
265line 1975cure.—
line 1976Come, lady, die to live. This wedding day
line 1977Perhaps is but prolonged. Have patience and
line 1978endure.

All but Beatrice and Benedick exit.

line 1979BENEDICKLady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
270line 1980BEATRICEYea, and I will weep a while longer.
line 1981BENEDICKI will not desire that.
line 1982BEATRICEYou have no reason. I do it freely.
line 1983BENEDICKSurely I do believe your fair cousin is
line 1984wronged.
275line 1985BEATRICEAh, how much might the man deserve of me
line 1986that would right her!
line 1987BENEDICKIs there any way to show such friendship?
line 1988BEATRICEA very even way, but no such friend.
line 1989BENEDICKMay a man do it?
280line 1990BEATRICEIt is a man’s office, but not yours.
line 1991BENEDICKI do love nothing in the world so well as
line 1992you. Is not that strange?
line 1993BEATRICEAs strange as the thing I know not. It were as
line 1994possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you,
285line 1995but believe me not, and yet I lie not; I confess
line 1996nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my
line 1997cousin.
line 1998BENEDICKBy my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me!
line 1999BEATRICEDo not swear and eat it.
290line 2000BENEDICKI will swear by it that you love me, and I will
line 2001make him eat it that says I love not you.
line 2002BEATRICEWill you not eat your word?
line 2003BENEDICKWith no sauce that can be devised to it. I
line 2004protest I love thee.
295line 2005BEATRICEWhy then, God forgive me.
line 2006BENEDICKWhat offense, sweet Beatrice?
line 2007BEATRICEYou have stayed me in a happy hour. I was
line 2008about to protest I loved you.
Act 4 Scene 1 - Pg 143 line 2009BENEDICKAnd do it with all thy heart.
300line 2010BEATRICEI love you with so much of my heart that
line 2011none is left to protest.
line 2012BENEDICKCome, bid me do anything for thee.
line 2013BEATRICEKill Claudio.
line 2014BENEDICKHa! Not for the wide world.
305line 2015BEATRICEYou kill me to deny it. Farewell.

She begins to exit.

line 2016BENEDICKTarry, sweet Beatrice.
line 2017BEATRICEI am gone, though I am here. There is no
line 2018love in you. Nay, I pray you let me go.
line 2019BENEDICKBeatrice—
310line 2020BEATRICEIn faith, I will go.
line 2021BENEDICKWe’ll be friends first.
line 2022BEATRICEYou dare easier be friends with me than
line 2023fight with mine enemy.
line 2024BENEDICKIs Claudio thine enemy?
315line 2025BEATRICEIs he not approved in the height a villain
line 2026that hath slandered, scorned, dishonored my kinswoman?
line 2027O, that I were a man! What, bear her in
line 2028hand until they come to take hands, and then, with
line 2029public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated
320line 2030rancor—O God, that I were a man! I would eat his
line 2031heart in the marketplace.
line 2032BENEDICKHear me, Beatrice—
line 2033BEATRICETalk with a man out at a window! A proper
line 2034saying.
325line 2035BENEDICKNay, but Beatrice—
line 2036BEATRICESweet Hero, she is wronged, she is slandered,
line 2037she is undone.
line 2038BENEDICKBeat—
line 2039BEATRICEPrinces and counties! Surely a princely testimony,
330line 2040a goodly count, Count Comfect, a sweet
line 2041gallant, surely! O, that I were a man for his sake! Or
line 2042that I had any friend would be a man for my sake!
line 2043But manhood is melted into curtsies, valor into
Act 4 Scene 2 - Pg 145 line 2044compliment, and men are only turned into tongue,
335line 2045and trim ones, too. He is now as valiant as Hercules
line 2046that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man
line 2047with wishing; therefore I will die a woman with
line 2048grieving.
line 2049BENEDICKTarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love
340line 2050thee.
line 2051BEATRICEUse it for my love some other way than
line 2052swearing by it.
line 2053BENEDICKThink you in your soul the Count Claudio
line 2054hath wronged Hero?
345line 2055BEATRICEYea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.
line 2056BENEDICKEnough, I am engaged. I will challenge
line 2057him. I will kiss your hand, and so I leave you. By
line 2058this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account.
line 2059As you hear of me, so think of me. Go comfort your
350line 2060cousin. I must say she is dead, and so farewell.

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter the Constables Dogberry and Verges, and the Town Clerk, or Sexton, in gowns, with the Watch, Conrade, and Borachio.

line 2061DOGBERRYIs our whole dissembly appeared?
line 2062VERGESO, a stool and a cushion for the Sexton.

A stool is brought in; the Sexton sits.

line 2063SEXTONWhich be the malefactors?
line 2064DOGBERRYMarry, that am I, and my partner.
5line 2065VERGESNay, that’s certain, we have the exhibition to
line 2066examine.
line 2067SEXTONBut which are the offenders that are to be
line 2068examined? Let them come before Master
line 2069Constable.
Act 4 Scene 2 - Pg 147 10line 2070DOGBERRYYea, marry, let them come before me.

Conrade and Borachio are brought forward.

line 2071What is your name, friend?
line 2072BORACHIOBorachio.
line 2073DOGBERRYPray, write down “Borachio.”—Yours,
line 2074sirrah?
15line 2075CONRADEI am a gentleman, sir, and my name is
line 2076Conrade.
line 2077DOGBERRYWrite down “Master Gentleman Conrade.”—
line 2078Masters, do you serve God?
line 2079BORACHIO/CONRADEYea, sir, we hope.
20line 2080DOGBERRYWrite down that they hope they serve
line 2081God; and write God first, for God defend but God
line 2082should go before such villains!—Masters, it is
line 2083proved already that you are little better than false
line 2084knaves, and it will go near to be thought so shortly.
25line 2085How answer you for yourselves?
line 2086CONRADEMarry, sir, we say we are none.
line 2087DOGBERRYA marvelous witty fellow, I assure you,
line 2088but I will go about with him.—Come you hither,
line 2089sirrah, a word in your ear. Sir, I say to you it is
30line 2090thought you are false knaves.
line 2091BORACHIOSir, I say to you we are none.
line 2092DOGBERRYWell, stand aside.—’Fore God, they are
line 2093both in a tale. Have you writ down that they are
line 2094none?
35line 2095SEXTONMaster constable, you go not the way to
line 2096examine. You must call forth the watch that are
line 2097their accusers.
line 2098DOGBERRYYea, marry, that’s the eftest way.—Let
line 2099the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you in the
40line 2100Prince’s name, accuse these men.
line 2101FIRST WATCHMANThis man said, sir, that Don John, the
line 2102Prince’s brother, was a villain.
line 2103DOGBERRYWrite down Prince John a villain. Why,
line 2104this is flat perjury, to call a prince’s brother villain!
Act 4 Scene 2 - Pg 149 45line 2105BORACHIOMaster constable—
line 2106DOGBERRYPray thee, fellow, peace. I do not like thy
line 2107look, I promise thee.
line 2108SEXTONto Watch What heard you him say else?
line 2109SEACOALMarry, that he had received a thousand
50line 2110ducats of Don John for accusing the Lady Hero
line 2111wrongfully.
line 2112DOGBERRYFlat burglary as ever was committed.
line 2113VERGESYea, by Mass, that it is.
line 2114SEXTONWhat else, fellow?
55line 2115FIRST WATCHMANAnd that Count Claudio did mean,
line 2116upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole
line 2117assembly, and not marry her.
line 2118DOGBERRYto Borachio O, villain! Thou wilt be condemned
line 2119into everlasting redemption for this!
60line 2120SEXTONWhat else?
line 2121SEACOALThis is all.
line 2122SEXTONAnd this is more, masters, than you can deny.
line 2123Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away.
line 2124Hero was in this manner accused, in this very
65line 2125manner refused, and upon the grief of this suddenly
line 2126died.—Master constable, let these men be bound
line 2127and brought to Leonato’s. I will go before and show
line 2128him their examination.He exits.
line 2129DOGBERRYCome, let them be opinioned.
70line 2130VERGESLet them be in the hands—
line 2131CONRADEOff, coxcomb!
line 2132DOGBERRYGod’s my life, where’s the Sexton? Let
line 2133him write down the Prince’s officer “coxcomb.”
line 2134Come, bind them.—Thou naughty varlet!
75line 2135CONRADEAway! You are an ass, you are an ass!
line 2136DOGBERRYDost thou not suspect my place? Dost
line 2137thou not suspect my years? O, that he were here to
line 2138write me down an ass! But masters, remember that
line 2139I am an ass, though it be not written down, yet
80line 2140forget not that I am an ass.—No, thou villain, thou
Act 4 Scene 2 - Pg 151 line 2141art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by
line 2142good witness. I am a wise fellow and, which is more,
line 2143an officer and, which is more, a householder and,
line 2144which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in
85line 2145Messina, and one that knows the law, go to, and a
line 2146rich fellow enough, go to, and a fellow that hath had
line 2147losses, and one that hath two gowns and everything
line 2148handsome about him.—Bring him away.—O, that I
line 2149had been writ down an ass!

They exit.


Scene 1

Enter Leonato and his brother.

line 2150If you go on thus, you will kill yourself,
line 2151And ’tis not wisdom thus to second grief
line 2152Against yourself.
line 2153LEONATOI pray thee, cease thy counsel,
5line 2154Which falls into mine ears as profitless
line 2155As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel,
line 2156Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
line 2157But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
line 2158Bring me a father that so loved his child,
10line 2159Whose joy of her is overwhelmed like mine,
line 2160And bid him speak of patience.
line 2161Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
line 2162And let it answer every strain for strain,
line 2163As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
15line 2164In every lineament, branch, shape, and form.
line 2165If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
line 2166Bid sorrow wag, cry “hem” when he should
line 2167groan,
line 2168Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
20line 2169With candle-wasters, bring him yet to me,
line 2170And I of him will gather patience.
line 2171But there is no such man. For, brother, men
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 157 line 2172Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
line 2173Which they themselves not feel, but tasting it,
25line 2174Their counsel turns to passion, which before
line 2175Would give preceptial med’cine to rage,
line 2176Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
line 2177Charm ache with air and agony with words.
line 2178No, no, ’tis all men’s office to speak patience
30line 2179To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
line 2180But no man’s virtue nor sufficiency
line 2181To be so moral when he shall endure
line 2182The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel.
line 2183My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
35line 2184Therein do men from children nothing differ.
line 2185I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood,
line 2186For there was never yet philosopher
line 2187That could endure the toothache patiently,
line 2188However they have writ the style of gods
40line 2189And made a push at chance and sufferance.
line 2190Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself.
line 2191Make those that do offend you suffer too.
line 2192There thou speak’st reason. Nay, I will do so.
line 2193My soul doth tell me Hero is belied,
45line 2194And that shall Claudio know; so shall the Prince
line 2195And all of them that thus dishonor her.

Enter Prince and Claudio.

line 2196Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily.
line 2197Good e’en, good e’en.
line 2198CLAUDIOGood day to both of you.
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 159 LEONATO
50line 2199Hear you, my lords—
line 2200PRINCEWe have some haste,
line 2201Leonato.
line 2202Some haste, my lord! Well, fare you well, my lord.
line 2203Are you so hasty now? Well, all is one.
55line 2204Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
line 2205If he could right himself with quarrelling,
line 2206Some of us would lie low.
line 2207CLAUDIOWho wrongs him?
line 2208Marry, thou dost wrong me, thou dissembler, thou.
60line 2209Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword.
line 2210I fear thee not.
line 2211CLAUDIOMarry, beshrew my hand
line 2212If it should give your age such cause of fear.
line 2213In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
65line 2214Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me.
line 2215I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
line 2216As under privilege of age to brag
line 2217What I have done being young, or what would do
line 2218Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
70line 2219Thou hast so wronged mine innocent child and me
line 2220That I am forced to lay my reverence by,
line 2221And with gray hairs and bruise of many days
line 2222Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
line 2223I say thou hast belied mine innocent child.
75line 2224Thy slander hath gone through and through her
line 2225heart,
line 2226And she lies buried with her ancestors,
line 2227O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
line 2228Save this of hers, framed by thy villainy.
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 161 CLAUDIO
80line 2229My villainy?
line 2230LEONATOThine, Claudio, thine, I say.
line 2231You say not right, old man.
line 2232LEONATOMy lord, my lord,
line 2233I’ll prove it on his body if he dare,
85line 2234Despite his nice fence and his active practice,
line 2235His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
line 2236Away! I will not have to do with you.
line 2237Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast killed my child.
line 2238If thou kill’st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
90line 2239He shall kill two of us, and men indeed,
line 2240But that’s no matter. Let him kill one first.
line 2241Win me and wear me! Let him answer me.—
line 2242Come, follow me, boy. Come, sir boy, come, follow
line 2243me.
95line 2244Sir boy, I’ll whip you from your foining fence,
line 2245Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
line 2246LEONATOBrother—
line 2247Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece,
line 2248And she is dead, slandered to death by villains
100line 2249That dare as well answer a man indeed
line 2250As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.—
line 2251Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milksops!
line 2252LEONATOBrother Anthony—
line 2253Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,
105line 2254And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple—
line 2255Scambling, outfacing, fashionmonging boys,
line 2256That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
line 2257Go anticly and show outward hideousness,
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 163 line 2258And speak off half a dozen dang’rous words
110line 2259How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst,
line 2260And this is all.
line 2261LEONATOBut brother Anthony—
line 2262LEONATO’S BROTHERCome, ’tis no matter.
line 2263Do not you meddle. Let me deal in this.
115line 2264Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.
line 2265My heart is sorry for your daughter’s death,
line 2266But, on my honor, she was charged with nothing
line 2267But what was true and very full of proof.
line 2268LEONATOMy lord, my lord—
120line 2269PRINCEI will not hear you.
line 2270No? Come, brother, away. I will be heard.
line 2271And shall, or some of us will smart for it.

Leonato and his brother exit.

Enter Benedick.

line 2272See, see, here comes the man we went to seek.
line 2273CLAUDIONow, signior, what news?
125line 2274BENEDICKto Prince Good day, my lord.
line 2275PRINCEWelcome, signior. You are almost come to
line 2276part almost a fray.
line 2277CLAUDIOWe had like to have had our two noses
line 2278snapped off with two old men without teeth.
130line 2279PRINCELeonato and his brother. What think’st thou?
line 2280Had we fought, I doubt we should have been too
line 2281young for them.
line 2282BENEDICKIn a false quarrel there is no true valor. I
line 2283came to seek you both.
135line 2284CLAUDIOWe have been up and down to seek thee, for
line 2285we are high-proof melancholy and would fain have
line 2286it beaten away. Wilt thou use thy wit?
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 165 line 2287BENEDICKIt is in my scabbard. Shall I draw it?
line 2288PRINCEDost thou wear thy wit by thy side?
140line 2289CLAUDIONever any did so, though very many have
line 2290been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do
line 2291the minstrels: draw to pleasure us.
line 2292PRINCEAs I am an honest man, he looks pale.—Art
line 2293thou sick, or angry?
145line 2294CLAUDIOto Benedick What, courage, man! What
line 2295though care killed a cat? Thou hast mettle enough
line 2296in thee to kill care.
line 2297BENEDICKSir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an
line 2298you charge it against me. I pray you, choose another
150line 2299subject.
line 2300CLAUDIOto Prince Nay, then, give him another staff.
line 2301This last was broke ’cross.
line 2302PRINCEBy this light, he changes more and more. I
line 2303think he be angry indeed.
155line 2304CLAUDIOIf he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
line 2305BENEDICKShall I speak a word in your ear?
line 2306CLAUDIOGod bless me from a challenge!
line 2307BENEDICKaside to Claudio You are a villain. I jest
line 2308not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you
160line 2309dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will
line 2310protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet
line 2311lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me
line 2312hear from you.
line 2313CLAUDIOWell, I will meet you, so I may have good
165line 2314cheer.
line 2315PRINCEWhat, a feast, a feast?
line 2316CLAUDIOI’ faith, I thank him. He hath bid me to a
line 2317calf’s head and a capon, the which if I do not carve
line 2318most curiously, say my knife’s naught. Shall I not
170line 2319find a woodcock too?
line 2320BENEDICKSir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
line 2321PRINCEI’ll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the
line 2322other day. I said thou hadst a fine wit. “True,” said
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 167 line 2323she, “a fine little one.” “No,” said I, “a great wit.”
175line 2324“Right,” says she, “a great gross one.” “Nay,” said I,
line 2325“a good wit.” “Just,” said she, “it hurts nobody.”
line 2326“Nay,” said I, “the gentleman is wise.” “Certain,”
line 2327said she, “a wise gentleman.” “Nay,” said I, “he
line 2328hath the tongues.” “That I believe,” said she, “for he
180line 2329swore a thing to me on Monday night which he
line 2330forswore on Tuesday morning; there’s a double
line 2331tongue, there’s two tongues.” Thus did she an hour
line 2332together transshape thy particular virtues. Yet at
line 2333last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the
185line 2334proper’st man in Italy.
line 2335CLAUDIOFor the which she wept heartily and said she
line 2336cared not.
line 2337PRINCEYea, that she did. But yet for all that, an if she
line 2338did not hate him deadly, she would love him
190line 2339dearly. The old man’s daughter told us all.
line 2340CLAUDIOAll, all. And, moreover, God saw him when
line 2341he was hid in the garden.
line 2342PRINCEBut when shall we set the savage bull’s horns
line 2343on the sensible Benedick’s head?
195line 2344CLAUDIOYea, and text underneath: “Here dwells Benedick,
line 2345the married man”?
line 2346BENEDICKFare you well, boy. You know my mind. I
line 2347will leave you now to your gossip-like humor. You
line 2348break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God
200line 2349be thanked, hurt not.—My lord, for your many
line 2350courtesies I thank you. I must discontinue your
line 2351company. Your brother the Bastard is fled from
line 2352Messina. You have among you killed a sweet and
line 2353innocent lady. For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and
205line 2354I shall meet, and till then peace be with him.

Benedick exits.

line 2355PRINCEHe is in earnest.
line 2356CLAUDIOIn most profound earnest, and, I’ll warrant
line 2357you, for the love of Beatrice.
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 169 line 2358PRINCEAnd hath challenged thee?
210line 2359CLAUDIOMost sincerely.
line 2360PRINCEWhat a pretty thing man is when he goes in his
line 2361doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
line 2362CLAUDIOHe is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape
line 2363a doctor to such a man.
215line 2364PRINCEBut soft you, let me be. Pluck up, my heart,
line 2365and be sad. Did he not say my brother was fled?

Enter Constables Dogberry and Verges, and the Watch, with Conrade and Borachio.

line 2366DOGBERRYCome you, sir. If justice cannot tame you,
line 2367she shall ne’er weigh more reasons in her balance.
line 2368Nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must
220line 2369be looked to.
line 2370PRINCEHow now, two of my brother’s men bound?
line 2371Borachio one!
line 2372CLAUDIOHearken after their offense, my lord.
line 2373PRINCEOfficers, what offense have these men done?
225line 2374DOGBERRYMarry, sir, they have committed false
line 2375report; moreover, they have spoken untruths;
line 2376secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they
line 2377have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust
line 2378things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
230line 2379PRINCEFirst, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I
line 2380ask thee what’s their offense; sixth and lastly, why
line 2381they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay
line 2382to their charge.
line 2383CLAUDIORightly reasoned, and in his own division;
235line 2384and, by my troth, there’s one meaning well suited.
line 2385PRINCEto Borachio and Conrade Who have you offended,
line 2386masters, that you are thus bound to your
line 2387answer? This learned constable is too cunning to be
line 2388understood. What’s your offense?
240line 2389BORACHIOSweet prince, let me go no farther to mine
line 2390answer. Do you hear me, and let this count kill me.
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 171 line 2391I have deceived even your very eyes. What your
line 2392wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools
line 2393have brought to light, who in the night overheard
245line 2394me confessing to this man how Don John your
line 2395brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero, how
line 2396you were brought into the orchard and saw me
line 2397court Margaret in Hero’s garments, how you disgraced
line 2398her when you should marry her. My villainy
250line 2399they have upon record, which I had rather seal with
line 2400my death than repeat over to my shame. The lady is
line 2401dead upon mine and my master’s false accusation.
line 2402And, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a
line 2403villain.
PRINCEto Claudio
255line 2404Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
line 2405I have drunk poison whiles he uttered it.
PRINCEto Borachio
line 2406But did my brother set thee on to this?
line 2407BORACHIOYea, and paid me richly for the practice of
line 2408it.
260line 2409He is composed and framed of treachery,
line 2410And fled he is upon this villainy.
line 2411Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear
line 2412In the rare semblance that I loved it first.
line 2413DOGBERRYCome, bring away the plaintiffs. By this
265line 2414time our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of
line 2415the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specify,
line 2416when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
line 2417VERGESHere, here comes Master Signior Leonato,
line 2418and the Sexton too.

Enter Leonato, his brother, and the Sexton.

Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 173 LEONATO
270line 2419Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes,
line 2420That, when I note another man like him,
line 2421I may avoid him. Which of these is he?
line 2422If you would know your wronger, look on me.
line 2423Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast killed
275line 2424Mine innocent child?
line 2425BORACHIOYea, even I alone.
line 2426No, not so, villain, thou beliest thyself.
line 2427Here stand a pair of honorable men—
line 2428A third is fled—that had a hand in it.—
280line 2429I thank you, princes, for my daughter’s death.
line 2430Record it with your high and worthy deeds.
line 2431’Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
line 2432I know not how to pray your patience,
line 2433Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself.
285line 2434Impose me to what penance your invention
line 2435Can lay upon my sin. Yet sinned I not
line 2436But in mistaking.
line 2437PRINCEBy my soul, nor I,
line 2438And yet to satisfy this good old man
290line 2439I would bend under any heavy weight
line 2440That he’ll enjoin me to.
line 2441I cannot bid you bid my daughter live—
line 2442That were impossible—but, I pray you both,
line 2443Possess the people in Messina here
295line 2444How innocent she died. And if your love
line 2445Can labor aught in sad invention,
line 2446Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
line 2447And sing it to her bones. Sing it tonight.
line 2448Tomorrow morning come you to my house,
Act 5 Scene 1 - Pg 175 300line 2449And since you could not be my son-in-law,
line 2450Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter,
line 2451Almost the copy of my child that’s dead,
line 2452And she alone is heir to both of us.
line 2453Give her the right you should have giv’n her cousin,
305line 2454And so dies my revenge.
line 2455CLAUDIOO, noble sir!
line 2456Your overkindness doth wring tears from me.
line 2457I do embrace your offer and dispose
line 2458For henceforth of poor Claudio.
310line 2459Tomorrow then I will expect your coming.
line 2460Tonight I take my leave. This naughty man
line 2461Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
line 2462Who I believe was packed in all this wrong,
line 2463Hired to it by your brother.
315line 2464BORACHIONo, by my soul, she was not,
line 2465Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
line 2466But always hath been just and virtuous
line 2467In anything that I do know by her.
line 2468DOGBERRYto Leonato Moreover, sir, which indeed is
320line 2469not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the
line 2470offender, did call me ass. I beseech you, let it be
line 2471remembered in his punishment. And also the watch
line 2472heard them talk of one Deformed. They say he
line 2473wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it and
325line 2474borrows money in God’s name, the which he hath
line 2475used so long and never paid that now men grow
line 2476hardhearted and will lend nothing for God’s sake.
line 2477Pray you, examine him upon that point.
line 2478LEONATOI thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
330line 2479DOGBERRYYour Worship speaks like a most thankful
line 2480and reverent youth, and I praise God for you.
line 2481LEONATOgiving him money There’s for thy pains.
line 2482DOGBERRYGod save the foundation.
Act 5 Scene 2 - Pg 177 line 2483LEONATOGo, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I
335line 2484thank thee.
line 2485DOGBERRYI leave an arrant knave with your Worship,
line 2486which I beseech your Worship to correct
line 2487yourself, for the example of others. God keep your
line 2488Worship! I wish your Worship well. God restore you
340line 2489to health. I humbly give you leave to depart, and if a
line 2490merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it.—
line 2491Come, neighbor.Dogberry and Verges exit.
line 2492Until tomorrow morning, lords, farewell.
line 2493Farewell, my lords. We look for you tomorrow.
345line 2494We will not fail.
line 2495CLAUDIOTonight I’ll mourn with Hero.
line 2496Bring you these fellows on.—We’ll talk with
line 2497Margaret,
line 2498How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

They exit.

Scene 2

Enter Benedick and Margaret.

line 2499BENEDICKPray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
line 2500well at my hands by helping me to the speech of
line 2501Beatrice.
line 2502MARGARETWill you then write me a sonnet in praise
5line 2503of my beauty?
line 2504BENEDICKIn so high a style, Margaret, that no man
line 2505living shall come over it, for in most comely truth
line 2506thou deservest it.
line 2507MARGARETTo have no man come over me? Why, shall I
10line 2508always keep below stairs?
Act 5 Scene 2 - Pg 179 line 2509BENEDICKThy wit is as quick as the greyhound’s
line 2510mouth; it catches.
line 2511MARGARETAnd yours as blunt as the fencer’s foils,
line 2512which hit but hurt not.
15line 2513BENEDICKA most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt
line 2514a woman. And so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. I give
line 2515thee the bucklers.
line 2516MARGARETGive us the swords; we have bucklers of our
line 2517own.
20line 2518BENEDICKIf you use them, Margaret, you must put in
line 2519the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous
line 2520weapons for maids.
line 2521MARGARETWell, I will call Beatrice to you, who I
line 2522think hath legs.
25line 2523BENEDICKAnd therefore will come.

Margaret exits.

line 2524Sings The god of love
line 2525That sits above,
line 2526And knows me, and knows me,
line 2527How pitiful I deserve—
30line 2528I mean in singing. But in loving, Leander the good
line 2529swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and
line 2530a whole book full of these quondam carpetmongers,
line 2531whose names yet run smoothly in the even
line 2532road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly
35line 2533turned over and over as my poor self in love. Marry,
line 2534I cannot show it in rhyme. I have tried. I can find out
line 2535no rhyme to “lady” but “baby”—an innocent
line 2536rhyme; for “scorn,” “horn”—a hard rhyme; for
line 2537“school,” “fool”—a babbling rhyme; very ominous
40line 2538endings. No, I was not born under a rhyming
line 2539planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.

Enter Beatrice.

line 2540Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called
line 2541thee?
Act 5 Scene 2 - Pg 181 line 2542BEATRICEYea, signior, and depart when you bid me.
45line 2543BENEDICKO, stay but till then!
line 2544BEATRICE“Then” is spoken. Fare you well now. And
line 2545yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came, which is,
line 2546with knowing what hath passed between you and
line 2547Claudio.
50line 2548BENEDICKOnly foul words, and thereupon I will kiss
line 2549thee.
line 2550BEATRICEFoul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is
line 2551but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome. Therefore
line 2552I will depart unkissed.
55line 2553BENEDICKThou hast frighted the word out of his right
line 2554sense, so forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee
line 2555plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge, and either
line 2556I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe
line 2557him a coward. And I pray thee now tell me, for
60line 2558which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love
line 2559with me?
line 2560BEATRICEFor them all together, which maintained so
line 2561politic a state of evil that they will not admit any
line 2562good part to intermingle with them. But for which
65line 2563of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
line 2564BENEDICKSuffer love! A good epithet. I do suffer love
line 2565indeed, for I love thee against my will.
line 2566BEATRICEIn spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor
line 2567heart, if you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for
70line 2568yours, for I will never love that which my friend
line 2569hates.
line 2570BENEDICKThou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
line 2571BEATRICEIt appears not in this confession. There’s not
line 2572one wise man among twenty that will praise
75line 2573himself.
line 2574BENEDICKAn old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived
line 2575in the time of good neighbors. If a man do not erect
line 2576in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no
line 2577longer in monument than the bell rings and the
80line 2578widow weeps.
Act 5 Scene 3 - Pg 183 line 2579BEATRICEAnd how long is that, think you?
line 2580BENEDICKQuestion: why, an hour in clamor and a
line 2581quarter in rheum. Therefore is it most expedient for
line 2582the wise, if Don Worm, his conscience, find no
85line 2583impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of
line 2584his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for
line 2585praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is
line 2586praiseworthy. And now tell me, how doth your
line 2587cousin?
90line 2588BEATRICEVery ill.
line 2589BENEDICKAnd how do you?
line 2590BEATRICEVery ill, too.
line 2591BENEDICKServe God, love me, and mend. There will I
line 2592leave you too, for here comes one in haste.

Enter Ursula.

95line 2593URSULAMadam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder’s
line 2594old coil at home. It is proved my Lady Hero
line 2595hath been falsely accused, the Prince and Claudio
line 2596mightily abused, and Don John is the author of all,
line 2597who is fled and gone. Will you come presently?

Ursula exits.

100line 2598BEATRICEWill you go hear this news, signior?
line 2599BENEDICKI will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be
line 2600buried in thy eyes—and, moreover, I will go with
line 2601thee to thy uncle’s.

They exit.

Scene 3

Enter Claudio, Prince, and three or four Lords with tapers, and Musicians.

line 2602CLAUDIOIs this the monument of Leonato?
line 2603FIRST LORDIt is, my lord.
Act 5 Scene 3 - Pg 185 CLAUDIOreading an Epitaph.

line 2604Done to death by slanderous tongues
line 2605Was the Hero that here lies.
5line 2606Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
line 2607Gives her fame which never dies.
line 2608So the life that died with shame
line 2609Lives in death with glorious fame.

He hangs up the scroll.

line 2610Hang thou there upon the tomb,
10line 2611Praising her when I am dumb.
line 2612Now music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.
line 2613Pardon, goddess of the night,
line 2614Those that slew thy virgin knight,
line 2615For the which with songs of woe,
15line 2616Round about her tomb they go.
line 2617Midnight, assist our moan.
line 2618Help us to sigh and groan
line 2619Heavily, heavily.
line 2620Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
20line 2621Till death be utterèd,
line 2622Heavily, heavily.
line 2623Now, unto thy bones, goodnight.
line 2624Yearly will I do this rite.
line 2625Good morrow, masters. Put your torches out.
25line 2626The wolves have preyed, and look, the gentle day
line 2627Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about
line 2628Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray.
line 2629Thanks to you all, and leave us. Fare you well.
line 2630Good morrow, masters. Each his several way.

Lords and Musicians exit.

Act 5 Scene 4 - Pg 187 PRINCE
30line 2631Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds,
line 2632And then to Leonato’s we will go.
line 2633And Hymen now with luckier issue speed ’s,
line 2634Than this for whom we rendered up this woe.

They exit.

Scene 4

Enter Leonato, Benedick, Beatrice, Margaret, Ursula, Leonato’s brother, Friar, Hero.

line 2635Did I not tell you she was innocent?
line 2636So are the Prince and Claudio, who accused her
line 2637Upon the error that you heard debated.
line 2638But Margaret was in some fault for this,
5line 2639Although against her will, as it appears
line 2640In the true course of all the question.
line 2641Well, I am glad that all things sorts so well.
line 2642And so am I, being else by faith enforced
line 2643To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
10line 2644Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
line 2645Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
line 2646And when I send for you, come hither masked.
line 2647The Prince and Claudio promised by this hour
line 2648To visit me.—You know your office, brother.
15line 2649You must be father to your brother’s daughter,
line 2650And give her to young Claudio.The ladies exit.
Act 5 Scene 4 - Pg 189 LEONATO’S BROTHER
line 2651Which I will do with confirmed countenance.
line 2652Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
line 2653FRIARTo do what, signior?
20line 2654To bind me, or undo me, one of them.—
line 2655Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
line 2656Your niece regards me with an eye of favor.
line 2657That eye my daughter lent her; ’tis most true.
line 2658And I do with an eye of love requite her.
25line 2659The sight whereof I think you had from me,
line 2660From Claudio, and the Prince. But what’s your will?
line 2661Your answer, sir, is enigmatical.
line 2662But for my will, my will is your goodwill
line 2663May stand with ours, this day to be conjoined
30line 2664In the state of honorable marriage—
line 2665In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
line 2666My heart is with your liking.
line 2667FRIARAnd my help.
line 2668Here comes the Prince and Claudio.

Enter Prince, and Claudio, and two or three other.

35line 2669PRINCEGood morrow to this fair assembly.
line 2670Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio.
line 2671We here attend you. Are you yet determined
line 2672Today to marry with my brother’s daughter?
line 2673I’ll hold my mind were she an Ethiope.
Act 5 Scene 4 - Pg 191 LEONATO
40line 2674Call her forth, brother. Here’s the Friar ready.

Leonato’s brother exits.

line 2675Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matter
line 2676That you have such a February face,
line 2677So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
line 2678I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
45line 2679Tush, fear not, man. We’ll tip thy horns with gold,
line 2680And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
line 2681As once Europa did at lusty Jove
line 2682When he would play the noble beast in love.
line 2683Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low,
50line 2684And some such strange bull leapt your father’s cow
line 2685And got a calf in that same noble feat
line 2686Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
line 2687For this I owe you. Here comes other reck’nings.

Enter Leonato’s brother, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, Ursula, the ladies masked.

line 2688Which is the lady I must seize upon?
55line 2689This same is she, and I do give you her.
line 2690Why, then, she’s mine.—Sweet, let me see your face.
line 2691No, that you shall not till you take her hand
line 2692Before this friar and swear to marry her.
line 2693Give me your hand before this holy friar.

They take hands.

60line 2694I am your husband, if you like of me.
Act 5 Scene 4 - Pg 193 HERO
line 2695And when I lived, I was your other wife,
line 2696And when you loved, you were my other husband.

She unmasks.

line 2697Another Hero!
line 2698HERONothing certainer.
65line 2699One Hero died defiled, but I do live,
line 2700And surely as I live, I am a maid.
line 2701The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
line 2702She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
line 2703All this amazement can I qualify,
70line 2704When after that the holy rites are ended,
line 2705I’ll tell you largely of fair Hero’s death.
line 2706Meantime let wonder seem familiar,
line 2707And to the chapel let us presently.
line 2708Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice?
75line 2709I answer to that name. What is your will?
line 2710Do not you love me?
line 2711BEATRICEWhy no, no more than reason.
line 2712Why then, your uncle and the Prince and Claudio
line 2713Have been deceived. They swore you did.
80line 2714Do not you love me?
line 2715BENEDICKTroth, no, no more than reason.
line 2716Why then, my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula
line 2717Are much deceived, for they did swear you did.
Act 5 Scene 4 - Pg 195 BENEDICK
line 2718They swore that you were almost sick for me.
85line 2719They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
line 2720’Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
line 2721No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
line 2722Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
line 2723And I’ll be sworn upon ’t that he loves her,
90line 2724For here’s a paper written in his hand,
line 2725A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
line 2726Fashioned to Beatrice.He shows a paper.
line 2727HEROAnd here’s another,
line 2728Writ in my cousin’s hand, stol’n from her pocket,
95line 2729Containing her affection unto Benedick.

She shows a paper.

line 2730BENEDICKA miracle! Here’s our own hands against
line 2731our hearts. Come, I will have thee, but by this light
line 2732I take thee for pity.
line 2733BEATRICEI would not deny you, but by this good day, I
100line 2734yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your
line 2735life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
line 2736BENEDICKPeace! I will stop your mouth.

They kiss.

line 2737How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
line 2738BENEDICKI’ll tell thee what, prince: a college of
105line 2739wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor.
line 2740Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram?
line 2741No. If a man will be beaten with brains, he shall
line 2742wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I
line 2743do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
110line 2744purpose that the world can say against it, and
Act 5 Scene 4 - Pg 197 line 2745therefore never flout at me for what I have said
line 2746against it. For man is a giddy thing, and this is my
line 2747conclusion.—For thy part, Claudio, I did think to
line 2748have beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my
115line 2749kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.
line 2750CLAUDIOI had well hoped thou wouldst have denied
line 2751Beatrice, that I might have cudgeled thee out of thy
line 2752single life, to make thee a double-dealer, which out
line 2753of question thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look
120line 2754exceeding narrowly to thee.
line 2755BENEDICKCome, come, we are friends. Let’s have a
line 2756dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our
line 2757own hearts and our wives’ heels.
line 2758LEONATOWe’ll have dancing afterward.
125line 2759BENEDICKFirst, of my word! Therefore play, music.—
line 2760Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife.
line 2761There is no staff more reverend than one tipped
line 2762with horn.

Enter Messenger.

line 2763My lord, your brother John is ta’en in flight,
130line 2764And brought with armed men back to Messina.
line 2765BENEDICKto Prince Think not on him till tomorrow.
line 2766I’ll devise thee brave punishments for him.—Strike
line 2767up, pipers!Music plays. They dance.

They exit.

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