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Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

Part 3 out of 3

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he hath used so long and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted,
and will lend nothing for God's sake. Pray you, examine him upon
that point.

LEONATO.
I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

DOGBERRY.
Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverent youth, and
I praise God for you.

LEONATO.
There's for thy pains.

DOGBERRY.
God save the foundation!

LEONATO.
Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

DOGBERRY.
I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which I beseech your
worship to correct yourself, for the example of others. God keep
your worship! I wish your worship well; God restore you to health!
I humbly give you leave to depart, and if a merry meeting may be
wished, God prohibit it! Come, neighbour.

[Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES.]

LEONATO.
Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.

ANTONIO.
Farewell, my lords: we look for you to-morrow.

DON PEDRO.
We will not fail.

CLAUDIO.
To-night I'll mourn with Hero.

[Exeunt DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO.]

LEONATO.
[To the Watch.] Bring you these fellows on. We'll talk with
Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[Exeunt.]

Scene 2. LEONATO'S Garden.

[Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting.]

BENEDICK.
Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands by
helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

MARGARET.
Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?

BENEDICK.
In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over
it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.

MARGARET.
To have no man come over me! why, shall I always keep below stairs?

BENEDICK.
Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; it catches.

MARGARET.
And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.

BENEDICK.
A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a woman: and so, I
pray thee, call Beatrice. I give thee the bucklers.

MARGARET.
Give us the swords, we have bucklers of our own.

BENEDICK.
If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice;
and they are dangerous weapons for maids.

MARGARET.
Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I think hath legs.

BENEDICK.
And therefore will come.

[Exit MARGARET.]

The god of love,
That sits above,
And knows me, and knows me,
How pitiful I deserve,--

I mean, in singing: but in loving, Leander the good swimmer,
Troilus the first employer of panders, and a whole book full of
these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the
even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned
over and over as my poor self in love. Marry, I cannot show it in
rime; I have tried: I can find out no rime to 'lady' but 'baby',
an innocent rhyme; for 'scorn,' 'horn', a hard rime; for 'school',
'fool', a babbling rhyme; very ominous endings: no, I was not born
under a riming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.

[Enter BEATRICE.]

Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?

BEATRICE.
Yea, signior; and depart when you bid me.

BENEDICK.
O, stay but till then!

BEATRICE.
'Then' is spoken; fare you well now: and yet, ere I go, let me go with
that I came for; which is, with knowing what hath passed between you
and Claudio.

BENEDICK.
Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

BEATRICE.
Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and
foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed.

BENEDICK.
Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is
thy wit. But I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge,
and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a
coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me, for which of my bad parts didst
thou first fall in love with me?

BEATRICE.
For them all together; which maintained so politic a state of evil
that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them.
But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?

BENEDICK.
'Suffer love,' a good epithet! I do suffer love indeed, for I love
thee against my will.

BEATRICE.
In spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor heart! If you spite it
for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that
which my friend hates.

BENEDICK.
Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

BEATRICE.
It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among
twenty that will praise himself.

BENEDICK.
An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time of good
neighbours. If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he
dies, he shall live no longer in monument than the bell rings and
the widow weeps.

BEATRICE.
And how long is that think you?

BENEDICK.
Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter in rheum: therefore
is it most expedient for the wise,--if Don Worm, his conscience,
find no impediment to the contrary,--to be the trumpet of his own
virtues, as I am to myself. So much for praising myself, who, I
myself will bear witness, is praiseworthy. And now tell me, how doth
your cousin?

BEATRICE.
Very ill.

BENEDICK.
And how do you?

BEATRICE.
Very ill too.

BENEDICK.
Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I leave you too, for here
comes one in haste.

[Enter URSULA.]

URSULA.
Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's old coil at home: it is
proved, my Lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and Claudio
mightily abused; and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and
gone. Will you come presently?

BEATRICE.
Will you go hear this news, signior?

BENEDICK.
I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes;
and moreover I will go with thee to thy uncle's.

[Exeunt.]

Scene 3. The Inside of a Church.

[Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and Attendants, with music and
tapers,]

CLAUDIO.
Is this the monument of Leonato?

A LORD.
It is, my lord.

CLAUDIO.
[Reads from a scroll.]

Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies:
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame.

Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Praising her when I am dumb.

Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.

SONG.
Pardon, goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight;
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.
Midnight, assist our moan;
Help us to sigh and groan,
Heavily, heavily:
Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,
Heavily, heavily.

CLAUDIO.
Now, unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite.

DON PEDRO.
Good morrow, masters: put your torches out.
The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day,
Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about
Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.
Thanks to you all, and leave us: fare you well.

CLAUDIO.
Good morrow, masters: each his several way.

DON PEDRO.
Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds; And then to Leonato's
we will go.

CLAUDIO.
And Hymen now with luckier issue speed's,
Than this for whom we rend'red up this woe!

[Exeunt.]

Scene 4. A Room in LEONATO'S House.

[Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, MARGARET, URSULA,
FRIAR FRANCIS, and HERO.]

FRIAR.
Did I not tell you she was innocent?

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

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

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

LEONATO.
Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
And when I send for you, come hither mask'd:
The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour
To visit me.

[Exeunt Ladies.]

You know your office, brother;
You must be father to your brother's daughter,
And give her to young Claudio.

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

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

FRIAR.
To do what, signior?

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

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

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

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

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

LEONATO.
My heart is with your liking.

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

[Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with Attendants.]

DON PEDRO.
Good morrow to this fair assembly.

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

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

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

[Exit ANTONIO.]

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

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

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

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

[Re-enter ANTONIO, with the ladies masked.]

Which is the lady I must seize upon?

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

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

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

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

HERO.
And when I liv'd, I was your other wife:
[Unmasking.] And when you lov'd, you were my other husband.

CLAUDIO.
Another Hero!

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

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

LEONATO.
She died, my lord, but whiles her slander liv'd.

FRIAR.
All this amazement can I qualify:
When after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:
Meantime, let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.

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

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

BENEDICK.
Do not you love me?

BEATRICE.
Why, no; no more than reason.

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

BEATRICE.
Do not you love me?

BENEDICK.
Troth, no; no more than reason.

BEATRICE.
Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula,
Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did.

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

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

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

BEATRICE.
No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

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

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

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

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

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

BENEDICK.
Peace! I will stop your mouth. [Kisses her.]

BENEDICK.
I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of witcrackers cannout flout
me out of my humour. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an
epigram? No; if man will be beaten with brains, a' shall wear nothing
handsome about him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will
think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and
therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it, for man
is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio,
I did think to have beaten thee; but, in that thou art like to be my
kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.

CLAUDIO.
I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have
cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double-dealer;
which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look
exceeding narrowly to thee.

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

LEONATO.
We'll have dancing afterward.

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

[Enter Messenger.]

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

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

[Dance. Exeunt.]

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