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ACT V. Scene IV 


The hall in Leonato's house.

Enter Leonato, Benedick, [Beatrice,] Margaret, Ursula, Antonio, Friar [Francis], Hero.

 FRIAR.

Did I not tell you she was innocent?

 LEON.

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.

 ANT.

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

 BENE.

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

 LEON.

Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
And when I send for you, come hither mask'd.

Exeunt Ladies.

 

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

 ANT.

Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.

 BENE.

Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.

 FRIAR.

To do what, signior?

 BENE.

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.

 LEON.

That eye my daughter lent her. 'Tis most true.

 BENE.

And I do with an eye of love requite her.

 LEON.

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

 BENE.

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.

 LEON.

My heart is with your liking.

 FRIAR.

And my help.

Enter Don Pedro and Claudio and two or three other.

 

Here comes the Prince and Claudio.

 PEDRO.

Good morrow to this fair assembly.

 LEON.

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

 CLAUD.

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

 LEON.

Call her forth, brother. Here's the friar ready.

[Exit Antonio.]

 PEDRO.

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

 CLAUD.

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.

 BENE.

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.

Enter [Leonato's] brother [Antonio], Hero, Beatrice,

Margaret, Ursula, [the ladies wearing masks].

 CLAUD.

For this I owe you. Here comes other reckonings.
Which is the lady I must seize upon?

 ANT.

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

 CLAUD.

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

 LEON.

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

 CLAUD.

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; [Unmasks.]
And when you lov'd you were my other husband.

 CLAUD.

Another Hero!

 HERO.

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

 PEDRO.

The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

 LEON.

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.

 BENE.

Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?

 BEAT.

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

 BENE.

Do not you love me?

 BEAT.

Why, no; no more than reason.

 BENE.

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

 BEAT.

Do not you love me?

 BENE.

Troth, no; no more than reason.

 BEAT.

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

 BENE.

They swore that you were almost sick for me.

 BEAT.

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

 BENE.

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

 BEAT.

No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

 LEON.

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

 CLAUD.

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, stol'n from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.

 BENE.

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

 BEAT.

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.

 BENE.

Peace! I will stop your mouth

[Kisses her.]

 BEAT.

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

 CLAUD.

I had well hop'd thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I
might have cudgell'd 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.

 BENE.

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.

 LEON.

We'll have dancing afterward.

 BENE.

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 tipp'd with horn.

Enter Messenger.

 MESS.

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

 BENE.

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

Dance. [Exeunt.]

THE END

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