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Home > Much Ado About Nothing > ACT V - SCENE I. Before LEONATO'S house.

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ACT V - SCENE I. Before LEONATO'S house.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO

ANTONIO
1    If you go on thus, you will kill yourself:
2    And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief
3    Against yourself.
LEONATO
4    I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
5    Which falls into mine ears as profitless
6    As water in a sieve: give not me counsel;
7    Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
8    But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
9    Bring me a father that so loved his child,
10   Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
11   And bid him speak of patience;
12   Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine
13   And let it answer every strain for strain,
14   As thus for thus and such a grief for such,
15   In every lineament, branch, shape, and form:
16   If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
17   Bid sorrow wag, cry 'hem!' when he should groan,
18   Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
19   With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me,
20   And I of him will gather patience.
21   But there is no such man: for, brother, men
22   Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
23   Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
24   Their counsel turns to passion, which before
25   Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
26   Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
27   Charm ache with air and agony with words:
28   No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience
29   To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
30   But no man's virtue nor sufficiency
31   To be so moral when he shall endure
32   The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel:
33   My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
ANTONIO
34   Therein do men from children nothing differ.
LEONATO
35   I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood;
36   For there was never yet philosopher
37   That could endure the toothache patiently,
38   However they have writ the style of gods
39   And made a push at chance and sufferance.
ANTONIO
40   Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself;
41   Make those that do offend you suffer too.
LEONATO
42   There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will do so.
43   My soul doth tell me Hero is belied;
44   And that shall Claudio know; so shall the prince
45   And all of them that thus dishonour her.
ANTONIO
46   Here comes the prince and Claudio hastily.
Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO

DON PEDRO
47   Good den, good den.
CLAUDIO
48   Good day to both of you.
LEONATO
49   Hear you. my lords,--
DON PEDRO
50   We have some haste, Leonato.
LEONATO
51   Some haste, my lord! well, fare you well, my lord:
52   Are you so hasty now? well, all is one.
DON PEDRO
53   Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
ANTONIO
54   If he could right himself with quarreling,
55   Some of us would lie low.
CLAUDIO
56   Who wrongs him?
LEONATO
57   Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou:--
58   Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
59   I fear thee not.
CLAUDIO
60   Marry, beshrew my hand,
61   If it should give your age such cause of fear:
62   In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
LEONATO
63   Tush, tush, man; never fleer and jest at me:
64   I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
65   As under privilege of age to brag
66   What I have done being young, or what would do
67   Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
68   Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me
69   That I am forced to lay my reverence by
70   And, with grey hairs and bruise of many days,
71   Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
72   I say thou hast belied mine innocent child;
73   Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart,
74   And she lies buried with her ancestors;
75   O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
76   Save this of hers, framed by thy villany!
CLAUDIO
77   My villany?
LEONATO
78   Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.
DON PEDRO
79   You say not right, old man.
LEONATO
80   My lord, my lord,
81   I'll prove it on his body, if he dare,
82   Despite his nice fence and his active practise,
83   His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
CLAUDIO
84   Away! I will not have to do with you.
LEONATO
85   Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my child:
86   If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
ANTONIO
87   He shall kill two of us, and men indeed:
88   But that's no matter; let him kill one first;
89   Win me and wear me; let him answer me.
90   Come, follow me, boy; come, sir boy, come, follow me:
91   Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
92   Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
LEONATO
93   Brother,--
ANTONIO
94   Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece;
95   And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains,
96   That dare as well answer a man indeed
97   As I dare take a serpent by the tongue:
98   Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops!
LEONATO
99   Brother Antony,--
ANTONIO
100  Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,
101  And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple,--
102  Scrambling, out-facing, fashion-monging boys,
103  That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
104  Go anticly, show outward hideousness,
105  And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
106  How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst;
107  And this is all.
LEONATO
108  But, brother Antony,--
ANTONIO
109  Come, 'tis no matter:
110  Do not you meddle; let me deal in this.
DON PEDRO
111  Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.
112  My heart is sorry for your daughter's death:
113  But, on my honour, she was charged with nothing
114  But what was true and very full of proof.
LEONATO
115  My lord, my lord,--
DON PEDRO
116  I will not hear you.
LEONATO
117  No? Come, brother; away! I will be heard.
ANTONIO
118  And shall, or some of us will smart for it.
Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO

DON PEDRO
119  See, see; here comes the man we went to seek.
Enter BENEDICK

CLAUDIO
120  Now, signior, what news?
BENEDICK
121  Good day, my lord.
DON PEDRO
122  Welcome, signior: you are almost come to part
123  almost a fray.
CLAUDIO
124  We had like to have had our two noses snapped off
125  with two old men without teeth.
DON PEDRO
126  Leonato and his brother. What thinkest thou? Had
127  we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.
BENEDICK
128  In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came
129  to seek you both.
CLAUDIO
130  We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are
131  high-proof melancholy and would fain have it beaten
132  away. Wilt thou use thy wit?
BENEDICK
133  It is in my scabbard: shall I draw it?
DON PEDRO
134  Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?
CLAUDIO
135  Never any did so, though very many have been beside
136  their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the
137  minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.
DON PEDRO
138  As I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thou
139  sick, or angry?
CLAUDIO
140  What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat,
141  thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
BENEDICK
142  Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, and you
143  charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.
CLAUDIO
144  Nay, then, give him another staff: this last was
145  broke cross.
DON PEDRO
146  By this light, he changes more and more: I think
147  he be angry indeed.
CLAUDIO
148  If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
BENEDICK
149  Shall I speak a word in your ear?
CLAUDIO
150  God bless me from a challenge!
BENEDICK
Aside to CLAUDIO
151   You are a villain; I jest not:
152  I will make it good how you dare, with what you
153  dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will
154  protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet
155  lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me
156  hear from you.
CLAUDIO
157  Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.
DON PEDRO
158  What, a feast, a feast?
CLAUDIO
159  I' faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf's
160  head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most
161  curiously, say my knife's naught. Shall I not find
162  a woodcock too?
BENEDICK
163  Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
DON PEDRO
164  I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the
165  other day. I said, thou hadst a fine wit: 'True,'
166  said she, 'a fine little one.' 'No,' said I, 'a
167  great wit:' 'Right,' says she, 'a great gross one.'
168  'Nay,' said I, 'a good wit:' 'Just,' said she, 'it
169  hurts nobody.' 'Nay,' said I, 'the gentleman
170  is wise:' 'Certain,' said she, 'a wise gentleman.'
171  'Nay,' said I, 'he hath the tongues:' 'That I
172  believe,' said she, 'for he swore a thing to me on
173  Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning;
174  there's a double tongue; there's two tongues.' Thus
175  did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular
176  virtues: yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou
177  wast the properest man in Italy.
CLAUDIO
178  For the which she wept heartily and said she cared
179  not.
DON PEDRO
180  Yea, that she did: but yet, for all that, an if she
181  did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly:
182  the old man's daughter told us all.
CLAUDIO
183  All, all; and, moreover, God saw him when he was
184  hid in the garden.
DON PEDRO
185  But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on
186  the sensible Benedick's head?
CLAUDIO
187  Yea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick the
188  married man'?
BENEDICK
189  Fare you well, boy: you know my mind. I will leave
190  you now to your gossip-like humour: you break jests
191  as braggarts do their blades, which God be thanked,
192  hurt not. My lord, for your many courtesies I thank
193  you: I must discontinue your company: your brother
194  the bastard is fled from Messina: you have among
195  you killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my Lord
196  Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet: and, till
197  then, peace be with him.
Exit

DON PEDRO
198  He is in earnest.
CLAUDIO
199  In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for
200  the love of Beatrice.
DON PEDRO
201  And hath challenged thee.
CLAUDIO
202  Most sincerely.
DON PEDRO
203  What a pretty thing man is when he goes in his
204  doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
CLAUDIO
205  He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a
206  doctor to such a man.
DON PEDRO
207  But, soft you, let me be: pluck up, my heart, and
208  be sad. Did he not say, my brother was fled?
DOGBERRY
209  Come you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she
210  shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay,
211  an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
DON PEDRO
212  How now? two of my brother's men bound! Borachio
213  one!
CLAUDIO
214  Hearken after their offence, my lord.
DON PEDRO
215  Officers, what offence have these men done?
DOGBERRY
216  Marry, sir, they have committed false report;
217  moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily,
218  they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have
219  belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust
220  things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
DON PEDRO
221  First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I
222  ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why
223  they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay
224  to their charge.
CLAUDIO
225  Rightly reasoned, and in his own division: and, by
226  my troth, there's one meaning well suited.
DON PEDRO
227  Who have you offended, masters, that you are thus
228  bound to your answer? this learned constable is
229  too cunning to be understood: what's your offence?
BORACHIO
230  Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer:
231  do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have
232  deceived even your very eyes: what your wisdoms
233  could not discover, these shallow fools have brought
234  to light: who in the night overheard me confessing
235  to this man how Don John your brother incensed me
236  to slander the Lady Hero, how you were brought into
237  the orchard and saw me court Margaret in Hero's
238  garments, how you disgraced her, when you should
239  marry her: my villany they have upon record; which
240  I had rather seal with my death than repeat over
241  to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my
242  master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire
243  nothing but the reward of a villain.
DON PEDRO
244  Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
CLAUDIO
245  I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.
DON PEDRO
246  But did my brother set thee on to this?
BORACHIO
247  Yea, and paid me richly for the practise of it.
DON PEDRO
248  He is composed and framed of treachery:
249  And fled he is upon this villany.
CLAUDIO
250  Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear
251  In the rare semblance that I loved it first.
DOGBERRY
252  Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time our
253  sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter:
254  and, masters, do not forget to specify, when time
255  and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
VERGES
256  Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the
257  Sexton too.
Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton

LEONATO
258  Which is the villain? let me see his eyes,
259  That, when I note another man like him,
260  I may avoid him: which of these is he?
BORACHIO
261  If you would know your wronger, look on me.
LEONATO
262  Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd
263  Mine innocent child?
BORACHIO
264  Yea, even I alone.
LEONATO
265  No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself:
266  Here stand a pair of honourable men;
267  A third is fled, that had a hand in it.
268  I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death:
269  Record it with your high and worthy deeds:
270  'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
CLAUDIO
271  I know not how to pray your patience;
272  Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself;
273  Impose me to what penance your invention
274  Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not
275  But in mistaking.
DON PEDRO
276  By my soul, nor I:
277  And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
278  I would bend under any heavy weight
279  That he'll enjoin me to.
LEONATO
280  I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;
281  That were impossible: but, I pray you both,
282  Possess the people in Messina here
283  How innocent she died; and if your love
284  Can labour ought in sad invention,
285  Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
286  And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night:
287  To-morrow morning come you to my house,
288  And since you could not be my son-in-law,
289  Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
290  Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
291  And she alone is heir to both of us:
292  Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
293  And so dies my revenge.
CLAUDIO
294  O noble sir,
295  Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
296  I do embrace your offer; and dispose
297  For henceforth of poor Claudio.
LEONATO
298  To-morrow then I will expect your coming;
299  To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
300  Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
301  Who I believe was pack'd in all this wrong,
302  Hired to it by your brother.
BORACHIO
303  No, by my soul, she was not,
304  Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
305  But always hath been just and virtuous
306  In any thing that I do know by her.
DOGBERRY
307  Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white and
308  black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call
309  me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his
310  punishment. And also, the watch heard them talk of
311  one Deformed: they say be wears a key in his ear and
312  a lock hanging by it, and borrows money in God's
313  name, the which he hath used so long and never paid
314  that now men grow hard-hearted and will lend nothing
315  for God's sake: pray you, examine him upon that point.
LEONATO
316  I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
DOGBERRY
317  Your worship speaks like a most thankful and
318  reverend youth; and I praise God for you.
LEONATO
319  There's for thy pains.
DOGBERRY
320  God save the foundation!
LEONATO
321  Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.
DOGBERRY
322  I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which I
323  beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the
324  example of others. God keep your worship! I wish
325  your worship well; God restore you to health! I
326  humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry
327  meeting may be wished, God prohibit it! Come, neighbour.
Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES

LEONATO
328  Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.
ANTONIO
329  Farewell, my lords: we look for you to-morrow.
DON PEDRO
330  We will not fail.
CLAUDIO
331  To-night I'll mourn with Hero.
LEONATO
To the Watch
332   Bring you these fellows on. We'll
333  talk with Margaret,
334  How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.
Exeunt, severally

< (Previous) ACT IV, SCENE IIACT V, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV

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