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Much Ado About Nothing - Act 5, scene 1
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Navigate this workMuch Ado About Nothing - Act 5, scene 1
Act 5, scene 1
Leonato and his brother tell Claudio and Don Pedro of Hero’s death, and attempt to challenge them to a duel. Benedick succeeds in issuing his challenge to Claudio. Dogberry and the prisoners enter, and Claudio and Don Pedro learn about the trick that was played on them. They also learn that Don John has fled from Messina. Having been convinced of Hero’s innocence, Claudio begs Leonato’s forgiveness and is told that he must sing an epitaph at Hero’s tomb that night. The next morning, he is to marry Leonato’s “niece.”Enter Leonato and his brother.
2150 If you go on thus, you will kill yourself,
2151 And ’tis not wisdom thus to second grief
2152 Against yourself.
LEONATO 2153 I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
2154 5 Which falls into mine ears as profitless
2155 As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel,
2156 Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
2157 But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
2158 Bring me a father that so loved his child,
2159 10 Whose joy of her is overwhelmed like mine,
2160 And bid him speak of patience.
2161 Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
2162 And let it answer every strain for strain,
2163 As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
2164 15 In every lineament, branch, shape, and form.
2165 If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
2166 ⌜Bid⌝ sorrow wag, cry “hem” when he should
2168 Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
2169 20 With candle-wasters, bring him yet to me,
2170 And I of him will gather patience.
2171 But there is no such man. For, brother, men
p. 1572172 Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
2173 Which they themselves not feel, but tasting it,
2174 25 Their counsel turns to passion, which before
2175 Would give preceptial med’cine to rage,
2176 Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
2177 Charm ache with air and agony with words.
2178 No, no, ’tis all men’s office to speak patience
2179 30 To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
2180 But no man’s virtue nor sufficiency
2181 To be so moral when he shall endure
2182 The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel.
2183 My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
2184 35 Therein do men from children nothing differ.
2185 I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood,
2186 For there was never yet philosopher
2187 That could endure the toothache patiently,
2188 However they have writ the style of gods
2189 40 And made a push at chance and sufferance.
2190 Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself.
2191 Make those that do offend you suffer too.
2192 There thou speak’st reason. Nay, I will do so.
2193 My soul doth tell me Hero is belied,
2194 45 And that shall Claudio know; so shall the Prince
2195 And all of them that thus dishonor her.
Enter Prince and Claudio.
2196 Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily.
2197 Good e’en, good e’en.
CLAUDIO 2198 Good day to both of you.
2199 50 Hear you, my lords—
PRINCE 2200 We have some haste,
2202 Some haste, my lord! Well, fare you well, my lord.
2203 Are you so hasty now? Well, all is one.
2204 55 Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
2205 If he could right himself with quarrelling,
2206 Some of us would lie low.
CLAUDIO 2207 Who wrongs him?
2208 Marry, thou dost wrong me, thou dissembler, thou.
2209 60 Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword.
2210 I fear thee not.
CLAUDIO 2211 Marry, beshrew my hand
2212 If it should give your age such cause of fear.
2213 In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
2214 65 Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me.
2215 I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
2216 As under privilege of age to brag
2217 What I have done being young, or what would do
2218 Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
2219 70 Thou hast so wronged mine innocent child and me
2220 That I am forced to lay my reverence by,
2221 And with gray hairs and bruise of many days
2222 Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
2223 I say thou hast belied mine innocent child.
2224 75 Thy slander hath gone through and through her
2226 And she lies buried with her ancestors,
2227 O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
2228 Save this of hers, framed by thy villainy.
2229 80 My villainy?
LEONATO 2230 Thine, Claudio, thine, I say.
2231 You say not right, old man.
LEONATO 2232 My lord, my lord,
2233 I’ll prove it on his body if he dare,
2234 85 Despite his nice fence and his active practice,
2235 His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
2236 Away! I will not have to do with you.
2237 Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast killed my child.
2238 If thou kill’st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
2239 90 He shall kill two of us, and men indeed,
2240 But that’s no matter. Let him kill one first.
2241 Win me and wear me! Let him answer me.—
2242 Come, follow me, boy. Come, sir boy, come, follow
2244 95 Sir boy, I’ll whip you from your foining fence,
2245 Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
LEONATO 2246 Brother—
2247 Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece,
2248 And she is dead, slandered to death by villains
2249 100 That dare as well answer a man indeed
2250 As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.—
2251 Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milksops!
LEONATO 2252 Brother Anthony—
2253 Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,
2254 105 And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple—
2255 Scambling, outfacing, fashionmonging boys,
2256 That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
2257 Go anticly and show outward hideousness,
p. 1632258 And speak off half a dozen dang’rous words
2259 110 How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst,
2260 And this is all.
LEONATO 2261 But brother Anthony—
LEONATO’S BROTHER 2262 Come, ’tis no matter.
2263 Do not you meddle. Let me deal in this.
2264 115 Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.
2265 My heart is sorry for your daughter’s death,
2266 But, on my honor, she was charged with nothing
2267 But what was true and very full of proof.
LEONATO 2268 My lord, my lord—
PRINCE 2269 120I will not hear you.
2270 No? Come, brother, away. I will be heard.
2271 And shall, or some of us will smart for it.
⌜Leonato and his brother⌝ exit.
2272 See, see, here comes the man we went to seek.
CLAUDIO 2273 Now, signior, what news?
BENEDICK, ⌜to Prince⌝ 2274 125Good day, my lord.
PRINCE 2275 Welcome, signior. You are almost come to
2276 part almost a fray.
CLAUDIO 2277 We had ⌜like⌝ to have had our two noses
2278 snapped off with two old men without teeth.
PRINCE 2279 130Leonato and his brother. What think’st thou?
2280 Had we fought, I doubt we should have been too
2281 young for them.
BENEDICK 2282 In a false quarrel there is no true valor. I
2283 came to seek you both.
CLAUDIO 2284 135We have been up and down to seek thee, for
2285 we are high-proof melancholy and would fain have
2286 it beaten away. Wilt thou use thy wit?
p. 165BENEDICK 2287 It is in my scabbard. Shall I draw it?
PRINCE 2288 Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?
CLAUDIO 2289 140Never any did so, though very many have
2290 been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do
2291 the minstrels: draw to pleasure us.
PRINCE 2292 As I am an honest man, he looks pale.—Art
2293 thou sick, or angry?
CLAUDIO, ⌜to Benedick⌝ 2294 145What, courage, man! What
2295 though care killed a cat? Thou hast mettle enough
2296 in thee to kill care.
BENEDICK 2297 Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an
2298 you charge it against me. I pray you, choose another
2299 150 subject.
CLAUDIO, ⌜to Prince⌝ 2300 Nay, then, give him another staff.
2301 This last was broke ’cross.
PRINCE 2302 By this light, he changes more and more. I
2303 think he be angry indeed.
CLAUDIO 2304 155If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
BENEDICK 2305 Shall I speak a word in your ear?
CLAUDIO 2306 God bless me from a challenge!
BENEDICK, ⌜aside to Claudio⌝ 2307 You are a villain. I jest
2308 not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you
2309 160 dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will
2310 protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet
2311 lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me
2312 hear from you.
CLAUDIO 2313 Well, I will meet you, so I may have good
2314 165 cheer.
PRINCE 2315 What, a feast, a feast?
CLAUDIO 2316 I’ faith, I thank him. He hath bid me to a
2317 calf’s head and a capon, the which if I do not carve
2318 most curiously, say my knife’s naught. Shall I not
2319 170 find a woodcock too?
BENEDICK 2320 Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
PRINCE 2321 I’ll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the
2322 other day. I said thou hadst a fine wit. “True,” said
p. 1672323 she, “a fine little one.” “No,” said I, “a great wit.”
2324 175 “Right,” says she, “a great gross one.” “Nay,” said I,
2325 “a good wit.” “Just,” said she, “it hurts nobody.”
2326 “Nay,” said I, “the gentleman is wise.” “Certain,”
2327 said she, “a wise gentleman.” “Nay,” said I, “he
2328 hath the tongues.” “That I believe,” said she, “for he
2329 180 swore a thing to me on Monday night which he
2330 forswore on Tuesday morning; there’s a double
2331 tongue, there’s two tongues.” Thus did she an hour
2332 together transshape thy particular virtues. Yet at
2333 last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the
2334 185 proper’st man in Italy.
CLAUDIO 2335 For the which she wept heartily and said she
2336 cared not.
PRINCE 2337 Yea, that she did. But yet for all that, an if she
2338 did not hate him deadly, she would love him
2339 190 dearly. The old man’s daughter told us all.
CLAUDIO 2340 All, all. And, moreover, God saw him when
2341 he was hid in the garden.
PRINCE 2342 But when shall we set the savage bull’s horns
2343 on the sensible Benedick’s head?
CLAUDIO 2344 195Yea, and text underneath: “Here dwells Benedick,
2345 the married man”?
BENEDICK 2346 Fare you well, boy. You know my mind. I
2347 will leave you now to your gossip-like humor. You
2348 break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God
2349 200 be thanked, hurt not.—My lord, for your many
2350 courtesies I thank you. I must discontinue your
2351 company. Your brother the Bastard is fled from
2352 Messina. You have among you killed a sweet and
2353 innocent lady. For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and
2354 205 I shall meet, and till then peace be with him.
PRINCE 2355 He is in earnest.
CLAUDIO 2356 In most profound earnest, and, I’ll warrant
2357 you, for the love of Beatrice.
p. 169PRINCE 2358 And hath challenged thee?
CLAUDIO 2359 210Most sincerely.
PRINCE 2360 What a pretty thing man is when he goes in his
2361 doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
CLAUDIO 2362 He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape
2363 a doctor to such a man.
PRINCE 2364 215But soft you, let me be. Pluck up, my heart,
2365 and be sad. Did he not say my brother was fled?
Enter Constables ⌜Dogberry and Verges, and the Watch,
with⌝ Conrade and Borachio.
⌜DOGBERRY⌝ 2366 Come you, sir. If justice cannot tame you,
2367 she shall ne’er weigh more reasons in her balance.
2368 Nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must
2369 220 be looked to.
PRINCE 2370 How now, two of my brother’s men bound?
2371 Borachio one!
CLAUDIO 2372 Hearken after their offense, my lord.
PRINCE 2373 Officers, what offense have these men done?
⌜DOGBERRY⌝ 2374 225Marry, sir, they have committed false
2375 report; moreover, they have spoken untruths;
2376 secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they
2377 have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust
2378 things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
PRINCE 2379 230First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I
2380 ask thee what’s their offense; sixth and lastly, why
2381 they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay
2382 to their charge.
CLAUDIO 2383 Rightly reasoned, and in his own division;
2384 235 and, by my troth, there’s one meaning well suited.
PRINCE, ⌜to Borachio and Conrade⌝ 2385 Who have you offended,
2386 masters, that you are thus bound to your
2387 answer? This learned constable is too cunning to be
2388 understood. What’s your offense?
BORACHIO 2389 240Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine
2390 answer. Do you hear me, and let this count kill me.
p. 1712391 I have deceived even your very eyes. What your
2392 wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools
2393 have brought to light, who in the night overheard
2394 245 me confessing to this man how Don John your
2395 brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero, how
2396 you were brought into the orchard and saw me
2397 court Margaret in Hero’s garments, how you disgraced
2398 her when you should marry her. My villainy
2399 250 they have upon record, which I had rather seal with
2400 my death than repeat over to my shame. The lady is
2401 dead upon mine and my master’s false accusation.
2402 And, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a
PRINCE, ⌜to Claudio⌝
2404 255 Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
2405 I have drunk poison whiles he uttered it.
PRINCE, ⌜to Borachio⌝
2406 But did my brother set thee on to this?
BORACHIO 2407 Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of
2409 260 He is composed and framed of treachery,
2410 And fled he is upon this villainy.
2411 Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appear
2412 In the rare semblance that I loved it first.
⌜DOGBERRY⌝ 2413 Come, bring away the plaintiffs. By this
2414 265 time our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of
2415 the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specify,
2416 when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
⌜VERGES⌝ 2417 Here, here comes Master Signior Leonato,
2418 and the Sexton too.
Enter Leonato, his brother, and the Sexton.
2419 270 Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes,
2420 That, when I note another man like him,
2421 I may avoid him. Which of these is he?
2422 If you would know your wronger, look on me.
2423 Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast killed
2424 275 Mine innocent child?
BORACHIO 2425 Yea, even I alone.
2426 No, not so, villain, thou beliest thyself.
2427 Here stand a pair of honorable men—
2428 A third is fled—that had a hand in it.—
2429 280 I thank you, princes, for my daughter’s death.
2430 Record it with your high and worthy deeds.
2431 ’Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
2432 I know not how to pray your patience,
2433 Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself.
2434 285 Impose me to what penance your invention
2435 Can lay upon my sin. Yet sinned I not
2436 But in mistaking.
PRINCE 2437 By my soul, nor I,
2438 And yet to satisfy this good old man
2439 290 I would bend under any heavy weight
2440 That he’ll enjoin me to.
2441 I cannot bid you bid my daughter live—
2442 That were impossible—but, I pray you both,
2443 Possess the people in Messina here
2444 295 How innocent she died. And if your love
2445 Can labor aught in sad invention,
2446 Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
2447 And sing it to her bones. Sing it tonight.
2448 Tomorrow morning come you to my house,
p. 1752449 300 And since you could not be my son-in-law,
2450 Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter,
2451 Almost the copy of my child that’s dead,
2452 And she alone is heir to both of us.
2453 Give her the right you should have giv’n her cousin,
2454 305 And so dies my revenge.
CLAUDIO 2455 O, noble sir!
2456 Your overkindness doth wring tears from me.
2457 I do embrace your offer and dispose
2458 For henceforth of poor Claudio.
2459 310 Tomorrow then I will expect your coming.
2460 Tonight I take my leave. This naughty man
2461 Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
2462 Who I believe was packed in all this wrong,
2463 Hired to it by your brother.
BORACHIO 2464 315No, by my soul, she was not,
2465 Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
2466 But always hath been just and virtuous
2467 In anything that I do know by her.
⌜DOGBERRY, to Leonato⌝ 2468 Moreover, sir, which indeed is
2469 320 not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the
2470 offender, did call me ass. I beseech you, let it be
2471 remembered in his punishment. And also the watch
2472 heard them talk of one Deformed. They say he
2473 wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it and
2474 325 borrows money in God’s name, the which he hath
2475 used so long and never paid that now men grow
2476 hardhearted and will lend nothing for God’s sake.
2477 Pray you, examine him upon that point.
LEONATO 2478 I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
⌜DOGBERRY⌝ 2479 330Your Worship speaks like a most thankful
2480 and reverent youth, and I praise God for you.
LEONATO, ⌜giving him money⌝ 2481 There’s for thy pains.
⌜DOGBERRY⌝ 2482 God save the foundation.
p. 177LEONATO 2483 Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I
2484 335 thank thee.
⌜DOGBERRY⌝ 2485 I leave an arrant knave with your Worship,
2486 which I beseech your Worship to correct
2487 yourself, for the example of others. God keep your
2488 Worship! I wish your Worship well. God restore you
2489 340 to health. I humbly give you leave to depart, and if a
2490 merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it.—
2491 Come, neighbor.⌜Dogberry and Verges exit.⌝
2492 Until tomorrow morning, lords, farewell.
2493 Farewell, my lords. We look for you tomorrow.
2494 345 We will not fail.
CLAUDIO 2495 Tonight I’ll mourn with Hero.
LEONATO, ⌜to Watch⌝
2496 Bring you these fellows on.—We’ll talk with
2498 How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.