Much Ado About Nothing - Act 5, scene 2
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Act 5, scene 2
Benedick tells Beatrice that he has challenged Claudio. They are summoned to Leonato’s house with the news that Hero’s innocence has been proved.Enter Benedick and Margaret.
BENEDICK 2499 Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
2500 well at my hands by helping me to the speech of
MARGARET 2502 Will you then write me a sonnet in praise
2503 5 of my beauty?
BENEDICK 2504 In so high a style, Margaret, that no man
2505 living shall come over it, for in most comely truth
2506 thou deservest it.
MARGARET 2507 To have no man come over me? Why, shall I
2508 10 always keep below stairs?
2510 mouth; it catches.
MARGARET 2511 And yours as blunt as the fencer’s foils,
2512 which hit but hurt not.
BENEDICK 2513 15A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt
2514 a woman. And so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. I give
2515 thee the bucklers.
MARGARET 2516 Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our
BENEDICK 2518 20If you use them, Margaret, you must put in
2519 the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous
2520 weapons for maids.
MARGARET 2521 Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I
2522 think hath legs.
BENEDICK 2523 25And therefore will come.
⌜Sings⌝ 2524 The god of love
2525 That sits above,
2526 And knows me, and knows me,
2527 How pitiful I deserve—
2528 30 I mean in singing. But in loving, Leander the good
2529 swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panders, and
2530 a whole book full of these quondam carpetmongers,
2531 whose names yet run smoothly in the even
2532 road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly
2533 35 turned over and over as my poor self in love. Marry,
2534 I cannot show it in rhyme. I have tried. I can find out
2535 no rhyme to “lady” but “baby”—an innocent
2536 rhyme; for “scorn,” “horn”—a hard rhyme; for
2537 “school,” “fool”—a babbling rhyme; very ominous
2538 40 endings. No, I was not born under a rhyming
2539 planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.
2540 Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called
BENEDICK 2543 45O, stay but till then!
BEATRICE 2544 “Then” is spoken. Fare you well now. And
2545 yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came, which is,
2546 with knowing what hath passed between you and
BENEDICK 2548 50Only foul words, and thereupon I will kiss
BEATRICE 2550 Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is
2551 but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome. Therefore
2552 I will depart unkissed.
BENEDICK 2553 55Thou hast frighted the word out of his right
2554 sense, so forcible is thy wit. But I must tell thee
2555 plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge, and either
2556 I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe
2557 him a coward. And I pray thee now tell me, for
2558 60 which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love
2559 with me?
BEATRICE 2560 For them all together, which maintained so
2561 politic a state of evil that they will not admit any
2562 good part to intermingle with them. But for which
2563 65 of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
BENEDICK 2564 Suffer love! A good epithet. I do suffer love
2565 indeed, for I love thee against my will.
BEATRICE 2566 In spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor
2567 heart, if you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for
2568 70 yours, for I will never love that which my friend
BENEDICK 2570 Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
BEATRICE 2571 It appears not in this confession. There’s not
2572 one wise man among twenty that will praise
2573 75 himself.
BENEDICK 2574 An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived
2575 in the time of good neighbors. If a man do not erect
2576 in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no
2577 longer in monument than the bell rings and the
2578 80 widow weeps.
BENEDICK 2580 Question: why, an hour in clamor and a
2581 quarter in rheum. Therefore is it most expedient for
2582 the wise, if Don Worm, his conscience, find no
2583 85 impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of
2584 his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for
2585 praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is
2586 praiseworthy. And now tell me, how doth your
BEATRICE 2588 90Very ill.
BENEDICK 2589 And how do you?
BEATRICE 2590 Very ill, too.
BENEDICK 2591 Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I
2592 leave you too, for here comes one in haste.
URSULA 2593 95Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder’s
2594 old coil at home. It is proved my Lady Hero
2595 hath been falsely accused, the Prince and Claudio
2596 mightily abused, and Don John is the author of all,
2597 who is fled and gone. Will you come presently?
BEATRICE 2598 100Will you go hear this news, signior?
BENEDICK 2599 I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be
2600 buried in thy eyes—and, moreover, I will go with
2601 thee to thy uncle’s.