William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Much Ado about Nothing > Act V. Scene IV.

Much Ado about Nothing

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Act V. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—A Room in LEONATO'S House.


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:
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.
Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd coun-
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
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.
Here come the prince and Claudio.

Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with
D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.
Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow,
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 Ethiop.
Leon. Call her forth, brother: here's the friar
ready. [Exit ANTONIO.
D. 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
And got a calf in that same noble feat,
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
Claud. For this I owe you: here come other

Re-enter ANTONIO, with the ladies masked.
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
'Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
Claud. Give me your hand: before this holy
I am your husband, if you like of me.
Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife:
And when you lov'd, you were my other hus-
Claud. Another Hero!
Hero. Nothing certainer:
One Hero died defil'd, but I do live,
And surely as I live, I am a maid.
D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is
Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slan-
der 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. [Unmasking.] 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
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
Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves
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
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
Bene. Peace! I will stop your mouth.
[Kisses her.
D. Pedro. How dost thou. Benedick, the mar-
ried man?
Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of
witcrackers 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 unbruised, and
love my cousin.
Claud. 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
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 haw dancing afterward.
Bene. First, of my word; therefore play, mu-
sic! Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get
thee a wife: there is no staff more reverend than
one tipped with horn.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in
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.
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards