|Much Ado About Nothing|
| Much Ado About Nothing
| Act 5, Scene 1
Previous scene | Next scene
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIOANTONIO
If you go on thus, you will kill yourself:LEONATO
And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief
I pray thee, cease thy counsel,ANTONIO
Which falls into mine ears as profitless
As water in a sieve: give not me counsel;
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
Bring me a father that so loved his child,
Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
And bid him speak of patience;
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine
And let it answer every strain for strain,
As thus for thus and such a grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form:
If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
Bid sorrow wag, cry 'hem!' when he should groan,
Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.
But there is no such man: for, brother, men
Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache with air and agony with words:
No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
But no man's virtue nor sufficiency
To be so moral when he shall endure
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel:
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
Therein do men from children nothing differ.LEONATO
I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood;ANTONIO
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently,
However they have writ the style of gods
And made a push at chance and sufferance.
Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself;LEONATO
Make those that do offend you suffer too.
There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will do so.ANTONIO
My soul doth tell me Hero is belied;
And that shall Claudio know; so shall the prince
And all of them that thus dishonour her.
Here comes the prince and Claudio hastily.DON PEDRO
Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO
Good den, good den.CLAUDIO
Good day to both of you.LEONATO
Hear you. my lords,--DON PEDRO
We have some haste, Leonato.LEONATO
Some haste, my lord! well, fare you well, my lord:DON PEDRO
Are you so hasty now? well, all is one.
Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.ANTONIO
If he could right himself with quarreling,CLAUDIO
Some of us would lie low.
Who wrongs him?LEONATO
Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou:--CLAUDIO
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
I fear thee not.
Marry, beshrew my hand,LEONATO
If it should give your age such cause of fear:
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.
Tush, tush, man; never fleer and jest at me:CLAUDIO
I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
As under privilege of age to brag
What I have done being young, or what would do
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me
That I am forced to lay my reverence by
And, with grey hairs and bruise of many days,
Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
I say thou hast belied mine innocent child;
Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart,
And she lies buried with her ancestors;
O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Save this of hers, framed by thy villany!
Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.DON PEDRO
You say not right, old man.LEONATO
My lord, my lord,CLAUDIO
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare,
Despite his nice fence and his active practise,
His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.
Away! I will not have to do with you.LEONATO
Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my child:ANTONIO
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
He shall kill two of us, and men indeed:LEONATO
But that's no matter; let him kill one first;
Win me and wear me; let him answer me.
Come, follow me, boy; come, sir boy, come, follow me:
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece;LEONATO
And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains,
That dare as well answer a man indeed
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue:
Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops!
Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,LEONATO
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple,--
Scrambling, out-facing, fashion-monging boys,
That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
Go anticly, show outward hideousness,
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst;
And this is all.
But, brother Antony,--ANTONIO
Come, 'tis no matter:DON PEDRO
Do not you meddle; let me deal in this.
Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.LEONATO
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death:
But, on my honour, she was charged with nothing
But what was true and very full of proof.
My lord, my lord,--DON PEDRO
I will not hear you.LEONATO
No? Come, brother; away! I will be heard.ANTONIO
And shall, or some of us will smart for it.DON PEDRO
Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO
See, see; here comes the man we went to seek.CLAUDIO
Now, signior, what news?BENEDICK
Good day, my lord.DON PEDRO
Welcome, signior: you are almost come to partCLAUDIO
almost a fray.
We had like to have had our two noses snapped offDON PEDRO
with two old men without teeth.
Leonato and his brother. What thinkest thou? HadBENEDICK
we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.
In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I cameCLAUDIO
to seek you both.
We have been up and down to seek thee; for we areBENEDICK
high-proof melancholy and would fain have it beaten
away. Wilt thou use thy wit?
It is in my scabbard: shall I draw it?DON PEDRO
Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?CLAUDIO
Never any did so, though very many have been besideDON PEDRO
their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the
minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.
As I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thouCLAUDIO
sick, or angry?
What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat,BENEDICK
thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, and youCLAUDIO
charge it against me. I pray you choose another subject.
Nay, then, give him another staff: this last wasDON PEDRO
By this light, he changes more and more: I thinkCLAUDIO
he be angry indeed.
If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.BENEDICK
Shall I speak a word in your ear?CLAUDIO
God bless me from a challenge!BENEDICK
[Aside to CLAUDIO] You are a villain; I jest not:CLAUDIO
I will make it good how you dare, with what you
dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will
protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet
lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me
hear from you.
Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.DON PEDRO
What, a feast, a feast?CLAUDIO
I' faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf'sBENEDICK
head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most
curiously, say my knife's naught. Shall I not find
a woodcock too?
Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.DON PEDRO
I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit theCLAUDIO
other day. I said, thou hadst a fine wit: 'True,'
said she, 'a fine little one.' 'No,' said I, 'a
great wit:' 'Right,' says she, 'a great gross one.'
'Nay,' said I, 'a good wit:' 'Just,' said she, 'it
hurts nobody.' 'Nay,' said I, 'the gentleman
is wise:' 'Certain,' said she, 'a wise gentleman.'
'Nay,' said I, 'he hath the tongues:' 'That I
believe,' said she, 'for he swore a thing to me on
Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning;
there's a double tongue; there's two tongues.' Thus
did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular
virtues: yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou
wast the properest man in Italy.
For the which she wept heartily and said she caredDON PEDRO
Yea, that she did: but yet, for all that, an if sheCLAUDIO
did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly:
the old man's daughter told us all.
All, all; and, moreover, God saw him when he wasDON PEDRO
hid in the garden.
But when shall we set the savage bull's horns onCLAUDIO
the sensible Benedick's head?
Yea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick theBENEDICK
Fare you well, boy: you know my mind. I will leaveDON PEDRO
you now to your gossip-like humour: you break jests
as braggarts do their blades, which God be thanked,
hurt not. My lord, for your many courtesies I thank
you: I must discontinue your company: your brother
the bastard is fled from Messina: you have among
you killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my Lord
Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet: and, till
then, peace be with him.
He is in earnest.CLAUDIO
In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, forDON PEDRO
the love of Beatrice.
And hath challenged thee.CLAUDIO
Most sincerely.DON PEDRO
What a pretty thing man is when he goes in hisCLAUDIO
doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!
He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape aDON PEDRO
doctor to such a man.
But, soft you, let me be: pluck up, my heart, andDOGBERRY
be sad. Did he not say, my brother was fled?
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO
Come you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, sheDON PEDRO
shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay,
an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
How now? two of my brother's men bound! BorachioCLAUDIO
Hearken after their offence, my lord.DON PEDRO
Officers, what offence have these men done?DOGBERRY
Marry, sir, they have committed false report;DON PEDRO
moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily,
they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have
belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust
things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, ICLAUDIO
ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why
they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay
to their charge.
Rightly reasoned, and in his own division: and, byDON PEDRO
my troth, there's one meaning well suited.
Who have you offended, masters, that you are thusBORACHIO
bound to your answer? this learned constable is
too cunning to be understood: what's your offence?
Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer:DON PEDRO
do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have
deceived even your very eyes: what your wisdoms
could not discover, these shallow fools have brought
to light: who in the night overheard me confessing
to this man how Don John your brother incensed me
to slander the Lady Hero, how you were brought into
the orchard and saw me court Margaret in Hero's
garments, how you disgraced her, when you should
marry her: my villany they have upon record; which
I had rather seal with my death than repeat over
to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my
master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire
nothing but the reward of a villain.
Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?CLAUDIO
I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.DON PEDRO
But did my brother set thee on to this?BORACHIO
Yea, and paid me richly for the practise of it.DON PEDRO
He is composed and framed of treachery:CLAUDIO
And fled he is upon this villany.
Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appearDOGBERRY
In the rare semblance that I loved it first.
Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time ourVERGES
sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter:
and, masters, do not forget to specify, when time
and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and theLEONATO
Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton
Which is the villain? let me see his eyes,BORACHIO
That, when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him: which of these is he?
If you would know your wronger, look on me.LEONATO
Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'dBORACHIO
Mine innocent child?
Yea, even I alone.LEONATO
No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself:CLAUDIO
Here stand a pair of honourable men;
A third is fled, that had a hand in it.
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death:
Record it with your high and worthy deeds:
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
I know not how to pray your patience;DON PEDRO
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not
But in mistaking.
By my soul, nor I:LEONATO
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.
I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;CLAUDIO
That were impossible: but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died; and if your love
Can labour ought in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night:
To-morrow morning come you to my house,
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us:
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.
O noble sir,LEONATO
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.
To-morrow then I will expect your coming;BORACHIO
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who I believe was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hired to it by your brother.
No, by my soul, she was not,DOGBERRY
Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
But always hath been just and virtuous
In any thing that I do know by her.
Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white andLEONATO
black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call
me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his
punishment. And also, the watch heard them talk of
one Deformed: they say be wears a key in his ear and
a lock hanging by it, and borrows money in God's
name, the which he hath used so long and never paid
that now men grow hard-hearted and will lend nothing
for God's sake: pray you, examine him upon that point.
I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.DOGBERRY
Your worship speaks like a most thankful andLEONATO
reverend youth; and I praise God for you.
There's for thy pains.DOGBERRY
God save the foundation!LEONATO
Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.DOGBERRY
I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which ILEONATO
beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the
example of others. God keep your worship! I wish
your worship well; God restore you to health! I
humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry
meeting may be wished, God prohibit it! Come, neighbour.
Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES
Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.ANTONIO
Farewell, my lords: we look for you to-morrow.DON PEDRO
We will not fail.CLAUDIO
To-night I'll mourn with Hero.LEONATO
[To the Watch] Bring you these fellows on. We'll
talk with Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.
| Much Ado About Nothing
| Act 5, Scene 1
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