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Much adoe about Nothing

Actus primusScena prima.

Enter Leonato Gouernour of MessinaInnogen his wifeHero his
and Beatrice his Neecewith a messenger.

Leonato. I learne in this Letterthat Don Peter of Arragon
comes this night to Messina

Mess. He is very neere by this: he was not
three Leagues off when I left him

Leon. How many Gentlemen haue you lost in this
Mess. But few of any sortand none of name

Leon. A victorie is twice it selfewhen the atchieuer
brings home full numbers: I finde heerethat Don Peter
hath bestowed much honor on a yong Florentinecalled

Mess. Much deseru'd on his partand equally remembred
by Don Pedrohe hath borne himselfe beyond the
promise of his agedoing in the figure of a Lambethe
feats of a Lionhe hath indeede better bettred expectation
then you must expect of me to tell you how

Leo. He hath an Vnckle heere in Messinawil be very
much glad of it

Mess. I haue alreadie deliuered him lettersand there
appeares much ioy in himeuen so muchthat ioy could
not shew it selfe modest enoughwithout a badg of bitternesse

Leo. Did he breake out into teares?
Mess. In great measure

Leo. A kinde ouerflow of kindnessethere are no faces
truerthen those that are so wash'dhow much better
is it to weepe at ioythen to ioy at weeping?

Bea. I pray youis Signior Mountanto return'd from
the warresor no?

Mess. I know none of that nameLadythere was
none such in the armie of any sort

Leon. What is he that you aske for Neece?
Hero. My cousin meanes Signior Benedick of Padua
Mess. O he's return'dand as pleasant as euer he was

Beat. He set vp his bils here in Messina& challeng'd
Cupid at the Flight: and my Vnckles foole reading the
Challengesubscrib'd for Cupidand challeng'd him at
the Burbolt. I pray youhow many hath hee kil'd and
eaten in these warres? But how many hath he kil'd? for
indeedI promis'd to eate all of his killing

Leon. 'Faith Neeceyou taxe Signior Benedicke too
muchbut hee'l be meete with youI doubt it not

Mess. He hath done good seruice Lady in these wars

Beat. You had musty victualland he hath holpe to
ease it: he's a very valiant Trencher-manhee hath an
excellent stomacke

Mess. And a good souldier too Lady

Beat. And a good souldier to a Lady. But what is he
to a Lord?
Mess. A Lord to a Lorda man to a manstuft with
all honourable vertues

Beat. It is so indeedhe is no lesse then a stuft man:
but for the stuffing wellwe are all mortall

Leon. You must not (sir) mistake my Neecethere is
a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick& her:
they neuer meetbut there's a skirmish of wit between

Bea. Alashe gets nothing by that. In our last conflict
foure of his fiue wits went halting offand now is
the whole man gouern'd with one: so that if hee haue
wit enough to keepe himselfe warmelet him beare it
for a difference betweene himselfe and his horse: For it
is all the wealth that he hath leftto be knowne a reasonable
creature. Who is his companion now? He hath
euery month a new sworne brother

Mess. Is't possible?
Beat. Very easily possible: he weares his faith but as
the fashion of his hatit euer changes with y next block

Mess. I see (Lady) the Gentleman is not in your

Bea. Noand he wereI would burne my study. But
I pray youwho is his companion? Is there no young
squarer nowthat will make a voyage with him to the

Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble

Beat. O Lordhe will hang vpon him like a disease:
he is sooner caught then the pestilenceand the taker
runs presently mad. God helpe the noble Claudioif hee
haue caught the Benedictit will cost him a thousand
pound ere he be cur'd

Mess. I will hold friends with you Lady

Bea. Do good friend

Leo. You'l ne're run mad Neece

Bea. Nonot till a hot Ianuary

Mess. Don Pedro is approach'd.

Enter don PedroClaudioBenedickeBalthasarand Iohn the


Pedro. Good Signior Leonatoyou are come to meet
your trouble: the fashion of the world is to auoid cost
and you encounter it

Leon. Neuer came trouble to my house in the likenes
of your Grace: for trouble being gonecomfort should
remaine: but when you depart from mesorrow abides
and happinesse takes his leaue

Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly: I
thinke this is your daughter

Leonato. Her mother hath many times told me so

Bened. Were you in doubt that you askt her?
Leonato. Signior Benedickenofor then were you a

Pedro. You haue it full Benedickewe may ghesse by
thiswhat you arebeing a mantruely the Lady fathers
her selfe: be happie Ladyfor you are like an honorable

Ben. If Signior Leonato be her fathershe would not
haue his head on her shoulders for al Messinaas like him
as she is

Beat. I wonder that you will still be talkingsignior
Benedickeno body markes you

Ben. What my deere Ladie Disdaine! are you yet

Beat. Is it possible Disdaine should diewhile shee
hath such meete foode to feede itas Signior Benedicke?
Curtesie it selfe must conuert to Disdaineif you come in
her presence

Bene. Then is curtesie a turne-coatebut it is certaine
I am loued of all Ladiesonely you excepted: and
I would I could finde in my heart that I had not a hard
heartfor truely I loue none

Beat. A deere happinesse to womenthey would else
haue beene troubled with a pernitious SuterI thanke
God and my cold bloodI am of your humour for thatI
had rather heare my Dog barke at a Crowthan a man
sweare he loues me

Bene. God keepe your Ladiship still in that minde
so some Gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate
scratcht face

Beat. Scratching could not make it worseand 'twere
such a face as yours were

Bene. Wellyou are a rare Parrat teacher

Beat. A bird of my tongueis better than a beast of

Ben. I would my horse had the speed of your tongue
and so good a continuerbut keepe your way a Gods

nameI haue done

Beat. You alwaies end with a Iades trickeI know
you of old

Pedro. This is the summe of all: Leonatosignior Claudio
and signior Benedicke; my deere friend Leonatohath
inuited you allI tell him we shall stay hereat the least
a monethand he heartily praies some occasion may detaine
vs longer: I dare sweare hee is no hypocritebut
praies from his heart

Leon. If you swearemy Lordyou shall not be forsworne
let mee bid you welcomemy Lordbeing reconciled
to the Prince your brother: I owe you all

Iohn. I thanke youI am not of many wordsbut I
thanke you

Leon. Please it your grace leade on?
Pedro. Your hand Leonatowe will goe together.

Exeunt. Manet Benedicke and Claudio.

Clau. Benedickedidst thou note the daughter of signior

Bene. I noted her notbut I lookt on her

Claud. Is she not a modest yong Ladie?

Bene. Doe you question me as an honest man should
doefor my simple true iudgement? or would you haue
me speake after my customeas being a professed tyrant
to their sexe?

Clau. NoI pray thee speake in sober iudgement

Bene. Why yfaith me thinks shee's too low for a hie
praisetoo browne for a faire praiseand too little for a
great praiseonely this commendation I can affoord her
that were shee other then she isshe were vnhandsome
and being no otherbut as she isI doe not like her

Clau. Thou think'st I am in sportI pray thee tell me
truely how thou lik'st her

Bene. Would you buie herthat you enquier after

Clau. Can the world buie such a iewell?

Ben. Yeaand a case to put it intobut speake you this
with a sad brow? Or doe you play the flowting iacketo
tell vs Cupid is a good Hare-finderand Vulcan a rare
Carpenter: Comein what key shall a man take you to
goe in the song?

Clau. In mine eieshe is the sweetest Ladie that euer
I lookt on

Bene. I can see yet without spectaclesand I see no
such matter: there's her cosinand she were not possest
with a furieexceedes her as much in beautieas the first
of Maie doth the last of December: but I hope you haue
no intent to turne husbandhaue you?

Clau. I would scarce trust my selfethough I had
sworne the contrarieif Hero would be my wife

Bene. Ist come to this? in faith hath not the world one
man but he will weare his cap with suspition? shall I neuer
see a batcheller of three score againe? goe to yfaith
and thou wilt needes thrust thy necke into a yokeweare
the print of itand sigh away sundaies: lookedon Pedro
is returned to seeke you.

Enter don PedroIohn the bastard.

Pedr. What secret hath held you herethat you followed
not to Leonatoes?

Bened. I would your Grace would constraine mee to

Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegeance

Ben. You heareCount ClaudioI can be secret as a
dumbe manI would haue you thinke so (but on my allegiance
marke you thison my allegiance) hee is in
loueWith who? now that is your Graces part: marke
how short his answere iswith HeroLeonatoes short

Clau. If this were soso were it vttred

Bened. Like the old talemy Lordit is not sonor 'twas
not so: but indeedeGod forbid it should be so

Clau. If my passion change not shortlyGod forbid it
should be otherwise

Pedro. Amenif you loue herfor the Ladie is verie
well worthie

Clau. You speake this to fetch me inmy Lord

Pedr. By my troth I speake my thought

Clau. And in faithmy LordI spoke mine

Bened. And by my two faiths and trothsmy LordI
speake mine

Clau. That I loue herI feele

Pedr. That she is worthieI know

Bened. That I neither feele how shee should be loued
nor know how shee should be worthieis the
opinion that fire cannot melt out of meI will die in it at
the stake

Pedr. Thou wast euer an obstinate heretique in the despight
of Beautie

Clau. And neuer could maintaine his partbut in the
force of his will

Ben. That a woman conceiued meI thanke her: that
she brought mee vpI likewise giue her most humble
thankes: but that I will haue a rechate winded in my
foreheador hang my bugle in an inuisible baldrickeall
women shall pardon me: because I will not do them the
wrong to mistrust anyI will doe my selfe the right to
trust none: and the fine is(for the which I may goe the

finer) I will liue a Batchellor

Pedro. I shall see thee ere I dielooke pale with loue

Bene. With angerwith sicknesseor with hunger
my Lordnot with loue: proue that euer I loose more
blood with louethen I will get againe with drinking
picke out mine eyes with a Ballet-makers penneand
hang me vp at the doore of a brothel-house for the signe
of blinde Cupid

Pedro. Wellif euer thou doost fall from this faith
thou wilt proue a notable argument

Bene. If I dohang me in a bottle like a Cat& shoot
at meand he that hit's melet him be clapt on the shoulder
and cal'd Adam

Pedro. Wellas time shall trie: In time the sauage
Bull doth beare the yoake

Bene. The sauage bull maybut if euer the sensible
Benedicke beare itplucke off the bulles hornesand set
them in my foreheadand let me be vildely paintedand
in such great Letters as they writeheere is good horse
to hire: let them signifie vnder my signehere you may
see Benedicke the married man

Clau. If this should euer happenthou wouldst bee
horne mad

Pedro. Nayif Cupid haue not spent all his Quiuer in
Venicethou wilt quake for this shortly

Bene. I looke for an earthquake too then

Pedro. Wellyou will temporize with the houresin
the meane timegood Signior Benedickerepaire to Leonatoes
commend me to himand tell him I will not faile
him at supperfor indeede he hath made great preparation

Bene. I haue almost matter enough in me for such an
Embassageand so I commit you

Clau. To the tuition of God. From my houseif I
had it

Pedro. The sixt of Iuly. Your louing friendBenedick

Bene. Nay mocke notmocke not; the body of your
discourse is sometime guarded with fragmentsand the
guardes are but slightly basted on neitherere you flout
old ends any furtherexamine your conscienceand so I
leaue you.


Clau. My Liegeyour Highnesse now may doe mee

Pedro. My loue is thine to teachteach it but how
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learne
Any hard Lesson that may do thee good

Clau. Hath Leonato any sonne my Lord?
Pedro. No childe but Heroshe's his onely heire.
Dost thou affect her Claudio?

Clau. O my Lord
When you went onward on this ended action
I look'd vpon her with a souldiers eie
That lik'dbut had a rougher taske in hand
Than to driue liking to the name of loue:
But now I am return'dand that warre-thoughts
Haue left their places vacant: in their roomes
Come thronging soft and delicate desires
All prompting mee how faire yong Hero is
Saying I lik'd her ere I went to warres

Pedro. Thou wilt be like a louer presently
And tire the hearer with a booke of words:
If thou dost loue faire Herocherish it
And I will breake with her: wast not to this end
That thou beganst to twist so fine a story?

Clau. How sweetly doe you minister to loue
That know loues griefe by his complexion!
But lest my liking might too sodaine seeme
I would haue salu'd it with a longer treatise

Ped. What need y bridge much broder then the flood?
The fairest graunt is the necessitie:
Looke what will serueis fit: 'tis oncethou louest
And I will fit thee with the remedie
I know we shall haue reuelling to night
I will assume thy part in some disguise
And tell faire Hero I am Claudio
And in her bosome Ile vnclaspe my heart
And take her hearing prisoner with the force
And strong incounter of my amorous tale:
Then afterto her father will I breake
And the conclusion isshee shall be thine
In practise let vs put it presently.


Enter Leonato and an old manbrother to Leonato.

Leo. How now brotherwhere is my cosen your son:
hath he prouided this musicke?
Old. He is very busie about itbut brotherI can tell
you newes that you yet dreamt not of

Lo. Are they good?

Old. As the euents stamps thembut they haue a good
couer: they shew well outwardthe Prince and Count
Claudio walking in a thick pleached alley in my orchard
were thus ouer-heard by a man of mine: the Prince discouered
to Claudio that hee loued my niece your daughter
and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance
and if hee found her accordanthee meant to take the
present time by the topand instantly breake with you
of it

Leo. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?
Old. A good sharpe fellowI will send for himand
question him your selfe

Leo. Nono; wee will hold it as a dreametill it appeare
it selfe: but I will acquaint my daughter withall

that she may be the better prepared for an answerif peraduenture
this bee true: goe you and tell her of it: coosins
you know what you haue to doeO I crie you mercie
friendgoe you with mee and I will vse your skill
good cosin haue a care this busie time.


Enter Sir Iohn the Bastardand Conrade his companion.

Con. What the good yeere my Lordwhy are you
thus out of measure sad?
Ioh. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds
therefore the sadnesse is without limit

Con. You should heare reason

Iohn. And when I haue heard itwhat blessing bringeth
Con. If not a present remedyyet a patient sufferance

Ioh. I wonder that thou (being as thou saist thou art
borne vnder Saturne) goest about to apply a morall medicine
to a mortifying mischiefe: I cannot hide what I
am: I must bee sad when I haue causeand smile at no
mans iestseat when I haue stomackeand wait for no
mans leisure: sleepe when I am drowsieand tend on no
mans businesselaugh when I am merryand claw no man
in his humor

Con. Yeabut you must not make the ful show of this
till you may doe it without controllmentyou haue of
late stood out against your brotherand hee hath tane
you newly into his gracewhere it is impossible you
should take rootbut by the faire weather that you make
your selfeit is needful that you frame the season for your
owne haruest

Iohn. I had rather be a canker in a hedgethen a rose
in his graceand it better fits my bloud to be disdain'd of
allthen to fashion a carriage to rob loue from any: in this
(though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man)
it must not be denied but I am a plaine dealing villaineI
am trusted with a musselland enfranchisde with a clog
therefore I haue decreednot to sing in my cage: if I had
my mouthI would bite: if I had my libertyI would do
my liking: in the meane timelet me be that I amand
seeke not to alter me

Con. Can you make no vse of your discontent?
Iohn. I will make all vse of itfor I vse it onely.
Who comes here? what newes Borachio?

Enter Borachio.

Bor. I came yonder from a great supperthe Prince
your brother is royally entertained by Leonatoand I can
giue you intelligence of an intended marriage

Iohn. Will it serue for any Modell to build mischiefe
on? What is hee for a foole that betrothes himselfe to

Bor. Mary it is your brothers right hand

Iohn. Whothe most exquisite Claudio?
Bor. Euen he

Iohn. A proper squierand whoand whowhich way
lookes he?
Bor. Mary on Herothe daughter and Heire of Leonato

Iohn. A very forward March-chickehow came you
to this:

Bor. Being entertain'd for a perfumeras I was smoaking
a musty roomecomes me the Prince and Claudio
hand in hand in sad conference: I whipt behind the Arras
and there heard it agreed vponthat the Prince should
wooe Hero for himselfeand hauing obtain'd hergiue
her to Count Claudio

Iohn. Comecomelet vs thitherthis may proue food
to my displeasurethat young start-vp hath all the glorie
of my ouerthrow: if I can crosse him any wayI blesse
my selfe euery wayyou are both sureand will assist

Conr. To the death my Lord

Iohn. Let vs to the great suppertheir cheere is the
greater that I am subduedwould the Cooke were of my
minde: shall we goe proue whats to be done?

Bor. Wee'll wait vpon your Lordship.


Actus Secundus.

Enter Leonatohis brotherhis wifeHero his daughterand
Beatrice his
neeceand a kinsman.

Leonato. Was not Count Iohn here at supper?
Brother. I saw him not

Beatrice. How tartly that Gentleman lookesI neuer
can see himbut I am heart-burn'd an howre after

Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition

Beatrice. Hee were an excellent man that were made
iust in the mid-way betweene him and Benedickethe one
is too like an image and saies nothingand the other too
like my Ladies eldest sonneeuermore tatling

Leon. Then halfe signior Benedicks tongue in Count
Iohns mouthand halfe Count Iohns melancholy in Signior
Benedicks face

Beat. With a good leggeand a good foot vnckleand
money enough in his pursesuch a man would winne any
woman in the worldif he could get her good will

Leon. By my troth Neecethou wilt neuer get thee a
husbandif thou be so shrewd of thy tongue

Brother. Infaith shee's too curst

Beat. Too curst is more then curstI shall lessen Gods

sending that way: for it is saidGod sends a curst Cow
short hornesbut to a Cow too curst he sends none

Leon. Soby being too curstGod will send you no

Beat. Iustif he send me no husbandfor the which
blessingI am at him vpon my knees euery morning and
euening: LordI could not endure a husband with a
beard on his faceI had rather lie in the woollen

Leonato. You may light vpon a husband that hath no

Beatrice. What should I doe with him? dresse him in
my apparelland make him my waiting gentlewoman? he
that hath a beardis more then a youth: and he that hath
no beardis lesse then a man: and hee that is more then a
youthis not for mee: and he that is lesse then a manI am
not for him: therefore I will euen take sixepence in earnest
of the Berrordand leade his Apes into hell

Leon. Well thengoe you into hell

Beat. Nobut to the gateand there will the Deuill
meete mee like an old Cuckold with hornes on his head
and sayget you to heauen Beatriceget you to heauen
heere's no place for you maidsso deliuer I vp my Apes
and away to S[aint]. Peter: for the heauenshee shewes mee
where the Batchellers sitand there liue wee as merry as
the day is long

Brother. Well neeceI trust you will be rul'd by your

Beatrice. Yes faithit is my cosens dutie to make curtsie
and sayas it please you: but yet for all that cosinlet
him be a handsome fellowor else make an other cursie
and sayfatheras it please me

Leonato. Well neeceI hope to see you one day fitted
with a husband

Beatrice. Not till God make men of some other mettall
then earthwould it not grieue a woman to be ouermastred
with a peece of valiant dust: to make account of
her life to a clod of waiward marle? no vnckleile none:
Adams sonnes are my brethrenand truly I hold it a sinne
to match in my kinred

Leon. Daughterremember what I told youif the
Prince doe solicit you in that kindeyou know your answere

Beatrice. The fault will be in the musicke cosinif you
be not woed in good time: if the Prince bee too important
tell him there is measure in euery thing& so dance
out the answerefor heare me Herowooingwedding&
repentingis as a Scotch jiggea measureand a cinquepace:
the first suite is hot and hasty like a Scotch jigge
(and full as fantasticall) the wedding manerly modest
(as a measure) full of state & aunchentryand then comes
repentanceand with his bad legs falls into the cinquepace
faster and fastertill he sinkes into his graue

Leonato. Cosin you apprehend passing shrewdly

Beatrice. I haue a good eye vnckleI can see a Church
by daylight

Leon. The reuellers are entring brothermake good
Enter PrincePedroClaudioand Benedickeand Balthasaror
dumbe Iohn
Maskers with a drum.

Pedro. Ladywill you walke about with your friend?

Hero. So you walke softlyand looke sweetlyand say
nothingI am yours for the walkeand especially when I
walke away

Pedro. With me in your company

Hero. I may say so when I please

Pedro. And when please you to say so?
Hero. When I like your fauourfor God defend the
Lute should be like the case

Pedro. My visor is Philemons roofewithin the house
is Loue

Hero. Why then your visor should be thatcht

Pedro. Speake low if you speake Loue

Bene. WellI would you did like me

Mar. So would not I for your owne sakefor I haue
manie ill qualities

Bene. Which is one?
Mar. I say my prayers alowd

Ben. I loue you the betterthe hearers may cry Amen

Mar. God match me with a good dauncer

Balt. Amen

Mar. And God keepe him out of my sight when the
daunce is done: answer Clarke

Balt. No more wordsthe Clarke is answered

Vrsula. I know you well enoughyou are Signior Anthonio

Anth. At a wordI am not

Vrsula. I know you by the wagling of your head

Anth. To tell you trueI counterfet him

Vrsu. You could neuer doe him so ill wellvnlesse
you were the very man: here's his dry hand vp & down
you are heyou are he

Anth. At a word I am not

Vrsula. Comecomedoe you thinke I doe not know
you by your excellent wit? can vertue hide it selfe? goe
to mummeyou are hegraces will appeareand there's
an end

Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so?
Bene. Noyou shall pardon me

Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are?
Bened. Not now

Beat. That I was disdainfulland that I had my good
wit out of the hundred merry tales: wellthis was Signior
Benedicke that said so

Bene. What's he?
Beat. I am sure you know him well enough

Bene. Not Ibeleeue me

Beat. Did he neuer make you laugh?
Bene. I pray you what is he?
Beat. Why he is the Princes ieastera very dull foole

onely his gift isin deuising impossible slandersnone
but Libertines delight in himand the commendation is
not in his wittebut in his villaniefor hee both pleaseth
men and angers themand then they laugh at himand
beat him: I am sure he is in the FleetI would he had
boorded me

Bene. When I know the GentlemanIle tell him what
you say

Beat. Dodohee'l but breake a comparison or two
on mewhich peraduenture (not marktor not laugh'd
at) strikes him into melanchollyand then there's a Partridge
wing sauedfor the foole will eate no supper that
night. We must follow the Leaders

Ben. In euery good thing

Bea. Nayif they leade to any illI will leaue them
at the next turning.


Musicke for the dance.

Iohn. Sure my brother is amorous on Heroand hath
withdrawne her father to breake with him about it: the
Ladies follow herand but one visor remaines

Borachio. And that is ClaudioI know him by his bearing

Iohn. Are not you signior Benedicke?
Clau. You know me wellI am hee

Iohn. Signioryou are verie neere my Brother in his
louehe is enamor'd on HeroI pray you disswade him
from hershe is no equall for his birth: you may do the
part of an honest man in it

Claudio. How know you he loues her?
Iohn. I heard him sweare his affection

Bor. So did I tooand he swore he would marrie her
to night

Iohn. Comelet vs to the banquet.

Ex. manet Clau.

Clau. Thus answere I in name of Benedicke
But heare these ill newes with the eares of Claudio:
'Tis certaine sothe Prince woes for himselfe:
Friendship is constant in all other things
Saue in the Office and affaires of loue:
Therefore all hearts in loue vse their owne tongues.
Let euerie eye negotiate for it selfe
And trust no Agent: for beautie is a witch
Against whose charmesfaith melteth into blood:
This is an accident of hourely proofe
Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore Hero.
Enter Benedicke.

Ben. Count Claudio

Clau. Yeathe same

Ben. Comewill you goe with me?
Clau. Whither?
Ben. Euen to the next Willowabout your own businesse

Count. What fashion will you weare the Garland
off? About your neckelike an Vsurers chaine? Or
vnder your armelike a Lieutenants scarfe? You must
weare it one wayfor the Prince hath got your Hero

Clau . I wish him ioy of her

Ben. Why that's spoken like an honest Drouierso
they sel Bullockes: but did you thinke the Prince wold
haue serued you thus?

Clau. I pray you leaue me

Ben. Ho now you strike like the blindman'twas the
boy that stole your meateand you'l beat the post

Clau. If it will not beIle leaue you.

Ben. Alas poore hurt fowlenow will he creepe into
sedges: But that my Ladie Beatrice should know me&
not know me: the Princes foole! Hah? It may be I goe
vnder that titlebecause I am merrie: yea but so I am
apt to do my selfe wrong: I am not so reputedit is the
base (though bitter) disposition of Beatricethat putt's
the world into her personand so giues me out: wellIle
be reuenged as I may.
Enter the Prince.

Pedro. Now Signiorwhere's the Countdid you
see him?

Bene. Troth my LordI haue played the part of Lady
FameI found him heere as melancholy as a Lodge in a
WarrenI told himand I thinketold him truethat your
grace had got the will of this young Ladyand I offered
him my company to a willow treeeither to make him a
garlandas being forsakenor to binde him a rodas being

worthy to be whipt

Pedro. To be whiptwhat's his fault?

Bene. The flat transgression of a Schoole-boywho
being ouer-ioyed with finding a birds nestshewes it his
companionand he steales it

Pedro. Wilt thou make a trusta transgression? the
transgression is in the stealer

Ben. Yet it had not been amisse the rod had beene
madeand the garland toofor the garland he might haue
worne himselfeand the rod hee might haue bestowed on
youwho (as I take it) haue stolne his birds nest

Pedro. I will but teach them to singand restore them
to the owner

Bene. If their singing answer your sayingby my faith
you say honestly

Pedro. The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrell to youthe
Gentleman that daunst with hertold her shee is much
wrong'd by you

Bene. O she misusde me past the indurance of a block:
an oake but with one greene leafe on itwould haue answered
her: my very visor began to assume lifeand scold
with her: shee told meenot thinking I had beene my
selfethat I was the Princes Iesterand that I was duller
then a great thawhudling iest vpon iestwith such impossible
conueiance vpon methat I stood like a man at a
markewith a whole army shooting at me: shee speakes
poynyardsand euery word stabbes: if her breath were
as terrible as terminationsthere were no liuing neere
hershe would infect to the north starre: I would not
marry herthough she were indowed with all that Adam
had left him before he transgrestshe would haue made

Hercules haue turnd spityeaand haue cleft his club to
make the fire too: cometalke not of heryou shall finde
her the infernall Ate in good apparell. I would to God
some scholler would coniure herfor certainely while she
is heerea man may liue as quiet in hellas in a sanctuary
and people sinne vpon purposebecause they would goe
thitherso indeed all disquiethorrorand perturbation
followes her.
Enter Claudio and BeatriceLeonatoHero.

Pedro. Looke heere she comes

Bene. Will your Grace command mee any seruice to
the worlds end? I will goe on the slightest arrand now
to the Antypodes that you can deuise to send me on: I
will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the furthest inch
of Asia: bring you the length of Prester Iohns foot: fetch
you a hayre off the great Chams beard: doe you any embassage
to the Pigmiesrather then hould three words
conferencewith this Harpy: you haue no employment
for me?

Pedro. Nonebut to desire your good company

Bene. O God sirheeres a dish I loue notI cannot indure
this Lady tongue.

Pedr. Come Ladycomeyou haue lost the heart of
Signior Benedicke

Beatr. Indeed my Lordhee lent it me a whileand I
gaue him vse for ita double heart for a single onemarry
once before he wonne it of meewith false dicetherefore
your Grace may well say I haue lost it

Pedro. You haue put him downe Ladyyou haue put
him downe

Beat. So I would not he should do memy Lordlest
I should prooue the mother of fooles: I haue brought
Count Claudiowhom you sent me to seeke

Pedro. Why how now Countwherfore are you sad?
Claud. Not sad my Lord

Pedro. How then? sicke?
Claud. Neithermy Lord

Beat. The Count is neither sadnor sickenor merry
nor well: but ciuill Countciuill as an Orangeand something
of a iealous complexion

Pedro. Ifaith LadyI thinke your blazon to be true.
though Ile be sworneif hee be sohis conceit is false:
heere ClaudioI haue wooed in thy nameand faire Hero
is wonI haue broke with her fatherand his good will
obtainedname the day of marriageand God giue
thee ioy

Leona. Counttake of me my daughterand with her
my fortunes: his grace hath made the match& all grace
sayAmen to it

Beatr. Speake Counttis your Qu

Claud. Silence is the perfectest Herault of ioyI were
but little happy if I could sayhow much? Ladyas you
are mineI am yoursI giue away my selfe for youand
doat vpon the exchange

Beat. Speake cosinor (if you cannot) stop his mouth
with a kisseand let not him speake neither

Pedro. In faith Lady you haue a merry heart

Beatr. Yea my Lord I thanke itpoore foole it keepes
on the windy side of Caremy coosin tells him in his eare
that he is in my heart

Clau. And so she doth coosin

Beat. Good Lord for alliance: thus goes euery one
to the world but Iand I am sun-burn'dI may sit in a corner
and cryheigh ho for a husband

Pedro. Lady BeatriceI will get you one

Beat. I would rather haue one of your fathers getting:
hath your Grace ne're a brother like you? your father
got excellent husbandsif a maid could come by them

Prince. Will you haue me? Lady

Beat. Nomy Lordvnlesse I might haue another for
working-daiesyour Grace is too costly to weare euerie
day: but I beseech your Grace pardon meeI was borne
to speake all mirthand no matter

Prince. Your silence most offends meand to be merry
best becomes youfor out of questionyou were born
in a merry howre

Beatr. No sure my Lordmy Mother criedbut then
there was a starre daunstand vnder that was I borne: cosins
God giue you ioy

Leonato. Neecewill you looke to those things I told
you of?
Beat. I cry you mercy Vncleby your Graces pardon.

Exit Beatrice.

Prince. By my troth a pleasant spirited Lady

Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her
my Lordshe is neuer sadbut when she sleepesand not
euer sad then: for I haue heard my daughter sayshe hath
often dreamt of vnhappinesseand wakt her selfe with

Pedro. Shee cannot indure to heare tell of a husband

Leonato. Oby no meanesshe mocks all her wooers
out of suite

Prince. She were an excellent wife for Benedick

Leonato. O Lordmy Lordif they were but a weeke
marriedthey would talke themselues madde

Prince. Counte Claudiowhen meane you to goe to
Clau. To morrow my LordTime goes on crutches
till Loue haue all his rites

Leonato. Not till mondaymy deare sonnewhich is
hence a iust seuen nightand a time too briefe tooto haue
all things answer minde

Prince. Comeyou shake the head at so long a breathing
but I warrant thee Claudiothe time shall not goe
dully by vsI will in the interimvndertake one of Hercules
laborswhich isto bring Signior Benedicke and the
Lady Beatrice into a mountaine of affectionth' one with
th' otherI would faine haue it a matchand I doubt not
but to fashion itif you three will but minister such assistance
as I shall giue you direction

Leonato. My LordI am for youthough it cost mee
ten nights watchings

Claud. And I my Lord

Prin. And you to gentle Hero?

Hero. I will doe any modest officemy Lordto helpe
my cosin to a good husband

Prin. And Benedick is not the vnhopefullest husband
that I know: thus farre can I praise himhee is of a noble
straineof approued valourand confirm'd honestyI will
teach you how to humour your cosinthat shee shall fall
in loue with Benedickeand Iwith your two helpeswill
so practise on Benedickethat in despight of his quicke
witand his queasie stomackehee shall fall in loue with
Beatrice: if wee can doe thisCupid is no longer an Archer
his glory shall be oursfor wee are the onely louegods
goe in with meand I will tell you my drift.

Enter Iohn and Borachio.

Ioh. It is sothe Count Claudio shal marry the daughter
of Leonato

Bora. Yea my Lordbut I can crosse it

Iohn. Any barreany crosseany impedimentwill be
medicinable to meI am sicke in displeasure to himand
whatsoeuer comes athwart his affectionranges euenly
with minehow canst thou crosse this marriage?

Bor. Not honestly my Lordbut so couertlythat no
dishonesty shall appeare in me

Iohn. Shew me breefely how

Bor. I thinke I told your Lordship a yeere sincehow
much I am in the fauour of Margaretthe waiting gentlewoman
to Hero

Iohn. I remember

Bor. I can at any vnseasonable instant of the night
appoint her to looke out at her Ladies chamber window

Iohn. What life is in thatto be the death of this marriage?

Bor. The poyson of that lies in you to tempergoe
you to the Prince your brotherspare not to tell himthat
hee hath wronged his Honor in marrying the renowned
Claudiowhose estimation do you mightily hold vpto a
contaminated stalesuch a one as Hero

Iohn. What proofe shall I make of that?

Bor. Proofe enoughto misuse the Princeto vexe
Claudioto vndoe Heroand kill Leonatolooke you for any
other issue?

Iohn. Onely to despight themI will endeauour any

Bor. Goe thenfinde me a meete howreto draw on
Pedro and the Count Claudio alonetell them that you
know that Hero loues meintend a kinde of zeale both
to the Prince and Claudio (as in a loue of your brothers
honor who hath made this match) and his friends reputation
who is thus like to be cosen'd with the semblance
of a maidthat you haue discouer'd thus: they will scarcely
beleeue this without triall: offer them instances which
shall beare no lesse likelihoodthan to see mee at her
chamber windowheare me call MargaretHero; heare

Margaret terme me Claudioand bring them to see this
the very night before the intended weddingfor in the
meane timeI will so fashion the matterthat Hero shall
be absentand there shall appeare such seeming truths of
Heroes disloyaltiethat iealousie shall be cal'd assurance
and all the preparation ouerthrowne

Iohn. Grow this to what aduerse issue it canI will
put it in practise: be cunning in the working thisand
thy fee is a thousand ducates

Bor. Be thou constant in the accusationand my cunning
shall not shame me

Iohn. I will presentlie goe learne their day of marriage.

Enter Benedicke alone.

Bene. Boy

Boy. Signior

Bene. In my chamber window lies a bookebring it
hither to me in the orchard

Boy. I am heere already sir.

Bene. I know thatbut I would haue thee henceand
heere againe. I doe much wonderthat one man seeing
how much another man is a foolewhen he dedicates his
behauiours to louewill after hee hath laught at such
shallow follies in othersbecome the argument of his
owne scorneby falling in loue& such a man is Claudio.
I haue known when there was no musicke with him but
the drum and the fifeand now had hee rather heare the
taber and the pipe: I haue knowne when he would haue
walkt ten mile afootto see a good armorand now will
he lie ten nights awake caruing the fashion of a new dublet:
he was wont to speake plaine& to the purpose (like
an honest man & a souldier) and now is he turn'd orthography
his words are a very fantasticall banquetiust so
many strange dishes: may I be so conuerted& see with
these eyes? I cannot tellI thinke not: I will not bee
swornebut loue may transforme me to an oysterbut Ile
take my oath on ittill he haue made an oyster of mehe
shall neuer make me such a foole: one woman is faireyet
I am well: another is wiseyet I am well: another vertuous
yet I am well: but till all graces be in one woman
one woman shall not come in my grace: rich shee shall
bethat's certaine: wiseor Ile none: vertuousor Ile neuer
cheapen her: faireor Ile neuer looke on her: milde
or come not neere me: Nobleor not for an Angell: of
good discourse: an excellent Musitianand her haire shal
be of what colour it please Godhah! the Prince and
Monsieur LoueI will hide me in the Arbor.
Enter PrinceLeonatoClaudioand Iacke Wilson.

Prin. Comeshall we heare this musicke?
Claud. Yea my good Lord: how still the euening is.
As husht on purpose to grace harmonie

Prin. See you where Benedicke hath hid himselfe?

Clau. O very well my Lord: the musicke ended
Wee'll fit the kid-foxe with a penny worth

Prince. Come Balthasarwee'll heare that song again

Balth. O good my Lordtaxe not so bad a voyce
To slander musicke any more then once

Prin. It is the witnesse still of excellency
To slander Musicke any more then once

Prince. It is the witnesse still of excellencie
To put a strange face on his owne perfection
I pray thee singand let me woe no more

Balth. Because you talke of wooingI will sing
Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
To her he thinkes not worthyyet he wooes
Yet will he sweare he loues

Prince. Nay pray thee come
Or if thou wilt hold longer argument
Doe it in notes

Balth. Note this before my notes
Theres not a note of mine that's worth the noting

Prince. Why these are very crotchets that he speaks
Note notes forsoothand nothing

Bene. Now diuine airenow is his soule rauishtis it
not strange that sheepes guts should hale soules out of
mens bodies? wella horne for my money when all's

The Song.

Sigh no more Ladiessigh no more
Men were deceiuers euer
One foote in Seaand one on shore
To one thing constant neuer
Then sigh not sobut let them goe
And be you blithe and bonnie
Conuerting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nony nony.
Sing no more dittiessing no moe
Of dumps so dull and heauy
The fraud of men were euer so
Since summer first was leauy
Then sigh not so&c

Prince. By my troth a good song

Balth. And an ill singermy Lord

Prince. Hanono faiththou singst well enough for a

Ben. And he had been a dog that should haue howld
thusthey would haue hang'd himand I pray God his
bad voyce bode no mischiefeI had as liefe haue heard
the night-rauencome what plague could haue come after

Prince. Yea marrydost thou heare Balthasar? I pray
thee get vs some excellent musick: for to morrow night
we would haue it at the Lady Heroes chamber window

Balth. The best I canmy Lord.

Exit Balthasar.

Prince. Do sofarewell. Come hither Leonatowhat
was it you told me of to daythat your Niece Beatrice
was in loue with signior Benedicke?

Cla. O Istalke onstalke onthe foule sits. I did neuer
thinke that Lady would haue loued any man

Leon. Nonor I neitherbut most wonderfulthat she
should so dote on Signior Benedickewhom shee hath in
all outward behauiours seemed euer to abhorre

Bene. Is't possible? sits the winde in that corner?

Leo. By my troth my LordI cannot tell what to
thinke of itbut that she loues him with an inraged affection
it is past the infinite of thought

Prince. May be she doth but counterfeit

Claud. Faith like enough

Leon. O God! counterfeit? there was neuer counterfeit
of passioncame so neere the life of passion as she discouers

Prince. Why what effects of passion shewes she?
Claud. Baite the hooke wellthis fish will bite

Leon. What effects my Lord? shee will sit youyou
heard my daughter tell you how

Clau. She did indeed

Prince. Howhow I pray you? you amaze meI would
haue thought her spirit had beene inuincible against all
assaults of affection

Leo. I would haue sworne it hadmy Lordespecially
against Benedicke

Bene. I should thinke this a gullbut that the whitebearded
fellow speakes it: knauery cannot sure hide
himselfe in such reuerence

Claud. He hath tane th' infectionhold it vp

Prince. Hath shee made her affection known to Benedicke:
Leonato. Noand sweares she neuer willthat's her

Claud. 'Tis true indeedso your daughter saies: shall
Isaies shethat haue so oft encountred him with scorne
write to him that I loue him?

Leo. This saies shee now when shee is beginning to
write to himfor shee'll be vp twenty times a nightand
there will she sit in her smocketill she haue writ a sheet
of paper: my daughter tells vs all

Clau. Now you talke of a sheet of paperI remember
a pretty iest your daughter told vs of

Leon. O when she had writ it& was reading it ouer
she found Benedicke and Beatrice betweene the sheete

Clau. That

Leon. O she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence
raild at her selfthat she should be so immodest to write
to one that shee knew would flout her: I measure him
saies sheby my owne spiritfor I should flout him if hee
writ to meeyea though I loue himI should

Clau. Then downe vpon her knees she fallsweepes
sobsbeates her heartteares her hayrepraiescursesO
sweet BenedickeGod giue me patience

Leon. She doth indeedmy daughter saies soand the
extasie hath so much ouerborne herthat my daughter is
somtime afeard she will doe a desperate out-rage to her
selfeit is very true

Prince. It were good that Benedicke knew of it by some
otherif she will not discouer it

Clau. To what end? he would but make a sport of it
and torment the poore Lady worse

Prin. And he shouldit were an almes to hang him
shee's an excellent sweet Ladyand (out of all suspition)
she is vertuous

Claudio. And she is exceeding wise

Prince. In euery thingbut in louing Benedicke

Leon. O my Lordwisedome and bloud combating in
so tender a bodywe haue ten proofes to onethat bloud
hath the victoryI am sorry for heras I haue iust cause
being her Vncleand her Guardian

Prince. I would shee had bestowed this dotage on
meeI would haue daft all other respectsand made her
halfe my selfe: I pray you tell Benedicke of itand heare
what he will say

Leon. Were it good thinke you?

Clau. Hero thinkes surely she wil diefor she saies she
will dieif hee loue her notand shee will die ere shee
make her loue knowneand she will die if hee wooe her
rather than shee will bate one breath of her accustomed

Prince. She doth wellif she should make tender of her
loue'tis very possible hee'l scorne itfor the man (as you
know all) hath a contemptible spirit

Clau. He is a very proper man

Prin. He hath indeed a good outward happines

Clau. 'Fore Godand in my minde very wise

Prin. He doth indeed shew some sparkes that are like

Leon. And I take him to be valiant

Prin. As HectorI assure youand in the managing of
quarrels you may see hee is wisefor either hee auoydes
them with great discretionor vndertakes them with a
Christian-like feare

Leon. If hee doe feare Goda must necessarilie keepe
peaceif hee breake the peacehee ought to enter into a
quarrell with feare and trembling

Prin. And so will he doefor the man doth fear God
howsoeuer it seemes not in himby some large ieasts hee
will make: wellI am sorry for your nieceshall we goe
see Benedickeand tell him of her loue

Claud. Neuer tell himmy Lordlet her weare it out
with good counsell

Leon. Nay that's impossibleshe may weare her heart
out first

Prin. Wellwe will heare further of it by your daughter
let it coole the whileI loue Benedicke welland I
could wish he would modestly examine himselfeto see
how much he is vnworthy to haue so good a Lady

Leon. My Lordwill you walke? dinner is ready

Clau. If he do not doat on her vpon thisI wil neuer
trust my expectation

Prin. Let there be the same Net spread for herand
that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry:
the sport will bewhen they hold one an opinion of anothers
dotageand no such matterthat's the Scene that I
would seewhich will be meerely a dumbe shew: let vs
send her to call him into dinner.


Bene. This can be no trickethe conference was sadly
bornethey haue the truth of this from Herothey seeme
to pittie the Lady: it seemes her affections haue the full
bent: loue me? why it must be requited: I heare how I
am censur'dthey say I will beare my selfe proudlyif I
perceiue the loue come from her: they say toothat she
will rather die than giue any signe of affection: I did neuer
thinke to marryI must not seeme proudhappy are
they that heare their detractionsand can put them to
mending: they say the Lady is faire'tis a truthI can
beare them witnesse: and vertuoustis soI cannot reprooue
itand wisebut for louing meby my troth it is
no addition to her wittenor no great argument of her
folly; for I wil be horribly in loue with herI may chance
haue some odde quirkes and remnants of witte broken
on meebecause I haue rail'd so long against marriage:
but doth not the appetite alter? a man loues the meat in
his youththat he cannot indure in his age. Shall quips
and sentencesand these paper bullets of the braine awe
a man from the careere of his humour? Nothe world

must be peopled. When I said I would die a batchelerI
did not think I should liue till I were mariedhere comes
Beatrice: by this dayshee's a faire LadyI doe spie some
markes of loue in her.
Enter Beatrice.

Beat. Against my wil I am sent to bid you come in to

Bene. Faire BeatriceI thanke you for your paines

Beat. I tooke no more paines for those thankesthen
you take paines to thanke meif it had been painefullI
would not haue come

Bene. You take pleasure then in the message

Beat. Yea iust so much as you may take vpon a kniues
pointand choake a daw withall: you haue no stomacke
signiorfare you well.

Bene. Haagainst my will I am sent to bid you come
into dinner: there's a double meaning in that: I tooke
no more paines for those thankes then you took paines
to thanke methat's as much as to sayany paines that I
take for you is as easie as thankes: if I do not take pitty
of her I am a villaineif I doe not loue her I am a IewI
will goe get her picture.

Actus Tertius.

Enter Hero and two GentlemenMargaretand Vrsula.

Hero. Good Margaret runne thee to the parlour
There shalt thou finde my Cosin Beatrice
Proposing with the Prince and Claudio
Whisper her eareand tell her I and Vrsula
Walke in the Orchardand our whole discourse
Is all of hersay that thou ouer-heardst vs
And bid her steale into the pleached bower
Where hony-suckles ripened by the sunne
Forbid the sunne to enter: like fauourites
Made proud by Princesthat aduance their pride
Against that power that bred itthere will she hide her
To listen our purposethis is thy office
Beare thee well in itand leaue vs alone

Marg. Ile make her come I warrant you presently

Hero. Now Vrsulawhen Beatrice doth come
As we do trace this alley vp and downe
Our talke must onely be of Benedicke
When I doe name himlet it be thy part
To praise him more then euer man did merit
My talke to thee must be how Benedicke
Is sicke in loue with Beatrice; of this matter
Is little Cupids crafty arrow made
That onely wounds by heare-say: now begin
Enter Beatrice.

For looke where Beatrice like a Lapwing runs

Close by the groundto heare our conference

Vrs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden ores the siluer streame
And greedily deuoure the treacherous baite:
So angle we for Beatricewho euen now
Is couched in the wood-bine couerture
Feare you not my part of the Dialogue

Her. Then go we neare her that her eare loose nothing
Of the false sweete baite that we lay for it:
No truely Vrsulashe is too disdainfull
I know her spirits are as coy and wilde
As Haggerds of the rocke

Vrsula. But are you sure
That Benedicke loues Beatrice so intirely?
Her. So saies the Princeand my new trothed Lord

Vrs. And did they bid you tell her of itMadam?

Her. They did intreate me to acquaint her of it
But I perswaded themif they lou'd Benedicke
To wish him wrastle with affection
And neuer to let Beatrice know of it

Vrsula. Why did you sodoth not the Gentleman
Deserue as full as fortunate a bed
As euer Beatrice shall couch vpon?

Hero. O God of loue! I know he doth deserue
As much as may be yeelded to a man:
But Nature neuer fram'd a womans heart
Of prowder stuffe then that of Beatrice:
Disdaine and Scorne ride sparkling in her eyes
Mis-prizing what they looke onand her wit
Values it selfe so highlythat to her
All matter else seemes weake: she cannot loue
Nor take no shape nor proiect of affection
Shee is so selfe indeared

Vrsula. Sure I thinke so
And therefore certainely it were not good
She knew his louelest she make sport at it

Hero. Why you speake truthI neuer yet saw man
How wisehow nobleyonghow rarely featur'd.
But she would spell him backward: if faire fac'd
She would sweare the gentleman should be her sister:
If blackewhy Nature drawing of an anticke
Made a foule blot: if talla launce ill headed:
If lowan agot very vildlie cut:
If speakingwhy a vane blowne with all windes:
If silentwhy a blocke moued with none.
So turnes she euery man the wrong side out
And neuer giues to Truth and Vertuethat
Which simplenesse and merit purchaseth

Vrsu. Suresuresuch carping is not commendable

Hero. Nonot to be so oddeand from all fashions
As Beatrice iscannot be commendable
But who dare tell her so? if I should speake
She would mocke me into ayreO she would laugh me
Out of my selfepresse me to death with wit
Therefore let Benedicke like couered fire

Consume away in sigheswaste inwardly:
It were a better deathto die with mockes
Which is as bad as die with tickling

Vrsu. Yet tell her of itheare what shee will say

Hero. Norather I will goe to Benedicke
And counsaile him to fight against his passion
And truly Ile deuise some honest slanders
To staine my cosin withone doth not know
How much an ill word may impoison liking

Vrsu. O doe not doe your cosin such a wrong
She cannot be so much without true iudgement
Hauing so swift and excellent a wit
As she is prisde to haueas to refuse
So rare a Gentleman as signior Benedicke

Hero. He is the onely man of Italy
Alwaies exceptedmy deare Claudio

Vrsu. I pray you be not angry with meMadame
Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedicke
For shapefor bearing argument and valour
Goes formost in report through Italy

Hero. Indeed he hath an excellent good name

Vrsu. His excellence did earne it ere he had it:
When are you married Madame?

Hero. Why euerie day to morrowcome goe in
Ile shew thee some attiresand haue thy counsell
Which is the best to furnish me to morrow

Vrsu. Shee's tane I warrant you
We haue caught her Madame?

Hero. If it proue sothen louing goes by haps
Some Cupid kills with arrowessome with traps.

Beat. What fire is in mine eares? can this be true?
Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorne so much?
Contemptfarewelland maiden prideadew
No glory liues behinde the backe of such.
And Benedickeloue onI will requite thee
Taming my wilde heart to thy louing hand:
If thou dost louemy kindnesse shall incite thee
To binde our loues vp in a holy band.
For others say thou dost deserueand I
Beleeue it better then reportingly.

Enter PrinceClaudioBenedickeand Leonato.

Prince. I doe but stay till your marriage be consummate
and then go I toward Arragon

Clau. Ile bring you thither my Lordif you'l vouchsafe

Prin. Naythat would be as great a soyle in the new
glosse of your marriageas to shew a childe his new coat
and forbid him to weare itI will onely bee bold with
Benedicke for his companiefor from the crowne of his

headto the sole of his foothe is all mirthhe hath twice
or thrice cut Cupids bow-stringand the little hang-man
dare not shoot at himhe hath a heart as sound as a bell
and his tongue is the clapperfor what his heart thinkes
his tongue speakes

Bene. GallantsI am not as I haue bin

Leo. So say Imethinkes you are sadder

Claud. I hope he be in loue

Prin. Hang him truantthere's no true drop of bloud
in him to be truly toucht with loueif he be sadhe wants

Bene. I haue the tooth-ach

Prin. Draw it

Bene. Hang it

Claud. You must hang it firstand draw it afterwards

Prin. What? sigh for the tooth-ach

Leon. Where is but a humour or a worme

Bene. Welleuery one cannot master a griefebut hee
that has it

Clau. Yet say Ihe is in loue

Prin. There is no appearance of fancie in himvnlesse
it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguisesas to bee a
Dutchman to daya Frenchman to morrow: vnlesse hee
haue a fancy to this fooleryas it appeares hee hathhee
is no foole for fancyas you would haue it to appeare
he is

Clau. If he be not in loue with some womanthere
is no beleeuing old signesa brushes his hat a mornings
What should that bode?

Prin. Hath any man seene him at the Barbers?

Clau. Nobut the Barbers man hath beene seen with
himand the olde ornament of his cheeke hath alreadie
stuft tennis balls

Leon. Indeed he lookes yonger than hee didby the
losse of a beard

Prin. Nay a rubs himselfe with Ciuitcan you smell
him out by that?
Clau. That's as much as to saythe sweet youth's in

Prin. The greatest note of it is his melancholy

Clau. And when was he wont to wash his face?
Prin. Yeaor to paint himselfe? for the which I heare
what they say of him

Clau. Naybut his iesting spiritwhich is now crept
into a lute-stringand now gouern'd by stops

Prin. Indeed that tels a heauy tale for him: conclude
he is in loue

Clau. Naybut I know who loues him

Prince. That would I know tooI warrant one that
knowes him not

Cla. Yesand his ill conditionsand in despight of all
dies for him

Prin. Shee shall be buried with her face vpwards

Bene. Yet is this no charme for the tooth-akeold signior
walke aside with meeI haue studied eight or nine
wise words to speake to youwhich these hobby-horses
must not heare

Prin. For my life to breake with him about Beatrice

Clau. 'Tis euen soHero and Margaret haue by this
played their parts with Beatriceand then the two Beares
will not bite one another when they meete.
Enter Iohn the Bastard.

Bast. My Lord and brotherGod saue you

Prin. Good den brother

Bast. If your leisure seru'dI would speake with you

Prince. In priuate?
Bast. If it please youyet Count Claudio may heare
for what I would speake ofconcernes him

Prin. What's the matter?
Basta. Meanes your Lordship to be married to morrow?
Prin. You know he does

Bast. I know not that when he knowes what I know

Clau. If there be any impedimentI pray you discouer

Bast. You may thinke I loue you notlet that appeare
hereafterand ayme better at me by that I now will manifest
for my brother (I thinkehe holds you welland in
dearenesse of heart) hath holpe to effect your ensuing
marriage: surely sute ill spentand labour ill bestowed

Prin. Whywhat's the matter?

Bastard. I came hither to tell youand circumstances
shortned(for she hath beene too long a talking of) the
Lady is disloyall

Clau. Who Hero?
Bast. Euen sheeLeonatoes Heroyour Heroeuery
mans Hero

Clau. Disloyall?

Bast. The word is too good to paint out her wickednesse
I could say she were worsethinke you of a worse
titleand I will fit her to it: wonder not till further warrant:

goe but with mee to nightyou shal see her chamber
window entredeuen the night before her wedding
dayif you loue herthen to morrow wed her: But it
would better fit your honour to change your minde

Claud. May this be so?
Princ. I will not thinke it

Bast. If you dare not trust that you seeconfesse not
that you know: if you will follow meeI will shew you
enoughand when you haue seene more& heard more
proceed accordingly

Clau. If I see any thing to nightwhy I should not
marry her to morrow in the congregationwhere I shold
weddethere will I shame her

Prin. And as I wooed for thee to obtaine herI will
ioyne with thee to disgrace her

Bast. I will disparage her no farthertill you are my
witnessesbeare it coldly but till nightand let the issue
shew it selfe

Prin. O day vntowardly turned!

Claud. O mischiefe strangelie thwarting!

Bastard. O plague right well preuented! so will you
saywhen you haue seene the sequele.

Enter Dogbery and his compartner with the watch.

Dog. Are you good men and true?

Verg. Yeaor else it were pitty but they should suffer
saluation body and soule

Dogb. Naythat were a punishment too good for
themif they should haue any allegiance in thembeing
chosen for the Princes watch

Verges. Wellgiue them their chargeneighbour

Dog. Firstwho thinke you the most desartlesse man
to be Constable

Watch.1. Hugh Ote-cake siror George Sea-coalefor
they can write and reade

Dogb. Come hither neighbour Sea-coaleGod hath
blest you with a good name: to be a wel-fauoured man
is the gift of Fortunebut to write and readecomes by

Watch 2. Both which Master Constable

Dogb. You haue: I knew it would be your answere:
wellfor your fauour sirwhy giue God thankes& make
no boast of itand for your writing and readinglet that
appeare when there is no need of such vanityyou are
thought heere to be the most senslesse and fit man for the
Constable of the watch: therefore beare you the lanthorne:
this is your charge: You shall comprehend all
vagrom menyou are to bid any man stand in the Princes

Watch 2. How if a will not stand?

Dogb. Why then take no note of himbut let him go
and presently call the rest of the Watch togetherand
thanke God you are ridde of a knaue

Verges. If he will not stand when he is biddenhee is
none of the Princes subiects

Dogb. Trueand they are to meddle with none but
the Princes subiects: you shall also make no noise in the
streetes: forfor the Watch to babble and talkeis most
tollerableand not to be indured

Watch. We will rather sleepe than talkewee know
what belongs to a Watch

Dog. Why you speake like an ancient and most quiet
watchmanfor I cannot see how sleeping should offend:
only haue a care that your bills be not stolne: wellyou
are to call at all the Alehousesand bid them that are
drunke get them to bed

Watch. How if they will not?

Dogb. Why then let them alone till they are soberif
they make you not then the better answereyou may say
they are not the men you tooke them for

Watch. Well sir

Dogb. If you meet a theefeyou may suspect himby
vertue of your officeto be no true man: and for such
kinde of menthe lesse you meddle or make with them
why the more is for your honesty

Watch. If wee know him to be a thiefeshall wee not
lay hands on him

Dogb. Truly by your office you maybut I think they
that touch pitch will be defil'd: the most peaceable way
for youif you doe take a theefeisto let him shew himselfe
what he isand steale out of your company

Ver. You haue bin alwaies cal'd a merciful ma[n] partner

Dog. Truely I would not hang a dog by my willmuch
more a man who hath anie honestie in him

Verges. If you heare a child crie in the night you must
call to the nurseand bid her still it

Watch. How if the nurse be asleepe and will not
heare vs?

Dog. Why then depart in peaceand let the childe
wake her with cryingfor the ewe that will not heare
her Lambe when it baeswill neuer answere a calfe when
he bleates

Verges. 'Tis verie true

Dog. This is the end of the charge: you constable
are to present the Princes owne personif you meete the
Prince in the nightyou may staie him

Verges. Nay birladie that I thinke a cannot

Dog. Fiue shillings to one on't with anie man that
knowes the Statuteshe may staie himmarrie not without
the prince be willingfor indeed the watch ought to
offend no manand it is an offence to stay a man against
his will

Verges. Birladie I thinke it be so

Dog. Haah hawell masters good nightand there be
anie matter of weight chancescall vp mekeepe your
fellowes counsailesand your owneand good night
come neighbour

Watch. Well masterswe heare our chargelet vs go
sit here vpon the Church bench till twoand then all to

Dog. One word morehonest neighbors. I pray you
watch about signior Leonatoes doorefor the wedding being
there to morrowthere is a great coyle to night
adiewbe vigitant I beseech you.


Enter Borachio and Conrade.

Bor. WhatConrade?

Watch. Peacestir not

Bor. Conrade I say

Con. Here manI am at thy elbow

Bor. Mas and my elbow itchtI thought there would
a scabbe follow

Con. I will owe thee an answere for thatand now
forward with thy tale

Bor. Stand thee close then vnder this penthousefor it
drissels raineand I willlike a true drunkardvtter all to

Watch. Some treason mastersyet stand close

Bor. Therefore knowI haue earned of Don Iohn a
thousand Ducates

Con. Is it possible that anie villanie should be so deare?

Bor. Thou should'st rather aske if it were possible anie
villanie should be so rich? for when rich villains haue
neede of poore onespoore ones may make what price
they will

Con. I wonder at it

Bor. That shewes thou art vnconfirm'dthou knowest
that the fashion of a doubletor a hator a cloakeis nothing
to a man

Con. Yesit is apparell

Bor. I meane the fashion

Con. Yes the fashion is the fashion

Bor. TushI may as well say the foole's the foolebut
seest thou not what a deformed theefe this fashion is?

Watch. I know that deformeda has bin a vile theefe
this vii. yearesa goes vp and downe like a gentle man:
I remember his name

Bor. Did'st thou not heare some bodie?
Con. No'twas the vaine on the house

Bor. Seest thou not (I say) what a deformed thiefe
this fashion ishow giddily a turnes about all the Hotblouds
betweenefoureteene & fiue & thirtiesometimes
fashioning them like Pharaoes souldiours in the rechie
paintingsometime like god Bels priests in the old
Church windowsometime like the shauen Hercules in
the smircht worm-eaten tapestriewhere his cod-peece
seemes as massie as his club

Con. All this I seeand see that the fashion weares out
more apparrell then the man; but art not thou thy selfe
giddie with the fashion too that thou hast shifted out of
thy tale into telling me of the fashion?

Bor. Not so neitherbut know that I haue to night
wooed Margaret the Lady Heroes gentle-womanby the
name of Heroshe leanes me out at her mistris chamberwindow
bids me a thousand times good night: I tell
this tale vildly. I should first tell thee how the Prince
Claudio and my Master plantedand placedand possessed
by my Master Don Iohnsaw a far off in the Orchard this
amiable incounter

Con. And thought thy Margaret was Hero?

Bor. Two of them didthe Prince and Claudiobut the
diuell my Master knew she was Margaret and partly by
his oatheswhich first possest thempartly by the darke
night which did deceiue thembut chiefelyby my villanie
which did confirme any slander that Don Iohn had
madeaway went Claudio enragedswore hee would
meete her as he was apointed next morning at the Temple
and therebefore the whole congregation shame her
with what he saw o're nightand send her home againe
without a husband

Watch.1. We charge you in the Princes name stand

Watch.2. Call vp the right master Constablewe haue
here recouered the most dangerous peece of lecherythat
euer was knowne in the Common-wealth

Watch.1. And one Deformed is one of themI know
hima weares a locke

Conr. Mastersmasters

Watch.2. Youle be made bring deformed forth I warrant
Conr. Mastersneuer speakewe charge youlet vs obey
you to goe with vs

Bor. We are like to proue a goodly commoditiebeing
taken vp of these mens bils

Conr. A commoditie in question I warrant youcome
weele obey you.


Enter Heroand Margaretand Vrsula.

Hero. Good Vrsula wake my cosin Beatriceand desire
her to rise

Vrsu. I will Lady

Her. And bid her come hither

Vrs. Well

Mar. Troth I thinke your other rebato were better

Hero. No pray thee good MegIle weare this

Marg. By my troth's not so goodand I warrant your
cosin will say so

Hero. My cosin's a fooleand thou art anotherile
weare none but this

Mar. I like the new tire within excellentlyif the
haire were a thought browner: and your gown's a most
rare fashion yfaithI saw the Dutchesse of Millaines
gowne that they praise so

Hero. O that exceedes they say

Mar. By my troth's but a night-gowne in respect of
yourscloth a gold and cutsand lac'd with siluerset with
pearlesdowne sleeuesside sleeuesand skirtsround vnderborn
with a blewish tinselbut for a fine queint gracefull
and excellent fashionyours is worth ten on't

Hero. God giue mee ioy to weare itfor my heart is
exceeding heauy

Marga. 'Twill be heauier sooneby the waight of a

Hero. Fie vpon theeart not asham'd?

Marg. Of what Lady? of speaking honourably? is
not marriage honourable in a beggar? is not your Lord
honourable without marriage? I thinke you would haue
me saysauing your reuerence a husband: and bad thinking
doe not wrest true speakingIle offend no bodyis
there any harme in the heauier for a husband? none I
thinkeand it be the right husbandand the right wife
otherwise 'tis light and not heauyaske my Lady Beatrice
elsehere she comes.
Enter Beatrice.

Hero. Good morrow Coze

Beat. Good morrow sweet Hero

Hero. Why how now? do you speake in the sick tune?
Beat. I am out of all other tuneme thinkes

Mar. Claps into Light a loue(that goes without a
burden) do you sing it and Ile dance it

Beat. Ye Light aloue with your heelesthen if your
husband haue stables enoughyou'll looke he shall lacke
no barnes

Mar. O illegitimate construction! I scorne that with
my heeles

Beat. 'Tis almost fiue a clocke cosin'tis time you
were readyby my troth I am exceeding illhey ho

Mar. For a haukea horseor a husband?
Beat. For the letter that begins them allH

Mar. Welland you be not turn'd Turkethere's no
more sayling by the starre

Beat. What meanes the foole trow?
Mar. Nothing Ibut God send euery one their harts

Hero. These gloues the Count sent meethey are an
excellent perfume

Beat. I am stuft cosinI cannot smell

Mar. A maid and stuft! there's goodly catching of

Beat. O God helpe meGod help mehow long haue
you profest apprehension?
Mar. Euer since you left itdoth not my wit become
me rarely?
Beat. It is not seene enoughyou should weare it in
your capby my troth I am sicke

Mar. Get you some of this distill'd carduus benedictus
and lay it to your heartit is the onely thing for a qualm

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thissell

Beat. Benedictuswhy benedictus? you haue some morall
in this benedictus

Mar. Morall? no by my trothI haue no morall meaning
I meant plaine holy thissellyou may thinke perchance
that I thinke you are in louenay birlady I am not
such a foole to thinke what I listnor I list not to thinke
what I cannor indeedI cannot thinkeif I would thinke
my hart out of thinkingthat you are in loueor that you
will be in loueor that you can be in loue: yet Benedicke
was such anotherand now is he become a manhe swore
hee would neuer marryand yet now in despight of his
heart he eates his meat without grudgingand how you
may be conuerted I know notbut me thinkes you looke
with your eies as other women doe

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keepes

Mar. Not a false gallop.
Enter Vrsula.

Vrsula. Madamwithdrawthe Princethe Countsignior
BenedickeDon Iohnand all the gallants of the
towne are come to fetch you to Church

Hero. Helpe me to dresse mee good cozegood Meg
good Vrsula.
Enter Leonatoand the Constableand the Headborough.

Leonato. What would you with meehonest neighbour?
Const.Dog. Mary sir I would haue some confidence
with youthat decernes you nearely

Leon. Briefe I pray youfor you see it is a busie time
with me

Const.Dog. Mary this it is sir

Headb. Yes in truth it is sir

Leon. What is it my good friends?

Con.Do. Goodman Verges sir speakes a little of the
matteran old man sirand his wits are not so bluntas
God helpe I would desire they werebut infaith honest
as the skin betweene his browes

Head. Yes I thank GodI am as honest as any man liuing
that is an old manand no honester then I

Con.Dog. Comparisons are odorouspalabrasneighbour

Leon. Neighboursyou are tedious

Con.Dog. It pleases your worship to say sobut we are
the poore Dukes officersbut truely for mine owne part
if I were as tedious as a King I could finde in my heart to
bestow it all of your worship

Leon. All thy tediousnesse on meah?

Const.Dog. Yeaand 'twere a thousand times more
than 'tisfor I heare as good exclamation on your Worship
as of any man in the Citieand though I bee but a
poore manI am glad to heare it

Head. And so am I

Leon. I would faine know what you haue to say

Head. Marry sir our watch to nightexcepting your
worships presencehaue tane a couple of as arrant
knaues as any in Messina

Con.Dog. A good old man sirhee will be talking as
they saywhen the age is inthe wit is outGod helpe vs
it is a world to see: well said yfaith neighbour Verges
wellGod's a good manand two men ride of a horse
one must ride behindean honest soule yfaith sirby my
troth he isas euer broke breadbut God is to bee worshipt
all men are not alikealas good neighbour

Leon. Indeed neighbour he comes too short of you

Con.Do. Gifts that God giues

Leon. I must leaue you

Con.Dog. One word sirour watch sir haue indeede
comprehended two aspitious persons& we would haue
them this morning examined before your worship

Leon. Take their examination your selfeand bring it
meI am now in great hasteas may appeare vnto you

Const. It shall be suffigance

Leon. Drinke some wine ere you goe: fare you well.

Messenger. My Lordthey stay for you to giue your
daughter to her husband

Leon. Ile wait vpon themI am ready

Dogb. Goe good partnergoe get you to Francis Seacoale
bid him bring his pen and inkehorne to the Gaole:
we are now to examine those men

Verges. And we must doe it wisely

Dogb. Wee will spare for no witte I warrant you:
heere's that shall driue some to a non-comeonly
get the learned writer to set downe our excommunication
and meet me at the Iaile.


Actus Quartus.

Enter PrinceBastardLeonatoFrierClaudioBenedickeHero

Leonato. Come Frier Francisbe briefeonely to the
plaine forme of marriageand you shal recount their particular
duties afterwards

Fran. You come hithermy Lordto marry this Lady

Clau. No

Leo. To be married to her: Frieryou come to marrie

Frier. Ladyyou come hither to be married to this

Hero. I doe

Frier. If either of you know any inward impediment
why you should not be conioynedI charge you on your
soules to vtter it

Claud. Know you anieHero?
Hero. None my Lord

Frier. Know you anieCount?

Leon. I dare make his answerNone

Clau. O what men dare do! what men may do! what
men daily do!
Bene. How now! interiections? why thensome be
of laughingas hahahe

Clau. Stand thee by Frierfatherby your leaue
Will you with free and vnconstrained soule
Giue me this maid your daughter?

Leon. As freely sonne as God did giue her me

Cla. And what haue I to giue you backwhose worth
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
Prin. Nothingvnlesse you render her againe

Clau. Sweet Princeyou learn me noble thankfulnes:
There Leonatotake her backe againe
Giue not this rotten Orenge to your friend
Shee's but the signe and semblance of her honour:
Behold how like a maid she blushes heere!
O what authoritie and shew of truth
Can cunning sinne couer it selfe withall!
Comes not that bloudas modest euidence
To witnesse simple Vertue? would you not sweare
All you that see herthat she were a maide
By these exterior shewes? But she is none:
She knowes the heat of a luxurious bed:
Her blush is guiltinessenot modestie

Leonato. What doe you meanemy Lord?
Clau. Not to be married
Not to knit my soule to an approued wanton

Leon. Deere my Lordif you in your owne proofe
Haue vanquisht the resistance of her youth
And made defeat of her virginitie

Clau. I know what you would say: if I haue knowne
You will sayshe did imbrace me as a husband
And so extenuate the forehand sinne: No Leonato
I neuer tempted her with word too large
But as a brother to his sistershewed
Bashfull sinceritie and comely loue

Hero. And seem'd I euer otherwise to you?

Clau. Out on thee seemingI will write against it
You seeme to me as Diane in her Orbe
As chaste as is the budde ere it be blowne:
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venusor those pampred animalls
That rage in sauage sensualitie

Hero. Is my Lord wellthat he doth speake so wide?
Leon. Sweete Princewhy speake not you?
Prin. What should I speake?

I stand dishonour'd that haue gone about
To linke my deare friend to a common stale

Leon. Are these things spokenor doe I but dreame?
Bast. Sirthey are spokenand these things are true

Bene. This lookes not like a nuptiall

Hero. TrueO God!

Clau. Leonatostand I here?
Is this the Prince? is this the Princes brother?
Is this face Heroes? are our eies our owne?

Leon. All this is sobut what of this my Lord?

Clau. Let me but moue one question to your daughter
And by that fatherly and kindly power
That you haue in herbid her answer truly

Leo. I charge thee doeas thou art my childe

Hero. O God defend me how am I beset
What kinde of catechizing call you this?
Clau. To make you answer truly to your name

Hero. Is it not Hero? who can blot that name
With any iust reproach?

Claud. Marry that can Hero
Hero it selfe can blot out Heroes vertue.
What man was hetalkt with you yesternight
Out at your window betwixt twelue and one?
Now if you are a maidanswer to this

Hero. I talkt with no man at that howre my Lord

Prince. Why then you are no maiden. Leonato
I am sorry you must heare: vpon mine honor
My selfemy brotherand this grieued Count
Did see herheare herat that howre last night
Talke with a ruffian at her chamber window
Who hath indeed most like a liberall villaine
Confest the vile encounters they haue had
A thousand times in secret

Iohn. Fiefiethey are not to be named my Lord
Not to be spoken of
There is not chastitie enough in language
Without offence to vtter them: thus pretty Lady
I am sorry for thy much misgouernment

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou beene
If halfe thy outward graces had beene placed
About thy thoughts and counsailes of thy heart?
But fare thee wellmost foulemost fairefarewell
Thou pure impietyand impious puritie
For thee Ile locke vp all the gates of Loue
And on my eie-lids shall Coniecture hang
To turne all beauty into thoughts of harme
And neuer shall it more be gracious

Leon. Hath no mans dagger here a point for me?
Beat. Why how now cosinwherfore sink you down?
Bast. Comelet vs go: these things come thus to light

Smother her spirits vp

Bene. How doth the Lady?
Beat. Dead I thinkehelpe vncle
Herowhy HeroVncleSignor BenedickeFrier

Leonato. O Fate! take not away thy heauy hand
Death is the fairest couer for her shame
That may be wisht for

Beatr. How now cosin Hero?
Fri. Haue comfort Ladie

Leon. Dost thou looke vp?
Frier. Yeawherefore should she not?
Leon. Wherfore? Why doth not euery earthly thing

Cry shame vpon her? Could she heere denie

The storie that is printed in her blood?

Do not liue Herodo not ope thine eyes:

For did I thinke thou wouldst not quickly die

Thought I thy spirits were stronger then thy shames

My selfe would on the reward of reproaches

Strike at thy life. Grieu'd II had but one?

Chid Ifor that at frugal Natures frame?

O one too much by thee: why had I one?

Why euer was't thou louelie in my eies?

Why had I not with charitable hand

Tooke vp a beggars issue at my gates

Who smeered thusand mir'd with infamie

I might haue saidno part of it is mine:

This shame deriues it selfe from vnknowne loines

But mineand mine I lou'dand mine I prais'd

And mine that I was proud on mine so much

That I my selfewas to my selfe not mine:

Valewing of herwhy sheO she is falne

Into a pit of Inkethat the wide sea

Hath drops too few to wash her cleane againe

And salt too littlewhich may season giue

To her foule tainted flesh

Ben. Sirsirbe patient: for my partI am so attired
in wonderI know not what to say

Bea. O on my soule my cosin is belied

Ben. Ladiewere you her bedfellow last night?
Bea. Notruly: not although vntill last night
I haue this tweluemonth bin her bedfellow

Leon. Confirm'dconfirm'dO that is stronger made

Which was before barr'd vp with ribs of iron.

Would the Princes lieand Claudio lie

Who lou'd her sothat speaking of her foulnesse

Wash'd it with teares? Hence from herlet her die

Fri. Heare me a littlefor I haue onely bene silent so

longand giuen way vnto this course of fortuneby noting

of the LadieI haue markt.

A thousand blushing apparitions

To start into her facea thousand innocent shames

In Angel whitenesse beare away those blushes

And in her eie there hath appear'd a fire

To burne the errors that these Princes hold

Against her maiden truth. Call me a foole

Trust not my readingnor my obseruations

Which with experimental seale doth warrant

The tenure of my booke: trust not my age

My reuerencecallingnor diuinitie

If this sweet Ladie lye not guiltlesse heere

Vnder some biting error

Leo. Friarit cannot be:

Thou seest that all the Grace that she hath left

Isthat she wil not adde to her damnation

A sinne of periuryshe not denies it:
Why seek'st thou then to couer with excuse
That which appeares in proper nakednesse?

Fri. Ladiewhat man is he you are accus'd of?

Hero. They know that do accuse meI know none:
If I know more of any man aliue
Then that which maiden modestie doth warrant
Let all my sinnes lacke mercy. O my Father
Proue you that any man with me conuerst
At houres vnmeeteor that I yesternight
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature
Refuse mehate metorture me to death

Fri. There is some strange misprision in the Princes

Ben. Two of them haue the verie bent of honor
And if their wisedomes be misled in this:
The practise of it liues in Iohn the bastard
Whose spirits toile in frame of villanies

Leo. I know not: if they speake but truth of her
These hands shall teare her: If they wrong her honour
The proudest of them shall wel heare of it.
Time hath not yet so dried this bloud of mine
Nor age so eate vp my inuention
Nor Fortune made such hauocke of my meanes
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends
But they shall findeawak'd in such a kinde
Both strength of limbeand policie of minde
Ability in meanesand choise of friends
To quit me of them throughly

Fri. Pause awhile:
And let my counsell sway you in this case
Your daughter heere the Princesse (left for dead)
Let her awhile be secretly kept in
And publish itthat she is dead indeed:
Maintaine a mourning ostentation
And on your Families old monument
Hang mournfull Epitaphesand do all rites
That appertaine vnto a buriall

Leon. What shall become of this? What wil this do?

Fri. Marry this wel carriedshall on her behalfe
Change slander to remorsethat is some good
But not for that dreame I on this strange course
But on this trauaile looke for greater birth:
She dyingas it must be so maintain'd
Vpon the instant that she was accus'd
Shal be lamentedpittiedand excus'd
Of euery hearer: for it so fals out
That what we hauewe prize not to the worth
Whiles we enioy it; but being lack'd and lost
Why then we racke the valuethen we finde
The vertue that possession would not shew vs
Whiles it was oursso will it fare with Claudio:
When he shal heare she dyed vpon his words
Th' Idea of her life shal sweetly creepe
Into his study of imagination.
And euery louely Organ of her life
Shall come apparel'd in more precious habite:
More mouing delicateand ful of life
Into the eye and prospect of his soule
Then when she liu'd indeed: then shal he mourne

If euer Loue had interest in his Liuer
And wish he had not so accused her:
Nothough he thought his accusation true:
Let this be soand doubt not but successe
Wil fashion the euent in better shape
Then I can lay it downe in likelihood.
But if all ayme but this be leuelld false
The supposition of the Ladies death
Will quench the wonder of her infamie.
And if it sort not wellyou may conceale her
As best befits her wounded reputation
In some reclusiue and religious life
Out of all eyestonguesmindes and iniuries

Bene. Signior Leonatolet the Frier aduise you
And though you know my inwardnesse and loue
Is very much vnto the Prince and Claudio.
Yetby mine honorI will deale in this
As secretly and iustlieas your soule
Should with your bodie

Leon. Being that I flow in greefe
The smallest twine may lead me

Frier. 'Tis well consentedpresently away
For to strange soresstrangely they straine the cure
Come Ladydie to liuethis wedding day
Perhaps is but prolong'dhaue patience & endure.

Bene. Lady Beatricehaue you wept all this while?
Beat. Yeaand I will weepe a while longer

Bene. I will not desire that

Beat. You haue no reasonI doe it freely

Bene. Surelie I do beleeue your fair cosin is wrong'd

Beat. Ahhow much might the man deserue of mee

that would right her!
Bene. Is there any way to shew such friendship?
Beat. A verie euen waybut no such friend

Bene. May a man doe it?
Beat. It is a mans officebut not yours

Bene. I doe loue nothing in the world so well as you
is not that strange?

Beat. As strange as the thing I know notit were as
possible for me to sayI loued nothing so well as youbut
beleeue me notand yet I lie notI confesse nothingnor
I deny nothingI am sorry for my cousin

Bene. By my sword Beatrice thou lou'st me

Beat. Doe not sweare by it and eat it

Bene. I will sweare by it that you loue meeand I will
make him eat it that sayes I loue not you

Beat. Will you not eat your word?
Bene. With no sawce that can be deuised to itI protest
I loue thee

Beat. Why then God forgiue me

Bene. What offence sweet Beatrice?
Beat. You haue stayed me in a happy howreI was about
to protest I loued you

Bene. And doe it with all thy heart

Beat. I loue you with so much of my heartthat none
is left to protest

Bened. Comebid me doe any thing for thee

Beat. Kill Claudio

Bene. Hanot for the wide world

Beat. You kill me to deniefarewell

Bene. Tarrie sweet Beatrice

Beat. I am gonethough I am heerethere is no loue
in younay I pray you let me goe

Bene. Beatrice

Beat. Infaith I will goe

Bene. Wee'll be friends first

Beat. You dare easier be friends with meethan fight
with mine enemy

Bene. Is Claudio thine enemie?

Beat. Is a not approued in the height a villainethat
hath slanderedscorneddishonoured my kinswoman? O
that I were a man! whatbeare her in hand vntill they
come to take handsand then with publike accusation
vncouered slandervnmittigated rancour? O God that I
were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place

Bene. Heare me Beatrice

Beat. Talke with a man out at a windowa proper

Bene. Nay but Beatrice

Beat. Sweet Heroshe is wrong'dshee is slandered
she is vndone

Bene. Beat?

Beat. Princes and Counties! surelie a Princely testimonie
a goodly CountComfecta sweet Gallant surelie
O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had any
friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted
into cursiesvalour into complementand men are
onelie turned into tongueand trim ones too: he is now
as valiant as Herculesthat only tells a lieand sweares it:
I cannot be a man with wishingtherfore I will die a woman
with grieuing

Bene. Tarry good Beatriceby this hand I loue thee

Beat. Vse it for my loue some other way then swearing
by it

Bened. Thinke you in your soule the Count Claudio
hath wrong'd Hero?
Beat. Yeaas sure as I haue a thoughtor a soule

Bene. EnoughI am engagdeI will challenge himI
will kisse your handand so leaue you: by this hand Claudio
shall render me a deere account: as you heare of me
so thinke of me: goe comfort your coosinI must say she
is deadand so farewell.
Enter the ConstablesBorachioand the Towne Clerke in gownes.

Keeper. Is our whole dissembly appeard?
Cowley. O a stoole and a cushion for the Sexton

Sexton. Which be the malefactors?
Andrew. Marry that am Iand my partner

Cowley. Nay that's certainewee haue the exhibition
to examine

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined
let them come before master Constable

Kemp. Yea marrylet them come before meewhat is
your namefriend?
Bor. Borachio

Kem. Pray write downe Borachio. Yours sirra

Con. I am a Gentleman sirand my name is Conrade

Kee. Write downe Master gentleman Conrade: maisters
doe you serue God: maistersit is proued alreadie
that you are little better than false knauesand it will goe
neere to be thought so shortlyhow answer you for your

Con. Marry sirwe say we are none

Kemp. A maruellous witty fellow I assure youbut I
will goe about with him: come you hither sirraa word
in your eare sirI say to youit is thought you are false

Bor. SirI say to youwe are none

Kemp. Wellstand aside'fore God they are both in
a tale: haue you writ downe that they are none?
Sext. Master Constableyou goe not the way to examine
you must call forth the watch that are their accusers

Kemp. Yea marrythat's the eftest waylet the watch
come forth: mastersI charge you in the Princes name
accuse these men

Watch 1. This man said sirthat Don Iohn the Princes
brother was a villaine

Kemp. Write downPrince Iohn a villaine: why this
is flat periurieto call a Princes brother villaine

Bora. Master Constable

Kemp. Pray thee fellow peaceI do not like thy looke
I promise thee

Sexton. What heard you him say else?
Watch 2. Mary that he had receiued a thousand Dukates
of Don Iohnfor accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully

Kemp. Flat Burglarie as euer was committed

Const. Yea by th' masse that it is

Sexton. What else fellow?

Watch 1. And that Count Claudio did meane vpon his
wordsto disgrace Hero before the whole assemblyand
not marry her

Kemp. O villaine! thou wilt be condemn'd into euerlasting
redemption for this

Sexton. What else?
Watch. This is all

Sexton. And this is more masters then you can deny
Prince Iohn is this morning secretly stolne away: Hero
was in this manner accus'din this very manner refus'd
and vpon the griefe of this sodainely died: Master Constable
let these men be boundand brought to Leonato
I will goe beforeand shew him their examination

Const. Comelet them be opinion'd

Sex. Let them be in the hands of Coxcombe

Kem. Gods my lifewhere's the Sexton? let him write
downe the Princes Officer Coxcombe: comebinde them
thou naughty varlet

Couley. Awayyou are an asseyou are an asse

Kemp. Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not
suspect my yeeres? O that hee were heere to write mee
downe an asse! but mastersremember that I am an asse:
though it be not written downyet forget not y I am an
asse: No thou villainey art full of piety as shall be prou'd
vpon thee by good witnesseI am a wise fellowand
which is morean officerand which is morea houshoulder
and which is moreas pretty a peece of flesh as any in
Messinaand one that knowes the Lawgoe to& a rich
fellow enoughgoe toand a fellow that hath had losses
and one that hath two gownesand euery thing handsome
about him: bring him away: O that I had been writ
downe an asse!

Actus Quintus.

Enter Leonato and his brother.

Brother. If you goe on thusyou will kill your selfe
And 'tis not wisedome thus to second griefe
Against your selfe

Leon. I pray thee cease thy counsaile
Which falls into mine eares as profitlesse
As water in a siue: giue not me counsaile
Nor let no comfort delight mine eare
But such a one whose wrongs doth sute with mine.
Bring me a father that so lou'd his childe
Whose ioy of her is ouer-whelmed like mine
And bid him speake of patience
Measure his woe the length and bredth of mine
And let it answere euery straine for straine
As thus for thusand such a griefe for such
In euery lineamentbranchshapeand forme:
If such a one will smile and stroke his beard
And sorrowwaggecrie hemwhen he should grone
Patch griefe with prouerbsmake misfortune drunke
With candle-wasters: bring him yet to me
And I of him will gather patience:
But there is no such manfor brothermen
Can counsaileand speake comfort to that griefe
Which they themselues not feelebut tasting it
Their counsaile turnes to passionwhich before
Would giue preceptiall medicine to rage
Fetter strong madnesse in a silken thred
Charme ache with ayreand agony with words
Nono'tis all mens officeto speake patience
To those that wring vnder the load of sorrow:
But no mans vertue nor sufficiencie
To be so morallwhen he shall endure
The like himselfe: therefore giue me no counsaile
My griefs cry lowder then aduertisement

Broth. Therein do men from children nothing differ

Leonato. I pray thee peaceI will be flesh and bloud
For there was neuer yet Philosopher
That could endure the tooth-ake patiently
How euer they haue writ the stile of gods
And made a push at chance and sufferance

Brother. Yet bend not all the harme vpon your selfe
Make those that doe offend yousuffer too

Leon. There thou speak'st reasonnay I will doe so
My soule doth tell meHero is belied
And that shall Claudio knowso shall the Prince
And all of them that thus dishonour her.
Enter Prince and Claudio.

Brot. Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily

Prin. Good dengood den

Clau. Good day to both of you

Leon. Heare you my Lords?
Prin. We haue some haste Leonato

Leo. Some haste my Lord! welfareyouwel my Lord
Are you so hasty now? wellall is one

Prin. Naydo not quarrel with vsgood old man

Brot. If he could rite himselfe with quarrelling

Some of vs would lie low

Claud. Who wrongs him?

Leon. Marry y dost wrong methou dissemblerthou:
Nayneuer lay thy hand vpon thy sword
I feare thee not

Claud. Marry beshrew my hand
If it should giue your age such cause of feare
Infaith my hand meant nothing to my sword

Leonato. Tushtushmanneuer fleere and iest at me
I speake not like a dotardnor a foole
As vnder priuiledge of age to bragge
What I haue done being yongor what would doe
Were I not oldknow Claudio to thy head
Thou hast so wrong'd my innocent childe and me
That I am forc'd to lay my reuerence by
And with grey haires and bruise of many daies
Doe challenge thee to triall of a man
I say thou hast belied mine innocent childe.
Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart
And she lies buried with her ancestors:
O in a tombe where neuer scandall slept
Saue this of hersfram'd by thy villanie

Claud. My villany?
Leonato. Thine Claudiothine I say

Prin. You say not right old man

Leon. My Lordmy Lord
Ile proue it on his body if he dare
Despight his nice fenceand his actiue practise
His Maie of youthand bloome of lustihood

Claud. AwayI will not haue to do with you

Leo. Canst thou so daffe me? thou hast kild my child
If thou kilst meboythou shalt kill a man

Bro. He shall kill two of vsand men indeed
But that's no matterlet him kill one first:
Win me and weare melet him answere me
Come follow me boycome sir boycome follow me
Sir boyile whip you from your foyning fence
Nayas I am a gentlemanI will

Leon. Brother

Brot. Content your selfGod knows I lou'd my neece
And she is deadslander'd to death by villaines
That dare as well answer a man indeede
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.

Leon. Brother Anthony

Brot. Hold you contentwhat man? I know themyea
And what they weigheuen to the vtmost scruple
Scamblingout-facingfashion-monging boyes
That lyeand cogand floutdepraueand slander
Goe antiquelyand show outward hidiousnesse
And speake of halfe a dozen dang'rous words

How they might hurt their enemiesif they durst.
And this is all

Leon. But brother Anthonie

Ant. Come'tis no matter
Do not you meddlelet me deale in this

Pri. Gentlemen bothwe will not wake your patience
My heart is sorry for your daughters death:
But on my honour she was charg'd with nothing
But what was trueand very full of proofe

Leon. My Lordmy Lord

Prin. I will not heare you.
Enter Benedicke.

Leo. No come brotherawayI will be heard.

Exeunt. ambo.

Bro. And shallor some of vs will smart for it

Prin. Seeseehere comes the man we went to seeke

Clau. Now signiorwhat newes?
Ben. Good day my Lord

Prin. Welcome signioryou are almost come to part
almost a fray

Clau. Wee had likt to haue had our two noses snapt
off with two old men without teeth

Prin. Leonato and his brotherwhat think'st thou? had
wee foughtI doubt we should haue beene too yong for

Ben. In a false quarrell there is no true valourI came
to seeke you both

Clau. We haue beene vp and downe to seeke theefor
we are high proofe melanchollyand would faine haue it
beaten awaywilt thou vse thy wit?

Ben. It is in my scabberdshall I draw it?

Prin. Doest thou weare thy wit by thy side?

Clau. Neuer any did sothough verie many haue been
beside their witI will bid thee draweas we do the minstrels
draw to pleasure vs

Prin. As I am an honest man he lookes paleart thou
sickeor angrie?
Clau. Whatcourage man: what though care kil'd a
catthou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care

Ben. SirI shall meete your wit in the careereand
you charge it against meI pray you chuse another subiect

Clau. Nay then giue him another staffethis last was
broke crosse

Prin. By this lighthe changes more and moreI thinke
he be angrie indeede

Clau. If he behe knowes how to turne his girdle

Ben. Shall I speake a word in your eare?
Clau. God blesse me from a challenge

Ben. You are a villaineI iest notI will make it good
how you darewith what you dareand when you dare:
do me rightor I will protest your cowardise: you haue
kill'd a sweete Ladieand her death shall fall heauie on
youlet me heare from you

Clau. WellI will meete youso I may haue good

Prin. Whata feasta feast?

Clau. I faith I thanke himhe hath bid me to a calues
head and a Caponthe which if I doe not carue most curiously
say my knife's naughtshall I not finde a woodcocke

Ben. Siryour wit ambles wellit goes easily

Prin. Ile tell thee how Beatrice prais'd thy wit the other
day: I said thou hadst a fine wit: true saies shea fine
little one: no said Ia great wit: right saies sheea great
grosse one: nay said Ia good wit: iust said sheit hurts
no body: nay said Ithe gentleman is wise: certaine said
shea wise gentleman: nay said Ihe hath the tongues:
that I beleeue said sheefor hee swore a thing to me on
munday nightwhich he forswore on tuesday morning:
there's a double tonguethere's two tongues: thus did
shee an howre together trans-shape thy particular vertues
yet at last she concluded with a sighthou wast the
proprest man in Italie

Claud. For the which she wept heartilyand said shee
car'd not

Prin. Yea that she didbut yet for all thatand if shee
did not hate him deadlieshee would loue him dearely
the old mans daughter told vs all

Clau. Allalland moreouerGod saw him when he
was hid in the garden

Prin. But when shall we set the sauage Bulls hornes
on the sensible Benedicks head?
Clau. Yea and text vnderneathheere dwells Benedicke
the married man

Ben. Fare you wellBoyyou know my mindeI will
leaue you now to your gossep-like humoryou breake
iests as braggards do their bladeswhich God be thanked
hurt not: my Lordfor your manie courtesies I thank
youI must discontinue your companieyour brother
the Bastard is fled from Messina: you haue among you
kill'd a sweet and innocent Ladie: for my Lord Lackebeard
therehe and I shall meeteand till then peace be
with him

Prin. He is in earnest

Clau. In most profound earnestand Ile warrant you
for the loue of Beatrice

Prin. And hath challeng'd thee

Clau. Most sincerely

Prin. What a prettie thing man iswhen he goes in his
doublet and hoseand leaues off his wit.
Enter ConstableConradeand Borachio.

Clau. He is then a Giant to an Apebut then is an Ape
a Doctor to such a man

Prin. But soft youlet me beplucke vp my heartand
be saddid he not say my brother was fled?

Const. Come you sirif iustice cannot tame youshee
shall nere weigh more reasons in her ballancenayand
you be a cursing hypocrite onceyou must be lookt to

Prin. How nowtwo of my brothers men bound? Borachio

Clau. Harken after their offence my Lord

Prin. Officerswhat offence haue these men done?

Const. Marrie sirthey haue committed false report
moreouer they haue spoken vntruthssecondarily they
are slanderssixt and lastlythey haue belyed a Ladie
thirdlythey haue verified vniust thingsand to conclude
they are lying knaues

Prin. First I aske thee what they haue donethirdlie
I aske thee what's their offencesixt and lastlie why they
are committedand to concludewhat you lay to their

Clau. Rightlie reasonedand in his owne diuisionand
by my troth there's one meaning well suted

Prin. Who haue you offended mastersthat you are
thus bound to your answer? this learned Constable is too
cunning to be vnderstoodwhat's your offence?

Bor. Sweete Princelet me go no farther to mine answere:
do you heare meand let this Count kill mee: I
haue deceiued euen your verie eies: what your wisedomes
could not discouerthese shallow fooles haue
brought to lightwho in the night ouerheard me confessing
to this manhow Don Iohn your brother incensed
me to slander the Ladie Herohow you were brought
into the Orchardand saw me court Margaret in Heroes
garmentshow you disgrac'd her when you should
marrie her: my villanie they haue vpon recordwhich
I had rather seale with my deaththen repeate ouer to
my shame: the Ladie is dead vpon mine and my masters
false accusation: and briefelieI desire nothing but the
reward of a villaine

Prin. Runs not this speech like yron through your
Clau. I haue drunke poison whiles he vtter'd it

Prin. But did my Brother set thee on to this?
Bor. Yeaand paid me richly for the practise of it

Prin. He is compos'd and fram'd of treacherie

And fled he is vpon this villanie

Clau. Sweet Heronow thy image doth appeare
In the rare semblance that I lou'd it first

Const. Comebring away the plaintiffesby this time
our Sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter:
and mastersdo not forget to specifie when time & place
shall seruethat I am an Asse

Con.2. Herehere comes master Signior Leonatoand
the Sexton too.
Enter Leonato.

Leon. Which is the villaine? let me see his eies
That when I note another man like him
I may auoide him: which of these is he?

Bor. If you would know your wrongerlooke on me

Leon. Art thou the slaue that with thy breath
hast kild mine innocent childe?
Bor. Yeaeuen I alone

Leo. Nonot so villainethou beliest thy selfe
Here stand a paire of honourable men
A third is fled that had a hand in it:
I thanke you Princes for my daughters death
Record it with your high and worthie deedes
'Twas brauely doneif you bethinke you of it

Clau. I know not how to pray your patience
Yet I must speakechoose your reuenge your selfe
Impose me to what penance your inuention
Can lay vpon my sinneyet sinn'd I not
But in mistaking

Prin. By my soule nor I
And yet to satisfie this good old man
I would bend vnder anie heauie waight
That heele enioyne me to

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter liue
That were impossiblebut I praie you both
Possesse the people in Messina here
How innocent she diedand if your loue
Can labour aught in sad inuention
Hang her an epitaph vpon her toomb
And sing it to her bonessing it to night:
To morrow morning come you to my house
And since you could not be my sonne in law
Be yet my Nephew: my brother hath a daughter
Almost the copie of my childe that's dead
And she alone is heire to both of vs
Giue her the right you should haue giu'n her cosin
And so dies my reuenge

Clau. O noble sir!
Your ouerkindnesse doth wring teares from me
I do embrace your offerand dispose
For henceforth of poore Claudio

Leon. To morrow then I will expect your comming
To night I take my leauethis naughtie man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret

Who I beleeue was packt in all this wrong
Hired to it by your brother

Bor. Noby my soule she was not
Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me
But alwaies hath bin iust and vertuous
In anie thing that I do know by her

Const. Moreouer sirwhich indeede is not vnder white
and blackthis plaintiffe herethe offendour did call mee
asseI beseech you let it be remembred in his punishment
and also the watch heard them talke of one Deformed
they say he weares a key in his eare and a lock hanging
by itand borrowes monie in Gods namethe which
he hath vs'd so longand neuer paiedthat now men grow
hard-harted and will lend nothing for Gods sake: praie
you examine him vpon that point

Leon. I thanke thee for thy care and honest paines

Const. Your worship speakes like a most thankefull
and reuerend youthand I praise God for you

Leon. There's for thy paines

Const. God saue the foundation

Leon. GoeI discharge thee of thy prisonerand I
thanke thee

Const. I leaue an arrant knaue with your worship
which I beseech your worship to correct your selfefor
the example of others: God keepe your worshipI
wish your worship wellGod restore you to health
I humblie giue you leaue to departand if a merrie
meeting may be wishtGod prohibite it: come

Leon. Vntill to morrow morningLordsfarewell.


Brot. Farewell my Lordswe looke for you to morrow

Prin. We will not faile

Clau. To night ile mourne with Hero

Leon. Bring you these fellowes onweel talke with
MargaretHow her acquaintance grew with this lewd


Enter Benedicke and Margaret.

Ben. Praie thee sweete Mistris Margaretdeserue
well at my handsby helping mee to the speech of Beatrice

Mar. Will you then write me a Sonnet in praise of
my beautie?

Bene. In so high a stile Margaretthat no man liuing
shall come ouer itfor in most comely truth thou deseruest

Mar. To haue no man come ouer mewhyshall I alwaies
keepe below staires?
Bene. Thy wit is as quicke as the grey-hounds mouth
it catches

Mar. And yoursas blunt as the Fencers foileswhich
hitbut hurt not

Bene. A most manly wit Margaretit will not hurt a
woman: and so I pray thee call BeatriceI giue thee the

Mar. Giue vs the swordswee haue bucklers of our

Bene. If you vse them Margaretyou must put in the
pikes with a viceand they are dangerous weapons for

Mar. WellI will call Beatrice to youwho I thinke
hath legges.

Exit Margarite.

Ben. And therefore will come. The God of loue that
sits aboueand knowes meand knowes mehow pittifull
I deserue. I meane in singingbut in louingLeander
the good swimmerTroilous the first imploier of
pandarsand a whole booke full of these quondam carpet-mongers
whose name yet runne smoothly in the euen
rode of a blanke versewhy they were neuer so truely
turned ouer and ouer as my poore selfe in loue: marrie
I cannot shew it rimeI haue triedI can finde out no
rime to Ladie but babiean innocent rime: for scorne
hornea hard rime: for schoole foolea babling rime:
verie ominous endingsnoI was not borne vnder a riming
Plannetfor I cannot wooe in festiuall tearmes:
Enter Beatrice.

sweete Beatrice would'st thou come when I cal'd
Beat. Yea Signiorand depart when you bid me

Bene. O stay but till then

Beat. Thenis spoken: fare you well nowand yet ere
I goelet me goe with that I camewhich iswith knowing
what hath past betweene you and Claudio

Bene. Onely foule wordsand thereupon I will kisse

Beat. Foule words is but foule windand foule wind
is but foule breathand foule breath is noisometherefore
I will depart vnkist

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right
senceso forcible is thy witbut I must tell thee plainely
Claudio vndergoes my challengeand either I must shortly
heare from himor I will subscribe him a cowardand
I pray thee now tell mefor which of my bad parts didst
thou first fall in loue with me?

Beat. For them all togetherwhich maintain'd so

politique a state of euillthat they will not admit any
good part to intermingle with them: but for which of
my good parts did you first suffer loue for me?

Bene. Suffer loue! a good epithiteI do suffer loue indeede
for I loue thee against my will

Beat. In spight of your heart I thinkalas poore heart
if you spight it for my sakeI will spight it for yoursfor
I will neuer loue that which my friend hates

Bened. Thou and I are too wise to wooe peaceablie

Bea. It appeares not in this confessionthere's not one
wise man among twentie that will praise himselfe

Bene. An oldan old instance Beatricethat liu'd in
the time of good neighboursif a man doe not erect in
this age his owne tombe ere he dieshee shall liue no
longer in monumentsthen the Bels ring& the Widdow

Beat. And how long is that thinke you?

Ben. Questionwhy an hower in clamour and a quarter
in rhewmetherfore is it most expedient for the wise
if Don worme (his conscience) finde no impediment to
the contrarieto be the trumpet of his owne vertuesas
I am to my selfe so much for praising my selfewho I my
selfe will beare witnesse is praise worthieand now tell
mehow doth your cosin?

Beat. Verie ill

Bene. And how doe you?
Beat. Verie ill too.
Enter Vrsula.

Bene. Serue Godloue meand mendthere will I leaue
you toofor here comes one in haste

Vrs. Madamyou must come to your Vncleyonders
old coile at homeit is prooued my Ladie Hero
hath bin falselie accusdethe Prince and Claudio
mightilie abusdeand Don Iohn is the author of allwho
is fled and gone: will you come presentlie?

Beat. Will you go heare this newes Signior?

Bene. I will liue in thy heartdie in thy lapand be buried
in thy eies: and moreouerI will goe with thee to
thy Vncles.


Enter ClaudioPrinceand three or foure with Tapers.

Clau. Is this the monument of Leonato?
Lord. It is my Lord.


Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies:
Death in guerdon of her wrongs
Giues her fame which neuer dies:
So the life that dyed with shame
Liues in death with glorious fame.
Hang thou there vpon the tombe
Praising her when I am dombe

Clau. Now musick sound & sing your solemn hymne


Pardon goddesse of the night
Those that slew thy virgin knight
For the which with songs of woe
Round about her tombe they goe:
Midnight assist our monehelpe vs to sigh and grone.
Graues yawne and yeelde your dead
Till death be vttered

Lo. Now vnto thy bones good nightyeerely will I do this right

Prin. Good morrow mastersput your Torches out
The wolues haue preiedand lookethe gentle day
Before the wheeles of Phoebusround about
Dapples the drowsie East with spots of grey:
Thanks to you alland leaue vsfare you well

Clau. Good morrow masterseach his seuerall way

Prin. Come let vs henceand put on other weedes
And then to Leonatoes we will goe

Clau. And Hymen now with luckier issue speeds
Then this for whom we rendred vp this woe.


Enter LeonatoBene. Marg. Vrsulaold manFrierHero.

Frier. Did I not tell you she was innocent?

Leo. So are the Prince and Claudio who accus'd her
Vpon the errour that you heard debated:
But Margaret was in some fault for this
Although against her will as it appeares
In the true course of all the question

Old. WellI am glad that all things sort so well

Bene. And so am Ibeing else by faith enforc'd
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it

Leo. Well daughterand you gentlewomen all
Withdraw into a chamber by your selues
And when I send for youcome hither mask'd:
The Prince and Claudio promis'd by this howre
To visit meyou know your office Brother
You must be father to your brothers daughter
And giue her to young Claudio.

Exeunt. Ladies.

Old. Which I will doe with confirm'd countenance

Bene. FrierI must intreat your painesI thinke

Frier. To doe what Signior?
Bene. To binde meor vndoe meone of them:
Signior Leonatotruth it is good Signior

Your neece regards me with an eye of fauour

Leo. That eye my daughter lent her'tis most true

Bene. And I doe with an eye of loue requite her

Leo. The sight whereof I thinke you had from me
From Claudioand the Princebut what's your will?

Bened. Your answer sir is Enigmaticall
But for my willmy will isyour good will
May stand with oursthis day to be conioyn'd
In the state of honourable marriage
In which (good Frier) I shall desire your helpe

Leon. My heart is with your liking

Frier. And my helpe.
Enter Prince and Claudiowith attendants.

Prin. Good morrow to this faire assembly

Leo. Good morrow Princegood morrow Claudio:
We heere attend youare you yet determin'd
To day to marry with my brothers daughter?

Claud. Ile hold my minde were she an Ethiope

Leo. Call her forth brotherheres the Frier ready

Prin. Good morrow Benedickewhy what's the matter?
That you haue such a Februarie face
So full of frostof stormeand clowdinesse

Claud. I thinke he thinkes vpon the sauage bull:
Tushfeare not manwee'll tip thy hornes with gold
And all Europa shall reioyce at thee
As once Europa did at lusty Ioue
When he would play the noble beast in loue

Ben. Bull Ioue sirhad an amiable low
And some such strange bull leapt your fathers Cow
A got a Calfe in that same noble feat
Much like to youfor you haue iust his bleat.
Enter brotherHeroBeatriceMargaretVrsula.

Cla. For this I owe you: here comes other recknings.
Which is the Lady I must seize vpon?
Leo. This same is sheand I doe giue you her

Cla. Why then she's minesweet let me see your face

Leon. No that you shal nottill you take her hand
Before this Frierand sweare to marry her

Clau. Giue me your hand before this holy Frier
I am your husband if you like of me

Hero. And when I liu'd I was your other wife
And when you lou'dyou were my other husband

Clau. Another Hero?

Hero. Nothing certainer.
One Hero diedbut I doe liue
And surely as I liueI am a maid

Prin. The former HeroHero that is dead

Leon. Shee died my Lordbut whiles her slander liu'd

Frier. All this amazement can I qualifie
When after that the holy rites are ended
Ile tell you largely of faire Heroes death:
Meane time let wonder seeme familiar
And to the chappell let vs presently

Ben. Soft and faire Frierwhich is Beatrice?
Beat. I answer to that namewhat is your will?
Bene. Doe not you loue me?
Beat. Why nono more then reason

Bene. Why then your Vncleand the Prince& Claudio
haue beene deceiuedthey swore you did

Beat. Doe not you loue mee?
Bene. Troth nono more then reason

Beat. Why then my Cosin Margaret and Vrsula
Are much deceiu'dfor they did sweare you did

Bene. They swore you were almost sicke for me

Beat. They swore you were wel-nye dead for me

Bene. 'Tis no matterthen you doe not loue me?
Beat. No trulybut in friendly recompence

Leon. Come CosinI am sure you loue the gentlema[n]

Clau. And Ile be sworne vpon'tthat he loues her
For heres a paper written in his hand
A halting sonnet of his owne pure braine
Fashioned to Beatrice

Hero. And heeres another
Writ in my cosins handstolne from her pocket
Containing her affection vnto Benedicke

Bene. A miraclehere's our owne hands against our
hearts: come I will haue theebut by this light I take
thee for pittie

Beat. I would not denie youbut by this good dayI
yeeld vpon great perswasion& partly to saue your life
for I was toldyou were in a consumption

Leon. Peace I will stop your mouth

Prin. How dost thou Benedicke the married man?

Bene. Ile tell thee what Prince: a Colledge of witte-crackers
cannot flout mee out of my humourdost thou
think I care for a Satyre or an Epigram? noif a man will
be beaten with brainesa shall weare nothing handsome
about him: in briefesince I do purpose to marryI will
thinke nothing to any purpose that the world can say against
itand therefore neuer flout at mefor I haue said
against it: for man is a giddy thingand this is my conclusion:
for thy part ClaudioI did thinke to haue beaten
theebut in that thou art like to be my kinsmanliue vnbruis'd
and loue my cousin

Cla. I had well hop'd y wouldst haue denied Beatricey
I might haue cudgel'd thee out of thy single lifeto make
thee a double dealerwhich out of questio[n] thou wilt be
if my Cousin do not looke exceeding narrowly to thee

Bene. Comecomewe are friendslet's haue a dance
ere we are marriedthat we may lighten our own hearts
and our wiues heeles

Leon. Wee'll haue dancing afterward

Bene. Firstof my wordtherfore play musick. Prince
thou art sadget thee a wifeget thee a wifethere is no
staff more reuerend then one tipt with horn.
Enter. Mes.

Messen. My Lordyour brother Iohn is tane in flight
And brought with armed men backe to Messina

Bene. Thinke not on him till to morrowile deuise
thee braue punishments for him: strike vp Pipers.


FINIS. Much adoe about Nothing.