Act 5, Scene 4

  1. Enter Don Pedro and Claudio with attendants.

  2. Don Pedro:

    Good morrow to this fair assembly.

  3. Leonato:

    Good morrow Prince, good morrow Claudio. We here attend you. Are you yet determined Today to marry with my brother’s daughter?

  4. Claudio:

    I’ll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.

  5. Leonato:

    Call her forth brother; here’s the friar ready.

  6. [Exit Antonio]

  7. Don Pedro:

    Good morrow Benedick, why what's the matter, That you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?

  8. Claudio:

    I think he thinks upon the savage bull. Tush, fear not, man, we’ll tip thy horns with gold, And all Europa shall rejoice at thee, [45] As once Europa did at lusty Jove, When he would play the noble beast in love.

  9. Benedick:

    Bull Jove sir, had an amiable low, And some such strange bull leaped your father’s cow, And got a calf in that same noble feat [50] Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

  10. Claudio:

    For this I owe you. Enter Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, and Ursula, the women wearing masks. Here comes other reck'nings. Which is the lady I must seize upon?

  11. Antonio:

    [Leading Hero forward.] This same is she, and I do give you her.

  12. Claudio:

    Why then she’s mine. Sweet, let me see your face.

  13. Leonato:

    No, that you shall not till you take her hand Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

  14. Claudio:

    Give me your hand before this holy friar, I am your husband if you like of me.

  15. Hero:

    [Unmasking] And when I lived I was your other wife, And when you loved, you were my other husband.

  16. Claudio:

    Another Hero!

  17. Hero:

    Nothing certainer. One Hero died defiled , but I do live, And surely as I live, I am a maid.

  18. Don Pedro:

    The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

  19. Leonato:

    She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.

  20. Friar:

    All this amazement can I qualify, When, after that the holy rites are ended, I’ll tell you largely of fair Hero’s death. Meantime let wonder seem familiar, And to the chapel let us presently.

  21. Benedick:

    Soft and fair , Friar. - Which is Beatrice?

  22. Beatrice:

    [Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?

  23. Benedick:

    Do not you love me?

  24. Beatrice:

    Why no, no more than reason. 

  25. Benedick:

    Why, then your uncle, and the Prince, and Claudio Have been deceived, they swore you did.

  26. Beatrice:

    Do not you love me?

  27. Benedick:

    Troth no, no more than reason.

  28. Beatrice:

    Why, then my cousin, Margaret and Ursula Are much deceived, for they did swear you did.

  29. Benedick:

    They swore that you were almost sick for me.

  30. Beatrice:

    They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.

  31. Benedick:

    ’Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?

  32. Beatrice:

    No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

  33. Leonato:

    Come cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

  34. Claudio:

    And I’ll be sworn upon’t that he loves her, For here’s a paper written in his hand, A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, Fashioned to Beatrice.

  35. Hero:

    And here’s another, Writ in my cousin’s hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.

  36. Benedick:

    A miracle! Here’s our own hands against our hearts. Come, I will have thee, but, by this light I take thee for pity.

  37. Beatrice:

    I would not deny you, but by this good day I yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.

  38. Benedick:

    Peace! I will stop your mouth. [Kisses her]

  39. Don Pedro:

    How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?

  40. Benedick:

    I’ll tell thee what, Prince. A college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No, if a man will be beaten with brains, ’a shall wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it, And therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it. For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin. 

  41. Claudio:

    I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double-dealer, which out of question thou wilt be if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

  42. Benedick:

    Come, come, we are friends. Let’s have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and our wives’ heels.

  43. Leonato:

    We’ll have dancing afterward.

  44. Benedick:

    First, of my word, therefore play music. Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife! There is no staff more reverent than one tipped with horn.

  45. Enter Messenger.

  46. Messenger:

    My lord, your brother John is ta’en in flight, And brought with armed men back to Messina.

  47. Benedick:

    Think not on him till tomorrow. I’ll devise thee brave punishments for him. Strike up, pipers!

  48. They dance.