Act 4 Scene 1

  1. LEONATO:

    Come, Friar Francis, be brief, only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards.

  2. FRIAR FRANCIS:

    (to CLAUDIO) You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady?

  3. CLAUDIO:

    No.

  4. LEONATO:

    To be married to her.—Friar, you come to marry her.

  5. FRIAR FRANCIS:

    Lady, you come hither to be married to this count?

  6. HERO:

    I do.

  7. FRIAR FRANCIS:

    If either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoined, charge you on your souls to utter it.

  8. CLAUDIO:

    Know you any, Hero?

  9. HERO:

    None, my lord.

  10. FRIAR FRANCIS:

    Know you any, count?

  11. LEONATO:

    I dare make his answer, none.

  12. CLAUDIO:

    O, what men dare do! What men may do! What men daily do, not knowing what they do!

  13. BENEDICK:

    How now, interjections? Why, then, some be of laughing, as, ah, ha, he!

  14. CLAUDIO:

    Stand thee by, Friar.—Father, by your leave, Will you with free and unconstrainèd soul Give me this maid, your daughter?

  15. LEONATO:

    As freely, son, as God did give her me.

  16. CLAUDIO:

    And what have I to give you back whose worth May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?

  17. DON PEDRO:

    Nothing, unless you render her again.

  18. CLAUDIO:

    Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.— There, Leonato, take her back again. Give not this rotten orange to your friend. She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor. Behold how like a maid she blushes here! Oh, what authority and show of truth Can cunning sin cover itself withal! Comes not that blood as modest evidence To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear, All you that see her, that she were a maid By these exterior shows? But she is none. She knows the heat of a luxurious bed. Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.

  19. LEONATO:

    What do you mean, my lord?

  20. CLAUDIO:

    Not to be married, Not to knit my soul to an approvèd wanton.

  21. LEONATO:

    Dear my lord, if you in your own proof Have vanquished the resistance of her youth And made defeat of her virginity—

  22. CLAUDIO:

    I know what you would say: if I have known her, You will say she did embrace me as a husband, And so extenuate the forehand sin. No, Leonato, I never tempted her with word too large But, as a brother to his sister, showed Bashful sincerity and comely love.

  23. HERO:

    And seemed I ever otherwise to you?

  24. CLAUDIO:

    Out on thee, seeming! I will write against it. You seem to me as Dian in her orb, As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown. But you are more intemperate in your blood Than Venus, or those pampered animals That rage in savage sensuality.

  25. HERO:

    Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?

  26. LEONATO:

    Sweet Prince, why speak not you?

  27. DON PEDRO:

    What should I speak? I stand dishonored, that have gone about To link my dear friend to a common stale.

  28. LEONATO:

    Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?

  29. DON JOHN:

    Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.

  30. BENEDICK:

    This looks not like a nuptial.

  31. HERO:

    True! O God!

  32. CLAUDIO:

    Leonato, stand I here? Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince’s brother? Is this face Hero’s? Are our eyes our own?

  33. LEONATO:

    All this is so, but what of this, my lord?

  34. CLAUDIO:

    Let me but move one question to your daughter, And by that fatherly and kindly power That you have in her, bid her answer truly.

  35. LEONATO:

    I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.

  36. HERO:

    Oh, God defend me! how am I beset!— What kind of catechizing call you this?

  37. CLAUDIO:

    To make you answer truly to your name.

  38. HERO:

    Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name With any just reproach?

  39. CLAUDIO:

    Marry, that can Hero! Hero itself can blot out Hero’s virtue. What man was he talked with you yesternight Out at your window betwixt twelve and one? Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

  40. HERO:

    I talked with no man at that hour, my lord.

  41. DON PEDRO:

    Why, then are you no maiden.—Leonato, I am sorry you must hear. Upon mine honor, Myself, my brother, and this grievèd count Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night Talk with a ruffian at her chamber window Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain, Confessed the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in secret.

  42. DON JOHN:

    Fie, fie, they are not to be named, my lord, Not to be spoke of! There is not chastity enough in language, Without offense, to utter them.—Thus, pretty lady, I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

  43. CLAUDIO:

    O Hero, what a Hero hadst thou been If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts and counsels of thy heart! But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! Farewell, Thou pure impiety and impious purity. For thee I’ll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, And never shall it more be gracious.

  44. LEONATO:

    Hath no man’s dagger here a point for me?

  45. HERO swoons

  46. BEATRICE:

    Why, how now, cousin! wherefore sink you down?

  47. DON JOHN:

    Come, let us go. These things, come thus to light, Smother her spirits up.

  48. Exeunt DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, and CLAUDIO