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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing Translation Act 5, Scene 4

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Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, MARGARET, URSULA, FRIAR FRANCIS, and HERO

FRIAR FRANCIS

Did I not tell you she was innocent?

FRIAR FRANCIS

Didn't I tell you that she was innocent?

LEONATO

So are the Prince and Claudio, who accused her Upon the error that you heard debated. But Margaret was in some fault for this, Although against her will, as it appears In the true course of all the question.

LEONATO

And so are the Prince and Claudio, who accused her because they themselves were deceived. Margaret was partly at fault for this. Yet our examination has shown that she didn't know about the plot, even though she played a role in it.

ANTONIO

Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

ANTONIO

Well, I am glad that things have turned out so well.

BENEDICK

And so am I, being else by faith enforcedTo call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

BENEDICK

And so am I, or else my own promise would have made me fight Claudio.

LEONATO

Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves, And when I send for you, come hither masked. The Prince and Claudio promised by this hour To visit me. —You know your office, brother. You must be father to your brother’s daughter, And give her to young Claudio.

LEONATO

Well, daughter, and all you gentlewomen, retreat to a room by yourselves. When I send for you, come out wearing masks. The Prince and Claudio promised me they would be here by now.

[To ANTONIO] You know your job, brother. You must be the father to my daughter, and give her away to young Claudio.

Exeunt Ladies

ANTONIO

Which I will do with confirmed countenance.

ANTONIO

I'll do it with a straight, serious face.

BENEDICK

Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.

BENEDICK

Friar, I must ask you for a favor, I think.

FRIAR FRANCIS

To do what, Signior?

FRIAR FRANCIS

To do what, sir?

BENEDICK

To bind me or undo me, one of them.—Signior Leonato, truth it is, good Signior,Your niece regards me with an eye of favor.

BENEDICK

To tie me up, or to undo me—one or the other.

[To LEONATO] Sir Leonato, the truth is, good sir, that your niece Beatrice has been looking at me favorably.

LEONATO

That eye my daughter lent her; ’tis most true.

LEONATO

She sees you with eyes my daughter lent her, that's true.

BENEDICK

And I do with an eye of love requite her.

BENEDICK

And I look back at her with eyes of love.

LEONATO

The sight whereof I think you had from me,From Claudio and the Prince. But what’s your will?

LEONATO

I think you got such sight from me, Claudio, and the Prince. But what do you want?

BENEDICK

Your answer, sir, is enigmatical. But for my will, my will is your goodwill May stand with ours, this day to be conjoined In the state of honorable marriage— In which, good Friar, I shall desire your help.

BENEDICK

Your words are puzzling to me, sir. But as for what I want—what I want is your blessing, so your niece and I can be honorably married today.

[To FRIAR FRANCIS] And that, good Friar, is where I need your help.

LEONATO

My heart is with your liking.

LEONATO

I am pleased with your desire, and I give you my blessing.

FRIAR FRANCIS

And my help.Here comes the Prince and Claudio.

FRIAR FRANCIS

And I offer you my help. Here comes the Prince and Claudio.

Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO, and two or three others

DON PEDRO

Good morrow to this fair assembly.

DON PEDRO

Good morning to this fair gathering.

LEONATO

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

LEONATO

Good morning, Prince. Good morning, Claudio. We've been expecting you. Are you still determined to marry my brother's daughter today?

CLAUDIO

I’ll hold my mind were she an Ethiope.

CLAUDIO

I would stick to my promise even if her complexion was dark.

LEONATO

Call her forth, brother. Here’s the friar ready.

LEONATO

Bring her out, brother. The friar's ready.

Exit ANTONIO

DON PEDRO

Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matterThat you have such a February face,So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?

DON PEDRO

Good morning, Benedick. Why, what's the matter? Why do you have such a February face—so full of frost, storms, and cloudiness?

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 As once Europa did at lusty Jove When he would play the noble beast in love.

CLAUDIO

I think he's remembering how the free, savage bull must wear the yoke of marriage. Oh, don't be afraid, man. We'll coat your horns with gold, and all of Europe will love you, just as Europa once loved lustful Jove when he was the bull.

BENEDICK

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

BENEDICK

Bull Jove, sir, came mooing for love, and some strange bull like him mated with one of your father's cows, who then gave birth to a calf like you. You have the same bleat.

CLAUDIO

For this I owe you. Here comes other reck'nings.

CLAUDIO

I'll get you back for that. But here come other accounts I must settle first.

Enter ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, MARGARET, URSULA, the ladies masked

Which is the lady I must seize upon?

Which is the lady I'm going to marry?

LEONATO

This same is she, and I do give you her.

LEONATO

This one here, and I now give her to you.

CLAUDIO

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

CLAUDIO

Why then, she's mine.

[To HERO] Sweet one, let me see your face.

LEONATO

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

LEONATO

No, you won't see her face until you take her hand and swear to marry her in front of this friar.

CLAUDIO

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

CLAUDIO

[To HERO] Give me your hand before this holy friar. I am your husband, if you want me to be.

HERO

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

HERO

And when I lived, I was your other wife. And when you loved me, you were my other husband. [She takes off her mask]

CLAUDIO

Another Hero!

CLAUDIO

Another Hero!

HERO

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

HERO

It's true. One Hero died disgraced. But I am still alive, and as surely as I'm alive, I am a virgin.

DON PEDRO

The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

DON PEDRO

The former Hero! Hero that was dead!

LEONATO

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

LEONATO

She was only dead while her slander lived, my lord.

FRIAR FRANCIS

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.

FRIAR FRANCIS

I can explain all these surprises. After the wedding ceremony is over, I'll tell you in full detail about fair Hero's supposed "death." In the meantime, let's accept these amazing events as natural, and go straight to the chapel.

BENEDICK

Soft and fair, Friar.—Which is Beatrice?

BENEDICK

Wait a moment, Friar.

[To the masked ladies] Which one is Beatrice?

BEATRICE

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

BEATRICE

[Taking off her mask] I answer to that name. What do you want?

BENEDICK

Do not you love me?

BENEDICK

Do you love me?

BEATRICE

Why no, no more than reason.

BEATRICE

Why no, no more than is reasonable.

BENEDICK

Why then, your uncle and the Prince and ClaudioHave been deceived. They swore you did.

BENEDICK

Why then, your uncle and the Prince and Claudio have been deceived. They swore that you did.

BEATRICE

Do not you love me?

BEATRICE

Do you love me?

BENEDICK

Troth, no, no more than reason.

BENEDICK

Truly, no, no more than is reasonable.

BEATRICE

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

BEATRICE

Why then, my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula have been greatly deceived, for they swore that you did.

BENEDICK

They swore that you were almost sick for me.

BENEDICK

They swore that you were almost sick with love for me.

BEATRICE

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

BEATRICE

They swore that you were almost dead with love for me.

BENEDICK

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

BENEDICK

Well then. You don't love me?

BEATRICE

No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

BEATRICE

No, truly—just as a friend.

LEONATO

Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

LEONATO

Come, niece, I am sure that you love this gentleman.

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. [shows a paper]

CLAUDIO

And I'll swear that he loves her, for here's a paper in his handwriting—a clumsy sonnet that he composed himself, dedicated to Beatrice. [He shows a piece of paper]

HERO

And here’s another,Writ in my cousin’s hand, stol'n from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick. [shows a paper]

HERO

And here's another, stolen from my cousin's pocket—written in her handwriting, and full of her affection for Benedick. [She shows a piece of paper]

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.

BENEDICK

A miracle! Our own handwriting gives evidence against our guilty hearts. Come, I'll take you then, but I swear I'm only doing it out of pity.

BEATRICE

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

BEATRICE

I won't refuse you. But, to be clear, I'm only doing this because everyone persuaded me, and partly to save your life—for I heard you were wasting away with love for me.

BENEDICK

Peace! I will stop your mouth.

BENEDICK

Enough talking! I'll stop your mouth with a kiss.

They kiss

DON PEDRO

How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?

DON PEDRO

How are you now, Benedick, the Married Man?

BENEDICK

I’ll tell thee what, Prince: a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No. If a man will be beaten with brains, he 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 saidagainst 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.

BENEDICK

I'll tell you what, Prince: a whole assembly of wisecrackers couldn't ruin my mood. Do you think I care about mockery and name-calling? No. If a man is always afraid of being ridiculed, he'll never dare to wear something nice. In short, since I intend to marry, I won't hear anything the world has to say against marriage. So don't mock me for what I said against it before. Man is a fickle creature, and that's my conclusion.

[To CLAUDIO] And as for you, Claudio, I think I would have beaten you in our duel. But now that you're going to become my cousin, I'll let you go uninjured, and love you and my new cousin Hero.

CLAUDIO

I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgeled 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 exceedingly narrowly to thee.

CLAUDIO

I had almost hoped that you would deny Beatrice, just so I might have beaten you out of your single life and made you a double-dealer. But you'll probably become one anyway, if my new cousin Beatrice doesn't keep a close eye on you.

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.

BENEDICK

Come, come, we're all friends here. Let's have a dance before we're married to cheer ourselves up.

LEONATO

We’ll have dancing afterward.

LEONATO

We'll have dancing after the wedding.

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 reverend than one tipped with horn.

BENEDICK

No, we'll have it first! Play a song, musicians.

[To DON PEDRO] Prince, you look serious. Get yourself a wife, get yourself a wife! Your royal staff would be more impressive if it were tipped with horn.

Enter a MESSENGER

MESSENGER

[to DON PEDRO] My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight And brought with armed men back to Messina.

MESSENGER

[To DON PEDRO] My lord, your brother John has been captured, and armed men have brought him back to Messina.

BENEDICK

[to DON PEDRO] Think not on him till tomorrow. I’ll devise thee brave punishments for him.—Strike up, pipers.

BENEDICK

[To DON PEDRO] Don't worry about him until tomorrow. For your sake, I'll come up with a suitable punishment for him.

[To the musicians] Now, play, musicians!

Dance

Exeunt

Much ado about nothing
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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.