Much Ado About Nothing: Act 5, Scene 4
Enter LEONATO, BENEDICK, [BEATRICE,]
MARGARET, URSULA, old man [ANTONIO,]
FRIAR [FRANCIS], HERO.
1Did I not tell you she was innocent?
2So are the prince and Claudio, who accused her
3. Upon: because of. debated: publicly discussed.
3Upon the error that you heard debated:
4But Margaret was in some fault for this,
5. against her will: unintentionally.
6. question: investigation, judicial examination.
6. question: investigation, judicial examination.
5Although against her will, as it appears
6In the true course of all the question.
7. sort: turn out.
7Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.
8. faith: i.e., by his pledge to Beatrice.
8And so am I, being else by faith enforced
9To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
10Well, daughter, and you gentle-women all,
11Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
12And when I send for you, come hither mask'd.
13The prince and Claudio promised by this hour
14. office: function, role.
14To visit me. You know your office, brother:
15You must be father to your brother's daughter
16And give her to young Claudio.
17. confirm'd: grave, steadfast. Antonio is promising that nothing in his face will give away the secret that the woman who is to wed Claudio is really Hero.
17Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.
18Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
19To do what, signior?
20. To bind me, or undo me, one of them: i.e., to bind me in the knot of marriage, which may be my undoing. Benedick puns on the other meaning of "undo," which is "unbind."
20To bind me, or undo me, one of them.
21Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
22Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
23That eye my daughter lent her: 'tis most true.
24And I do with an eye of love requite her.
25The sight whereof I think you had from me,
26From Claudio and the prince: but what's your will?
27Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
28But, for my will, my will is your good will
29May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
30In the state of honorable marriage:
31In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
32. My heart is with your liking: i.e., I thoroughly approve of your desire (to marry Beatrice).
32My heart is with your liking.
32And my help.
33Here comes the prince and Claudio.
Enter Prince [DON PEDRO] and CLAUDIO,
and two or three others.
34Good morrow to this fair assembly.
35Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio:
36. yet: still.
36We here attend you. Are you yet determined
37Today to marry with my brother's daughter?
38. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope: i.e., I'll stick to my promise, no matter what she looks likes. "Ethiope" was a term for any black person, and black was considered to be the opposite of fair, beautiful.
38I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
39Call her forth, brother; here's the friar ready.
40Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what's the matter,
41That you have such a February face,
42So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?
43. savage bull: Another reference to Benedick's claim that the saying, "In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke," does not apply to him, since he will never marry. See 1.1.260-268. 45. Europa: Europe. 46. Europa: a Phoenician princess whom Jove, in the form of a white bull, carried off from her native land through the sea and to the island of Crete.
43I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
44Tush, fear not, man; we'll tip thy horns with gold
45And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
46As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
47When he would play the noble beast in love.
48. low: cow's moo.
48Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;
49. leap'd: mounted, impregnated.
49And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
50And got a calf in that same noble feat
51Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.
Enter Brother [ANTONIO], HERO, BEATRICE,
MARGARET, URSULA, [the ladies masked].
52. owe you: will repay you later. Claudio says that later he will answer Benedick's jest about his "bleat" with a jest of his own against Benedick. other reckonings: other accounts (that I must settle first).
52For this I owe you: here comes other reckonings.
53Which is the lady I must seize upon?
54This same is she, and I do give you her.
55Why, then she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.
56No, that you shall not, till you take her hand
57Before this friar and swear to marry her.
58Give me your hand: before this holy friar,
59. like of: care for, like, are willing to take.
59I am your husband, if you like of me.
60And when I lived, I was your other wife:
61And when you loved, you were my other husband.
63. defiled: disgraced, slandered.
63One Hero died defiled, but I do live,
64. maid: virgin.
64And surely as I live, I am a maid.
65The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
66She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
67. qualify: moderate, calm down.
67All this amazement can I qualify:
68When after that the holy rites are ended,
69. largely: fully, in detail.
69I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:
70. let wonder seem familiar: accept these amazing events as natural, ordinary matters. 71. to the chapel let us presently: let us immediately go to the chapel (for the wedding).
70Meantime let wonder seem familiar,
71And to the chapel let us presently.
72Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?
73I answer to that name. What is your will?
74Do not you love me?
74Why, no; no more than reason.
75Why, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio
76Have been deceived; they swore you did.
77Do not you love me?
77Troth, no; no more than reason.
78Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula
79Are much deceived; for they did swear you did.
80They swore that you were almost sick for me.
81They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
82'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
83No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
84Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
85And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;
86For here's a paper written in his hand,
87. halting: stumbling. Benedick's verse does not flow smoothly. of his own pure brain: purely his own.
87A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
88Fashion'd to Beatrice.
88And here's another
89Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
90Containing her affection unto Benedick.
91-92. here's our own hands against our hearts: i.e., here is the testimony, written by our own hands, that our hearts are guilty of love for each other.
91A miracle! here's our own hands against our
92hearts. Come, I will have thee; but, by this
93light, I take thee for pity.
94I would not deny you; but, by this good day,
95I yield upon great persuasion; and partly to
96-97. were in a comsumption: were the victim of a disease that was making you waste away to nothing.
96save your life, for I was told you were in a
98Peace! I will stop your mouth.
99How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?
100. college: large company.
100I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of
101. wit-crackers: jokesters, wiseacres.
101wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor.
102Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram?
103-104. if a man will be beaten with brains, 'a shall wear nothing handsome about him: i.e., if a man will allow himself to be cowed by witticisms he'll always be schmuck. ...more
103No: if a man will be beaten with brains, a' shall
104wear nothing handsome about him. In brief,
105since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to
106any purpose that the world can say against it; and
107therefore never flout at me for what I have said
108. giddy: fickle, changeable.
108against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my
109conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think
110to have beaten thee, but in that thou art like to be
111my kinsman, live unbruised and love my cousin.
112I had well hoped thou wouldst have denied Beatrice,
113that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single
114-115. double-dealer: (1) man who breaks his word. Benedick had vowed to never marry. (2) deceiver, unfaithful husband. out of question: without doubt. 116. narrowly: closely.
114life, to make thee a double-dealer; which, out of
115question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look
116exceedingly narrowly to thee.
117Come, come, we are friends: let's have a dance ere
118we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts
119and our wives' heels.
120We'll have dancing afterward.
121. First, of my word: i.e., I say we dance first!
121First, of my word; therefore play, music. Prince,
122thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife:
123. reverend: honorable. 123-124. tipped with horn: Any mention of "horn" in Shakespeare is an allusion to the idea that cuckolds sprouted horns from their heads.
123there is no staff more reverend than one tipped
125My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,
126And brought with armed men back to Messina.
127Think not on him till tomorrow:
128. I'll devise thee brave punishments for him: for your sake, I'll devise suitable and notable punishments for him [Don John].
128I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.
129Strike up, pipers.