Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 1

ACT IV. Scene 1. The Inside of a Church.

[Enter DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, LEONATO, FRIAR FRANCIS, CLAUDIO,
BENEDICK, HERO, BEATRICE, &c.]

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

FRIAR.
You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady?

CLAUDIO.
No.

LEONATO.
To be married to her, friar; you come to marry her.

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

HERO.
I do.

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

CLAUDIO.
Know you any, Hero?

HERO.
None, my lord.

FRIAR.
Know you any, count?

LEONATO.
I dare make his answer; none.

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

BENEDICK.
How now! Interjections? Why then, some be of laughing, as ah! ha!
he!

CLAUDIO.
Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave: Will you with free and
unconstrained soul Give me this maid, your daughter?

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

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

DON PEDRO.
Nothing, unless you render her again.

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 honour.
Behold! how like a maid she blushes here.
O! 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.

LEONATO.
What do you mean, my lord?

CLAUDIO.
Not to be married,
Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.

LEONATO.
Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof,
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity, —

CLAUDIO.
I know what you would say: if I have known her,
You'll say she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate theforehand sin: No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity and comely love.

HERO.
And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?

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 pamper'd animals
That rage in savage sensuality.

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

LEONATO.
Sweet prince, why speak not you?

DON PEDRO.
What should I speak?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.

LEONATO.
Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?

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

BENEDICK.
This looks not like a nuptial.

HERO.
True! O God!

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?

LEONATO.
All this is so; but what of this, my lord?

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.

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

HERO.
O, God defend me! how am I beset!
What kind of catechizing call you this?

CLAUDIO.
To make you answer truly to your name.

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