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

ANTONIO.
Content yourself. God knows I lov'd my niece;
And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains,
That dare as well answer a man indeed
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.
Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops!

LEONATO.
Brother Antony, —

ANTONIO.
Hold your content. What, man! I know them, yea,
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple,
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-monging boys,
That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander,
Go antickly, show outward hideousness,
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst;
And this is all!

LEONATO.
But, brother Antony, —

ANTONIO.
Come, 'tis no matter:
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.

DON PEDRO.
Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death;
But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing
But what was true and very full of proof.

LEONATO.
My lord, my lord —

DON PEDRO.
I will not hear you.

LEONATO.
No? Come, brother, away. I will be heard. —

ANTONIO.
And shall, or some of us will smart for it.

[Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO.]

[Enter BENEDICK.]

DON PEDRO.
See, see; here comes the man we went to seek.

CLAUDIO.
Now, signior, what news?

BENEDICK.
Good day, my lord.

DON PEDRO.
Welcome, signior: you are almost come to part almost a fray.

CLAUDIO.
We had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old
men without teeth.

DON PEDRO.
Leonato and his brother. What think'st thou? Had we fought, I
doubt we should have been too young for them.

BENEDICK.
In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came to seek you
both.

CLAUDIO.
We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof
melancholy, and would fain have it beaten away. Wilt thou use
thy wit?

BENEDICK.
It is in my scabbard; shall I draw it?

DON PEDRO.
Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?

CLAUDIO.
Never any did so, though very many have been beside their wit. I
will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.

DON PEDRO.
As I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thou sick, or angry?

CLAUDIO.
What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat, thou hast
mettle enough in thee to kill care.

BENEDICK.
Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an you charge it
against me. I pray you choose another subject.

CLAUDIO.
Nay then, give him another staff: this last was broke cross.

DON PEDRO.
By this light, he changes more and more: I think he be angry
indeed.

CLAUDIO.
If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.

BENEDICK.
Shall I speak a word in your ear?

CLAUDIO.
God bless me from a challenge!

BENEDICK.
[Aside to CLAUDIO.]
You are a villain, I jest not: I will make it good how you dare,
with what you dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will protest
your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall
fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.

CLAUDIO.
Well I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.

DON PEDRO.
What, a feast, a feast?

CLAUDIO.
I' faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf's-head and a capon,
the which if I do not carve most curiously, say my knife's naught.
Shall I not find a woodcock too?

BENEDICK.
Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

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