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

DON PEDRO.
I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day. I said,
thou hadst a fine wit. 'True,' says she, 'a fine little one.'
'No,' said I, 'a great wit.'
'Right,' said she, 'a great gross one.'
'Nay,' said I, 'a good wit.'
'Just,' said she, 'it hurts nobody.'
'Nay,' said I, 'the gentleman is wise.'
'Certain,' said she,a wise gentleman.'
'Nay,' said I, 'he hath the tongues.'
'That I believe' said she, 'for he swore a thing to me on Monday
night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning: there's a double tongue;
there's two tongues.'
Thus did she, an hour together, trans-shape thy particular virtues;
yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in
Italy.

CLAUDIO.
For the which she wept heartily and said she cared not.

DON PEDRO.
Yea, that she did; but yet, for all that, an if she did not hate him
deadly, she would love him dearly. The old man's daughter told us all.

CLAUDIO.
All, all; and moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

DON PEDRO.
But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible
Benedick's head?

CLAUDIO.
Yea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick the married man!'

BENEDICK.
Fare you well, boy: you know my mind. I will leave you now to your
gossip-like humour; you break jests as braggarts do their blades,
which, God be thanked, hurt not. My lord, for your many courtesies
I thank you: I must discontinue your company. Your brother the bastard
is fled from Messina: you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent
lady. For my Lord Lack-beard there, he and I shall meet; and till
then, peace be with him.

[Exit.]

DON PEDRO.
He is in earnest.

CLAUDIO.
In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for the love of
Beatrice.

DON PEDRO.
And hath challenged thee?

CLAUDIO.
Most sincerely.

DON PEDRO.
What a pretty thing man is when he goes in his doublet and hose
and leaves off his wit!

CLAUDIO.
He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor to such
a man.

DON PEDRO.
But, soft you; let me be: pluck up, my heart, and be sad! Did he
not say my brother was fled?

[Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRADE and
BORACHIO.]

DOGBERRY.
Come you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more
reasons in her balance. Nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you
must be looked to.

DON PEDRO.
How now! two of my brother's men bound! Borachio, one!

CLAUDIO.
Hearken after their offence, my lord.

DON PEDRO.
Officers, what offence have these men done?

DOGBERRY.
Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have
spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly,
they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things;
and to conclude, they are lying knaves.

DON PEDRO.
First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what's
their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to
conclude, what you lay to their charge?

CLAUDIO.
Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there's
one meaning well suited.

DON PEDRO.
Who have you offended, masters, that you are thus bound to your
answer? this learned constable is too cunning to be understood.
What's your offence?

BORACHIO.
Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer: do you hear me,
and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes: what
your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to
light; who, in the night overheard me confessing to this man how Don
John your brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero; how you were
brought into the orchard and saw me court Margaret in Hero's
garments; how you disgraced her, when you should marry her. My
villany they have upon record; which I had rather seal with my death
than repeat over to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my
master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the
reward of a villain.

DON PEDRO.
Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?

CLAUDIO.
I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.

DON PEDRO.
But did my brother set thee on to this?

BORACHIO.
Yea; and paid me richly for the practice of it.

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