Much Ado About Nothing; Act IV, Scene i

 

Much Ado About Nothing.         Act 4, Scene 1.              Beatrice

This text is used in our interview with Rebecca Watson.

BENE.
248   Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?

BEAT.
249  Yea, and I will weep a while longer.

BENE.
250  I will not desire that.

BEAT.
251  You have no reason, I do it freely.

BENE.
252  Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wrong’d.

BEAT.
253  Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her!

BENE.
254  Is there any way to show such friendship?

BEAT.
255  A very even way, but no such friend.

BENE.
256  May a man do it?

BEAT.
257  It is a man’s office, but not yours.

BENE.
258  I do love nothing in the world so well as you—is not that strange?

BEAT.
259   As strange as the thing I know not. It were as possible for me to say I
260   lov’d nothing so well as you, but believe me not; and yet I lie not: I
261    confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my cousin.

BENE.
262  By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.

BEAT.
263  Do not swear and eat it.

BENE.
264  I will swear by it that you love me, and I will make him eat it that says I love not you.

BEAT.
265  Will you not eat your word?

BENE.
266  With no sauce that can be devis’d to it. I protest I love thee.

BEAT.
267  Why then God forgive me!

BENE.
268  What offense, sweet Beatrice?

BEAT.
269  You have stay’d me in a happy hour, I was about to protest I lov’d you.

BENE.
270  And do it with all thy heart.

BEAT.
271  I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

BENE.
272  Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

BEAT.
273  Kill Claudio.

BENE.
274  Ha, not for the wide world.

BEAT.
275  You kill me to deny it. Farewell.

BENE.
276  Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

BEAT.
277  I am gone, though I am here; there is no love in you. Nay, I pray you let me go.

BENE.
278  Beatrice—

BEAT.
279  In faith, I will go.

BENE.
280  We’ll be friends first.

BEAT.
281  You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy.

BENE.
282  Is Claudio thine enemy?

BEAT.
283  Is ’a not approv’d in the height a villain, that hath slander’d, scorn’d,
284  dishonor’d my kinswoman? O that I were a man! What, bear her in
285  hand until they come to take hands, and then with public accusation,
286  uncover’d slander, unmitigated rancor—O God, that I were a man! I
287  would eat his heart in the market-place.

BENE.
288  Hear me, Beatrice—

BEAT.
289  Talk with a man out at a window! A proper saying!

BENE.
290  Nay, but, Beatrice—

BEAT.
291  Sweet Hero, she is wrong’d, she is sland’red, she is undone.

BENE.
292  Beat—

BEAT.
293  Princes and counties! Surely a princely testimony, a goodly count,
294  Count Comfect, a sweet gallant surely! O that I were a man for his sake!
295  Or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is
296  melted into cur’sies, valor into compliment, and men are only turn’d
297  into tongue, and trim ones too. He is now as valiant as Hercules that
298  only tells a lie, and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore
299  I will die a woman with grieving.

BENE.
300  Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.

BEAT.
301  Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.

BENE.
302  Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wrong’d Hero?

BEAT.
303  Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.

BENE.
304  Enough, I am engag’d, I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand, and
305  so I leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account.
306  As you hear of me, so think of me. Go comfort your cousin. I must say
307  she is dead; and so farewell.

Exeunt.

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