Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1 Page 2

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Modern Text

LEONATO

15I dare make his answer, none.

LEONATO

I’m sure I can answer for him—he doesn’t know any, either.

CLAUDIO

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

CLAUDIO

Oh, the things men dare to do! The things men are allowed to do! The things men do daily, not knowing what they’re doing!

BENEDICK

How now, interjections? Why, then, some be of laughing,
as, ah, ha, he!

BENEDICK

CLAUDIO

20Stand thee by, Friar.—Father, by your leave,
Will you with free and unconstrainèd soul
Give me this maid, your daughter?

CLAUDIO

Hold on, Friar. (to LEONATO) Father, are you giving me your daughter freely?

LEONATO

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

LEONATO

As freely, son, as God gave her to me.

CLAUDIO

And what have I to give you back whose worth
25May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?

CLAUDIO

And what should I give you that would be equal in value to this rare and precious gift?

DON PEDRO

Nothing, unless you render her again.

DON PEDRO

Nothing, sir, except grandchildren.

CLAUDIO

Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.—
There, Leonato, take her back again.
Give not this rotten orange to your friend.
30She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor.
Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
Oh, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood as modest evidence
35To 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.

CLAUDIO

Good Prince, you have taught me how to accept things nobly. There, Leonato, take your daughter back. Don’t insult a friend by giving him a beautiful orange that rots inside. She only appears honorable from the outside. Look, how she blushes like a virgin! Oh, sin can disguise itself so artfully! Doesn’t that rising blush suggest that she is virtuous and innocent? All of you who are looking at her, wouldn’t you swear that she’s a virgin, judging by these outward shows? But she is no virgin. She has been in a man’s bed. She blushes from guilt, not modesty.