Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1 Page 3

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LEONATO

40What do you mean, my lord?

LEONATO

What do you mean, my lord?

CLAUDIO

      Not to be married,
Not to knit my soul to an approvèd wanton.

CLAUDIO

I won’t be married. I won’t join my soul to such a proven slut.

LEONATO

Dear my lord, if you in your own proof
Have vanquished the resistance of her youth
And made defeat of her virginity—

LEONATO

My dear lord, if it was you who conquered her and took her virginity—

CLAUDIO

45I know what you would say: if I have known her,
You will say she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate the forehand sin.
No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large
50But, as a brother to his sister, showed
Bashful sincerity and comely love.

CLAUDIO

I know what you’re about to say. If I had slept with her, you’d say that we did so as husband and wife, merely anticipating our eventual marriage. No, Leonato. I never seduced her, or tempted her with indecent words. I treated her like a brother would treat a sister, with modest sincerity and appropriate affection.

HERO

And seemed I ever otherwise to you?

HERO

And have I ever seemed less than modest or appropriate to you?

CLAUDIO

Out on thee, seeming! I will write against it.
You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
55As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown.
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pampered animals
That rage in savage sensuality.

CLAUDIO

Curse you for your false appearances! To me, you seemed like

Diana

Diana was the virgin goddess of the hunt and moon; Venus was the goddess of love generally portrayed as fickle and promiscuous.

Diana
in her orbit—as virginal as the flower bud before it blooms. But you’re actually as hot-blooded as Venus, or a pampered animal allowed to run wild.

HERO

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

HERO

Are you sick, my lord? Is that why you’re talking so wildly?

LEONATO

60Sweet Prince, why speak not you?

LEONATO

Good Prince, say something!

DON PEDRO

      What should I speak?
I stand dishonored, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.

DON PEDRO

What should I say? I’ve been dishonored: I arranged for a friend of mine to marry a common whore.

LEONATO

Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?

LEONATO

Are you really saying these things, or am I dreaming?