Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1 Page 7

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135But mine, and mine I loved, and mine I praised,
And mine that I was proud on, mine so much
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her—why, she, O she is fall'n
Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
140Hath drops too few to wash her clean again
And salt too little which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!
Oh, but now you have fallen into a pit of ink, and there’s not enough water in the whole wide sea to wash you clean again, and not enough salt to cover your stink.

BENEDICK

    Sir, sir, be patient.
For my part, I am so attired in wonder
I know not what to say.

BENEDICK

Sir, sir, calm down. I’m so amazed by this, I don’t know what to say.

BEATRICE

145Oh, on my soul, my cousin is belied!

BEATRICE

Oh, on my soul, my cousin has been slandered falsely!

BENEDICK

Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

BENEDICK

Lady, did you sleep in her room last night?

BEATRICE

No, truly not, although until last night
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.

BEATRICE

No, I didn’t, but I did every night for the past year.

LEONATO

Confirmed, confirmed! Oh, that is stronger made
150Which was before barred up with ribs of iron!
Would the two princes lie and Claudio lie,
Who loved her so that, speaking of her foulness,
Washed it with tears? Hence from her. Let her die.

LEONATO

Then it’s confirmed! That’s even more proof, and the case against her was airtight already. Would the two princes and Claudio lie? Claudio, who loved her so much that talking about her wickedness made him weep?

FRIAR FRANCIS

Hear me a little,
155For I have only silent been so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady. I have marked
A thousand blushing apparitions
To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames
160In angel whiteness beat away those blushes,
And in her eye there hath appeared a fire
To burn the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool,

FRIAR FRANCIS

Listen to me a moment. I’ve only remained silent this whole time because I’ve been watching Hero. I’ve seen her begin to blush a thousand times, only to watch those blushes disappear a thousand times and an innocent paleness take over her face. And in her eyes I see a fire that would seem to burn away the lies the princes have told about her chastity. Call me a fool,
don’t trust my observations—the truth of which is backed up by all my years of experience—don’t trust my age, my reputation, my position, and my holiness.