Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1
No Fear Act 4 Scene 1 Page 14

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BEATRICE

Princes and counties! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly
310count, Count Comfect, a sweet gallant, surely! Oh, that I
were a man for his sake! Or that I had any friend would be
a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into curtsies,
valor into compliment, and men are only turned into
tongue, and trim ones too. He is now as valiant as Hercules
315that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man with
wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.

BEATRICE

Princes and counts! Oh, of course, it was all so proper and ceremonious—they gave a truly princely testimony. He’s a proper count, that Count Sugarplum, a sweet gentleman, for sure! Oh, if only I were a man! Or had a friend who would be a man for me! But there are no real men left. Their manliness has melted into pretty curtsies and fancy manners, and their bravery is spent on making clever compliments. All this conversing has turned men into tongues—and fancy ones, at that. The man who tells a lie and swears by it is now considered as brave as Hercules. I can’t make myself a man by wishing I were, so as a woman I’ll die, from grieving.

BENEDICK

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

BENEDICK

Wait, good Beatrice. I swear by this hand that I love you.

BEATRICE

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

BEATRICE

Don’t just swear by it; put your hand to some use that will prove you love me.

BENEDICK

Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged
320Hero?

BENEDICK

Do you honestly think, in your soul, that Claudio has wrongly accused

Hero?

Hercules was a great hero in Greek and Roman mythology.

Hero?

BEATRICE

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

BEATRICE

Yes, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.

BENEDICK

Enough, I am engaged. I will challenge him. I will kiss your
hand, and so I leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall render
me a dear account. As you hear of me, so think of me. Go
325comfort your cousin. I must say she is dead, and so,
farewell.

BENEDICK

That’s enough for me, then. I’ll challenge him. I’ll kiss your hand, and with that I leave you. I swear that Claudio will pay dearly for this. Keep me in your thoughts and go comfort your cousin. I’ll go tell them that she’s dead. Goodbye.
Exeunt
They exit.