Much Ado About Nothing

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 4

page Act 5 Scene 4 Page 5

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BENEDICK

Troth, no, no more than reason.

BENEDICK

Truly, no—no more than is reasonable.

BEATRICE

80Why then, my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula
Are much deceived, for they did swear you did.

BEATRICE

Well then, Margaret, Ursula, and my cousin have been very much deceived, for they swore you did.

BENEDICK

They swore that you were almost sick for me.

BENEDICK

They swore that you were sick with love for me.

BEATRICE

They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.

BEATRICE

They swore that you were nearly dead with love for me.

BENEDICK

'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?

BENEDICK

Oh, well. So you don’t love me?

BEATRICE

85No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

BEATRICE

No, I don’t—except as a friend.

LEONATO

Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

LEONATO

Come on, niece, I’m sure you love him.

CLAUDIO

And I’ll be sworn upon ’t that he loves her,
For here’s a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
90Fashioned to Beatrice.
(Shows a paper)

CLAUDIO

And I’ll swear that he loves her. Here’s a clumsy sonnet, in Benedick’s handwriting, dedicated to Beatrice. (holding up a piece of paper)

HERO

    And here’s another,
Writ in my cousin’s hand, stol'n from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.
(Shows a paper)

HERO

And here’s another poem, which I stole from my cousin’s pocket—in her handwriting and all about her adoration for Benedick. (holding up a piece of paper)

BENEDICK

95A miracle! Here’s our own hands against our hearts. Come,
I will have thee, but, by this light, I take thee for pity.

BENEDICK

What a miracle! Our handwriting gives away our hearts. Come on, I’ll take you, but honestly I’m only doing it out of pity.

BEATRICE

I would not deny you, but, by this good day, I yield upon
great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was told
you were in a consumption.

BEATRICE

I won’t say no to you, but let it be known that I’m only doing this after a lot of persuasion and to save your life —I hear you were quickly wasting away without me.

BENEDICK

100Peace! I will stop your mouth.

BENEDICK

Oh, shut up! I’ll stop your mouth with a kiss.