Much Ado About Nothing (1984) - full transcript

Benedick and Beatrice fight their merry war of words. But when Beatrice's friend, Hero, is humiliatingly jilted by Benedick's best friend, Claudio, Benedick has to choose which side he's on. But unknown to all, Claudio's been tricked by the bastard Don John, and (unfortunately), it's up to Dogberry and Verges to solve the case.

[Elizabethan music]

I learn in this letter
that Don Pedro of Aragon

comes this night to Messina.

He is very near by this: he
was not three leagues off

when I left him.

How many gentlemen have
you lost in this action?

But few of any sort, and none of name.

A victory is twice
itself when the achiever

brings home full numbers.

I find here that Don Pedro
hath bestowed much honor

on a young Florentine called Claudio.

Much deserved on his part

and equally remembered by Don Pedro.

He hath borne himself beyond
the promise of his age,

doing, in the figure of a
lamb, the feats of a lion.

I pray you, is Signor Mountanto

returned from the wars or no?

I know none of that name, lady.

There was none such in
the army of any sort.

What is he that you speak of, niece?

My cousin means Signor Benedick of Padua.

Oh, he's returned, and as
pleasant as ever he was.

I pray you, how many hath he killed

and eaten in these wars?

But how many hath he killed?

For indeed I promised to
eat all of his killing.

Faith, niece, you tax
Signor Benedick too much.

But he'll be meet with
you, I doubt it not.

He hath done good service,
lady, in these wars.

You hath musty vital, and
he hath holp to eat it.

He is a very valiant trencherman,

he hath an he hath an excellent stomach.

A good soldier too, lady.

And a good soldier to a lady,
but what is he to a lord?

A lord to a lord, a man to a man,

stuffed with all honorable virtues.

It is so, indeed.

He is no less than a stuffed man.

But for the stuffing,
well, we are all mortal.

You must not, sir, mistake my niece.

There is a kind of merry war

betwixt Signor Benedick and her.

They never meet but
there's a skirmish of wit

between them.

Alas, he gets nothing by that.

At our last conflict four of
his five wits went halting off,

and now is the whole
man governed with one.

So that if he have wit
enough to keep himself warm,

let him bear it for a difference between

himself and his horse.

For it is all the wealth
that he hath left,

to be known a reasonable creature.

Who is his companion now?

He hath every month a new sworn brother.

Is't possible?

Very easily possible.

He wears his faith but as
the fashion of his hat,

it ever changes with the next block.


I see, lady, the gentleman
is not in your books.

No, an he were I would burn my study.

But, I pray you, who is his companion?

Is there no young squarer now

that will make a voyage
with him to the devil?

He is most in the company
of the right noble Claudio.

Lord, he will hang upon
him like a disease.

He is sooner caught than the pestilence,

and the taker runs presently mad.

God help the noble Claudio!

If he have caught the Benedick,

it'll cost him a thousand
pound ere he be cured.

I will hold friends with you, lady.

Do, good friend.

You will never run mad, niece.

No, not till a hot January.

[beating drums]

Don Pedro is approached.

[Elizabethan music]

Good Signor Leonato, are you
come to meet your trouble?

The fashion of the world is to avoid cost,

and you encounter it.

Never came trouble to my house

in the likeness of your grace.

For trouble being gone,
comfort should remain,

but when you depart from me,

sorrow abides and
happiness takes his leave.

You embrace your charge too willingly.

I think this is your daughter?

Her mother hath many times told me so.

Were you in doubt, sir,
that you asked her?

Signor Benedick, no, for
then were you a child.

You have it full, Benedick.

Truly, the lady fathers herself.

Be happy, lady, for you are
like an honorable father.

If Signor Leonato be her father,

she would not have his
head on her shoulders

for all Messina.

As like him as she is.

I wonder you will still be
talking, Signor Benedick,

nobody marks you.

What, my dear Lady Disdain!

Are you yet living?

Is it possible disdain
should die while she hath

such meet food to feed
it as Signor Benedick?

Courtesy itself must convert to disdain,

when you come in her presence.

Then is courtesy a turncoat.

But it is certain I am
loved of all ladies,

only you excepted.

And I would I could find in my heart

that I had not a hard heart,

for truly, I love none.

A dear happiness to women.

They would else have been
troubled with a pernicious suitor.

I thank God and my cold blood,
I am of your humor for that.

I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow

than a man swear he loves me.

God keep your ladyship still in that mind

so some gentleman or other shall 'scape

a predestinate scratched face.

Scratching could not make it worse,

an 'twere such a face as yours were.

Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

A bird of my tongue is
better than a beast of yours.

I would my horse had the
speed of your tongue,

and so good a continuer.

But keep your way, i' God's name.

I have done.

You always end with a jade's trick.

I know you of old.

That is the sum of all, Leonato.

Signor Claudio and Signor Benedick,

my dear friend Leonato
hath invited you all.

I tell him we shall stay
here at the least a month,

and he heartily prays some
occasion may detain us longer.

I dare swear he is no hypocrite,
but prays from his heart.

If you swear, my lord,
you shall not be forsworn.

Let me bid you welcome, my lord,

being reconciled to the
prince your brother,

I owe you all duty.

I thank you.

I am not of many words, but I thank you.

Please it your grace lead on?

Your hand Leonato, we will go together.


Benedick, didst thou note the
daughter of Signor Leonato?

I noted her not, but I looked on her.

Is she not a modest young lady?

Do you question me, as
an honest man should do,

for my simple true judgment?

Or would you have me
speak after my custom,

as being a professed tyrant to their sex?

No, I pray thee speak in sober judgment.

Why, i' faith, methinks she's
too low for a high praise,

too brown for a fair praise

and too little for a great praise.

Only this commendation I can afford her,

that were she other than
she is, she were unhandsome,

and being no other but as
she is, I do not like her.

Thou think'st I am in sport.

I pray thee tell me truly
how thou likest her?

Would you buy her, that
you inquire after her?

Can the world buy such a jewel?

In mine eye she is the sweetest lady

that ever I looked on.

Well I can see yet without spectacles

and I see no such matter.

There's her cousin, an were
she not possessed with a fury,

exceeds her as much in beauty

as the first of May doth
the last of December.

I hope you have no intent
to turn husband, have you?

I would scarce trust myself,

though I had sworn to the contrary,

if Hero would be my wife.

Is't come to this?

In faith, hath not the world one man

but will wear his cap with suspicion?

Shall I never see a bachelor
of three-score again?

Oh, go to, i' faith.

And thou wolt needs thrust
thy neck into a yoke,

wear the print of it
and sigh away Sundays.

Look Don Pedro is returned to seek you.

What secret hath held you here,

that you followed not to Leonato's?

I would your grace would
constrain me to tell.

I charge thee on thy allegiance.

You hear, Count Claudio, I
can be a secret as a dumb man.

I would have you think
so, but, on my allegiance.

Mark you, on my allegiance.

He is in love.

With who?

Now that is your grace's part.

Mark how short his answer is, with Hero,

Leonato's short daughter.

If this were so, so were it uttered.

Yes, like the old tale,
my lord, it is not so,

nor 'twas not so, but, indeed,
God forbid it should be so.

If my passion change not shortly,

God forbid it should be otherwise.

Amen, if you love her, for
the lady is very well worthy.

You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.

By my troth, I speak my thought.

And, in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.

And, by my two faiths and
troths, my lord, I spoke mine.

That I love her, I feel.

That she is worthy, I know.

That I neither feel
how she should be loved

nor know how she should be worthy,

is the opinion fire cannot melt out of me.

I will die in it at the stake.

Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic

in the despite of beauty.

And never could maintain his part

but in the force of his will.

That a woman conceived me, I thank her,

that she brought me up,

I likewise give her most humble thanks.

But all women shall pardon me.

Because I will not do them
the wrong to mistrust any,

I will do myself the right to trust none.

And the fine is, for
which I may go the finer,

I will live a bachelor.

I shall see thee, ere I
die, look pale with love.

With anger, or with sickness,
or with hunger, my lord,

not with love.

Prove that ever I lose
more blood with love

than I get again with
drinking, pick out mine eyes

with a ballad-maker's pen
and hang me up at the door

of a brothel-house for
the sign of blind Cupid.

Well, if ever thou dost
fall from this faith,

thou wilt prove a notable argument.

Well if I do, hang me
in a bottle like a cat

and shoot at me.

And he that hits me, let him
be clapped on the shoulder,

and called Adam.

Well, as time shall try.

In time the savage bull
doth bear the yoke.

The savage bull may, but if
ever the sensible Benedick

bear it, pluck off the bull's horns,

set them in my forehead, and
let me be vilely painted,

and in such great letters as they write

"Here is good horse to hire. "

Let them signify under my sign

"Here you may see
Benedick the married man."

Well you will temporize with the hours.

In the meantime, good Signor Benedick,

repair to Leonato's, commend me to him

and tell him I will
not fail him at supper.

For indeed he hath made
great preparations.

I have almost matter enough
in me for such an embassage.

And so I commit you--

To the tuition of God from
my house, if I had it.

The sixth of July, your
loving friend, Benedick.


Mock not, mock not, ere you
flout old ends any further.

Examine your conscience.

And so I leave you.

My liege, your highness
now may do me good.

My love is thine to teach,

teach it but how and thou
shalt see how apt it is

to learn any hard lesson
that may do thee good.

Hath Leonato any son, my lord?

No child but Hero, she's his only heir.

Dost thou affect her, Claudio?

Oh, my lord,

when you went onward on this ended action,

I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye,

that liked, but had a rougher task in hand

than to drive liking to the name of love.

But now that I am returned
and that war-thoughts

have left their places vacant,

in their rooms come thronging
soft and delicate desires,

all prompting me how fair young Hero is,

saying, I liked her ere I went to wars.

Thou wilt be like a lover presently

and tire the hearer with a book of words.

If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,

and I will break with
her and with her father,

and thou shalt have her.

Was't not to this end that
thou began'st to twist

so fine a story?

How sweetly you do minister to love,

that know love's grief by his complexion!

But lest my liking might too sudden seem,

I would have salved it
with a longer treatise.

What need the bridge much
broader than the flood?

The fairest grant is the necessity.

Look, what will serve is fit,

'tis once, thou lovest.

And I will fit thee with the remedy.

I know we shall have revelling to-night.

I will assume thy part in some disguise

and tell fair Hero I am Claudio.

And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart

and take her hearing
prisoner with the force

and strong encounter of my amorous tale:

Then after to her father will I break,

and the conclusion is, she shall be thine.

In practice let us put it presently.

How now, brother, where is my cousin?

hath he provided us music?

He is very busy about it.

But, brother, I can tell you strange news

that you yet dreamt not of.

Are they good?

As the event stamps them,
but they have a good cover.

They show well outward.

The prince and Count Claudio,

walking in a thick-pleached
alley in mine orchard,

were thus much overheard by a man of mine.

The prince discovered to
Claudio that he loved my niece,

your daughter and meant to acknowledge it

this night in a dance.

And if he found her accordant,

he meant to take the
present time by the top

and instantly break with you of it.

Hath the fellow any
wit that told you this?

A good sharp fellow, I will send for him

and question him yourself.

No, no, we will hold it as a
dream till it appear itself.

But I will acquaint my daughter withal,

that she may be the better
prepared for an answer,

if peradventure this be true.

Go you and tell her of it.

Cousin, you know what you have to do.

I cry you mercy, friend.

Go you with me, and I will use your skill.

Good cousin, have a care this busy time.

[Elizabethan music]

What the good-year, my lord!

Why are you thus out of measure sad?

There is no measure in
the occasion that breeds.

Therefore the sadness is without limit.

You should hear reason.

And when I have heard it,
what blessing brings it?

If not a present remedy, at
least a patient sufferance.

I wonder that thou, being,
as thou sayest thou art,

born under Saturn, goest about
to apply a moral medicine

to a mortifying mischief.

I cannot hide what I am.

I must be sad when I have cause

and smile at no man's jests,

eat when I have stomach and
wait for no man's leisure,

sleep when I am drowsy and
tend on no man's business,

laugh when I am merry and
claw no man in his humor.

Yea, but you must not
make the full show of this

till you may do it without controlment.

You have of late stood
out against your brother,

and he has newly ta'en you into his grace.

Wherein it is impossible
you should take true root

but by the fair weather
that you make yourself.

It is needful that you frame the season

for your own harvest.

I had rather be a canker in a hedge

than a rose in his grace,

and it better fits my blood
to be disdained of all

than to fashion a carriage
to rob love from any.

In this, though I cannot be said to be

a flattering honest man,
it must not be denied

what I am a plain-dealing villain.

I am trusted with a muzzle
and enfranchised with a clog.

Therefore I have decreed
not to sing in my cage.

If I had my mouth, I would bite.

If I had my liberty, I would do my liking.

In the meantime let me be that I am

and seek not to alter me.

Can you make no use of your discontent?

I make all use of it, for I use it only.

But who comes here?

What news, Borachio?

I came yonder from a great supper.

The prince, your brother is
royally entertained by Leonato.

And I can give you intelligence
of an intended marriage.

Will it serve for any
model to build mischief on?

What is he for a fool that
betroths himself to unquietness?

Marry, it is your brother's right hand.


The most exquisite Claudio?

Even he.

A proper squire!

And who, and who?

Which way looks he?

Marry, on Hero, the daughter
and heir of Leonato.

A very forward March-chick.

How came you to this?

Being entertained for a perfumer,

as I was smoking a musty room,

comes me the Prince and
Claudio hand in hand

in sad conference.

I whipped me behind the arras,

and there heard it agreed upon

that the Prince should
woo Hero for himself,

and having obtained her,
give her to Count Claudio.

Come, come, let us thither.

This may prove food to my displeasure.

That young start-up hath all
the glory of my overthrow.

If I can cross him any way,
I bless myself every way.

You are both sure, and will assist me?

To the death, my lord.

Let us to the great supper,

their cheer is the
greater that I am subdued.

Would the cook were of my mind.


Shall we go prove what's to be done?

[Borachio] We'll wait upon your lordship.


Was not Count John here at supper?

I saw him not.

How tartly that gentleman looks,

I never can see him but I am
heart-burned an hour after.

He is of a very melancholy disposition.

He were an excellent man that were made

just in the midway
between him and Benedick.

The one is too like an
image and says nothing,

the other too like my lady's eldest son,

evermore tattling.

Then half Signor Benedick's
tongue in Count John's mouth,

and half Count John's melancholy

in Signor Benedick's face.

With a good leg and a good foot, uncle,

and money enough in his purse,

such a man could win
any woman in the world,

if he could get her good-will.

By my troth, niece, thou wilt
never get thee a husband,

if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.

In faith, she's too cursed.

Too cursed is more than cursed.

I will lessen God's sending that way.

For it is said,

"God sends a cursed cow short horns.

"But to a cow too cursed he sends none."

So, by being too cursed,
God will send you no horns.

Just, if he send me no husband.

For the which blessing I
am at him upon my knees

every morning and evening.

Oh lord, I could not endure a husband

with a beard on his face.

I'd rather lie in the woolen.

You may light on a husband
that hath no beard.

What should I do with him?

dress him in my apparel and
make him my waiting-gentlewoman?

He that hath a beard is more than a youth,

and he that hath no
beard is less than a man,

and he that is more than
a youth is not for me,

and he that is less than
a man, I am not for him.

Therefore, I will take sixpence
in earnest of the bear-ward,

and lead his apes into hell.

Well, then, go you into hell?

No, but to the gate, and
there will the devil meet me,

like an old cuckold, with
horns on his head, and say

"Get you to heaven,
Beatrice, get you to heaven,

here's no place for you maids."

So deliver I up my apes,

and away to Saint Peter for the heavens.

He shows me where the bachelors sit,

and there live we as
merry as the day is long.

Well, niece, I trust you
will be ruled by your father.

Oh yes, faith, it is my cousin's duty

to make curtsy and say

"Father, as it please you."

But for all that, cousin,
let him be a handsome fellow,

or else make another curtsy and say

"Father, as it please me."

Well, niece, I hope to see you one day

fitted with a husband.

Not till God make men of
some other metal than earth.

Would it not grieve a
woman to be overmastered

by a piece of valiant dust?

To make an account of her life
to a clod of wayward marl?

No, uncle, I'll none.

Adam's sons are my brethren,

and, truly, I hold it a
sin to match in my kindred.

Daughter, remember what I told you.

If the Prince do solicit you in that kind,

you know your answer.

The fault will be in the music, cousin,

if you be not wooed in good time.

If the Prince be too important,

tell him there is measure in every thing

and so dance out the answer.

For, hear me, Hero, wooing,
wedding, and repenting,

is as a Scotch jig, a
measure, and a cinque pace.

The first suit is hot and
hasty as a Scotch jig,

and full as fantastical.

The wedding, mannerly-modest,
as a measure,

full of state and ancientry.

And then comes repentance
and with his bad legs

falls into the cinque
pace faster and faster

until he sink into his grave.

Niece, you apprehend passing shrewdly.

I have a good eye, uncle.

I can see a church by daylight.

The revelers are entering,
brother, make good room.

[drums beating]


[Elizabethan music]

[Don Pedro] Lady, will you
walk about with your friend?

So you walk softly

and look sweetly and say nothing.

I am yours for the walk,

especially when I walk away.

[Don Pedro] With me in your company?

I may say so, when I please.

[Don Pedro] And when please you to say so?

When I like your favor.

For God defend the lute,
should be like the case.

[Don Pedro] My visor is Philemon's roof,

within the house is Jove.

Why, then, your visor should be thatched.

[Don Pedro] Speak low, if you speak love.

[Elizabethan music]

[Balthasar] Well, I would you did like me.

So would not I, for your own sake,

for I have many ill-qualities.

[Balthasar] Which is one?

I say my prayers aloud.

[Balthasar] I love you the better,

the hearers may cry, Amen.

God match me with a good dancer.

[Balthasar] Amen.

And God take him out of my sight

when the dance is done.

Answer, clerk.

[Balthasar] No more words,
the clerk is answered.

[Ursula] I know you well
enough, you are Signor Antonio.

[Antonio] At a word, I am not.

I know you by the waggling of your head.

[Antonio] To tell you
true, I counterfeit him.

You could never do him so ill-well,

unless you were the very man.

Here's his dry hand up and down,

you are he, you are he.

[Antonio] At a word, I am not.

[Elizabethan music]

Will you not tell me who told you so?

[Benedick] No, you shall pardon me.

Nor will you not tell me who you are?

[Benedick] Not now.

That I was disdainful,

and that I had my good wit

out of the Hundred Merry Tales?

well this was Signor
Benedick that said so.

[Benedick] What's he?

I am sure you know him well enough.

[Benedick] Not I, believe me.

Did he never make you laugh?

[Benedick] I pray you, what is he?

Why, he is the prince's
jester, a very dull fool.

Only his gift is in devising
impossible slanders.

None but libertines delight in him,

and the commendation lies not in his wit,

but in his villainy.

For he both pleases men and angers them,

and then they laugh at him and beat him.

I'm sure he is in the fleet.

I would he had boarded me.

[Benedick] When I know the gentleman,

I'll tell him what you say.

Do, do,

he'll but break a comparison or two on me,

which, peradventure not
marked or not laughed at,

strikes him into melancholy.

And then there's a partridge wing saved,

for the fool will eat
no supper that night.

Oh, we must follow the leaders.

[Benedick] In every good thing.

Nay, if they lead to any ill,

I'll leave them at the next turning.

[Elizabethan music]

[beating drum]

Sure my brother is amorous on Hero

and hath withdrawn her father
to break with him about it.

The ladies follow her and
but one visor remains.

And that is Claudio, I
know him by his bearing.

Are not you Signor Benedick?

[Claudio] You know me well, I am he.

Signor, you are very near
my brother in his love.

He is enamored on Hero,

I pray you, dissuade him from her.

she is no equal for his birth.

You may do the part of
an honest man in it.

[Claudio] How know you he loves her?

I heard him swear his affection.

So did I too, and he swore
he would marry her tonight.

Come, let us to the banquet.

[Elizabethan music]

Thus answer I in the name of Benedick,

but hear these ill news
with the ears of Claudio.

'Tis certain so, the
Prince woos for himself.

Friendship is constant in all other things

save in the office and affairs of love.

Therefore, all hearts in
love use their own tongues,

let every eye negotiate for
itself and trust no agent.

For beauty is a witch against whose charms

faith melteth into blood.

This is an accident of hourly
proof which I mistrusted not.

Farewell, therefore, Hero!

[ Benedick] Count Claudio?

Yea, the same.

Come, will you go with me?


Even to the next willow, [laughing]

about your own business county.

What fashion will you wear the garland of?

about your neck, like an usurer's chain?

Or under your arm, like
a lieutenant's scarf?

Well you must wear it one way,

for the Prince hath got your Hero.

I wish him joy of her.

That's spoken like an honest drover.

So they sell bullocks.

But did you think the prince
would have served you thus?

I pray you, leave me.

Now you'll strike the blind man.

'Twas the boy who stole your meat,

and now you'll beat the post.

If it will not be, I'll leave you.

Alas, poor hurt fowl!

Now will he creep into sedges.

But that my Lady Beatrice should know me,

and not know me.

The prince's fool!

It may be I go under that
title because I am merry.

Yea, but so I am apt to do myself wrong,

I am not so reputed.

It is the base, though bitter,
disposition of Beatrice

that puts the world into her
person and so gives me out.

Well, I'll be revenged as I may.

Now, signor, where's the count?

did you see him?

I found him here as melancholy
as a lodge in a warren.

I told him, and I think I told him true,

that your grace had got the
good will of this young lady,

and I offered him my
company to a willow-tree,

to make him a garland, as being forsaken,

or bind him up a rod, as
being worthy to be whipped.

To be whipped, what's his fault?

The flat transgression of a schoolboy,

who being overjoyed at
finding a birds' nest,

shows it his companion, and he steals it.

Wilt thou make a trust a transgression?

The transgression is in the stealer.

Yet it had not been amiss
the rod had been made,

and the garland too,

for the garland he
might have worn himself,

and the rod he might have bestowed on you,

who, as I take it, have
stolen his birds' nest.

I will but teach them to sing,

and restore them to the owner.

If their singing answer your saying,

by my faith, you say honestly.

The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you.

The gentleman that
danced with her told her

she is much wronged by you.

She misused me past the
endurance of a block!

An oak but with one green leaf on it

would have answered her.

My very visor began to assume
life and scold with her.

She told me, not thinking
I had been myself,

that I was the prince's jester,

that I was duller than a great
thaw huddling jest upon jest

with such impossible
conveyance that I stood

like a man at a mark, with
a whole army shooting at me.

She spits poniards, and every word stabs.

If her breath were as
terrible as her terminations,

there were no living near her.

she would infect to the North star.

I would not marry her,
though she were endowed

with all that Adam had left
him before he transgressed.

Come, talk not of her,

you shall find her the
infernal Ate in good apparel.

I would to God some
scholar would conjure her.

For certainly, while she is here,

a man may live as quiet
in hell as in a sanctuary,

and people sin upon purpose,

because they would go thither.

So, indeed, all disquiet,

horror and perturbation follows her.

Look, here she comes.

Will your grace command me any service

to the world's end?

I will go on the slightest
errand now to the Antipodes

that you can devise to send me on.

I will fetch you a tooth-picker now

from the furthest inch of Asia,

bring you the length
of Prester John's foot,

fetch you a hair off
the great Cham's beard,

do you any embassage to the Pygmies

rather than hold three words'
conference with this harpy.

You have no employment for me?

None, but to desire your good company.

O God,

here's a dish I love not.

I cannot endure my Lady Tongue.


Come, lady come,

you have lost the heart
of Signor Benedick.

Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile.

And I gave him good use for it,

a double heart for his single one.

Marry, once before he won
it of me with false dice,

therefore your grace may
well say I have lost it.

You have put him down,
lady, you have put him down.

So I would not he should do me, my lord,

lest I should prove the mother of fools.

I have brought Count Claudio,
whom you sent me to seek.

Why, how now, count!

wherefore are you sad?

Not sad, my lord.

Well how then, sick?

Neither, my lord.

The count is neither sad, nor
sick, nor merry, nor well,

but civil count, civil as an orange,

and something of that jealous complexion.

I' faith, lady, I think
your blazon to be true,

though, I'll be sworn, if he
be so, his conceit is false.

Here Claudio, I have wooed in thy name,

and fair Hero is won.

I have broke with her father,

and his good will obtained.

Name the day of marriage,
and God give thee joy!

Count, take of me my daughter,
and with her my fortunes.

His grace hath made the match,
and all grace say Amen to it.

Speak, count, 'tis your cue.

Silence is the perfectest herald of joy.

I were but a little happy,
if I could say how much.

Lady, as you are mine, I am yours.

I give away myself for you

and dote upon the exchange.

Speak cousin, or if you cannot,

stop his mouth with a kiss
and let not him speak neither.

In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.

Yea, my lord, I thank it, poor fool,

it keeps on the windy side of care.

My cousin tells him in his
ear that he is in her heart.

And so she doth, cousin.

Good Lord, for alliance!

Thus goes every one to the world but I.

I may sit in a corner and
cry heigh-ho for a husband!

Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.

I'd rather have one of
your father's getting.

Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you?

Your father got excellent husbands,

if a maid could come by them.

Will you have me, lady?

No, my lord, unless I might
have another for working-days.

Your grace is too costly
to wear every day.

[laughing] But, I beseech
your grace, pardon me.

I was born to speak all
mirth and no matter.

Your silence most offends me,

and to be merry best becomes you.

For out of question, you
were born in a merry hour.

No, sure, my lord, my mother cried.

But then there was a star danced,
and under that was I born.

Cousins, God give you joy!

Niece, will you look to
those things I told you of?

I cry your mercy, uncle.

By your grace's pardon.

By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.

There's little of the melancholy
element in her, my lord,

she's never sad but when she
sleeps, and not ever sad then

for I have heard my daughter say,

she hath often dreamed of unhappiness

and waked herself with laughing.

She cannot endure to
hear tell of a husband.

Oh, by no means, she mocks
all her wooers out of suit.

She were an excellent wife for Benedick.

Oh Lord, my lord, if they
were but a week married,

they would talk themselves mad.

County Claudio, when
mean you to go to church?

Tomorrow, my lord, time goes on crutches

till love have all his rites.

Not till Monday, my dear son,

which is hence a just seven-night,

and a time too brief, too,

to have all things answer my mind.

Come, you shake the head
at so long a breathing.

But I warrant thee, Claudio,

the time shall not go dully by us.

I will, in the interim undertake
one of Hercules' labors,

which is, to bring Signor
Benedick and the Lady Beatrice

into a mountain of affection
the one with the other.

I would fain have it a match,

and I doubt not but to fashion it,

if you three will but
minister such assistance

as I shall give you direction.

My lord, I am for you,

though it cost me ten nights watchings.

And I, my lord.

And you too, gentle Hero?

I will do any modest office, my lord,

to help my cousin to a good husband.

And Benedick is not the unhopefullest

husband that I know.

Thus far can I praise him.

He is of a noble strain, of approved valor

and confirmed honesty.

I will teach you how to humor your cousin,

that she shall fall in love with Benedick.

And I, with your two helps,
will so practice on Benedick

that, in despite his quick
wit and his queasy stomach,

he shall fall in love with Beatrice.

If we can do this, Cupid
is no longer an archer,

his glory shall be ours, for
we are the only love-gods.

Go in with me, and I
will tell you my drift.

[Elizabethan music]

It is so.

The Count Claudio shall marry
the daughter of Leonato.

Yea, my lord, but I can cross it.

Any bar, any cross, any impediment

will be medicinable to me.

I am sick in displeasure to him,

and whatsoever comes athwart his affection

ranges evenly with mine.

How canst thou cross this marriage?

Not honestly, my lord.

But so covertly that no
dishonesty shall appear in me.

Show me briefly how.

I think I told your lordship a year since,

how much I am in the favor of Margaret,

the waiting gentlewoman to Hero.

I remember.

I can, at any unseasonable
instant of the night,

appoint her to look out at
her lady's chamber window.

What life is in that, to be
the death of this marriage?

The poison of that lies in you to temper.

Go you to the Prince your brother,

spare not to tell him that
he hath wronged his honor

in marrying the renowned Claudio,

whose estimation do you mightily hold up,

to a contaminated stale,
such a one as Hero.

What proof shall I make of that?

Proof enough to misuse the
Prince, to vex Claudio,

to undo Hero and to kill Leonato.

Look you for any other issue?

Only to despite them, I
will endeavor anything.

Go then, find me a meet hour

to draw Don Pedro and
the Count Claudio alone.

Tell them that you know
that Hero loves me.

Intend a kind of zeal both
to the Prince and Claudio,

as in love of your brother's honor,

who hath made this match,
and his friend's reputation,

which is thus like to be
cozened with the semblance

of a maid,

that you have discovered thus.

They will scarcely believe
this without trial.

Offer them instances, which
shall bear no less likelihood

than see me at her chamber-window,

hear me call Margaret Hero,

hear Margaret term me Borachio,
and bring them to see this

the very night before
the intended wedding.

For in the meantime I
will so fashion the matter

that Hero shall be absent,

and there shall appear such seeming truth

of Hero's disloyalty

that jealousy shall be called assurance

and all the preparation overthrown.

Grow this to what adverse issue it can,

I will put it in practice.

Be cunning in the working this,

and thy fee is a thousand ducats.

Be you constant in the accusation,

and my cunning shall not shame me.

I will presently go learn
their day of marriage.

♪ Sigh no more lady, sigh no more ♪

♪ Men were deceivers ever ♪

♪ One foot in sea and one on shore, ♪

♪ To one thing constant never ♪

♪ Then sigh not so, But let them go, ♪

♪ And be you blithe and bonny ♪

♪ Converting all your sounds of woe into ♪

♪ Hey nonny, nonny. ♪



In my chamber-window lies a book,

bring it hither to me in the orchard.

I am here already, sir.

I know that, but I would have
thee hence, and here again.

♪ The fraud of men was ever so, ♪

♪ Since summer first was levy. ♪

I do much wonder that one man,

seeing how much another man is a fool

when he dedicates his behaviors to love,

will, after he hath laughed
at such shallow follies

in others, become the
argument of his own scorn

by faLling in love.

And such a man is Claudio.

I have known when there
was no music with him

but the drum and the fife,

and now will he rather hear
the tabor and the pipe.

I have known when he would
have walked ten mile a-foot

to see a good armor, and now
will he lie ten nights awake,

carving the fashion of a new doublet.

He was wont to speak
plain and to the purpose,

like an honest man and a soldier.

And now is he turned orthography,

his words are a very fantastical banquet,

just so many strange dishes.

May I be so converted
and see with these eyes?

I can't tell, I think not.

I will not be sworn, but love
may transform me to an oyster,

but I'll take my oath on it.

Till he hath made an oyster of me,

he shall never make me such a fool.

One woman is fair, yet I am well,

another is wise, yet I am well,

another virtuous, yet I am well.

But till all graces be in one woman,

one woman shall not come in my grace.

Rich she shall be, that's certain,

wise, or I'll none, virtuous,
or I'll never cheapen her,

fair, or I'll never look on
her, mild, or come not near me,

noble, or not I for an
angel, of good discourse,

an excellent musician, and her hair

shall be of what color it please God.

Ha! the Prince and Monsieur Love!

I will hide me in the arbor.

Come, shall we hear this music?

Yea, my good lord.

How still the evening is,

as hushed on purpose to grace harmony.

See you where Benedick hath hid himself?

Oh, very well, my lord.

The music ended, we'll fit
the kid-fox with a pennyworth.

Come, Balthasar, we'll
hear that song again.

Oh, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice

to slander music any more than once.

It is the witness still of excellency

to put a strange face
on his own perfection.

I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.

Note notes, forsooth, and nothing.

Now divine air,

♪ Sigh no more, ladies, ♪

Now is his soul ravaged.

Is it not strange that
sheeps' guts should hale souls

out of men's bodies?

Well, a horn for my
money, when all's done.

♪ And one on shore, ♪

♪ To one thing constant never ♪

♪ Then sigh not so, but let them go, ♪

♪ And be you blithe and bonny ♪

♪ Converting all your sounds of woe ♪

♪ Into hey nonny, nonny. ♪

♪ Sing no more ditties, sing no more, ♪

♪ Of dumps so dull and heavy ♪

♪ The fraud of men was ever so, ♪

♪ Since summer's first was levy ♪

♪ Then sigh not so, but let them go, ♪

♪ And be you blithe and bonny, ♪

♪ Converting all your sounds of woe ♪

♪ Into hey, nonny, nonny. ♪

By my troth, a good song.

And an ill singer, my lord.

Ha, no, no, faith, thou singest
well enough for a shift.

An he had been a dog that
would have howled thus,

they would have hanged him.

I pray God his bad voice bode no mischief.

I had as lief have heard the night-raven,

come what plague could have come after it.

Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthasar?

I pray thee, get us some excellent music,

for to-morrow night

we would have it at the
Lady Hero's chamber-window.

The best I can, my lord.

Do so, farewell.

Come hither, Leonato.

What was it you told me of today,

that your niece Beatrice was
in love with Signor Benedick?

Oh aye, stalk on, stalk on, the fowl sits.

I did never think that lady
would have loved any man.

No, nor I neither, but most
wonderful that she should so

dote on Signor Benedick,

whom she hath in all outward
behaviors seemed ever to abhor.

Is't possible?

Sits the wind in that corner?

By my troth, my lord, I cannot
tell what to think of it

but that she loves him
with an enraged affection.

It is past the infinite of thought.

Maybe she doth but counterfeit.

Faith, like enough.

Oh God, counterfeit!

There was never counterfeit of passion

came so near the life of
passion as she discovers it.

Why, what effects of passion shows she?

Bait the hook well, this fish will bite.

What effects, my lord?

She will sit you, you heard
my daughter tell you how.

She did, indeed.

How, how, I pray you?

Well you amaze me, I would
have thought her spirit to be

invincible against all
assaults of affection.

I would have sworn it had, my lord,

especially against Benedick.

I should think this a gull,

but that the white-bearded
fellow speaks it.

Knavery sure cannot hide
himself in such reverence.

He hath ta'en the infection, hold it up.

Hath she made her affection
known to Benedick?

No my Lord, and swears she
never will, that's her torment.

'Tis true, indeed, so your daughter says

"Shall I," says she,

"That have so oft
encountered him with scorn,

"write to him that I love him?"

This says she now when she
is beginning to write to him,

for she'll be up twenty times a night,

and there she will sit in
her smock until she have writ

a sheet of paper, my
daughter tells us all.

Now you talk of a sheet of paper,

I remember a pretty jest
your daughter told us of.

Oh, when she had writ it
and was reading it over,

she found Benedick and
Beatrice between the sheet?


Oh, she tore the letter
into a thousand halfpence

and railed at herself, that
she should be so immodest

as to write to one that
she knew would flout her.

"I measure him," says she,

"By mine own spirit,
for I would flout him,

"if he writ to me, yea,
though I love him, I should."

And then down upon her knees
she falls, weeps, sobs,

tears her hair, beats her
heart, prays and curses

"Oh sweet Benedick, God give me patience!"

She does indeed, my daughter tells us.

And her ecstasy hath so
overcome her that my daughter

is sometime afeard that she
will do a desperate outrage

to herself.

It is very true.

It were good that Benedick
knew of it by some other,

if she will not discover it.

To what end?

He would make but a sport of it

and torment the poor lady worse.

An he should, it were an alms to hang him.

She's an excellent sweet lady.

And, out of suspicion, she is virtuous.

And she's exceeding wise.

In every thing but in loving Benedick.

Oh my--

[rustling leaves]

Oh my Lord, wisdom and blood
combating in so tender a body,

we have ten proofs to one
that blood hath the victory.

I am sorry for her, as I have just cause,

being her uncle and her guardian.

I would she had bestowed
this dotage on me.

I would have daffed all other respects

and made her half myself.

I pray you, tell Benedick of
it, and see what a' will say.

[Leonato] Were it good, think you?

Hero thinks surely she will die.

For she says she will
die, if he love her not,

and she will die, ere
she make her love known,

and she will die, if he woo her.

Rather than she will bate one breath

of her accustomed crossness.

[running footsteps]

She doth well.

If she should make tender of her love,

'tis very possible he'll scorn it,

for the man, as you know all,
hath a contemptible spirit.

He is a very proper man.

He hath indeed a good outward happiness.

[Claudio] But Before God
and, in my mind, very wise.

He doth indeed show some
sparks that are like wit.

Well I am sorry for your niece.

Shall we go seek Benedick,
and tell him of her love?

Never tell him, my Lord.

Let her wear it out with good counsel.

Nay, that's impossible, she
may wear her heart out first.

Well, we will hear further
of it by your daughter.

Let it cool the while.

I love Benedick well, and I could wish

he would modestly examine himself,

to see how much he is
unworthy so good a lady.

Will you walk, my Lord?

Dinner is ready.

If he do not dote on her upon this,

I will never trust my expectation.


Let there be the same net spread for her.

And that must your daughter
and her gentlewomen carry.

The sport will be, when they hold one

an opinion of another's
dotage, and no such matter.

That's the scene that I would see,

which will be merely a dumb-show.

Let us send her to call him in to dinner.

This can be no trick.

The conference was sadly borne.

They have the truth of this from Hero.

They seem to pity the lady.

It seems her affections
have their full bent.

Love me?

why, it must be requited.

I hear how I am censured,

they say I will bear myself proudly,

if I perceive the love come from her.

They say too that she would rather die

than show any sign of affection.

I did never think to marry.

I must not seem proud.

Happy are they that hear their detractions

and can put them to mending.

They say the lady is fair,

'tis a truth, I can bear them witness,

and virtuous, 'tis so, I cannot reprove it

and wise,

but for loving me.

By my troth, it is no addition to her wit,

nor no great argument of her folly,

for I will be horribly in love with her.

If I may chance have some odd
quirks and remnants of wit

broken on me 'cause I have
railed so long against marriage.

But doth not the appetite alter?

A man loves the meat in his youth

that he cannot endure in his age.

Shall quips and sentences
and these paper bullets

of the brain awe a man from
the career of his humor?


The world must be peopled.

When I said I would die a bachelor,

I did not think I should
live till I were married.

[running footsteps]

Here comes Beatrice.

By this day she is a fair lady.

I do spy some marks of love in her.

Against my will I am sent to
bid you come in to dinner.

Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.

I took no more pains for those thanks

than you take pains to thank me.

If it had been painful,
I should not have come.

You take pleasure then in the message?

Well yea,

just so much as you may
take upon a knife's point

and choke a daw withal.

You have no stomach signor, fare you well.

[Footsteps on stone]


"Against my will, I am sent
to bid you come in to dinner."

There's a double meaning in that.

"I took no more pains for those thanks

"than you took pains to thank me."

That's as much as to say,
any pains I take for you

is as easy as thanks.

If I do not take pity
of her, I am a villain.

If I do not love her, I am a Jew.

I will go get her picture.

[Elizabethan music]

Good Margaret, run thee to the parlor.

There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice

proposing with the Prince and Claudio.

Whisper her ear and tell her,

I and Ursley walk in the orchard

and our whole discourse is all of her.

Say that thou overheard'st us,

and bid her steal into the pleached bower,

where honeysuckles ripened by the sun,

forbid the sun to enter, like favorites,

made proud by princes,
that advance their pride

against that power that bred it.

There will she hide her
to listen our propose.

This is thy office, bear thee
well in it and leave us alone.

I'll make her come, I
warrant you, presently.

Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,

as we do trace this alley up and down,

our talk must only be of Benedick.

When I do name him, let it
be thy part to praise him

more than ever man did merit.

My talk to thee must be how Benedick

is sick in love with Beatrice.

Of this matter is little
Cupid's crafty arrow made,

that only wounds by hearsay.

Now begin, for look where
Beatrice, like a lapwing,

runs close by the ground,
to hear our conference.

The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish

cut with her golden
oars the silver stream,

and greedily devour the treacherous bait.

So angle we for Beatrice,

who even now is couched
in the woodbine coverture.

Fear you not my part of the dialogue.

Then go we near her,
that her ear lose nothing

of the false sweet bait
that we lay for it.

No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful.

I know her spirits are as coy and wild

as haggards of the rock.

[ Ursula] But are you sure
that Benedick loves Beatrice

so entirely?

[Hero] So says the prince
and my new-trothed lord.

[Ursula] And did they bid
you tell her of it, madam?

They did entreat me to acquaint her of it.

But I persuaded them,
if they loved Benedick,

to wish him wrestle with affection,

And never to let Beatrice know of it.

[Ursula] Why did you so?

Doth not the gentleman deserve
as full as fortunate a bed

as ever Beatrice shall couch upon?

Oh god of love!

I know he doth deserve as much
as may be yielded to a man.

But nature never framed a
woman's heart of prouder stuff

than that of Beatrice.

Disdain and scorn ride
sparkling in her eyes,

misprising what they look on, and her wit

values itself so highly that to her

all matter else seems weak.

She cannot love, nor take no
shape nor project of affection,

she is so self-endeared.

[Ursula) Sure, I think so;

And therefore certainly it were not good

she knew his love, lest
she'll make sport at it.

Why, you speak truth.

I never yet saw man, how
wise, how noble, young,

how rarely featured, but she
would spell him backward.

If fair-faced,

why, she would swear the
gentleman should be her sister.

If black, why nature, drawing
of an antic, made a foul blot.

If tall, a lance ill-headed,

if low, an agate very vilely cut,

if speaking, why, a vane
blown with all winds,

if silent, why, a block moved with none.

So turns she every man the wrong side out,

and never gives to truth and virtue

that which simpleness
and merit purchaseth.

[Ursula] Sure, such
carping is not commendable.

No, not to be so odd and from all fashions

as Beatrice is, cannot be commendable.

But who dare tell her so?

If I should speak, she
would mock me into air.

Oh, she would laugh me out myself,

press me to death with wit.

Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire,

consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.

It were a better death
than die with mocks,

which is as bad as die with tickling.

[Ursula] Yet tell her of it.

hear what she will say.

No, rather I will go to Benedick

and counsel him to fight
against his passion.

And, truly, I'll devise
some honest slanders

to stain my cousin with.

One doth not know how much an
ill word may empoison liking.

Oh, do not do your cousin such a wrong.

She cannot be so much
without true judgment

having so swift and excellent a wit

as she is prized to have, as
to refuse so rare a gentleman

as Signor Benedick.

He is the only man of Italy.

Always excepted my dear Claudio.

[Ursula] I pray you, be
not angry with me, madam,

Speaking my fancy, Signor Benedick,

for shape, for bearing,
argument and valor,

goes foremost in report through Italy.

Indeed, he hath an excellent good name.

His excellence did earn it, ere he had it.

When are you married, madam?

Why, every day, tomorrow.

Come, go in, I'll show thee some attires,

and have thy counsel me Which is the best

to furnish me tomorrow.

She's lined, I warrant you.

We have caught her, madam.

Well If it proves so,
then loving goes by haps.

Some Cupid kills with
arrows, some with traps.

What fire is in mine ears?

Can this be true?

Stand I condemned for
pride and scorn so much?

Contempt, farewell!

And maiden pride, adieu!

No glory lives behind the back of such.

And Benedick, love on.

I will requite thee.

Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.

If thou dost love, my
kindness shall incite thee

to bind our loves up in a holy band.

For others say thou dost deserve,

and I believe it

better than reportingly.

[Elizabethan music]

[metal clanging against metal]

I do but stay till your
marriage be consummate,

and then go I toward Aragon.

I'll bring you thither, my
lord, if you'll vouchsafe me.

Nay, that would be as great
a soil in the new gloss

of your marriage as to
show a child his new coat

and forbid him to wear it.

I will only be bold with
Benedick for his company.

For, from the crown of his
head to the sole of his foot,

he is all mirth.

He hath twice or thrice
cut Cupid's bow-string

and the little hangman
dare not shoot at him.

He hath a heart as sound as a bell

and his tongue is the clapper.

For what his heart
thinks his tongue speaks.

Gallants, I am not as I have been.

So say I, methinks you are sadder.

I hope he be in love.

Hang him, truant!

There's no true drop of blood in him,

to be truly touched with love.

If he be sad, he wants money.

I have the toothache.

Draw it.

Hang it!

[Claudio] You must hang it
first, and draw it afterwards.

What, sigh for the toothache?

Well, every one can master
a grief but he that has it.

Yet say I, he is in love.

There is no appearance of fancy in him,

unless it be a fancy that
he hath to strange disguises

as to be a Dutchman today,
a Frenchman to-morrow.

Unless he have a fancy to this foolery,

as it appears he hath,
he is no fool for fancy,

as you would have it appear he is.

If he be not in love with some woman,

there's no believing old signs.

A brushes his hat o' mornings,

what should that bode?

Hath any man seen him at the barber's?

No, but the barber's man
hath been seen with him.

And the old ornament of
his cheek hath already

stuffed tennis-balls.

Indeed, he looks younger than he did,

by the loss of a beard.

Nay, a' rubs himself with civet.

can you smell him out by that?

Ah that's as much as to say,
the sweet youth's in love.

The greatest note of it is his melancholy.

And when was he wont to wash his face?

Yea, or to paint himself?

for the which I hear what they say of him.

Ah nay, but his jesting spirit,

which is now crept into a lute-string

and governed with stops.

Indeed, there hangs a heavy tale for him.

Conclude, conclude he is in love.

Nay, but I know who loves him.

That would I know too.

I'll warrant, one that knows him not.

Yes, and his ill conditions,
and in despite of all,

dies for him.

She shall be buried with her face upward.

Yet is this no charm for the toothache.

Old signor, walk aside with me.

I have studied eight or nine
wise words to speak to you,

which these hobby-horses must not hear.

[suppressed laughing]

For my life, to break
with him about Beatrice.

'Tis even so.

Hero and Margaret have by
this played their parts

with Beatrice, and then the two bears

will not bite one another when they meet.

My Lord and brother, God save you!

Good den, brother.

If your leisure's served,
I would speak with you.

In private?

If it please you, yet
Count Claudio may hear

for what I would speak of concerns him.

What's the matter?

Means your lordship to
be married tomorrow?

You know he does.

[Don John] I know not that,
when he knows what I know.

If there be any impediment,
I pray you discover it.

You may think I love you not,
let that appear hereafter,

and aim better at me by
that I now will manifest.

For my brother, I think he holds you well,

and in dearness of heart
hath holp to effect

your ensuing marriage.

surely suit ill spent
and labor ill bestowed.

Why, what's the matter?

I came hither to tell you,
and circumstances shortened,

for she has been too long a talking of,

the lady is disloyal.

Who, Hero?

Even she.

Leonato's Hero, your
Hero, every man's Hero.


The word is too good to
paint out her wickedness.

I could say she were worse.

Think you of a worse title,
and I will fit her to it.

[splashing water]

Wonder not till further warrant.

Go but with me tonight, you shall see

her chamber-window entered,

even the night before her wedding-day.

If you love her then, to-morrow wed her.

But it would better fit your
honor to change your mind.

May this be so?

I will not think it.

If you do not trust that you see,

confess not that you know.

If you will follow me,
I will show you enough,

and when you have seen
more and heard more,

proceed accordingly.

If I see any thing to-night

why I should not marry her tomorrow

in the congregation, where I should wed,

there will I shame her.

And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her,

I will join with thee to disgrace her.

I will disparage her no farther
till you are my witnesses.

Bear it coldly but till midnight,

and let the issue show itself.

Oh day untowardly turned!

Oh mischief strangely thwarting!

Oh plague right well prevented!

So will you say when you
have seen the sequel.

[cat howling]

[dog barking]


Are you good men and true?

Yea, or else it were pity

they should suffer
salvation, body and soul.

Nay, it were a punishment
too good for them,

if they should have
any allegiance in them,

being chosen for the prince's watch.

Well, give them their
charge, neighbor Dogberry.

First, who think you the
most disheartless man

to be constable?

Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacole,

for they can write and read.

Come hither, neighbor Seacole.

God hath blessed you with a good name,

to be a well-favored man
is the gift of fortune,

but to write and read comes by nature.

Both which, master constable,--

You have, I knew it would be your answer.

Well, for your favor, sir, why thank God

and make no boast about it.

And for your writing and reading,

let that appear when there
is no need for such vanity.

You are thought here to be
the most senseless and fit man

to be Constable of the watch.

Therefore bear you the lantern.

This is your charge.

You shall comprehend all vagrom men

and you are to bid any man
stand, in the Prince's name.

How if a' will not stand?

Why, take no note of him, let him go

presently call up the rest of the watch

and thank God you are rid of a knave.

If he will not stand when he is bidden,

then he's none of the prince's subjects.

True, and they are to meddle with none

but the prince's subjects.

Also you shall also make
no noise in the streets.

For the watch to babble and
to talk is most tolerable,

not to be endured.

We would rather sleep than talk,

we know what belongs to a watch.

Why you speak like an ancient
and most quiet watchman.

Although I cannot see how
sleeping should offend.

Only, have a care your
bills be not stolen.

Well, you are to call
at all the ale-houses,

and bid those that are
drunk get them to bed.

How if they will not?

Well let them alone till they are sober.

If they make you not
then the better answers

why you may say they are not
the men you took them for.

Well, sir.

If you meet a thief, you may suspect him,

by virtue of your office,
to be no true man.

And when such kind of men,

the less you meddle and make with them,

why the more is for your honesty.

If we know him to be a thief,

shall we not lay hands on him?

True by your office, you may,

but I think those that
touch pitch will be defiled.

No the most peaceable way for
you, if you do take a thief,

is let him show himself for what he is

and steal out of your company.


You have been always called
a merciful man, partner.

Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will,

much more a man who
hath any honesty in him.

If you hear a child cry in the night,

you must call to the nurse
and bid her still it.

How if the nurse be asleep
and will not hear us?

Why then, depart in peace,

and let the child wake her with crying.

For the ewe that will not
hear her lamb that baas

will never answer a calf that bleats.

'Tis very true.

This is the end of your charge.

You constable, are to present
the Prince's own person.

If you meet the Prince in
the night, you may stay him.

Nay, by'r our lady,
that I think a' cannot.

Five shillings to one on't any
man who knows the statutes,

he may stay him.

Marry, not without the Prince be willing.

For the watch ought to offend no man

and it is an offense to
stay a man against his will.

By'r lady, I think it be so.

Well masters, good night.

An there be any matter of
weight chances call up me.

Keep your fellows' counsels
and your own, and good night.

Come, neighbor.

Well, masters, we hear our charge.

Let us go sit here upon
the church-bench until two,

and then all to bed.

One word more, honest neighbors.

I pray you watch about
Signor Leonato's door,

the wedding being there to-morrow

there is a great coil to-night.

Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.

[Elizabethan music]

[Borachio] What Conrade!

Peace! stir not.

Conrade, I say!

Here, man, I'm at thy elbow.

Matt, and my elbow itched,

I thought there would a scab follow.

I'll owe thee an answer for that.

Now forward with thy tale.

Stand thee close under this pent-house,

for it drizzles rain, and I
will, like a true drunkard,

utter all to thee.

Some treason, masters, yet stand close.

Therefore know I have earned of Don John

a thousand ducats.

Is it possible any
villainy could be so dear?

Thou shouldst rather ask
if it were possible any

villainy should be so rich,

for when rich villains
have need of poor ones,

poor ones may make what price they will.

I wonder at it.

That shows thou art unconfirmed.

Thou knowest that the fashion
of a doublet, or a hat,

or a cloak, is nothing to a man.

Yes, it is apparel.

I mean, the fashion.

Yes, the fashion is the fashion.


I may as well say the fool's the fool.

But seest thou not what a
deformed thief this fashion is?

I know that deformed
he as been a vile thief

this seven year, he goes up
and down like a gentleman,

I remember his name.

Didst thou not hear somebody?

[muffled speaking]

No, 'twas the vane on the house.

Seest thou not, I say,
what a deformed thief

this fashion is?

how giddily a' turns
about all the hot bloods

between 14 and five and 30?

Art not thou thyself giddy
with the fashion too,

that thou hast shifted out of thy tale

in telling me of the fashion?

Not so, neither.

But know I have tonight wooed Margaret,

the Lady Hero's gentlewoman,
by the name of Hero.

She leans me out of her
mistress' chamber-window,

bids me a thousand times good night.


I tell this tale vilely,
I should first tell thee

how the Prince, and Claudio and my master,

planted and placed and possessed

by my master Don John,

saw afar off in the orchard
this amiable encounter.

And thought they Margaret was Hero?

Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio.

But the devil my master
knew she was Margaret

and partly by his oaths,
which first possessed them,

partly by the dark night,
which did deceive them,

but chiefly by my villainy,

which did confirm any slander
that Don John had made,

away went Claudio enraged.

Swore he would meet her,
as he was appointed,

next morning at the temple, and there,

before the whole congregation,

shame her with what he saw o'er night

and send her home again without a husband.


We charge you, in the
Prince's name, stand!

Call up the right master constable.

We have here recovered the
most dangerous piece of lechery

that ever was known in the commonwealth.

And one deformed is one
of them, I know him,

a' wears a lock.

Masters, masters.

You'll be made bring deformed
forth, I warrant you.


Never speak, we charge you let us obey you

to go with us.

We are likely to prove a goodly commodity,

being taken up of these men's bills.

A commodity in question, I warrant you.

Come, we'll obey you.

[dogs barking]

Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice,

and desire her to rise.

I will, lady.

And bid her come hither.


Troth, I think your
other rabato were better.

No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.

By my troth, it's not so good,

and I warrant your cousin will say so.

My cousin's a fool, and thou art another,

I'll wear none but this.

I like the new tire within excellently,

if the hair were a thought browner;

and your gown's a most
rare fashion, i' faith.

I saw the Duchess of Milan's
gown that they praise so.

Oh, that exceeds, they say.

By my troth, it's but a
night-gown in respect of yours,

cloth o' gold, and cuts,
and laced with silver,

set with pearls, down
sleeves, side sleeves,

and skirts, round underborne
with a bluish tinsel.

But for a fine, quaint,
graceful and excellent fashion,

yours is worth ten on't.

Well God give me joy to wear it!

for my heart is exceedingly heavy.

'Twill be heavier soon
by the weight of a man.

Fie upon thee art not ashamed?

Of what, lady?

Of speaking honorably?

Is not marriage honorable in a beggar?

Is not your lord honorable
without marriage?

I think you would have me say,

"saving your reverence, a husband."

and bad thinking do not
wrest true speaking,

I'll offend nobody.

Is there any harm in the
heavier for a husband?

None, I think, and it be the right husband

and the right wife,

otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy.

Ask my Lady Beatrice else, here she comes.

Oh good morrow, cuz.

Good morrow, sweet Hero.

[Hero] Oh how now?

Dost thou speak in the sick tune?

I am out of all other tune, methinks.

Clap's into Light o' love
that goes without a burden.

Do you sing it, and I'll dance it.

Ye light o' love, with your heels.

'Tis almost five o'clock, cuz,

'tis time you were ready.

By my troth, I am exceeding ill,


For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?

For the letter that begins them all, huh.

Well, and you be not turned Turk,

there's no more sailing by the star.

What means the fool trow?

Nothing I, but God send every
one their heart's desire.

These gloves the count sent me,

they are of excellent perfume.

I'm stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell.

A maid, and stuffed, there's
goodly catching of cold.

Oh God help me!

God help me!

How long have you professed apprehension?

Even since you left it, doth
not my wit become me rarely?

It is not seen often enough,

you should wear it in your cap.

By my troth, I am ill.

Get you some of this
distilled Carduus Benedictus,

and lay it to your heart.

It is the only thing for a qualm.

There thou prickest her with a thistle.


why Benedictus?

You have some moral
meaning in this Benedictus?


No, by my troth, I have no moral meaning.

I meant, plain holy-thistle.

You may think perchance that
I think you are in love,

nay, by'r lady, I am not such a fool

to think what I list, nor I
list not to think what I can,

nor indeed I cannot think,

if I would think my heart
out of thinking, that you

are in love or that you
will be in love or that you

can be in love.

Yet Benedick was such another,
and now he's become a man.

He swore he would never
marry, and yet now,

in despite of his heart, he
eats his meat without grudging.

And how you may be converted I know not,

but methinks you look with
your eyes as other women do.

What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?

Not a false gallop.


withdraw, the Prince, the
Count, Signor Benedick,

Don John, and all the
gallants of the town,

are come to fetch you to church.

Help to dress me, good
cuz, good Meg, good Ursula.


What would you with me, honest neighbor?

Marry, sir, I would have
some confidence with you

that discerns you nearly.

Brief, I pray you for you see
it is a busy time with me.

Marry, this it is, sir.

In truth it is, sir.

What is it, my good friends?

Good man Verges, speaks a
little off the matter sir,

an old man, his wits are
not as blunt as, God help,

I would desire they were.

But, in faith, honest as
the skin between his brows.

Yes, I thank God I am as
honest as any man living

that is an old man and no honester than I.


Comparisons are odorous,
palabras neighbor Verges.

Neighbors, you are tedious.

If't pleases your worship to say so,

but we are the poor duke's officers,

and truly, for mine own part,

if I were as tedious as a king,

I could find it in my
heart to bestow it all

of your worship.

All thy tediousness on me, ah?

Yea, an 'twere a thousand
pounds more than 'tis,

for I head as good
exclamation on your worship

as any man in the city.

Though I be but a poor
man, I am glad to hear it.

And so am I.

I would fain know what you have to say.

-Marry, sir,

our watch tonight, excepting
your worship's presence,

ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant
knaves as any in Messina.

A good old man, sir but he will be talking

as they say, when the age
is in, the wit is out,

God help us tis a world to see.

Well said, i' faith, neighbor Verges.

Well, God is a good man,
an two men ride of a horse,

one must ride behind.

An honest soul, i' faith, by my troth

as ever broke bread.

But God is to be worshiped,
all men are not alike,

alas, good neighbor.

Indeed, neighbor, he
comes too short of you.

Gifts that God gives.

I must leave you.

One word, sir.

Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended

two auspicious persons, which
we would have this morning

examined before your worship.

Take the examination
yourself and bring it me.

I'm now in great haste,
as it may appear unto you.

It shall be suffigance.

Drink some wine ere you go, fare you well.

My lord, they stay for you

to give your daughter to her husband.

I'll wait upon them, I am ready.

Go partner, get you to Francis Seacole,

bid him bring his pen
and inkhorn to the jail.

We are now to examination these men.

And we must do it wisely.

We will spare no wit, I warrant you.

Here's that shall drive
some of them to a non-come,

only get the learned
writer to set down our

excommunication, meet me at the jail.

[lips vibrating]

[fanfare music]

Come, Friar Francis, be brief.

Only to the plain form of marriage,

and you shall recount their
particular duties afterwards.

You come hither, my
lord, to marry this lady.


To be married to her friar,
you come to marry her.


Lady, you come hither to
be married to this Count.

I do.

If either of you know any
inward impediment why you

should not be conjoined, I
charge you, on your souls,

to utter it.

Know you any, Hero?

None, my lord.

Know you any, count?

I dare make his answer, none.

Oh, what men dare do, what men may do!

What men daily do, not
knowing what they do!

How now, interjections?

Why, then, some be of
laughing, ha, ha, ha.

Stand thee by, friar.

Father, by your leave

will you with free and unconstrained soul

give me this maid, your daughter?

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

And what have I to give you back,

whose worth may counterpoise
this rich and precious gift?

Nothing, unless you render her again.

Sweet prince, you learn
me noble thankfulness.

There, Leonato, take her back again.

Give not this rotten
orange to your friend.

She'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 this blood as modest evidence

to 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.

What do you mean, my lord?

Not to be married, not to knit my soul

to an approved wanton.

Dear my lord, if you in your own proof,

have vanquish'd the
resistance of her youth,

and made defeat of her virginity.

I 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

but, as a brother to his sister,

showed bashful sincerity and comely love.

And seemed I ever otherwise to you?

Out on thee Seeming, I
will write against it.

You seem to me as Dian in her orb,

as 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.

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

Sweet Prince, why speak not you?

What should I speak?

I stand dishonored, that have gone about

to link my dear friend to a common stale.

Are these things spoken,
or do I but dream?

Sir, they are spoken, and
these things are true.

This looks not like a nuptial.


Oh God.

Leonato, stand I here?

Is this the prince?

Is this the prince's brother?

Is this face Hero's?

Are our eyes our own?

All this is so, but what of this, my lord?

Let me but move one
question to your daughter

And by that fatherly and kindly
power that you have in her

bid her answer truly.

I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.

Oh God defend me, how am I beset?

What kind of catechising call you this?

Make you answer truly to your name.

Is it not Hero?

Who can blot that name
with any just reproach?

Marry, that can Hero,

Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue.

What man was he talked
with you yesternight

out at your window betwixt twelve and one?

Now, if you are a maid answer to this.

I talked with no man
at that hour, my lord.

Why, then are you no maiden.

Leonato, I am sorry you must hear.

Upon mine honor, Myself, my
brother and this grieved Count

did see her, hear her,
at that hour last night

talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window.

Who hath indeed, most
like a liberal villain,

confessed the vile
encounters they have had

a thousand times in secret.

Fie, fie! they are not
to be named, my lord,

Not to be spoke of.

There is not chastity enough in language

without offense to utter them.

Thus, pretty lady, I am sorry
for thy much misgovernment.

Oh Hero,

what a Hero hadst thou been,

if half thy outward graces had been placed

about thy thoughts and
counsels of thy heart.

But fare thee well, most foul,

most fair.

Farewell thou pure impiety
and impious purity.

For thee I'll lock up
all the gates of love,

and on my eyelids shall conjecture hang

to turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,

and never shall it more be gracious.

Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?

[body falling to floor]

Why, how now, cousin,
wherefore sink you down?

Come let us go.

These things, come thus to
light, smother her spirits up.

How doth the lady?

Dead, I think.

Uncle, Hero, why, Hero,

Uncle, Signor Benedick, Friar.

Oh fate, take not away thy heavy hand.

Death is the fairest cover for her shame

that may be wished for.

How now, cousin.

Have comfort, lady.

Dost thou look up?

Yea, wherefore should she not?


Why doth not every earthly
thing cry shame upon her?

Could she here deny the story
that is printed in her blood?

Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes.

For, did I think thou
wouldst not quickly die,

thought I thy spirits were
stronger than thy shames,

myself would, on the
rearward of reproaches

strike at thy life.

Grieved I, I had but one?

Chid I for that at frugal nature's frames?

Oh, one too much by thee, why had I one?

Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?

Why had I not with charitable hand took up

a beggar's issue at my gates,

who smirched thus and mired
with infamy, I might have said

"No part of this is mine.

"This shame derives itself
from unknown loins."

But 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, oh she is fallen

Into a pit of ink,

that the wide sea hath drops
too few to wash her clean again

and salt too little in
which season give her

foul-tainted flesh.

Sir, sir, be patient.

For my part I am so attired in wonder,

I know not what to say.

Oh, upon my soul, my cousin is belied!

Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?


Truly not, although until last night,

I have this twelvemonth
been her bedfellow.

Confirmed, confirmed!

Oh, that is stronger made than 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.

Hear me a little,

for I have only been silent 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 in 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,

trust not my reading nor my observations,

which with experimental seal doth warrant

the tenor of my book.

Trust not my age, my reverence,
calling, nor divinity,

if this sweet lady lie not guiltless here

under some biting error.

Friar, it cannot be.

Thou seest that all the
grace that she hath left is

that she will not add to her
damnation the sin of perjury.

she not denies it.

Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse

that which appears in proper nakedness?

Lady, what man is he you are accused of?

They know that do accuse me, I know none.

If I know more of any man alive than that

which maiden modesty doth warrant,

let all my sins lack mercy!

Oh my father, prove you that any man

with me conversed at hours unmeet,

or that I yesternight maintained

the change of words with any creature,

refuse me, hate me,

torture me to death.

There is some strange
misprision in the princes.

Two of them have the very bent of honor,

and if their wisdoms be misled in this,

the practice of it lives
in John the bastard,

whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.

I know not.

If they speak but truth of her,
these hands shall tear her.

If they wrong her honor,

the proudest of them
shall well hear of it.

Time hath not yet so
dried this blood of mine,

nor age so eat up my invention,

nor fortune made such havoc of my means,

nor my bad life reft me of such friends,

but they shall find awaked in such a kind,

both strength of limb and policy of mind,

ability in means and choice of friends,

to quit me of them throughly.

Pause awhile,

And let my counsel sway you in this case.

Your daughter here the
princes left for dead.

Let her awhile be secretly kept in,

and publish it that she is dead indeed.

maintain a mourning ostentation

and on your family's old
monument hang mournful epitaphs

and do all rites that
appertain unto a burial.

What shall become of this?

what will this do?

Marry, this well carried
shall on her behalf

change slander to remorse,

that is some good.

But not for that dream I
on this strange course,

but on this travail
look for greater birth.

She dying, as it must so be maintained,

upon the instant that she was accused,

shall be lamented, pitied
and excused of every hearer.

For it so falls out that what we have

we prize not to the
worth whiles we enjoy it,

but being lacked and lost,
why then we rack the value,

then we find the virtue that
possession would not show us

whiles it was ours.

So will it fare with Claudio.

When he shall hear she
died upon his words,

the idea of her life shall
sweetly creep into his study

of imagination,

And every lovely organ of
her life shall come appareled

in more precious habit,
more moving-delicate

and full of life, into the
eye and prospect of his soul

than when she lived indeed.

Then shall he mourn, if ever
love had interest in his liver,

And wish he had not so accused her.

No, though he thought his accusation true.

Let this be so, and doubt not but success

will fashion the event in better shape

than I can lay it down in likelihood.

But if all aim but this be leveled false,

the supposition of the lady's death

will quench the wonder of her infamy.

And if it sort not well,
you may conceal her

as best befits her wounded reputation,

in some reclusive and religious life,

out of all eyes, tongues,
minds and injuries.

Signor Leonato, let the Friar advise you.

And though you know my inwardness and love

is very much unto the Prince and Claudio,

Yet, by mine honor, I will
deal in this as secretly

and justly as your soul
should with your body.

Being that I flow in grief,

the smallest twine may lead me.

'Tis well consented.

Presently away.

For to strange sores
strangely we strain the cure.

Come, lady, die to live

this wedding-day Perhaps is but prolonged,

have patience and endure.

Lady Beatrice, have you
wept all this while?

Yea, and I will weep a while longer.

I will not desire that.

You have no reason, I do it freely.

Surely I do believe your
fair cousin is wronged.


how much might the man deserve of me

that would right her!

Is there any way to show such friendship?

A very even way, but no such friend.

May a man do it?

It is a man's office,

but not yours.

I do love nothing in the
world so well as you.

Is not that strange?

As strange as

the thing I know not.

It were as possible for me to say

I loved nothing so well as you.

but believe me not, and yet I lie not,

I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing.

I am sorry for my cousin.

By my sword Beatrice, thou lovest me.

Do not swear, and eat it.

I will swear by it that you love me,

and I'll make him eat it
that says I love not you.

Will you not eat your word?

With no sauce that can be devised to it.

I protest I love thee.

Why then, God forgive me!

For what offense, sweet Beatrice?

You stayed me in a happy hour,

I was about to protest I loved you.

And do it with all thy heart.

I love you with so much of my heart

that none is left to protest.

Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

Kill Claudio.


not for the wide world.

You kill me to deny it, farewell.

Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

No, I am gone, though I am
here, there is no love in you.

I pray you, let me go.

Nay, good Beatrice.

In faith, I will go.

We'll be friends first.

You dare easier be friends with me

than fight with mine enemy.

Is Claudio thine enemy?

Is he not approved in
the height a villain,

that hath slandered, scorned,
dishonored my kinswoman?

Oh that I were a man!

What, bear her in hand until
they come to take hands,

and then, with public
accusation, uncovered slander,

unmitigated rancor.

Oh God, that I were a man,

I would eat his heart in the market-place.

Hear me, Beatrice,--

Talk with a man out at a
window, a proper saying.

Nay, but, Beatrice,--

Sweet Hero, she is
wronged, she is slandered,

she is undone.


Princes and counties, oh
surely, a princely testimony,

a goodly count, 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 that only tells a lie

and swears it.

I cannot be a man with wishing,

therefore I will die a woman grieving.

Tarry, good Beatrice.

By this hand, I love thee.

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

Think you in your soul that Count Claudio

hath wronged Hero?

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

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, comfort your cousin,
I must say she is dead,

and so,


[heavy door slamming]

Is our whole dissembly appeared?

Oh, a stool and a cushion for the sexton.

Which be the malefactors?

Marry, that am I and my partner.

Nay, that's certain, we have
the exhibition to examine.

But which are the offenders
that are to be examined?

let them come before master constable.

Yea, marry, let them come before me.

Your name, friend?


Pray, write down, Borachio.

Yours, sirrah?

I am a gentleman, sir,
and my name is Conrade.

Write down, master gentleman Conrade.

Masters, do you serve God?

Yea, sir.

We hope.

Write down, they hope they serve God.

write God first, for God forbid

that God should go before such villains.

Masters, it is proved already

that you are little
better than false knaves

and it shall go near to
be thought so shortly.

How answer you for yourselves?

Marry, sir, we say we are none.

A marvelous witty fellow, I assure you.

But I will go about with him.

Come you Sirrah, a word in your ear sir,

I say to you, it is thought
you are false knaves.

Sir, I say to you we are none.

Well, stand aside, 'Fore
God, they are both in a tale.

Have you writ down they are none?

Master constable, you go
not the way to examine.

you must call forth the watch
that are their accusers.

Aye marry, that's the eftest way.

Let the watch come forth.

I charge you, in the Prince's
name, accuse these men.

This man said, sir, that
Don John, the prince's


was a villain.

Write down Prince John a villain.

This is flat perjury, to call
a prince's brother villain.

Master constable,--

Pray thee, fellow, peace,
I do not like thy look

I promise thee.

What heard you him say else?

Marry, that he had
received a thousand ducats

of Don John for accusing
the Lady Hero wrongfully.

Flat burglary as ever was committed.

Yea, by the mass, that it is.

What else, fellow?

And that Count Claudio
did mean, upon his words,

to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly

and not marry her.

Oh villain, thou wilt be condemned

to everlasting redemption for this.

What else?

This is all.

And this masters, is
more than you can deny.

Prince John is this morning
secretly stolen away.

Hero was in this manner accused,

in this very manner refused,

and upon the grief of this suddenly died.

Master constable, let these men be bound,

and brought to Leonato's.

I will go before and show
him their examination.

Let them be opinioned.

Let them be in the hands.

Off, coxcomb!

God's my life, where's the sexton?

Let him write down a
prince's officer coxcomb,

bind them thou naughty varlets.

Away, you are an ass, you are an ass.

Dost thou not suspect my place?

dost thou not suspect my years?

Oh that he were here to
write me down an ass!

But, masters, remember that I am an ass,

though it be not written down,

do not forget that I am an ass.

No, thou villain, thou art full of piety,

as shall be proved upon
thee by good witness.

I am a wise fellow, which
is more, an officer,

and, which is more, a householder, and,

which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh

as any in Messina.

And one that knows the law, go to,

and a rich fellow enough, go to

and a fellow that hath had losses,

and one that hath two gowns

and every thing handsome about him.

Bring them away.

Oh that I had been writ down an ass!

If you go on thus, you will kill yourself.

And 'tis not wisdom thus to
second grief against yourself.

I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
which falls into mine ears

as profitless as water in a sieve.

Give not me counsel,

nor let no comforter delight mine ears

but such a one whose
wrongs do suit with mine.

Bring me a father that so loved his child,

whose joy of her is overwhelmed like mine,

and bid him speak of patience.

Measure his woe the
length and breadth of mine

and let it answer every strain for strain,

as thus for thus and
such a grief for such,

in every lineament,
branch, shape, and form.

If such a one will smile
and stroke his beard,

bring him yet to me, and I
of him will gather patience.

But there is no such man.

For, brother, men can
counsel and speak comfort

to that grief Which they
themselves not feel.

But, tasting it their
counsel turns to passion,

which before Would give
preceptial medicine to rage.

Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,

charm ache with air and agony with words.

No, no; 'tis all men's
office to speak patience

to those that wring
under the load of sorrow.

But no man's virtue nor
sufficiency to be so moral

when he shall endure the like himself.

Therefore give me no counsel.

My griefs cry louder than advertisement.

Therein do men from
children nothing differ.

I prithy peace, I will be flesh and blood.

For there was never yet philosopher

that could endure the toothache patiently.

However they have writ the style of gods

and made a push at chance and sufferance.

Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself.

Make those that do offend you suffer too.

There thou speak'st
reason, nay, I will do so.

My soul doth tell me Hero is belied

and that shall Claudio
know, so shall the Prince

and all of them that thus dishonor her.

Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily.

Good den, good den.

Good day to both of you.

Hear you, my lords.

We have some haste, Leonato.

Some haste, my lord!

well, fare you well, my lord.

Are you so hasty now?

well, all is one.

Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.

If he could right himself with quarreling,

some of us would lie low.

Who wrongs him?

Marry, thou dost wrong
me, thou dissembler, thou.

Nay, never lay thy hand upon
thy sword I fear thee not.

Marry, beshrew my hand,

If it should give your
age such cause of fear.

In faith, my hand meant
nothing to my sword.

Tush, tush, man, never
fleer and jest at me.

I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,

as under privilege of age to brag

what I have done being young,

or what would do were I not old.

Know, Claudio, to thy head,

thou hast so wronged mine
innocent child and me

that I am forced to lay my reverence by

and, with gray hairs
and bruise of many days,

do challenge thee to trial of a man.

I say thou hast belied
mine innocent child.

Thy slander hath gone through
and through her heart,

and she lies buried with her ancestors.

Oh, in a tomb where never
scandal slept save this of hers,

framed by thy villainy.

My villainy?

Thine, Claudio, thine, I say.

You say not right, old man.

My lord, I'll prove it
on his body, if he dare.

Despite his nice fence
and his active practice,

his May of youth and bloom of lustihood.

Away, I will not have to do with you.

Canst thou so daff me?

Thou hast killed my child.

Thou kill'st me, boy,
thou shalt kill a man.

He shall kill two of us, and men indeed.

But that's no matter,
let him kill one first.

Win me and wear me, let him answer me.

Come follow me, boy.

Come sir boy, come, follow me, sir boy,

I'll whip you from your foining fence

nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

[Leonato] Brother.

Content yourself, God
knows I loved my niece

and she is dead, slandered
to death by villains.

That dare as well answer a man indeed

as I dare take a serpent by the tongue.

Boys, apes, braggarts,

Jacks, milksops!

[Leonato] Brother Antony.

Hold you content.

What, man! I know them,
yea, and what they weigh,

even to the utmost scruple.

Scrambling, out-facing,
fashion-monging boys,

that lie and cog and
flout, deprave and slander.

Go anticly, show outward hideousness,

and speak off half a
dozen dangerous words,

how they might hurt their
enemies, if they durst.

And this is all.

But, brother Antony.

Come, 'tis no matter, do not you meddle,

let me deal in this.

Gentlemen both, we will
not wake your patience.

My heart is sorry for
your daughter's death:

But, on my honor, she
was charged with nothing

but what was true and very full of proof.

My lord, my lord.

I will not hear you.


Come, brother, away, I will be heard.

And shall, or some of
us will smart for it.


see, see here comes the
man we went to seek.

Now, signor, what news?

Good day, my lord.

Welcome, signor,

you are almost come to part almost a fray.

We had like to have had
our two noses snapped off

with two old men without teeth.

Leonato and his brother,
what think,st thou?

Had we fought, I doubt we should have

been too young for them.

In a false quarrel there is no true valor.

I came to seek you both.

We have been up and down to seek thee,

for we are high-proof melancholy

and would fain have it beaten away.

Come, wilt thou use thy wit?

It is in my scabbard, shall I draw it?

Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?

Never any did so,

though very many have
been beside their wit.

I will bid thee draw,
as we do the minstrels,

draw to pleasure us.

As I am an honest man, he looks pale.

Art thou sick, or angry?

What, courage, man!

What though care killed a cat,

thou hast mettle enough
in thee to kill care.

Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career,

and you charge it against me.

I pray you choose another subject.

Nay, then, give him another staff,

this last was broke across.

By this light, he changes more and more.

I think he be angry indeed.

If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.

Shall I speak a word in your ear?

God bless me from a challenge!

You are a villain, I jest not.

Make it good how you
dare, with what you dare,

and when you dare.

Do me right, or I will
protest your cowardice.

You have killed a sweet lady,

and her death shall fall heavy on you.

Let me hear from you.

Well, I will meet you,
so I may have good cheer.

What, a feast, a feast?

I' faith, I thank him, he
hath bid me to a calf's head

and a capon, which if I do
not carve most curiously,

say my knife's naught, shall
I not find a woodcock too?

Sir, your wit ambles well, it goes easily.

I'll tell thee how Beatrice
praised thy wit the other day.

I said, thou hadst a fine wit.

"True," said she, "A fine little one."

"No," said I, "A great wit."

"Right," says she, "A great gross one."

"Nay," said I, "A good wit."

"Just," said she, "It hurts nobody."

"Nay," said I, "The gentleman is wise."

"Certain," said she, "A wise gentleman."

"Nay," said I, "He hath the tongues."

"That I believe," said she,

"For he swore a thing
to me on Monday night,

"which he forswore on Tuesday morning.

"There's a double tongue,
there's two tongues."

Thus did she, an hour together,

transshape thy particular virtues.

Yet at last she concluded with a sigh,

thou wast the properest man in Italy.

For the which she wept heartily

and said she cared not.

Yea, that she did.

but yet, for all that, and if
she did not hate him deadly,

she would love him dearly.

The old man's daughter told us all.

All, all, and moreover,

God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

But when shall we set
the savage bull's horns

on the sensible Benedick's head?

Yea, and text underneath,

"Here dwells Benedick the married man."


Fare you well, boy.

You know my mind.

I will leave you now to
your gossip-like humor.

You break jests as
braggarts do their blades,

which God be thanked, hurt not.

My lord, for your many
courtesies I thank you.

But I must discontinue your company,

your brother the bastard
is fled from Messina,

you have among you killed
a sweet and innocent lady.

For my Lord Lackbeard
there, he and I shall meet,

till then, peace be with him.

He is in earnest.

In profound earnest.

And, I'll warrant you,
for the love of Beatrice.

And hath challenged thee.

Most sincerely.

What a pretty thing man is
when he goes in his doublet

and hose and leaves off his wit.

But, soft you, let me be.

Pluck up, my heart, and be sad.

Did he not say, my brother was fled?

Come you, sir, if justice cannot tame you,

she shall weigh more
reasons in her balance.

Nay, and you be a cursing hypocrite once,

you must be looked to.

How now?

Two of my brother's men
bound, Borachio one.

Hearken after their offense, my lord.

Officers, what offense
have these men done?

Marry, sir, they have
committed false report,

moreover, they have spoken untruths,

secondarily they are slanders,

sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady,

thirdly, they have verified unjust things,

and to conclude, they are lying knaves.

First, I ask thee what they have done,

thirdly, I ask thee what's their offense,

sixth and lastly, why they are committed,

and, to conclude, what
you lay to their charge.

Rightly reasoned, and in his own division.

Who have you offended, masters,

that you are thus bound to your answer?

this learned constable is
too cunning to be understood.

What's your offense?

Sweet prince, let me go
no farther to mine answer.

Do you hear me, and
let this count kill me.

I have deceived even your very eyes,

what your wisdoms could not discover,

these shallow fools have brought to light.

Who in the night overheard
me confessing to this man

how Don John your brother
incensed me to slander

the Lady Hero, how you were
brought into the orchard

and saw me court Margaret
in Hero's garments,

how you disgraced her,
when you should marry her.

My villainy they have upon record

which I had rather seal with my death

than repeat over to my shame.

The lady is dead upon mine and
my master's false accusation

and briefly, I desire nothing
but the reward of a villain.

Runs not this speech like
iron through your blood?

I have drunk poison whiles he uttered it.

But did my brother set thee on to this?

Yea, and paid me richly
for the practice of it.

He is composed and framed of treachery

and fled he is upon this villainy.

Sweet Hero,

now thy image doth appear
in the rare semblance

that I loved it first.

Come, bring away the plaintiffs.

By which time our sexton hath reformed

Signor Leonato of the matter.

But masters, do not forget to specify,

when time and place shall serve,

that I am an ass.

Here, here comes master Signor Leonato,

and the Sexton too.

Which is the villain?

let me see his eyes, that, when
I note another man like him,

I may avoid him.

which of these is he?

If you would know your
wronger, look on me.

Art thou the slave that with thy breath

hast killed mine innocent child?

Yea, even I alone.

No, not so, villain, thou beliest thyself.

Here stand a pair of honorable men,

the third is fled, who had a hand in it.

I thank you, princes,
for my daughter's death.

Record it with your high and worthy deeds

'twas bravely done, if
you bethink you of it.

I know not how to pray your
patience yet I must speak.

Choose your revenge yourself.

Impose me to what penance your invention

can lay upon my sin.

Yet sinned I not but in mistaking.

By my soul, nor I.

And yet, to satisfy this good old man,

I would bend under any heavy
weight that he'll enjoin me to.

I cannot bid you bid my daughter live.

That were impossible,

but, I pray you both possess
the people in Messina here

how innocent she died.

And if your love can labor
ought in sad invention,

hang her an epitaph upon her
tomb, sing it to her bones,

sing it tonight.

Tomorrow morning come you to my house,

and since you could not be my
son-in-law, be yet my nephew.

My brother hath a daughter,

almost a copy of my child that's dead,

and she alone is heir to both of us.

Give her the right you
should have given her cousin,

and so dies my revenge.

Oh noble sir, your over-kindness
doth wring tears from me.

I do embrace your offer

and dispose For henceforth
of poor Claudio.

Tomorrow then I expect your coming,

tonight I take my leave.

This naughty man shall face to
face be brought to Margaret,

who I believe was packed
in all this wrong,

hired to it by your brother.

No, by my soul, she was not,

nor knew not what she
did when she spoke to me,

yet always hath been just and virtuous

in everything that I do know by her.

Moreover, sir, which indeed
is not under white and black,

this plaintiff here, the
offender, did call me ass.

I beseech you, let it be
remembered in his punishment.

Also, the watch have heard
them talk of one deformed,

they say be wears a key in his
ear and a lock hanging by it,

and he borrows money in God's name,

the which he hath used
so long and never paid

that now men grow hard-hearted

and will lend nothing for God's sake.

I Pray you, examine him upon that point.

I thank thee for thy
care and honest pains.

Your worship speaks like a most thankful

and reverend youth, I praise God for you.

There's for thy pains.

God save the foundation.

Go, I discharge thee of thy
prisoners, and I thank thee.

I leave an arrant knave with your worship.

I beseech your worship
to correct yourself,

for the example of others.

God keep your worship, I
wish your worship well,

God restore you to health,

and I humbly give you leave to depart.

And if a merry meeting may be wished,

God prohibit it.

Come, neighbor.

Until tomorrow morning, lords, farewell.

Farewell, my lords, we
look for you tomorrow.

We will not fail.

Tonight I'll mourn with Hero.

Bring you these fellows on,

we'll talk to Margaret,

how her acquaintance grew
with this lewd fellow.

[cricket and bird song]


Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret,

deserve well at my hands by helping me

to the speech of Beatrice.

Will you then write me a
sonnet in praise of my beauty?

In so high a style, Margaret,

that no man living shall come over it.

For, in most comely
truth, thou deservest it.

To have no man come over me,

why, shall I always keep below stairs?

Thy wit is as quick as the
greyhound's mouth Margaret,

it catches.

And yours is blunt as the fencer's foils,

which hit, but hurt not.

A most manly wit, Margaret,
it will not hurt a woman.

And so I pray thee, call Beatrice

I give thee the bucklers.

Give us the swords, we
have bucklers of our own.

If you use them, Margaret,

you must put in the pikes with a vice

and they are dangerous weapons for maids.

Well, I will call Beatrice to
you, who I think hath legs.

And therefore will come.

♪ The god of love, that sits above, ♪

♪ And knows me, and knows me, ♪

♪ How pitiful I deserve ♪

I mean in singing.

But in loving, Leander the good swimmer,

Troilus the first employer of panders,

and a whole bookful of these
quondam carpet-mangers,

whose names yet run smoothly

in the even road of a blank verse,

why even they were never so
truly turned over and over

as my poor self in love.

Marry, I cannot show it
in rhyme, I have tried.

I can find no rhyme to lady
but baby, an innocent rhyme.

For scorn, horn,

it's a hard rhyme.

For school, fool, a babbling
rhyme, very ominous endings.

No, I was not born under a rhyming planet,

nor I cannot woo in festival terms.

Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou
come when I call for thee?

Yea, signor, and depart when you bid me.

Oh, stay but till then.

Then is spoken, fare you well now.

And yet, ere I go, let
me go with that I came,

which is, with knowing what hath passed

between you and Claudio.

Only foul words, and
thereupon I will kiss thee.

Foul words is but foul wind,

and foul wind is but foul breath,

and foul breath is noisome

therefore I will depart unkissed.

Thou hast frighted the word
out of his right sense,

so forcible is thy wit.

But I must tell thee plainly,

Claudio undergoes my challenge,

and either I must shortly hear from him,

or I will subscribe him a coward.

[footsteps on stones]

[paper swishing]

I pray you tell me for
which of my bad parts

did thou first fall in love with me?

For them all together,

which maintained so
politic a state of evil

they will not admit any good
part to intermingle with them.

But for which of my good parts

did you first suffer love for me?

Suffer love, a good epithet.

I do suffer love indeed, for
I love thee against my will.

In spite of your heart, I think.

Alas, poor heart.

If you spite it for my sake,
I will spite it for yours,

for I will never love that
which my friend hates.

Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

It appears not in this confession,

there's not one wise man amongst
twenty will praise himself.

That's an old, old instance, Beatrice,

that lived in the time of good neighbors.

If a man do not erect in this
age his own tomb ere he dies,

he shall live no longer in
monument than the bell rings

or the widow weeps.

How long is that, think you?


why, an hour in clamor
and a quarter in rheum


Therefore is it most
expedient for the wise,

if his conscience find no
impediment to the contrary,

to be the trumpet of his own virtues,

as I am to myself.

So much for praising myself,

who, I myself will bear
witness is praiseworthy.

How doth your cousin?

Very ill.

And how do you?

Very ill too.

Serve God,

love me

and mend.

There I must leave you too,

-for here comes one in haste.

you must come to your uncle.

Yonder's old coil at home.

it is proved my Lady Hero
hath been falsely accused,

the Prince and Claudio mightily abused,

and Don John is the author of all,

who is fed and gone.

Will you come presently?

Will you go hear this news, signor?

I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap,

be buried in thy eyes and

moreover I will go with
thee to thy uncle's.

[running footsteps]

[bell tolling]

[drum beating]

[melancholy Elizabethan music]

Is this the monument of Leonato?

It is, my lord.

Done to death by slanderous tongues

was the Hero that here lies.

Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,

gives her fame which never dies.

So the life that died with shame

lives in death with glorious fame.

Hang thou there upon the tomb,

praising her when I am dumb.

Now, music, sound,

and sing your solemn hymn.

♪ Pardon, goddess of the night ♪

♪ Those that slew thy virgin knight ♪

♪ For the which, with songs of woe ♪

♪ Round about her tomb they go ♪

♪ Midnight, assist our moan ♪

♪ Help us to sigh and groan ♪

♪ Graves, yawn and yield your dead ♪

♪ Till death be uttered, ♪

Now, unto thy bones good night!

Yearly will I do this rite.

Good morrow, masters,
put your torches out.

The wolves have preyed,
and look, the gentle day,

before the wheels of Phoebus,

round about dapples the drowsy
east with spots of gray.

Thanks to you all, and
leave us, fare you well.

Good morrow, masters, each you sever away.

Come, let us hence,
and put on other weeds.

And then to Leonato's we will go.

And Hymen now with luckier issues speed

than this for whom we
rendered up this woe.

Did I not tell you she was innocent?

So are the prince and Claudio,

who accused her upon the
error that you heard debated.

But Margaret was in some fault in this,

although against her will,

as it appears In the true
course of all the question.

Well, I am glad that
all things sort so well.

And so am I, being else by faith

enforced to call young
Claudio to a reckoning for it.

Daughter, and you gentle-women all,

withdraw to a chamber by yourselves,

and when I send for
you, come hither masked.

The Prince and Claudio promised
by this hour to visit me.

You know your office, brother.

You must be father to
your brother's daughter

and give her to young Claudio.

Which I will do with
confirmed countenance.

Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.

To do what, signor?

To bind me, or undo me,

one of them.

Signor Leonato, truth it is, good signor,

your niece regards me
with an eye of favor.

That eye my daughter
lent her 'tis most true.

And I with an eye of love requite her.

The sight whereof I think she got from me,

from Claudio and the Prince.

Your answer, sir, is enigmatical.

But what's your will?

My will?

Oh my will is your good will.

This day may stand with ours,

to be conjoined in the
state of honorable marriage.

In which, good friar, I
shall desire your help.

[Leonato] My heart is with your liking.

And my help.

Here come the Prince and Claudio.

Good morrow to this fair assembly.

Good morrow, Prince, good morrow, Claudio

We here attend you.

Are you yet determined today to marry

with my brother's daughter?

I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.

Call her forth, brother.

Here's the friar ready.

Good morrow, Benedick.

Why, what's the matter that
thou hast such a February face,

so full of storm, or frost and cloudiness?

I think he thinks upon the savage bull.

Tush, fear not, man, we'll
tip thy horns with gold.

And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,

as once Europa did at lusty Jove,

when he would play the
noble beast in love.

Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low

and some such strange bull
leaped your father's cow,

and got a calf in that same
noble feat much like to you,

for you have just his bleat.

[Elizabethan music]

For this I owe you.

Here comes other reckonings.

Which is the lady I must seize upon?

This same is she,

and I do give you her.

Why, then she's mine.

Sweet, let me see your face.

No, that you shall not,
till you take her hand

before this friar and swear to marry her.

Give me your hand before this holy friar.

I am your husband, if you like of me.

And when I lived, I was your other wife.

And when you loved, you
were my other husband.

Another Hero!

Nothing certainer.

One Hero died defiled, I do live,

And surely as I live, I am a maid.

The former Hero, Hero that is dead!

She died, my lord, but
whiles her slander lived.

All this amazement can I qualify

when after that the holy rites are ended,

I'll tell you largely
of fair Hero's death.

Meantime let wonder seem familiar,

and to the chapel let us presently.

Soft and fair, Friar.

Which is Beatrice?

I answer to that name.

What is your will?

Do not you love me?


Why, no, no more than reason.

Why, then your uncle and
the prince and Claudio

have been deceived, they swore you did.

Do not you love me?

Troth, no, no more than reason.

Why, then my cousin, Margaret and Ursula

are much deceived, for
they did swear you did.

They swore that you were sick for me.

They swore you were well-nigh dead for me.

'Tis no such matter.

Then you do not love me?

No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

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

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,

fashioned to Beatrice.

And here's another written
in my cousin's hand,

stolen from her pocket,

containing her affection unto Benedick.

A miracle.

Here our own hands against our hearts.

Come, I will have thee,
but, by this light,

I take thee for pity.

Well, 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.

Peace, I will stop your mouth.

[crowd sighs]

How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?


I'll tell thee what, Prince,

a college of wit-crackers
cannot flout me out of my humor.

Dost thou think I care for
a satire or an epigram?

No, if a man be beaten with brains,

a' will wear nothing handsome about him.

In brief, since I do purpose to marry,

I will think nothing to any purpose

that the world can say against it.

Therefore, never flout at me

for what I have said against it.

For man is a giddy thing,

and this is my conclusion.

[crowds sighs]

Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee,

but in that thou art
like to be my kinsman,

live unbruised and love my cousin.

I had well hoped thou
wouldst have denied Beatrice,

that I might have cudgelled
thee out of thy single life,

to make thee a double-dealer.

which, out of question, thou wilt be,

if my cousin do not look
exceedingly narrowly to thee.

Come, we are friends.

Let's have a dance ere we are married,

that we may lighten our own
hearts and our wives' heels.

You will have dancing afterward.

First, of my word, Prince, thou art sad,

thou art sad, get thee
a wife, get thee a wife.

There is no staff more reverend
than one tipped with horn.

My lord,

thy brother John is ta'en in flight,

and brought with armed
men back to Messina.

Think not on him till tomorrow.

I'll devise thee brave
punishments for him.

Strike up, pipers.

[Elizabethan dance music]

[whooping and clapping]

[Elizabethan dance music]


[Elizabethan dance music]

OpenSubtitles recommends using Nord VPN
from 3.49 USD/month ---->