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Speeches (Lines) for Leonato
in "Much Ado about Nothing"

Total: 120

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(stage directions). [Enter LEONATO, HERO, and BEATRICE, with a Messenger]

Leonato. I learn in this letter that Don Peter of Arragon
comes this night to Messina.



Messenger. He is very near by this: he was not three leagues off
when I left him.

Leonato. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?



Messenger. But few of any sort, and none of name.

Leonato. A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings
home full numbers. I find here that Don Peter hath
bestowed much honour on a young Florentine called Claudio.



Messenger. 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: he hath indeed better
bettered expectation than you must expect of me to
tell you how.

Leonato. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much
glad of it.



Messenger. I have already delivered him letters, and there
appears much joy in him; even so much that joy could
not show itself modest enough without a badge of

Leonato. Did he break out into tears?



Messenger. In great measure.

Leonato. A kind overflow of kindness: there are no faces
truer than those that are so washed. How much
better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!



Messenger. I know none of that name, lady: there was none such
in the army of any sort.

Leonato. What is he that you ask for, niece?



Beatrice. He set up his bills here in Messina and challenged
Cupid at the flight; and my uncle's fool, reading
the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged
him at the bird-bolt. 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.

Leonato. Faith, niece, you tax Signior Benedick too much;
but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.



Beatrice. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man:
but for the stuffing,—well, we are all mortal.

Leonato. You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a
kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her:
they never meet but there's a skirmish of wit
between them.



Beatrice. Do, good friend.

Leonato. You will never run mad, niece.



Don Pedro. Good Signior Leonato, you are come to meet your
trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid
cost, and you encounter it.

Leonato. 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.



Don Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly. I think this
is your daughter.

Leonato. Her mother hath many times told me so.



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

Leonato. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.



Don Pedro. That is the sum of all, Leonato. Signior Claudio
and Signior 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.

Leonato. 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.



Don John. I thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank

Leonato. Please it your grace lead on?



(stage directions). [Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, meeting]

Leonato. How now, brother! Where is my cousin, your son?
hath he provided this music?



Antonio. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell
you strange news that you yet dreamt not of.

Leonato. Are they good?



Antonio. 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.

Leonato. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?



Antonio. A good sharp fellow: I will send for him; and
question him yourself.

Leonato. 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.
[Enter Attendants]
Cousins, you know what you have to do. O, I cry you
mercy, friend; go you with me, and I will use your
skill. Good cousin, have a care this busy time.



(stage directions). [Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others]

Leonato. Was not Count John here at supper?



Beatrice. 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, and the other too
like my lady's eldest son, evermore tattling.

Leonato. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's
mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior
Benedick's face,—



Beatrice. With a good leg and a good foot, uncle, and money
enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman
in the world, if a' could get her good-will.

Leonato. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get thee a
husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.



Beatrice. Too curst is more than curst: I shall lessen God's
sending that way; for it is said, 'God sends a curst
cow short horns;' but to a cow too curst he sends none.

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



Beatrice. Just, if he send me no husband; for the which
blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and
evening. Lord, I could not endure a husband with a
beard on his face: I had rather lie in the woollen.

Leonato. You may light on a husband that hath no beard.



Beatrice. 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 even take
sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward, and lead his
apes into hell.

Leonato. Well, then, go you into hell?



Beatrice. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy
and say 'Father, as it please you.' But yet for all
that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else
make another curtsy and say 'Father, as it please

Leonato. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.



Beatrice. Not till God make men of some other metal than
earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be
overmastered with a pierce 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.

Leonato. Daughter, remember what I told you: if the prince
do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.



Beatrice. 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, like 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, till he sink into his grave.

Leonato. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.



Beatrice. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by daylight.

Leonato. The revellers are entering, brother: make good room.
[All put on their masks]



Don Pedro. 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!

Leonato. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my
fortunes: his grace hath made the match, and an
grace say Amen to it.



Beatrice. 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!

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



Don Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.

Leonato. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my
lord: she is 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.



Don Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband.

Leonato. O, by no means: she mocks all her wooers out of suit.



Don Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedict.

Leonato. O Lord, my lord, if they were but a week married,
they would talk themselves mad.



Claudio. To-morrow, my lord: time goes on crutches till love
have all his rites.

Leonato. 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.



Don Pedro. 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' labours; which is, to bring Signior
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.

Leonato. My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten
nights' watchings.



Claudio. O, ay: stalk on. stalk on; the fowl sits. I did
never think that lady would have loved any man.

Leonato. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful that she
should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in
all outward behaviors seemed ever to abhor.



Benedick. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

Leonato. 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.



Claudio. Faith, like enough.

Leonato. O God, counterfeit! There was never counterfeit of
passion came so near the life of passion as she
discovers it.



Claudio. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.

Leonato. What effects, my lord? She will sit you, you heard
my daughter tell you how.



Don Pedro. How, how, pray you? You amaze me: I would have I
thought her spirit had been invincible against all
assaults of affection.

Leonato. I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially
against Benedick.



Don Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?

Leonato. No; and swears she never will: that's her torment.



Claudio. '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?'

Leonato. This says she now when she is beginning to write to
him; for she'll be up twenty times a night, and
there will she sit in her smock till she have writ a
sheet of paper: my daughter tells us all.



Claudio. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a
pretty jest your daughter told us of.

Leonato. O, when she had writ it and was reading it over, she
found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet?



Claudio. That.

Leonato. O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence;
railed at herself, that she should be so immodest
to write to one that she knew would flout her; 'I
measure him,' says she, 'by my own spirit; for I
should flout him, if he writ to me; yea, though I
love him, I should.'



Claudio. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs,
beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; 'O
sweet Benedick! God give me patience!'

Leonato. She doth indeed; my daughter says so: and the
ecstasy hath so much overborne her that my daughter
is sometime afeared she will do a desperate outrage
to herself: it is very true.



Don Pedro. In every thing but in loving Benedick.

Leonato. O, 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.



Don Pedro. 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 hear
what a' will say.

Leonato. Were it good, think you?



Don Pedro. As Hector, I assure you: and in the managing of
quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he
avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes
them with a most Christian-like fear.

Leonato. If he do fear God, a' must necessarily keep peace:
if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a
quarrel with fear and trembling.



Claudio. Never tell him, my lord: let her wear it out with
good counsel.

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



Don Pedro. 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.

Leonato. My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready.



Benedick. Gallants, I am not as I have been.

Leonato. So say I. methinks you are sadder.



Don Pedro. What! sigh for the toothache?

Leonato. Where is but a humour or a worm.



Claudio. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him,
and the old ornament of his cheek hath already
stuffed tennis-balls.

Leonato. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.



(stage directions). [Enter LEONATO, with DOGBERRY and VERGES]

Leonato. What would you with me, honest neighbour?



Dogberry. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you
that decerns you nearly.

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



Verges. Yes, in truth it is, sir.

Leonato. What is it, my good friends?



Dogberry. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leonato. Neighbours, you are tedious.



Dogberry. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the
poor duke's officers; but 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.

Leonato. All thy tediousness on me, ah?



Verges. And so am I.

Leonato. I would fain know what you have to say.



Dogberry. A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they
say, when the age is in, the wit is out: God help
us! it is a world to see. Well said, i' faith,
neighbour Verges: well, God's a good man; an two men
ride of a horse, one must ride behind. An honest
soul, i' faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever
broke bread; but God is to be worshipped; all men
are not alike; alas, good neighbour!

Leonato. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.



Dogberry. Gifts that God gives.

Leonato. I must leave you.



Dogberry. One word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed
comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would
have them this morning examined before your worship.

Leonato. Take their examination yourself and bring it me: I
am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you.



Dogberry. It shall be suffigance.

Leonato. Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well.



Messenger. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to
her husband.

Leonato. I'll wait upon them: I am ready.



(stage directions). [Enter DON PEDRO, DON JOHN, LEONATO, FRIAR FRANCIS,]

Leonato. Come, Friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain
form of marriage, and you shall recount their
particular duties afterwards.



Claudio. No.

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



Friar Francis. Know you any, count?

Leonato. I dare make his answer, none.



Claudio. Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave:
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Give me this maid, your daughter?

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



Claudio. 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 honour.
Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that 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.

Leonato. What do you mean, my lord?



Claudio. Not to be married,
Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.

Leonato. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof,
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity,—



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

Leonato. Sweet prince, why speak not you?



Don Pedro. What should I speak?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.

Leonato. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?



Claudio. Leonato, stand I here?
Is this the prince? is this the prince's brother?
Is this face Hero's? are our eyes our own?

Leonato. All this is so: but what of this, my lord?



Claudio. 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.

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



Claudio. O 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.

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



Beatrice. Dead, I think. Help, uncle!
Hero! why, Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar!

Leonato. O Fate! take not away thy heavy hand.
Death is the fairest cover for her shame
That may be wish'd for.



Friar Francis. Have comfort, lady.

Leonato. Dost thou look up?



Friar Francis. Yea, wherefore should she not?

Leonato. Wherefore! 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 frame?
O, 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 smirch'd thus and mired with infamy,
I might have said 'No part of it 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, O, 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 which may season give
To her foul-tainted flesh!



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

Leonato. Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger made
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron!
Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie,
Who loved her so, that, speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her! let her die.



Friar Francis. 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 mark'd
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 appear'd 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.

Leonato. Friar, it cannot be.
Thou seest that all the grace that she hath left
Is that she will not add to her damnation
A sin of perjury; she not denies it:
Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That which appears in proper nakedness?



Benedick. Two of them have the very bent of honour;
And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
The practise of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.

Leonato. I know not. If they speak but truth of her,
These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour,
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 so much of 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.



Friar Francis. 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.

Leonato. What shall become of this? what will this do?



Benedick. Signior 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 honour, I will deal in this
As secretly and justly as your soul
Should with your body.

Leonato. Being that I flow in grief,
The smallest twine may lead me.



Antonio. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself:
And 'tis not wisdom thus to second grief
Against yourself.

Leonato. 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 ear
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
Bring me a father that so loved his child,
Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd 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,
Bid sorrow wag, cry 'hem!' when he should groan,
Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk
With candle-wasters; 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.



Antonio. Therein do men from children nothing differ.

Leonato. I pray thee, 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.



Antonio. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself;
Make those that do offend you suffer too.

Leonato. 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 dishonour her.



Claudio. Good day to both of you.

Leonato. Hear you. my lords,—



Don Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato.

Leonato. Some haste, my lord! well, fare you well, my lord:
Are you so hasty now? well, all is one.



Claudio. Who wrongs him?

Leonato. Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou:—
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
I fear thee not.



Claudio. Marry, beshrew my hand,
If it should give your age such cause of fear:
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.

Leonato. 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 wrong'd mine innocent child and me
That I am forced to lay my reverence by
And, with grey 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;
O, in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Save this of hers, framed by thy villany!



Claudio. My villany?

Leonato. Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.



Don Pedro. You say not right, old man.

Leonato. My lord, my lord,
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare,
Despite his nice fence and his active practise,
His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.



Claudio. Away! I will not have to do with you.

Leonato. Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my child:
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.



Antonio. 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,—



Antonio. Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece;
And she is dead, slander'd 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,—



Antonio. 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.

Leonato. But, brother Antony,—



Don Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience.
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death:
But, on my honour, she was charged with nothing
But what was true and very full of proof.

Leonato. My lord, my lord,—



Don Pedro. I will not hear you.

Leonato. No? Come, brother; away! I will be heard.



(stage directions). [Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton]

Leonato. 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?



Borachio. If you would know your wronger, look on me.

Leonato. Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd
Mine innocent child?



Borachio. Yea, even I alone.

Leonato. No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself:
Here stand a pair of honourable men;
A third is fled, that 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.



Don Pedro. 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.

Leonato. 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 labour ought in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night:
To-morrow 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 the 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.



Claudio. O noble sir,
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.

Leonato. To-morrow then I will expect your coming;
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who I believe was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hired to it by your brother.



Dogberry. 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. And also, the watch heard them talk of
one Deformed: they say be wears a key in his ear and
a lock hanging by it, and 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: pray you, examine him upon that point.

Leonato. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.



Dogberry. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and
reverend youth; and I praise God for you.

Leonato. There's for thy pains.



Dogberry. God save the foundation!

Leonato. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.



(stage directions). [Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES]

Leonato. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.



Claudio. To-night I'll mourn with Hero.

Leonato. [To the Watch] Bring you these fellows on. We'll
talk with Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.



Friar Francis. Did I not tell you she was innocent?

Leonato. So are the prince and Claudio, who accused her
Upon the error that you heard debated:
But Margaret was in some fault for this,
Although against her will, as it appears
In the true course of all the question.



Benedick. And so am I, being else by faith enforced
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

Leonato. Well, daughter, and you gentle-women all,
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves,
And when I send for you, come hither mask'd.
[Exeunt Ladies]
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.



Benedick. To bind me, or undo me; one of them.
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

Leonato. That eye my daughter lent her: 'tis most true.



Benedick. And I do with an eye of love requite her.

Leonato. The sight whereof I think you had from me,
From Claudio and the prince: but what's your will?



Benedick. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
But, for my will, my will is your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the state of honourable marriage:
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

Leonato. My heart is with your liking.



Don Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.

Leonato. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio:
We here attend you. Are you yet determined
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?



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

Leonato. Call her forth, brother; here's the friar ready.



Claudio. Why, then she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.

Leonato. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand
Before this friar and swear to marry her.



Don Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead!

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



Beatrice. No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

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



Benedick. Come, come, we are friends: let's have a dance ere
we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts
and our wives' heels.

Leonato. We'll have dancing afterward.

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