ACT V
Scene 2
 

Leonato's orchard.

[Enter Benedick and Margaret [meeting.]

BENEDICK
Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands by
helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

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

BENEDICK
In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over
it; for in most comely truth thou deservest it.

MARGARET
To have no man come over me? Why, shall I always keep below
stairs?

BENEDICK
Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth--it catches.

MARGARET
And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit but hurt not.

BENEDICK
A most manly wit, Margaret: it will not hurt a woman.
And so I pray thee call Beatrice. I give thee the bucklers.

MARGARET
Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our own.

BENEDICK
If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice,
and they are dangerous weapons for maids.

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

BENEDICK
And therefore will come.

[Exit Margaret.]

[Sings] 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 book full of
these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the
even road of a blank verse--why, they were never so truly turn'd
over and over as my poor self in love. Marry, I cannot show it in
rhyme. I have tried. I can find out no rhyme to 'lady' but 'baby'
--an innocent rhyme; for 'scorn,' 'horn'--a hard rhyme; for
'school', 'fool'--a babbling rhyme: very ominous endings! No, I
was not born under a rhyming planet, nor cannot woo in festival
terms.

[Enter Beatrice.]

Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I call'd thee?

BEATRICE
Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.

BENEDICK
O, stay but till then!

BEATRICE
'Then' is spoken. Fare you well now. And yet, ere I go, let me go
with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath pass'd
between you and Claudio.

BENEDICK
Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee.

BEATRICE
Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath,
and foul breath is noisome. Therefore I will depart unkiss'd.

BENEDICK
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. And I pray thee now tell me, for which of
my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?

BEATRICE
For them all together, which maintain'd so politic a state of
evil that 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?

BENEDICK
Suffer love!--a good epithet. I do suffer love indeed, for I love
thee against my will.

BEATRICE
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.

BENEDICK
Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

BEATRICE
It appears not in this confession. There's not one wise man among
twenty, that will praise himself.

BENEDICK
An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that liv'd in the time of good
neighbours. 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 and the widow weeps.

BEATRICE
And how long is that, think you?

BENEDICK
Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter in rheum.
Therefore is it most expedient for the wise, if Don Worm (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. And now tell me, how doth your cousin?

BEATRICE
Very ill.

BENEDICK
And how do you?

BEATRICE
Very ill too.

BENEDICK
Serve God, love me, and mend. There will I leave you too, for
here comes one in haste.

[Enter Ursula.]

URSULA
Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's old coil at home.
It is proved my Lady Hero hath been falsely accus'd, the Prince
and Claudio mightily abus'd, and Don John is the author of all,
who is fled and gone. Will you come presently?

BEATRICE
Will you go hear this news, signior?

BENEDICK
I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried thy eyes;
and moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.

[Exeunt.]