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Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice?

Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice?
Beatrice, unmasking
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.

For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.

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 almost sick for me.
They swore that 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.
  He shows a paper.
And here’s another,
Writ in my cousin’s hand, stol’n from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.
  She shows a paper.
A miracle! Here’s our own hands against
our hearts. Come, I will have thee, but by
this light I take thee for pity.
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.
  They kiss.
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 will be beaten with brains, he shall
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, and
therefore never flout at me for what I have said
against it. For man is a giddy thing, and this is my
conclusion.—For thy part, 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 cudgeled 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
exceeding narrowly to thee.
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.
We’ll have dancing afterward.
First, of my word! Therefore play, music.—
Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife, get thee a wife.
There is no staff more reverend than one tipped
with horn.
  Enter Messenger.
Messenger, to Prince
My lord, your brother John is ta’en in flight,
And brought with armed men back to Messina.
Benedick, to Prince
Think not on him till tomorrow. I’ll devise thee brave
punishments for him.—Strike up, pipers!
  Music plays. They dance.
  They exit.

Act 5
Scene 4
Line 74

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