Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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Scene IV

[A Room in Leonato's House]

[Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.]

HERO:
Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice and desire her to
rise.
URSULA:
I will, lady.
HERO:
And bid her come hither.
URSULA:
Well.(5)

[Exit.]

MARGARET:
Troth, I think your other rebato were better.
HERO:
No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
MARGARET:
By my troth, is not so good; and I warrant your
cousin will say so.
HERO:
My cousin 's a fool, and thou art another. I'll wear none but(10)
this.
MARGARET:
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.(15)
HERO:
O, that exceeds, they say.
MARGARET:
By my troth's but a nightgown 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 blush tinsel. But for a fine, quaint, graceful, and(20)
excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't.
HERO:
God give me joy to wear it! for my heart is exceeding
heavy.
MARGARET:
'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.
HERO:
Fie upon thee! art not ashamed?(25)
MARGARET:
Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not
marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord
honourable without marriage? I think you would have me
say, ‘saving your reverence, a husband.’ An bad thinking
do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody. Is there(30)
any harm in ‘the heavier for a husband’? None, I think, an
it be the right husband and the right wife. Otherwise 'tis
light, and not heavy. Ask my Lady Beatrice else. Here
she comes.

[Enter Beatrice.]

HERO:
Good morrow, coz.(35)
BEATRICE:
Good morrow, sweet Hero.
HERO:
Why, how now? Do you speak in the sick tune?
BEATRICE:
I am out of all other tune, methinks.
MARGARET:
Clap's into ‘Light o’ love.' That goes without a burden.
Do you sing it, and I'll dance it.(40)
BEATRICE:
Ye, ‘Light o’ love' with your heels! then, if your husband
have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no
barns.
MARGARET:
O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my
heels.(45)
BEATRICE:
'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were
ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill. Heigh-ho!
MARGARET:
For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
BEATRICE:
For the letter that begins them all, H.
MARGARET:
Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's no more(50)
sailing by the star.
BEATRICE:
What means the fool, trow?
MARGARET:
Nothing I; but God send every one their heart's
desire!
HERO:
These gloves the count sent me, they are an excellent(55)
perfume.
BEATRICE:
I am stuffed, cousin; I cannot smell.
MARGARET:
A maid, and stuffed! There's goodly catching of cold.
BEATRICE:
O, God help me! God help me! How long have you
professed apprehension?(60)
MARGARET:
Ever since you left it. Doth not my wit become me
rarely?
BEATRICE:
It is not seen enough. You should wear it in your cap.
By my troth, I am sick.
MARGARET:
Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus(65)
and lay it on your heart. It is the only thing for a qualm.
HERO:
There thou prickest her with a thistle.
BEATRICE:
Benedictus? Why Benedictus? You have some moral in
this Benedictus?
MARGARET:
Moral? No, by my troth, I have no moral meaning; I(70)
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(75)
that you can be in love. Yet Benedick was such another, and
now is he 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.(80)
BEATRICE:
What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
MARGARET:
Not a false gallop.

[Enter Ursula.]

URSULA:
Madam, withdraw. The prince, the count, Signior
Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town are
come to fetch you to church.(85)
HERO:
Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.

Exeunt.