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Much Ado About Nothing

Act III, Scene 4

HERO's apartment.
 
[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.
 
[Exit]
 
MARGARET
Troth, I think your other rabato were better.
 
HERO
No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
 
MARGARET
By my troth, 'tis 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 this.
 
MARGARET
I like the new tire within excellently, if the hair were a thought browner; and your gown's a most rare fashion, in faith. I saw the Duchess of Milan's gown that they praise so.
 
HERO
O, that exceeds, they say.
 
MARGARET
By my troth, 'tis but a nightgown in respect of yours: cloth of 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 it.
 
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?
 
MARGARET
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.
 
HERO
Good morrow, coz.
 
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 us into Light of love; that goes without a burden: do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
 
BEATRICE
Ye light of 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.
 
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, and you be not turned Turk, there's no more 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 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?
 
MARGARET
Even 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, and lay it to 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 meant, plain holy-thistle. You may think perchance that I think you are in love: nay, by our 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 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.
 
BEATRICE
What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
 
MARGARET
Not a false gallop.
 
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.
 
HERO
Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.
 
[Exeunt]

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