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Much Ado about Nothing

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Act III, Scene 4

HERO’s apartment.



  • Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire 1490
    her to rise.
  • Hero. And bid her come hither.


  • Margaret. Troth, I think your other rabato were better.
  • Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
  • Margaret. By my troth, 's not so good; and I warrant your
    cousin will say so.
  • Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another: I'll wear 1500
    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, i' faith. I saw the Duchess of Milan's
    gown that they praise so. 1505
  • Hero. O, that exceeds, they say.
  • Margaret. By my troth, 's but a night-gown 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 bluish tinsel: 1510
    but for a fine, quaint, graceful and 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. 1515
  • Hero. Fie upon thee! art not ashamed?
  • 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:' and bad 1520
    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. 1525


  • Hero. Good morrow, coz.
  • Hero. Why how now? do you speak in the sick tune?
  • Beatrice. I am out of all other tune, methinks. 1530
  • Margaret. Clap's into 'Light o' love;' that goes without a
    burden: do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
  • Beatrice. Ye light o' love, with your heels! then, if your
    husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall
    lack no barns. 1535
  • 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. 1540
  • Margaret. Well, and you be not turned Turk, there's no more
    sailing by the star.
  • Margaret. Nothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire!
  • Hero. These gloves the count sent me; they are an 1545
    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? 1550
  • 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. 1555
  • 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 1560
    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 that you 1565
    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 1570
    your eyes as other women do.
  • Beatrice. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?

[Re-enter URSULA]

  • Ursula. Madam, withdraw: the prince, the count, Signior 1575
    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.