William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Much Ado about Nothing > Act III. Scene IV.

Much Ado about Nothing

Study Guides
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Macbeth
Merchant of Venice
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

Act III. Scene IV.

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.
Urs. I will, lady.
Hero. And bid her come hither.
Urs. Well. [Exit.
Marg. Troth, I think your other rabato were
better.
Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
Marg. 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 none but this.
Marg. 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
puchess of Milan's gown that they praise so.
Hero. O! that exceeds, they say.
Marg. 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; 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.
Marg. 'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of
a man.
Hero. Fie upon thee! art not ashamed?
Marg. Of what, lady? of speaking honour-
ably? 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
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.
Beat. Good morrow, sweet Hero.
Hero. Why, how now! do you speak in the
sick tune?
Beat. I am out of all other tune, methinks.
Marg. Clap's into 'Light o' love;' that goes
without a burden: do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
Beat. Ye light o' love with your heels!
then, if your husband have stables enough, you'll
see he shall lack no barns.
Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn
that with my heels.
Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis
time you were ready. By my troth, I am exceed-
ing ill. Heigh-ho!
Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H.
Marg. Well, an you be not turned Turk,
there's no more sailing by the star.
Beat. What means the fool, trow?
Marg. Nothing I; but God send every one
their heart's desire!
Hero. These gloves the count sent me; they
are an excellent perfume.
Beat. I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell.
Marg. A maid, and stuffed! there's goodly
catching of cold.
Beat. O, God help me! God help me! how
long have you professed apprehension?
Marg. Ever since you left it. Doth not my
wit become me rarely!
Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear
it in your cap. By my troth, I am sick.
Marg. 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 prick'st her with a thistle.
Beat. Benedictus! why Benedictus? you have
some moral in this Benedictus.
Marg. 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'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 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.
Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue
keeps?
Marg. Not a false gallop.

Re-enter URSULA.
Urs. 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.
< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards