ACT III
Scene 4
 

A Room in Leonato's house.

[Enter Hero, and 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 rebato 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 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.

HERO
O, that exceeds, they say.

MARGARET
By my troth, 's but a nightgown in respect of
yours--cloth-o'-gold and cuts, and lac'd with silver, set with
pearls down sleeves, side-sleeves, and skirts, round underborne
with a blush 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.

MARGARET
'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.

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.' 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.

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.

BEATRICE
Yea, 'Light o' love' with your heels! then, if your husband have
stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no barnes.

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. Hey-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 turn'd 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 stuff'd, cousin; I cannot smell.

MARGARET
A maid, and stuff'd! There's goodly catching of cold.

BEATRICE
O, God help me! God help me! How long have you profess'd
apprehension?

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 distill'd 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.

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'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.

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.

HERO
Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.

[Exeunt.]