List iconMuch Ado About NothingList icon

Much Ado About Nothing
Act 3, scene 4

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Entire Play

The primary plot of Much Ado About Nothing turns on the courtship and scandal involving young Hero and her suitor, Claudio, but…

Act 1, scene 1

The army of Don Pedro of Aragon arrives in Messina and is welcomed by Leonato, Messina’s governor. Benedick of Padua,…

Act 1, scene 2

Leonato is given a garbled account of the conversation between Don Pedro and Claudio, and is led to believe that…

Act 1, scene 3

Don John, Don Pedro’s brother, receives a true account of Don Pedro’s plan to woo Hero for Claudio. Resentful of…

Act 2, scene 1

Don Pedro and his soldiers, disguised in masks, dance with the ladies of Leonato’s household. While Don Pedro woos Hero,…

Act 2, scene 2

Don John and his henchman Borachio agree on a plan to disrupt the coming marriage: Borachio will convince Claudio that…

Act 2, scene 3

Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro stage a conversation for Benedick to overhear. They talk about Beatrice’s desperate love for Benedick,…

Act 3, scene 1

Beatrice is lured into overhearing a staged conversation between Hero and Ursula, a waiting gentlewoman, who talk about Benedick’s desperate…

Act 3, scene 2

Benedick appears with his beard shaved off and showing other signs of having fallen in love. When he exits with…

Act 3, scene 3

That night, Messina’s master constable, Dogberry, and his assistant, Verges, set the night watch, telling the watchmen to pay particular…

Act 3, scene 4

Early the next morning, Hero prepares for the wedding. Beatrice enters, suffering, she says, from a bad cold, but Hero…

Act 3, scene 5

Dogberry and Verges try to tell Leonato about the arrest of Borachio and Conrade, but they are so unintelligible that…

Act 4, scene 1

At the wedding, Claudio publicly denounces Hero as a lewd woman. He is supported in his story by Don Pedro…

Act 4, scene 2

Dogberry ineptly questions Borachio and Conrade about the deception of Claudio and Don Pedro. The Sexton has Borachio and Conrade…

Act 5, scene 1

Leonato and his brother tell Claudio and Don Pedro of Hero’s death, and attempt to challenge them to a duel….

Act 5, scene 2

Benedick tells Beatrice that he has challenged Claudio. They are summoned to Leonato’s house with the news that Hero’s innocence…

Act 5, scene 3

Claudio appears at Leonato’s family tomb, has a song sung for Hero, and hangs a scroll on the tomb.

Act 5, scene 4

Claudio and Don Pedro appear for the second wedding. The women enter masked. When Claudio takes the hand of Leonato’s…

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Scene 4
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 5Well.Ursula exits.
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
10 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
15 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 laced with
20 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
25 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
30 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.”
 An bad thinking do not wrest true speaking,

113
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 4

 I’ll offend nobody. Is there any harm in “the heavier
35 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 40Good 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 45You 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.
BEATRICE 50’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 55Well, an 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 everyone their
 heart’s desire.
HERO 60These 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 65O, God help me, God help me! How long
 have you professed apprehension?

115
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 4

MARGARET Ever since you left it. Doth not my wit
 become me rarely?
BEATRICE It is not seen enough; you should wear it in
70 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 prick’st her with a thistle.
BEATRICE 75Benedictus! 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
80 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
85 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 90What 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 95Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good
 Ursula.
They exit.