(Hero; Margaret; Ursula; Beatrice)
Hero prepares for her wedding with Ursula and Margaret’s help, the latter disagreeing with her over what she should wear. Saucy Margaret teases the bride, and makes great mock of Beatrice once she arrives. Beatrice is showing all the signs of being in love, and Margaret takes every opportunity for lewd comments she can get. She suggests that Benedick is ripe for marriage himself, despite everything. Ursula announces that the procession is ready to go to the church. (42 lines)
Enter Hero and Margaret and Ursula.
Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire her to rise.
I will, lady.
And bid her come hither.
Troth, I think your other rebato were better.
No, pray thee, good Meg, I’ll wear this.
By my troth ’s not so good, and I warrant your cousin will say so.
My cousin’s a fool, and thou art another. I’ll wear none but this.
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.
O, that exceeds, they say.
By my troth ’s but a night-gown in respect of yours: cloth a’ gold and cuts, and lac’d 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.
God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy.
’Twill be heavier soon by the weight of a man.
Fie upon thee, art not asham’d?
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.
Good morrow, coz.
Good morrow, sweet Hero.
Why, how now? Do you speak in the sick tune?
I am out of all other tune, methinks.
Clap ’s into “Light a’ love”; that goes without a burden. Do you sing it, and I’ll dance it.
Ye light a’ love with your heels! Then if your husband have stables enough, you’ll see he shall lack no barns.
O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.
’Tis almost five a’ clock, cousin, ’tis time you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill. Heigh-ho!
For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
For the letter that begins them all, H.
Well, and you be not turn’d Turk, there’s no more sailing by the star.
What means the fool, trow?
Nothing I, but God send every one their heart’s desire!
These gloves the Count sent me, they are an excellent perfume.
I am stuff’d, cousin, I cannot smell.
A maid, and stuff’d! There’s goodly catching of cold.
O, God help me, God help me, how long have you profess’d apprehension?
Ever since you left it. Doth not my wit become me rarely?
It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap. By my troth, I am sick.
Get you some of this distill’d carduus benedictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.
There thou prick’st her with a thistle.
Benedictus! Why benedictus? You have some moral in this benedictus.
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.
What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
Not a false gallop.
Madam, withdraw, the Prince, the Count, Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town are come to fetch you to church.
Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.