Much Ado About Nothing


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
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.
rebato (n.) stiff ornamental collar, ruff See Topics: Clothing


HERO

No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.


MARGARET

By my troth, 's not so good, and I warrant
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

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
tire (n.) 1 head-dress, ornament for the head, raiment

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.
exceed (v.) outdo, surpass, excel, be superior


MARGARET

By my troth, 's but a nightgown in respect of

yours – cloth o' gold, and cuts, and laced with silver, set
cut (n.) 1 ornamental gap in a dress to show the colour underneath See Topics: Clothing

with pearls, down-sleeves, side-sleeves, and skirts, round

underborne with a bluish tinsel; but for a fine, quaint,
underborne (adj.) trimmed at the bottom

graceful and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't.


HERO

God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceedingly

heavy.
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


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 ’; and bad

thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody.
wrest (v.) 2 twist, pervert, warp

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.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


BEATRICE

Good morrow, sweet Hero.


HERO

Why how now? Do you speak in the sick tune?
tune (n.) 1 state of mind, mood


BEATRICE

I am out of all other tune, methinks.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


MARGARET

Clap's into ‘ Light o' love ’; that goes without a
clap into (v.) 1 strike up with, enter briskly into

burden. Do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
burden, burthen (n.) 2 bass accompaniment [in a song]


BEATRICE

Ye light o' love, with your heels! Then if your
light (adj.) 1 promiscuous, licentious, immoral, wanton

husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no

barnes.
barn, barne (n.) child, baby


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!
ill (adj.) 4 sick, indisposed, unwell


MARGARET

For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?


BEATRICE

For the letter that begins them all, H.


MARGARET

Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's no
turn Turk change completely, become a renegade [as if in religion, from Christian to infidel]

more sailing by the star.
star (n.) 2 pole-star, lodestar, guiding star


BEATRICE

What means the fool, trow?


MARGARET

Nothing I; but God send everyone their

heart's desire!


HERO

These gloves the Count sent me; they are an excellent

perfume.


BEATRICE

I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell.
stuffed (adj.) 3 filled with a head-cold, clogged


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?
apprehension (n.) 3 sharpness of mind, quickness of uptake
profess (v.) 3 practise, pursue, claim knowledge of


MARGARET

Even since you left it. Doth not my wit
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

become me rarely?
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
rarely (adv.) 1 splendidly, beautifully, excellently


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.
qualm (n.) 1 sudden sickness, feeling of nausea, fainting attack


HERO

There thou prickest her with a thistle.


BEATRICE

Benedictus! Why Benedictus? You have some

moral in this Benedictus.
moral (n.) 1 hidden meaning, import, significance


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
list (v.) 1 wish, like, please

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.
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial

Enter Ursula


URSULA

Madam, withdraw; the Prince, the Count, Signor

Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town, are
gallant (n.) 1 fine gentleman, man of fashion See Topics: Address forms

come to fetch you to church.


HERO

Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good

Ursula.

Exeunt

 
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