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BEATRICE

I am stuffed, cousin. I cannot smell.

BEATRICE

Sorry, I’m all stuffed. I can’t smell a thing.

MARGARET

A maid, and stuffed! There’s goodly catching of cold.

MARGARET

Oh, just a young lady and already

stuffed!

Margaret makes an obscene pun on the word “stuffed.”

stuffed!
That’s a nice way to catch a cold.

BEATRICE

Oh, God help me, God help me! How long have you
professed apprehension?

BEATRICE

Oh, God help me! Since when have you claimed to be such a great wit?

MARGARET

55Even since you left it. Doth not my wit become me rarely?

MARGARET

Ever since you lost yours. Doesn’t my wit suit me well?

BEATRICE

It is not seen enough; you should wear it in your cap. By my
troth, I am sick.

BEATRICE

It doesn’t get seen enough; you should wear it in your cap, the way fools wear coxcombs. God, I’m really sick.

MARGARET

Get you some of this distilled carduus benedictus and lay it
to your heart. It is the only thing for a qualm.

MARGARET

You should get some distilled

carduus benedictus

carduus benedictus = holy thistle, a medicinal herb good for the heart.

carduus benedictus
and put it on your chest. It’s the only way to cure a sudden faintness.

HERO

60There thou prick’st her with a thistle.

HERO

With that you’ve managed to prick her with a thistle.

BEATRICE

Benedictus! Why benedictus? You have some moral in this
benedictus?

BEATRICE

Benedictus! Why do you suggest I use benedictus? Is there some double meaning in that word, “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
65are 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
70become 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.

MARGARET

Double meaning! No, honestly, there’s no other meaning. I just meant that you should use some holy thistle. Maybe you think that I think you’re in love. No, by Our Lady, I’m not such a fool to think what I please, and I don’t please to think what I can, and in fact I cannot think, even if I could think my heart right past thinking, that you are in love or that you will be in love or even that you can be in love. But Benedick was once an enemy of love as well, and now he’s become a real man. He swore that he’d never get married, but now, despite his earlier protestations, he loves ungrudgingly. How we’re going to convert you I’ll never know. And yet I think you look with your eyes just like every other woman does.