Much Ado About Nothing


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato


DON PEDRO

I do but stay till your marriage be consummate,

and then go I toward Arragon.


CLAUDIO

I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll vouchsafe
bring (v.) 1 accompany, conduct, escort
vouchsafe (v.) 1 allow, permit, grant See Topics: Politeness

me.


DON PEDRO

Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new
soil (n.) 1 blemish, stain, tarnish

gloss of your marriage as to show a child his new coat

and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick
bold, be / make presume, venture, take the liberty

for his company; for, from the crown of his head

to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or

thrice cut Cupid's bow-string and the little hangman
hangman (n.) rascal, rogue, reprobate

dare not shoot at him. He hath a heart as sound as a

bell and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart

thinks his tongue speaks.


BENEDICK

Gallants, I am not as I have been.


LEONATO

So say I; methinks you are sadder.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count


CLAUDIO

I hope he be in love.


DON PEDRO

Hang him, truant! There's no true drop of
truant (n.) 2 rogue, knave, rascal

blood in him to be truly touched with love; if he be sad,
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

he wants money.
want (v.) 3 fall short [of], be deficient [in]


BENEDICK

I have the toothache.


DON PEDRO

Draw it.


BENEDICK

Hang it!


CLAUDIO

You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.


DON PEDRO

What! Sigh for the toothache?


LEONATO

Where is but a humour or a worm.
humour (n.) 5 secretion, fluid, juice
worm (n.) 2 germ, microbe, bug


BENEDICK

Well, everyone can master a grief but he that
grief (n.) 2 pain, torment, distress

has it.


CLAUDIO

Yet say I, he is in love.


DON PEDRO

There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation

it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as to
fancy (n.) 7 whim, inclination, caprice

be a Dutchman today, a Frenchman tomorrow, or in the

shape of two countries at once, as, a German from the

waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard from the hip
slop, slops (n.) large loose breeches, baggy trousers See Topics: Clothing

upward, no doublet. Unless he have a fancy to this
fancy (n.) 7 whim, inclination, caprice

foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation

you would have it appear he is.


CLAUDIO

If he be not in love with some woman, there is

no believing old signs. 'A brushes his hat o' mornings;

what should that bode?
bode (v.) 1 forebode, portend, predict, augur


DON PEDRO

Hath any man seen him at the barber's?


CLAUDIO

No, but the barber's man hath been seen with

him and the old ornament of his cheek hath already

stuffed tennis-balls.


LEONATO

Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the

loss of a beard.


DON PEDRO

Nay, 'a rubs himself with civet; can you smell
civet (n.) type of musky perfume [obtained form the civet cat]

him out by that?


CLAUDIO

That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in

love.


DON PEDRO

The greatest note of it is his melancholy.


CLAUDIO

And when was he wont to wash his face?
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count


DON PEDRO

Yea, or to paint himself? For the which, I hear

what they say of him.


CLAUDIO

Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept

into a lute-string and now governed by stops.
stop (n.) 4 means of closing a finger-hole in a wind instrument


DON PEDRO

Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him; conclude,
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

conclude he is in love.


CLAUDIO

Nay, but I know who loves him.


DON PEDRO

That would I know too; I warrant, one that
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

knows him not.


CLAUDIO

Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all,
condition (n.) 2 quality, behaviour, attribute, habit
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

dies for him.
die (v.) 2 suffer pain, go through agony


DON PEDRO

She shall be buried with her face upwards.


BENEDICK

Yet is this no charm for the toothache. Old

signor, walk aside with me; I have studied eight or nine

wise words to speak to you, which these hobby-horses
hobby-horse (n.) 2 buffoon, clown, joker

must not hear.

Exeunt Benedick and Leonato


DON PEDRO

For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
break (v.) 2 broach a matter, speak


CLAUDIO

'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this
this, by by this time

played their parts with Beatrice, and then the two bears

will not bite one another when they meet.

Enter Don John


DON JOHN

My lord and brother, God save you!


DON PEDRO

Good-e'en, brother.


DON JOHN

If your leisure served, I would speak with you.


DON PEDRO

In private?


DON JOHN

If it please you; yet Count Claudio may hear,

for what I would speak of concerns him.


DON PEDRO

What's the matter?


DON JOHN

(to Claudio)

Means your lordship to be

married tomorrow?


DON PEDRO

You know he does.


DON JOHN

I know not that, when he knows what I know.


CLAUDIO

If there be any impediment, I pray you discover
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count

it.


DON JOHN

You may think I love you not; let that appear

hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will
aim at (v.) judge, consider, rate

manifest. For my brother, I think he holds you well,
hold (v.) 10 consider, regard, esteem, value [as]

and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing
dearness (n.) affection, fondness, warmth

marriage – surely suit ill spent, and labour ill bestowed!
ill (adv.) 1 badly, adversely, unfavourably See Topics: Frequency count
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship


DON PEDRO

Why, what's the matter?


DON JOHN

I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances
circumstance (n.) 1 detail(s), particular(s), specifics

shortened, for she has been too long a talking of, the
shorten (v.) 3 omit, ignore, leave out

lady is disloyal.
disloyal (adj.) unfaithful, adulterous, two-timing


CLAUDIO

Who, Hero?


DON PEDRO

Even she – Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every

man's Hero.


CLAUDIO

Disloyal?


DON JOHN

The word is too good to paint out her wickedness.
paint out (v.) display, depict fully, portray

I could say she were worse; think you of a worse

title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further
wonder (v.) 1 marvel [at], be astonished [at]

warrant. Go but with me tonight, you shall see her
warrant (n.) 3 token, sign, evidence, proof

chamber-window entered, even the night before her

wedding-day. If you love her then, tomorrow wed her;

but it would better fit your honour to change your mind.


CLAUDIO

May this be so?


DON PEDRO

I will not think it.


DON JOHN

If you dare not trust that you see, confess not

that you know. If you will follow me, I will show you

enough; and when you have seen more and heard more,

proceed accordingly.


CLAUDIO

If I see any thing tonight why I should not

marry her, tomorrow in the congregation, where I

should wed, there will I shame her.


DON PEDRO

And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will

join with thee to disgrace her.


DON JOHN

I will disparage her no farther till you are my

witness; bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the
coldly (adv.) 1 calmly, coolly, objectively, rationally

issue show itself.
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count


DON PEDRO

O day untowardly turned!
turn (v.) 1 change, transform, alter
untowardly (adv.) unluckily, unfavourably, wretchedly


CLAUDIO

O mischief strangely thwarting!
strangely (adv.) 3 unaccountably, surprisingly, unusually


DON JOHN

O plague right well prevented! So will you say

when you have seen the sequel.

Exeunt

 
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