Much Ado About Nothing

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Leonato, and the Constable, and the Enter Leonato, with the Constable, Dogberry and the MA III.v.1.1
Headborough. Headborough, Vergesheadborough (n.)
parish officer, town constable
MA III.v.1.2
Leonato. LEONATO 
What would you with mee, honest neighbour?What would you with me, honest neighbour? MA III.v.1
Const. Dog. DOGBERRY 
Mary sir I would haue some confidence with Marry, sir, I would have some confidence withmarry (int.)
[exclamation] by Mary
MA III.v.2
confidence (n.)
malapropism for ‘conference’
you, that decernes you that decerns you nearly.decern (v.)

old form: decernes
malapropism for ‘concern’
MA III.v.3
Briefe I pray you, for you see it is a busie timeBrief, I pray you, for you see it is a busy time MA III.v.4
with me.with me. MA III.v.5
Const. Dog. DOGBERRY 
Mary this it is sir.Marry, this it is, sir. MA III.v.6
Headb. VERGES 
Yes in truth it is sir.Yes, in truth it is, sir. MA III.v.7
What is it my good friends?What is it, my good friends? MA III.v.8
Goodman Verges sir speakes a little of theGoodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off thegoodman (adj.)
[title for a person under the rank of gentleman] mister, master
MA III.v.9
matter, an old man sir, and his wits are not so blunt, asmatter – an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt as,wits, also five wits
faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)
MA III.v.10
God helpe I would desire they were, but infaith honestGod help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest MA III.v.11
as the skin betweene his the skin between his brows.brow (n.)

old form: browes
forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]
MA III.v.12
Yes I thank God, I am as honest as any man liuing, Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living MA III.v.13
that is an old man, and no honester then I.that is an old man and no honester than I. MA III.v.14
Comparisons are odorous, palabras, neighbour Comparisons are odorous; palabras, neighbour MA III.v.15
Verges.Verges. MA III.v.16
Neighbours, you are tedious.Neighbours, you are tedious. MA III.v.17
It pleases your worship to say so, but we areIt pleases your worship to say so, but we are MA III.v.18
the poore Dukes officers, but truely for mine owne part, if the poor Duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part, if MA III.v.19
I were as tedious as a King I could finde in my heart toI were as tedious as a king, I could find it in my heart to MA III.v.20
bestow it all of your worship.bestow it all of your worship. MA III.v.21
All thy tediousnesse on me, ah?All thy tediousness on me, ah? MA III.v.22
Const.Dog. DOGBERRY 
Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more than Yea, an't 'twere a thousand pound more than MA III.v.23
'tis, for I heare as good exclamation on your Worship as 'tis, for I hear as good exclamation on your worship asexclamation (n.)
malapropism for ‘acclamation’; complaint, outcry
MA III.v.24
of any man in the Citie, and though I bee but a poore man, of any man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, MA III.v.25
I am glad to heare it.I am glad to hear it. MA III.v.26
And so am I.And so am I. MA III.v.27
I would faine know what you haue to say.I would fain know what you have to say.fain (adv.)

old form: faine
gladly, willingly
MA III.v.28
Marry sir our watch to night, excepting yourMarry, sir, our watch tonight, excepting yourtonight (adv.)

old form: to night
last night, this past night
MA III.v.29
worships presence, haue tane a couple of as arrant knaues worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant knavesknave (n.)

old form: knaues
scoundrel, rascal, rogue
MA III.v.30
arrant (adj.)
downright, absolute, unmitigated
as any in any in Messina. MA III.v.31
A good old man sir, hee will be talking as they A good old man, sir, he will be talking; as they MA III.v.32
say, when the age is in the wit is out, God helpe vs, it is say, ‘ When the age is in, the wit is out.’ God help us, it iswit (n.)
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
MA III.v.33
a world to see: well said yfaith neighbour Verges,a world to see! Well said, i'faith, neighbour Verges;world, it is a
it's a marvel, it's a great thing
MA III.v.34
well, God's a good man, and two men ride of a horse, one well, God's a good man; an two men ride of a horse, oneand, an (conj.)
if, whether
MA III.v.35
must ride behinde, an honest soule yfaith sir, by mymust ride behind. An honest soul, i'faith, sir; by my MA III.v.36
troth he is, as euer broke bread, but God is to bee worshipt, troth he is, as ever broke bread. But God is to be worshipped;troth, by my
by my truth [exclamation emphasizing an assertion]
MA III.v.37
all men are not alike, alas good neighbour.all men are not alike. Alas, good neighbour! MA III.v.38
Indeed neighbour he comes too short of you.Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you. MA III.v.39
Gifts that God giues.Gifts that God gives. MA III.v.40
I must leaue you.I must leave you. MA III.v.41
One word sir, our watch sir haue indeedeOne word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed MA III.v.42
comprehended two aspitious persons, & we would comprehended two aspicious persons, and we wouldaspicious (adj.)

old form: aspitious
malapropism for ‘suspicious’ [or ‘auspicious’]
MA III.v.43
comprehend (v.)
malapropism for ‘apprehend’
haue them this morning examined before your worship.have them this morning examined before your worship. MA III.v.44
Take their examination your selfe, and bring itTake their examination yourself and bring it MA III.v.45
me, I am now in great haste, as may appeare vnto; I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you. MA III.v.46
It shall be suffigance. It shall be suffigance.suffigance (adj.)
malapropism for ‘sufficient’
MA III.v.47
Drinke some wine ere you goe: fare you well. Drink some wine ere you go. Fare you well.fare ... well (int.)
goodbye [to an individual]
MA III.v.48
Enter a Messenger MA III.v.48
Messenger. MESSENGER 
My Lord, they stay for you to giue yourMy lord, they stay for you to give your MA III.v.49
daughter to her husband.daughter to her husband. MA III.v.50
Ile wait vpon them, I am ready.I'll wait upon them; I am ready. MA III.v.51
Exit.Exeunt Leonato and Messenger MA III.v.51
Goe good partner, goe get you to Francis Seacoale, Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacoal; MA III.v.52
bid him bring his pen and inkehorne to the Gaole:bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol. MA III.v.53
we are now to examine those men.We are now to examination these men.examination (n.)
malapropism for ‘examine’
MA III.v.54
Verges. VERGES 
And we must doe it wisely.And we must do it wisely. MA III.v.55
Wee will spare for no witte I warrant you: heere's We will spare for no wit, I warrant you. Here'swit (n.)

old form: witte
intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability
MA III.v.56
warrant (v.)
assure, promise, guarantee, confirm
that shall driue some of them to a non-come, only get that shall drive some of them to a non-come; only getnon-come (n.)
malapropism for ‘nonplus’ [= state of perplexity]
MA III.v.57
the learned writer to set downe our excommunication, the learned writer to set down our excommunication, MA III.v.58
and meet me at the Iaile. and meet me at the gaol. MA III.v.59
Exeunt.Exeunt MA III.v.59
 Previous Act III, Scene V Next  

Jump directly to