Much Ado About Nothing

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Leonato, with the Constable, Dogberry and the

Headborough, Verges


What would you with me, honest neighbour?
headborough (n.) parish officer, town constable


Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with
confidence (n.) 3 malapropism for ‘conference’

you that decerns you nearly.
decern (v.) malapropism for ‘concern’


Brief, I pray you, for you see it is a busy time

with me.


Marry, this it is, sir.


Yes, in truth it is, sir.


What is it, my good friends?


Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the

matter – 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)

God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest

as the skin between his brows.
brow (n.) 4 forehead [often plural, referring to the two prominences of the forehead]


Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living

that is an old man and no honester than I.


Comparisons are odorous; palabras, neighbour



Neighbours, you are tedious.


It pleases your worship to say so, but we are

the poor Duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part, if

I were as tedious as a king, I could find it in my heart to

bestow it all of your worship.


All thy tediousness on me, ah?


Yea, an't 'twere a thousand pound more than

'tis, for I hear as good exclamation on your worship as
exclamation (n.) 2 malapropism for ‘acclamation’; complaint, outcry

of any man in the city; and though I be but a poor man,

I am glad to hear it.


And so am I.


I would fain know what you have to say.
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count


Marry, sir, our watch tonight, excepting your
tonight (adv.) last night, this past night

worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves
arrant (adj.) downright, absolute, unmitigated See Topics: Frequency count
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

as any in Messina.


A good old man, sir, he will be talking; as they

say, ‘ When the age is in, the wit is out.’ God help us, it is
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

a world to see! Well said, i'faith, neighbour Verges;
world, it is a it's a marvel, it's a great thing

well, God's a good man; an two men ride of a horse, one

must ride behind. An honest soul, i'faith, sir; by my

troth he is, as ever broke bread. But God is to be worshipped;

all men are not alike. Alas, good neighbour!


Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.


Gifts that God gives.


I must leave you.


One word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed

comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would
aspicious (adj.) malapropism for ‘suspicious’ [or ‘auspicious’]
comprehend (v.) 2 malapropism for ‘apprehend’

have them this morning examined before your worship.


Take their examination yourself and bring it

me; I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you.


It shall be suffigance.
suffigance (adj.) malapropism for ‘sufficient’


Drink some wine ere you go. Fare you well.

Enter a Messenger


My lord, they stay for you to give your

daughter to her husband.


I'll wait upon them; I am ready.

Exeunt Leonato and Messenger


Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacoal;

bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol.

We are now to examination these men.
examination (n.) 2 malapropism for ‘examine’


And we must do it wisely.


We will spare for no wit, I warrant you. Here's
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

that shall drive some of them to a non-come; only get
non-come (n.) malapropism for ‘nonplus’ [= state of perplexity]

the learned writer to set down our excommunication,

and meet me at the gaol.


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