Much Ado About Nothing


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

Headborough, Verges


LEONATO

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


DOGBERRY

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

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


LEONATO

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

with me.


DOGBERRY

Marry, this it is, sir.


VERGES

Yes, in truth it is, sir.


LEONATO

What is it, my good friends?


DOGBERRY

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]


VERGES

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

that is an old man and no honester than I.


DOGBERRY

Comparisons are odorous; palabras, neighbour

Verges.


LEONATO

Neighbours, you are tedious.


DOGBERRY

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.


LEONATO

All thy tediousness on me, ah?


DOGBERRY

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.


VERGES

And so am I.


LEONATO

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


VERGES

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.


DOGBERRY

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!


LEONATO

Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.


DOGBERRY

Gifts that God gives.


LEONATO

I must leave you.


DOGBERRY

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.


LEONATO

Take their examination yourself and bring it

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


DOGBERRY

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


LEONATO

Drink some wine ere you go. Fare you well.

Enter a Messenger


MESSENGER

My lord, they stay for you to give your

daughter to her husband.


LEONATO

I'll wait upon them; I am ready.

Exeunt Leonato and Messenger


DOGBERRY

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’


VERGES

And we must do it wisely.


DOGBERRY

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.

Exeunt

 
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