Much Ado About Nothing

MA I.i.1.1 
Enter Leonato, Governor of Messina, Hero, his
ado (n.) fuss, business, to-do

MA I.i.1.2 
daughter, Beatrice his niece, with a Messenger



MA I.i.1 
I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Arragon

MA I.i.2 
comes this night to Messina.



MA I.i.3 
He is very near by this; he was not three

MA I.i.4 
leagues off when I left him.



MA I.i.5 
How many gentlemen have you lost in this

MA I.i.6 
action (n.) 1 campaign, military action, strategy



MA I.i.7 
But few of any sort, and none of name.
name (n.) 1 reputation, fame, renown
sort (n.) 1 class, level, social rank



MA I.i.8 
A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings

MA I.i.9 
home full numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath

MA I.i.10 
bestowed much honour on a young Florentine called

MA I.i.11 



MA I.i.12 
Much deserved on his part and equally remembered
equally (adv.) 1 to an equal degree, justly
remember (v.) 3 commemorate, acknowledge, reward, recognize

MA I.i.13 
by Don Pedro. He hath borne himself beyond

MA I.i.14 
the promise of his age, doing, in the figure of a

MA I.i.15 
lamb, the feats of a lion; he hath indeed better bettered

MA I.i.16 
expectation than you must expect of me to tell you how.



MA I.i.17 
He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very

MA I.i.18 
much glad of it.



MA I.i.19 
I have already delivered him letters, and

MA I.i.20 
there appears much joy in him; even so much that joy

MA I.i.21 
could not show itself modest enough without a badge of
modest (adj.) 1 moderate, reasonable, mild, limited

MA I.i.22 



MA I.i.23 
Did he break out into tears?



MA I.i.24 
In great measure.



MA I.i.25 
A kind overflow of kindness; there are no faces
kind (adj.) 1 showing natural feeling, acting by nature

MA I.i.26 
truer than those that are so washed. How much better is

MA I.i.27 
it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!



MA I.i.28 
I pray you, is Signor Mountanto returned from
mountanto (n.) [directional thrust in fencing] fencer, duellist

MA I.i.29 
the wars, or no?



MA I.i.30 
I know none of that name, lady; there was

MA I.i.31 
none such in the army of any sort.
sort (n.) 1 class, level, social rank



MA I.i.32 
What is he that you ask for, niece?



MA I.i.33 
My cousin means Signor Benedick of Padua.



MA I.i.34 
O, he's returned, and as pleasant as ever he
pleasant (adj.) 1 facetious, joking, droll

MA I.i.35 



MA I.i.36 
He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged
bill (n.) 2 notice, label, proclamation, placard

MA I.i.37 
Cupid at the flight; and my uncle's fool, reading
flight (n.) 2 archery contest, flight-shooting

MA I.i.38 
the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him
subscribe for (v.) 1 vouch for, answer on behalf of

MA I.i.39 
at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many hath he killed and
bird-bolt, burbolt (n.) short blunt-headed arrow for shooting birds

MA I.i.40 
eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? For

MA I.i.41 
indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.



MA I.i.42 
Faith, niece, you tax Signor Benedick too much;
tax (v.) 1 censure, blame, take to task, disparage

MA I.i.43 
but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.
meet (adj.) 2 even, quits, revenged [on]



MA I.i.44 
He hath done good service, lady, in these

MA I.i.45 



MA I.i.46 
You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat
victual (n.) (usually plural) provisions, supplies, food and drink

MA I.i.47 
it; he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an excellent
trencher-man (n.) hearty eater, good feeder, man of appetite
valiant (adj.) worthy, fine, hearty

MA I.i.48 



MA I.i.49 
And a good soldier too, lady.



MA I.i.50 
And a good soldier to a lady. But what is he to a

MA I.i.51 



MA I.i.52 
A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stuffed with
stuffed (adj.) 1 full, complete, proven, stored up

MA I.i.53 
all honourable virtues.



MA I.i.54 
It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man;

MA I.i.55 
but for the stuffing – well, we are all mortal.



MA I.i.56 
You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a

MA I.i.57 
kind of merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her;

MA I.i.58 
they never meet but there's a skirmish of wit between
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity

MA I.i.59 



MA I.i.60 
Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict

MA I.i.61 
four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the
halt (v.) limp, proceed lamely
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)

MA I.i.62 
whole man governed with one; so that if he have wit
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability

MA I.i.63 
enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a

MA I.i.64 
difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the
difference (n.) 9 [heraldry] variation, distinguishing mark [on a coat-of-arms]

MA I.i.65 
wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature.

MA I.i.66 
Who is his companion now? He hath every month

MA I.i.67 
a new sworn brother.
brother, sworn companion-in-arms, devoted friend



MA I.i.68 
Is't possible?



MA I.i.69 
Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as
faith (n.) 2 constancy, fidelity, loyalty

MA I.i.70 
the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the next

MA I.i.71 
block (n.) 2 [of hats] style, fashion, shape, mould



MA I.i.72 
I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
book (n.) 6 (plural) good books, favour, regard



MA I.i.73 
No; an he were, I would burn my study. But,

MA I.i.74 
I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young

MA I.i.75 
squarer now that will make a voyage with him to the
squarer (n.) brawler, swaggerer, quarrelsome person

MA I.i.76 



MA I.i.77 
He is most in the company of the right noble

MA I.i.78 



MA I.i.79 
O Lord, he will hang upon him like a disease.

MA I.i.80 
He is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once

MA I.i.81 
runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! If he

MA I.i.82 
have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand

MA I.i.83 
pound ere 'a be cured.



MA I.i.84 
I will hold friends with you, lady.
hold (v.) 2 keep, preserve, conserve



MA I.i.85 
Do, good friend.



MA I.i.86 
You will never run mad, niece.



MA I.i.87 
No, not till a hot January.



MA I.i.88 
Don Pedro is approached.

MA I.i.89.1 
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthasar, and

MA I.i.89.2 
Don John the Bastard



MA I.i.89 
Good Signor Leonato, are you come to meet

MA I.i.90 
your trouble? The fashion of the world is to avoid cost,
cost (n.) 1 outlay, expense, expenditure

MA I.i.91 
and you encounter it.
encounter (v.) 2 approach, go to, move towards



MA I.i.92 
Never came trouble to my house in the likeness

MA I.i.93 
of your grace; for trouble being gone, comfort should

MA I.i.94 
remain; but when you depart from me sorrow abides,

MA I.i.95 
and happiness takes his leave.



MA I.i.96 
You embrace your charge too willingly. I
charge (n.) 7 expense, cost, outlay
embrace (v.) 2 accept, avail oneself of

MA I.i.97 
think this is your daughter.



MA I.i.98 
Her mother hath many times told me so.



MA I.i.99 
Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?



MA I.i.100 
Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.



MA I.i.101 
You have it full, Benedick; we may guess by
full (adv.) 1 fully, completely, properly

MA I.i.102 
this what you are, being a man. Truly, the lady fathers
father (v.) 1 show one's paternal origin, resemble one's father

MA I.i.103 
herself. Be happy, lady; for you are like an honourable

MA I.i.104 



MA I.i.105 
If Signor Leonato be her father, she would not

MA I.i.106 
have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, as like

MA I.i.107 
him as she is.



MA I.i.108 
I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually

MA I.i.109 
Benedick; nobody marks you.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of]



MA I.i.110 
What, my dear Lady Disdain! Are you yet

MA I.i.111 



MA I.i.112 
Is it possible disdain should die while she hath

MA I.i.113 
such meet food to feed it as Signor Benedick? Courtesy
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper

MA I.i.114 
itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her
convert (v.) change, transform, alter

MA I.i.115 



MA I.i.116 
Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I

MA I.i.117 
am loved of all ladies, only you excepted; and I would

MA I.i.118 
I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for,

MA I.i.119 
truly, I love none.



MA I.i.120 
A dear happiness to women; they would else
dear (adj.) 3 of great worth, valuable, precious
happiness (n.) 1 good luck, success, good fortune

MA I.i.121 
have been troubled with a pernicious suitor! I thank

MA I.i.122 
God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that;
blood (n.) 5 disposition, temper, mood
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids]

MA I.i.123 
I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear

MA I.i.124 
he loves me.



MA I.i.125 
God keep your ladyship still in that mind!
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually

MA I.i.126 
So some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate
predestinate (adj.) fated, predestined, predictable
scape, 'scape (v.) escape, avoid

MA I.i.127 
scratched face.



MA I.i.128 
Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere

MA I.i.129 
such a face as yours were.



MA I.i.130 
Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
parrot-teacher (n.) chatterer, babbler, empty talker
rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent



MA I.i.131 
A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of

MA I.i.132 



MA I.i.133 
I would my horse had the speed of your tongue,

MA I.i.134 
and so good a continuer. But keep your way a' God's
continuer (n.) someone with staying-power, person who keeps going

MA I.i.135 
name, I have done.



MA I.i.136 
You always end with a jade's trick; I know you
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag

MA I.i.137 
of old.



MA I.i.138 
That is the sum of all, Leonato. Signor

MA I.i.139 
Claudio and Signor Benedick, my dear friend Leonato

MA I.i.140 
hath invited you all. I tell him we shall stay here at the

MA I.i.141 
least a month, and he heartily prays some occasion may

MA I.i.142 
detain us longer. I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but

MA I.i.143 
prays from his heart.



MA I.i.144 
If you swear, my lord, you shall not be
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word

MA I.i.145 
forsworn. (To Don John) Let me bid you welcome, my

MA I.i.146 
lord, being reconciled to the Prince your brother. I owe

MA I.i.147 
you all duty.



MA I.i.148 
I thank you. I am not of many words, but I

MA I.i.149 
thank you.



MA I.i.150 
Please it your grace lead on?



MA I.i.151 
Your hand, Leonato; we will go together.

MA I.i.151 
Exeunt all except Benedick and Claudio



MA I.i.152 
Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signor

MA I.i.153 



MA I.i.154 
I noted her not, but I looked on her.
note (v.) 1 observe, pay attention [to], take special note [of]



MA I.i.155 
Is she not a modest young lady?



MA I.i.156 
Do you question me as an honest man should

MA I.i.157 
do, for my simple true judgement? Or would you have

MA I.i.158 
me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant
tyrant (n.) 1 pitiless ruffian, cruel villain

MA I.i.159 
to their sex?



MA I.i.160 
No, I pray thee speak in sober judgement.
sober (adj.) 2 serious, sincere, not playful



MA I.i.161 
Why, i'faith, methinks she's too low for a
low (adj.) 2 short, small
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me

MA I.i.162 
high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little for

MA I.i.163 
a great praise; only this commendation I can afford her,

MA I.i.164 
that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome;

MA I.i.165 
and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.



MA I.i.166 
Thou thinkest I am in sport; I pray thee tell me
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment

MA I.i.167 
truly how thou likest her.



MA I.i.168 
Would you buy her, that you inquire after her?



MA I.i.169 
Can the world buy such a jewel?



MA I.i.170 
Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you

MA I.i.171 
this with a sad brow? Or do you play the flouting Jack,
brow (n.) 1 appearance, aspect, countenance
flouting (adj.) mocking, scoffing, scornful
Jack (n.) 1 Jack-in-office, ill-mannered fellow, lout, knave
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn

MA I.i.172 
to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare

MA I.i.173 
carpenter? Come, in what key shall a man take you to go
go (v.) 7 join, follow, be in tune

MA I.i.174 
in the song?



MA I.i.175 
In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I

MA I.i.176 
looked on.



MA I.i.177 
I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no

MA I.i.178 
such matter; there's her cousin, an she were not possessed

MA I.i.179 
with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty as the

MA I.i.180 
first of May doth the last of December. But I hope you

MA I.i.181 
have no intent to turn husband, have you?
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim



MA I.i.182 
I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn

MA I.i.183 
the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.



MA I.i.184 
Is't come to this? In faith, hath not the world

MA I.i.185 
one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion? Shall

MA I.i.186 
I never see a bachelor of threescore again? Go to, i'faith;

MA I.i.187 
an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the

MA I.i.188 
print of it, and sigh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro
print (n.) imprint, image, stamped impression

MA I.i.189 
is returned to seek you.

MA I.i.189 
Enter Don Pedro



MA I.i.190 
What secret hath held you here, that you

MA I.i.191 
followed not to Leonato's?



MA I.i.192 
I would your grace would constrain me to tell.



MA I.i.193 
I charge thee on thy allegiance.



MA I.i.194 
You hear, Count Claudio; I can be secret as a

MA I.i.195 
dumb man, I would have you think so; but, on my allegiance,

MA I.i.196 
mark you this, on my allegiance – he is in love.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of]

MA I.i.197 
With who? Now that is your grace's part. Mark how short

MA I.i.198 
his answer is: With Hero, Leonato's short daughter.



MA I.i.199 
If this were so, so were it uttered.



MA I.i.200 
Like the old tale, my lord: 'It is not so, nor

MA I.i.201 
'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so!



MA I.i.202 
If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it

MA I.i.203 
should be otherwise!



MA I.i.204 
Amen, if you love her; for the lady is very

MA I.i.205 
well worthy.



MA I.i.206 
You speak this to fetch me in, my lord.
fetch in (v.) 3 lead on, take in, trick into a confession



MA I.i.207 
By my troth, I speak my thought.



MA I.i.208 
And in faith, my lord, I spoke mine.



MA I.i.209 
And by my two faiths and troths, my lord, I

MA I.i.210 
spoke mine.



MA I.i.211 
That I love her, I feel.



MA I.i.212 
That she is worthy, I know.



MA I.i.213 
That I neither feel how she should be loved,

MA I.i.214 
nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that

MA I.i.215 
fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.



MA I.i.216 
Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the

MA I.i.217 
despite of beauty.
despite (n.) 1 contempt, scorn, disdain



MA I.i.218 
And never could maintain his part but in the

MA I.i.219 
force of his will.



MA I.i.220 
That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that

MA I.i.221 
she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble

MA I.i.222 
thanks; but that I will have a recheat winded in my
recheat (n.) horn call for bringing hounds together
wind (v.) 2 sound, blow

MA I.i.223 
forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all
baldric, baldrick (n.) leather shoulder belt, strap [for holding a bugle, sword, etc]

MA I.i.224 
women shall pardon me. Because I will not do them the

MA I.i.225 
wrong to mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust

MA I.i.226 
none; and the fine is, for the which I may go the finer, I
fine (adj.) 2 finely clothed, smartly dressed
fine (n.) 1 outcome, final result, conclusion

MA I.i.227 
will live a bachelor.



MA I.i.228 
I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.



MA I.i.229 
With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, my

MA I.i.230 
lord, not with love. Prove that ever I lose more blood

MA I.i.231 
with love than I will get again with drinking, pick out

MA I.i.232 
mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen and hang me up

MA I.i.233 
at the door of a brothel-house for the sign of blind

MA I.i.234 



MA I.i.235 
Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith,

MA I.i.236 
thou wilt prove a notable argument.
argument (n.) 1 subject of conversation, subject-matter, topic



MA I.i.237 
If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot
bottle (n.) 2 wicker basket

MA I.i.238 
at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the

MA I.i.239 
shoulder, and called Adam.



MA I.i.240 
Well, as time shall try:
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out

MA I.i.241 
‘ In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.’



MA I.i.242 
The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible

MA I.i.243 
Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns and set them

MA I.i.244 
in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted; and in such

MA I.i.245 
great letters as they write ‘ Here is good horse to hire,’

MA I.i.246 
let them signify under my sign ‘ Here you may see

MA I.i.247 
Benedick the married man.’



MA I.i.248 
If this should ever happen, thou wouldst be

MA I.i.249 
horn-mad (adj.) [as of horned beasts] furious, enraged, raving mad



MA I.i.250 
Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in

MA I.i.251 
Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.



MA I.i.252 
I look for an earthquake too, then.



MA I.i.253 
Well, you temporize with the hours. In
temporize (v.) 1 compromise, conform, become amenable

MA I.i.254 
the meantime, good Signor Benedick, repair to Leonato's,
repair (v.) 1 come, go, make one's way

MA I.i.255 
commend me to him and tell him I will not fail
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards

MA I.i.256 
him at supper; for indeed he hath made great

MA I.i.257 



MA I.i.258 
I have almost matter enough in me for such an
matter (n.) 6 means, capacity, wherewithal

MA I.i.259 
embassage; and so I commit you –
embassage, ambassage (n.) message, errand, business, mission



MA I.i.260 
To the tuition of God. From my house, if I had
tuition (n.) care, safe-keeping, protection

MA I.i.261 
it –



MA I.i.262 
The sixth of July. Your loving friend,

MA I.i.263 



MA I.i.264 
Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your

MA I.i.265 
discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the
guarded (adj.) ornamented, trimmed, tricked out
sometime (adv.) 2 sometimes, now and then

MA I.i.266 
guards are but slightly basted on neither. Ere you flout
baste (v.) sew loosely, tack together, stitch up
flout (v.) insult, abuse, mock
guard (n.) 5 trimming, trapping, adornment

MA I.i.267 
old ends any further, examine your conscience; and so I
end (n.) 5 scrap, fragment, tag, ending

MA I.i.268 
leave you.

MA I.i.268 



MA I.i.269 
My liege, your highness now may do me good.
good, do one 1 make prosper, enable to succeed



MA I.i.270 
My love is thine to teach; teach it but how,

MA I.i.271 
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
apt (adj.) 1 fit, ready, prepared

MA I.i.272 
Any hard lesson that may do thee good.



MA I.i.273 
Hath Leonato any son, my lord?



MA I.i.274 
No child but Hero; she's his only heir.

MA I.i.275.1 
Dost thou affect her, Claudio?
affect (v.) 2 love, like, be fond of



MA I.i.275.2 
                         O, my lord,

MA I.i.276 
When you went onward on this ended action,
action (n.) 1 campaign, military action, strategy

MA I.i.277 
I looked upon her with a soldier's eye,

MA I.i.278 
That liked, but had a rougher task in hand

MA I.i.279 
Than to drive liking to the name of love;

MA I.i.280 
But now I am returned and that war-thoughts

MA I.i.281 
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms

MA I.i.282 
Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
delicate (adj.) 5 pleasure-seeking, voluptuous, self-indulgent

MA I.i.283 
All prompting me how fair young Hero is,
prompt (v.) remind, put in mind, make reflect

MA I.i.284 
Saying I liked her ere I went to wars.



MA I.i.285 
Thou wilt be like a lover presently
presently (adv.) 2 after a short time, soon, before long

MA I.i.286 
And tire the hearer with a book of words.

MA I.i.287 
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,

MA I.i.288 
And I will break with her and with her father
break (v.) 2 broach a matter, speak

MA I.i.289 
And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end

MA I.i.290 
That thou began'st to twist so fine a story?



MA I.i.291 
How sweetly you do minister to love,

MA I.i.292 
That know love's grief by his complexion!
complexion (n.) 1 appearance, look, colouring

MA I.i.293 
But lest my liking might too sudden seem,

MA I.i.294 
I would have salved it with a longer treatise.
salve (v.) 2 make more acceptable, soften down, account for
treatise (n.) story, tale, narrative



MA I.i.295 
What need the bridge much broader than the flood?

MA I.i.296 
The fairest grant is the necessity.
grant (n.) 2 granting, gift, reason for agreeing to a request

MA I.i.297 
Look what will serve is fit. 'Tis once, thou lovest,
once (adv.) 1 once and for all, in a word

MA I.i.298 
And I will fit thee with the remedy.
fit (v.) 4 supply [with what is fit], satisfy

MA I.i.299 
I know we shall have revelling tonight;

MA I.i.300 
I will assume thy part in some disguise

MA I.i.301 
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio,

MA I.i.302 
And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart,
bosom, in one's privately, intimately
unclasp (v.) reveal, display, divulge

MA I.i.303 
And take her hearing prisoner with the force

MA I.i.304 
And strong encounter of my amorous tale.
amorous (adj.) expressing love

MA I.i.305 
Then after, to her father will I break,
break (v.) 2 broach a matter, speak

MA I.i.306 
And the conclusion is, she shall be thine.

MA I.i.307 
In practise let us put it presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once

MA I.i.307 

Next scene