Much Ado About Nothing

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Modern text


Key line

Enter the Constables, Borachio, and the Towne Clerke in gownes.Enter Dogberry, Verges, and the Sexton, in gowns; MA IV.ii.1.1
and the Watch, with Conrade and Borachio MA IV.ii.1.2
Is our whole dissembly appeard?Is our whole dissembly appeared?dissembly (n.)
malapropism for ‘assembly’
MA IV.ii.1
Cowley. VERGES 
O a stoole and a cushion for the Sexton.O, a stool and a cushion for the Sexton. MA IV.ii.2
Sexton. SEXTON 
Which be the malefactors?Which be the malefactors? MA IV.ii.3
Marry that am I, and my partner.Marry, that am I and my partner.marry (int.)
[exclamation] by Mary
MA IV.ii.4
Cowley. VERGES 
Nay that's certaine, wee haue the exhibition to Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibition toexhibition (n.)
malapropism for ‘commission’
MA IV.ii.5
examine.examine. MA IV.ii.6
Sexton. SEXTON 
But which are the offenders that are to be But which are the offenders that are to be MA IV.ii.7
examined, let them come before master Constable.examined? Let them come before Master Constable. MA IV.ii.8
Yea marry, let them come before mee, what isYea, marry, let them come before me. What is MA IV.ii.9
your name, friend?your name, friend? MA IV.ii.10
Borachio.Borachio. MA IV.ii.11
Pray write downe Borachio. Yours sirra.Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours, sirrah?sirrah (n.)
sir [commanding, insulting, or familiar, depending on context]
MA IV.ii.12
I am a Gentleman sir, and my name is I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is MA IV.ii.13
Conrade.Conrade. MA IV.ii.14
Write downe Master gentleman Conrade: Write down Master Gentleman Conrade. MA IV.ii.15
maisters, doe you serue God: Masters, do you serve God? MA IV.ii.16
Yea, sir, we hope. MA IV.ii.17
Write down, that they hope they serve God – MA IV.ii.18
and write God first, for God defend but God should godefend (v.)
forbid, prohibit
MA IV.ii.19
maisters, it is proued alreadie that before such villains! Masters, it is proved already that MA IV.ii.20
you are little better than false knaues, and it will goe neere you are little better than false knaves, and it will go nearknave (n.)

old form: knaues
scoundrel, rascal, rogue
MA IV.ii.21
false (adj.)
treacherous, traitorous, perfidious
to be thought so shortly, how answer you for to be thought so shortly. How answer you for MA IV.ii.22
your selues?yourselves? MA IV.ii.23
Marry sir, we say we are none.Marry, sir, we say we are none. MA IV.ii.24
A maruellous witty fellow I assure you, but A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; butmarvellous (adv.)

old form: maruellous
very, extremely, exceedingly
MA IV.ii.25
witty (adj.)
crafty, cunning, wily
I will goe about with him: come you hither sirra, a I will go about with him. Come you hither, sirrah; ago about with (v.)

old form: goe
get the better of, set to work on
MA IV.ii.26
sirrah (n.)
sir [commanding, insulting, or familiar, depending on context]
word in your eare sir, I say to you, it is thought you are word in your ear. Sir, I say to you, it is thought you are MA IV.ii.27
false knaues.false knaves.knave (n.)

old form: knaues
scoundrel, rascal, rogue
MA IV.ii.28
Sir, I say to you, we are none.Sir, I say to you we are none. MA IV.ii.29
Well, stand aside, 'fore God they are both inWell, stand aside. 'Fore God, they are both in MA IV.ii.30
a tale: haue you writ downe that they are none?a tale. Have you writ down, that they are none?tale, in a
in agreement, unanimous, in accord
MA IV.ii.31
Master Constable, you goe not the way to examine, Master Constable, you go not the way to examine; MA IV.ii.32
you must call forth the watch that are their must call forth the watch that are their accusers. MA IV.ii.33
Yea marry, that's the eftest way, let the watchYea, marry, that's the eftest way; let the watcheftest (adj.)
[unclear malapropism] quickest, most convenient
MA IV.ii.34
come forth: masters, I charge you in the Princes name,come forth. Masters, I charge you in the Prince's name, MA IV.ii.35
accuse these men.accuse these men. MA IV.ii.36
This man said sir, that Don Iohn This man said, sir, that Don John, MA IV.ii.37
the Princes brother was a villaine.the Prince's brother, was a villain. MA IV.ii.38
Write down, Prince Iohn a villaine: why this is Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this is MA IV.ii.39
flat periurie, to call a Princes brother villaine.flat perjury, to call a Prince's brother villain. MA IV.ii.40
Master Constable.Master Constable – MA IV.ii.41
Pray thee fellow peace, I do not like thy Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like thy MA IV.ii.42
looke I promise thee.look, I promise thee. MA IV.ii.43
Sexton. SEXTON 
What heard you him say else?What heard you him say else? MA IV.ii.44
Mary that he had receiued a Marry, that he had received a MA IV.ii.45
thousand Dukates of Don Iohn, for accusing the Lady thousand ducats of Don John for accusing the Ladyducat (n.)
gold (sometimes silver) coin used in several European countries
MA IV.ii.46
Hero wrongfully.Hero wrongfully. MA IV.ii.47
Flat Burglarie as euer was committed.Flat burglary as ever was committed. MA IV.ii.48
Const. VERGES 
Yea by th'masse that it is.Yea, by mass, that it is. MA IV.ii.49
Sexton. SEXTON 
What else fellow?What else, fellow? MA IV.ii.450
And that Count Claudio did meane And that Count Claudio did mean, MA IV.ii.51
vpon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole MA IV.ii.52
assembly, and not marry her.assembly, and not marry her. MA IV.ii.53
O villaine! thou wilt be condemn'd into euerlasting O villain! Thou wilt be condemned into everlasting MA IV.ii.54
redemption for this.redemption for this. MA IV.ii.55
Sexton. SEXTON 
What else?What else? MA IV.ii.56
This is all.This is all. MA IV.ii.57
Sexton. SEXTON 
And this is more masters then you can deny,And this is more, masters, than you can deny. MA IV.ii.58
Prince Iohn is this morning secretly stolne away: HeroPrince John is this morning secretly stolen away; Hero MA IV.ii.59
was in this manner accus'd, in this very manner refus'd,was in this manner accused, in this very manner refused,refuse (v.)

old form: refus'd
spurn, disown, cast off
MA IV.ii.60
and vpon the griefe of this sodainely died: Master Constable, and upon the grief of this suddenly died. Master Constable, MA IV.ii.61
let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato,let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato's; MA IV.ii.62
I will goe before, and shew him their I will go before and show him their MA IV.ii.63
examination.examination. MA IV.ii.64
Const. Exit MA IV.ii.64
Come, let them be opinion'd.Come, let them be opinioned.opinioned (adj.)

old form: opinion'd
malapropism for ‘pinioned’
MA IV.ii.65
Let them be in the hands Let them be – in the hands. MA IV.ii.66
of Coxcombe.Off, coxcomb!coxcomb (n.)
fool's head, fool, simpleton
MA IV.ii.67
Gods my life, where's the Sexton? let him God's my life, where's the Sexton? Let him MA IV.ii.68
write downe the Princes Officer Coxcombe: come, binde write down the Prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind MA IV.ii.69
them thou naughty varlet.them. Thou naughty varlet!naughty (adj.)
wicked, evil, vile
MA IV.ii.70
Couley. CONRADE 
Away, you are an asse, you are an asse.Away! You are an ass, you are an ass. MA IV.ii.71
Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thouplace (n.)
position, post, office, rank
MA IV.ii.72
suspect (v.)
malapropism for 'respect'
not suspect my yeeres? O that hee were heere to write meenot suspect my years? O that he were here to write me MA IV.ii.73
downe an asse! but masters, remember that I am an asse:down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an ass; MA IV.ii.74
though it be not written down, yet forget not yt I am though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am MA IV.ii.75
an asse: No thou villaine, yu art full of piety as shall be an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be MA IV.ii.76
prou'd vpon thee by good witnesse, I am a wise fellow, proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow, MA IV.ii.77
and which is more, an officer, and which is more, a and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a MA IV.ii.78
houshoulder, and which is more, as pretty a peece of householder; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of MA IV.ii.79
flesh as any in Messina, and one that knowes the Law, flesh as any is in Messina, and one that knows the law, MA IV.ii.80
goe to, & a rich fellow enough, goe to, and a fellow that go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that MA IV.ii.81
hath had losses, and one that hath two gownes, and euery thing hath had losses; and one that hath two gowns and everything MA IV.ii.82
handsome about him: bring him away: O that handsome about him. Bring him away. O thathandsome (adj.)
proper, fitting, appropriate
MA IV.ii.83
I had been writ downe an asse! I had been writ down an ass! MA IV.ii.84
Exit.Exeunt MA IV.ii.84
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