Open Source Shakespeare

Much Ado about Nothing

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Act I, Scene 3

The same.



  • Conrade. What the good-year, my lord! why are you thus out 330
    of measure sad?
  • Don John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds;
    therefore the sadness is without limit.
  • Conrade. You should hear reason.
  • Don John. And when I have heard it, what blessing brings it? 335
  • Conrade. If not a present remedy, at least a patient
  • Don John. I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou art,
    born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral
    medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide 340
    what I am: I must be sad when I have cause and smile
    at no man's jests, eat when I have stomach and wait
    for no man's leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and
    tend on no man's business, laugh when I am merry and
    claw no man in his humour. 345
  • Conrade. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this
    till you may do it without controlment. You have of
    late stood out against your brother, and he hath
    ta'en you newly into his grace; where it is
    impossible you should take true root but by the 350
    fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful
    that you frame the season for your own harvest.
  • Don John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in
    his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
    disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob 355
    love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to
    be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied
    but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with
    a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I
    have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my 360
    mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do
    my liking: in the meantime let me be that I am and
    seek not to alter me.
  • Conrade. Can you make no use of your discontent?
  • Don John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. 365
    Who comes here?
    [Enter BORACHIO]
    What news, Borachio?
  • Borachio. I came yonder from a great supper: the prince your
    brother is royally entertained by Leonato: and I 370
    can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
  • Don John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?
    What is he for a fool that betroths himself to
  • Borachio. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. 375
  • Don John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio?
  • Borachio. Even he.
  • Don John. A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks
  • Borachio. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato. 380
  • Don John. A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
  • Borachio. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was smoking a
    musty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand
    in hand in sad conference: I whipt me behind the
    arras; and there heard it agreed upon that the 385
    prince should woo Hero for himself, and having
    obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.
  • Don John. Come, come, let us thither: this may prove food to
    my displeasure. That young start-up hath all the
    glory of my overthrow: if I can cross him any way, I 390
    bless myself every way. You are both sure, and will assist me?
  • Conrade. To the death, my lord.
  • Don John. Let us to the great supper: their cheer is the
    greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of
    my mind! Shall we go prove what's to be done? 395
  • Borachio. We'll wait upon your lordship.