Much Ado About Nothing
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|ACT III SCENE II ||A room in LEONATO'S house.|| |
| ||Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and|| |
| ||then go I toward Arragon.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll|| |
| ||vouchsafe me.|
|DON PEDRO ||Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss|| |
| ||of your marriage as to show a child his new coat|| |
| ||and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold|| |
| ||with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown|| |
| ||of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all|
| ||mirth: he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's|| |
| ||bow-string and the little hangman dare not shoot at|| |
| ||him; he hath a heart as sound as a bell and his|| |
| ||tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinks his|| |
| ||tongue speaks.|| 13|
|BENEDICK ||Gallants, I am not as I have been.|| |
|LEONATO ||So say I methinks you are sadder.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||I hope he be in love.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Hang him, truant! there's no true drop of blood in|| |
| ||him, to be truly touched with love: if he be sad,|
| ||he wants money.|| |
|BENEDICK ||I have the toothache.|| 20|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Draw it.|| |
|BENEDICK ||Hang it!|| |
|CLAUDIO ||You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.|
|DON PEDRO ||What! sigh for the toothache?|| |
|LEONATO ||Where is but a humour or a worm.|| |
|BENEDICK ||Well, every one can master a grief but he that has|| |
| ||it.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||Yet say I, he is in love.|| 28|
|DON PEDRO ||There is no appearance of fancy in him, unless it be|| |
| ||a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be|| |
| ||a Dutchman today, a Frenchman to-morrow, or in the|| |
| ||shape of two countries at once, as, a German from|| |
| ||the waist downward, all slops, and a Spaniard from|
| ||the hip upward, no doublet. Unless he have a fancy|| |
| ||to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no|| |
| ||fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||If he be not in love with some woman, there is no|| |
| ||believing old signs: a' brushes his hat o'|
| ||mornings; what should that bode?|| 39|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Hath any man seen him at the barber's?|| |
|CLAUDIO ||No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him,|| |
| ||and the old ornament of his cheek hath already|| |
| ||stuffed tennis-balls.|
|LEONATO ||Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Nay, a' rubs himself with civet: can you smell him|| |
| ||out by that?|| |
|CLAUDIO ||That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||The greatest note of it is his melancholy.|| 50|
|CLAUDIO ||And when was he wont to wash his face?|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear|| |
| ||what they say of him.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into|| |
| ||a lute-string and now governed by stops.|
|DON PEDRO ||Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude,|| |
conclude he is in love.
|CLAUDIO ||Nay, but I know who loves him.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||That would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.|| 60|| |
|CLAUDIO ||Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of|
| ||all, dies for him.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||She shall be buried with her face upwards.|| |
|BENEDICK ||Yet is this no charm for the toothache. Old|| |
| ||signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight|| |
| ||or nine wise words to speak to you, which these|
| ||hobby-horses must not hear.|| |
| ||Exeunt BENEDICK and LEONATO.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this|| |
| ||played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two|| |
| ||bears will not bite one another when they meet.|| 71|
| ||Enter DON JOHN.|| |
|DON JOHN ||My lord and brother, God save you!|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Good den, brother.|| |
|DON JOHN ||If your leisure served, I would speak with you.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||In private?|| |
|DON JOHN ||If it please you: yet Count Claudio may hear; for|
| ||what I would speak of concerns him.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||What's the matter?|| |
|DON JOHN ||To CLAUDIO Means your lordship|| |
| ||to be married to-morrow?|| 80|| |
|DON PEDRO ||You know he does.|| |
|DON JOHN ||I know not that, when he knows what I know.|
|CLAUDIO ||If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.|| |
|DON JOHN ||You may think I love you not: let that appear|| |
| ||hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will|| |
| ||manifest. For my brother, I think he holds you|| |
| ||well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect|
| ||your ensuing marriage;--surely suit ill spent and|| |
| ||labour ill bestowed.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Why, what's the matter?|| 90|| |
|DON JOHN ||I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances|| |
| ||shortened, for she has been too long a talking of,|
| ||the lady is disloyal.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||Who, Hero?|| |
|DON PEDRO ||Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero:|| |
|CLAUDIO ||Disloyal?|| |
|DON JOHN ||The word is too good to paint out her wickedness; I|
| ||could say she were worse: think you of a worse|| |
| ||title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till|| |
| ||further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall|| |
| ||see her chamber-window entered, even the night|| |
| ||before her wedding-day: if you love her then,|
| ||to-morrow wed her; but it would better fit your honour|| |
| ||to change your mind.|| 104|| |
|CLAUDIO ||May this be so?|| |
|DON PEDRO ||I will not think it.|| |
|DON JOHN ||If you dare not trust that you see, confess not|
| ||that you know: if you will follow me, I will show|| |
| ||you enough; and when you have seen more and heard|| |
| ||more, proceed accordingly.|| |
|CLAUDIO ||If I see any thing to-night why I should not marry|| |
| ||her to-morrow in the congregation, where I should|
| ||wed, there will I shame her.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join|| |
| ||with thee to disgrace her.|| |
|DON JOHN ||I will disparage her no farther till you are my|| |
| ||witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and|
| ||let the issue show itself.|| |
|DON PEDRO ||O day untowardly turned!|| |
|CLAUDIO ||O mischief strangely thwarting!|| 120|| |
|DON JOHN ||O plague right well prevented! so will you say when|| |
| ||you have seen the sequel.|
| ||Exeunt|| |
Next: Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3, Scene 3
Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 2
From Much Ado About Nothing. Ed. A. Wilson Verity. London: Rivingtons.
3 Bring. 'Accompany.'
10 Cut Cupid's bow-string. A way of saying that Cupid had
been completely disabled. In Midsummer Night's Dream, i. 2.
114, the phrase has a different meaning.
11 Sound as a bell. Really an involuntary play upon the
double meaning of sound, 'healthy' and 'clear-sounding.'
"Sound as things that are hollow," Measure for Measure, i. 2.
56, when the quibble is intentional.
20 Tooth-ache. Considered an appropriate malady for the love-sick. The editors quote from one of Beaumont and
Fletcher's plays, The False One, ii. 3 —
"You had best be troubled with the tooth-ache too,
For lovers ever are."
23 Hang it first. Referring obviously to the capital punishment, to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.
25 Or a worm. A vulgar theory as to the cause of tooth-ache
that still survives.
26 Every one can master. The truism which Leonato
expands, (v. i. 5-19.)
29 Fancy. 'Love,' as often; e.g. "Maiden meditation, fancy-free," Midsummer Night's Dream, ii. i. 164. Used here with
an obvious quibble.
30 Strange disguises. In what follows, lines 33-37 (most of
which is omitted in the Folios), Shakespeare satirises the foibles
of contemporary fashion. Stubbes and Harrison and such like
censorious moralists perpetually denounce the extravagance and absurdities of the Englishman's dress at this time. The English,
they say, must always ape foreign ways. Travellers go to Italy
and return "Italianate" (their favourite word), to scoff at everything English. (Cf. As You Like It, iv. I. 34-41.) We may
remember, too, Portia's criticism on "Falconbridge, the young
baron of England," Merchant of Venice, i. 2. 79-81, "How
oddly he is suited!" I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his
round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour
33 Slops. 'Very wide breeches.' Cf. 2 Henry IV. i. 2. 34,
"Satin for my short cloak and my slops."
34 No doublet. Because the Spanish cloak was so long and
ample as to hide the doublet.
38 Brushes his hat. Curiously enough we are told in As You Like It, iii. 2. 398, that the lover should be careful to have his
"bonnet unhanded;" and a resume of the appropriate love
symptoms is given in Heywood's Maid of the Exchange —
"Cross-arm myself; study ay-mes;
Defy my hat-band; tread beneath my feet
Shoe-strings and garters."
But Benedick was not the man to be conventional and woo with
the ordinary wiles of disconsolate lovers. Beatrice would have
ridiculed him to death.
43 Tennis balls. 'Stuffed with hair.'
46 Civet. Used as a perfume, though, as Touchstone told the shepherd in As You Like It, iii. 2. 66. it is "of a baser birth
than tar." Stubbes in the Anatomy of Abuses (New Shakespeare Society's Reprint, part i. p. 77) asks: "Is not this a
certen sweete Pride to have civet, muske, sweete powders?" &C. Lear wanted "an ounce of civet to sweeten (his) imagination." (iv. 6. 132-133.)
51 To wash his face. Meaning, perhaps, as Mr. Marshall
suggests, with some preparation or wash for the complexion;
an anticipation, that is, of the "paint himself" in the next line.
Otherwise Claudio's remark would be a curious commentary on
52 Paint himself. Ladies regularly used cosmetics, dyes, &c.; "Fairing the foul with art's false borrowed face," Sonnet 129...
67 hobby-horses. A term of contempt. [A reference to the silly costumes worn by morris-dancers.]
70 Two bears. That is, saevis inter se convenit ursis, Cf.
Troilus and Cressida, v. 7, "One bear will not bite another."
73 Good den. Short for the full phrase, "God give you good
evening." So Romeo and Juliet, ii. 4. 115; As You Like It,
V. I. 16.
86 Aim better at me. 'Make a better guess at my feelings
towards you from what I am about to say.'
91 Circumstances shorten'd. 'To be brief.' Circumstance
occasionally = 'elaborate detail,' as in Othello, iii. 2. 354, "Circumstance of war." Sometimes circumlocution is the nearest
equivalent; e.g. in Merchant of Venice, i. i. 154, and Hamlet, i. 5. 127.
101 Her chamber window entered. As a matter of fact what
Claudio does see is Borachio talking at the window with
Margaret. Cf. Claudio's question to Hero in act iv. i. 84, 85.
105 May this be so. Claudio takes the blow quite calmly;
indeed it is scarcely a blow for his feeble, shallow nature. At
best he expresses only a mild incredulity in his question. Don
Pedro, on the other hand, roundly refuses to believe the story.
The contrast is an effective piece of characterisation.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Much Ado About Nothing. Ed. A. Wilson Verity. London: Rivingtons, 1890. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/much_3_2.html >.
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