Much Ado About Nothing: Act 1, Scene 3

           Enter [DON] JOHN the Bastard and
           CONRADE, his companion.

  1   What the good-year, my lord! why are
2. out of measure: immoderately.  sad: melancholy, depressed.
  2   you thus out of measure sad?

      DON JOHN
3. occasion: turn of events.
  3   There is no measure in the occasion that
4. breeds: causes it.  therefore the sadness is without limit:
  4    breeds; therefore the sadness is without limit.

5. hear: listen to.
  5   You should hear reason.

      DON JOHN
  6   And when I have heard it, what blessing
  7   brings it?

8. present: immediate.
  8   If not a present remedy, at least a patient
9. sufferance: endurance.
  9   sufferance.

      DON JOHN
 10   I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou
11-12. born under Saturn: born when the planet Saturn was predominant, and so saturnine. A saturnine person is melancholy, sullen, sardonic—like Don John.  goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief: tries to cure a deadly disease by means of moralizing platitudes.
 11   art, born under Saturn, goest about to apply a
 12   moral medicine to a mortifying mischief.  I
 13   cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I
 14   have cause and smile at no man's jests, eat
 15   when I have stomach and wait for no man's
16. tend on: attend to.
 16   leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and tend on
 17   no man's business, laugh when I am merry
18. claw no man in his humor: i.e., suck up to no one.
 18   and claw no man in his humor.

 19   Yea, but you must not make the full show of
20. controlment: restraint.
 20   this till you may do it without controlment.
21. stood out: rebelled.
 21   You have of late stood out against your
 22   brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into
23-24. grace: favor.  take true root: i.e., secure yourself (in your brother's favor).
 23   his grace; where it is impossible you should
 24   take true root but by the fair weather that you
25-26. it is   . . .  harvest: i.e., you need to use this time to do yourself good.
 25   make yourself: it is needful that you frame the
 26   season for your own harvest.

      DON JOHN
27-28. I had  . . .  grace: i.e., I'd rather be the odd man out than my brother's favorite. ...more  28.  blood: mood, disposition, temper.  29.  fashion a carriage: counterfeit a behavior.  30.  rob love: gain undeserved affection.
 27   I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose
 28   in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
 29   disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to
 30   rob love from any: in this, though I cannot be
 31   said to be a flattering honest man, it must not
32-33. I am trusted with a muzzle: I am trusted as a muzzled dog is trusted.  33. enfranchis'd with a clog: allowed freedom as a hobbled horse is allowed freedom. ...more  34.  decreed: determined, made up my mind.
 32   be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I
 33   am trusted with a muzzle and enfranchis'd with
 34   a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my
 35   cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had
 36   my liberty, I would do my liking: in the meantime
 37   let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.

 38   Can you make no use of your discontent?

      DON JOHN
 39   I make all use of it, for I use it only.
 40   Who comes here?

Borachio: In Spanish, borracho (a word that sounds like a large belch) means "drunkard."
            Enter BORACHIO.

 41   What news, Borachio?

 42   I came yonder from a great supper: the prince
 43   your brother is royally entertained by Leonato:
 44   and I can give you intelligence of an intended
 45   marriage.

      DON JOHN
46. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on?: i.e., is there any way I can use that to make trouble?  47-48. What is he ... unquietness?: i.e., what kind of fool is he who will marry himself to constant trouble by getting married?
 46   Will it serve for any model to build mischief
 47   on? What is he for a fool that betroths himself
 48   to unquietness?

49. Marry: indeed.
 49   Marry, it is your brother's right hand.

      DON JOHN
 50   Who? the most exquisite Claudio?

 51   Even he.

      DON JOHN
52. proper squire: handsome young fellow. —Claudio is indeed a handsome young fellow, but Don John hates him. 53. which way looks he?: who is he interested in?
 52   A proper squire! And who, and who?
 53   which way looks he?

 54   Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir
 55   of Leonato.

      DON JOHN
56. forward: precocious. March-chick: chick which has hatched prematurely; i.e., young thing.
 56   A very forward March-chick! How
 57   came you to this?

58. entertain'd for: employed as.
 58   Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was
59. smoking: refreshing the air [by burning incense].
 59   smoking a musty room, comes me the prince
60. sad: serious.
 60   and Claudio, hand in hand in sad conference:
61. arras: tapestry, wall-hanging.
 61   I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard
 62   it agreed upon that the prince should woo
 63   Hero for himself, and having obtained her,
 64   give her to Count Claudio.

      DON JOHN
65-66. this may prove food to my displeasure: i.e., this might turn out to be something that I can use to satisfy my anger. start-up: upstart. 67. my overthrow: i.e., my defeat in battle against by brother, Don Pedro. 68. cross: thwart. —What follows ("I bless myself") puns on the another meaning of "cross": to make the sign of the cross as a blessing. 69. sure: trustworthy, loyal, to be counted on.
 65   Come, come, let us thither: this may prove
 66   food to my displeasure. That young start-up
 67   hath all the glory of my overthrow: if I can
 68   cross him any way, I bless myself every way.
 69   You are both sure, and will assist me?

 70   To the death, my lord.

      DON JOHN
71-72. their cheer is the greater that I am subdued: i.e., they (Don Pedro, Claudio and the rest) are enjoying the feast more because they have gotten the better of me. 72-73. Would the cook were of my mind: i.e., would the cook were of a mind to poison the food. 73. prove: try out, discover.
 71   Let us to the great supper: their cheer is the
 72   greater that I am subdued. Would the cook
 73   were of my mind! Shall we go prove what's
 74   to be done?

75. wait upon: attend.
 75   We'll wait upon your lordship.