Much Ado About Nothing: Act 1, Scene 3
Enter [DON] JOHN the Bastard and
CONRADE, his companion.
1What the good-year, my lord! why are
2. out of measure: immoderately. sad: melancholy, depressed.
2you thus out of measure sad?
3. occasion: turn of events.
3There is no measure in the occasion that
4. breeds: causes it. therefore the sadness is without limit:
4breeds; therefore the sadness is without limit.
5. hear: listen to.
5You should hear reason.
6And when I have heard it, what blessing
8. present: immediate.
8If not a present remedy, at least a patient
9. sufferance: endurance.
10I 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, sardoniclike Don John. goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief: tries to cure a deadly disease by means of moralizing platitudes.
11art, born under Saturn, goest about to apply a
12moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I
13cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I
14have cause and smile at no man's jests, eat
15when I have stomach and wait for no man's
16. tend on: attend to.
16leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and tend on
17no man's business, laugh when I am merry
18. claw no man in his humor: i.e., suck up to no one.
18and claw no man in his humor.
19Yea, but you must not make the full show of
20. controlment: restraint.
20this till you may do it without controlment.
21. stood out: rebelled.
21You have of late stood out against your
22brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into
23-24. grace: favor. take true root: i.e., secure yourself (in your brother's favor).
23his grace; where it is impossible you should
24take 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.
25make yourself: it is needful that you frame the
26season for your own harvest.
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.
27I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose
28in his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
29disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to
30rob love from any: in this, though I cannot be
31said 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.
32be denied but I am a plain-dealing villain. I
33am trusted with a muzzle and enfranchis'd with
34a clog; therefore I have decreed not to sing in my
35cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had
36my liberty, I would do my liking: in the meantime
37let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.
38Can you make no use of your discontent?
39I make all use of it, for I use it only.
40Who comes here?
41What news, Borachio?
42I came yonder from a great supper: the prince
43your brother is royally entertained by Leonato:
44and I can give you intelligence of an intended
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?
46Will it serve for any model to build mischief
47on? What is he for a fool that betroths himself
49. Marry: indeed.
49Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
50Who? the most exquisite Claudio?
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?
52A proper squire! And who, and who?
53which way looks he?
54Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir
56. forward: precocious. March-chick: chick which has hatched prematurely; i.e., young thing.
56A very forward March-chick! How
57came you to this?
58. entertain'd for: employed as.
58Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was
59. smoking: refreshing the air [by burning incense].
59smoking a musty room, comes me the prince
60. sad: serious.
60and Claudio, hand in hand in sad conference:
61. arras: tapestry, wall-hanging.
61I whipt me behind the arras; and there heard
62it agreed upon that the prince should woo
63Hero for himself, and having obtained her,
64give her to Count Claudio.
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.
65Come, come, let us thither: this may prove
66food to my displeasure. That young start-up
67hath all the glory of my overthrow: if I can
68cross him any way, I bless myself every way.
69You are both sure, and will assist me?
70To the death, my lord.
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.
71Let us to the great supper: their cheer is the
72greater that I am subdued. Would the cook
73were of my mind! Shall we go prove what's
74to be done?
75. wait upon: attend.75 We'll wait upon your lordship.