Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Much Ado About Nothing: Act 1, Scene 2

           Enter LEONATO and an old man [ANTONIO],
           brother to Leonato, [meeting].

1. cousin: i.e., nephew. —There is no further mention of Antonio's son. 2. hath he provided this music?: i.e., has he arranged for the musicians (who we have mentioned before) to play? —As Don Pedro said in the previous scene, there will be "revelling"; Leonato wants to make sure the band shows up.
  1   How now, brother! Where is my cousin, your son?
  2   hath he provided this music?

  3   He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can
  4   tell you strange news that you yet dreamt
  5   not of.
"thick-pleach'd alley"

  6   Are they good?

7-8. As the event stamps them: but they have a cover: i.e., as the result will show, but things look good. >>>
9. thick-pleach'd alley: walk bordered with densely entwined foliage. 10. orchard: garden.
11. discover'd: disclosed, revealed.
  7   As the event stamps them: but they have a good
  8   cover; they show well outward. The prince and
  9   Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleach'd alley
 10   in mine orchard, were thus much overheard by
 11   a man of mine: the prince discover'd to Claudio
 12   that he loved my niece your daughter and meant
 13   to acknowledge it this night in a dance: and if he
14-15. accordant: agreeing, consenting. he meant to take the present time by the top: i.e., he intended to take the immediate opportunity. >>> 15. instantly: immediately.  break with you: break the news to you; i.e., ask your permission to marry your daughter.
17. wit: intelligence.
 14   found her accordant, he meant to take the present
 15   time by the top and instantly break with you
 16   of it.

 17   Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?

 18   A good sharp fellow: I will send for him; and
 19   question him yourself.

20-21. till it appear itself: till it make itself evident.  withal: with it.
 20   No, no; we will hold it as a dream till it appear
 21   itself: but I will acquaint my daughter withal,
 22   that she may be the better prepared for an answer,
 23   if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell her
 24   of it.

           [Several persons cross the stage.]

25-26. Cousins: i.e., my extended family. >>>
 25   Cousins, you know what you have to do. O, I cry you
 26   mercy, friend; go you with me, and I will use your
27. have a care this busy time: i.e., work hard and smart during this busy time.
 27   skill. Good cousin, have a care this busy time.