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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing Translation Act 2, Scene 2

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Enter DON JOHN and BORACHIO

DON JOHN

It is so. The Count Claudio shall marry the daughter of Leonato.

DON JOHN

It's been decided. Count Claudio will marry Leonato's daughter.

BORACHIO

Yea, my lord, but I can cross it.

BORACHIO

Yes, my lord, but I can still ruin it.

DON JOHN

Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be med'cinable to me. I am sick in displeasure to him, and whatsoever comes athwart his affection ranges evenly with mine. Howcanst thou cross this marriage?

DON JOHN

Any obstacle or impediment to Claudio's marriage will be like medicine to me. I am sick with anger toward him, and whoever can spoil his happiness will improve my own happiness. How do you plan to stop this wedding?

BORACHIO

Not honestly, my lord, but so covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me.

BORACHIO

My lord, I can't do it without being dishonest, but I'll be so secretive that no one will suspect me.

DON JOHN

Show me briefly how.

DON JOHN

Quickly, tell me how.

BORACHIO

I think I told your lordship a year since how much I amin the favor of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to Hero.

BORACHIO

I think  I told you about a year ago how much Hero's serving woman, Margaret, likes me.

DON JOHN

I remember.

DON JOHN

I remember.

BORACHIO

I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady’s chamber window.

BORACHIO

I can arrange for her to meet me at Hero's bedroom window at some indecent hour of the night.

DON JOHN

What life is in that to be the death of this marriage?

DON JOHN

How will that help to kill this marriage?

BORACHIO

The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you to the Prince your brother. Spare not to tell him that he hath wronged his honor in marrying the renowned Claudio, whose estimation do you mightily hold up, to a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero.

BORACHIO

It's up to you to brew the poison with these ingredients. Go to the Prince your brother. Tell him that he has wronged his own honor by matching the heroic Claudio—whose reputation you greatly admire—with a common prostitute like Hero.

DON JOHN

What proof shall I make of that?

DON JOHN

And how can I prove that?

BORACHIO

Proof enough to misuse the Prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato. Look you for any other issue?

BORACHIO

You'll have enough proof to deceive the Prince, torment Claudio, ruin Hero, and kill Leonato. What more could you want?

DON JOHN

Only to despite them, I will endeavor anything.

DON JOHN

I'll do anything to hurt them.

BORACHIO

Go then, find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro and the Count Claudio alone. Tell them that you know that Hero loves me. Intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio, as in love of your brother’s honor, who hath made this match, and his friend’s reputation, who is thus like to be cozened with the semblance of a maid,that you have discovered thus. They will scarcely believe this without trial. Offer them instances, which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber window, hear me call Margaret “Hero,” hear Margaret term me “Claudio,” and bring them to see this the very night before the intended wedding, for in the meantime I will so fashion the matter that Hero shall beabsent, and there shall appear such seeming truth of Hero’s disloyalty that jealousy shall be called assurance and all the preparation overthrown.

BORACHIO

Go then, find a suitable time to speak with Don Pedro and Count Claudio alone. Tell them that you know that Hero loves me. Pretend to be very passionate about preserving your brother's honor, which has been compromised by making this match, and also Claudio's reputation, which will be ruined by this woman, whom you've discovered is only pretending to be a virgin. They won't believe this without proof, of course—so give them examples. Tell them you've seen the two of us together at Hero's bedroom window, and on the night before the intended wedding, bring them to see for themselves. I'll arrange it so that Hero is away for the night, and Margaret and I will be at the window, with me calling her "Hero" and her calling me "Claudio." This will seem like such convincing evidence of Hero's disloyalty that Claudio's suspicions will be confirmed, and he'll immediately call off the wedding preparations.

DON JOHN

Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practice. Be cunning in the working this, and thy feeis a thousand ducats.

DON JOHN

Make this happen as you say, and I'll do my part. Arrange this cunningly, and I'll reward you with a thousand gold coins.

BORACHIO

Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.

BORACHIO

If you can make your accusation of Hero convincing, then my cunning won't fail me.

DON JOHN

I will presently go learn their day of marriage.

DON JOHN

I'll go right now to learn the date of their wedding.

Exeunt

Much ado about nothing
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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.