A line-by-line translation

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, and LEONATO

DON PEDRO

I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go I toward Aragon.

DON PEDRO

I'll only stay in Messina until your marriage is official, and then I'll go on to Aragon.

CLAUDIO

I’ll bring you thither, my lord, if you’ll vouchsafe me.

CLAUDIO

My lord, I'll escort you there if you'll allow 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 forbidhim 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 cutCupid’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.

DON PEDRO

No, that would be throwing a blot on your shiny new marriage, like showing a child his new coat and then not letting him wear it. I'll only take the liberty of asking Benedick to come with me, for he's a true joker from head to toe. He's evaded love two or three times and cut Cupid's bow-string—and since then Cupid doesn't dare to shoot at him. Benedick's heart is like a bell, and his tongue is the clapper that makes it ring—whatever his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.

BENEDICK

Gallants, I am not as I have been.

BENEDICK

Gentlemen, I am not the same man I used to be.

LEONATO

So say I. Methinks you are sadder.

LEONATO

I agree. You seem more serious.

CLAUDIO

I hope he be in love.

CLAUDIO

I hope he's in love.

DON PEDRO

Hang him, truant! There’s no true drop of blood in himto be truly touched with love. If he be sad, he wants money.

DON PEDRO

There's no way in hell! Benedick doesn't have a drop of emotion in his blood that could be affected by love. If he looks serious, then he needs money.

BENEDICK

I have the toothache.

BENEDICK

I have a toothache.

DON PEDRO

Draw it.

DON PEDRO

Draw it.

BENEDICK

Hang it!

BENEDICK

Hang it!

CLAUDIO

You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.

CLAUDIO

You must hang it first, and then draw it afterwards.

DON PEDRO

What, sigh for the toothache?

DON PEDRO

What, are you re so depressed about a toothache?

LEONATO

Where is but a humor or a worm.

LEONATO

It's nothing but a humor or worm.

BENEDICK

Well, everyone can master a grief but he that has it.

BENEDICK

Well, everyone knows how to cure a pain except the person actually feeling it.

CLAUDIO

Yet say I, he is in love.

CLAUDIO

I still say he's in love.

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 tomorrow, or in the shape oftwo 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.

DON PEDRO

There's no signs of love in him, unless it's his love for strange costumes. He's like a Dutchman today, a Frenchman tomorrow, or even in clothes from two countries at once—like a German from the waist down, with his baggy pants, and a Spaniard from the waist up, with his cloak and no jacket. Unless he has a love for this kind of foolishness—which it seems that he does—he is no fool for love, as you would have it seem.

CLAUDIO

If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs. He brushes his hat o' mornings. What should that bode?

CLAUDIO

All the traditional symptoms point to him being in love. He brushes his hat in the mornings. What does that imply?

DON PEDRO

Hath any man seen him at the barber’s?

DON PEDRO

Has 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.

CLAUDIO

No, but the barber's assistant has been seen with him. Benedick's old beard is now just stuffing for tennis balls.

LEONATO

Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of abeard.

LEONATO

Indeed, the loss of his beard does make him look younger.

DON PEDRO

Nay, he rubs himself with civet. Can you smell him out by that?

DON PEDRO

And he's rubbed himself with perfume. Can you sniff out his secret now?

CLAUDIO

That’s as much as to say, the sweet youth’s in love.

CLAUDIO

You might as well say that the sweet-smelling youth's in love.

DON PEDRO

The greatest note of it is his melancholy.

DON PEDRO

The greatest sign of it is his melancholy behavior.

CLAUDIO

And when was he wont to wash his face?

CLAUDIO

And when has he ever been in the habit of washing his face?

DON PEDRO

Yea, or to paint himself? For the which I hear what they say of him.

DON PEDRO

Yes, or wearing makeup? I hear he's been doing that, too.

CLAUDIO

Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept into a lute string and now governed by stops—

CLAUDIO

And his mocking spirit is gone. It's crawled into a lute string to play love songs—

DON PEDRO

Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude, conclude, he is in love.

DON PEDRO

Indeed, this all adds up to a serious tale for Benedick. To conclude: he is in love

CLAUDIO

Nay, but I know who loves him.

CLAUDIO

Oh, and I know who loves him.

DON PEDRO

That would I know too. I warrant, one that knows him not.

DON PEDRO

I want to know too. It must be someone who doesn't know him well.

CLAUDIO

Yes, and his ill conditions, and, in despite of all, dies for him.

CLAUDIO

But she does know him, and all his bad qualities. Yet, despite all this, she's dying for him.

DON PEDRO

She shall be buried with her face upwards.

DON PEDRO

She'll 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 hobbyhorses must not hear.

BENEDICK

But all this talk won't cure a toothache. 

[To LEONATO]
Old sir, walk with me a while. I have eight or nine wise words to say to you, and I don't want these buffoons to hear them.

Exeunt BENEDICK and LEONATO

DON PEDRO

For my life, to break with him about Beatrice!

DON PEDRO

I'd bet my life he wants to talk to Leonato about marrying 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.

CLAUDIO

It must be that. By now Hero and Margaret ought to have played their parts and tricked Beatrice too. These two bears won't bite each other the next time they meet.

Enter DON JOHN

DON JOHN

My lord and brother, God save you.

DON JOHN

My lord and brother, God bless you.

DON PEDRO

Good e'en, brother.

DON PEDRO

Good evening, brother.

DON JOHN

If your leisure served, I would speak with you.

DON JOHN

If you have time, I'd like to speak with you.

DON PEDRO

In private?

DON PEDRO

In private?

DON JOHN

If it please you. Yet Count Claudio may hear, for whatI would speak of concerns him.

DON JOHN

If you like. But Count Claudio should stay and listen, for what I have to say concerns him as well.

DON PEDRO

What’s the matter?

DON PEDRO

What's the matter?

DON JOHN

[to CLAUDIO] Means your lordship to be married tomorrow?

DON JOHN

[To CLAUDIO] Do you plan on getting married tomorrow, my lord?

DON PEDRO

You know he does.

DON PEDRO

You know he does.

DON JOHN

I know not that, when he knows what I know.

DON JOHN

I can't be sure of that, once he learns what I know.

CLAUDIO

If there be any impediment, I pray you discover it.

CLAUDIO

If there's any obstacle to the marriage, please reveal 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, andin dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage—surely suit ill spent and labor ill bestowed.

DON JOHN

You might think that I don't like you, Claudio. I hope that you will think better of me after I reveal this news. I think my brother holds you in high regard, and has affectionately helped you to arrange this marriage—but that was an unfortunate courtship and a waste of labor.

DON PEDRO

Why, what’s the matter?

DON PEDRO

Why, what's the matter?

DON JOHN

I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortened, for she has been too long a-talking of, the lady is disloyal.

DON JOHN

I came here to tell you, and, without any unnecessary details—for we've already wasted too many words on her—the lady is unfaithful.

CLAUDIO

Who, Hero?

CLAUDIO

Who, Hero?

DON JOHN

Even she: Leonato’s Hero, your Hero, every man’s Hero.

DON JOHN

The same: Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.

CLAUDIO

Disloyal?

CLAUDIO

Unfaithful?

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 tonight, you shall see her chamber window entered, even the night before her wedding day. If you love her then, tomorrow wed her. Butit would better fit your honor to change your mind.

DON JOHN

That word is too good to properly describe her wickedness. I would call her something worse. Come up with a worse word for her, and I'll show you how she deserves it. But restrain your disbelief until you've seen proof. Go with me tonight, and you'll see a man enter her bedroom window—even tonight, the night before her wedding day. If you still love her after that, then go through with the marriage tomorrow. But it would suit your honor better if you changed your mind.

CLAUDIO

[to DON PEDRO] May this be so?

CLAUDIO

[To DON PEDRO] Can this be so?

DON PEDRO

I will not think it.

DON PEDRO

I refuse to believe 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.

DON JOHN

If you don't have the courage to see the truth for yourself, then don't claim to know anything. If you follow me, I'll show you plenty of proof. And once you've seen more and heard more, you can act accordingly.

CLAUDIO

If I see anything tonight why I should not marry her, tomorrow in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.

CLAUDIO

If I see anything tonight that convinces me not to marry her, then tomorrow I'll shame her in front of the same congregation where I would have married her.

DON PEDRO

And as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join withthee to disgrace her.

DON PEDRO

And since I courted her for you, I will join you in disgracing 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 JOHN

I won't criticize her any more until you can bear witness to my accusations. Keep calm until midnight, and then you'll see for yourself.

DON PEDRO

O day untowardly turned!

DON PEDRO

Oh, what a day horribly ruined!

CLAUDIO

O mischief strangely thwarting!

CLAUDIO

Oh, unexpected unfaithfulness ruining my hopes!

DON JOHN

O plague right well prevented! So will you say when you have seen the sequel.

DON JOHN

Oh, what a curse prevented! That's what you'll say when you've seen what comes next.

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.