A line-by-line translation

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and SEXTON, in gowns; and the Watch, with CONRAD and BORACHIO

DOGBERRY

Is our whole dissembly appeared?

DOGBERRY

Is our whole dissembly here now?

VERGES

Oh, a stool and a cushion for the Sexton.

VERGES

Oh, but we need a stool and a cushion for the sexton.

A stool is brought in. SEXTON sits.

SEXTON

Which be the malefactors?

SEXTON

Which ones are the malefactors?

DOGBERRY

Marry, that am I and my partner.

DOGBERRY

Well, that would be me and my partner.

VERGES

Nay, that’s certain; we have the exhibition to examine.

VERGES

Yes, that's certain—we've been exhibitioned to examine this case.

SEXTON

But which are the offenders that are to be examined? Let them come before Master Constable.

SEXTON

But which ones are the criminals to be examined? Let them come before the Master Constable.

DOGBERRY

Yea, marry, let them come before me.

DOGBERRY

Yes, well, bring them before me. 

BORACHIO and CONRAD come forward

What is your name, friend?

What is your name, friend?

BORACHIO

Borachio.

BORACHIO

Borachio.

DOGBERRY

Pray, write down, “Borachio.”—Yours, sirrah?

DOGBERRY

[To the SEXTON] Please, write down "Borachio."

[To CONRAD] And yours, sir?

CONRAD

I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrad.

CONRAD

I am a gentleman, sir. And my name is Conrad.

DOGBERRY

Write down “Master Gentleman Conrad.”—Masters, do you serve God?

DOGBERRY

[To the SEXTON] Write down "Master Gentleman Conrad."

[To CONRAD and BORACHIO] Sirs, do you obey God's laws?

CONRAD, BORACHIO

Yea, sir, we hope.

CONRAD, BORACHIO

Yes sir, we hope we do.

DOGBERRY

Write down that they hope they serve God; and write God first, for God defend but God should go before such villains! —Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves, and it will go nearto be thought so shortly. How answer you for yourselves?

DOGBERRY

[To the SEXTON] Write down that they hope they obey God's laws. And write "God" first, for God forbid that such villains should come before God!

[To CONRAD and BORACHIO] Sirs, it has already been proven that you're no better than lying villains—and soon we'll suspect you of it too. What do you have to say for yourselves?

CONRAD

Marry, sir, we say we are none.

CONRAD

Indeed, sir, that we aren't villains.

DOGBERRY

A marvelous witty fellow, I assure you, but I will go about with him.—Come you hither, sirrah, a word in your ear. Sir, I say to you it is thought you are false knaves.

DOGBERRY

He's a marvelously witty fellow, I assure you, but I'll get the better of him.

[To BORACHIO] Come here, sir, and I'll whisper a word in your ear. Sir, I say that you are both suspected of being lying villains.

BORACHIO

Sir, I say to you we are none.

BORACHIO

And I say that we are not, sir.

DOGBERRY

Well, stand aside.—'Fore God, they are both in a ale. Have you writ down that they are none?

DOGBERRY

Well, step aside then.

[To the SEXTON] By God, they've both agreed to the same lie. Have you written that down, that they aren't lying villains?

SEXTON

Master Constable, you go not the way to examine. You must call forth the watch that are their accusers.

SEXTON

Master Constable, this isn't the right way to conduct an examination. First you must call forth the watchmen who accused them.

DOGBERRY

Yea, marry, that’s the eftest way.—Let the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you in the Prince’s name, accuse these men.

DOGBERRY

Yes, well, that's the easiest way.

[To the WATCHMEN] Let the watchmen step forward. Sirs, I order you in the Prince's name to accuse these men.

FIRST WATCHMAN

This man said, sir, that Don John, the Prince’s brother, was a villain.

FIRST WATCHMAN

Sir, this man said that Don John, the Prince's brother, was a villain.

DOGBERRY

Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat perjury, to call a prince’s brother villain.

DOGBERRY

Write down that Prince John was a villain. Why, thats flat-out perjury, to call a prince's brother a villain.

BORACHIO

Master Constable—

BORACHIO

Master Constable—

DOGBERRY

Pray thee, fellow, peace. I do not like thy look, I promise thee.

DOGBERRY

Please, man, be quiet. I don't like the look of you, I promise you that.

SEXTON

[to Watch] What heard you him say else?

SEXTON

[To the WATCHMEN] What else did you hear him say?

SECOND WATCHMAN

Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully.

SECOND WATCHMAN

Well, that he had received a thousand gold pieces from Don John for wrongfully accusing the Lady Hero.

DOGBERRY

Flat burglary as ever was committed.

DOGBERRY

That's burglary if anything ever was.

VERGES

Yea, by Mass, that it is.

VERGES

Yes, by God, it is.

SEXTON

What else, fellow?

SEXTON

And what else, man?

FIRST WATCHMAN

And that Count Claudio did mean upon his words to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her.

FIRST WATCHMAN

And that Count Claudio—based on Don John's accusation—was going to disgrace Hero before the whole wedding assembly, and refuse to marry her.

DOGBERRY

[to BORACHIO] O villain! Thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.

DOGBERRY

[To BORACHIO] Oh, you villain! You'll be condemned to everlasting redemption for this!

SEXTON

What else?

SEXTON

What else?

FIRST WATCHMAN

This is all.

FIRST WATCHMAN

That's all.

SEXTON

And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away. Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner refused, and upon the grief of this, suddenly died. —Master Constable,let these men be bound and brought to Leonato’s. I willgo before and show him their examination.

SEXTON

[To BORACHIO and CONRAD] And all this is more than you can deny, sirs. This morning Prince John secretly fled Messina. Hero was accused and refused by Claudio just as the watchman reported, and she died from her sudden grief.

[To DOGBERRY] Master Constable, tie these men up and bring them to Leonato's. I'll go ahead of you and show him the written report of this examination.

Exit

DOGBERRY

Come, let them be opinioned.

DOGBERRY

Come, let's opinion them.

VERGES

Let them be in the hands—

VERGES

Let them be handcuffed.

CONRAD

Off, coxcomb!

CONRAD

Get off of me, you fool!

DOGBERRY

God’s my life, where’s the Sexton? Let him write down the Prince’s officer “coxcomb.” Come, bind them.—Thounaughty varlet!

DOGBERRY

God save me, where's the sexton? He ought to write down that the Prince's officer was called "fool." Come on, bind them. 

[To CONRAD] You wicked rascal!

CONRAD

Away! You are an ass, you are an ass!

CONRAD

Get away from me! You are an ass, you are an ass!

DOGBERRY

Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years? Oh, that he were here to write me down an ass! But masters, remember that I am an ass, though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass. —No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be provedupon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow and, which is more, an officer and, which is more, a householder and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina, and one that knows the law, go to, and a rich fellow enough, go to, and a fellow that hath had losses, and one that hath two gowns and everything handsome about him. —Bring him away.—Oh, that I had been writ down an ass!

DOGBERRY

How dare you! Don't you suspect my position? Don't you suspect my age? Oh, if only the sexton were here to write down that I'm an ass! But sirs, remember that I am an ass, even though it wasn't written down—don't forget that I am an ass.

[To CONRAD] No, you villain, you are full of piety, as witnesses will prove. I'm a wise fellow and—what's more—an officer and—what's more—a homeowner and—what's more—as fine a mortal man as any in Messina. And I know the law, damn you, and I'm rich enough, damn you! And I've known hardships, and I have two pairs of robes, and everything about me is impressive.

[To the WATCHMEN] Take him away!

Oh, if only it had been written down that I'm an ass!

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.