A line-by-line translation

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing Translation Act 5, Scene 1

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO

ANTONIO

If you go on thus, you will kill yourself,And ’tis not wisdom thus to second griefAgainst yourself.

ANTONIO

If you go on like this, you'll kill yourself. There's no point in adding to the grief that's destroying you.

LEONATO

I pray thee, cease thy counsel, Which falls into mine ears as profitless As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel, Nor let no comforter delight mine ear But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine. Bring me a father that so loved his child, Whose joy of her is overwhelmed like mine, And bid him speak of patience. Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine, And let it answer every strain for strain, As thus for thus and such a grief for such, In every lineament, branch, shape, and form. If such a one will smile and stroke his beard, Bid sorrow wag, cry “hem” when he should groan, Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune drunk With candle-wasters, bring him yet to me And I of him will gather patience. But there is no such man. For, brother, men Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief Which they themselves not feel, but, tasting it, Their counsel turns to passion which before Would give preceptial med'cine to rage, Fetter strong madness in a silken thread, Charm ache with air, and agony with words. No, no, 'tis all men's office to speak patience To those that wring under the load of sorrow, But no man's virtue nor sufficiency To be so moral when he shall endure The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel. My griefs cry louder than advertisement.

LEONATO

Please, stop giving me advice. Your words pass uselessly through my ears like water through a sieve. Don't give me advice, and don't let anyone try to comfort or please me except someone whose injuries match my own. Find me a father who loved his child as I loved Hero—and whose joy in her has been crushed like mine has—and ask him to tell me about patience. Let his suffering be as big and deep as mine, and let it reflect all of my mental strain—with each sadness matching up in every way, shape, and form. If such a man will act like you—smiling and stroking his beard, telling sorrow to run away, saying "keep going" instead of mourning with me, patching up grief with cliched sayings, and forgetting misfortune by poring over books—if you find such a person, bring him to me. I'll share in his strength and patience. But there is no such man. Brother, it's easy for men to comfort and advise about sorrows that they themselves don't feel. But once they taste them too, their advice turns into passion. You can't cure rage with advice, bind up madness with silk thread, treat aches with hot air, or fix agony with words. No, no, every man thinks it's his duty to advise patience to those who bear the burden of sorrow, but no man has the ability or power to live up to his own advice when he's in the same situation. So don't give me advice. My griefs drown out whatever you have to say.

ANTONIO

Therein do men from children nothing differ.

ANTONIO

You're behaving no better than a child by acting like this.

LEONATO

I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood, For there was never yet philosopher That could endure the toothache patiently, However they have writ the style of gods And made a push at chance and sufferance.

LEONATO

Please, be quiet. I will be flesh and blood, not just words. There has never been a philosopher who could endure a toothache patiently, even though they all write as if they're gods who have pushed aside human suffering and misfortune.

ANTONIO

Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself. Make those that do offend you suffer too.

ANTONIO

But don't take up the burden of all this pain on your own. Make those responsible suffer too.

LEONATO

There thou speak’st reason. Nay, I will do so. My soul doth tell me Hero is belied, And that shall Claudio know; so shall the Prince And all of them that thus dishonor her.

LEONATO

Now you're speaking reasonably. I'll do that. My soul tells me that Hero has been wronged. I'll make sure that Claudio, the Prince, and all those who dishonored her will know about this.

Enter DON PEDRO and CLAUDIO

ANTONIO

Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily.

ANTONIO

Here comes the Prince and Claudio in a hurry.

DON PEDRO

Good e'en, good e'en.

DON PEDRO

Good evening, good evening.

CLAUDIO

Good day to both of you.

CLAUDIO

Good day to both of you.

LEONATO

Hear you, my lords—

LEONATO

Listen to me, my lords—

DON PEDRO

We have some haste, Leonato.

DON PEDRO

We're in a bit of a hurry, Leonato.

LEONATO

Some haste, my lord! Well, fare you well, my lord.Are you so hasty now? Well, all is one.

LEONATO

A bit of a hurry, my lord! Well, farewell then, my lord. Are you in such a hurry now that my daughter is dead? Well, it doesn't matter to me.

DON PEDRO

Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.

DON PEDRO

Don't fight with us now, good old man.

ANTONIO

If he could right himself with quarreling,Some of us would lie low.

ANTONIO

If he could right his wrongs by fighting, some of us here would be smart to run off and hide.

CLAUDIO

Who wrongs him?

CLAUDIO

Who has wronged him?

LEONATO

Marry, thou dost wrong me, thou dissembler, thou.Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword.I fear thee not.

LEONATO

Indeed, you have wronged me, you hypocrite. No, don't lay your hand on your sword. I'm not afraid of you.

CLAUDIO

Marry, beshrew my handIf it should give your age such cause of fear.In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.

CLAUDIO

Indeed, curse my hand if it should ever frighten an old man like you. I swear, my hand had no intention of using my sword.

LEONATO

Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me. I speak not like a dotard nor a fool, As under privilege of age to brag What I have done being young, or what would do Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head, Thou hast so wronged mine innocent child and me That I am forced to lay my reverence by, And with gray hairs and bruise of many days Do challenge thee to trial of a man. I say thou hast belied mine innocent child. Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart, And she lies buried with her ancestors, Oh, in a tomb where never scandal slept Save this of hers, framed by thy villainy.

LEONATO

Shame on you, man. Don't mock and sneer at me. I'm not a foolish old man who is protected by his age and brags about the deeds of his youth, or what he would do now if he weren't so old. Know this, Claudio, for I declare it to your face: you have wronged me and my innocent child. I am forced to lay aside the respectability of my age, and with my gray hairs and aching body, I challenge you to a test worthy of a man: a duel. I say that you have slandered my innocent child. Your lies have pierced her heart, and now she lies buried with her ancestors, oh, in a tomb that was never stained by scandal until you caused this scandal with your villainy.

CLAUDIO

My villainy?

CLAUDIO

My villainy?

LEONATO

Thine, Claudio, thine, I say.

LEONATO

Yours, Claudio, yours, I say.

DON PEDRO

You say not right, old man.

DON PEDRO

Then you don't speak the truth, old man.

LEONATO

My lord, my lord, I’ll prove it on his body if he dare, Despite his nice fence and his active practice, His May of youth and bloom of lustihood.

LEONATO

My lord, my lord, I'll prove it over his dead body if he dares to fight me. I'll beat him despite his fancy fencing techniques, his recent practice in battle, his youth, and his vigor.

CLAUDIO

Away! I will not have to do with you.

CLAUDIO

Enough! I won't have anything to do with you.

LEONATO

Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast killed my child.If thou kill’st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.

LEONATO

You think you can push me aside just like that? You have killed my child. Boy, if you want to kill a man, then dare to kill me.

ANTONIO

He shall kill two of us, and men indeed, But that’s no matter. Let him kill one first. Win me and wear me! Let him answer me.— Come, follow me, boy. Come, sir boy, come, follow me. Sir boy, I’ll whip you from your foining fence, Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

ANTONIO

We're both real men, and he'll have to kill both of us. But that's no matter. Let him try to kill one of us first. If he can beat me then he can brag about it! Let him accept my challenge.

[To CLAUDIO] Come on, come and get me, boy. Come on, sir boy, come and get me. Sir boy, I'll whip you despite all your fancy fencing—I swear as a gentleman I will.

LEONATO

Brother—

LEONATO

Brother—

ANTONIO

Content yourself. God knows I loved my niece, And she is dead, slandered to death by villains That dare as well answer a man indeed As I dare take a serpent by the tongue. Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milksops!

ANTONIO

Don't try to stop me. God knows I loved my niece, and now she's dead. She was slandered to death by villains who are as likely to accept a fight with a real man as I am to grab a snake by the tongue.

[To CLAUDIO and DON PEDRO] Boys, monkeys, braggarts, fools, pampered children!

LEONATO

Brother Anthony—

LEONATO

Brother Antonio—

ANTONIO

Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea, And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple Scrambling, outfacing, fashion-monging boys, That lie and cog and flout, deprave and slander, Go anticly and show outward hideousness, And speak off half a dozen dang'rous words How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst, And this is all.

ANTONIO

Dont' stop me. Yes, I know their kind, and I know what they're really worth. They're just fighting, swaggering, fashionably-dressed boys who lie and cheat and show off. They defame and slander people, walk around in extravagant clothes, put on a scary show and say a few threatening words about how they'll hurt their enemies—if they dare. And that's all they'll do.

LEONATO

But brother Anthony—

LEONATO

But, brother Antonio—

ANTONIO

Come, ’tis no matter.Do not you meddle. Let me deal in this.

ANTONIO

Don't worry about it. Let me deal with this.

DON PEDRO

Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience. My heart is sorry for your daughter’s death, But, on my honor, she was charged with nothing But what was true and very full of proof.

DON PEDRO

Gentlemen, we won't stay and test your patience any further. I'm sorry for your daughter's death, but I swear on my honor that the charges were true and backed up by proof.

LEONATO

My lord, my lord—

LEONATO

My lord, my lord—

DON PEDRO

I will not hear you.

DON PEDRO

I'm not listening to you.

LEONATO

No? Come, brother; away! I will be heard.

LEONATO

No? Come on, then, brother, let's go! I want somebody to listen to me.

ANTONIO

And shall, or some of us will smart for it.

ANTONIO

And somebody will listen to you, or certain people will suffer for it.

Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO

Enter BENEDICK

DON PEDRO

See, see, here comes the man we went to seek.

DON PEDRO

See, here comes the man we were looking for.

CLAUDIO

Now, Signior, what news?

CLAUDIO

Now, sir, what's new?

BENEDICK

[to DON PEDRO] Good day, my lord.

BENEDICK

[To DON PEDRO] Good day, my lord.

DON PEDRO

Welcome, Signior. You are almost come to part almost a fray.

DON PEDRO

Welcome, sir. You almost arrived in time to break up what was almost a fight.

CLAUDIO

We had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old men without teeth.

CLAUDIO

We were about to have our noses snapped off by two old men without teeth.

DON PEDRO

Leonato and his brother. What think’st thou? Had we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.

DON PEDRO

Leonato and his brother. What do you think of that? If we had fought, I fear that we should have been too inexperienced for them.

BENEDICK

In a false quarrel there is no true valor. I came to seek you both.

BENEDICK

There's no real bravery in an unfair fight. I came to find you both.

CLAUDIO

We have been up and down to seek thee, for we are high-proof melancholy and would fain have it beaten away. Wilt thou use thy wit?

CLAUDIO

We've been looking everywhere for you too. We're feeling very depressed and we want to have our sadness beaten away. Will you use your wit to do it?

BENEDICK

It is in my scabbard. Shall I draw it?

BENEDICK

My wit's in my sword's scabbard. Should I unsheathe it?

DON PEDRO

Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?

DON PEDRO

Do you wear your wit by your side?

CLAUDIO

Never any did so, though very many have been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels:draw to pleasure us.

CLAUDIO

No one wears their wit by their side, though many are beside their wit. Now I'll ask you to draw your wit, as you draw your sword—or as musicians draw their bows across their fiddles. Draw in order to please us.

DON PEDRO

As I am an honest man, he looks pale.—Art thou sick, or angry?

DON PEDRO

I swear, Benedick looks pale.

[To BENEDICK] Are you sick, or angry?

CLAUDIO

[to BENEDICK] What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat? Thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.

CLAUDIO

[To BENEDICK] What, cheer up, man! What does it matter that worry killed the cat? You have enough liveliness in you to kill worry.

BENEDICK

Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an you chargeit against me. I pray you, choose another subject.

BENEDICK

Sir, if you try to use your wit to attack me, I'll knock you down with my own wit. Please, choose another method.

CLAUDIO

[to DON PEDRO] Nay, then, give him another staff. This last was broke 'cross.

CLAUDIO

[To DON PEDRO] Give him another lance. He broke that last one in half with a poor hit.

DON PEDRO

By this light, he changes more and more. I think he be angry indeed.

DON PEDRO

I swear, his face keeps getting paler. I think he really is angry.

CLAUDIO

If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.

CLAUDIO

If he is, it's up to him to change his own attitude.

BENEDICK

Shall I speak a word in your ear?

BENEDICK

[To CLAUDIO] Can I have a word with you?

CLAUDIO

God bless me from a challenge!

CLAUDIO

God forbid that he wants to challenge me!

BENEDICK

[aside to CLAUDIO ] You are a villain. I jest not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.

BENEDICK

[To CLAUDIO so that only he can hear] You're a villain. I'm not joking. I challenge you in whatever way you prefer, with whatever weapon you prefer, and whenever you prefer. Accept the challenge, or I will proclaim you a coward. You've killed an innocent girl, and your punishment for killing her will be steep. Say something.

CLAUDIO

Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.

CLAUDIO

I accept your challenge, and will enjoy it.

DON PEDRO

What, a feast, a feast?

DON PEDRO

What, are we having a feast?

CLAUDIO

I' faith, I thank him. He hath bid me to a calf’s headand a capon, the which if I do not carve most curiously, say my knife’s naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too?

CLAUDIO

Indeed, I thank Benedick. He's asked me to have a calf's head and a capon, and says that if I don't carve them carefully he'll mock my skill with a knife. Should I bring a woodcock too?

BENEDICK

Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

BENEDICK

Sir, your wit is slow and rambling

DON PEDRO

I’ll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit he other day. I said thou hadst a fine wit. “True,” said she, “a fine little one.” “No,” said I, “a great wit.” “Right,” says she, “a great gross one.” “Nay,” said I, “a good wit.” “Just,” said she, “it hurts nobody.” “Nay,” said I, “the gentleman is wise.” “Certain,” said she, “a wisegentleman.” “Nay,” said I, “he hath the tongues.” “ThatI believe,” said she, “for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning; there’s a double tongue, there’s two tongues.” Thus did she an hour together transshape thy particular virtues. Yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the proper’st man in Italy.

DON PEDRO

[To BENEDICK] I'll tell you how Beatrice praised your wit the other day. I said that you had a fine wit. "True," she said, "a fine little one." "No," I said, "a large wit." "Right," she said, "a large, coarse one." "No, I said, "a good wit." "Exactly," she said, "it doesn't hurt anybody." "No," I said, "the gentleman is wise." "Certainly," she said, "he's a wise gentleman." "No," I said, "he knows foreign languages." "I believe that," she said, "for he swore one thing to me on Monday night, and then took it back on Tuesday morning. There's two different languages for you." And so she turned your virtues inside out for a whole hour. But at last she sighed and concluded that you were the handsomest man in Italy.

CLAUDIO

For the which she wept heartily and said she cared not.

CLAUDIO

Then she cried because of it, and said she didn't care.

DON PEDRO

Yea, that she did. But yet for all that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly. The old man’s daughter told us all.

DON PEDRO

Yes, she did. And yet, for all that, if she didn't hate him completely, she'd love him totally. Leonato's daughter told us everything.

CLAUDIO

All, all. And, moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

CLAUDIO

Everything. Everything. And, moreover, God saw Benedick when he was hiding in the garden.

DON PEDRO

But when shall we set the savage bull’s horns on the sensible Benedick’s head?

DON PEDRO

So when should we put the savage bull's horns on the head of the once-sensible Benedick?

CLAUDIO

Yea, and text underneath: “Here dwells Benedick the married man?”

CLAUDIO

Yes, and make the sign underneath him that says: "Here is Benedick, the married man?"

BENEDICK

Fare you well, boy. You know my mind. I will leave you now to your gossip-like humor. You break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not. —My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you. I must discontinue your company. Your brother the Bastard is fled from Messina. You have among you killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and Ishall meet, and till then peace be with him.

BENEDICK

See you later, boy. You know what I plan. I'll leave you now to your silly gossip. Your jokes are like the swords of cowardly braggarts—thank God, they don't hurt at all. 

[To DON PEDRO] My lord, I thank you for your many kindnesses to me. I can no longer remain with you. Your brother Don John the Bastard has fled from Messina. The three of you have killed a pure and innocent girl. As for Lord Beardless over there, he and I will duel. May he know peace until then. 

Exit

DON PEDRO

He is in earnest.

DON PEDRO

He's serious.

CLAUDIO

In most profound earnest, and, I’ll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.

CLAUDIO

He is absolutely serious. And, I bet you, he's said all of this because he loves Beatrice.

DON PEDRO

And hath challenged thee?

DON PEDRO

And has he challenged you?

CLAUDIO

Most sincerely.

CLAUDIO

He has challenged me, completely seriously.

DON PEDRO

What a pretty thing man is when he goes in his doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!

DON PEDRO

What a silly thing a man looks like when he's gotten dressed but left his brain behind!

CLAUDIO

He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

CLAUDIO

He's like a giant compared to a monkey, but a monkey could be his doctor—that's how much smarter it is than a man like him.

DON PEDRO

But soft you, let me be. Pluck up, my heart, and be sad. Did he not say my brother was fled?

DON PEDRO

But wait a minute, let me think. I must consider this and get serious. Didn't he say that my brother has run away?

Enter DOGBERRY,VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRAD and BORACHIO

DOGBERRY

Come you, sir. If justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance. Nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.

DOGBERRY

Come here, sir. If you don't feel the sting of justice, then Justice no longer has any power. Since you are a damned hypocrite, we must deal with you.

DON PEDRO

How now? Two of my brother’s men bound! Borachio one!

DON PEDRO

What's going on? Two of my brother's men in handcuffs? And Borachio is one of them?

CLAUDIO

Hearken after their offense, my lord.

CLAUDIO

Listen to their crime, my lord.

DON PEDRO

Officers, what offense have these men done?

DON PEDRO

Officers, what have these men done?

DOGBERRY

Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.

DOGBERRY

Well, sir, they have lied. In addition, they have said things that weren't true. Second, they are slanderers. Sixth and last, they have falsely accused a lady. And thirdly, they have confirmed as true things that were false. And, finally, they are lying fools. 

DON PEDRO

First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what’s their offense; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge.

DON PEDRO

First, I ask you what they've done. Thirdly, I ask what's their crime. Sixth and lastly, I want to know why they are in jail. And, to conclude, I want to know with what they are charged.

CLAUDIO

Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there’s one meaning well suited.

CLAUDIO

Well put, and in the same order he used. By God, that's one simple question and answer dressed up in many different ways.

DON PEDRO

[to BORACHIO and CONRAD ] Who have you offended, masters, that you are thus bound to your answer? This learned constable is too cunning to be understood. What’s your offense?

DON PEDRO

[To BORACHIO and CONRAD] Who have you wronged, men, to be in custody and forced to answer? This knowledgeable policeman is too smart to be understood. What was your crime?

BORACHIO

Sweet Prince, let me go no farther to mine answer. Do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceivedeven your very eyes. What your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light, whoin the night overheard me confessing to this man how Don John your brother incensed me to slander the Lady Hero, how you were brought into the orchard and saw me court Margaret in Hero’s garments, how you disgraced herwhen you should marry her. My villainy they have upon record, which I had rather seal with my death than repeat over to my shame. The lady is dead upon mine and my master’s false accusation. And, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.

BORACHIO

Sweet Prince, don't wait for the trial, but let me give my answer here. Listen to me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived your very eyes. These shallow fools have discovered what you in your wisdom could not. In the night they overheard me confessing to this man, Conrad, that your brother Don John incited me to slander the Lady Hero. I explained how you were brought to the garden and saw me courting Margaret, who was wearing Hero's clothes. And then you disgraced Hero when you should have married her. They have my villainy on record, and I'd rather seal it up with my death than have to retell the story of my shame. The lady is dead because of my and my master's false accusation. In short, I desire nothing now but the proper punishment for a villain.

DON PEDRO

[to CLAUDIO] Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?

DON PEDRO

[To CLAUDIO] Doesn't this make ice run through your veins?

CLAUDIO

I have drunk poison whiles he uttered it.

CLAUDIO

I feel as if I've drunk poison while he was talking.

DON PEDRO

[to BORACHIO] But did my brother set thee on to this?

DON PEDRO

[To BORACHIO] But did my brother tell you to do all this?

BORACHIO

Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

BORACHIO

Yes, and he paid me a lot to do it.

DON PEDRO

He is composed and framed of treachery,And fled he is upon this villainy.

DON PEDRO

He is made entirely of treachery. He's run away because of this crime.

CLAUDIO

Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appearIn the rare semblance that I loved it first.

CLAUDIO

Sweet Hero, when I imagine you now, you seem as beautiful and exceptional as you were when I first loved you.

DOGBERRY

Come, bring away the plaintiffs. By this time our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

DOGBERRY

Come, take away the plaintiffs. By now the sexton will have reformed Sir Leonato about all this. And sirs, don't forget to specify, when the time is right, that I am an ass.

VERGES

Here, here comes Master Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.

VERGES

Here, here comes Master Sir Leonato, and the sexton too.

Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the SEXTON

LEONATO

Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes,That, when I note another man like him, I may avoid him. Which of these is he?

LEONATO

Which one is the villain? Let me look into his eyes so that, when I see another man like him, I can avoid him. Which of these men is he?

BORACHIO

If you would know your wronger, look on me.

BORACHIO

If you want to know who has wronged you, then look at me.

LEONATO

Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast killedMine innocent child?

LEONATO

Are you the villain that has killed my innocent child with your words?

BORACHIO

Yea, even I alone.

BORACHIO

Yes, I alone.

LEONATO

No, not so, villain, thou beliest thyself. Here stand a pair of honorable men— A third is fled—that had a hand in it.— I thank you, princes, for my daughter’s death. Record it with your high and worthy deeds. 'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

LEONATO

No, not so, villain, you weren't the only one. [Pointing to CLAUDIO and DON PEDRO] Here stand a pair of "honorable men"—the third has fled—who also had a hand in this crime.

[To CLAUDIO and DON PEDRO] I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death. Record it in the list of your great and noble deeds. It was bravely done.

CLAUDIO

I know not how to pray your patience, Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself. Impose me to what penance your invention Can lay upon my sin. Yet sinned I not But in mistaking.

CLAUDIO

I don't know how to ask you for patience, but I must speak. Choose your revenge against me. Do whatever you want with me to punish my sin. But my only sin was in making a mistake.

DON PEDRO

By my soul, nor I, And yet to satisfy this good old manI would bend under any heavy weightThat he’ll enjoin me to.

DON PEDRO

Mine too. But to satisfy this good old man, I would bear any burden he might place on me.

LEONATO

I cannot bid you bid my daughter live— That were impossible —but, I pray you both, Possess the people in Messina here How innocent she died. And if your love Can labor ought in sad invention, Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb And sing it to her bones. Sing it tonight. Tomorrow morning come you to my house, And since you could not be my son-in-law, Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter, Almost the copy of my child that’s dead, And she alone is heir to both of us. Give her the right you should have given her cousin, And so dies my revenge.

LEONATO

I cannot make you make my daughter live—that would be impossible. But please, both of you, inform the people of Messina that she died innocently. And if your love for Hero can inspire any creativity, then write a tribute to her. Hang it on her tomb, and sing it to her bones. Sing it tonight. Then come to my house tomorrow morning, and since you could not be my son-in-law, be my nephew instead. My brother has a daughter who is the spitting image of dead Hero, and she is heir to both of us. Give her what you should have given her cousin—the right and rite of marriage—and my thirst for revenge will die.

CLAUDIO

O noble sir! Your overkindness doth wring tears from me. I do embrace your offer; and dispose For henceforth of poor Claudio.

CLAUDIO

Oh, noble sir! Your kindness is making me cry. I gladly accept your offer. From now on, demand whatever you like of poor Claudio.

LEONATO

Tomorrow then I will expect your coming. Tonight I take my leave. This naughty man Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, Who I believe was packed in all this wrong, Hired to it by your brother.

LEONATO

I will expect you tomorrow then, and say goodbye for tonight. This wicked man will be brought face to face with Margaret, whom I believe was a conspirator in all this, and hired by Don John.

BORACHIO

No, by my soul, she was not, Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me, But always hath been just and virtuous In any thing that I do know by her.

BORACHIO

No, I swear she was not. She didn't know what she was doing when she spoke to me. All I've ever heard about her is that she is honest and virtuous.

DOGBERRY

[to LEONATO ] Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass. I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment. And also the watch heard them talk of one Deformed. They say he wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it and borrows money in God’s name, the which he hath used so long and never paid that now men grow hard-hearted and will lend nothing for God’s sake. Pray you, examine him upon that point.

DOGBERRY

[To LEONATO] Another thing, sir, which hasn't been written down—this plaintiff here, the criminal, called me an ass. Please remember this when you're handing out his punishment. Also the watchmen heard these two talking about a criminal named Deformed. They say that he wears a key in his ear with a lock hanging from it. He borrows money in God's name and never pays it back, and now everyone is so hard-hearted about it that no one will fund anything in God's name anymore. Please, interrogate them about this.

LEONATO

I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

LEONATO

I thank you for your hard work and honest efforts.

DOGBERRY

Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverent youth, and I praise God for you.

DOGBERRY

Your Worship speaks like a very thankful and respectful youth, and I thank God for you.

LEONATO

[giving him money] There’s for thy pains.

LEONATO

[Giving him money] That's for your trouble.

DOGBERRY

God save the foundation!

DOGBERRY

God save the charity!

LEONATO

Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

LEONATO

Go. I'll relieve you of your prisoner. Thank you.

DOGBERRY

I leave an arrant knave with your Worship, which I beseech your Worship to correct yourself, for the example of others. God keep your Worship! I wish your Worship well. God restore you to health! I humbly give you leave to depart, and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it!— Come, neighbor.

DOGBERRY

I leave a complete scoundrel with you, your Worship, whom I ask your Worship to correct yourself for the example of others. God bless your Worship! I wish your Worship well. May God restore you to health! I now humbly allow you to leave, and may we meet again in the future, if God prohibits it!

[To VERGES] Come on, neighbor.

Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES

LEONATO

Until tomorrow morning, lords, farewell.

LEONATO

Farewell until tomorrow morning, my lords.

ANTONIO

Farewell, my lords. We look for you tomorrow.

ANTONIO

Farewell, my lords. We'll expect you tomorrow.

DON PEDRO

We will not fail.

DON PEDRO

We will be there without fail.

CLAUDIO

Tonight I’ll mourn with Hero.

CLAUDIO

I'll mourn for Hero tonight.

LEONATO

[to the Watch] Bring you these fellows on.—We’ll talk with Margaret,How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

LEONATO

[To the WATCHMEN] Bring these criminals along. We'll talk with Margaret, and find out how she became friends with this wicked fellow.

Exeunt

Much ado about nothing
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Much Ado Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 812 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 19,116 quotes covering 812 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.