Much Ado About Nothing

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter LEONATO withDOGBERRY and VERGES
LEONATO enters withDOGBERRY andVERGES.

LEONATO

What would you with me, honest neighbor?

LEONATO

What do you want from me, my good man?

DOGBERRY

Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you that
decerns you nearly.

DOGBERRY

Please, sir, I would like to discuss some news that

decerns

“Decerns” is a mistake for “concerns.”

decerns
you greatly.

LEONATO

Brief, I pray you, for you see it is a busy time with me.

LEONATO

Be brief, please, because, as you can see, this is a busy time for me.

DOGBERRY

5Marry, this it is, sir.

DOGBERRY

Indeed, sir, it is.

VERGES

Yes, in truth it is, sir.

VERGES

Yes, it truly is.

LEONATO

What is it, my good friends?

LEONATO

What’s the news, my good friends?

DOGBERRY

Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter. An old
man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt as, God help, I would
10desire they were, but, in faith, honest as the skin between
his brows.

DOGBERRY

Sorry, sir, Goodman Verges tends to ramble. He’s an old man, sir, and his wits are not as

blunt

“Blunt” is a mistake for “sharp.”

blunt
as I wish they were. But truly, he’s as honest as the skin between his brows.

VERGES

Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living that is an
old man and no honester than I.

VERGES

Yes, I thank God that I am as honest as all the other old men who are not honester than me.

DOGBERRY

Comparisons are odorous. Palabras, neighbor Verges.

DOGBERRY

Making comparisons is

odorous

“Odorous” is a mistake for “odious” (hateful).

odorous
, Verges. Get on with your story.

LEONATO

15Neighbors, you are tedious.

LEONATO

Friends, you are becoming tedious.

DOGBERRY

It pleases your Worship to say so, but we are the poor duke’s
officers. But truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as
a king, I could find it in my heart to bestow it all of your
worship.

DOGBERRY

Thank you for saying that, your Worship, but we’re just the poor duke’s officers. But truly, if I were as

tedious

Dogberry takes “tedious” to mean “rich.”

tedious
as a king, I would give everything to you, your Worship.