Much Ado About Nothing

by: William Shakespeare

Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 1

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Enter LEONATO, Governor of Messina;HERO, his daughter; and BEATRICE his niece, with a MESSENGER
LEONATO, Governor of Messina;HERO, his daughter; and BEATRICE, his niece, enter with a MESSENGER

LEONATO

I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon comes this
night to Messina.

LEONATO

(holding a letter) According to this letter,

Don

“Don” is the Italian equivalent of “Sir” or “Lord.”

Don
Pedro of Aragon and his army are coming to Messina tonight.

MESSENGER

He is very near by this. He was not three leagues off when
I left him.

MESSENGER

He must be very near by now. When I left him, he was less than nine miles from here.

LEONATO

5How many gentlemen have you lost in this action?

LEONATO

How many noblemen were killed in the battle you just fought?

MESSENGER

But few of any sort, and none of name.

MESSENGER

Not many, and no one important.

LEONATO

A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full
numbers. I find here that Don Pedro hath bestowed much
honor on a young Florentine called Claudio.

LEONATO

A victory in battle is twice as victorious when all the soldiers return home safely. This letter also says that Don Pedro has given honors to a young man from Florence named Claudio.

MESSENGER

10Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by
Don Pedro. He hath borne himself beyond the promise of
his age, doing in the figure of a lamb the feats of a lion. He
hath indeed better bettered expectation than you must
expect of me to tell you how.

MESSENGER

Claudio deserves to be honored, and Don Pedro has rewarded him accordingly. Claudio has done more than anyone would expect of a man his age. He looks like a lamb but fights like a lion. He has so greatly exceeded all expectations that I can’t even describe all he’s done.

LEONATO

15He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of
it.

LEONATO

He has an uncle here in Messina who will be glad to hear this news.