Act 1, Scene 3

A room in LEONATO’s house.


Conrade. What the good-year, my lord! why are you thus out
of measure sad?

Don John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds; 
therefore the sadness is without limit.

Conrade. You should hear reason.

Don John. And when I have heard it, what blessing brings it?

Conrade. If not a present remedy, at least a patient 

Don John. I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou art, 
born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral 
medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide
what I am: I must be sad when I have cause and smile 
at no man’s jests, eat when I have stomach and wait 
for no man’s leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and 
tend on no man’s business, laugh when I am merry and 
claw no man in his humour.

Conrade. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this 
till you may do it without controlment. You have of 
late stood out against your brother, and he hath 
ta’en you newly into his grace; where it is 
impossible you should take true root but by the
fair weather that you make yourself: it is needful 
that you frame the season for your own harvest.

Don John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in 
his grace, and it better fits my blood to be 
disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob
love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to 
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied 
but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with 
a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I 
have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my
mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do 
my liking: in the meantime let me be that I am and 
seek not to alter me.

Conrade. Can you make no use of your discontent?

Don John. I make all use of it, for I use it only.
Who comes here? 
What news, Borachio?

Borachio. I came yonder from a great supper: the prince your 
brother is royally entertained by Leonato: and I
can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.

Don John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? 
What is he for a fool that betroths himself to 

Borachio. Marry, it is your brother’s right hand.

Don John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio?

Borachio. Even he.

Don John. A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks 

Borachio. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.

Don John. A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?

Borachio. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was smoking a 
musty room, comes me the prince and Claudio, hand 
in hand in sad conference: I whipt me behind the 
arras; and there heard it agreed upon that the
prince should woo Hero for himself, and having 
obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.

Don John. Come, come, let us thither: this may prove food to 
my displeasure. That young start-up hath all the 
glory of my overthrow: if I can cross him any way, I
bless myself every way. You are both sure, and will assist me?

Conrade. To the death, my lord.

Don John. Let us to the great supper: their cheer is the 
greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of 
my mind! Shall we go prove what’s to be done?

Borachio. We’ll wait upon your lordship.