• Enter DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO BENEDICK, and LEONATO

    DON PEDRO

    I do but stay till your marriage be consummate, and then go
    I toward Aragon.

    CLAUDIO

    I’ll bring you thither, my lord, if you’ll vouchsafe me.

    DON PEDRO

    Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your
    5marriage as to show a child his new coat and forbid him to
    wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company,
    for from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot he is all
    mirth. He hath twice or thrice cut Cupid’s bow-string, and
    the little hangman dare not shoot at him. He hath a heart as
    10sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper, for what his
    heart thinks, his tongue speaks.

    BENEDICK

    Gallants, I am not as I have been.

    LEONATO

    So say I. Methinks you are sadder.

    CLAUDIO

    I hope he be in love.

    DON PEDRO

    15Hang him, truant! There’s no true drop of blood in him to
    be truly touched with love. If he be sad, he wants money.

    BENEDICK

    I have the toothache.

    DON PEDRO

    Draw it.

    BENEDICK

    Hang it!

    CLAUDIO

    20You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.
  • DON PEDRO, CLAUDIO,BENEDICK, and LEONATO enter.

    DON PEDRO

    I’ll stay in Messina until you’re married, and then I’ll go to Aragon.

    CLAUDIO

    I’ll go with you, my lord, if you’ll allow me.

    DON PEDRO

    No, taking you away from your new marriage would be like showing a child a new coat and then not letting him wear it. I’ll ask only Benedick to come with me, for from the top of his head to the soles of his feet he’s a joker. He’s evaded love once or twice, and since then Cupid doesn’t dare to shoot at him. Benedick’s heart is like a bell, with his tongue as the clapper: everything his heart thinks, his tongue speaks.

    BENEDICK

    Gentleman, I am not the same man I was before.

    LEONATO

    I agree. I think you seem more serious.

    CLAUDIO

    I hope he’s in love.

    DON PEDRO

    Come off it, man! There isn’t a single drop of sincerity in him that could be touched with love. If he looks serious, he must need money.

    BENEDICK

    I have a toothache.

    toothache

    Toothache was an ailment associated with lovers.

    DON PEDRO

    Draw it.

    “Pull it out.”

    BENEDICK

    Hang it!

    An expression of impatience.

    CLAUDIO

    You have to hang it first. Then you can draw it.

    draw

    Claudio plays on the fact that criminals were hanged and then “drawn,” or disemboweled.