Much Ado About Nothing
Act III, Scene 3
Messina. A street.
- Enter Dogberry and his compartner Verges with the Watch.
- Are you good men and true?
Verges2 - 3
- Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation,
- body and soul.
Dogberry4 - 6
- Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they
- should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the
- Prince’s watch.
- Well, give them their charge, neighbor Dogberry.
Dogberry8 - 9
- First, who think you the most desartless man to be
First Watchman10 - 11
- Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacole, for they can write and
Dogberry12 - 14
- Come hither, neighbor Seacole. God hath blest you with a
- good name. To be a well-favor’d man is the gift of fortune,
- but to write and read comes by nature.
- Both which, Master Constable—
Dogberry16 - 23
- You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your
- favor, sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it,
- and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there
- is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the
- most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch;
- therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge: you
- shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man
- stand, in the Prince’s name.
- How if ’a will not stand?
Dogberry25 - 27
- Why then take no note of him, but let him go, and presently
- call the rest of the watch together, and thank God you are
- rid of a knave.
Verges28 - 29
- If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the
- Prince’s subjects.
Dogberry30 - 33
- True, and they are to meddle with none but the Prince’s
- subjects. You shall also make no noise in the streets; for,
- for the watch to babble and to talk, is most tolerable, and
- not to be endur’d.
Second Watchman34 - 35
- We will rather sleep than talk, we know what belongs to a
Dogberry36 - 39
- Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman, for
- I cannot see how sleeping should offend; only have a care
- that your bills be not stol’n. Well, you are to call at all
- the alehouses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
- How if they will not?
Dogberry41 - 43
- Why then let them alone till they are sober. If they make
- you not then the better answer, you may say they are not the
- men you took them for.
- Well, sir.
Dogberry45 - 48
- If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your
- office, to be no true man; and for such kind of men, the
- less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for your
- If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?
Dogberry50 - 53
- Truly by your office you may, but I think they that touch
- pitch will be defil’d. The most peaceable way for you, if
- you do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is,
- and steal out of your company.
- You have been always call’d a merciful man, partner.
Dogberry55 - 56
- Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man
- who hath any honesty in him.
Verges57 - 58
- If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the
- nurse and bid her still it.
- How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?
Dogberry60 - 62
- Why then depart in peace, and let the child wake her with
- crying, for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes
- will never answer a calf when he bleats.
- ’Tis very true.
Dogberry64 - 66
- This is the end of the charge: you, constable, are to
- present the Prince’s own person. If you meet the Prince in
- the night, you may stay him.
- Nay, by’r lady, that I think ’a cannot.
Dogberry68 - 71
- Five shillings to one on’t, with any man that knows the
- statutes, he may stay him; marry, not without the Prince be
- willing, for indeed the watch ought to offend no man, and it
- is an offense to stay a man against his will.
- By’r lady, I think it be so.
Dogberry73 - 75
- Ha, ah ha! Well, masters, good night. And there be any
- matter of weight chances, call up me. Keep your fellows’
- counsels and your own, and good night. Come, neighbor.
Second Watchman76 - 77
- Well, masters, we hear our charge. Let us go sit here upon
- the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.
Dogberry78 - 81
- One word more, honest neighbors. I pray you watch about
- Signior Leonato’s door, for the wedding being there
- tomorrow, there is a great coil tonight. Adieu! Be vigitant,
- I beseech you.
- Exeunt Dogberry and Verges.
- Enter Borachio and Conrade.
- What, Conrade!
- Peace, stir not.
- Conrade, I say!
- Here, man, I am at thy elbow.
Borachio86 - 87
- Mass, and my elbow itch’d; I thought there would a scab
Conrade88 - 89
- I will owe thee an answer for that, and now forward with thy
Borachio90 - 91
- Stand thee close then under this penthouse, for it drizzles
- rain, and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.
- Some treason, masters, yet stand close.
- Therefore know I have earn’d of Don John a thousand ducats.
- Is it possible that any villainy should be so dear?
Borachio95 - 97
- Thou shouldst rather ask if it were possible any villainy
- should be so rich; for when rich villains have need of poor
- ones, poor ones may make what price they will.
- I wonder at it.
Borachio99 - 101
- That shows thou art unconfirm’d. Thou knowest that the
- fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a
- Yes, it is apparel.
- I mean the fashion.
- Yes, the fashion is the fashion.
Borachio105 - 106
- Tush, I may as well say the fool’s the fool. But seest thou
- not what a deformed thief this fashion is?
Second Watchman107 - 109
- I know that Deformed; ’a has been a vile thief this seven
- year; ’a goes up and down like a gentleman. I remember his
- Didst thou not hear somebody?
- No, ’twas the vane on the house.
Borachio112 - 118
- Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion
- is, how giddily ’a turns about all the hot-bloods between
- fourteen and five-and-thirty, sometimes fashioning them like
- Pharaoh’s soldiers in the reechy painting, sometime like god
- Bel’s priests in the old church-window, sometime like the
- shaven Hercules in the smirch’d worm-eaten tapestry, where
- his codpiece seems as massy as his club?
Conrade119 - 122
- All this I see, and I see that the fashion wears out more
- apparel than the man. But art not thou thyself giddy with
- the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into
- telling me of the fashion?
Borachio123 - 129
- Not so neither, but know that I have tonight woo’d Margaret,
- the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman, by the name of Hero. She leans
- me out at her mistress’ chamber-window, bids me a thousand
- times good night—I tell this tale vildly, I should first
- tell thee how the Prince, Claudio, and my master, planted
- and plac’d and possess’d by my master Don John, saw afar off
- in the orchard this amiable encounter.
- And thought they Margaret was Hero?
Borachio131 - 139
- Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio, but the devil my
- master knew she was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which
- first possess’d them, partly by the dark night, which did
- deceive them, but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm
- any slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio
- enrag’d; swore he would meet her as he was appointed next
- morning at the temple, and there, before the whole
- congregation, shame her with what he saw o’ernight, and send
- her home again without a husband.
- We charge you, in the Prince’s name, stand!
First Watchman141 - 143
- Call up the right Master Constable. We have here recover’d
- the most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in
- the commonwealth.
Second Watchman144 - 145
- And one Deformed is one of them; I know him, ’a wears a
- Masters, masters—
- You’ll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.
- Never speak, we charge you; let us obey you to go with us.
Borachio150 - 151
- We are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken up of
- these men’s bills.
Conrade152 - 153
- A commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, we’ll obey