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Much Ado About Nothing: Act III, Scene 3

Much Ado About Nothing
Act III, Scene 3

Messina. A street.

  1. Enter Dogberry and his compartner Verges with the Watch.

Dogberry

1
  1. Are you good men and true?

Verges

2 - 3
  1. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation,
  2. body and soul.

Dogberry

4 - 6
  1. Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they
  2. should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the
  3. Prince’s watch.

Verges

7
  1. Well, give them their charge, neighbor Dogberry.

Dogberry

8 - 9
  1. First, who think you the most desartless man to be
  2. constable?

First Watchman

10 - 11
  1. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacole, for they can write and
  2. read.

Dogberry

12 - 14
  1. Come hither, neighbor Seacole. God hath blest you with a
  2. good name. To be a well-favor’d man is the gift of fortune,
  3. but to write and read comes by nature.

Second Watchman

15
  1. Both which, Master Constable

Dogberry

16 - 23
  1. You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your
  2. favor, sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it,
  3. and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there
  4. is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the
  5. most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch;
  6. therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge: you
  7. shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man
  8. stand, in the Prince’s name.

Second Watchman

24
  1. How if ’a will not stand?

Dogberry

25 - 27
  1. Why then take no note of him, but let him go, and presently
  2. call the rest of the watch together, and thank God you are
  3. rid of a knave.

Verges

28 - 29
  1. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the
  2. Prince’s subjects.

Dogberry

30 - 33
  1. True, and they are to meddle with none but the Prince’s
  2. subjects. You shall also make no noise in the streets; for,
  3. for the watch to babble and to talk, is most tolerable, and
  4. not to be endur’d.

Second Watchman

34 - 35
  1. We will rather sleep than talk, we know what belongs to a
  2. watch.

Dogberry

36 - 39
  1. Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman, for
  2. I cannot see how sleeping should offend; only have a care
  3. that your bills be not stol’n. Well, you are to call at all
  4. the alehouses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.

Second Watchman

40
  1. How if they will not?

Dogberry

41 - 43
  1. Why then let them alone till they are sober. If they make
  2. you not then the better answer, you may say they are not the
  3. men you took them for.

Second Watchman

44
  1. Well, sir.

Dogberry

45 - 48
  1. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your
  2. office, to be no true man; and for such kind of men, the
  3. less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for your
  4. honesty.

Second Watchman

49
  1. If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?

Dogberry

50 - 53
  1. Truly by your office you may, but I think they that touch
  2. pitch will be defil’d. The most peaceable way for you, if
  3. you do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is,
  4. and steal out of your company.

Verges

54
  1. You have been always call’d a merciful man, partner.

Dogberry

55 - 56
  1. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man
  2. who hath any honesty in him.

Verges

57 - 58
  1. If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the
  2. nurse and bid her still it.

Second Watchman

59
  1. How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?

Dogberry

60 - 62
  1. Why then depart in peace, and let the child wake her with
  2. crying, for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes
  3. will never answer a calf when he bleats.

Verges

63
  1. ’Tis very true.

Dogberry

64 - 66
  1. This is the end of the charge: you, constable, are to
  2. present the Prince’s own person. If you meet the Prince in
  3. the night, you may stay him.

Verges

67
  1. Nay, by’r lady, that I think ’a cannot.

Dogberry

68 - 71
  1. Five shillings to one on’t, with any man that knows the
  2. statutes, he may stay him; marry, not without the Prince be
  3. willing, for indeed the watch ought to offend no man, and it
  4. is an offense to stay a man against his will.

Verges

72
  1. By’r lady, I think it be so.

Dogberry

73 - 75
  1. Ha, ah ha! Well, masters, good night. And there be any
  2. matter of weight chances, call up me. Keep your fellows’
  3. counsels and your own, and good night. Come, neighbor.

Second Watchman

76 - 77
  1. Well, masters, we hear our charge. Let us go sit here upon
  2. the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.

Dogberry

78 - 81
  1. One word more, honest neighbors. I pray you watch about
  2. Signior Leonato’s door, for the wedding being there
  3. tomorrow, there is a great coil tonight. Adieu! Be vigitant,
  4. I beseech you.
  1. Exeunt Dogberry and Verges.
  1. Enter Borachio and Conrade.

Borachio

82
  1. What, Conrade!

Second Watchman

83
  1. Aside.
  2. Peace, stir not.

Borachio

84
  1. Conrade, I say!

Conrade

85
  1. Here, man, I am at thy elbow.

Borachio

86 - 87
  1. Mass, and my elbow itch’d; I thought there would a scab
  2. follow.

Conrade

88 - 89
  1. I will owe thee an answer for that, and now forward with thy
  2. tale.

Borachio

90 - 91
  1. Stand thee close then under this penthouse, for it drizzles
  2. rain, and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.

Second Watchman

92
  1. Aside.
  2. Some treason, masters, yet stand close.

Borachio

93
  1. Therefore know I have earn’d of Don John a thousand ducats.

Conrade

94
  1. Is it possible that any villainy should be so dear?

Borachio

95 - 97
  1. Thou shouldst rather ask if it were possible any villainy
  2. should be so rich; for when rich villains have need of poor
  3. ones, poor ones may make what price they will.

Conrade

98
  1. I wonder at it.

Borachio

99 - 101
  1. That shows thou art unconfirm’d. Thou knowest that the
  2. fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a
  3. man.

Conrade

102
  1. Yes, it is apparel.

Borachio

103
  1. I mean the fashion.

Conrade

104
  1. Yes, the fashion is the fashion.

Borachio

105 - 106
  1. Tush, I may as well say the fool’s the fool. But seest thou
  2. not what a deformed thief this fashion is?

Second Watchman

107 - 109
  1. Aside.
  2. I know that Deformed; ’a has been a vile thief this seven
  3. year; ’a goes up and down like a gentleman. I remember his
  4. name.

Borachio

110
  1. Didst thou not hear somebody?

Conrade

111
  1. No, ’twas the vane on the house.

Borachio

112 - 118
  1. Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion
  2. is, how giddily ’a turns about all the hot-bloods between
  3. fourteen and five-and-thirty, sometimes fashioning them like
  4. Pharaoh’s soldiers in the reechy painting, sometime like god
  5. Bel’s priests in the old church-window, sometime like the
  6. shaven Hercules in the smirch’d worm-eaten tapestry, where
  7. his codpiece seems as massy as his club?

Conrade

119 - 122
  1. All this I see, and I see that the fashion wears out more
  2. apparel than the man. But art not thou thyself giddy with
  3. the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into
  4. telling me of the fashion?

Borachio

123 - 129
  1. Not so neither, but know that I have tonight woo’d Margaret,
  2. the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman, by the name of Hero. She leans
  3. me out at her mistress’ chamber-window, bids me a thousand
  4. times good nightI tell this tale vildly, I should first
  5. tell thee how the Prince, Claudio, and my master, planted
  6. and plac’d and possess’d by my master Don John, saw afar off
  7. in the orchard this amiable encounter.

Conrade

130
  1. And thought they Margaret was Hero?

Borachio

131 - 139
  1. Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio, but the devil my
  2. master knew she was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which
  3. first possess’d them, partly by the dark night, which did
  4. deceive them, but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm
  5. any slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio
  6. enrag’d; swore he would meet her as he was appointed next
  7. morning at the temple, and there, before the whole
  8. congregation, shame her with what he saw o’ernight, and send
  9. her home again without a husband.

Second Watchman

140
  1. We charge you, in the Prince’s name, stand!

First Watchman

141 - 143
  1. Call up the right Master Constable. We have here recover’d
  2. the most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in
  3. the commonwealth.

Second Watchman

144 - 145
  1. And one Deformed is one of them; I know him, ’a wears a
  2. lock.

Conrade

146
  1. Masters, masters

Second Watchman

147
  1. You’ll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.

Conrade

148
  1. Masters

Second Watchman

149
  1. Never speak, we charge you; let us obey you to go with us.

Borachio

150 - 151
  1. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken up of
  2. these men’s bills.

Conrade

152 - 153
  1. A commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, we’ll obey
  2. you.
  1. Exeunt.
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