Previous scene. | Next scene. | Table of contents

Act 4, Scene 2

[Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; and
the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO]

DOGBERRY: Is our whole dissembly appeared?

VERGES: O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton.

Sexton: Which be the malefactors?

DOGBERRY: Marry, that am I and my partner.

VERGES: Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibition to examine.     [5]

Sexton: But which are the offenders that are to be
examined? let them come before master constable.

DOGBERRY: Yea, marry, let them come before me. What is your
name, friend?

BORACHIO: Borachio.     [10]

DOGBERRY: Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours, sirrah?

CONRADE: I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.

DOGBERRY: Write down, master gentleman Conrade. Masters, do
you serve God?

CONRADE: |     [15]
| Yea, sir, we hope.
BORACHIO: |

DOGBERRY: Write down, that they hope they serve God: and
write God first; for God defend but God should go
before such villains! Masters, it is proved already     [20]
that you are little better than false knaves; and it
will go near to be thought so shortly. How answer
you for yourselves?

CONRADE: Marry, sir, we say we are none.

DOGBERRY: A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you: but I     [25]
will go about with him. Come you hither, sirrah; a
word in your ear: sir, I say to you, it is thought
you are false knaves.

BORACHIO: Sir, I say to you we are none.

DOGBERRY: Well, stand aside. 'Fore God, they are both in a     [30]
tale. Have you writ down, that they are none?

Sexton: Master constable, you go not the way to examine:
you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.

DOGBERRY: Yea, marry, that's the eftest way. Let the watch
come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's     [35]
name, accuse these men.

First Watchman: This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's
brother, was a villain.

DOGBERRY: Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat
perjury, to call a prince's brother villain.     [40]

BORACHIO: Master constable,--

DOGBERRY: Pray thee, fellow, peace: I do not like thy look,
I promise thee.

Sexton: What heard you him say else?

Second Watchman: Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of     [45]
Don John for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully.

DOGBERRY: Flat burglary as ever was committed.

VERGES: Yea, by mass, that it is.

Sexton: What else, fellow?

First Watchman: And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to     [50]
disgrace Hero before the whole assembly. and not marry her.

DOGBERRY: O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting
redemption for this.

Sexton: What else?

Watchman: This is all.     [55]

Sexton: And this is more, masters, than you can deny.
Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away;
Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner
refused, and upon the grief of this suddenly died.
Master constable, let these men be bound, and     [60]
brought to Leonato's: I will go before and show
him their examination.

[Exit]

DOGBERRY: Come, let them be opinioned.

VERGES: Let them be in the hands--

CONRADE: Off, coxcomb!     [65]

DOGBERRY: God's my life, where's the sexton? let him write
down the prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them.
Thou naughty varlet!

CONRADE: Away! you are an ass, you are an ass.

DOGBERRY: Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not     [70]
suspect my years? O that he were here to write me
down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an
ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not
that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of
piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness.     [75]
I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer,
and, which is more, a householder, and, which is
more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in
Messina, and one that knows the law, go to; and a
rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath     [80]
had losses, and one that hath two gowns and every
thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that
I had been writ down an ass!

[Exeunt]


Previous scene. | Next scene. | Table of contents