Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

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Scene V

[Another Room in Leonato's House]

Enter Leonato, Constable [Dogberry] and Headborough [Verges.]

LEONATO:
What would you with me, honest neighbour?
DOGBERRY:
Marry, my lord, I would have some confidence
with you that decerns you nearly.
LEONATO:
Brief, I pray you; for you see it is a busy time with
me.(5)
DOGBERRY:
Marry, this it is, my lord.
VERGES:
Yes, in truth it is, my lord.
LEONATO:
What is it, my good friends?
DOGBERRY:
Goodman Verges, my lord, speaks a little off the
matter—an old man, my lord, and his wits are not so(10)
blunt as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in
faith, honest as the skin between his brows.
VERGES:
Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living
that is an old man and no honester than I.
DOGBERRY:
Comparisons are odorous. Palabras, neighbour(15)
Verges.
LEONATO:
Neighbours, you are tedious.
DOGBERRY:
It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the
poor Duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part, if I
were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to(20)
bestow it all of your worship.
LEONATO:
All thy tediousness on me, ah?
DOGBERRY:
Yea, in 'twere a thousand pound more than 'tis; for
I hear as good exclamation on your worship as of any
man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I am(25)
glad to hear it.
VERGES:
And so am I.
LEONATO:
I would fain know what you have to say.
VERGES:
Marry, my lord, our watch to-night, excepting your
worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves(30)
as any in Messina.
DOGBERRY:
A good old man, my lord; he will be talking. As
they say, ‘When the age is in, the wit is out.’ God help us!
it is a world to see! Well said, i' faith, neighbour Verges.
Well, God's a good man. An two men ride of a horse, one(35)
must ride behind. An honest soul, i' faith, my lord, by my
troth he is, as ever broke bread; but God is to be
worshipped; all men are not alike, alas, good neighbour!
LEONATO:
Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
DOGBERRY:
Gifts that God gives.(40)
LEONATO:
I must leave you.
DOGBERRY:
One word, my lord. Our watch, my lord, have indeed
comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have
them this morning examined before your worship.
LEONATO:
Take their examination yourself and bring it me. I am(45)
now in great haste, as it may appear unto you.
DOGBERRY:
It shall be suffigance.
LEONATO:
Drink some wine ere you go. Fare you well.

[Enter a Messenger.]

MESSENGER:
My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to
her husband.(50)
LEONATO:
I'll wait upon them. I am ready.

[Exeunt Leonato and Messenger.]

DOGBERRY:
Go, good partner, go get you to Francis Seacoal; bid
him bring his pen and inkhorn to the jail. We are now to
examination these men.
VERGES:
And we must do it wisely.(55)
DOGBERRY:
We will spare for no wit, I warrant you. Here's that
shall drive some of them to a non-come. Only get the
learned writer to set down our excommunication, and
meet me at the jail.

Exeunt.