Back to main page
Much Ado About Nothing - Act 3, scene 3
Download Much Ado About Nothing
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
- PDF Download as PDF
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers
- HTML Download as HTML
- TXT Download as TXT
- XML Download as XML
- TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis) Download as TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis)
Navigate this workMuch Ado About Nothing - Act 3, scene 3
Act 3, scene 3
That night, Messina’s master constable, Dogberry, and his assistant, Verges, set the night watch, telling the watchmen to pay particular attention to any activity around Leonato’s house. Borachio enters, telling his companion, Conrade, about the charade that made Claudio and Don Pedro think that Hero had just allowed him to enter her chamber. Borachio and Conrade are arrested by the watch.Enter Dogberry and his compartner ⌜Verges⌝
with the Watch.
DOGBERRY 1372 Are you good men and true?
VERGES 1373 Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer
1374 salvation, body and soul.
DOGBERRY 1375 Nay, that were a punishment too good for
1376 5 them if they should have any allegiance in them,
1377 being chosen for the Prince’s watch.
VERGES 1378 Well, give them their charge, neighbor
DOGBERRY 1380 First, who think you the most desartless
1381 10 man to be constable?
FIRST WATCHMAN 1382 Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal,
1383 for they can write and read.
DOGBERRY 1384 Come hither, neighbor Seacoal. ⌜Seacoal
steps forward.⌝ 1385 God hath blessed you with a good
p. 1011386 15 name. To be a well-favored man is the gift of
1387 fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.
⌜SEACOAL⌝ 1388 Both which, master constable—
DOGBERRY 1389 You have. I knew it would be your answer.
1390 Well, for your favor, sir, why, give God thanks, and
1391 20 make no boast of it, and for your writing and
1392 reading, let that appear when there is no need of
1393 such vanity. You are thought here to be the most
1394 senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch;
1395 therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge:
1396 25 you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to
1397 bid any man stand, in the Prince’s name.
⌜SEACOAL⌝ 1398 How if he will not stand?
DOGBERRY 1399 Why, then, take no note of him, but let him
1400 go, and presently call the rest of the watch together
1401 30 and thank God you are rid of a knave.
VERGES 1402 If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is
1403 none of the Prince’s subjects.
DOGBERRY 1404 True, and they are to meddle with none but
1405 the Prince’s subjects.—You shall also make no
1406 35 noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble and
1407 to talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.
⌜SECOND⌝ WATCHMAN 1408 We will rather sleep than talk.
1409 We know what belongs to a watch.
DOGBERRY 1410 Why, you speak like an ancient and most
1411 40 quiet watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping
1412 should offend; only have a care that your bills be not
1413 stolen. Well, you are to call at all the alehouses and
1414 bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
⌜SEACOAL⌝ 1415 How if they will not?
DOGBERRY 1416 45Why then, let them alone till they are sober.
1417 If they make you not then the better answer, you
1418 may say they are not the men you took them for.
⌜SEACOAL⌝ 1419 Well, sir.
DOGBERRY 1420 If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by
1421 50 virtue of your office, to be no true man, and for such
p. 1031422 kind of men, the less you meddle or make with
1423 them, why, the more is for your honesty.
⌜SEACOAL⌝ 1424 If we know him to be a thief, shall we not
1425 lay hands on him?
DOGBERRY 1426 55Truly, by your office you may, but I think
1427 they that touch pitch will be defiled. The most
1428 peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to
1429 let him show himself what he is and steal out of
1430 your company.
VERGES 1431 60You have been always called a merciful man,
DOGBERRY 1433 Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will,
1434 much more a man who hath any honesty in him.
VERGES, ⌜to the Watch⌝ 1435 If you hear a child cry in the
1436 65 night, you must call to the nurse and bid her still it.
⌜SECOND⌝ WATCHMAN 1437 How if the nurse be asleep and
1438 will not hear us?
DOGBERRY 1439 Why, then depart in peace, and let the
1440 child wake her with crying, for the ewe that will
1441 70 not hear her lamb when it baas will never answer a
1442 calf when he bleats.
VERGES 1443 ’Tis very true.
DOGBERRY 1444 This is the end of the charge. You, constable,
1445 are to present the Prince’s own person. If you
1446 75 meet the Prince in the night, you may stay him.
VERGES 1447 Nay, by ’r Lady, that I think he cannot.
DOGBERRY 1448 Five shillings to one on ’t, with any man that
1449 knows the statutes, he may stay him—marry, not
1450 without the Prince be willing, for indeed the watch
1451 80 ought to offend no man, and it is an offense to stay a
1452 man against his will.
VERGES 1453 By ’r Lady, I think it be so.
DOGBERRY 1454 Ha, ah ha!—Well, masters, goodnight. An
1455 there be any matter of weight chances, call up me.
1456 85 Keep your fellows’ counsels and your own, and
1457 goodnight.—Come, neighbor.
⌜Dogberry and Verges begin to exit.⌝
p. 105⌜SEACOAL⌝ 1458 Well, masters, we hear our charge. Let us go
1459 sit here upon the church bench till two, and then all
1460 to bed.
DOGBERRY 1461 90One word more, honest neighbors. I pray
1462 you watch about Signior Leonato’s door, for the
1463 wedding being there tomorrow, there is a great coil
1464 tonight. Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.
⌜Dogberry and Verges⌝ exit.
Enter Borachio and Conrade.
BORACHIO 1465 What, Conrade!
⌜SEACOAL, aside⌝ 1466 95Peace, stir not.
BORACHIO 1467 Conrade, I say!
CONRADE 1468 Here, man, I am at thy elbow.
BORACHIO 1469 Mass, and my elbow itched, I thought there
1470 would a scab follow.
CONRADE 1471 100I will owe thee an answer for that. And now
1472 forward with thy tale.
BORACHIO 1473 Stand thee close, then, under this penthouse,
1474 for it drizzles rain, and I will, like a true
1475 drunkard, utter all to thee.
⌜SEACOAL, aside⌝ 1476 105Some treason, masters. Yet stand
BORACHIO 1478 Therefore know, I have earned of ⌜Don⌝
1479 John a thousand ducats.
CONRADE 1480 Is it possible that any villainy should be so
1481 110 dear?
BORACHIO 1482 Thou shouldst rather ask if it were possible
1483 any villainy should be so rich. For when rich
1484 villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may
1485 make what price they will.
CONRADE 1486 115I wonder at it.
BORACHIO 1487 That shows thou art unconfirmed. Thou
1488 knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a
1489 cloak, is nothing to a man.
p. 107CONRADE 1490 Yes, it is apparel.
BORACHIO 1491 120I mean the fashion.
CONRADE 1492 Yes, the fashion is the fashion.
BORACHIO 1493 Tush, I may as well say the fool’s the fool.
1494 But seest thou not what a deformed thief this
1495 fashion is?
⌜FIRST⌝ WATCHMAN, ⌜aside⌝ 1496 125I know that Deformed. He
1497 has been a vile thief this seven year. He goes up and
1498 down like a gentleman. I remember his name.
BORACHIO 1499 Didst thou not hear somebody?
CONRADE 1500 No, ’twas the vane on the house.
BORACHIO 1501 130Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief
1502 this fashion is, how giddily he turns about all the
1503 hot bloods between fourteen and five-and-thirty,
1504 sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh’s soldiers
1505 in the reechy painting, sometimes like god Bel’s
1506 135 priests in the old church window, sometimes like
1507 the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten
1508 tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massy as his
CONRADE 1510 All this I see, and I see that the fashion wears
1511 140 out more apparel than the man. But art not thou
1512 thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast
1513 shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the
BORACHIO 1515 Not so, neither. But know that I have tonight
1516 145 wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman,
1517 by the name of Hero. She leans me out at
1518 her mistress’ chamber window, bids me a thousand
1519 times goodnight. I tell this tale vilely. I should first
1520 tell thee how the Prince, Claudio, and my master,
1521 150 planted and placed and possessed by my master
1522 Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this amiable
1523 amiable encounter.
CONRADE 1524 And thought they Margaret was Hero?
BORACHIO 1525 Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio,
p. 1091526 155 but the devil my master knew she was Margaret;
1527 and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them,
1528 partly by the dark night, which did deceive them,
1529 but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any
1530 slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio
1531 160 enraged, swore he would meet her as he was
1532 appointed next morning at the temple, and there,
1533 before the whole congregation, shame her with
1534 what he saw o’ernight and send her home again
1535 without a husband.
FIRST WATCHMAN 1536 165We charge you in the Prince’s name
⌜SEACOAL⌝ 1538 Call up the right Master Constable. ⌜Second
Watchman exits.⌝ 1539 We have here recovered the most
1540 dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in
1541 170 the commonwealth.
FIRST WATCHMAN 1542 And one Deformed is one of them. I
1543 know him; he wears a lock.
⌜Enter Dogberry, Verges, and Second Watchman.⌝
⌜DOGBERRY⌝ 1544 Masters, masters—
⌜FIRST⌝ WATCHMAN, ⌜to Borachio⌝ 1545 You’ll be made bring
1546 175 Deformed forth, I warrant you.
⌜DOGBERRY, to Borachio and Conrade⌝ 1547 Masters, never
1548 speak, we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.
BORACHIO, ⌜to Conrade⌝ 1549 We are like to prove a goodly
1550 commodity, being taken up of these men’s bills.
CONRADE 1551 180A commodity in question, I warrant you.—
1552 Come, we’ll obey you.