Much Ado About Nothing


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Dogberry, Verges, and the Sexton, in gowns;

and the Watch, with Conrade and Borachio


DOGBERRY

Is our whole dissembly appeared?
dissembly (n.) malapropism for ‘assembly’


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
exhibition (n.) 3 malapropism for ‘commission’

examine.


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.


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 and BORACHIO

Yea, sir, we hope.


DOGBERRY

Write down, that they hope they serve God –

and write God first, for God defend but God should go
defend (v.) forbid, prohibit

before such villains! Masters, it is proved already that

you are little better than false knaves, and it will go near
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

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
marvellous (adv.) very, extremely, exceedingly See Topics: Frequency count
witty (adj.) 3 crafty, cunning, wily

I will go about with him. Come you hither, sirrah; a
go about with (v.) get the better of, set to work on

word in your ear. Sir, I say to you, it is thought you are

false knaves.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


BORACHIO

Sir, I say to you we are none.


DOGBERRY

Well, stand aside. 'Fore God, they are both in
tale, in a in agreement, unanimous, in accord

a 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
eftest (adj.) [unclear malapropism] quickest, most convenient

come forth. Masters, I charge you in the Prince's 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.


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 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 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?


SECOND WATCHMAN

This is all.


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,
refuse (v.) spurn, disown, cast off

and upon the grief of this suddenly died. Master Constable,

let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato's;

I will go before and show him their

examination.

Exit


DOGBERRY

Come, let them be opinioned.
opinioned (adj.) malapropism for ‘pinioned’


VERGES

Let them be – in the hands.


CONRADE

Off, coxcomb!


DOGBERRY

God's my life, where's the Sexton? Let him

write down the Prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind
coxcomb (n.) 2 fool's head, fool, simpleton

them. Thou naughty varlet!
naughty (adj.) 1 wicked, evil, vile


CONRADE

Away! You are an ass, you are an ass.


DOGBERRY

Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

not 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. 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 had losses; and one that hath two gowns and everything

handsome about him. Bring him away. O that
handsome (adj.) 2 proper, fitting, appropriate

I had been writ down an ass!

Exeunt

 
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