[Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; and]
[p]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.
- 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
- 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. [with 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
before such villains! Masters, it is proved already
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
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
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
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.
- 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. 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
brought to Leonato's: I will go before and show
him their examination.
- Dogberry. Come, let them be opinioned.
- Verges. Let them be in the hands—
- 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
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 every
thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that
I had been writ down an ass!