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Speeches (Lines) for Dogberry
in "Much Ado about Nothing"

Total: 52

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter DOGBERRY and VERGES with the Watch]

Dogberry. Are you good men and true?



Verges. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer
salvation, body and soul.

Dogberry. Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if
they should have any allegiance in them, being
chosen for the prince's watch.



Verges. Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.

Dogberry. First, who think you the most desertless man to be



First Watchman. Hugh Otecake, sir, or George Seacole; for they can
write and read.

Dogberry. Come hither, neighbour Seacole. God hath blessed
you with a good name: to be a well-favoured man is
the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.



Second Watchman. Both which, master constable,—

Dogberry. You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well,
for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make
no boast of it; and for your writing and reading,
let that appear when there is no need of such
vanity. You are thought here to be the most
senseless and fit man for the constable of the
watch; therefore bear you the lantern. This is your
charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are
to bid any man stand, in the prince's name.



Second Watchman. How if a' will not stand?

Dogberry. Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go; and
presently call the rest of the watch together and
thank God you are rid of a knave.



Verges. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none
of the prince's subjects.

Dogberry. True, and they are to meddle with none but the
prince's subjects. You shall also make no noise in
the streets; for, for the watch to babble and to
talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.



Watchman. We will rather sleep than talk: we know what
belongs to a watch.

Dogberry. Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet
watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should
offend: only, have a care that your bills be not
stolen. Well, you are to call at all the
ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.



Watchman. How if they will not?

Dogberry. Why, then, let them alone till they are sober: if
they make you not then the better answer, you may
say they are not the men you took them for.



Watchman. Well, sir.

Dogberry. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue
of your office, to be no true man; and, for such
kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them,
why the more is for your honesty.



Watchman. If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay
hands on him?

Dogberry. Truly, by your office, you may; but I think they
that touch pitch will be defiled: the most peaceable
way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him
show himself what he is and steal out of your company.



Verges. You have been always called a merciful man, partner.

Dogberry. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more
a man who hath any honesty in him.



Watchman. How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?

Dogberry. Why, then, depart in peace, and let the child wake
her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her
lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats.



Verges. 'Tis very true.

Dogberry. This is the end of the charge:—you, constable, are
to present the prince's own person: if you meet the
prince in the night, you may stay him.



Verges. Nay, by'r our lady, that I think a' cannot.

Dogberry. Five shillings to one on't, with any man that knows
the statutes, he may stay him: marry, not without
the prince be willing; for, indeed, the watch ought
to offend no man; and it is an offence to stay a
man against his will.



Verges. By'r lady, I think it be so.

Dogberry. Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there be
any matter of weight chances, call up me: keep your
fellows' counsels and your own; and good night.
Come, neighbour.



Watchman. Well, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit here
upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.

Dogberry. One word more, honest neighbours. I pray you watch
about Signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being
there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night.
Adieu: be vigitant, I beseech you.



Leonato. What would you with me, honest neighbour?

Dogberry. Marry, sir, 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.

Dogberry. Marry, this it is, sir.



Leonato. What is it, my good friends?

Dogberry. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the
matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so
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 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 it in
my heart to bestow it all of your worship.



Leonato. All thy tediousness on me, ah?

Dogberry. Yea, an '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 glad to hear it.



Verges. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your
worship's presence, ha' ta'en a couple of as arrant
knaves as any in Messina.

Dogberry. A good old man, sir; 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 must ride behind. An honest
soul, i' faith, sir; 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.



Leonato. I must leave you.

Dogberry. One word, sir: our watch, sir, 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 now in great haste, as it may appear unto you.

Dogberry. It shall be suffigance.



(stage directions). [Exeunt LEONATO and Messenger]

Dogberry. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacole;
bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol: we
are now to examination these men.



Verges. And we must do it wisely.

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 gaol.



(stage directions). [Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; and]
the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO]

Dogberry. Is our whole dissembly appeared?



Sexton. Which be the malefactors?

Dogberry. Marry, that am I and my partner.



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. [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.



Borachio. Master constable,—

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



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.



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.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Dogberry. Come, let them be opinioned.



Conrade. Off, coxcomb!

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!



(stage directions). [Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO]

Dogberry. Come you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she
shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay,
an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.



Don Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?

Dogberry. Marry, sir, they have committed false report;
moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily,
they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have
belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust
things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.



Claudio. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear
In the rare semblance that I loved it first.

Dogberry. Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time our
sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter:
and, masters, do not forget to specify, when time
and place shall serve, that I am an ass.



Borachio. No, by my soul, she was not,
Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
But always hath been just and virtuous
In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogberry. Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white and
black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call
me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his
punishment. And also, the watch heard them talk of
one Deformed: they say be wears a key in his ear and
a lock hanging by it, and borrows money in God's
name, the which he hath used so long and never paid
that now men grow hard-hearted and will lend nothing
for God's sake: pray you, examine him upon that point.



Leonato. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogberry. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and
reverend youth; and I praise God for you.



Leonato. There's for thy pains.

Dogberry. God save the foundation!



Leonato. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

Dogberry. I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which I
beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the
example of others. God keep your worship! I wish
your worship well; God restore you to health! I
humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry
meeting may be wished, God prohibit it! Come, neighbour.

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