Act 3, Scene 5

Another room in LEONATO’S house.


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.1585

Verges. Yes, in truth 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. And so am I.

Leonato. I would fain know what you have to say.

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.

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.

Leonato. I’ll wait upon them: I am ready.

[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.