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ACT III. Scene V. 


The hall in Leonato's house.

Enter Leonato and the Constable [Dogberry] and the Headborough

[verges].

 LEON.

What would you with me, honest neighbour?

 DOG.

Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you that decerns
you nearly.

 LEON.

Brief, I pray you; for you see it is a busy time with me.

 DOG.

Marry, this it is, sir.

 VERG.

Yes, in truth it is, sir.

 LEON.

What is it, my good friends?

 DOG.

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.

 VERG.

Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living that is an
old man and no honester than I.

 DOG.

Comparisons are odorous. Palabras, neighbour Verges.

 LEON.

Neighbours, you are tedious.

 DOG.

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 in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.

 LEON.

All thy tediousness on me, ah?

 DOG.

Yea, in '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.

 VERG.

And so am I.

 LEON.

I would fain know what you have to say.

 VERG.

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

 DOG.

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 worshipp'd; all men are not alike, alas, good
neighbour!

 LEON.

Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.

 DOG.

Gifts that God gives.

 LEON.

I must leave you.

 DOG.

One word, sir. Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two
aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined
before your worship.

 LEON.

Take their examination yourself and bring it me. I am now in
great haste, as it may appear unto you.

 DOG.

It shall be suffigance.

 LEON.

Drink some wine ere you go. Fare you well.

[Enter a Messenger.]

 MESS.

My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her
husband.

 LEON.

I'll wait upon them. I am ready.

[Exeunt Leonato and Messenger.]

 DOG.

Go, good partner, go get you to Francis Seacoal; bid him bring
his pen and inkhorn to the jail. We are now to examination these
men.

 VERG.

And we must do it wisely.

 DOG.

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 jail.

[Exeunt.]

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