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ACT IV. Scene II. 


A prison.

Enter the Constables [Dogberry and Verges] and the Sexton, in gowns,

[and the Watch, with Conrade and] Borachio.

 DOG.

Is our whole dissembly appear'd?

 VERG.

O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton.

 SEXTON.

Which be the malefactors?

 DOG.

Marry, that am I and my partner.

 VERG.

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.

 DOG.

Yea, marry, let them come before me. What is your name,
friend?

 BORACHIO.

Borachio.

 DOG.

Pray write down Borachio. Yours, sirrah?

 CON.

I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.

 DOG.

Write down Master Gentleman Conrade. Masters, do you serve
God?

 BOTH.

Yea, sir, we hope.

 DOG.

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?

 CON.

Marry, sir, we say we are none.

 DOG.

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.

 BORA.

Sir, I say to you we are none.

 DOG.

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.

 DOG.

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 WATCH.

This man said, sir, that Don John the Prince's brother
was a villain.

 DOG.

Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat perjury,
to call a prince's brother villain.

 BORA.

Master Constable--

 DOG.

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

 SEXTON.

What heard you him say else?

 SECOND WATCH.

Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John
for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully.

 DOG.

Flat burglary as ever was committed.

 VERG.

Yea, by th' mass, that it is.

 SEXTON.

What else, fellow?

 FIRST WATCH.

And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to
disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her.

 DOG.

O villain! thou wilt be condemn'd into everlasting redemption
for this.

 SEXTON.

What else?

 WATCHMEN.

This is all.

 SEXTON.

And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is
this morning secretly stol'n away. Hero was in this manner
accus'd, in this manner refus'd, 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.]

 DOG.

Come, let them be opinion'd.

 VERG.

Let them be in the hands--

 CON.

Off, coxcomb!

 DOG.

God's my life, where's the sexton? Let him write down the
Prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them.--Thou naughty varlet!

 CON.

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

 DOG.

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 prov'd 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 I had been writ down an ass!

Exeunt.

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