This page contains the original text of Act 3, Scene 5 of Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare’s original Much Ado About Nothing text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Scene per page. All Acts and Scenes are linked to from the bottom of this page.
ACT 3. SCENE 5. Another room in LEONATO’S house.
Enter LEONATO, with DOGBERRY and VERGES
What would you with me, honest neighbour?
Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you
that decerns you nearly.
Brief, I pray you; for you see it is a busy time with me.
Marry, this it is, sir.
Yes, in truth it is, sir.
What is it, my good friends?
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.
Yes, I thank God I am as honest as any man living
that is an old man and no honester than I.
Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
Neighbours, you are tedious.
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.
All thy tediousness on me, ah?
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.
And so am I.
I would fain know what you have to say.
Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your
worship’s presence, ha’ ta’en a couple of as arrant
knaves as any in Messina.
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!
Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
Gifts that God gives.
I must leave you.
One word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed
comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would
have them this morning examined before your worship.
Take their examination yourself and bring it me: I
am now in great haste, as it may appear unto you.
It shall be suffigance.
Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well.
Enter a Messenger
My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to
I’ll wait upon them: I am ready.
Exeunt LEONATO and Messenger
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.
And we must do it wisely.
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.
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