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    Act 4, Scene II

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    Chapter 13
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    SCENE II. A prison.

    Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO
    DOGBERRY
    Is our whole dissembly appeared?

    VERGES
    O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton.

    Sexton
    Which be the malefactors?

    DOGBERRY
    Marry, that am I and my partner.

    VERGES
    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.

    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 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.

    Sexton
    What heard you him say else?

    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.

    VERGES
    Yea, by mass, that it is.

    Sexton
    What else, fellow?

    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.

    Sexton
    What else?

    Watchman
    This is all.

    Sexton
    And this is more, masters, than you can deny.
    Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away;
    Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner
    refused, 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

    DOGBERRY
    Come, let them be opinioned.

    VERGES
    Let them be in the hands--

    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!

    Exeunt
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