ACT III
Scene 5
 

The hall in Leonato's house.

[Enter Leonato and the Constable [Dogberry] and the
Headborough[verges.]

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.

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 in my heart to bestow it all of your
worship.

LEONATO
All thy tediousness on me, ah?

DOGBERRY
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.

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 worshipp'd; 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 Seacoal; bid him bring
his pen and inkhorn to the jail. 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 jail.

[Exeunt.]