Original Text

Modern Text

you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any
man stand, in the Prince’s name.
you will

comprehend

By “comprehend,” he means “apprehend.”

comprehend
any vagrant men you see. You are to order all men to stop, in the Prince’s name.

SECOND WATCHMAN

How if he will not stand?

SECOND WATCHMAN

And what if he won’t stop?

DOGBERRY

Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go and
25presently call the rest of the watch together and thank God
you are rid of a knave.

DOGBERRY

Well then, don’t bother with him and let him go. Then immediately call the rest of the watch together and thank God that you’ve gotten rid of such a criminal.

VERGES

If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the
Prince’s subjects.

VERGES

If he won’t stop when he’s told to, then he isn’t one of the Prince’s subjects.

DOGBERRY

True, and they are to meddle with none but the Prince’s
30subjects.—You shall also make no noise in the streets; for,
for the watch to babble and to talk is most tolerable and not
to be endured.

DOGBERRY

True, and you aren’t supposed to meddle with anyone but the Prince’s subjects. You will also stay quiet in the streets, for a babbling watch is most

tolerable

By “tolerable,” he means “intolerable.”

tolerable
and will not be endured.

WATCHMAN

We will rather sleep than talk. We know what belongs to a
watch.

WATCHMAN

We’ll sleep instead of talk. We know what’s appropriate for a watch.

DOGBERRY

35Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman,
for I cannot see how sleeping should offend. Only have a
care that your bills be not stolen. Well, you are to call at all
the alehouses and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.

DOGBERRY

Why, you speak like an experienced and quiet watchman. Sleeping on the watch shouldn’t be a problem; just make sure that your weapons don’t get stolen. Also, you’re supposed to visit all the bars and tell anyone who’s drunk to go home and go to bed.

WATCHMAN

How if they will not?

WATCHMAN

And what if they won’t go?

DOGBERRY

40Why, then, let them alone till they are sober. If they make
you not then the better answer, you may say they are not the
men you took them for.

DOGBERRY

Well then, leave them alone until they’re sober. If even then they don’t answer to your satisfaction, you can say that they’re not the men you thought they were.

WATCHMAN

Well, sir.

WATCHMAN

Very good, sir.