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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 4 Scene 2
No Fear Act 4 Scene 2 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

DOGBERRY

Write down “Master Gentleman Conrade.”—Masters, do
15you serve God?

DOGBERRY

Write down “Master Gentleman Conrade.”—Gentlemen, are you good Christians, and do you serve God?

CONRADE, BORACHIO

Yea, sir, we hope.

CONRADE, BORACHIO

Yes, sir, we hope so.

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
20better than false knaves, and it will go near to be thought so
shortly. How answer you for yourselves?

DOGBERRY

Write down that they hope they serve God. Oh, and write “God” first—for God forbid we put these criminals before God!—Gentlemen, it’s already been proven that you aren’t much better than lying criminals, and soon we’ll know almost for certain. How do you both plead?

CONRADE

Marry, sir, we say we are none.

CONRADE

Honestly, sir, we say that we are not criminals.

DOGBERRY

A marvelous witty fellow, I assure you, but I will go about
with him.—Come you hither, sirrah, a word in your ear.
25Sir, I say to you it is thought you are false knaves.

DOGBERRY

He’s a marvelously witty fellow, no doubt, but I’ll outmaneuver him.—Come over here; I’ll whisper a word in your ear. Sir, I tell you we believe you’re both lying criminals.

BORACHIO

Sir, I say to you we are none.

BORACHIO

Sir, I tell you that we are not.

DOGBERRY

Well, stand aside.—'Fore God, they are both in a ale. Have
you writ down that they are none?

DOGBERRY

Well, okay.—I swear to God, both their stories match. Have you written that down, that they aren’t criminals?

SEXTON

Master Constable, you go not the way to examine. You
30must call forth the watch that are their accusers.

SEXTON

Master Constable, you’re going about this all wrong. First, you have to speak to the watchmen who accused them.

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.

DOGBERRY

Yes, good idea; that’s the

eftest

“Eftest” is a mistake for “aptest.”

eftest
way. Bring the watchmen forward. Gentlemen, I order you in the Prince’s name to accuse these men.