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Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 4

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SEXTON

And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John
55is 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.

SEXTON

(to CONRADE and BORACHIO) You can’t deny this, gentlemen. This morning, Prince John secretly snuck out of Messina. Hero was accused exactly as the watchman described, and died on the spot from the grief.
Master Constable, tie up these men and bring them to Leonato’s. I’ll get there first and tell him what we found out.
Exit
He exits.

DOGBERRY

60Come, let them be opinioned.

DOGBERRY

VERGES

Let them be in the hands—

VERGES

Let them be in the hands—

CONRADE

Off, coxcomb!

CONRADE

Get off me, you fool!

DOGBERRY

God’s my life, where’s the Sexton? Let him write down the
Prince’s officer “coxcomb.” Come, bind them.—Thou
65naughty varlet!

DOGBERRY

Honest to God, where’s the sexton? He should write down that the Prince’s officer was called a fool. Come on, tie them up. (to CONRADE) You’re a nasty little stinker!

CONRADE

Away! You are an ass, you are an ass!

CONRADE

Get away from me, you ass! You ass!

DOGBERRY

Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my
years? Oh, that he were here to write me down an ass! But
masters, remember that I am an ass, though it be not
70written 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
75that 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 everything handsome about him.—Bring him
away.—Oh, that I had been writ down an ass!

DOGBERRY

How can you call me that? Don’t you suspect my office? Don’t you

suspect

“Suspect” is a mistake for “respect.”

suspect
my age? Oh, if only the sexton were here to write down that I’m an ass! Gentlemen, remember that I am an ass; even though it’s not written down, don’t forget that I’m an ass. Oh, you’re a rotten bastard, you are. I’m a wise man and, what’s more, I’m an officer of the law and, what’s more, I’m a householder and, what’s more, I’m as handsome a hunk of meat as any in Messina. And I know the law, damn you, and I’m rich enough, damn you, and I used to have more, but I still have two robes and lots of lovely things.—Take him away!—Oh, if only the sexton had recorded that I’m an ass!
Exeunt
They all exit.