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Much Ado About Nothing
Act 3, scene 5

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Entire Play

The primary plot of Much Ado About Nothing turns on the courtship and scandal involving young Hero and her suitor, Claudio, but…

Act 1, scene 1

The army of Don Pedro of Aragon arrives in Messina and is welcomed by Leonato, Messina’s governor. Benedick of Padua,…

Act 1, scene 2

Leonato is given a garbled account of the conversation between Don Pedro and Claudio, and is led to believe that…

Act 1, scene 3

Don John, Don Pedro’s brother, receives a true account of Don Pedro’s plan to woo Hero for Claudio. Resentful of…

Act 2, scene 1

Don Pedro and his soldiers, disguised in masks, dance with the ladies of Leonato’s household. While Don Pedro woos Hero,…

Act 2, scene 2

Don John and his henchman Borachio agree on a plan to disrupt the coming marriage: Borachio will convince Claudio that…

Act 2, scene 3

Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro stage a conversation for Benedick to overhear. They talk about Beatrice’s desperate love for Benedick,…

Act 3, scene 1

Beatrice is lured into overhearing a staged conversation between Hero and Ursula, a waiting gentlewoman, who talk about Benedick’s desperate…

Act 3, scene 2

Benedick appears with his beard shaved off and showing other signs of having fallen in love. When he exits with…

Act 3, scene 3

That night, Messina’s master constable, Dogberry, and his assistant, Verges, set the night watch, telling the watchmen to pay particular…

Act 3, scene 4

Early the next morning, Hero prepares for the wedding. Beatrice enters, suffering, she says, from a bad cold, but Hero…

Act 3, scene 5

Dogberry and Verges try to tell Leonato about the arrest of Borachio and Conrade, but they are so unintelligible that…

Act 4, scene 1

At the wedding, Claudio publicly denounces Hero as a lewd woman. He is supported in his story by Don Pedro…

Act 4, scene 2

Dogberry ineptly questions Borachio and Conrade about the deception of Claudio and Don Pedro. The Sexton has Borachio and Conrade…

Act 5, scene 1

Leonato and his brother tell Claudio and Don Pedro of Hero’s death, and attempt to challenge them to a duel….

Act 5, scene 2

Benedick tells Beatrice that he has challenged Claudio. They are summoned to Leonato’s house with the news that Hero’s innocence…

Act 5, scene 3

Claudio appears at Leonato’s family tomb, has a song sung for Hero, and hangs a scroll on the tomb.

Act 5, scene 4

Claudio and Don Pedro appear for the second wedding. The women enter masked. When Claudio takes the hand of Leonato’s…

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Scene 5
Enter Leonato, and Dogberry, the Constable, and
Verges, the Headborough.


LEONATO What would you with me, honest neighbor?
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
5 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
10 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 15Comparisons are odorous. Palabras, neighbor
 Verges.
LEONATO Neighbors, you are tedious.
DOGBERRY It pleases your Worship to say so, but we
 are the poor duke’s officers. But truly, for mine
20 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, an ’twere a thousand pound more
 than ’tis, for I hear as good exclamation on your
25 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 tonight, excepting your
30 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

119
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 3. SC. 5

 they say, “When the age is in, the wit is out.” God
 help us, it is a world to see!—Well said, i’ faith,
35 neighbor 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 worshiped, all men
 are not alike, alas, good neighbor.
LEONATO 40Indeed, neighbor, 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
45 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 50It 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.
He exits, with the Messenger.
DOGBERRY 55Go, 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.
60 Here’s that shall drive some of them to a noncome.
 Only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication
 and meet me at the jail.
They exit.