List iconMuch Ado About NothingList icon

Much Ado About Nothing
Act 4, scene 2

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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 2
Enter the Constables Dogberry and Verges, and the
Town Clerk, or Sexton, in gowns, with the Watch,
Conrade, and Borachio.


DOGBERRY Is our whole dissembly appeared?
VERGES O, a stool and a cushion for the Sexton.
A stool is brought in; the Sexton sits.
SEXTON Which be the malefactors?
DOGBERRY Marry, that am I, and my partner.
VERGES 5Nay, that’s certain, we have the exhibition to
 examine.
SEXTON But which are the offenders that are to be
 examined? Let them come before Master
 Constable.

147
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 2

DOGBERRY 10Yea, marry, let them come before me.
Conrade and Borachio are brought forward.
 What is your name, friend?
BORACHIO Borachio.
DOGBERRY Pray, write down “Borachio.”—Yours,
 sirrah?
CONRADE 15I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is
 Conrade.
DOGBERRY Write down “Master Gentleman Conrade.”—
 Masters, do you serve God?
BORACHIO/CONRADE Yea, sir, we hope.
DOGBERRY 20Write 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 better than false
 knaves, and it will go near to be thought so shortly.
25 How answer you for yourselves?
CONRADE Marry, sir, we say we are none.
DOGBERRY A marvelous witty fellow, I assure you,
 but I will go about with him.—Come you hither,
 sirrah, a word in your ear. Sir, I say to you it is
30 thought you are false knaves.
BORACHIO Sir, I say to you we are none.
DOGBERRY Well, stand aside.—’Fore God, they are
 both in a tale. Have you writ down that they are
 none?
SEXTON 35Master constable, you go not the way to
 examine. You must call forth the watch that are
 their accusers.
DOGBERRY Yea, marry, that’s the eftest way.—Let
 the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you in the
40 Prince’s name, accuse these men.
FIRST WATCHMAN This man said, sir, that Don John, the
 Prince’s brother, was a villain.
DOGBERRY Write down Prince John a villain. Why,
 this is flat perjury, to call a prince’s brother villain!

149
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 2

BORACHIO 45Master constable—
DOGBERRY Pray thee, fellow, peace. I do not like thy
 look, I promise thee.
SEXTON, to Watch What heard you him say else?
SEACOAL Marry, that he had received a thousand
50 ducats of Don John for accusing the Lady Hero
 wrongfully.
DOGBERRY Flat burglary as ever was committed.
VERGES Yea, by Mass, that it is.
SEXTON What else, fellow?
FIRST WATCHMAN 55And that Count Claudio did mean,
 upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole
 assembly, and not marry her.
DOGBERRY, to Borachio O, villain! Thou wilt be condemned
 into everlasting redemption for this!
SEXTON 60What else?
SEACOAL This is all.
SEXTON And this is more, masters, than you can deny.
 Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away.
 Hero was in this manner accused, in this very
65 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.He exits.
DOGBERRY Come, let them be opinioned.
VERGES 70Let them be in the hands—
CONRADE Off, coxcomb!
DOGBERRY God’s my life, where’s the Sexton? Let
 him write down the Prince’s officer “coxcomb.”
 Come, bind them.—Thou naughty varlet!
CONRADE 75Away! You are an ass, you are an ass!
DOGBERRY Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost
 thou not suspect my years? O, that he were here to
 write me down an ass! But masters, remember that
 I am an ass, though it be not written down, yet
80 forget not that I am an ass.—No, thou villain, thou

151
Much Ado About Nothing
ACT 4. SC. 2

 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
85 Messina, and one that 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.—O, that I
 had been writ down an ass!
They exit.