Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Gretchen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Much adoe
and presently call the rest of the watch together, and thanke
1360god you are ridde of a knaue.
Verges If he wil not stand when he is bidden, he is none of
the Princes subiects.
Dogbery True, and they are to meddle with none but the
Princes subiects: you shall also make no noise in the streetes:
1365for, for the watch to babble and to talke, is most tollerable, and
not to be indured.
Watch We will rather sleepe than talke, we know what be-
longs to a watch.
Dogbery Why you speake like an antient and most quiet
1370watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping should offend: one-
ly haue a care that your billes bee not stolne: well, you are to
cal at al the alehouses, and bid those that are drunke get them to
Watch How if they will not?
1375Dogbery Why then let them alone til they are sober, if they
make you not then the better answer, you may say, they are not
the men you tooke them for.
Watch Well sir.
Dogbery If you meete a thiefe, you may suspect him, by
1380vertue of your office, to be no true man: and for such kind of
men, the lesse you meddle or make with them, why the more
is for your honesty.
Watch If we know him to be a thiefe, shal we not lay hands
on him?
1385Dogbery Truely by your office you may, but I thinke they
that touch pitch will be defilde: the most peaceable way for
you, if you doe take a thiefe, is, to let him shew himselfe what
he is, and steale out of your companie.
Verges You haue beene alwayes called a mercifull manne,
1390Dog. Truely I would not hang a dogge by my will, much
more a man who hath anie honestie in him.
Verges If you heare a child crie in the night you must call to
the nurse and bid her stil it.
Watch How if the nurse be asleepe and will not heare vs.