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Much Ado About Nothing

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45

DOGBERRY
If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your
office, to be no true man, and for such kind of men, the less
you meddle or make with them, why the more is for your
honesty.
DOGBERRY
If you meet a thief, you can expect him to be dishonest. The less you have to do with that kind of man, the more honest you will be.

WATCHMAN
If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?
WATCHMAN
So if we know that a man is a thief, should we try to arrest him?


50


DOGBERRY
Truly, by your office you may, but I think they that touch
pitch will be defiled. The most peaceable way for you, if
you
do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is and steal
out of your company.
DOGBERRY
Your position permits you to, but I think that those who stick their hands in

pitch

Pitch is a dark sticky, tar-like substance.

pitch
get their hands dirty. If you encounter a thief, I think the most peaceable thing to do is to let him be himself—and steal away.

VERGES
You have been always called a merciful man, partner.
VERGES
You have always been known as a merciful man, partner.

55
DOGBERRY
Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man
who hath any honesty in him.
DOGBERRY
Truly, I wouldn’t even hang a dog, much

more

By “more,” he means “less.”

more
a man who has any honesty in him.


VERGES
(to the Watch) If you hear a child cry in the night, you must
call to the nurse and bid her still it.
VERGES
(to the watchmen) If you hear a child crying in the night, you should call the nurse and tell her to quiet the child.

WATCHMAN
How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?
WATCHMAN
What if the nurse is asleep and doesn’t hear us?

60

DOGBERRY
Why then, depart in peace and let the child wake her with
crying, for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baas
will never answer a calf when he bleats.
DOGBERRY
Well then, leave quietly, and let the child’s crying wake up the nurse. The ewe that doesn’t go to her lamb when it baas will never tend to another animal’s child.

VERGES
'Tis very true.
VERGES
That’s very true.


65
DOGBERRY
This is the end of the charge. You, constable, are to present
the Prince’s own person. If you meet the Prince in the night,
you may stay him.
DOGBERRY
And that’s the end of your assignment. You, constable, are representing the Prince himself. If you meet the Prince in the night, you can order him to stop.

VERGES
Nay, by 'r Lady, that I think he cannot.
VERGES
No, by our Lady, I don’t think he can.

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