All of Shakespeare’s plays.
I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which I
beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the
example of others. God keep your worship! I wish
your worship well; God restore you to health! I
humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry
meeting may be wished ...
God save the foundation!
Your worship speaks like a most thankful and
reverend youth; and I praise God for you.
Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white and
black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call
me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his
punishment. And also, the watch heard them talk of
one Deformed: they say be wears a key in his ear and
Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time our
sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter:
and, masters, do not forget to specify, when time
and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
Marry, sir, they have committed false report;
moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily,
they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have
belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust
things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
Come you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she
shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay,
an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
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 forget not
that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art ...
God's my life, where's the sexton? let him write
down the prince's officer coxcomb. Come, bind them.
Thou naughty varlet!
Come, let them be opinioned.
O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting
redemption for this.
Flat burglary as ever was committed.
Pray thee, fellow, peace: I do not like thy look,
I promise thee.
Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat
perjury, to call a prince's brother villain.
Yea, marry, that's the eftest way. Let the watch
come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's
name, accuse these men.
Well, stand aside. 'Fore God, they are both in a
tale. Have you writ down, that they are none?
A marvellous 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 thought
you are false knaves.
Write 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. How answer
you for yourselves?
Write down, master gentleman Conrade. Masters, do
you serve God?
Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours, sirrah?
Yea, marry, let them come before me. What is your
Marry, that am I and my partner.
Is our whole dissembly appeared?
We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's
that shall drive some of them to a non-come: only
get the learned writer to set down our
excommunication and meet me at the gaol.
Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacole;
bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol: we
are now to examination these men.
It shall be suffigance.
One word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed
comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would
have them this morning examined before your worship.
Gifts that God gives.
A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they
say, when the age is in, the wit is out: God help
us! it is a world to see. Well said, i' faith,
neighbour Verges: well, God's a good man; an two men
ride of a horse, one ...
Yea, an 'twere a thousand pound more than 'tis; for
I hear as good exclamation on your worship as of any
man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I
am glad to hear it.
It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the
poor duke's officers; but truly, for mine own part,
if I were as tedious as a king, I could find it in
my heart to bestow it all of your worship.
Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the
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.
Marry, this it is, sir.
Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you
that decerns you nearly.
One word more, honest neighbours. I pray you watch
about Signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being
there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night.
Adieu: be vigitant, I beseech you.
Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there be
any matter of weight chances, call up me: keep your
fellows' counsels and your own; and good night.
Five shillings to one on't, with any man that knows
the statutes, he may stay him: marry, not without
the prince be willing; for, indeed, the watch ought
to offend no man; and it is an offence to stay a
man against his will.
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.
Why, then, depart in peace, and let the child wake
her with crying; for the ewe that will not hear her
lamb when it baes will never answer a calf when he bleats.
Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more
a man who hath any honesty in him.
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.
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.
Why, then, let them alone till they are sober: if
they make you not then the better answer, you may
say they are not the men you took them for.
Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet
watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should
offend: only, have a care that your bills be not
stolen. Well, you are to call at all the
ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
True, and they are to meddle with none but the
prince's subjects. You shall also make no noise in
the streets; for, for the watch to babble and to
talk is most tolerable and not to be endured.
Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go; and
presently call the rest of the watch together and
thank God you are rid of a knave.
You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well,
for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make
no boast of it; and for your writing and reading,
let that appear when there is no need of such
vanity. You are thought here to be the most
Come hither, neighbour Seacole. God hath blessed
you with a good name: to be a well-favoured man is
the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.
First, who think you the most desertless man to be
An open source tool for making transcripts really easy to read, search and share on the modern web
Your donations keep this site and others like it running
A Poplus component
mySociety Limited is a project of UK Citizens Online Democracy, a registered charity in England and Wales. For full details visit mysociety.org.