• Enter DOGBERRY andVERGES with the Watch

    DOGBERRY

    Are you good men and true?

    VERGES

    Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation,
    body and soul.

    DOGBERRY

    Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they
    5should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the
    Prince’s watch.

    VERGES

    Well, give them their charge, neighbor Dogberry.

    DOGBERRY

    First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable?

    FIRST WATCHMAN

    Hugh Otecake, sir, or George Seacole, for they can write
    10and read.

    DOGBERRY

    Come hither, neighbor Seacole. God hath blessed you with
    a good name. To be a well-favored man is the gift of fortune,
    but to write and read comes by nature.

    SEACOLE

    Both which, Master Constable—

    DOGBERRY

    15You have. I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your
    favor, 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 senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch;
    20therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge:
  • DOGBERRY and VERGES with several of the Prince’sWATCHMEN enter.

    DOGBERRY

    Are you all good and honest men?

    VERGES

    Yes they are, otherwise it would be proper for them to suffer salvation, body and soul.

    salvation

    By “salvation,” he means “damnation.”

    DOGBERRY

    If they had any allegiance when they were chosen for the Prince’s watch, a punishment like that would be too good for them.

    allegiance

    By “allegiance,” he means “disloyalty.”

    VERGES

    Well, give them their assignment, Sir Dogberry.

    DOGBERRY

    First, which man do you think is most desertless to be leader of the watch?

    desertless

    By “desertless” (a made-up word), he means “deserving.”

    FIRST WATCHMAN

    Either Hugh Otecake, sir, or else George Seacole, because both of them can read and write.

    DOGBERRY

    Come here, Sir Seacole. God has blessed you with a good name. To be good-looking is a matter of luck, but to read and write is a natural gift.

    SECOND WATCHMAN

    Both of which, master constable—

    DOGBERRY

    You have. I knew that would be your answer. Well, for your good looks, sir, thank God and don’t boast about it. As for your reading and writing, use those skills when you can’t use your looks. You’re thought to be the most senseless and fit man here, so you will carry the lantern and be constable. This is your assignment:

    senseless

    By “senseless,” he means “sensible.”