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Leon. O Lord, my Lord, if they were but a week marry'd, they would talk themselves mad.
Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to go to church?
Claud. To-morrow, my Lord; time goes on crutches, till love have all his rites.
Leon. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a just seven-night; and a time too brief too to have all things answer my mind.
Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing; but I warrant thee, Claudio, the time thali not go dully by us. I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules's labours; which is, to bring Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection the one with the other. I would fain have it a match; and I doubt not to fashion it, if
three will but minister such assistance as I shall give you direction,
Leon. My Lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights watchings Claud And I
Hero I will do any modest office, my Lord, to help my cousin to a good husband
Pedro And Benedick is not the unhopfullest husband that I know, Thus far I can praise him, he is of a noble strain, of approv'd valour, and confirm'd honesty. I will teach you how to humour your cousin, that the fhall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your two helps, will fo practise on Benedick, that in despight of his quick wit, and his queasy ftomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer, his glory shall be ours, for we are the only love-gods. Goin with me, and I will tell you my drift,
[Exeunt. S CE N E VII. Changes to another apartment in Leonato's house.
Enter Don John and Borachio. John. It is so, the Count Claudio fhall marry the daughter of Leonato Bora. Yea, my Lord, but I can cross it.
John. John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment, will be medicinable to me; I am fick in displeasure to him"; and whatsoever comes. athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this marriage?
Bora Not honestly, my Lord; but so covertly, that 10 dishonesty shall appear in me.
John Shew me briefly how.
Bora I think I told your Lordship a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waitinggentlewoman to Hero.
John. I remember.
Bora I can, at any unfeasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber-window.
John. What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage ?
Bora. The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go, you to the Prince your brother; spare not to tell him, that he hath wrong'd his honour in marrying the renown's Claudio (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to a contaminated stale such a one as Hero.
John. What proof shall I make of that ? Bora. Proof enough to misuse the Prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato. Look
you for any
other issue ? John. Only to despite them I will endeavour any thing.
Bora. Go then find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro and the Count Claudio alone;. tell them that you know Hero loves me ; intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio, as in a love of your brother's honour, who hath made this match, and his friend's reputation, (who is thus like to be cozen'd with the semblance of a maid), that you have discover'd thus. They will hardly believe this without trial: offer them instances, which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber-window; hear me call Margaret Hero; hear Margaret term me Borachio; and bring them to see this the very night before the intended wedding: for, in the mean time, I will fo fashion the matter, that Hero shall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truths of Hero's disloyalty, that
jealousy shall be called assurance, and all the preparation: overthrown.
John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practice: be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
Bora. Be thou constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.
SCENE VIII. Changes to Leonato's orchard.
Enter Benedick, and a boy.
Bene. In my chamber-window lies a book, bring it hither to me in the orchard. Boy. I am here already, Sir.
[Exit boy. Bene. I know that, but I would have thee hence, and here again. I do much wonder, that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laugh'd at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love ! and such a man is Claudio. I have known, when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe: I have known when he would have walk'd ten mile a-foot to see a good armour ; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to fpeak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man and a foldier; and now he is turn'd orthographer, his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many ftrange dishes. May I be so converted, and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oister ; but I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oister of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wife, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well. But till all
be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich Pre shall be, that's certain; “ wise, or I'll none; vir
“ tuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never “ look on her;" mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel ; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God *. fa! the Prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.
[Withdraws. S C Ε Ν Ε IX, Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Pedro. Come shall we hear this music ?
Claud. Yea, my good Lord; how still the evening is, As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself? Claud. O very well, my Lord; the music ended, We'll fit the hid fox with a pennyworth.
Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song again.
Balth. O good my Lord, tax not so bad a voice
Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency,
The SON G.
Men were decivers ever ;
To one thing constant never :
• Hinting satirically at the art used by ladies in dying th: ir hair of a colour different from what it is by nature. f
Woo no more.
Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come ;
Balıb. Note this before my notes,
Pedro. Why, these are very crotches that he speaks,
Bene Now, divine air; now is his soul ravih'd! Is it not strange, shat sheeps guts should hale souls out of mens bodies? Well, a horn, for my money, when all's done. The SONG, &c.
Then high not so, but let them go,
Into Hey nonly, nomy.
Of dumps fo dull and heavy ;
Since fummer was first leafy.
Then figh not so, &c.
Pedro. Ha, no; no faith; thou fing'st well enough for a shift.
Bene, “ If he had been a dog, that should have " howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him; and, I
pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief;" I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
Pedro. Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee get us some excellent music; for to-morrow night we would have it at the Lady Hero's chamber. window.
Balth. The best I can, my Lord. [Exit Balthazar.
Pedro. Do so: farewel. Come hither, Leonato; what was it you told me of to-day, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? Claud. O, ay;
-stalk on, stalk on, the fowl fits. I did never think that lady would have loved any
Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so doat on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seem'd ever to abhor.. Bene Is’t poflible ? fits the wind in that corner?
[:lide. Leon. By my troth, my Lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an inraged affection, -it is past the definite of thought.
Pedro. May be she doth but counterfeit.