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Beat. I cry you mercy, Uncle: by your Grace's pardon. [Exit Beatrice. Pedro. By my troth a pleafant-fpirited Lady. Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my Lord; fhe is never fad but when the fleeps, and not ever fad then; (7) for I have heard my daughter fay, fhe hath often dream'd of an happinefs, and wak'd herfelf with laughing.
Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a husband. Leon. O, by no means, the mocks all her wooers out of fuit.
Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick.
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 fon, which is hence a juft feven-night, and a time too brief too, to have all things anfwer my mind.
Pedro. Come, you shake the head at fo long a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time fhall 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 you three will but minifter fuch afliftance as I fhall give you direction.
Leon, My Lord, I am for you, though it coft me ten nights watchings.
(7) For I have heard my daughter fay, She bath often dreamed of unhappiness, and wak'd herself with laughing.] Tho' all the Impreffions agree in this Reading, furely, 'tis abfolutely repugnant to what Lecnato intends to fay, which is this; "Beatrice is never fad, but "when the fleeps; and not ever fad then; for the hath often dream'd "of fomething merry, (an happiness, as the Poet phrafes it,) and wak'd herself with laughing.'
Claud. And I, my Lord.
Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?
Hero. I will do any modeft office, my Lord, to help my Coufin to a good husband.
Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefulleft husband that I know: thus far I can praise him, he is of a noble frain, of approv'd valour, and confirm'd honesty. I will teach you how to humour your coufin, that she shall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your two helps, will fo practife on Benedick, that in defpight of his quick wit, and his queafy ftomach, he fhall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer, his glory fhall be ours, for we are the only Love-Gods; go in with me, and I will tell you my drift. [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to another Apartment in
Enter Don John and Borachio.
John. T is fo, the Count Claudio fhall marry the Daughter of Leonato.
Bora. Yea, my lord, but I can cross it.
John. Any bar, any crofs, any impediment will be medicinable to me; I am fick in difpleasure to him; and whatsoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine. How canft thou crofs this marriage?
Bora. Not honeftly, my Lord, but fo covertly that no dishonesty fhall appear in me.
John. Shew me briefly how.
Bora. I think, I told your lordship a year fince, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waitinggentlewoman to Hero.
John. I remember.
Bora. I can, at any unfeasonable inftant 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 poifon of That lies in you to temper; go you to the Prince your brother, fpare not to tell him, that he hath wrong'd his Honour in marrying the renown'd Claudio, (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to a contaminated Stale, fuch a one as Hero.
John. What proof fhall I make of that?
Bora. Proof enough to mifufe the Prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato; look you for any other iffue ?
John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing.
(8) Bora. Go then find me a meet hour, to draw Don Pedro,
(8) Bora. Go then, find me a meet bour to draw on Pedro and the Count Claudio, alone; tell them that you know Hero loves me ;Offer them Inftances, which hall bear no lefs Likelihood than to fee me at ber Chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; bear Margaret term me CLAUDIO; and bring them to see this the very night before the intended Wedding.] Thus the whole Stream of the Editions from the first Quarto downwards. I am obliged here to give a fhort Account of the Plot depending, that the Emendation I have made may appear the more clear and unquestionable. The Bufinefs ftands thus: Claudio, a Favourite of the Arragon Prince, is, by his Interceffions with her Father, to be married to fair Hero; Don John, natural Brother of the Prince, and a hater of Claudio, is in his Spleen zealous to disappoint the Match. Borachio, a raf cally Dependant on Don John, offers his Affiftance, and engages to break off the Marriage by this Stratageni. "Tell the Prince "and Claudio (fays He) that Hero is in Love with Me; they "won't believe it; offer them Proofs, as that they fhall fee me "converfe with her in her Chamber-window. I am in the good "Graces of her Waiting-woman Margaret; and I'll prevail with "Margaret at a dead Hour of Night to perfonate her Mistress "Hero; do you then bring the Prince and Claudio to overhear our "Difcourfe: and they fhall have the Torment to hear me ad"drefs Margaret by the Name of Hero, and her fay fweet things to "6 me by the Name of Claudio." -This is the Subftance of Bora
chio's Device to make Hero fufpected of Difloyalty, and to break off her Match with Claudio. But in the name of common Senfe, could it difplease Claudio to here his Mistress making Use of his Name
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 femblance of a maid), that you have discover'd thus; they will hardly believe this without trial offer them inflances, which fhall bear no lefs likelihood than to fee. me at her chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me Borachio; and bring them to fee this, the very night before the intended wedding ; for in the mean time I will fo fafhion the matter, that Hero fhall be abfent; and there fhall appear fuch seeming truths of Hero's difloyalty, that jealousy fhall be called affurance, and all the preparation overthrown.
John. Grow this to what adverfe iffue it can, I will put it in practice: be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
Bora. Be thou conftant in the accufation, and my cunning fhall not shame me.
John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.
tenderly? If he faw another Man with her, and heard her call him Claudio, he might reasonably think her betrayed, but not have the fame Reafon to accufe her of Difloyalty. Befides, how could her naming Claudio make the Prince and Claudio believe that the lov'd Borachio, as he defires Don John to infinuate to them that he did? The Circumftances weighed, there is no Doubt but the Paffage ought to be reformed, as I have fettled in the Text.
bear me call Margaret, Hero; bear Margaret term me BORACHIO.
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, feeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laught at fuch fhallow follies in others, become the argument of his own fcorn, by falling in love! and fuch a man is Claudio. I have known, when there was no mufick with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the taber and the pipe; I have known, when he would have walk'd ten mile a-foot, to fee a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain, and to the purpofe, like an honeft man and a foldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer, his words are à very fantastical banquet, just fo many ftrange dishes. May I be fo converted, and fee with thefe eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not be fworn, but love may transform me to an oyfter; but I'll take my oath on it, 'till he have made an oyfter of me, he shall never make me fuch 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 graces be in one woman, one woman fhall not come in my grace. Rich fhe fhall be, that's certain; wife, or I'll none; virtuous, ́ 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 difcourfe, an excellent mufician, and her hair fhall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the Prince and Monfieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour. [Withdraws.
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthafar.
Pedro. Come, fhall we hear this mufick?
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself?