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Beat. I cry you mercy, Uncle : by your Grace's pardon.

[Exit Beatrice. Pedro. By my troth a pleasant-spirited Lady.

Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my

Lord; she is never fad but when she sleeps, and not ever fad then; (7) for I have heard my daughter say, the hath often dream'd of an happiness, and wak'd herself with laughing

Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a huband.

Leon. O, by no means, she mocks all her wooers out of suit.

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 son, which is hence a just seven-night, and a time too brief too, to have all things answer my mind.

Pedro. Come, you make the head at fo long a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall 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 minister such aslistance as I shall give you direction.

Leon, My Lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights watchings.

(7) For I have heard my daughter fay, She barb often dreamed of unhappiness, and wak’d herself with laughing. ] Tho' all the Impressions agree in this Reading, surely, 'tis ablolutely repugnant to what Lecnato intends to say, which is this; “ Beatrice is never sad, but « when she sleeps; and not ever sad then; for she hath often dream'd " of something merry, ( an koppiness, as the Poet phrases it,) and i wak'd herielf with laughing."

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Claud. And I, my Lord.
Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?

Hero. I will do any modeft office, my Lord, to help my Cousin to a good husband.

Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest 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 she shall fall love with Benedick; and I, wit your two helps, will fo practise on Benedick, that in despight of his quick wit, and his queasy stomach, 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; go in with me, and I will tell

[Exeunt,

you my drift.

SCENE changes to another Apartment in

Leonato's House.

"IT

Enter Don John and Borachio.
John. T is so, the Count Claudio fhall marry the

Daughter of Leonato.
Bora. Yea, my lord, but I can cross it.

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 fo covertly that no dishoneity 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 unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her Lady's chamber window.

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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'd 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 issues

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 iben, find me a meet bour 10 draw on Pedro and the

Count Claudio, alone; tell them that you know Hero luves me;
Offer them Infiances, which shall bear no less Likelihood than to see
me at ber Chamber-wirdow; 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 short Account of the Plot depending, that the Emendation I have made may appear the more clear and unquestionable. The Bufiness ftands thus: Claudio, a Favourite of the Arragon Prince, is, by his Interceffions with her Father, to be married to fair Hero; Don Jobn, natural Brother of the Prince, and a hater of Claudio, is in his Spleen zealous to disappoint the Match. Boracbio, a rafcally Dependant on Don Jobn, offers his Aflitance, and engages to break off the Marriage by this Stratageni. " Tell the Prince “ and Claudio (says He) that Hero is in Love with Me; they “ won't believe it; offer them Proofs, as that they shall see me « converse 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 personate her Mistress Hero; do you then bring the Prince and Claudio to overhear our Discourse: and they shall have the Torment to hear me ad“ dress Margaret by the Name of Hero, and her say sweet things to

me by the Name of Claudio.". This is the Substance of Borachio's Device to make Hero suspected of Dinoyalty, and to break off her Match with Claudio. But in the name of common Sense, could it displease Claudio to here his Mistress making Use of his Name

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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 cozend with the semblance of a maid), that you have discover'd thus ; they will hardly believe this without trial : offer them inftances, 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 so 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 conftant in the accusation, and

my ning shall not shame me. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.

[Exeunti

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tenderly? If he saw another Man with her, and heard her call him Claudio, he might reasonably think her betrayed, but not have the same Reason to accuse her of Disloyalty. Besides, how could her naming Claudio make the Prince and Claudio believe that she lov'd Borachio, as he defires Don John to infinuate to them that she did ? The Circumstances weighed, there is no Doubt but the Passage ought to be reformed, as I have settled in the Text.

- bear me call Margaret, Hero; bear Margaret term me BORACHIO.

Bene.

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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 laught at fuch 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 mufick with him but the drum and the fife ; and now had hc rather hear the taber 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 speak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man and a foldier ; and now is he turn'd orthographer, his words are à very fantastical banquet, juit so many strange 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 oyster ; but I'll take my oath on it, 'till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool : one woman is fair, yet I am well ; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well. But 'till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain ; wise, 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 discourse, an excellent mufician, and her hair snall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the Prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.

[Withdraws. Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthasar. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this musick ?

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 musick ended,

We'll

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