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John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment, will be medicinable to me; I am sick 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 dishonefty 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 waiting. gentlewoman 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.
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 ftale, 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 femblance of a maid), that you have discover'd thus. They will hardly believe this without trial : offer them in stances, 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 feening trụths of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousy
shall be called aflurance, 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 fcorn, 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 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 soldier; and now he is turn'd orthographer, his words are a very fantastical banquet, juft so many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and fee 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 oifter 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 vir, tuous, yet I am well. But till all graces be in one woñan, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich The Thall be, that's certain; "wise, or l'il none; vis
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
Ha ! the Prince and Monsieur Love! I will kide me in the arbour,
[Withdraws. S CE N E IX. Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Pedro. Come, shall we hear this music?
Glaud. Yea, my good Lord; how ftill the evening is, As huh'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 deceivers ever ;
To one thing constant never : * Hinting fatirically at the art used by ladies in dying their hair of a colour different from what it is by nature.
Woo no more.
Balt?. Because you talk if wooing, I will fing;
Pedro. Nay, pray thee, ,come;
Balth. Note this before my notes,
Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks,
Bene. Now, divine air; now is his soul ravishd! Is it not strange, that theeps guts should hale souls out of mens bodies? Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
The SONG, 6o,
Then figh not so, but let them go,
And be you blyth and bonny
Into Hey nony, nony.
Öf dumps so dull and heavy ;
Since summer was first leafy.
Then figh not fo, &c.
Pedro. Ha, no; no, faith ; thou sing'ft well enough for a shift.
Bene. “ If he had been a dog, that should have ve 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 fo: 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;
- talk stalk
on, the fowl fits. I did never think that lady would have loved aby man.
Leon. No, nor I neither ; but most wonderful, that fe should so doat on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seem'd ever to abhor. Bene. Is't posible? fits the wind in that corner ?
[Afide. 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.
terfeit of passion came fo near the life of passion, as she discovers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of passion fhews she ?
[Afde. Leon. What effects, my Lord ? she will fit you, you heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
Pedro. How, how, I pray you ? you amaze me : I would have thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
Leon. I would have sworn it had, my Lord; efpecially against Benedick.
Bene. [Afide.] I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it'; knāvery cannot fure hide himself in such reverence. : Claud. He hath ta'en th’infection, hold it up.
[Afide. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick ?
Leon. No, and swears she never will ; that's her torment,
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, so your daughter says : shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?
Leon. This says the now, when she is beginning to write to him ; for she'll be up twenty times a-night, and there will she fit in her finock, till she have writ a Theet of paper. My daughter tells us all. Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper,
I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. 0, -when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.
Leon. O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfponce ; rail'd at herself, that she should be fo immodest, to write to one that she knew wou'd flout her : I measure him, says she, by my own spirit, for I should fout him if he writ to me, yea, though I love him, I Thould.
Claud. Then down upoa her knees the falls, weeps,