Bora. Yea my Lord, but I can crosse it

Iohn. Any barre, any crosse, any impediment, will be medicinable to me, I am sicke in displeasure to him, and whatsoeuer comes athwart his affection, ranges euenly with mine, how canst thou crosse this marriage? Bor. Not honestly my Lord, but so couertly, that no dishonesty shall appeare in me

Iohn. Shew me breefely how

Bor. I thinke I told your Lordship a yeere since, how much I am in the fauour of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to Hero

Iohn. I remember

Bor. I can at any vnseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to looke out at her Ladies chamber window

Iohn. What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage? Bor. The poyson of that lies in you to temper, goe you to the Prince your brother, spare not to tell him, that hee hath wronged his Honor in marrying the renowned Claudio, whose estimation do you mightily hold vp, to a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero

Iohn. What proofe shall I make of that? Bor. Proofe enough, to misuse the Prince, to vexe Claudio, to vndoe Hero, and kill Leonato, looke you for any other issue? Iohn. Onely to despight them, I will endeauour any thing

Bor. Goe then, finde me a meete howre, to draw on Pedro and the Count Claudio alone, tell them that you know that Hero loues me, intend a kinde of zeale both to the Prince and Claudio (as in a loue of your brothers honor who hath made this match) and his friends reputation, who is thus like to be cosen'd with the semblance of a maid, that you haue discouer'd thus: they will scarcely beleeue this without triall: offer them instances which shall beare no lesse likelihood, than to see mee at her chamber window, heare me call Margaret, Hero; heare Margaret terme me Claudio, and bring them to see this the very night before the intended wedding, for in the meane time, I will so fashion the matter, that Hero shall be absent, and there shall appeare such seeming truths of Heroes disloyaltie, that iealousie shall be cal'd assurance, and all the preparation ouerthrowne

Iohn. Grow this to what aduerse issue it can, I will put it in practise: be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducates

Bor. Be thou constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me

Iohn. I will presentlie goe learne their day of marriage. Enter.

Enter Benedicke alone.

Bene. Boy

Boy. Signior

Bene. In my chamber window lies a booke, bring it hither to me in the orchard

Boy. I am heere already sir. Enter.

Bene. I know that, but I would haue thee hence, and heere againe. I doe much wonder, that one man seeing how much another man is a foole, when he dedicates his behauiours to loue, will after hee hath laught at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his owne scorne, by falling in loue, & such a man is Claudio. I haue known when there was no musicke with him but the drum and the fife, and now had hee rather heare the taber and the pipe: I haue knowne when he would haue walkt ten mile afoot, to see a good armor, and now will he lie ten nights awake caruing the fashion of a new dublet: he was wont to speake plaine, & to the purpose (like an honest man & a souldier) and now is he turn'd orthography, his words are a very fantasticall banquet, iust so many strange dishes: may I be so conuerted, & see with these eyes? I cannot tell, I thinke not: I will not bee sworne, but loue may transforme me to an oyster, but Ile take my oath on it, till he haue made an oyster of me, he shall neuer make me such a foole: one woman is faire, yet I am well: another is wise, yet I am well: another vertuous, yet I am well: but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace: rich shee shall be, that's certaine: wise, or Ile none: vertuous, or Ile neuer cheapen her: faire, or Ile neuer looke on her: milde, or come not neere me: Noble, or not for an Angell: of good discourse: an excellent Musitian, and her haire shal be of what colour it please God, hah! the Prince and Monsieur Loue, I will hide me in the Arbor. Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio, and Iacke Wilson.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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