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not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed : she would have made Hercules have turned spit; yea, and have cleft his club, to make the fire too. I would to Heaven, some scholar would conjure her: for, certainly, while she is here, a man may live as quiet in hell, as in a sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose, because they would go thither; so, indeed, all disquiet, horror, and perturbation follows her.
Beatr. Leon. Claud. and Hero. [Within.] Ha ! ha! ha!
Pedro. Look, here she comes.
Bened. Will your grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the slightest errand now to the Antipodes, that you can devise to send me on; I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the farthest inch of Asia; bring you the length of Prester John's foot; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard; do you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather than hold three words conference with this harpy : You have no employment for me?
Pedro. None, but to desire your good company.
Enter Beatrice, Leonato, CLAUDIO, and Hero.
Bened. O lord, sir, here's a dish I love not; I cannot endure my Lady Tongue. [Exit Benedick.
Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick. You have put him down, lady, you have put him down.
Beatr. I have brought Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.
Pedro. Why, how now, Count? wherefore are you sad? Claud. Not sad, my
lord. Pedro. How then? Sick? Claud. Neither, my lord. Beatr. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor mer
ry, nor well : but civil, Count; civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.
Pedro. l'faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and fair Hero is won ; I have broke with her father, and his good will obtained : name the day of marriage, and Heaven give thee joy !
Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes; his grace hath made the match, and all grace say amen to it!
Beatr. Speak, Count, 'tis your cue.
Claud. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much.Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: I give away myself for you, and dote upon the exchange.
Beatr. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak, neither.
Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.
Beatr. Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care.-My cousin tells him in his ear, that he is in her heart.
Claud. And so she doth, cousin.
Beatr. Good lord, for alliance !-Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sun-burned; I
may sit in a corner, and cry, Heigho for a husband !
Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.
Beatr. I would rather have one of your father's getting : Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you? Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.
Pedro. Will you have me, lady?
Beatr. No, my lord, unless I might have another for working days; your grace is too costly to wear every day :-—But, I beseech your grace, pardon me; I was born to speak all mirth, and no matter.
Pedro. Your silence most offends me; and to be
merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.
Beatr. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.—Cousins, Heaven give you joy!
Lean. Niece, will you look to those things I told
you of ?
Beatr. I cry you mercy, uncle.-By your grace's pardon.
[Erit. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant spirited lady!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
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 shall not go dully by us. I will, in the interim, un dertake one of Hercules' 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 assistance as I shall give you direction.
Leon. My lord, I am for you, if it cost me ten nights watchings. Claud. And I, my lord. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?
Hero. I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my cousin to a good husband,
Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know : thus far can I praise him; he is of a noble strain, of approved valour, and confirmed honesty. I will teach you how to humour your cousin, that she shall fall in love with Benedick:-and I, with your two helps, will so practise on Benedick, that, in despite of his quick wit and queasy sto
mach, 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 you my drift.
A Hall in LEONATO's House.
Enter Don John and BORACHIO.
the daughter of Leonato.
Bor. Yea, my lord ; but I can cross it.
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 ?
Bor. Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly, that no dishonesty shall appear in me.
John. Show me briefly how.
Bor. 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.
Bor. 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 ?
Bor. The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you to the prince, your brother; spare not to tell him, that he hath wronged his honour in marry.
ing the renowned 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?
Bor. 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.
Bur. Go then; find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro, and the Count Claudio, alone : tell them, that
you know that Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to the prince and Claudio, as-in love of your brother's honour, who hath made this match; and his friend's reputation, who is thus like to be cozened with the semblance of a maid, -that you have discovered thus. They will scarcely 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 thein 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 truth 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.
Bor. Be you constant in the accusation, an my cunning shall not shame me.
John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.