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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 the sleeps, and not ever fad then; (7) for I have heard my daughter say, she hath often dream'd of an happiness, and wak'd herfelf with laaghing.
Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a hufband.
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 marryd, 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 just seven-night, 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 thall 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 fuch aslikanee as I thall give you direction.
Leon. My Lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights watchings.
(7) For I bave beard my daughter say, Sbe batb often dream'd of unhappiness, and wak'd berself with laugbing.] Tho' all the Impressions agree in this Reading, surely, 'tis absolutely repugnant to what Leonato intends to say, which is this; Beae “trice is never fad, but when she fleeps ; and not ever fad 66 then : for the hath often dream'd of fometbing merry, (an “ bappiness, as the Poet phrases it,) and wak'd herself with “ laughing."
Claud. And I, my
Hero. I will do any modest office, my Lord, to help my Cousin to a good husband.
Pedro. And Benedick is not the un hopefullest husband that I know : thus far I can praise him; he is of a noble ftrain, of approv'd valour, and confirm'd honesty. I will teach you how to humour your Cousin, that the fhall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your two helps, will fo practise on Benedick, that in despight of his quick wit, and his queasie ftomach, 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.
SCENE changes to another Apartment in
Enter Don John and Borachio. John. I T is so, the Count Claudio shall marry the "
Daughter of Leonato.
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 dishonefty shall appear in me. :
Jobn. Shew me briefly how.
Bora. I think, I told your lordship a year fince, 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.
Johr. 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
for any other Iffue ?
Fobn. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing (8) Bora. Go then find me a meet hour, to draw Don
(8) Bora. Go tben, find me a meet bour to draw on Pedro and
tbe Count Claudio, alone ; tell them that you know Hero loves me; -offer them Instances, which shall bear no lefs Likeli. bood iban to see me at ber Chamber-window; bear me call Margaret, Hero; bear Margaret term me CLAUDI0 ; and bring them to see this tbe very night before tbe intended Wed
ding.] Thus the whole Stream of the Editions from the firft Quarto downwards. I am oblig'd here to give a short Account of the Plot depending, that the Emendation I have made may appear the more clear and unqueftionable. The Business stands thus : Claudio, a Favourite of the Arragon Prince, is, by bis Intercefsions with her Father, to be marry'd to fair Hero; Don Jobn, natural Brother of the Prince, and a Hater of Clardio, is in his Spleen zealous to disappoint the Match. Boraa obio, a rascally Dependent on Don Jobn, offers his Afliftance, and engages to break off the Marriage by this Stratagem. “ Tell the Prince and Claudio (says He) that Hero is in Love “ with Me ; they won't believe it ; offer them Proofs, as thao " they fall 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 o the Torment to hear me address Margaret by the Name of “ Hero, and her say sweet things to me by the Name of Clau. “ dio,"This is the Substance of Boracbio's Device to make
Pedro, and the Count Claudio, alone ; tell them, that you know, Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to i 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 fema blance of a maid,) that you have discover'd thus ; they will hardly believe this without tryal : offer them inftances, which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber-window; hear me call Magaret, 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 jealoufie shall be callid 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 thoufand ducats.
Bora. Be thou conftant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me. John. I will presently go learn their day of marria
Exeunt. SCENE changes to Leonato's Orchard.
Enter Benedick, and a Boy. Bere. Boy Sic
Boy. Signior. Hero suspected of Dinoyalty, and to break off her Match with Claudio. But, in the Name of common Sense, could it din please Claudio to hear his Mistress making use of bis Name tenderly? If he saw another Man' with her, and heard her call him Claudio, he might reasonably think her' betray'd, but not kave the same Reason to aecuse her of Disloyalty. Besides, how could her naming Claudio make the Prince and Claudio believe that the lov'd Boracbio; as he defires Don Jobn' to infinuate to them that she did ? The Circumstances weigh’d, there is no doubt but the Passage ought to be reform'd, as I have settled 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, seeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedi. cates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laught at such fhallow 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 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 loldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer, his words are a very fantastical banquet, juft so many strange dishes. May I be fo 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 wife, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well. But 'till all graçes be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain ; wise, or I'llinone; virtuouş, or I'll never cheapen her : fair, or I'll never look on her ; mild, or not come 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 God. Ha! the Prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.
[Withdraws, Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this musick ?
Claud. Yea, my good lord ; how still the evening is, As hulh'd on purpose to grace harmony!
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself ?: