« PreviousContinue »
Bora. Yea, my lord'; but I can cross it.
D. 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 so covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me.
D. John. Show 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.
D. John. I remember.
Bora. I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamberwindow.
D. 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 wronged his honour in marrying the renowned Claudio (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to a contaminated person, such a one as Hero.
D. 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?
D. 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 that Hero loves me; intendó 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, 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 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 truth of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousy shall be call'd assurance, and all the preparation overthrown.
D. 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 you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.
D. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.
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.
Bene. I know that;-but I would have thee hence, and here again. [Exit Boy.]-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 laughed at such 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 musick with him but the drum and fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and
the pipe: I have known, when he would have walked ten mile afoot, 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 is he turn'd orthographer ; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just 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
; 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 dear; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it pleases. Ha! the prince and monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.
Enter Don Pedro, LEONATO, and CLAUDIO. D. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this musick ? Claud. Yea, my good lord :
-How still the even. ing is, As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony! D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid him.
self? Claud. O, very well, my lord: the musick ended, We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth.
Enter BALTHAZAR, with musick. D. Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song
Balth. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice
D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency,
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will sing :
he loves. D. Pedro.
Nay, pray thee, come:
Note this before my notes,
speaks ; Note, notes, forsooth, and noting! [Musick.
Bene. Now, Divine air! now is his soul ravished ! - Is it not strange, that sheep's guts should hale souls out of men's bodies ? — Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
Men were deceivers ever;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
Of dumps so dull and heavy í
The fraud of men was ever so,
Then sigh not so, &c.
lord. D. Pedro. Ha ? no; no, faith ; thou singest well enough for a shift.
Bene. [ Aside.] An he had been a dog, that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him; and, I pray heaven, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
D. Pedro. Yea, marry ; [T. CLAUDIO.] --Dost thou hear, Balthazar ? I pray thee, get us some excellent musick; for to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamber window.
Balth. The best I can, my lord.
D. Pedro. Do so: farewell. [Exeunt BALTHAZAR and musick.] 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;
the fowl sits. [Aside to PEDRO.] I did never think that lady would have loved
Leon. No, nor I'neither ; but most wonderful, that she should so dote on signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor. Bene. Is't possible ? Sits the wind in that corner.
[ Aside. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an enraged affection, — it is past the infinite of thought.
D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Leon. Counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.