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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 lyes 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 contami nated 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
John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing. .
Bora. Go then find me a meet Hour, to draw on 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 Friends Reputation, who is thus like to be cozen'd with the semblance of a Maid, that have discover'd thus; they will hardly 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 Claudio, and bring them to see this, the very Night before the intended Wedding, for in the mean time I will fashion the Matter, that Hero shall be abfent, and there shall appear such seeming Truths of Hero's Difloyalty, that Jealousie fhall be calld Assurance, and all the Preparation overthrown.
John. Grow this to what adverse Issue it can, I will put it in Pra&ice: Be cunning in the working this, and thy Fee is a thousand Ducats, Bora. Be thou constant in the Accusation, and
Bent. In my Chamber Window lyes 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 laught 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 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 Armor; and now will he lye 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 Orthography, his Words are a very fantastical Banquet, just 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 Oister 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 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 near me; Noble, or not 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 Arbor.
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio and Balthazar.
Cland. Yea, my good Lord; how ftill the Evening is,
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath 'hid himself?
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,
Balth. Because you talk of 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 ravish't, is it not strange that Sheeps Guts should hale Souls out of Mens Bodies? Well, a Horn for my Mony, when all's done.
Sigh no more Ladies, figh no more,
Then figh not fo, &c,
Pedro. Ha, no, no Faith, thou singʻst well enough for a shift.
Bene. And he had been a Dag that Mould have howl'd thus, they would have hang’d him, and I pray God his bad Voice bode no Mischief; I had as lieve have heard the Night-raven, come what Plague could have come after it,
Pedro. Yea, marry, dost thou hear Balthazar ? I pray thee get
some excellent Mufick; 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 so, farewell. Come hither Leonato, what was it you told me of to Day, that your Neice Beatrice was in Love with Signior Benedick?
Cland. O ay, stalk on, stalk on, the Fowl sits. I did never think that Lady would have loved any Man.
Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so doat on Signior Benedick, whom ihe hath in all outward Behaviours seem'd ever to abhor.
Bene. Iş't possible, fits the Wind in that Corner?
Pedro. May be she doth but counterfeit.
Léon. O God! counterfeit? There was never counterfeit of Paffion came so near the life of Passion as she disco
Pedro. Why, what Effeas of Passion fhews she?
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 Al faults of Affection.
Leon. I would have sworn it had, my Lord, especially against Benedick.
Bene. I should think this a Gull, but that the whitebearded Fellow speaks it; Knavery cannot sure hide himself in such Reverence.
Claud. He hath tane th' Infe&ion, hold it up.
Claud. 'Tis true indeed, so your Daughter says: Shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with Scorn, write to him I love him?
Leon. This says she, now when she is beginning to write to him, she'll be up twenty times a Night, and there will she fit in her Smock, 'till she have writ a Sheet 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. o when she had writ it, and reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the Sheet.
Claud. That. Leon. O se tore the Letter into a thousand Halfpence, rail'd at her self, that she should be so immodest, to write to one that she knew would flout her: I measure him, says she, by my own Spirit, I should flout him if he writ to me, yea though I love him, I should.
Claud. Then down upon her Knees she falls, weeps, fobs, beats her Heart, tears her Hair, prays, curses; O sweet Benedick, God give me patience.
Leon. She doch indeed, my Daughter says so, and the Extasie hath so much overborn her, that my Daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate Out-rage to her self, it is very true.
Pedro. It were good that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.
Cland. To what end? he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor Lady worse.
Pedro. And he should, it were an Alms to hang him; she's an excellent sweet Lady, and out of all Suspicion she is virtuous.
Claud. And she is exceeding wise.
Leon. O my Lord, Wisdom and Blood combating in fo tender a Body, we have ten Proofs to one, that Blood hath the Vi&ory; I am sorry for her, as I have just Cause, being her Uncle, and her Guardian.
Pedro. I would she had bestow'd this Dotage upon me; I would have daft all other Respects, and made her half my felf; I pray you tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will fay.
Leon. Were it good, think you? Claud. Hero thinks surely she will die, for the says the will die, if he love her not, and she will die e'er she