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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; intend 6 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 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 calld 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 fair; 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 near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent niusician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, and Claudio.
evening is, As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony ! D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid ·
himself? Claud. O, very well, my lord: the musick ended, We'll fit the kid-fox7 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:
Nay, pray thee, come. Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument, Do it in notes.
Balth. Note this before my notes, There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting. D. Pedro. Why these are very crotchets that he
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
7 Young or cub-fox.
souls out of men's bodies ? Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.
Men were deceivers ever;
But let them go,
blith and bonny;
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
Then sigh not so, &c.
D. Pedro. By my troth, a good song.
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 God, 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; [To Claudio.] - Dost thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee get us some ex
cellent 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:-Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits. [Aside to PEDRO.] I did never think that lady would have loved any man.
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 9.
D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Leon. O God! counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.
D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she? Claud. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.
(Aside. Leon. What effects, my lord! She will sit you, You heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
9 Beyond the power of thought to conceive.