« PreviousContinue »
Beat. I cry you mercy, Uncle: by your Grace's pardon. [Exit Beatrice. Pedro. By my troth, a pleafant-fpirited Lady. Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her, my Lord; fhe is never fad but when the fleeps, and not ever fad then; (7) for I have heard my daughter fay, fhe hath often dream'd of an happiness, and wak'd her felf with laughing.
Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a hufband.
Leon. O, by no means, fhe mocks all her wooers out of fuit.
Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick.
Leon. O Lord, my Lord, if they were but a week marry'd, they would talk themselves mad.
Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to go to church?
Claud. To morrow, my Lord; time 'till love have all his rites.
goes on crutches,
Leon. Not 'till Monday, my dear fon, which is hence a juft feven-night, and a time too brief too, to have all things anfwer my mind.
Pedro. Come, you shake the head at fo long a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time fhall not go dully by us. I will in the Interim undertake one of Hercules's labours, which is, to bring Signior Bencdick 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 minifter fuch affiftance as I fhall give you direction.
Leon. My Lord, I am for you, though it coft me ten nights watchings.
(7) For I have heard my daughter say, She bath often dream'd of unhappiness, and wak'd her self with laughing.] Tho' all the Impreffions agree in this Reading, furely, 'tis abfolutely repugnant to what Leonato intends to fay, which is this; "trice is never fad, but when the fleeps; and not ever fad "then; for the hath often dream'd of fomething merry, (an happiness, as the Poet phrases it,) and wak'd herself with laughing".
Claud. And I, my Lord.
Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?
Hero. I will do any modeft office, my Lord, to help my Coufin to a good husband..
Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefulleft husband that I know thus far I can praise him, he is of a noble ftrain, of approv'd valour, and confirm'd honefty. I will teach you how to humour your Coufin, that fhe fhall fall in love with Benedick; and I, with your two helps, will fo practife on Benedick, that in defpight of his quick wit, and his queafie ftomach, he fhall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer, his glory fhall be ours, for we are the only Love-Gods; go in with me, and I will tell you my drift. [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to another Apartment in Leonato's House.
Enter Don John and Borachio.
John. I Daughter of Leonato.
Tis fo, the Count Claudio fhall marry the
Bora. Yea, my Lord, but I can cross it.
John. Any bar, any crofs, any impediment will be medicinable to me; I am fick in difpleasure to him; and whatfoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine. How canft thou cross this marriage?
Bora. Not honeftly, my Lord, but fo covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me.
John. Shew me briefly how.
Bora. I think, I told your lordship a year fince, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waitinggentlewoman to Hero.
John. I remember.
Bora. I can, at any unfeasonable inftant 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 poifon of That lyes in you to temper; go you to the Prince your brother, fpare 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, fuch a one as Hero.
John. What proof fhall I make of That?
Bora. Proof enough to mifufe the Prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato ; look you for any other iffue?
John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing.
(8) Bora. Go then find me a meet hour, to draw Don
(1) 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; ·Offer them Inftances, which shall bear no less Likelm bood than to fee me at her Chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me CLAUDIO; and bring them to fee this the very night before the intended Wedding.] 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 unquestionable. The Business ftands thus: Claudio, a. Favourite of the Arragon Prince, is, by his Interceffions with her Father, to be married to fair Hero s Don John, Natural Brother of the Prince, and a Hater of Clandio, is in his Spleen zealous to disappoint the March. Borashio, a rafcally Dependant on Don John, offers his Affiftance, and engages to break off the Marriage by this Stratagem. "Tell the Prince and Claudio (fays He) that Hero is in Love "with Me; they won't believe it; offer them Proofs, as that "they shall fee me converfe 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 "perfonate her Miftrefs Hero; do you then bring the Prince
and Claudio to overhear our Difcourfe; and They shall have "the Torment to hear me addrefs Margaret by the Name of "Hero, and her fay fweet things to me by the Name of Clau་ die." This is the Subftance of Borachie'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 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 femblance of a maid,) that you have difcover'd thus; they will hardly believe this without tryal: offer them inftances, which thall bear no less likelihood than to fee me at her chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me Borachio; and bring them to fee this, the very night before the intended Wedding; for in the mean time I will fo fashion the matter, that Hero fhall be abfent; and there fhall appear fuch feeming truths of Hero's difloyalty, that jealoufie fhall be call'd affurance, and all the preparation overthrown.
John. Grow this to what adverse iffue it can, I will put it in practice: be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
Bara. Be thou conftant in the accufation, and my cunning fhall not fhame me.
John. I will prefently go learn their day of marriage.
[Exeunt. SCENE changes to Leonato's Orchard.
Enter Benedick, and a Boy.
Bene. B Boy. Signior.
Hero fufpected of Disloyalty, and to break off her Match with Claudio. But, in the Name of common Senfe, could it difplease Claudio to hear his Mistress making Use of his Name tenderly? If he faw another Man with her, and heard her call him Claudio, he might reasonably think her betray'd, but not have the fame Reason to accufe her of Difloyalty. Besides, how could her naming Claudio make the Prince and Claudio believe that She lov'd Borachio, as he defires Don John to infinuate to them that She did? The Circumftances weigh'd, there is no Doubt but the Paffage ought to be reform'd, as I have fettled in the Text.
hear me call Margaret, Hero ; hear Margaret term në 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, feeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laught at fuch fhallow follies in others, become the argument of his own fcorn, by falling in love! and fuch 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 fee a good armour; and now will he lye ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to fpeak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man and a fol-. dier; and now is he turn'd orthographer, his words are a very fantaftical banquet, juft fo many ftrange dishes. May I be fo converted, and fee with thefe eyes? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not be fworn, but love may transform me to an oyfter; but I'll take my oath on it, 'till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me fuch 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 fhall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wife, 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 difcourfe, an excellent mufician, and her hair fhall be of what colour it pleafe God. Ha! the Prince and Monfieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour. [Withdraws,
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Pedro. Come, fhall we hear this musick?
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself?