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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; fhe is never fad but when the sleeps, and not ever fad then ; (7) for I have heard my daughter say, fhe hath often dream'd of an happiness, and wak'd her self with laughing.

Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a hufband.

Leon. O, by no means, she 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.

Pédro. 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 fo long a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall 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 such aslistance as I Thall give you direction.

Leon. My Lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights watchings.

(7) For I have heard my daughter say, She hath ofren dream'd of unhappiness, and wak'd her self with laughing.] Tho' all the Impressions agree in this Reading, farely, 'tis absolutely repugnant to what Leonato intends to say, which is this;

trice is never fad, but when she neeps ; and not ever fad " then; for the hath often dream'd of something merry, (an

happiness, as the Poet phrases it,) and wak'd herself with “ laughing".

Claud.

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Jobt. Daughter of Leonato.

Claud. And I, my Lord.
Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero?

Hero. I will do any modest office, my Lord, to help my Cousin to a good husband.

Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know: thus far I can praise him, he is of a noble ftrain, of approv'd valour, and confirm'd honesty. will teach you how to humour your Cousin, that the Ahall 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 queafie stomach, 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.

[Exeunt. SCENE changes to another Apartment in

Leonato's House.
Enter Don John and Borachio:

T is so, the Count Claudio shall marry the Bora. Yea, my Lord, but I can cross it.

John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be medicinable to me; I am fick in difpleasure 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 dishonefty shall appear in me.

John. Shew me briefly how.

Bora. I think, I told your lordship a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waitinggentlewoman 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,

John.

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's 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 you for any other issue?

John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any, thing. (8) Bora. Go then find me a meet hour, to draw Don

Pedro,

me;

(3) Bora. Go then, find me a meet hour to draw on Pedro and the Count Claudio, alone ; tell them that you know Hero loves

Offer them Instances, which shall bear no lefs Likelibood than to see me at bey Chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me CLAUDIO; and bring them to see this the very night before the intended Wedo

ding. 1 Thus the whole Stream of the Editions from the first 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 stands thus: Claudio, a Favourite of the Arragon Prince, is, by his Intercessions with her Father, to be married to fair Hero ; Don John, Natural Brother of the Prince, and a Hater of Claudio, is in his Spleen zealous to disappoint the March. Boraobio, a rascally Dependant on Don John, offers his Assistance, and engages to break off the Marriage by this Stratagema “ Tell the Prince and Claudio (says He) that Hero is in Love " with Me ; they won't believe it ; offer them Proofs, as thac " they shall 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 lwall have " the Torment to hear me addrels Margaret by the Name of “ Hero, and her say sweet things to me by the Name of Claua o die.' - This is the Substance of Borachio's Device to make

Hero

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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 semblance of a maid,) that you have discover'd thus; they will hardly believe this without tryal : 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 Here Thall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truths of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousie shall be callà 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 thousand ducats.

Bera. Be thou conftant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me, John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.

[Exeunt. SCENE changes to Leonato's Orcharda

OY,

Bor

Enter Benedick, and a Boy. Bene.

Boy. Signior. Hero fuspected of Diloyalty, and to break off her Match with Claudio. But, in the Name of common Sense, could it difplease Claudio to hear his - Mistress making use of his Name tenderly ? If he saw another Man with her, and heard her call him Claudio, he might reasonably think her betray'd, but not have the same Reason to accuse her of Difoyalty. Besides, how could her naming Clandio make the Prince and Claudio believe that she lor'd Borachio, as he desires Don John to insie nuate 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.

hear me call Margaret, Hero ; hear Margaret term me BORACHIO,

Bene,

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 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 armour; 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 fol. dier; 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 musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha ! the Prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the are bour.

(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 hush'd on purpose to grace harmony !

Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself?
Claud. O very well, my lord; the mufick ended,
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