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John. Shew me briefly how.
a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to Hero.
John. I remember.
Bora. I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamberber-window.
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 wrong'd his honour in marrying the renown's Claudio, (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to a contaminated ftale, such a one as Hero,
John. What proof fall 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 s Bora. Go then, sind me a meet hour to draw
Don · Bora. Gothen, find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro, and the count Claudio aione ; tell them that you know Hero loves me ;-- Offer ibum instances, which shall bear no lejs likelihood than to see me at her chamler-window ; bear me call Margarei, Hero ; bear Margaret term me Claudio ; and bring them to fie this the very night before the intended wedding.] Thus the whole stream of the editions from the first quarto downwards. I am obliged here to give a short account of the plot deperding, that the emendations have made may appear the more clear and unquestionable. The business stands thus : Claudio; a favourite of the Arragon prince, is, by his interceflions 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 match. Borachio, a rascally dependant on Don John, offers his allistance, and engages to break off the marriage by this ifratagem. “Tell the prince and Clau** dio (says he) that Hero is in love with me; they won't believe
« it ;
Don 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 you have discover'd thus. They will hardly believe this with. out 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; aud 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 truths of Hero's difoyalty, that jealousy shall be call'd 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.
“it ; offer them proofs, as that they Mall see me converse with her “ in her chamber-window. I am in the good graces of her wait“ing-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 dis, “ course; and they shall have the torment to hear me address “ Margaret by the name of Hero ; and her say sweet things “ to me by the name of Claudio.". - This is the subfance of Borachio's device to make Hero suspected of difoyal. ty, and to break off her match with Claudio. But, in the name of common sense, could it displease 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 betrayed, but not have the same reason to accuse her of dif, loyalty. Besides, how could her naming Claudio make the prince and Claudio believe that the lov’d Borachio, as he desires Don John to infinuate to them that she did ? The circumstances weighed, there is no doubt but the passage ought to be reformed, as I have settled in the text. --hear me call Margarei, Hiro; hear Marzaret teron me Borachio. THEOBALD.
Bora. Be thou conftant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.
John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.
[Exeunt. SCEŃ E III.
Enier 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, fir.
Bene. I know that ;-but I would have thee hence, and here again. (Exit Bcy.] ---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 laugh'd at such shallow follies in others, be come the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love : and such 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 tabor and the pipe: I have known, when he would have walk'd 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 converred, 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; ano.
ther 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'l 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 arbour. (Withdraws.
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself ?
Claud. O very well, my lord : the musick 'ended, We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth.
Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song again,
Baltb. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To fander musick any more than once.
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath bid himself?
Claudio. Very well, my lord; the mufick ended, we'll fit the kida fox witb a pennyworth.) i. e. we will be even with
the fox now difcovered. So the word kid, or kidde, fignifies in Chaucer,
6. The fothfastness that now is hid,
Romaunt of the Rofi, 2171, &c.
Troilus and Crefeide, lib. i. 208. “ With that anon sterte out daungere, • Out of the place where he was hidde, “ His malice in his cheere was kidde."
Romaunt of the Rose, 2130.
Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency, To put a strange face on his own perfection : I pray thee, fing, and let me woo no more.
Baltb. 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; Note, notes, forsooth, and noting!
· Bene. Now, divine air! now is his soul ravish'd !Įs it not strange, that sheeps guts should hale souls out of men's bodies ?Well, a horn for my money, when ail's done.
The S O N G.
Sigh no more, ladies, Sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever ;
To one thing constant never :
And be you blith and bonny ;
Into, Hey nonny, nonny.
Of dumps so dull and beavy;
Since summer first was leavy.
Pedro. By my troth, a good song.