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Much Ado about Nothing

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Act II, Scene 2

The same.



  • Don John. It is so; the Count Claudio shall marry the
    daughter of Leonato.
  • Borachio. Yea, my lord; but I can cross it.
  • Don John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be
    medicinable to me: I am sick in displeasure to him, 765
    and whatsoever comes athwart his affection ranges
    evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this marriage?
  • Borachio. Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly that no
    dishonesty shall appear in me.
  • Borachio. I think I told your lordship a year since, how much
    I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting
    gentlewoman to Hero.
  • Borachio. I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, 775
    appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber window.
  • Don John. What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?
  • Borachio. The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you to
    the prince your brother; spare not to tell him that
    he hath wronged his honour in marrying the renowned 780
    Claudio—whose estimation do you mightily hold
    up—to a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero.
  • Don John. What proof shall I make of that?
  • Borachio. Proof enough to misuse the prince, to vex Claudio,
    to undo Hero and kill Leonato. Look you for any 785
    other issue?
  • Don John. Only to despite them, I will endeavour any thing.
  • Borachio. 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 a kind of zeal both to the 790
    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: 795
    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 meantime I 800
    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 called
    assurance and all the preparation overthrown.
  • Don John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put 805
    it in practise. Be cunning in the working this, and
    thy fee is a thousand ducats.
  • Borachio. Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning
    shall not shame me.
  • Don John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage. 810