Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

ACT II. Scene 2. Another room in LEONATO'S house.

[Enter DON JOHN and BORACHIO.]

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, 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.

DON JOHN.
Show me briefly how.

BORACHIO.
I think I told your lordship, a year since, how much I am in the
favour of Margaret, the waiting-gentlewoman to Hero.

DON JOHN.
I remember.

BORACHIO.
I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, 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 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 other issue?

DON JOHN.
Only to despite them, I will endeavour anything.

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 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
Claudio; and bring them to see this the very night before the intended
wedding: for in the meantime 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 called assurance, and all the
preparation overthrown.

DON 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.

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.

[Exeunt.]

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