Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Grechen Minton
Not Peer Reviewed

Much Ado About Nothing (Quarto 1, 1600)

Enter Iohn and Borachio.
Iohn It is so, the Counte Claudio shall marry the daughter
of Leonato.
Bora. Yea my lord, but I can crosse it.
785Iohn Any barre, any crosse, any impediment, will be med-
cinable to me, I am sicke in displeasure to him, and whatsoeuer
comes athwart his affection, ranges euenly with mine, how
canst thou crosse this marriage?
Bor. Not honestly my lord, but so couertly, that no disho-
790nesty shall appeare in me.
Iohn Shew me briefely how.
Bor. I thinke I told your lordship a yeere since, how much
I am in the fauour of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to
795Iohn I remember.
Bor. I can at any vnseasonable instant of the night, appoint
her to looke out at her ladies chamber window.
Iohn What life is in that to be the death of this mariage?
800Bor. The poison of that lies in you to temper, goe you to
the prince your brother, spare not to tell him, that he hath
wronged his honor in marrying the renowned Claudio, whose
estimation do you mightily hold vp, to a contaminated stale,
such a one as Hero.
805Iohn What proofe shall I make of that?
Bor. Proofe enough, to misuse the prince, to vexe Claudio,
to vndoe Hero, and kill Leonato, looke you for any other
Iohn Onely to dispight them I will endeuour any thing.
Bor. Go then, find me a meet houre, to draw don Pedro and
the Counte Claudio alone, tell them that you know that Hero
loues me, intend a kind of zeale both to the prince & Claudio
(as in loue of your brothers honor who hath made this match)
815and his friends reputation, who is thus like to bee cosen'd with
the semblance of a maid, that you haue discouer'd thus: they wil
scarcely beleeue this without triall: offer them instances which
shall beare no lesse likelihood, than to see me at her chamber
820window, heare me call Margaret Hero, heare Marg. terme me
Claudio, & bring them to see this the very night before the in-
tended wedding, for in the mean time, I wil so fashion the mat-
ter, that Hero shal be absent and there shal appeere such seeming
truth of Heroes disloyaltie, that iealousie shal be cald assu-
825rance, and al the preparation ouerthrowne.
Iohn Grow this to what aduerse issue it can, I will put it in
practise: be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thou-
sand ducates.
830Bor. Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning
shall not shame me.
Iohn I will presently go learne their day of marriage.