ACT I
Scene 3
 

Another room in Leonato's house.

[Enter Sir John the Bastard and Conrade, his companion.]

CONRADE
What the goodyear, my lord! Why are you thus out of measure sad?

JOHN
There is no measure in the occasion that breeds; therefore the
sadness is without limit.

CONRADE
You should hear reason.

JOHN
And when I have heard it, what blessings brings it?

CONRADE
If not a present remedy, at least a patient sufferance.

JOHN
I wonder that thou (being, as thou say'st thou art, born under
Saturn) goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying
mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have
cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and
wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on no
man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his
humour.

CONRADE
Yea, but you must not make the full show of this till you may do
it without controlment. You have of late stood out against your
brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace, where it is
impossible you should take true root but by the fair weather that
you make yourself. It is needful that you frame the season for
your own harvest.

JOHN
I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace, and
it better fits my blood to be disdain'd of all than to fashion a
carriage to rob love from any. In this, though I cannot be said
to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied but I am a
plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a muzzle and
enfranchis'd with a clog; therefore I have decreed not to
sing in my cage. If I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my
liberty, I would do my liking. In the meantime let me be that I
am, and seek not to alter me.

CONRADE
Can you make no use of your discontent?

JOHN
I make all use of it, for I use it only.

[Enter Borachio.]

Who comes here? What news, Borachio?

BORACHIO
I came yonder from a great supper. The Prince your brother is
royally entertain'd by Leonato, and I can give you intelligence
of an intended marriage.

JOHN
Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? What is he for
a fool that betroths himself to unquietness?

BORACHIO
Marry, it is your brother's right hand.

JOHN
Who? the most exquisite Claudio?

BORACHIO
Even he.

JOHN
A proper squire! And who? and who? which way looks he?

BORACHIO
Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.

JOHN
A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?

BORACHIO
Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoking a musty room,
comes me the Prince and Claudio, hand in hand in sad conference.
I whipt me behind the arras and there heard it agreed upon that
the Prince should woo Hero for himself, and having obtain'd her,
give her to Count Claudio.

JOHN
Come, come, let us thither. This may prove food to my
displeasure. That young start-up hath all the glory of my
overthrow. If I can cross him any way, I bless myself every way.
You are both sure, and will assist me?

CONRADE
To the death, my lord.

JOHN
Let us to the great supper. Their cheer is the greater that I am
subdued. Would the cook were o' my mind! Shall we go prove what's
to be done?

BORACHIO
We'll wait upon your lordship.

[Exeunt.]