ACT II
Scene 2
 

A hall in Leonato's house.

[Enter [Don] John and Borachio.]

JOHN
It is so. The Count Claudio shall marry the daughter of Leonato.

BORACHIO
Yea, my lord; but I can cross it.

JOHN
Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be med'cinable 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.

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.

JOHN
I remember.

BORACHIO
I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to
look out at her lady's chamber window.

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.

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?

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 cozen'd with the semblance of
a maid--that you have discover'd 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 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.

BORACHIO
Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame
me.

JOHN
I will presently go learn their day of marriage.

[Exeunt.]