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Much Ado About Nothing

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Enter DON JOHN andBORACHIO
Enter DON JOHN andBORACHIO


DON JOHN
It is so. The Count Claudio shall marry the daughter of
Leonato.
DON JOHN
It’s arranged. The Count Claudio will marry Leonato’s daughter.

BORACHIO
Yea, my lord, but I can cross it.
BORACHIO
Yes, my lord, but I can spoil it.


5

DON 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?
DON JOHN
Any obstacle or barrier to Claudio’s happiness will be like medicine to me. I hate him so much it makes me sick, and whoever can ruin his happiness will make me happy. How will you wreck this marriage?


BORACHIO
Not honestly, my lord, but so covertly that no dishonesty
shall appear in me.
BORACHIO
I can only do it by lying, my lord, but I can do it so secretly that no one will suspect me.

10
DON JOHN
Show me briefly how.
DON JOHN
Quickly, tell me how.


BORACHIO
I think I told your lordship a year since how much I am in
the favor of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman to Hero.
BORACHIO
I think it was a year ago that I told you how much Margaret, Hero’s servant woman, likes me.

DON JOHN
I remember.
DON JOHN
I remember.


15
BORACHIO
I can, at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her
to look out at her lady’s chamber window.
BORACHIO
I can arrange it so that at some indecent hour of the night, she looks out Hero’s bedroom window.

DON JOHN
What life is in that to be the death of this marriage?
DON JOHN
How will that kill this marriage?




20
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 honor in marrying the renowned Claudio,
whose estimation do you mightily hold up, to a
contaminated stale, such a one as Hero.
BORACHIO
That part is up to you. Go to the Prince, your brother, and tell him that he has done a terrible thing by matching the renowned Claudio—whom you greatly admire—with such a tainted whore as Hero.

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