Act 2, Scene 2

A hall in LEONATO’S house.


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 any thing.

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 practise. 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.