Act I, Scene 2 A room in LEONATO's house.

Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, meeting

 

LEONATO How now, brother! Where is my cousin, your son?
hath he provided this music?
ANTONIO He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell
you strange news that you yet dreamt not of.
LEONATO Are they good?
ANTONIO As the event stamps them: but they have a good
cover; they show well outward. The prince and Count
Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley in mine
orchard, were thus much overheard by a man of mine:
the prince discovered to Claudio that he loved my
niece your daughter and meant to acknowledge it
this night in a dance: and if he found her
accordant, he meant to take the present time by the
top and instantly break with you of it.
LEONATO Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?
ANTONIO A good sharp fellow: I will send for him; and
question him yourself.
LEONATO No, no; we will hold it as a dream till it appear
itself: but I will acquaint my daughter withal,
that she may be the better prepared for an answer,
if peradventure this be true. Go you and tell her of it.
  [Enter Attendants]
  Cousins, you know what you have to do. O, I cry you
mercy, friend; go you with me, and I will use your
skill. Good cousin, have a care this busy time.
  [Exeunt]

 

Act I, Scene 3 The same.

Enter DON JOHN and CONRADE

 

CONRADE What the good-year, my lord! why are you thus out
of measure sad?
DON JOHN There is no measure in the occasion that breeds;
therefore the sadness is without limit.
CONRADE You should hear reason.
DON JOHN And when I have heard it, what blessing brings it?
CONRADE If not a present remedy, at least a patient
sufferance.
DON JOHN I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest 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.
DON JOHN I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in
his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
disdained 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 enfranchised 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?
DON JOHN I make all use of it, for I use it only.
Who comes here?
  [Enter BORACHIO]
  What news, Borachio?
BORACHIO I came yonder from a great supper: the prince your
brother is royally entertained by Leonato: and I
can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
DON 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.
DON JOHN Who? the most exquisite Claudio?
BORACHIO Even he.
DON JOHN A proper squire! And who, and who? which way looks
he?
BORACHIO Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.
DON JOHN A very forward March-chick! How came you to this?
BORACHIO Being entertained 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
obtained her, give her to Count Claudio.
DON 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.
DON JOHN Let us to the great supper: their cheer is the
greater that I am subdued. Would the cook were of
my mind! Shall we go prove what's to be done?
BORACHIO We'll wait upon your lordship.
  [Exeunt]

 

To view other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act III, Scene 4 Hero's apartment.
Act I, Scene 1 Before Leonato's house. Act III, Scene 5 Another room in Leonato's house.
Act I, Scene 2 A room in Leonato's house/Act I, Scene 3 The same. Act IV, Scene 1 A church.
Act II, Scene 1 A hall in Leonato's house. Act IV, Scene 2 A prison.
Act II, Scene 2 The same. Act V, Scene 1 Before Leonato's house.
Act II, Scene 3 Leonato's orchard. Act V, Scene 2 Leonato's garden.
Act III, Scene 1 Leonato's garden Act V, Scene 3 A church.
Act III, Scene 2 A room in Leonato's house Act V, Scene 4 A room in Leonato's house.
Act III, Scene 3 A street.

 

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All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
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The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
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