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LEONATO

Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a just
sevennight, and a time too brief, too, to have all things
answer my mind.

LEONATO

Wait till Monday, my dear son, which is only a week away. Even that is too short a time to plan things the way I would like.

DON PEDRO

(to CLAUDIO) Come, you shake the head at so long a
305breathing, but I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall not go
dully by us. I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules'
labors, which is to bring Signor Benedick and the Lady
Beatrice into a mountain of affection, th' one with th' other.
I would fain have it a match, and I doubt not but to fashion
310it, if you three will but minister such assistance as I shall
give you direction.

DON PEDRO

(to CLAUDIO) Oh, don’t look so frustrated at having to wait so long. I promise you, Claudio, the time will go by quickly. While we’re waiting for the wedding, I’m going to take on an impossible task: to make Signior Benedick and the Lady Beatrice fall in love with each other. I aim to see them matched, and with all of your help, I’m sure we can make it happen.

LEONATO

My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten nights'
watchings.

LEONATO

My lord, I will help you, even if it means I have to stay awake for ten nights straight.

CLAUDIO

And I, my lord.

CLAUDIO

Me too, my lord.

DON PEDRO

315And you too, gentle Hero?

DON PEDRO

And you, sweet Hero?

HERO

I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my cousin to a
good husband.

HERO

I’ll do any decent thing, my lord, to help my cousin get a good husband.

DON PEDRO

And Benedick is not the unhopefulest husband that I know.
Thus far can I praise him: he is of a noble strain, of approved
320valor, and confirmed honesty. I will teach you how to humor
your cousin that she shall fall in love with Benedick.—And
I, with your two helps, will so practice on Benedick
that, in despite of his quick wit and his queasy stomach, he
shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no
325longer an archer; his glory shall be ours, for we are the only
love gods. Go in with me, and I will tell you my drift.

DON PEDRO

And Benedick is not the worst husband I can think of. This much I can say about him: he is well-born, has proven his bravery in battle, and has established his good character. Hero, I’ll show you how to influence your cousin so she falls in love with Benedick. We men will trick Benedick so that, despite his quick wit and his queasiness about marriage, he will fall in love with her. If we can do this, then we will steal Cupid’s glory. We will be the supreme love gods! Come inside with me, and I will tell you my plan.
Exeunt
They all exit.