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SCENE, the Duke's Court in Florence.

Fleurif. Enter the Duke of Florence, two French Lords, with foldiers.



O that, from point to point, now have you heard
The fundamental reafons of this war,

Whofe great decifion hath much blood let forth,
And more thirfts after.

1 Lord. Holy feems the quarrel

Upon your Grace's part; but black and fearful
On the oppofer.

Duke. Therefore we marvel much, our coufin France
Would, in fo juft a business, fhut his bofom
Against our borrowing prayers.

2 Lord. Good my Lord,

The reasons of our ftate I cannot yield,
But like a common and an outward man,
That the great figure of a council frames
By felf-unabled motion; therefore dare not
Say what I think of it, fince I have found
My felf in my incertain grounds to fail
As often as I guest.

Duke. Be it his pleasure.

2 Lord. But I am fure, the younger of our nation, That furfeit on their eafe, will day by day

Come here for phyfick.

Duke. Welcome fhall they be :

And all the honours, that can fly from us,

Shall on them fettle. You know your places well.
When better fall, for your avails they fell;
To-morrow, to the field.



[Exeunt. SCENE

SCENE changes to Roufillon, in France.


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Enter Countefs, and Clown.

T hath happen'd, all as I would have had it; fave, that he comes not along with her. Clo. By my troth, I take my young Lord to be a very melancholy man.

Count. By what obfervance, I pray you?

Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and fing; mend his ruff, and fing; afk questions, and fing; pick his teeth, and fing. I knew a man that had this trick of melancholy, fold a goodly manor for a fong.

Count. Let me fee what he writes, and when he means to come. [Reads the Letter.

Clo. I have no mind to Ibel, fince I was at court. Our old ling, and our Ifbels o'th' country, are nothing like your old ling, and your Ibels o'th' court: the brain of my Cupid's knock'd out; and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no ftomach.

Count. What have we here?

Clo. E'en that you have there.

Countess reads a Letter.


I have fent you a daughter-in-law: fhe hath recovered. the King, and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded her; and fivorn to make the not eternal. You fall hear, I am run away; know it, before the report come. If there be breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you.

Your unfortunate fon,


This is not well, rafh and unbridled boy,
To fly the favours of fo good a king,
To pluck his indignation on thy head;
By the mifprizing of a maid, too virtuous-
For the contempt of empire.


Re-enter Clown.

Clo. O Madam, yonder is heavy news within between two foldiers and my young Lady.

Count. What is the matter?

Clo. Nay, there is fome comfort in the news, fome comfort; your fon will not be kill'd fo foon as I thought he would.

Count. Why should he be kill'd?

Clo. So fay I, Madam, if he run away, as I hear he does; the danger is in ftanding to't; that's the lofs of men, though it be the getting of children. Here they come, will tell you more. For my part, I only hear, your fon was run away.

Enter Helena and two Gentlemen.

1 Gen. Save you, good Madam.

Hel. Madam, my Lord, is gone, for ever gone.2 Gen. Do not say so.

Count. Think upon patience: 'pray you, Gentlemen, I've felt fo many quirks of joy and grief,

That the first face of neither, on the start,

Can woman me unto't. Where is my fon ?

2 Gen. Madam, he's gone to ferve the Duke of Florence. We met him thitherward, from thence we came; And after some dispatch in hand at court.

Thither we bend again.

Hel. Look on his letter, Madam; here's my pafsport.

When thou canst get the ring upon my finger, which nover fhall come off; and fhew me a child begotten of thy body that I am father to, then call me husband: but in fuch a then I write a never.

This is a dreadful fentence.

Count. Brought you this letter, Gentlemen?

1 Gen. Ay, Madam, and, for the contents fake, are forry for our pains.

Count. I pr'ythee, Lady, have a better cheer.

If thou engroffeft all the griefs as thine,

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Thou robb'ft me of a moiety: "he was my, fon,
But I do wash his name out of my blood,

And thou art all my child.

2 Gen. Ay, Madam.

Towards Florence is he?

Count. And to be a foldier?

2 Gen. Such is his noble purpofe; and, believe't, The Duke will lay upon him all the honour That good convenience claims.

Count. Return you thither?

1 Gen. Ay, Madam, with the fwifteft wing of fpeed. Hel. 'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France. 'Tis bitter. [Reading.

Count. Find you that there?

Hel. Yes, Madam.

1 Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, happ❜ly, which his heart was not confenting to.

Count. Nothing in France, until he have no wife? There's nothing here, that is too good for him, But only fhe; and fhe deferves a Lord, That twenty fuch rude boys might tend upon, And call her hourly miftrefs. Who was with him ? 1 Gen. A fervant only, and a gentleman Which I have fome time known.

Count. Parolles, was't not?

1 Gen. Ay, my good Lady, he.

Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness: My fon corrupts a well-derived nature

With his inducement.

1 Gen. (27) Indeed, good Lady, the fellow has a deal of that too much, which holds him much to have. Count. Y'are welcome, Gentlemen; I will intreat you, when you fee my fon, to tell him, that his sword

(27) Indeed, good Lady, the fellow has a deal of that too much, which bolds him much to bave.] This is fomewhat obfcure in the expreflion; but the meaning must be this, The fellow, indeed, has a deal too much vanity, lying, boafting; but it holds him much to have fuch qualities; i. e. it stands him in great ftead, is of great fervice to him, and what he cannot do without. For these were the arts that Parolles used to get into Bertram's favour; and when once they were difcover'd, he was fet a-drift, and undone.


can never win the honour that he lofes : more I'll intreat you written to bear along.

2 Gen. We ferve you, Madam, in that and all your worthieft affairs.

Count. Not fo, but as we change our courtefies. Will you draw near? [Exeunt Count. and Gentlemen. Hel. 'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France. Nothing in France, until he has no wife!

Thou shalt have none, Roufillon, none in France;
Then haft thou all again. Poor Lord! is't I
That chafe thee from thy country, and expofe
Thofe tender limbs of thine to the event
Of the none-fparing war? and is it I,

That drive thee from the fportive court, where thou
Waft shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
Of fmoaky muskets? O you leaden meffengers,
That ride upon the violent fpeed of fire,

Fly with falfe aim; move the ftill-piercing air,
That fings with piercing, do not touch my Lord:
Whoever shoots at him, I fet him there.
Whoever charges on his forward breast,
I am the caitiff, that do hold him to it;
And tho' I kill him not, I am the cause
His death was fo effected. Better 'twere,
I met the rav'ning lion when he roar'd
With sharp constraint of hunger: better 'twere,
That all the miferies, which Nature owes,
Were mine at once.

Whence honour but

No, come thou home, Roufillon, of danger wins a fcar; As oft it lofes all. I will be gone: My being here it is, that holds thee hence. Shall I ftay here to do't? no, no, although The air of Paradife did fan the house, And angels offic'd all; I will be gone: That pitiful rumour may report my flight,

To confolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day! For with the dark, poor thief, I'll teal away. [Exit.

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