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SCENE changes to the Duke's Court in Florence.
Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, Bertram, Drum and Trumpets, Soldiers, Parolles.
HE general of our horse thou art, and we,
Ber. Sir, it is
A change too heavy for my ftrength; but yet
Duke. Then go forth,
And fortune play upon thy profp'rous helm,
Ber. This very day,
Great Mars, I put myself into thy file;
Make me but like my thoughts, and I fhall prove
SCENE changes to Roufillon in France.
Enter Countefs and Steward.
Las! and would you take the letter of her Might you not know, fhe would do, as the has done,
By fending me a letter? Read it again.
I am St. Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone;
His taken labours bid him me forgive;
Ah, what sharp ftings are in her mildest words?
Ster. Pardon, Madam,
If I had given you this at over-night
She might have been o'er-ta'en; and yet he writes,
Count. What angel fhall
Blefs this unworthy husband he cannot thrive,
To make diftinétion; provide this meffenger;
SCENE changes to a publick place in Florence.
A Tucket afar off.
Enter an old widow of Florence, Diana, Violenta, and Mariana, with other citizens.
For if they do approach the
city, we fhall lofe all the fight.
Dia. They fay, the French Count has done most honourable fervice.
Wid. It is reported, that he has ta'en their greatest commander; and that with his own hand he flew the Duke's brother. We have lost our labour, they are gone a contrary way: hark, you may know by their trumpets.
Mar. Come, let's return again, and fuffice ourselves. with the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this French Earl; the honour of a maid is her name, and no. legacy is fo rich as honefty.
Wid. I have told my neighbour, how you have been follicited by a gentleman his companion.
Mar. I know that knave, (hang him!) one Parolles a filthy officer he is in those fuggeftions for the young Earl; beware of them, Diana; (28) their promises,
(28) Their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of luft, are not the things they go under ;] i. e. They are not in reality fo true and fincere, as in appearance they feem to be. This will be heft explain'd by another paffage in Hamlet, where Polonius is counfelling his daughter.
I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the foul
Lends the tongue vows. Thefe blazes, oh, my daughter,
Ev'n in their promife as it is a making,
You must not take for fire.
In few, Ophelia,
Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers
enticements, oaths, tokens, and all thefe engines of luft, are not the things they go under; many a maid hath been feduced by them, and the mifery is, example, that fo terrible hews in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that diffuade fucceffion, but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten them. I hope, I need not to advise you further; but, I hope, your own grace will keep you where you are, tho' there were no further danger known, but the modefty which is fo loft.
Dia. You fhall not need to fear me.
Enter Helena, difguis'd like a Pilgrim ;
Wid. I hope fo. - Look, here comes a Pilgrim ; I know, fhe will lie at my houfe; thither they fend one another; I'll queftion her: God fave you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?
Hel. To S. Jacques le Grand. Where do the Palmers lodge, I do befeech you?
Wid. At the St. Francis, befide the port.
Hel. Is this the way?
A march afar off. Wid. Ay, marry, is't. Hark you, they come this way. If you will tarry, holy Pilgrim, but 'till the troops come by,
I will conduct you where you fhall be lodg'd;
Hel. Is it yourfelf?
Wid. If you fhall please fo, Pilgrim.
Hel. I thank you, and will ftay upon your leisure.
Hel. I did fo.
Wid. Here you fhall fee a countryman of yours, That has done worthy fervice.
Hel. His name, I pray you?
Dia. The Count Roufillon know you fuch a one? Hel. But by the ear, that hears moft nobly of him; His face I know not.
Dia. Whatfoe'er he is, 's bravely taken here.
He ftole from France,
As 'tis reported; for the King had married him
Hel. Ay, furely, mere the truth; I know his Lady.. Dia. There is a Gentleman, that ferves the Count,. Reports but coarsely of her..
Hel. What's his name?
Dia. Monfieur Parolles..
Hel. Oh, I believe with him,
I have not heard examin'd.
Dia. Alas, poor Lady!
'Tis a hard bondage, to become the wife Of a detefting Lord.
Wid. Ah! right; good creature! wherefoe'er fhe is, Her heart weighs fadly; this young maid might do her A fhrewd turn, if the pleas'd.
Hel. How do you mean?
May be, the am'rous Count follicites her
In the unlawful purpofe.
Wid. He does, indeed;
And brokes with all, that can in fuch a fuit:
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid;
But fhe is arm'd for him, and keeps her guard
In honefteft defence.
Drum and Colours. Enter Bertram, Parolles, Officers and Soldiers attending.
Mar. The gods forbid elfe!
Wid. So, now they come :
That is Antonio, the Duke's eldest fon ;
Hel. Which is the Frenchman?
That with the plume; 'tis a moft gallant fellow;
I would, he lov'd his wife! if he were honefter,
He were much goodlier. Is't not a hand fome gentleman?
Hel. I like him well.