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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.

T.
Upon thy promifing, fortune.

HE general of our horse thou art, and we,

Ber. Sir, it is

our

A change too heavy for my ftrength; but yet
We'll ftrive to bear it for your worthy fake,
To th' extreme edge of hazard.

Duke. Then go forth,

And fortune play upon thy profp'rous helm,
As thy aufpicious miftrefs!

Ber. This very day,

Great Mars, I put myself into thy file;

love

[credence

Make me but like my thoughts, and I fhall prove
A lover of thy drum; hater of love.

Count.

[Exeunt.

SCENE changes to Roufillon in France.

A

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.

LETTER.

I am St. Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone;
Ambitious love hath fo in me offended,
That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon,
With fainted vow my faults to have amended.
Write, write, that from the bloody courfe of war
My deareft mafter, your dear fon, may hie;
Blefs him at home in peace, whilft I from far
His name with zealous fervour fan&tify.

His taken labours bid him me forgive;
I, his defpightful Juno, fent him forth
From courtly friends, with camping foes to live;
Where death and danger dog the heels of worth.
He is too good and fair for death and me,
Whom I myself embrace, to fet him free.

Ah, what sharp ftings are in her mildest words?
Rynaldo, you did never lack advice fo much,
As letting her pafs fo; had I fpoke with her,
I could have well diverted her intents,
Which thus fhe hath prevented.

Ster. Pardon, Madam,

If I had given you this at over-night

She might have been o'er-ta'en; and yet he writes,
Purfuit would be but vain.

Count. What angel fhall

Blefs this unworthy husband he cannot thrive,
Unlefs her prayers, whom Heav'n delights to hear,
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Of greatest juftice. Write, write, Rynaldo,
To this unworthy husband of his wife;
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth,
That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief,
Tho' little he do feel it, fet down fharply.
Difpatch the moft convenient meffenger;
When, haply, he shall hear that she is gone,
He will return; and hope I may, that fhe,
Hearing fo much, will fpeed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
Is deareft to be, I've no fkill in fenfe

To make diftinétion; provide this meffenger;
My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
Grief would have tears, and forrow bids me fpeak.

[Exeunt.

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1

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.

Wid.

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,
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both

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
Not of that dye which their investments fhew,
But mere implorers of unholy fuits,
Breathing, like fanctified and holy bawds,
The better to beguile.

enticements,

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;
The rather, for, I think, I know your hoftefs
A's ample as my felf.

Hel. Is it yourfelf?

Wid. If you fhall please fo, Pilgrim.

Hel. I thank you, and will ftay upon your leisure.
Wid. You came, I think, from France?

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's

He ftole from France,

As 'tis reported; for the King had married him
Against his liking. Think you, it is fo?

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,
In argument of praise, or to the worth
Of the great Count himself, fhe is too mean
To have her name repeated; all her deferving
Is a referved honefty, and that

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 ;

That, Efcalus.

Hel. Which is the Frenchman?

Dia. He;

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.

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