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2 Gen. Such is his noble purpose : 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 swiftest wing of
speed. Hel. [Reads.] Till I have no wife, I have nothing
in France. "Tis bitter.
Count. Find you that there? Hel. Ay, madam, 1 Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply
which His heart was not consenting to.
Count. Nothing in France, until he have no wite! There's nothing here that is too good for him, But only she; and she deserves a lord, That twenty such rude boys might tend upon, And call her hourly, mistress. Who was with him?
1 Gen. A servant only, and a gentleman Which I have some time known.
Count. Parolles, was't not? 1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he. Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wicked.
ness, My son corrupts a well-derived nature With his inducement.
1 Gen. Indeed, good lady,
Count. You are welcome, gentlemen.
2 Gen. We serve you, madam,
Count. Not so but as we change our courtesies*. Will you draw near?
(Exeunt Countess 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, Rousillon, none in France, Then hast thou all again. Poor lord ! is't I
* In reply to the gentlemen's declaration, that they are her servants, the countess answers no otherwise than as she returns the same offices of civility
That chase thee from thy country,
expose Those tender limbs of thine to the event Of the none-sparing war ? And is it I That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers, That ride upon the violent speed of fire, Fly with false aim ; move the still-piercing air, That sings with piercing, do not touch my lord ! Whoever shoots at him, I set him there ; Whoever charges on his forward breast, I am the caitiff, that do hold him to it ; And though I kill him not, I am the cause His death was so effected : better 'twere, I met the ravin* Jiod when he roar'd With sharp constraint of hunger ; better 'twere That all the miseries, which nature owes, Were mine at once : no, come thou home, Rou
sillon, Whence honour but of danger wins a scar, As oft it loses all; I will be gone: My being here it is, that holds thee hence: Shall I stay here to do't? No, no, although The air of paradise did fan the house, And angel's officed all : I will be gone; That pitiful rumour may report my fight, To consolate thine ear. Come, night ; end, day ! For, with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away. (Exit. SCENE III.-Florence. Before the Duke's Palace. Flourish.--Enter the Duke of FLORENCE, BERTRAM,
LORDS, OFFICERS, Solviers, and others.
Ber. Sir, it is
Duke. Then go thou forth;
Ber. This very day,
SCENE IV.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's
her? Might you not know, she would do as she has done, By sending me a letter ? Read it again.
Stew. I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone ; Ambitious love hath so in me offended, That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon,
With sainted vow my faults to have amended. Write, write, that from the bloody course of war,
My dearest master, your dear son may hie;
I, his despiteful Juno* sent him forth
Where death and danger dog the heels of worth:
Steu. Pardon me, madam :
Count. What angel shall Bless this unworthy husband? He cannot thrive, Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear, And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath Of greatest justice.-Write, write, Rinaldo, To this unworthy husband of his wife ; Let every word weigh heavy of her worth, That he does weig! I too light: nry greatest grief, Though little he do feel it, set down sharply: Despatch the most convenient messenger :When, haply, he shall hear that she is gone,
* Alluding to the story of Hercules. + Discretion or thought.
t Weigh, here means to value or esteem. VOL. II.
He will return; and hope I may, that she,
SCENE V.-Without the Wall of Florence. A Tucket afar off.-Enter an old Widow of Flo
RENCE, DIANA, VIOLENTA, MARIANA, and other Citizens.
Wid. Nay, come ; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.
Dia. They say, the French count has done most honourable service.
Wid. It is reported that he has taken their greatest commander; and that with his own hand he slew 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 suffice 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 so rich as honesty.
Wid. I have told my neighbour, how you have been solicited by a gentleman, his companion.
Mar. I know that knave; hang him ! One Parolles; a filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl.-Beware of them, Diana ; their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust, are not the things they go undert: many a maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery is, example, that so terrible shews in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, 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, though there were no further danger known, but the modesty which is so lost. Dia. You shall not need to fear me.
Enter Helena, in the Dress of a Pilgrim. Wid. I hope so.--Look, here comes a pilgrim: I * Temptations.
+ They are not the things for which their names would make them pass.
know she will lie at my house : thither they send one another: I'll question her. God save you, pilgrim! Whither are you bound ?
Hel. To Saint Jaques le grand. Where do the palmers * lodge, I do beseech you?
Wid. At the Saint Francis here, beside the port.
Hel. Is this the way? ! Wid. Ay, marry, is it.—Hark you!!
(A march afar off. They come this way: If you will tarry, holy pil.
grim,But till the troops come by, I will conduct you where you shall be lodged ; The rather, for, I think, I know your hostess As ample as myself. Hel. Is it yourself? Wid. If you shall please so pilgrim. Hel. I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure. Wid. You came, I think, from France ? Hel. I did so.
Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours, That has done worthy service.
Hel. His name, I pray you.
Hel. But hy the ear, that hears most nobly of His face I know not.
(him :Dia. Whatsoe'er he is, He's bravely taken here. He stole from France, As'tis reported, for the king had married him Against his liking :-Think you it is so ? Hel. Ay, surely, mere the truth ; I know his
lady. Dia. There is a gentleman, that serves the count, Reports but coarsely of her.
Hel. What's his name?
Hel. O, I believe with him,
Dia. Alas, poor lady!
• Pilgrims; so called from a staff or bongh of palm they were wont to carry.
+ Because. The exact, the entire truth.