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Wid. A right good creature : wheresoe'er she is, Her heart weighs sadly : this young maid might

do her
A shrewd turn, if she pleased.

Hel. How do you mean?
May be, the amorous count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose.

Wid. He does, indeed ;
And brokes * with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid :
But she is arm'd for him, and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.
Enter with Drum and Colours, a Party of the Flo-

rentine Army, Bertram, and PAROLLES. Mar. The gods forbid else!

Wid. So, now they come :-
That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son ;
That, Escalus.

Hel. Which is the Frenchman ?

Dia. He; That with the plume : 'tis a most gallant fellow; I would, he loved his wife : if he were honester, He were much goodlier :-Is't not a handsome gen.

tleman ? Hel. I like him well. Diu. 'Tis pity, he is not honest :-Yond's that same

knave, That leads him to these places; were I his lady, I'd poison that vile rascal.

Hel. Which is he?

Dia. That Jack-an-apes with scarfs :-Why is he melancholy?

Hel. Perchance he's hurt i' the battle.
Par. Lose our drum !-Well.

Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something :-look, he has spied us.

Wid. Marry, hang you !
Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier ?

(Exeunt Bertram, Parolles, Officers,

and Soldiers. Wid. The troop is past :-Come, pilgrim, I will

bring you Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound, Already at my house. Hel. I humbly thank you :

* Deals with panders.

Please it this matron, and this gentle maid,
To eat with us to-night, the charge, and thanking,
Shall be for me ; and, to requite you further,
I will bestow some precepts on this virgin,
Worthy the note.
Both. We'll take your offer kindly. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI.-Camp before Florence. Enter BERTRAM, and the two FRENCH LORDS. I Lord. Nay, good, my lord, put him to't ; let him have his way: 2 Lord. If your lordship find him not

nilding*, hold me no more in your respect.

1 Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble. Ber. Do you think, I am so far deceived in him?

1 Lord. Believe it, my lord, in mine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an intinite and endless liar, an hourly promisebreaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lordship's entertainment

2 Lord. It were fit you knew him ; lest, reposing too 'far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might, at some great and trusty business, in a main danger,

Ber. I would, I knew in what particular action to try him.

2 Lord. None better than to let him fetch off his drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.

1 Lord. I with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly surprize him ; such I will have, whom, I am sure, he knows not from the enemy : we will bind and hood-wink him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he is carried into the leaguer + of the adversaries, when we bring him to our tents : Be but your lordship present at his examination; if he do not, for the promise of his life, and in the highest compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you, and deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that with the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never trust my judgment in any thing.

2 Lord. O for the love of laughter, let him fetcli his drum; he says, he has a stratagem for’t : when your lordship sees the bottom of his success and to what metal this counterfeit lump of ore will * A paltry fellow, a coward.

+ The camp.

fail you:

be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.

Enter PAROLLES. 1 Lord. O for the love of laughter, hinder not the humour of his design ; let him fetch off his drum in any hand.

Ber. How now, Monsieur? This drum sticks sorely in your disposition.

2 Lord. A pox on't, let it go ; 'tis but a drum. Par. But a drum! Is't but a drum? A drum so lost! There was an excellent command! To charge in with our horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers.

2 Lord. That was not to be blamed in the com mand of the service ; it was a disaster of war that Cæsar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.

Ber. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success; some dishonour we had in the loss of that drum; but it is not to be recover'd.

Pır. It might have been recover'd.
Ber. It might; but it is not now.

Pur. It is to be recover'd: but that the merit of service is seldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have that drum or another, or hic jacet*:

Ber. Why, if you have a stomach to't, Monsieur, if you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprize, and go on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit: if you speed well in it, the duke shall both speak of it, and extend to you what further becomes his greatness, even to the ulmost syllable of your wor. thiness.

Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it Ber. But you must not now slumber in it.

Par. I'll about it this evening : and I will presently pen down my dilemmast, encourage myself in my certainty, put myself into my mortal prepara. tion, and, by midnight, look to hear further from me.

# I would recover the lost run or another, o die in the attempt.

+ I will pen down my plans, and the probable obstructions.

Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace, you are gone about it?

Par. I know not what the success will be, my lord; but the attempt I vow.

Ber. I know, thou art valiant; and, to the pos. sibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell. Par. I love not many words.

(Exit. 1 Lord. No more than a fisb loves water. Is not this a strange fellow, my lord ? That so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do, and dares better be damn'd that to do't.

2 Lord. You do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it is, that he will steal himself, into a man's favour, and, for a week, escape a great deal of discoveries; but when you find him out you have him ever after.

Ber. Why, do you think he will make no deed at all of this, that so seriously he does address him. self unto ?

1 Lord. None, in the world ? But return with an invention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies : but we have almost emboss'd him *, you shall see his fall to-night ; for, indeed, he is not for

your ladyship's respect,

2 Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case him t. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafue : when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him ; which you

shall this very night.

I Lord. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught. Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me. I Lord. As't please your lordship: I'll leave you.

(Exit. Ber. Now I will lead you to the house, and shew

you The lass I spoke of.

2 Lord. But, you say, she's honest.
Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with her but

once,
And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her,
By this same coxcomb that we have i'the wind,
Tókens and letters which she did re-send ;

• Hunted him down.
+ Before we strip him naked.

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And this is all I have done : she's a fair creature;
Will you go see her?

2 Lord. With all my heart, my lord. [Exeunt. SCENE VII.- Florence.-A Room in the Widow's

House.
Enter HELENA and Widow.
Hel. If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
I know not how I shall assure you further,
But I shall lose the grounds I work upon *.

Wid. Though my estate be fallen, I was well born,
Nothing acquainted with these businesses ;
And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.

Hei. Nor would I wish you.
First, give me trust, the count he is my husband ;
And, what to your sworn counsel I have spoken,
Is so, from word to word; and then you cannot,
By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
Err in bestowing it.

Wid. I should believe you ;
For you 'have shew'd me that, which well approves
You are great in fortune.

Hel. Take this purse of gold,
And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
Which I will over-pay, and pay again,
When I have found it. The count he wooes your

daughter,
Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Resolves to carry her; let her, in fine, consent,
As we'll direct hier how 'tis best to bear it,
Now his important t blood will nought deny
That she'll demand : a ring the county I wears,
That downward hath succeeded in his house,
From son to son, some four or five descents
Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds
In most rich choice; yet, in his idle tire,
To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.

Wid. Now I see
The bottom of your purpose.

Hel. You see it lawful then : it is no more,
But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,
Desires this ring; appoints him an encounter ;
In fine, delivers me to fill the time,

* i. e. By discovering herself to the count.
+ Importunate.

I i. e. Count.

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