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At least, in my opinion.
Ber. Change it, change it: Be not so holy-cruel. Love is holy, And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts, That you do charge men with: ftand no more off, Bat give thy self unto my fick desires, Which then recover. Say, thou art mine ; and ever My love, as it begins, shall so persever.
Dia. I fee, that men make hopes in such affairs That we'll forsake our felves. Give me that ring.
Ber. I'll lend it thee, my Dear, but have no power To give it from me.
Dia. Will you nut, my Lord ?
Ber. It is an Honour 'longing to our House,
Die. Mine Honour's such a ring ;
Ber. Here, take my ring.
Dia. When midnight comes, knock at my chamber
Ber. A heav'n on earth I've won by wooing thee.
Exit. Dia. For which live long to thank both heav'n and me. You may
so in the end. My Mother told me just how he would woo, As if the fate in's heart; she says, all men Have the like oaths : he had sworn to marry me, When his Wife's dead: therefore I'll lye with him, When I am buried. (21) Since Frenchmen are fo braid, Marry 'em that will, I'd live and die a maid; Only, in this disguise, I think't no fin To cozen him, that would unjustly win. [Exit.
SCENE changes to the French Camp in
Enter the towe French Lords, and two or three Soldiers. i Lord. OU have not given him his Mother's
letter? 2 Lord. I have deliver'd it an hour since; there is something in't, that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he chang'd almost into another man. (21)
Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I'll live and dye a Maid.) This is certainly the most cruel Resolution, that ever poor Wench made. What! because Frenchmen were false, She, that was an Italian, would marry Nobody. But it is plain, as refin'd as this Reasoning is, her Mother did not understand the Delicacy of the Conclusion ; for afterwards She comes into Helen's Project, on the Promise of a good round Dow'ry of 3000 Crowns, to help her Daughter to a Husband. In short, the Text is, without all Question, corrupted; and we should read it thus.
-Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry 'em that will, I'de live and dye a Maid. i. e. fince Frenchmen prove so crooked and perverse in their Manners, let who will marry them, I had rather live and die a Maid than venture upon them. This fhe says with a view to Helen, who appear'd so fond of her Husband, and went thro' so many Difficulties to obtain him.
1 Lord. He has much worthy blame laid upon him for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.
2 Lord. Especially, he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the King, who had even tun'd his bounty to fing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
1 Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave
of it. 2 Lord. He hath perverted a young Gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour; he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchafte composition.
i Lord. Now God delay our rebellion ; as we are our selves, what things are we!
2 Lord. Meerly our own traitors; and, as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal them. selves, 'till they attain to their abhorr'd ends ; fo he, that in this action contrives against his own Nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.
i Lord. Is it not meant damnable in us to be the trumpeters of our unlawful intents ? we shall not then have his company to night?
2 Lord. Not 'till after midnight ; for he is dieted to
i Lord. That approaches apace : I would gladly have him see his company anatomiz’d, that he might take a measure of his own Judgment, wherein fo curiously he had set this counterfeit.
2 Lord. We will not meddle with him 'till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.
i Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these
2 Lord. I hear, there is an overture of Peace.
2 Lord. What will Count Roufillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France ?
i Lord. I perceive by this demand, you are not altogether of his Council.
2 Lord. Let it be forbid, Sir! fo should I be a great deal of his act.
i Lord. Sir, his Wife fome two months since fled from his House, her pretence is a Pilgrimage to St. Jaques le Grand; which holy Undertaking, with most austere fanctimony, she accomplish'd ; and there refiding, the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now she sings in heaven. 2 Lord. How is this justified ?
i Lord. The stronger part of it by her own letters, which makes her ftory true, even to the point of her death; her Death it self (which could not be her office to say, is come) was faithfully confirm'd by the Rector of the place.
2 Lörd. Hath the Count all this intelligence?
i Lord. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.
2 Lord. I am heartily sorry, that he'll be glad of this.
i Lord. How mightily sometimes we make us comforts of our losses!
2 Lord. And how mightily some other times we drown our gain in tears ! the great dignity, that his valour hath here acquired for him, shall at home be encounter'd with a shame as ample.
i Lord. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together : our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipt them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherish'd by our virtues.
Enter a Servant. How now? Where's your Master ?
Ser. He met the Duke in the street, Sir, of whom he hath taken a solemn leave : his Lordship will next morning for France. The Duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the King.
2 Lord. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.
Enter Bertram. i Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the King's tartness : here's his Lordship now. How now, my Lord, is't not after midnight?
Ber. I have to night dispatch'd fixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success; I have congied with the Duke, done my adieu with his neareft ; buried a wife, mourn'd for her ; writ to my lady mother, I am returning; entertain'd my convoy' ; and, between these main parcels of dispatch, effected many nicer needs : the last was the greatest, but That I have not ended yet.
2 Lord. If the bufiness be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of your
Ber. I mean, the business is not ended, as fearing to hear of it hereafter. But shall we have this dialogue between the fool and the soldier ! come, bring forth this counterfeit module; h'as deceiv'd me, like a doublemeaning prophesier.
2 Lord. Bring him forth; h'as fate in the Stocks all night, poor gallant krave. Ber
. No matter; his heels have deserv’d it, in usurping his spurs so long. How does he carry himfelf?
i Lord. I have told your Lordship already : the Stocks carry him. But to answer you as you would be understood,' he weeps like a wench that had shed her milk; he hath confess'd himself to Morgan, whom he fupposes to be a Friar, from the time of his remembrance to this very instant disaster of his setting i'th' Stocks ; and what, think you, he hath confeft?
Ber. Nothing of me, has he?
2 Lord. His confession is taken, and it shall be read to his face; if your Lord'hip bein't, as, I believe, you are, you must have the patience to hear it.
Enter Parolles, with his Interpreter. Ber. A plague upon him, muffled ! he can say nothing of me; hulh hush!