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Stew.

Pardon me, madam:
If I had given you this at over-night,
She might have been o'erta’en; and yet she writes,
Pursuit would be but vain.
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 weigh too light: my 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,
He will return; and hope I may, that she,
Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love: which of them both
Is dearest to me; I have no skill in sense
To make distinction.—Provide this messenger :-
My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

Without the Walls of Florence.

Tucket afar off

Enter an old Widow of Florence, 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 honorable 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 labor; 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 honor of a maid is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honesty.

Wid. I have told my neighbor 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 under. Many a maid hath been seduced by them; and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows 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 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 pilgrim, But till the troops come by, I will conduct you where you shall be lodged ;

1 Suggestions are temptations.

2 They are not the things for which their names would make them pass. To go under the name of so and so is a common expression.

3 Pilgrims ; so called from a staff or bough of palm they were wont to carry, especially such as had visited the holy places at Jerusalem.

I did so.

His name,

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.

Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours,
That has done worthy service.
Hel.

I

pray you. Dia. The count Rousillon. Know you such a one? Hel. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him; His face I know not. 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?
Dia. Monsieur Parolles.
Hel.

O, I believe with him,
In argument of praise, or to the worth
Of the great count himself, she is too mean
To have her name repeated; all her deserving
Is a reserved honesty, and that
I have not heard examined.2
Dia.

Alas, poor lady! 'Tis a hard bondage, to become the wife Of a detesting lord.

Wid. Ay, right; good creature, wheresoe'er she is,

1 For, here and in other places, signifies because, which Tooke says is always its signification.

2 That is, questioned, doubted. 3 The old copy reads

" I write good creature, wheresoe'er she is.” Malone once deemed this an error, and proposed, “ A right good creature,” which was admitted into the text, but he subsequently thought that the old reading was correct. VOL. II.

51

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 honor of a maid :
But she is armed for him, and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.

He;

Enter, with Drum and Colors, a party of the Floren

tine 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. 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. Dia. '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 !

1 Deals with panders.

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 enjoined penitents,
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
Already at my house.
Hel.

I humbly thank you.
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 a hilding, 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 infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, 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

fail you.

try him.

1 A hilding is a paltry fellow, a coward.

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