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Laf. A good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner; but one that lies three thirds, and uses a known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should be once heard and thrice beaten. God save you, captain.

Ber. Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur ?

Par. I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's displeasure.

Laf. You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs and all, like him that leaped into the custard; and out of it you'll run again, rather than suffer question for your residence. 43

Ber. It may be you have mistaken him, my lord.

Laf. And shall do so ever, though I took him at his prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this of me, there can be no kernel in this light nut; the soul of this man is his clothes. Trust him not in matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them tame, and know their natures. Farewell, monsieur: I have spoken better of you than you have or will to deserve at my hand; but we must do good against evil.

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Hel. I have, sir, as I was commanded from you.


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With true observance seek to eke out that
Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd
To equal my great fortune.
Let that go:

My haste is very great. Farewell: hie home.
Hel. Pray sir, your pardon.
Well, what would you say?
Hel. I am not worthy of the wealth I owe,
Nor dare I say 'tis mine, and yet it is;
But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
What law does vouch mine own.


What would you have? Hel. Something, and scarce so much: nothing, indeed.

I would not tell you what I would, my lord :- @
Faith, yes;

Strangers and foes do sunder, and not kiss.

Ber. I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
Hel. I shall not break your bidding, good my

Ber. Where are my other men, monsieur?
Go thou toward home; where I will never come
Whilst I can shake my sword or hear the drum.
Away! and for our flight.


Bravely, coragio!


SCENE I.-Florence. A Room in the DUKE'S

Flourish. Enter DUKE, attended; two French
Lords, and Soldiers.

Duke. So that from point to point now have
you heard

The fundamental reasons of this war,
Whose great decision hath much blood let forth,
And more thirsts after.

First Lord.
Holy seems the quarrel
Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
On the opposer.

Duke. Therefore we marvel much our cousin

Would in so just a business shut his bosom
Spoke with the king, and have procur'd his leave Against our borrowing prayers.
For present parting; only he desires
Some private speech with you.

I shall obey his will.
You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
The ministration and required office
On my particular: prepar'd I was not
For such a business; therefore am I found
So much unsettled. This drives me to entreat

That presently you take your way for home; 70
And rather muse than ask why I entreat you;
For my respects are better than they seem,
And my appointments have in them a need
Greater than shows itself at the first view
To you that know them not. This to my mother.
Giving a letter.
"Twill be two days ere I shall see you, so
I leave you to your wisdom.

Second Lord.


Good my lord,
The reasons of our state I cannot yield,
But like a common and an outward man,
That the great figure of a council frames
By self-unable motion: therefore dare not
Say what I think of it, since I have found
Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
As often as I guess'd.

Be it his pleasure.
Second Lord. But I am sure the younger of

our nature,

That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
Come here for physic.


And all the honours that can fly from us
Shall on them settle.



Welcome shall they be,

You know your places

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SCENE II.-Rousillon. A Room in the
COUNTESS's Palace.

Enter COUNTESS and Clown.

Count. It hath happened all as I would have had it, save that he comes not along with her. Clo. By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very melancholy man.

Count. By what observance, I pray you? Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot and sing; mend the ruff and sing; ask questions and sing; pick his teeth and sing. I know a man that had this trick of melancholy sold a goodly manor for a song.


Count. Let me see what he writes, and when

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Count. I have sent you a daughter-in-law: she hath recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded her; and sworn to make the 'not' eternal. You shall hear I am run away: know it before the report come. If there be breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you. Your unfortunate son, BERTRAM.

This is not well: rash and unbridled boy,
To fly the favours of so good a king!
To pluck his indignation on thy head
By the misprising of a maid too virtuous
For the contempt of empire!

Re-enter Clown.


Clo. O madam! yonder is heavy news within between two soldiers and my young lady. Count. What is the matter?

Clo. Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I thought he would.

Count. Why should he be killed?


Clo. So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does: the danger is in standing to 't; that's the loss of men, though it be the getting of children. Here they come will tell you more ; for my part, I only hear your son was run away. Exit.

Enter HELENA and two Gentlemen. First Gent. Save you, good madam. Hel. Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone. Second Gent. Do not say so.

Count. Think upon patience. Pray you, gentle

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is he?

Second Gent. Ay, madam.

And to be a soldier? Second Gent. Such is his noble purpose; and, believe 't,

The duke will lay upon him all the honour
That good convenience claims.


Return you thither? First Gent. Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.

Hel. Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France. 'Tis bitter.

Count. Find you that there? Hel. Ay, madam. First Gent. "Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which his heart was not consenting to. Count. Nothing in France until he have no wife! There's nothing here that is too good for him 80 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? First Gent. A servant only, and a gentleman Which I have sometime known.


Parolles, was it not? First Gent. Ay, my good lady, he. Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wicked

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Y' are welcome, gentlemen.
I will entreat you, when you see my son,
To tell him that his sword can never win

The honour that he loses : more I'll entreat you
Written to bear along.
Second Gent.
We serve you, madam,
In that and all your worthiest affairs.
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
That chase thee from thy country, and 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

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-'pearing 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 lion 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,


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 angels offic'd all: I will be gone,
That pitiful rumour may report my flight,
To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day!
For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.
SCENE III.-Florence. Before the DUKE'S Palace.
Soldiers, Drum and Trumpets.

Duke. The general of our horse thou art; and

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Then thou forth, go And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm As thy auspicious mistress!


This very day, Great Mars, I put myself into thy file: Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove A lover of thy drum, hater of love. Exeunt.

SCENE IV. Rousillon. A Room in the COUN TESS's Palace.

Enter COUNTESS and Steward.

Count. Alas! and would you take the letter

of 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:
Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far
His name with zealous fervour sanctify:
His taken labours bid him me forgive;


I, his despiteful Juno, sent him forth From courtly friends, with camping foes to live, Where death and danger dogs the heels of worth: He is too good and fair for Death and me; Whom I myself embrace, to set him free.

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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.
Dispatch 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

SCENE V. Without the Walls of Florence.


A tucket afar off. Enter a 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 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 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 but the modesty which is so lost. are, though there were no further danger known


Dia. You shall not need to fear me.
Wid. I hope so. Look, here comes a pilgrim:
at my house; thither they
I'll question her.

Count. Ah! what sharp stings are in her mildest I know she will lie words;

send one another.

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Hel. I thank you, and will stay upon your

Wid. You came, I think, from France?
I did so.
Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours
That has done worthy service.
His name, I pray you.
Dia. The Count Rousillon: know you such a

His face I know not.


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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, Hel. But by the ear, that hears most nobly Already at my house. of him ; 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, 100 I will bestow some precepts of this virgin Worthy the note. Both.


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

Dia. There is a gentleman that serves the


Reports but coarsely of her.


Dia. Monsieur Parolles.

What's his name?


We'll take your offer kindly.

SCENE VI.-Camp before Florence.
Enter BERTRAM and the two French Lords.
First Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to 't:

Second Lord. If your lordship find him not a hilding, hold me no more in your respect.

O! I believe with him, let him have his way.
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 examin'd.


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

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

Her heart weighs sadly. This young maid might do her

A shrewd turn if she pleas'd.


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Second 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 How do you mean? main danger fail you.

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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.

Second Lord. O for the love of laughter, let him fetch his drum: he says he has a stratagem for 't. When your lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to what metal this counterfeit 1 imp of ore will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.


First Lord. O for the love of laughter, hinder not the honour of his desigu: let him fetch off his drum in any hand.


Ber. How now, monsieur! this drum sticks sorely in your disposition.

Second 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! 52 Second Lord. That was not to be blamed in the command 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 recovered.

Par. It might have been recovered.
Ber. It might; but it is not now.


Par. It is to be recovered. 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 enterprise 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 utmost syllable of your worthiness.

Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.

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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 'rt valiant; and to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell.

Par. I love not many words.

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

First Lord. None in the world; but return with an invention and clap upon you two or three probable lies. But we have almost embossed him, you shall see his fall to-night; for indeed he is not for your lordship's respect.


Second Lord. We'll make you some sport with the fox ere we case him. He was first smoked by the old Lord Lafeu: when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him; which you shall see this very night.

First Lord. I must go look my twigs: he shall be caught.

Ber. Your brother he shall go along with me. First Lord. As 't please your lordship: I'll leave you. Exit. Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and show you The lass I spoke of.

Second Lord. But you say she's honest. Ber. That's all the fault. I spoke with her

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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 fall'n, I was well

Nothing acquainted with these businesses ;
And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.

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 show'd me that which well approves You're 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 woos your daughter,

Exit. 90 Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty, First Lord. No more than a fish loves water. Resolved to carry her: let her in fine consent, Is not this a strange fellow, my lord, that so As we 'll direct her how 'tis best to bear it. 20 confidently seems to undertake this business, Now, his important blood will nought deny which he knows is not to be done; damns him- That she 'll demand: a ring the county wears, self to do, and dares better be damned than to That downward hath succeeded in his house do't? From son to son, some four or five descents Second Lord. You do not know him, my lord, Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds

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