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Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, attended; two French Lords, and Others.

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

The fundamental reason of this war;

Whose great decision hath much blood let forth, And more thirsts after.

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Would, in so just a business, shut his bosom

Against our borrowing prayers.

Good my lord,

2 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 uncertain grounds to fail
As often as I guess'd.


Be it his pleasure.

2 Lord. But I am sure, the younger of our nature, That surfeit on their ease, will, day by day,

Come here for physick.


Welcome shall they be;

And all the honours, that can fly from us,

Shall on them settle. You know your places well; When better fall, for your avails they fell:

To-morrow to the field.

[Flourish. Exeunt.



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 he [Opening a Letter.

means to come.

Clo. I have no mind to Isbel, since I was at court: our old lings and our Isbels o'the country are nothing like your old ling and your Isbels o'the court: the brains of my Cupid's knock'd out; and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no


Count. What have we here?
Clo. E'en that you have there.


Count. [Reads.] I have sent you a daughter-inlaw: 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,


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 misprizing 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 kill'd so soon as I thought he would.

Count. Why should he be kill'd?

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 Clown.

Enter Helena and two Gentlemen.

1 Gen. Save you, good madam.

Hel. Madam, my lord is gone,

2 Gen. Do not say so.

for ever gone.

Count. Think upon patience.-'Pray you, gentle


I have felt so many quirks of joy, and grief,
That the first face of neither, on the start,

Can woman me unto't:-Where is my son, I pray


2 Gen. Madam, he's gone to serve the duke of Florence:

We met him thitherward; for thence we came,
And, after some despatch in hand at court,
Thither we bend again.

Hel. Look on his letter, madam; here's my pass


[Reads.] When thou canst get the ring upon my

finger, which never shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body, that I am father to, then call me husband: but in such a then I write

a never.

This is a dreadful sentence.

Ay, madam;

Count. Brought you this letter, gentlemen? 1 Gen. And, for the contents' sake, are sorry for our pains.

Count. I pr'ythee, lady, have a better cheer;
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
Thou robb'st me of a moiety: He was my son;
But I do wash his name out of my blood,

And thou art all my child.-Towards Florence is he?

2 Gen. Ay, madam.


And to be a soldier?

2 Gen. Such is his noble purpose: and, believe't, The duke will lay upon him all the honour

That good convenience claims.


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?


Ay, madam.

1 Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply,


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, 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.


1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he.

Parolles, was't not?

Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wicked


My son corrupts a well-derived nature

With his inducement.

1 Gen.

Indeed, good lady,

The fellow has a deal of that, too much,

Which holds him much to have.

Count. You are welcome, gentlemen;

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