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Stew. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you; of her I am to speak.
Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman, I would speak with her; Helen I mean.
Clown. Was this fair face the cause, quoth
[singing.] Why the Grecians sacked Troy? Fond done, done fond,
Was this king Priam's joy.
Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt sirrah.
Clown. One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o' the song: 'Would God would serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythe-woman, if I were the parson: One in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but or every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.
Count. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you?
Clown. That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done! Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am going, forsooth: the bu
sinels is for Helen to come hither.
Count. Well, now.
Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentle woman entirely.
Count. 'Faith, I do: her father bequeath'd her to me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds there is more owing her, than is paid; and more shall be paid her, than she'll demand.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she, wish'd me: alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger sense. matter was, she loved your son: Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; Love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised, without rescue, in the first assault, or ransom afterward: This she deliver'd in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in which I held my duty, speedily to acquaint you withal; sithence, in the lofs that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
Count. You have discharged this honestly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: Pray you, leave me: stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care: I will speak with you further anon. [Exit Steward.]
Count. Even so it was with me, when I was
If we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born; It is the shew and seal of nature's truth,
Where love's strong passion is imprest in youth:
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults; or then we thought
Here eye is sick on't; I observe her now.
I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Why not a mother? When I said, a mother,
That were enwombed mine: 'Tis often seen, Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
You ne'er opprefs'd me with a mother's groan,
Count. I say, I am your mother.
The count Rousillon cannot be my
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble:
Count. Nor I your mother?
Hel. You are my mother, madam; 'Would you
(So that my lord, your son, were not my brother,)
or were you both our mothers,
I care no more for, than I do for heaven,
God shield, you mean it not! daughter, and mother,
So strive upon your pulse: What, pale again?
That truth should be suspected: Speak, is't so?
Hel. Good madam, pardon me!
Your pardon, noble mistress!
Count. Love you my son?
Hel. Do not you love him, madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond, Whereof the world takes note: come, come, dis
The state of your affection; for your passions Have to the full appeach'd.
Hel. Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
My friends were poor, but honest; so's my love:
Nor would I have him, till I do deserve him;
The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
Wish chastly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Hel. Madam, I had.
Gount. Wherefore? tell true.
Hel. I will tell truth; by grace itself, I swear. You know, my father left me some prescriptions Of rare and prov'd effects, such as his reading, And manifest experience, had collected For general sovereignty; and that he will'd me In heedfullest reservation to bestow them, As notes, whose faculties inclusive were More than they were in note: amongst the rest, There is a remedy, approv'd, set down, To cure the desperate languishings, whereof The king is render'd lost.