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Since the phyfician at your father's died?

He was much fam'd.

Ber. Some fix months fince, my lord.

King. If he were living, I would try him yet;
Lend me an arm; the rest have worn me out
With feveral applications: nature and fickness
Debate it at their leifure! Welcome, count,
My fon's no dearer.

Ber. Thanks to your majesty.

[flourish. Exeunt.



Enter Countefs, Steward, and Clown.

Count Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your I

Will now hear; what fay you of this gentlewoman?

content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modefty, and make foul the clearness of our defervings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? get you gone, firrah: the complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe; 'tis my flowness that I do not; for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make fuch knaveries yours.

Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow. Count. Well, fir.

Clo. No, madam, 'tis not fo well that I am poor; though many of the rich are damn'd: but if I have your ladyfhip's good will to go to the world, Ibel the woman and I will do as we


Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?

Clo. I do beg your good will in this cafe.

Count. In what cafe?

Clo. In Ifbel's cafe and mine own: service is no heritage, and,

I think,

I think, I fhall never have the bleffing of god, till I have issue o'my body; for, they fay, bearns are bleffings.

Count. Tell me the reason why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh: and he must needs go that the devil drives. Count. Is this all your worship's reason ?


Clo. 'Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, fuch as they

Count. May the world know them?

may repent.

Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I Count. Thy marriage, fooner than thy wickedness. Clo. I am out of friends, madam, and I hope to have friends for my wife's fake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. Y'are fhallow, madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am weary of: he that ears my land fpares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge: he that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherisheth my flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend: ergo, he that kiffes my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poyfam the papift, howfoe'er their hearts are fever'd in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together like any deer i'th' herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foulmouth'd and calumnious knave? Clo. A prophet I, madam, and I speak the truth the next way; For I the ballad will repeat, which men full true shall find; Your marriage comes by deftiny, your cuckoo fings by kind.

Count. Get you gone, fir; I'll talk with you more anon. 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.

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Clo. Was this fair face the caufe, quoth fhe,
Why the Grecians facked Troy?
Fond done, fond done, for Paris he
Was this king Priam's joy.
With that he fighed as she stood,
And gave this fentence then;
Among nine bad if one be good,
There's yet one good in ten.


Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the fong, firrah. Clo. One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o'th' fong: would god would serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tithe-woman if I were the parfon: one in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing ftar, 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, fir knave, and do as I command you? Clo. That man that should be at a woman's command, and yet no hurt done! though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the furplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart: I am going, forfooth; the business is for Helen to come hither. [Exit.

Count. Well, now.

Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely. Count. 'Faith, I do': her father bequeath'd her to me; and she herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds: there is more owing her than is pay'd, and more shall be pay'd her than fhe'll demand.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wifh'd me alone fhe was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; the thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger fenfe. Her matter was, fhe lov'd your fon: fortune, fhe faid, was no goddess, that had goddess, that had put fuch difference betwixt their two eftates; love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level: Diana, nd queen of virgins, that would fuffer her poor knight to be furpriz'd without


rescue in the first affault, or ranfom afterward. This fhe deliver'd in the most bitter touch of forrow that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; fithence, in the lofs that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.

Count. You have discharg'd this honeftly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung fo tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: pray you, leave me: ftall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honeft care: I will fpeak with you further [Exit Steward.



Enter Helena.

Count. Ev'n fo it was with me when I was young:
If we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn

Doth to our rofe of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;

It is the show, and feal, of nature's truth,

Where love's ftrong paffion is imprefs'd in youth:

By our remembrances of days foregone,

Such were our faults, though then we thought them none.
Her eye is fick on't; I observe her now.

Hel. What is your pleasure, madam ?

Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.

Hel. Mine honourable mistress.

Count. Nay, a mother;

Why not a mother? when I faid, a mother,
Methought, you faw a ferpent: what's in mother,
That you start at it? I say, I'm your mother,
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine: 'tis often seen,
Adoption ftrives with nature; and choice breeds
A native flip to us from foreign feeds.
You ne'er opprefs'd me with a mother's groan,

X x


Yet I exprefs to you a mother's care:

God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood,
To fay, I am thy mother? what's the matter,
That this diftemper'd meffenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eyes ?
Why that you are my daughter?

Hel. That I am not.

Count. I fay, I am your mother.
Hel. Pardon, madam.

The count Roufillon cannot be my brother:
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble.
My mafter, my dear lord he is; and I
His fervant live, and will his vaffal die :
He must not be my brother.

Count. Nor I

your mother?

Hel. You are my mother, madam; would you were (So that my lord your fon were not my brother)

Indeed my mother! —or, were you both our mothers,
I cannot ask for more than that of heav'n,

So I were not his fifter: can't be no other

Way I your daughter, but he must be my brother?
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law,
God shield, you mean it not! daughter and mother
So strive upon your pulfe: what, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness: now I fee
The myft'ry of your loneliness, and find
Your falt tears' head: now to all fenfe 'tis grofs,
You love my fon; invention is afham'd,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To fay, thou doft not: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis fo: for, look, thy cheeks
Confefs it one to th' other; and thine eyes
See it fo grofly shown in thy behaviour,
That in their kind they speak it: only fin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,


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