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Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, two French Lords, with Soldiers.



O that from point to point now have you heard
The fundamental reafons of this war,
Whose great decifion hath much blood let forth,
And more thirsts after.

I Lord. Holy feems the quarrel

Upon your grace's part; but black and fearful

On the oppofer's.

Duke. Therefore we marvel much, our coufin France

Would, in fo just a business, shut his bofom
Against our borrowing prayers.

2 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 felf-unable motion; therefore dare not
Say what I think of it, fince I have found
Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
As often as I guess'd.

Duke. Be it his pleasure.

2 Lord. But I am fure, the younger of our nation, That furfeit on their eafe, will, day by day,

Come here for phyfick.

Duke. Welcome shall they be:

And all the honours that can fly from us,



Shall on them fettle. You know your places well;
When better fall, for your avails they fall:
To-morrow to the field.





Changes to Roufillon in France.

Enter Countess, and Clown.

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T hath happen'd 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 obfervance, I pray you?

Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and fing; mend his ruff, and sing; ask questions, and fing; pick his teeth, and fing. I knew a man that had this trick of melancholy, fold a goodly manor for a fong.

Count. Let me fee what he writes, and when he means to


Clo. I have no mind to Ibel fince I was at court: our old ling, and our Isbels o'th' country, are nothing like your old ling, and your Ibels o'th' court: the brain of my Cupid's knock'd out, and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no ftomach.

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

Countess reads a letter.


I have fent you a daughter-in-law: fhe hath recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded her; and fworn to make the not eternal. You shall bear 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 fon,



This is not well, rash and unbridled boy,

To fly the favours of fo good a king,
To pluck his indignation on thy head,
By the mifprifing of a maid, too virtuous
For the contempt of empire.

Enter Clown.

Clo. O madam, yonder is heavy news within between two foldiers and my young lady.

Count. What is the matter?

Clo. Nay, there is some comfort in the news, fome comfort; your fon will not be kill'd so soon as I thought he would. Count. Why fhould he be kill'd?

Clo. So fay 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 heard, your fon was run away.

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Enter Helena, and two Gentlemen.

1 Gen. Save you, good madam.

Hel. Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.

2 Gen. Do not fay fo.

Count. Think upon patience, 'pray you: gentlemen,

I've felt so many quirks of joy and grief,

That the firft face of neither, on the ftart,

Can woman me unto't. Where is my fon?

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

We met him thitherward, from thence we came;

And, after fome despatch in hand at court,

Thither we bend again.

Hel. Look on this letter, madam, here's my paffport.

When thou canst get the ring from 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 fuch a then I write a


This is a dreadful fentence.

Count. Brought you this letter, gentlemen?

1 Gen. Ay, madam; and, for the contents' fake, are forry for our pains.

Count. I pr'ythee, lady, have a better cheer.

If thou engroffeft all the griefs as thine,

Thou robb'ft me of a moiety: he was my fon,

But I do wash his name out of my blood,

And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he? 2 Gen. Ay, madam.

Count. And to be a foldier?

2 Gen. Such is his noble purpose; and, believe't, The duke will lay upon him all the honour That good convenience claims.

Count. Return you thither?

1 Gen. Ay, madam, with the swifteft wing of speed. Hel. Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France. [reading.

'Tis bitter.

Count. Find you that there?

Hel. Yes, madam.

I Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, happily, which his heart was not confenting to.

Count. Nothing in France until he have no wife?

There's nothing here that is too good for him

But only fhe, and she deserves a lord,

That twenty fuch rude boys might tend upon,

And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
I Gen. A fervant only, and a gentleman

Which I have fometime known.

Count. Parolles, was't not?

1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he.

Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness : my son corrupts a well-deriv'd nature with his inducement.

1 Gen. Indeed, good lady, the fellow has a deal of that too much, which 'hoves him not much to have.

Count. Y'are welcome, gentlemen; I will entreat you, when you fee my fon, to tell him, that his fword can never win the honour that he loses: more I'll entreat you written to bear along. 2 Gen. We ferve you, madam, in that and all your worthiest affairs.

Count. Not fo, but as we change our courtefies. Will draw near?


[Ex. Count. 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, Roufillon, none in France,
Then haft thou all again. Poor lord! is't I
That chase thee from thy country, and expose
Thofe tender limbs of thine to the event

Of the none-sparing war? and is it I,

That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark

Of smoky musquets? O you leaden messengers,
That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
Fly with false aim, pierce the ftill-moving air
That fings with piercing, do not touch my lord!
Whoever shoots at him, I fet 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 fo effected. Better 'twere

I met the rav'ning lion when he roar'd

With fharp constraint of hunger: better 'twere

That all the miferies which nature owes

Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Roufillon,
Whence honour but of danger wins a scar,

As oft it lofes all. I will be gone :


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