Imatges de pÓgina
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Despatch 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 speak.

SCENE V.-Without the Walls of Florence.
A tucket afar off. Enter an old 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 shews 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 are, though there were no further danger known, but the modesty which is so lost.

Dia. You shall not need to fear me.

Enter HELENA in the dress of a pilgrim. Wid. I hope so. Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at my house: thither they send one another; I'll question her.

God save you, pilgrim! Whither are you bound?
Hel. To Saint Jaques le grand.

Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you ?
Wid. At the Saint Francis here, beside the port.
Hel. Is this the way?

Ay, marry, is it.-Hark you! [A march afar off. They come this way :-If you will tarry, holy pilgrim, But till the troops come by,

I will conduct you where you shall be lodg'd;
The rather, for, I think, I know your hostess
As ample as myself.


Is it yourself?

Wid. If you shall please so, pilgrim.

Hel. I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.
Wid. You came, I think, from France?

I did so. Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours, That has done worthy service.

Hel. His name, I pray you. Dia. The count Rousillon; Know you such a one? Hel. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him: His face I know not.

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That leads him to these places; were I his lady,
I'd poison that vile rascal.
Dia. That jack-an-apes with scarfs: Why is he

Hel. Perchance he's hurt i' the battle.
Par. Lose our drum! well.

Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something: Look, he has spied us.

Wid. Marry, hang you!

Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!

[Exeunt BER. PAR. Officers, and Soldiers. Wid. The troop is past: Come, pilgrim, I will bring Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents [you There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound, Already at my house.

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, I will bestow some precepts on this virgin, Worthy the note.

Both. We'll take your offer kindly.


SCENE VI.-Camp before Florence.
Enter BERTRAM, and the two French Lords.

1 Lord. Nay, good my lord, put him to't; let him have his way.

Lord. If your lordship find him not a hilding, | pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my cerhold me no more in your respect.

tainty, put myself into my mortal preparation, and by midnight, look to hear further from me.

1 Lord. On my life, my lord, a bubble. Ber. Do you think, I am so far deceived in him? 1 Lord. Believe it, my lord, in nine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an in-lord; but the attempt I vow. finite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality worthy your lord ship's entertainment.

Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace, you are gone about it?

Par. I know not what the success will be, my

2 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 main danger, fail you.

Ber. I would, I knew in what particular action to try him.

2 Lord. None better than to let him fetch off his drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.

Ber. I know thou art valiant; and to the possibility of thy soldiership, will subscribe for thee. Farewell. Pur. I love not many words. [Exit.

1 Lord. No more than a fish loves water.-Is not this a strange fellow, my lord? that so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done; damns himself to do, and dares better be damned than to do 't.

2 Lord. You do not know him, my lord, as we do: certain it is, that he will steal himself into a man's favour, and, for a week, escape a great deal of discoveries; but when you find him out, you have him

1 Lord. I, with a troop of Florentines, will sud-ever after. denly surprize him; such I will have, whom I am Ber. Why, do you think, he will make no deed at all sure, he knows not from the enemy: we will bind of this, that so seriously he does address himself unto? and hood wink him so, that he shall suppose no other 1 Lord. None in the world; but return with an inbut that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversa-vention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies: ries, when we bring him to our tents: Be but your but we have alinost embossed him, you shall see his lordship present at his examination: if he do not, fall to-night: for, indeed, he is not for your lord. for the promise of his life, and in the highest com- ship's respect. pulsion of base 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.

2 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 lump of ore will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he comes.


1 Lord. O, for the love of laughter, hinder not the humour of his design: let him fetch off his drum in any hand.

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

2 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.

2 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 enterprize, 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.

2 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.

1 Lord. I must go look my twigs; he shall be caught. Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me. 1 Lord. As 't please your lordship: I'll leave you. [Exit. Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and shew you The lass I spoke of. 2 Lord. But, you say, she's honest. Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with her but once, And found her wondrous cold; but I sent to her, By this same coxcomb that we have i' the wind, Tokens and letters which she did re-send; And this is all I have done: She's a fair creature; Will you go see her?

2 Lord. With all my heart, my lord. [Exeunt.


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 fallen, I was well born,
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 shew'd me that, which well approves You are great in fortune. Hel. Take this purse of gold, And let me buy your friendly help thus far, Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it. Which I will over-pay, and pay again, [daughter, Ber. But you must not now slumber in it. When I have found it. The count he wooes your Par. I'll about it this evening: and I will presently | Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,

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