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Count.

What angel shall

Bless this unworthy husband? he cannot thrive,
Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear,
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Of greatest justice.-Write, write, Rinaldo,
To this unworthy husband of his wife:
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth,
That he does weigh too light2: my greatest grief,
Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
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.

[Exeunt.

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.

2 That he does weigh too light:] To weigh here means to value or esteem.

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.

3

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 shows 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?

3

4

Wid.

Ay, marry, is it.- Hark you! [A march afar off.

those suggestions-] Suggestions are temptations."

· are not the things they go under:] They are not the things

for which their names would make them pass.

5

· palmers-] Pilgrims that visited holy places; so called from a staff, or bough of palm they were wont to carry, especially such as had visited the holy places at Jerusalem.

They come this way:- If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
But till the troops come by,

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

Hel.

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.

Hel.
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.

Dia.

Whatsoe'er he is,

He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
As 'tis reported, for the king had married him
Against his liking: Think you it is so?

Hel. Ay, surely, mere the truth7; I know his lady. Dia. There is a gentleman, that serves the count, Reports but coarsely of her.

Hel.

Dia. Monsieur Parolles.
Hel.

What's his name?

O, I believe with him,

In argument of praise, or to the worth

Of the great count himself, she is too mean
To have her name repeated; all her deserving
Is a reserved honesty, and that

I have not heard examin'd. 8

Dia.

Alas, poor lady!

'Tis a hard bondage, to become the wife

Of a detesting lord.

6 for the king, &c.] For, in the present instance, signifies be

cause.

mere the truth;] The exact, the entire truth.

7

8

- examin'd.] That is, questioned, doubted.

Wid. A right good creature+: wheresoe'er she is, Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her A shrewd turn, if she pleas'd.

Hel.

May be, the amorous count solicits her

In the unlawful purpose.

Wid.

How do you mean?

He does, indeed;

And brokes with all that can in such a suit

Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:

But she is arm'd for him, and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.

Enter with drum and colours, a party of the Florentine army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES.

Mar. The gods forbid else!

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That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow;
I would, he lov'd his wife: if he were honester,
He were much goodlier:-Is't not a handsome gentle-
man?

Hel. I like him well.

Dia. 'Tis pity, he is not honest: Yond's that same

knave,

That leads him to these places; were I his lady,

I'd poison that vile rascal.

Hel.

Which is he?

Dia. That jack-an-apes with scarfs: Why is he melancholy?

Hel. Perchance he's hurt i'the battle.

Par. Lose our drum! well.

+ "I write good creature." Malone.

9

-brokes-] To broke is to deal with panders. A broker, in

our author's time, meant a bawd or pimp.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THAT WITH THE PLUME TIS A MOST GALLANT FELLOW
Act III.Sc.5.

London. Published by FC&J. Rivington, and Partners. Feb 1823

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