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1 Gen. Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.

Hel. [reads.] 'Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.'

"Tis bitter.

Count. Find you that there?


Ay, madam.

1 Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, Which his heart was not consenting to.

Count. Nothing in France, until he have no wife! There's nothing here, that is too good for him, But only she; and she deserves a lord, That twenty such rude boys might tend upon, And call her hourly, mistress. Who was with him? 1 Gen. A servant only, and a gentleman

Which I have some time known.


1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he.

Parolles, was 't not?

Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wicked


My son corrupts a well-derived nature

With his inducement.

1 Gen.

Indeed, good lady,
The fellow has a deal of that, too much,
Which holds him much to have.

Count. You are welcome, gentlemen.
I will entreat you, when you see my son,
To tell him, that his sword can never win

The honor that he loses: more I'll entreat you
Written to bear along.

2 Gen.

We serve you, madam,

In that, and all your worthiest affairs.

Count. Not so, but as we change our courtesies.1

Will you draw near?

[Exeunt Countess 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, Rousillon, none in France: Then hast thou all again. Poor lord! is 't I That chase thee from thy country, and expose Those 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 muskets? O, you leaden messengers,
That ride upon the violent speed of fire,

Fly with false aim; move the still-piecing air,
That sings with piercing; do not touch my lord!
Whoever shoots at him, I set 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 so effected: better 'twere,
I met the ravin 2 lion when he roar'd

With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
That all the miseries, which nature owes,3

Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rousillon,

1 No otherwise than as I return the same offices of civility. 2 Ravenous.

3 Owns.

Whence honor but of danger wins a scar,
As oft it loses all: I will be gone:

My being here it is, that holds thee hence:
Shall I stay here to do 't? no, no; although
The air of paradise did fan the house,
And angels officed all: I will be gone;

That pitiful rumor may report my flight,

To consolate thine ear.

Come, night! end, day!

For, with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.



Florence. Before the Duke's palace.

Florish. Enter DUKE OF florence, BERTRAM,
Lords, Officers, Soldiers, and others.

Duke. The general of our horse thou art; and


Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence Upon thy promising fortune.

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A charge too heavy for my strength; but yet
We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake,
To the extreme edge of hazard.


Then go thou forth,

And Fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,

As thy auspicious mistress!


This very day,

Great Mars, I put myself into thy file.

Make me but like my thoughts; and I shall prove

A lover of thy drum, hater of love.



Rousillon. A room in the Countess's palace.


Count. Alas! and would you take the letter of her?

Might you not know, she would do as she has done, By sending me a letter? Read it again.

Stew. I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone : Ambitious love hath so in me offended, That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon, With sainted vow my faults to have amended. Write, write, that, from the bloody course of war, My dearest master, your dear son, may hie : Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far, His name with zealous fervor sanctify: His taken labors bid him me forgive;

I, his despiteful Juno,1 sent him forth

From courtly friends, with camping foes to live,
Where death and danger dog the heels of worth.
He is too good and fair for Death and me;
Whom I myself embrace, to set him free.'

Count. Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!

Rinaldo, you did never lack advice 2 so much,
As letting her pass so: had I spoke with her,

1 In allusion to the labors of Hercules.

• Discretion.

I could have well diverted her intents,

Which thus she hath prevented.


Pardon me. madam :

If I had given you this at over-night,

She might have been o'erta'en; and yet she writes, Pursuit would be but vain.


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 light: 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.


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