Re-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 fome comfort in the news, fome comfort; your fon will not be kill'd fo foon 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 ftanding to't; that's the lofs of men, though it be the getting of children. Here they come, will tell you more. For my part, I only hear, your fon was run away.

Enter Helena, and two Gentlemen:

1 Gen. Save you, good Madam.

Hel. Madam, my Lord is gone, for ever gone. 2 Gen. Do not say so.

Count. Think upon patience: 'pray you, gentlemen, I've felt fo many quirks of joy and grief,

That the first face of neither, on the start,

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

2 Gen. Madam, he's gone to ferve the Duke of Fla


We met him thitherward, for thence we came;
And, after fome difpatch in hand at court,
Thither we bend again.

Hel. Look on this letter, Madam; here's my pafsport.

When thou canst get the ring upon my finger, which ne-
ver fhall come off; and fhew me a child begotten of
thy body that I am father to, then call me husband:
but in fuch a Then I write a Never.

This is a dreadful fentence.

Count. Brought you this letter, gentlemen?

1 Gent. Ay, Madam, and, for the contents' fake, are forry for our pains.

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

If thou engroffest all the griefs as thine,




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Thou robb'st 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. 'Tis bitter.

Count. Find you that there?

Hel. Yes, Madam.


1 Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, happ'ly, 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?
1 Gen. A fervant only, and a gentleman
Which I have some time known.
Count. Parolles, was't not?

1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he.

Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness: My fon 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. Y'are welcome, gentlemen; I will intreat you, when you fee fon, to tell him, that his fword can never win the honour that he loses: more I'll intreat you written to bear along.

2 Gen. We ferve you, Madam, in that and all your worthieft affairs.

Count. Not fo, but as we change our courtefies.


draw near? [Exeunt Countess and Gentlemen. you 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
Those tender limbs of thine to the event
Of the none-fparing war? and is it I,

That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
Waft fhot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
Of Smoaky muskets? O you leaden meffengers,
That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
Fly with falfe aim; move the ftill-piercing air,
That fings with piercing, do not touch my lord:
Whoever shoots at him, I fet him there.
Whoever charges on his forward breast,
1 am the caitiff, that do hold him to it;
And tho' 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:
My being here it is, that holds thee hence.
Shall I ftay here to do't? no, no, although
The air of paradife did fan the house,
And angels offic'd all; I will be gone;
That pitiful rumour may report my flight,
To confolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day!
For with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.


SCENE changes to the Duke's Court in Florence.

Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, Bertram, Drum and Trumpets, Soldiers, Parolles.

Duke. T

HE General of our Horfe thou art, and



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

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Ber. Sir, it is

A charge too heavy for my ftrength; but yet
We'll ftrive to bear it for your worthy fake,
To th' extream edge of hazard.

Duke. Then go forth,

And fortune play, upon thy profp'rous helm,
As thy aufpicious mistress!

Ber. This very day,

Great Mars, I put my felf into thy file;

Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove
A lover of thy drum; hater of love.


SCENE changes to Roufillon in France.

Enter Countefs and Steward.

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

Might you not know, she would do, as she

has done,

By fending me a letter? Read it again.


I am St. Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone;
Ambitious love bath fo in me offended,
That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon,
With fainted vow my faults to have amended.
Write, write, that from the bloody courfe of war
My deareft mafter, your dear fon, may hie ;
Blefs him at home in peace, whilft Ifrom far
His name with zealous fervour fanctifie.
His taken labours bid him me forgive;

1, bis defpightful Juno, fent 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.

Ah, what sharp ftings are in her mildeft words?
Rynaldo, you did never lack advice fo much,
As letting her pass fo; had I fpoke with her,
I could have well diverted her intents,
Which thus fhe hath prevented.


Stew. Pardon, Madam,

If I had given you this at over night

She might have been o'er-ta'en; and yet fhe writes,
Purfuit would be but vain.

Count. What angel fhall

Blefs 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, Rynaldo,
To this unworthy husband of his wife;
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth,
That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief,
Tho' little he do feel it, set down sharply.
Dispatch the moft convenient meffenger;
When, haply, he fhall hear that the is gone,
He will return, and hope I may, that fhe,
Hearing fo much, will speed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love. Which of them both
Is dearest to me, I've no skill in fenfe
To make distinction; provide this messenger;
My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
Grief would have tears, and forrow bids me fpeak.


SCENE changes to a Publick Place in Florence.

A Tucket afar off.

Enter an old Widow of Florence, Diana, Violenta, and Mariana, with other Citizens.

Wid. NAY, come. For if they do approach the

city, we fhall lofe all the fight.

Dia. They fay, the French Count has done most honourable service.

Wid. It is reported, that he has ta'en their greatest commander; and that with his own hand he flew the Duke's brother. We have loft our labour, they are gone a contrary way: hark, you may know by their trumpets.

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