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I pr’ythee, do not strive against my vows*: .
Ay, so you serve us,
How have I sworn ?
Change it, change it;
Dia. I see that men make hopes, in such affairs,
Ber. I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power
Will you not, my lord ?
* i. e. Against his determined resolution never to cohabit with Helena.
+ The sense is--we never swear by what is not holy, but take to witness the Highest, the Divinity,
In me to lose.
Mine honour's such a ring :
. Here, take my ring :
Ber. A heaven on earth I have won, by wooing i thee.
[Erit. Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven
and me! You may so in the end. My mother told me just how he would woo, As if she sat in his heart; she says, all men Have the like oaths : he had sworn to marry me, When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him, When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid*, Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid : Only, in this disguise, I think't no sin To cozen him, that would unjustly win. (Exit.
* Crafty, deceitful.
The Florentine camp.
Enter the two French Lords, and two or three
Soldiers. 1 Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter?
2. Lord. I have delivered it an hour since: there is something in't that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he changed almost into another man.
Lord. He has much worthy blame laid upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.
2 Lord. Especially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
i Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
2 Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour : he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
i Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion; as we. are ourselves, what things are we !
2 Lord. Merely our own traitors.. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends; so he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself *. i Lord. Is it not meant damnable t in us, to be :
* i. e. Betrays bis own secrets in his own talk. + Here, as elsewhere, used adverbially.