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Must sanctify his relicks. Who comes here?
Par. Save you, fair queen.
Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a question : Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak : unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Par. There is none; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, and blowers up !—Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?
Par. Virginity, being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational in
crease ; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was first lost. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever lost : 'tis too cold a companion ; away with it.
Hel. I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be said in't ; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin : virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by't: Out with't: within ten years it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and the principal itself not much the worse: Away with't.
Hel. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking ?
Par. Let me see: Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth : off with’t, while ’tis vendible: answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion ; richly suited, but unsuitable: just like the broach and tooth-pick, which wear not now: Your date is better in your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek: And your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French wither'd pears; it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a wither'd pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a wither'd pear: Will you any thing with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
Par. What one, i'faith?
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Enter a Page.
[Erit Page. Par. Little Helen, farewell: if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety: But the composition, that your valour and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well. :
Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely: I will return perfect courtier ; in the which my instruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast none, remember thy friends : get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so farewell.
[Exit. Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven : the fated sky Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull. What power is it, which mounts my love so high; That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?
The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
SCENE II.—Paris. A room in the king's palace.
Flourish of cornets. Enter the King of France, with let
ters; Lords and others attending. King. The Florentines and Senoys are by the ears ; Have fought with equal fortune, and continue A braving war.
i Lord. So 'tis reported, sir.
King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it
i Lord. His love and wisdom,
King. He hath arm'd our answer,