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396 ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. [ACT III That twenty such rude boys might tend upon, And call her, hourly, mistress. Who was with him ?

1 Gent. A servant only, and a gentleman Which I have some time known. Count.

Parolles, was't not? 1 Gent. Ay, my good lady, he.

Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness. My son corrupts a well-derived nature With his inducement. 1 Gent.

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 Gent.

We serve you, madam,
In that and all your worthiest affairs.

Count. Not so, but as we change our courtesies.? 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-peering air, That sings with piercing, do not touch my lord !

1 This passage as it stands is very obscure; something appears to be omitted after much. Warburton interprets it, “That his vices stand him in stead of virtues.”

2 The countess answers-no otherwise than as she returns the same offices of civility.

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’ lion when he roared
With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
That all the miseries, which nature owes,
Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rousillon,
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. [Exit.

SCENE III. Florence. Before the Duke's Palace


Enter the Duke of Florence, BERTRAM, Lords, Offi

cers, Soldiers, and others.
Duke. The general of our horse thou art; and we,
Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
Upon thy promising fortune.

Sir, it is
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!

i That is, the ravenous or ravening lion.

2 The sense is, “ From that place, where all the advantages that honor usually reaps from the danger it rushes upon, is only a scar in testimony of its bravery, as, on the other hand, it often is the cause of losing all, even life itself.”


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.


SCENE IV. Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's

Enter Countess and Steward.
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 barefoot 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 ;

1, his despiteful Juno, 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 3 so much,
As letting her pass so; had I spoke with her,
I could have well diverted her intents,
Which thus she hath prevented.

1 At Orleans was a church dedicated to St. Jaques, to which pilgrims formerly used to resort, to adore a part of the cross pretended to be found there. See Heylin's France Painted to the Lisc, 1056, p. 270~0.

2 Alluding to the story of Hercules. 3 i. e. discretion or thought.

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