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Alas, poor lady! 'T is a hard bondage, to become the wife Of a detesting lord.

Wid. I write? good creature: wheresoe'er she is,
Her heart weighs sadly. This young maid might do her
A shrewd turn, if she pleas’d.

How do you mean?
May be, the amorous count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose.

He does, indeed ;
And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid :
But she is arm’d for him, and keeps her guard,
In honestest defence.
Enter with drum and colours, a party of the Florentine

Mar. The gods forbid else!

So, now they come. -
That is Antonio, the Duke's eldest son;
That, Escalus.

Which is the Frenchman ?
That with the plume: 't is a most gallant fellow;
I would he lov'd his wife. If he were honester,
He were much goodlier; is’t not a handsome gentleman?

Hel. I like him well.
Dia. T is pity, he is not honest. Yond 's that same

That leads him to these places: were I his lady,
I would poison that vile rascal.

Which is he ! Dia. That jackanapes with scarfs. Why is he melancholy?

Hel. Perchance he's hurt i’ the battle.
Par. Lose our drum! well.

Mar. He's shrewdly vexed at something. Look, he has spied us.

Wid. Marry, hang you !
Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier !
[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Officers, and Soldiers.
Wid. The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring

Where you shall host : of enjoin'd penitents

1 Ay, right: in 2d folio.

There's four or five, to great saint Jaques bound,
Already at my house.

I humbly thank you.
Please it this matron, and this gentle maid,
To eat with us to-night, the charge and thanking
Shall be for me ; and, to requite you farther,
I will bestow some precepts of this virgin,
Worthy the note.
Both. We'll take your offer kindly. (Exeunt.

SCENE VI.-Camp before Florence.

Enter BERTRAM, and the two Frenchmen. Fr. Env. Nay, good my lord, put him to't: let him have his way.

Fr. Gent. If your lordship find him not a hilding,? hold me no more in your respect.

Fr. Env. On my life, my lord, a bubble.
Ber. Do you think I am so far deceived in him ?

Fr. Env. Believe it, my lord : in mine own direct knowledge, without any malice, but to speak of him as my kinsman, he's a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good quality, worthy your lordship’s entertainment.

Fr. Gent. It were fit you knew him, lest reposing too far in his virtue, which he hath not, he might, at some great and trusty business in a main danger, fail you.

Ber. I would I knew in what particular action to try him.

Fr. Gent. None better than to let him fetch off his drum, which you hear him so confidently undertake to do.

Fr. Env. I, with a troop of Florentines, will suddenly surprise him : such I will have, whom, I am sure, he knows not from the enemy. We will bind and hoodwink him so, that he shall suppose no other but that he is carried into the leaguer of the adversaries, when we bring him to our own tents. Be but your lordship present at his examination, if he do not, for the promise of his life, and in the highest compulsion of base fear, offer to betray you, and deliver all the intelligence in his power against you, and that lon : in 2d folio. 9 Low, cowardly fellow.

3 Camp. Vol. III.-18

with the divine forfeit of his soul upon oath, never trust my judgment in any thing.

Fr. Gent. O! for the love of laughter, let him fetch off' his drum: he says he has a stratagem for't. When your lordship sees the bottom of his success in't, and to what metal this counterfeit lump of oreso will be melted, if you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed. Here he


Enter PAROLLES. Fr. Env. 0! for the love of laughter, hinder not the honour of his design: let him fetch off his drum in any hand.

Ber. How now, monsieur ? this drum sticks sorely in your disposition.

Fr. Gent. A pox on 't ! let it go : 't is but a drum.

Par. But a drum! Is 't but a drum ? A drum so lost !—There was an excellent command, to charge in with our horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers !

Fr. Gent. That was not to be blamed in the command of the service: it was a disaster of war that Cæsar himself could not have prevented, if he had been there to command.

Ber. Well, we cannot greatly condemn our success: some dishonour we had in the loss of that drum ; but it is not to be recovered.

Par. It might have been recovered.
Ber. It might; but it is not now.

Par. It is to be recovered. But that the merit of service is seldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would have that drum or another, or hic jacet.

Ber. Why, if you have a stomach to’t, monsieur, if you think your mystery in stratagem can bring this instrument of honour again into his native quarter, be magnanimous in the enterprise, and go on; I will grace the attempt for a worthy exploit : if you speed well in it, the Duke shall both speak of it, and extend to you what farther becomes his greatness, even to the utmost syllable of your worthiness.

Par. By the hand of a soldier, I will undertake it.
Ber. But you must not now slumber in it.

3 ore : in f. e. 3 A common phrase, meaning to turn one out of doors.

1 This word is not in f. e.

Par. I'll about it this evening: and I will presently pen down my dilemmas, encourage myself in my certainty, put myself into my mortal preparation, and by midnight look to hear farther from me.

Ber. May I be bold to acquaint his grace you are gone about it?

Par. I know not what the success will be, my lord; but the attempt I vow.

Ber. I know thou art valiant, and to the possibility of thy soldiership will subscribe for thee. Farewell. Par. I love not many words.

(Exit. Fr. Env. No more than a fish loves water.—Is not this a strange fellow, my lord, that so confidently seems to undertake this business, which he knows is not to be done, damns himself to do, and dares better be damned than to do 't?

Fr. Gent. You do not know him, my lord, as we do : certain it is, that he will steal himself into a man's favour, and for a week escape a great deal of discoveries; but when you find him out, you have him ever after.

Ber. Why, do you think, he will make no deed at all of this, that so seriously he does address himself unto ?

Fr. Env. None in the world, but return with an invention, and clap upon you two or three probable lies. But we have almost embossed' him, you shall see his fall to-night; for, indeed, he is not for your lordship’s respect.

Fr. Gent. We'll make you some sport with the fox, ere we case him. He was first smoked by the old lord Lafeu : when his disguise and he is parted, tell me what a sprat you shall find him, which you shall see this very night.

Fr. Env. I must go look my twigs : he shall be caught.
Ber. Your brother, he shall go along with me.
Fr. Gent. As 't please your lordship.
Fr. Env. I'll leave you.

[Exit. Ber. Now will I lead you to the house, and show you The lass I spoke of.

Fr. Gent. But, you say, she's honest.

Ber. That's all the fault. I spoke with her but once, And found her wondrous cold ; but I sent to her, By this same coxcomb that we have i' the wind, Tokens and letters which she did re-send;

1 Run him down till he foams at the mouth.

2 Flay.

And this is all I have done. She's a fair creature : Will you go see her ?

Fr. Gent. With all my heart, my lord. [Exeunt. SCENE VII.-Florence. A Room in the Widow's

Enter HELENA and Widow.
Hel. If you misdoubt me that I am not she,
I know not how I shall assure you farther,
But I shall lose the grounds I work upon.

Wid. Though my estate be fall'n, I was well born,
Nothing acquainted with these businesses,
And would not put my reputation now
In any staining act.

Nor would I wish you.
First, give me trust, the count he is my husband,
And what to your sworn counsel I have spoken,
Is so, from word to word; and then you cannot,
By the good aid that I of you shall borrow,
Err in bestowing it.

I should believe you;
For you have show'd me that, which well approves
You are great in fortune.

Take this purse of gold,
And let me buy your friendly help thus far,
Which I will over-pay, and pay again,
When I have found it. The count he wood your

Lays down his wanton siege before her beauty,
Resolved to carry her : let her, in fine, consent,
As we'll direct her how 't is best to bear it.
Now, his important' blood will nought deny
That she 'll demand : a ring the county wears,
That downward hath succeeded in his house
From son to son, some four or five descents
Since the first father wore it: this ring he holds
In most rich choice ; yet, in his idle fire
To buy his will, it would not seem too dear,
Howe'er repented after.

Now I see
The bottom of your purpose.

Hel. You see it lawful then. It is no more, But that your daughter, ere she seems as won,

1 Importunate

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