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Laf. How called you the man you speak of, madam?

Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so-Gerard de Narbon.

Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam: the king very lately spoke of him, admiringly and mourningly. He was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.

Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?

Laf. A fistula, my lord.

Ber. I heard not of it before.

Laf. I would it were not notorious.-Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?

Count. His sole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises: her dispositions she inherits, which make fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity; they are virtues and traitors too: in her they are the better for their simpleness; she derives her honesty, and achieves her goodness.

Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her

tears.

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That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
Th' ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind that would be mated by the lion
Must die for love. Twas pretty, though a plague.
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table; heart, too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?

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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 wi quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; 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't.

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 vir ginity 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 despe rate 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 brooch and the 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 withered pears it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear. Will you any thing with it?

Hel. Not my virginity yet.

There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,

A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he-
I know not what he shall:-God send him well!-
The court's a learning-place ;-and he is one-
Par. What one, i'faith?

Hel. That I wish well.-'Tis pity

Par. What's pity?

Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't, Which might be felt; that we, the poorer born, Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes, Might with effects of them follow our friends, And show what we alone must think; which never Returns us thanks.

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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
To join like likes, and kiss like native things.
Impossible be strange attempts to those
That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose,
What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove
To show her merit, that did miss her love?
The king's disease-my project may deceive me.
But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me.

[Exit.

SCENE II.-Paris. A Room in the KING's Palace. Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING of France, with letters; Lords and others attending.

King. The Florentines and Senoys are by th'

ears;

Have fought with equal fortune, and continue
A braving war.

1 Lord. So 'tis reported, sir.

King. Nay, 'tis most credible: we here receive it A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria, With caution, that the Florentine will move us For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend Prejudicates the business, and would seem To have us make denial. 1 Lord. His love and wisdom, Approv'd so to your majesty, may plead For amplest credence.

King.
He hath arm'd our answer,
And Florence is denied before he comes:
Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.

2 Lord.
It may well serve
A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
For breathing and exploit.

King.

What's he comes here?

Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES.

1 Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord, Young Bertram.

King.. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face; Frank nature, rather curious than in haste, Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.

Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's. King. I would I had that corporal soundness

now,

As when thy father, and myself, in friendship
First tried our soldiership. He did look far
Into the service of the time, and was
Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
But on us both did haggish age steal on,
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
To talk of your good father. In his youth
He had the wit, which I can well observe
To-day in our young lords; but they may jest,
Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour:
So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
Were in his pride, or sharpness; if they were,
His equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exception bid him speak, and at this time
His tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him
He us'd as creatures of another place,
And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
Making them proud of his humility,
In their poor praise he humbled.
Such a man
Might be a copy to these younger times,

Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them Expire before their fashions."-This he wish'd;
I, after him, do after him wish too,
Since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home,
I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
To give some labourers room.
2 Lord.

now

But goers backward.
Ber.
His good remembrance, sir,
Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb:
So in approof lives not his epitaph,
As in your royal speech.

King. 'Would I were with him! He would
always say,

(Methinks, I hear him now; his plausive words
He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them,
To grow there, and to bear,)-"Let me not live,"-
This his good melancholy oft began,
On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
When it was out, "let me not live," quoth he,
"After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies

You are lov'd, sir; They, that least lend it you, shall lack you first. King. I fill a place, I know't.-How long ist.

count,

Since the physician at your father's died?
He was much fam'd.

Ber.
Some six months since, my lord.
King. If he were living, I would try him yet:-
Lend me an arm :-the rest have worn me out
With several applications: nature and sickness
Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count;
My son's no dearer.
Ber.

Thank your majesty.

Thus, Indian-like,
Reous in mine error, I adore

1 h S n, that looks upon his worshipper,
Bt Knows of him no more

ACTIS ENE 3

[Exeun

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Enter COUNTESS, Steward, and Clown. Count. I will now hear: what say you of this gentlewoman?

Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah: the complaints I have heard of you, I do not all believe: 'tis my slowness, that I do not; for I know you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours. Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.

Count. Well, sir.

Clo. No, madam; 'tis not so well, that I am poor, though many of the rich are damned. But, if I may have your ladyship's good-will to go to the world, Isbel, the woman, and I will do as we may. Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar? Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case. Count. In what case?

Clo. In Isbel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage; and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, till I have issue of my body, for they say, barnes are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry. Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh, and he must needs go, that the devil drives.

Count. Is this all your worship's reason?

Clo. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.

Count. May the world know them?

Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.

Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wicked

ness.

Clo. I am out o' friends, madam; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave. Clo. You are shallow, madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am a-weary of. He, that ears my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge. He that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend: ergo he that kisses my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are. there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam the papist, howsome'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one; they may joll horns together, like any deer i' the herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?

Clo. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next way:

For I the ballad will repeat,
Which men full true shall find;
Your marriage comes by destiny,
Your cuckoo sings by kind.

Count. Get you gone, sir: I'll talk with you more

anon.

Stew. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you: of her I am to speak.

Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman, I would speak with her; Helen I mean.

Clo. Was this fair face the cause, quoth she,
Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
Fond done, done fond,

Was this king Priam's joy?
With that she sighed as she stood
With that she sighed as she stood,

And gave this sentence then;
Among nine bad if one be good,
Among nine bad if one be good,
There's yet one good in ten.

Count. What! one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, madam, which is a purifying o' the song. Would God would serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythe-woman, if I were the parson. One in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but on every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well: a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.

Count. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you?

Clo. That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done!-Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am going, forsooth: the business is for Helen to come hither. [Exit.

Count. Well, now.

Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.

Count. Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds : there is more owing her than is paid, and more shall be paid her than she'll demand.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wished me: alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son: fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised, without rescue, in the first assault, or ransom afterward. This she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard virgin| exclaim in; which I held my duty speedily to acquaint you withal, sithence in the loss that may happen it concerns you something to know it.

Count. You have discharged this honestly: keep it to yourself. Many likelihoods informed me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt. Pray you, leave me stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care. I will speak with you further anon. [Exit Steward.

Enter HELENA. Count. Even so it was with me, when I was young:

If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn

Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born; It is the show and seal of nature's truth,

Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth:
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults; or then we thought thes

none.

Her eye

is sick on't: I observe her now.
Hel. What is your pleasure, madam?
Count.
You know, Helen

I am a mother to you.

Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Count.
Nay, a mother.
Why not a mother? When I said, a mother,
Methought you saw a serpent: what's in mothe
That you start at it? I say, I am your mother.
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine. 'Tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care.-
God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother? What's the matter.
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?-
Why, that you are my daughter?

Hel.
That I am not.
Count. I say, I am your mother.
Hel.
Pardon, madar
The count Rousillon cannot be my brother:
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble :
My master, my dear lord he is; and I
His servant live, and will his vassal die.
He must not be my brother.

Count.
Nor I your mother!
Hel. You are my mother, madam: would ye

were

(So that my lord, your son, were not my brother
Indeed, my mother!- -or were you both our mother
I care no more for, than I do for heaven,
So I were not his sister. Can't no other,
But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter

in-law.

God shield, you mean it not! daughter and mother.
So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness: Now I see
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Your salt tears' head. Now to all sense 'tis gross.
You love my son: invention is asham'd,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say, thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis so:-for, look, thy cheeks
Confess it, th' one to the other; and thine eyes
See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours,
That in their kind they speak it: only sin,
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,

That truth should be suspected. Speak, is't so!
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clue;
If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee,
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly,

Hel.
Good madam, pardon me.
Count. Do you love my son?
Hel.
Count. Love you my son?
Hel.

Do not you love him, madam?
Count. Go not about: my love hath in't a bond.
Whereof the world takes note. Come, come,

Your pardon, noble mistress.

disclose

The state of your affection, for your passions
Have to the full appeach'd.

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