Page images
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

you heard

2 Lond. But I am sure, the younger of our

That surfeit on their ease, will, day by day,
Come here for physic.

Welcome shall they be ;
And all the honours, that can fly from us,
Shall on them settle. You know your places well ;
When better fall, for your avails they fell.
To-morrow to the field. Flourish. Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Rousillon. A Room in the

Countess's Palace,

The fundamental reasons of this war ;
Whose great decision hath much blood let forth,
And more thirsts after.

Holy seems the quarrel
Upon your grace's part ; black and fearful
On the opposer.

[France DUKE. Therefore we marvel much, our cousin Would, in so just a business, shut his bosom Against our borrowing prayers. 2 LORD.

Good my lord,
The reasons of our state I cannot yield,
But like a common and an outward man,
That the great figure of a council frames
By self-unable motion : therefore dare not
Say what I think of it, since I have found
Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
As often as I guess’d.

Be it his pleasure.

Enter Counters and Clown.

Count. It hath happened all as I would have had it, save, that he comes not along with her.

Clo. By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very melancholy man.

Count. By what observance, I pray you ?
Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and

sing; mend the ruff, and sing; ask questions, That the first face of neither, on the start, and sing; pick his teeth, and sing : I know a Can woman me unto't.—Where is my son, I man that had this trick of melancholy, sold* a

pray you? goodly manor for a song.

2 Gen. Madam, he's gone to serve the duke Count. Let me see what he writes, and when

of Florence : he means to come.

[Opening a letter. We met him thitherward : for thence we came, Clo. I have no mind to Isbel, since I was at And, after some despatch in hand at court,


are nothing like your old ling and your Isbels o Hel. Look on his letter, madam ; here my

the court : the brains of my Cupid 's knocked out ; and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.

COUNT. What have we here?
Clo. E'en I that you have there. Exit.

Count. [Reads.] I have sent you a daughterin-law : she hath recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded her; and sworn to make the not eternal. You shall hear, I am run away; know it, before the report come. If there be breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you.

Your unfortunate son,

BERTRAM. This is not well, rash and unbridled boy, To fly the favours of so good a king; To pluck his indignation on thy head, By the misprizing of a maid too virtuous For the contempt of empire.


Re-enter Clown.

[Reads.] When thou canst get the ring upon my

finger which never shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body, that I am father to, then call me husband: but in such a then I

write a never.
This is a dreadful sentence.

Count. Brought you this letter, gentlemen ?
1 GEN.

Ay, madam; And, for the contents' sake, are sorry for our

pains. Count. I prythee, lady, have a better cheer ; If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine, Thou robb'st me of a moiety: he was my son ; But I do wash his name out of

my blood, And thou art all my child.—Towards Florence is

2 Gen. Ay, madam.

And to be a soldier ?
2 Gen. Such is his noble purpose: and, believe't,
The duke will lay upon him all the honour
That good convenience claims.



thither? 1 GEN. Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of

speed. Hel. [Reads.] Till I have no wife, I have

nothing in France. 'Tis bitter.

Count. Find you that there?

Ay, madam. 1 GEN. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which his heart was not consenting to. Count. Nothing in France, until he have no

wife! There's nothing here, that is too good for him, But only she; and she deserves a lord, That twenty such rude boys might tend upon, And call her hourly, mistress. Who was with

him ? 1 Gen. A servant only, and a gentleman Which I have sometime known. COUNT.

Parolles, was it not ? 1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he. wickedness. Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of My son corrupts a well-derived nature With his inducement. 1 GEN.

Indeed, good lady, The fellow has a deal of that, too much,

Clo. O madam, yonder is heavy news within, between two soldiers and my young lady.

COUNT. What is the matter ?

Clo. Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I thought he would.

Count. Why should he be killed ?

Clo. So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does : the danger is in standing to't ; that's the loss of men, though it be the getting of children. Here they come, will tell you more : for my part, I only hear your son was run away.

[Exit Clown.

Enter HELENA and two Gentlemen.

1 Gen. 'Save you, good madam. HEL. Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone. 2 GEN. Do not say so. Count. Think upon patience.—'Pray you,

gentlemen, I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief,

(*) old text, hold.

(1) Old text, Lings. (1) First folio, In.

a The ruff,-] The top of the boot which turned over, and was sometimes ornamented with lace, was called the ruff.

Which holds him much to have.“

Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence, Count. You are welcome, gentlemen.

Upon thy promising fortune. I will entreat you, when you see my son,


Sir, it is To tell him, that his sword can never win

A charge too heavy for my strength ; but yet The honour that he loses : more I'll entreat you We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake, Written to bear along.

To the extreme edge of hazard. 2 GEN. We serve you, madam, DUKE.



thou forth; In that and all your worthiest affairs.

And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,
Count. Not so, but as we change our courtesies. As thy auspicious mistress !
Will you draw near ?


This very day, [Exeunt COUNTESS and Gentlemen. Great Mars, I put myself into thy file: HEL. Till I have no wife, I have nothing in Make me but like my thoughts, and I shall prove France.

A lover of thy drum, hater of love. [Exeunt.
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 SCENE IV.-Rousillon. A Room in the
That chase thee from thy country, and expose

Countess's Palace.
Those tender limbs of thine to the event
Of the none-sparing war ? and is it I [thou

Enter COUNTESS and Steward.
That drive thee from the sportive court, where

Count. Alas! and would you take the letter of Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark

her ? Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers,

Might you not know, she would do as she has That ride upon the violent speed of fire,

done, Fly with false aim ; move the still-piecing air,

By sending me a letter ? Read it again.
That sings with piercing, do not touch my lord !
Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;

STEW. [Reads.]
Whoever charges on his foz ward breast,

I am St. Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone : I am the caitiff, that do bold him to it;

Ambitious love hath so in me offended, And, though I kill him not, I am the cause

That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon, His death was so effected. Better 't were

With sainted vow my faults to have amended. I met the ravin lion when he roar'd

Write, write, that, from the bloody course of war, With sharp constraint of hunger; better 't were My dearest master, your dear son, may hie ; That all the miseries, which nature owes, (sillon, Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far, Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rou- His name with zealous fervour sanctify : Whence honour but of danger wins a scar,

His taken lalours bid him me forgive ; As oft it loses all; I will be gone :

1, hi: despiteful Juno, sent him forth My being here it is, that holds thee hence : From courtly friends, with camping foes to live, Shall I stay here to do't? no, no, although

Where death and danger dog the heels of worth: The air of paradise did fan the house,

He is too good and fair for death and me; And angels offic'd all: I will be gone,

Whom I myself embrace, to set him free. That pitiful rumour may report my flight,

Count. Ah, what sharp stings are in her To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day!

mildest words! For, with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away. [Exit. Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much,

As letting her pass so; had I spoke with her,

I could have well diverted her intents,
SCENE III.-Florence. Before the Duke's

Which thus she hath prevented.




madam : Flourish. Enter the DUKE of FLORENCE,

If I had given you this at over-night, BERTRAM, Lords, Officers, Soldiers, and others. She might have been o'er-ta’en ; and yet she

writes, DUKE. The general of our horse thou art ; and Pursuit would be but vain.


What angel shall


[ocr errors]

The fellow has a deal of that, too much,

Which holds him much to have.) of this passage no one has yet succeeded in making sense. It is, we fear, irremediably corrupt.

b-Morethe still-piecing air,-) The old text ha3 "still peering." Still-piecing, that is, ever closing, was proposed by Malone. Tyr

whitt thought a farther alteration necessary, and would have substituted rove for move :

-"rove the still-piecing air;" but there is authority for more, in the sense of penetrate, or wound.

High preasse thy flames, the chrystall aire to move." A Sonnet by WILLIAM LITHGOW, 1615.


Bless this unworthy husband ? he cannot thrive, Dia. They say, the French count has done
Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear, most honourable service.
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath Wid. It is reported that he has taken their
Of greatest justice.-Write, write, Rinaldo,

greatest commander; and that with his own hand To this unworthy husband of his wife :

he slew the duke's brother. We have lost our Let every word weigh heavy of her worth, labour; they are gone a contrary way: hark ! you That he does weigh too light : my greatest grief, may know by their trumpets. Though little he do feel it, set down sharply. MAR. Come, let's return again, and suffice ourDespatch the most convenient messenger :

selves with the report of it. Well, Diana, take When, haply, he shall hear that she is gone, heed of this French earl : the honour of a maid He will return ; and hope I may, that she, is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honesty. Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,

WID. I have told my neighbour, how you have Led hither by pure love: which of them both been solicited by a gentleman his companion. Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense

Mar. I know that knave'; hang him! one To make distinction :-Provide this messenger :- Parolles : a filthy officer he is in those suggestions My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak ;

for the young earl.—Beware of them, Diana ; Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak. their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all

[Exeunt. these engines of lust, are not the things they go

under: many a maid hath been seduced by them;

and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows SCENE V.— Without the Walls of Florence.

in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that

dissuade succession, but that they are limed with A tucket afar off. Enter an old Widow of the twigs that threaten then. I hope I need not Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA, MARIANA, and

to advise you further ; but I hope your own grace other Citizens.

will keep you where you are, though there were

Wm. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.

a Are not the things they go under :) “They are not the things for which their names would make them pass.”—Johnsox. There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound, a Mere the truth ;] Quite the truth. b Honesty,-) That is, chastity.


I did so.

no further danger known, but the modesty which Is a reserved honesty, and that is so lost.

I have not heard examin'd. Dia. You shall not need to fear me.


Alas, poor lady! Wid. I hope so.

-Look, here comes 'T is a hard bondage, to become the wife pilgrim: I know she will lie at my house : thither Of a detesting lord. they send one another; I'll question her.--

Wid. I write good creature:' wheresoe'er she is,

Her heart weighs sadly : this young maid night Enter HELENA, in the dress of a Pilgrim.

do her

A shrewd turn, if she pleas’d. God save you, pilgrim! Whither are you bound ?


How do you mean? HEL. To Saint Jaques le grand.

May be, the amorous count solicits her
Where do the palmers(1) lodge, I do beseech you ? In the unlawful purpose.
Wid. At the Saint Francis here, beside the


He does, indeed; port.

And brokes with all that can in such a suit HEL. Is this the way ?

Corrupt the tender honour of a maid : WID. Ay, marry, is it.-Hark you! They

But she is arm’d for him, and keeps her guard come this way: [A march afar off.

In honestest defence. If you will tarry, holy pilgrim, but till the troops

come by, I will conduct you where you shall be lodg'd;

Enter, with drum and colours, a Party of the The rather, for, I think, I know your hostess

Florentine army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES. As ample as myself. HEL. Is it yourself?

Mar. The gods forbid else! Wid. If you shall please so, pilgrim.


So, now they come :HEL. I thank you, and will stay upon your

That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son ; leisure.

That, Escalus. Wid. You came, I think, from France ?

HEL. Which is the Frenchman ? HEL.


He; Wid. Here


shall see a countryman of yours, That with the plume : 't is a most gallant fellow ; That has done worthy service.

I would, he lov'd his wife: if he were honester, HEL.


pray you. He were much goodlier.-Is't not a handsome Dia. The count Rousillon ; know you such a

gentleman ?

HEL. I like him well. HEL. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of Dia. ”T is pity he is not honest. Yond's that

same knave, His face I know not.

That leads him to these places; were I his lady, DIA. Whatsoe'er he is,

I'd poison that vile rascal. He's bravely taken here. He stole from France, HEL.

Which is he? As 't is reported, for the king had married him Dia. That jack-an-apes with scarfs : why is he Against his liking. Think you it is so ?

melancholy? HEL. Ay, surely, mere“ the truth ; I know his HEL. Perchance he's hurt i' the battle. lady.

Par. Lose our drum ! well. Dia. There is a gentleman, that serves the MAR. He's shrewdly vexed at something: look, count,

he has spied us. Reports but coarsely of her.

Wid. Marry, hang you ! HEL.

What's his name? Mar. And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier ! Dia. Monsieur Parolles.

[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Officers, and HEL. 0, I believe with him,

Soldiers. In argument of praise, or to the worth

Wid. The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will Of the great count himself, she is too mean

bring you To have her name repeated ; all her deserving Where you shall host : of enjoin'd penitents

His name,

one ?

him :

And,e I write good creature;] So the first folio, but which the

" I'd give bay Curtal, and his furniture, editor of the second, not perhaps understanding, altered to,--“I right, good creature.” The phrase to write, in the sense of to

My mouth no more were broken than these boys', prociaim, & was not at all uncommon formerly. It occurs, indeed, three or four times in Shakespeare: thus, in the present Again, in King Lear," Act V. Sc. 3:-play, Act II. Sc. 3, Lafeu says,-

“ About it; and write happy, when thou hast done." "Sirrah, I write man," &c.

d And brokes-] That is, panders.

And writ as little beard."

« PreviousContinue »