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Since the physician at your father's died?
Ber. Some fix months fince, my lord.
King. If he were living, I would try him yet;
Ber. Thanks to your majesty.
Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.
Will now hear; what fay 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 paft endeavours; for then we wound our modefty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.
Count. What does this knave here? get you gone, firrah: the complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe; 'tis my flowness that I do not; for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make fuch knaveries yours.
Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.
Clo. No, madam, 'tis not fo well that I am poor; though many of the rich are damn'd: but if I have your ladyfhip's good will to go to the world, Ibel the woman and I will do as we
Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Clo. I do beg your good will in this cafe.
Count. In what cafe?
Clo. In Ibel's cafe and mine own: fervice is no heritage, and,
I think, I shall never have the blessing of god, till I have issue o'my body; for, they fay, bearns are bleffings.
Count. Tell me the 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
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, fooner than thy wickedness.
Clo. I am out of friends, madam, and I hope to have friends for my wife's fake.
Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
Clo. Y'are fhallow, madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am weary of: he that ears my land fpares 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 cherisheth my flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend: ergo, he that kiffes 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 Poyfam the papift, howfoe'er their hearts are fever'd in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together like any deer i'th' herd.
Count. Wilt thou ever be a foulmouth'd 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 fings by kind.
Count. Get you gone, fir; 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 caufe, quoth she,
And gave this fentence then;
There's yet one good in ten.
Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the fong, firrah. Clo. One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o'th' fong: would god would ferve the world fo all the year! we'd find no fault with the tithe-woman if I were the parfon: one in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing ftar, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one. you
Count. You'll be gone, fir knave, and do as I command Clo. That man that should be at a woman's command, and yet no hurt done! though honefty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the furplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart: I am going, forfooth; the bufinefs is for Helen to come hither.
Count. Well, now.
Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely. Count. 'Faith, I do': her father bequeath'd her to me; and she herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as fhe finds: there is more owing her than is pay'd, and more shall be pay'd her than fhe'll demand.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wifh'd me alone fhe was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; fhe thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, the lov'd your fon: fortune, she said, was no goddefs, that had put fuch difference betwixt their two eftates; love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level: Diana, nd queen of virgins, that would fuffer her poor knight to be furpriz'd without refcue
rescue in the first affault, or ransom afterward. This fhe deliver'd in the most bitter touch of forrow that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; fithence, in the lofs that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
Count. You have discharg'd this honestly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung fo tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: pray you, leave me: ftall this in your bofom, and I thank you for your honest care: I will speak with you further [Exit Steward.
Count. Ev'n fo it was with me when I was young:
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
Such were our faults, though then we thought them none.
Her eye is fick on't; I observe her now.
Hel. What is your pleasure, madam ?
Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Count. Nay, a mother;
Why not a mother? when I faid, a mother,
Yet I express to you a mother's care:
Hel. That I am not.
Count. I fay, I am your mother.
Hel. Pardon, madam.
The count Roufillon cannot be my brother:
Count. Nor I your mother?
Hel. You are my mother, madam; would you were
Way I your daughter, but he must be my
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law,