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My being here it is that holds thee hence :
Trumpets, Soldiers, Parolles.
Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence Upon thy promising fortune.
Ber. Sir, it is
Duke. Then go forth,
Ber. This very day,
Rousillon in France,
Enter Countess, and Steward.
Might you not know, she would do as she has done, By sending me a letter? Read it again.
gone ; Ambitious ļove bath 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 deareft master, your dear fon, may hie; Bless him at home in peace, whilft I from far
His name with zealous fervour fanétify: His taken labours bid him me forgive;
1, bis despiteful Juno, fent bim forth
Where death and danger dog the heels of worth.
Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildeft words !
Stew. Pardon, madam,
Count. What angel shall Bless this unworthy husband ? he cannot thrive, Unless her prayers, which heav'n delights to hear And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath Of greatest justice. Write, 0, write, Rynaldo, To this unworthy husband of his wife; Let every word weigh heavy of her worth, That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief, Though little does he feel it, set down sharply. Despatch the most convenient messenger : When, haply, he shall hear that she is gone, He will return; and hope I may, that she, Hearing so much, will speed her foot again, Led hither by pure love. Which of them both Is deareft to me, I've no skill in sense To make distinction. Provide this messenger : My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak, Grief would have tears, but sorrow bids me speak. [Exeunt.
A Tucket afar off. Enter an old Widow of Florence, Diana, Violenta, and Mariana,
with other Citizens. Wid. AY, come: for if they do approach the city, we
shall lose all the sight. Dia. They say, the French count has done most honourable service.
Wid. It is reported that he has ta’en their greatest commander, and that with his own hand he slew the duke's brother. We have lost our labour, they are gone a contrary way: hark ! you may know by their trumpets.
B b b 2
Mar. Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this French earl: the honour of a maid is her name; and no legacy is so rich as honefty.
Wid. I have told my neighbour, how you have been solicited by a gentleman his companion.
Mar. I know that knave; hang him! one Parolles : a filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl: beware of them, Diana; their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of luft, are but the things they go under; many a maid hath been seduced by them, and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten them. I hope, I need not to advise you further ; but, I hope, your own grace will keep you where you are, though there were no further danger found, but the modesty which is so loft. Dia. You shall not need to fear me.
Enter Helena disguised like a Pilgrim. Wid. I hope so. Look, here comes a pilgrim : I know, she will lie at my house; thither they send one another ; I'll question her : god save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?
Hel. To saint Jaques le grand. Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
Wid. At the saint Francis here beside the port.
(a march afar off Wid. Ay, marry, is't. Hark you! they come this way: if you will tarry, holy pilgrim, but till the troops come by, I will conduct you where you shall be lodg’d; The rather, for, I think, I know your hostess As ample as myself.
Hel. Is it yourself?
Wid. Here you shall see a countryman of yours,
Hel. But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him;
Dia. Whatsoe'er he is,
. Ay, surely, the mere truth; I know his lady. Dia. There is a gentleman that serves the count Reports but coarsely of her.
Hel. What's his name?
Hel. O, I believe with him,
Dia. Ah, poor lady!
Wid. Ah! right; good creature! wheresoe'er she is,
Hel. How do you mean?
Wid. He does, indeed;