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Hel. O, were that all!-I think not on my father;
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Par. Save you, fair queen.
Hel. And no.
Par. Are you meditating on virginity?
Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you: let me ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity: how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
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 will 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 virginity, 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 desperate 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 phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
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,
Enter a Page.
Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
Par. Little Helen, farewell: if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. I especially think, under Mars.
Par. Why under Mars?
Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
Par. Why think you so?
Hel. You go so much backward when you fight.
Par. That's for advantage.
Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety: but the composition, that your valour and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
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
That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose
King. The Florentines and Senoys are by th' ears;
1 Lord. So 'tis reported, Sir.
King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it
SCENE II.-PARIS. A Room in the KING'S Palace.
Flourish of cornets. Enter the KING OF FRANCE, with letters; Lords and others attending.
He hath arm'd our answer,
It well may serve
What's he comes here?
Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES.
1 Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord, Young Bertram.
Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts
King. I would I had that corporal soundness now,
Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
Such a man
In their poor praise he humbled.
His good remembrance, Sir,
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,"
On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,