Page images

Enter Countess, and Steward. Cou. Alas! and would you take the letter of her ? Might you not know, she would do as she has done, By sending me a letter ? Read it again. Ste. I am faint Jacques' pilgrim, thither gone;

Ambitious love hath in me offended, That bare-foot 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 hye ; Bless him at home in peace; whilft I, from far,

His name with zealous fervour fanctify: His taken labours bid him forgive;

1, bis despiteful Juno, sent him forth From courtly friends, with camping foes to live,

Where death and danger dog the heels of worth:
He is too good and fair for death, and me ;
Whom I myself embrace, to set him free.
Tou. Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest words!.
Rinaldo, you ne'er lack'd advice fo much,
As letting her pass fo; had I spoke with her,
I could have well diverted her intents,
Which thus she hath prevented.

Ste. Pardon me, madam :
If I had given you this at over-night,
She might have been o'er-ta'en ; and yet she writes,
Pursuit would be but vain,

Cou. What angel shall
Bless this unworthy husband ? he cannot thrive,
Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear,
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Of greatest justice.Write, write, Rinaldo,

[blocks in formation]

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 he do feel it, set down sharply.
Dispatch the moft 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 dearest to me, I have no skill in sense
To make distinction : - Provide this messenger:
My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
Grief would have tears, and forrow bids me speak. [Ex.

SCENE V. Without the Walls of Florence.
Tucket afar off Enter an old Widow of Florence,
ĎIANA her Daughter, MARIANA,

and other Citizens. Wid. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the fight.

Dia. They say, the French count has done moft hohourable service.

Wid. It is reported, that he has taken their greateft commander; and that with his own hand he sew the duke's brother. [Tucket.] We have loft our labour; they are gone a contrary way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.

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 honesty,

Wid. I have told my neighbout, how you have been

follicited 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, inticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of luft

, are not the things they go under: many a maid hath been seduc'd by them; and the misery is, example, that so terrible thews 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 known, but the modesty which is so loft. Dia. You shall not need to fear me.

Enter Helena, habited like a Pilgrim.
Wid. I hope so. Look, here comes a pilgrim : I know
she will lye at my house: thither they send one another:
I'll question her.
God save you, pilgrim! Whither are you bound?

Hel. To faint Jaques le grand.
Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you ?

Wid. At the saint Francis here beside the port.
HEL, Is this the way?
Wid. Ay, marry, is it. Hark you ! [Tucket.
They come this way :- If you will tarry, pilgrim,
But 'till the troops come by,
I will conduct you



shall be lodgid; The rather, for, I think, I know your hostess As ample as myself. Hel. Is it yourself? Wid. If you shall please fo, pilgrim. HEL. I thank you, and will Itay upon your leisure.

10 threatens 25 tarrie holy Pilgrime

Wid. You came, I think, from France ?
Hel. I did fo.
Wid. Here you shall see a countryman


yours, That has done worthy service.

Hel. His name, I pray you ?
Dia. The count Rofillion ; Know you such a one?

Hel. But by the ear, that hears moft nobly of him ; His face I know not.

DIA. Whatsoe'er he is, He's bravely taken here. He stole from France, As 'tis reported, for the king had marry’d him Against his liking: Think you, it is fo? Hel. Ay, surely, meer the truth; I know his lady.

Dia. There is a gentleman that serves the count, Reports but coarsely of her.

Hel. What's his name?
Dia. Monsieur Parolles.

HEL. O, I believe with him,
In argument of praise, or to the worth
Of the great count himself, she is too mean
To have her name repeated ; all her deserving
Is a reserved honesty, and that
I have not heard examin'd.

Dia. Alas, poor lady!
'Tis a hard bondage, to become the wife
Of a detefting lord.

Wid. Ay, right:-Good creature! wheresoe'er she is, Her heart weighs fadly: this young maid might do her A shrewd turn, if the pleas'd.

Hel. How do you mean?
May be, the amorous count sollicits her
In the unlawful purpose.

Wid. He does, indeed ;
And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid :
But she is arm’d for him, and keeps her guard
In honefteft defence.
Mar. The gods forbid else!

Enter, with Drum and Colours, marching, the
Florentine Army, BERTRAM, and PAROLLES.
Wid. So, now they come:
That is t Antonio, the duke's eldest son ;
That | Escalus.

HEL. Which is the Frenchman?

Dia, He;
That, t with the plume : 'tis a moft gallant fellow ;
I would, he lov'd his wife: if he were honester,
He were much goodlier: Is't not a handsome gentleman ?
HEL. I like him well ?

Dia. 'Tis pity, he's not honeft : Yond's T that same
That leads him to these paces; were I his lady,
I'd poison that vile rascal.
Hel. Which is he?

Dia. That jack-an-apes with scarfs : Why is he me-
HEL. Perchance, he's hurt i'the battle.
Par. Lose our drum ! well.

[has lpy'd us.
Mar. He's shrewdly vex'd at something : Look, he
Wid. Marry, hang you! [Parolles bows to them.
Max. and your courtesy, for a ring-carrier !

(Exeunt Army, Ber. Par. &c. Wid. The troop is paft: Come, pilgrim, I will bring Where you shall hoft: of enjoin'd penitents (you There's' four, or five, to great faint Jaques bound, Already at my house.

[ocr errors]

19 places

« PreviousContinue »