Page images

DIA. Ay, so you serve us,
'Till we serve you: but when you have our roses,
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves,
And mock us with our bareness.

BER. How have I sworn ?

Dra. 'Tis not the many oaths, that make the truth;
But the plain fingle vow, that is vow'd true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by,
But take the Highest to witness: Then, pray you, tell me,
If I should swear by Jove's great attributes,
I lov'd
you dearly, would



When I did love you ill ? this has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
That I will work against him: Therefore, your

oaths Are words, and poor conditions; but unseald ; At least, in my opinion.

BER. Change it, change it;
Be not fo holy-cruel: love is holy;
And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts,

you do charge men with : Stand no more off,
But give thyself unto my fick desire,
Who then recovers : say, thou art mine, and ever
My love, as it begins, shall fo persever.

Dia. I see, that men make hopes in such affairs,
That we'll forsake ourselves. Give me that T ring.

Ber. I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power To give it from me.

DIA. Will you not, my lord ?

Ber. It is an honour 'longing to our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors; Which were the greatest obloquy i'the world In me to lose.

21 desires, 24 make rope's in such a scarre,

Dra. Mine honour's such a ring :
My chastity's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i’the world
In me to lose: Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion honour on my part,
Against your vain asfault.

Ber. Here, take my Fring:
My house, mine honour, yea, my life be thine,
And I'll be bid by thee.

Dia. When midnight comes, knock at my chamber
I'll order take, my mother shall not hear.
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,

you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed, Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me: My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them, When back again this ring shall be deliver'd : And on your finger, in the night, I'll put Another ring; that, what in time proceeds, May token to the future our past deeds. Adieu, 'till then; then, fail not : You have won A wife of me, though there my hope be done. Ber. A heaven on earth I have won, by wooing thee.

[Exit BERTRAM. Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven and You may so in the end.

[me! My mother told me just how he would woo, As if she fat in his heart ; she says, all men Have the like oaths : he had sworn to marry me, When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lye with him, When I am bury'd : Since men are fo braid, Marry that will, I live and dye a maid :

31 Şince Frenchmen are

Only, in this disguise, I think't no sin
To cozen him, that would unjustly win.


SCENE III. The Florentine Camp. Enter the two Lords ; Soldiers, behind, attending. 1. L. You have not given him his mother's letter ?

2. L. I have deliver'd it an hour since : there is something in't, that itings his nature ; for, on the reading it, he chang'd almost into another man.

1. L. He has much worthy blame lay'd upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so fweet a lady.

2. L. Especially, he hath incurred the everlasting difpleasure of the king, who had even tun'd his bounty to fing happinefs to him. I will tell you a thing, but you fhall let it dwell darkly with you.

1. L. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.

2. L. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaft renown; and this night he Aeshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaft composition.

1. L. Now God delay our rebellion; as we are ourselves, what things are we!

2. L. Meerly our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, ere they attain to their abhorr'd ends ; so he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'er-flows himself.

1. L. Is it not most damnable in us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?

27 till they 30 meant damnable

2. L. Not 'till after midnight; for he is dieted to his



1. L. That approaches apace : I would gladly have him see his companion anatomiz'd ; that he might take a measure of his own judgment, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.

2. L. We will not meddle with him, till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.

1. L. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars? 2. L. I hear, there is an overture of peace.

L. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded. 2. L. What will count Rofillion do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France ?

1. L. I perceive by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.

2. L. Let it be forbid, fir! so should I be a great deal of his act.

1. L. Sir, his wife, some two months since, fed from his house; her pretence, a pilgrimage to faint Jaques le grand; which holy undertaking, with most auftere fanctimony The accomplish'd : and, there residing, through the tenderness of her nature, became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now the sings in heaven.

2. L. How is this juftify'd ?

.: L. The stronger part of it, by her own letters; which makes her story true, even to the point of her death : her death itself, which could not be her office to say, is come, was faithfully confirm’d by the rector

2. L. Hath the count all this intelligence? 1. L. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point for

of the place.

4 company

s judgments,

19 pretence is a

point, to the full arming of the verity.

2. L. I am heartily forry, that he'll be glad of this.

1. L. How mightily, sometimes, we make us comforts of our losses !

2. L. And how mightily, some other times, we drown our gain in tears ! the great dignity, that his valour hath here acquird for him, Thall at home be encounter'd with a shame as ample.

1. L. The web of our life is of a minglid yarn, good and ill together : our virtues would be proud, if our faults whip'd them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherish'd by our virtues.

Enter a Servant. How now! where's


master? Ser. He met the duke in the street, sir, of whom he hath taken a folemn leave; his lordship will next morning for France. The duke hath offer'd him letters of commendations to the king.

2. L. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.

Enter BertRAM. 1. L. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness: Here's his lordship now._How now, my lord ? is't not after midnight?

Ber. I have to-night dispatch'd fixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success : I have conge'd with the duke, done my adieu with his nearest; bury'd a wife, mourn'd for her; writ to my lady mother, I am returning ; entertain’d my convoy ; and, between these main parcels of dispatch, effected many nicer needs : the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.

point from point 22 Ber. They 30 affected

« PreviousContinue »