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Since the physician at your father's died ?
Ber. Some six months since, my lord.
King. If he were living, I would try him yet;
Count. I ,
Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.
Will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman? content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modesty, 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 slowness that I do not; for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.
Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow, Count. Well, fir.
Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor ; though many of the rich are damn'd: but if I have your ladyship’s good will to go to the world, IJbel the woman and I will do as we may.
Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
I think, I shall never have the blessing of god, till I have issue o'my body; for, they say, bearns are blessings.
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 Aesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.
Count. Thy marriage, sooner 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 shallow, 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 Aesh and blood; he that cherisheth my flesh and blood loves my fesh and blood; he that loves my Aesh and blood is my friend : ergo, he that kisses 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 Poysam the papift, howsoe'er their hearts are sever'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 sings by kind.
Count. Get you gone, fır; 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 cause, quoth me, [fioging
Why the Grecians facked Troy?
Was this king Priam's joy.
And gave this sentence then;
There's yet one good in ten.
Clo. One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o'th' song: would god would serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tithe-woman if I were the parson: one in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.
Count. You'll be gone, fir knave, and do as I command you?
Clo. That man that should be at a woman's command, and yet no hurt done! though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart: I am going, forsooth; the businefs is for Helen to come hither.
[Exit. Count. Well, now. Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
Count. 'Faith, I do': her father bequeath'd her to me; and the herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds: there is more owing her than is pay'd, and more shall be pay'd her than she'll demand.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wish'd me: alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she lov’d your son: fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level: Diana, nd queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surpriz'd without
rescue in the first assault, or ransom afterward. This she 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 loss 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 so tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: pray you, leave me: stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care: honest care: I will speak with you further
Count. Ev’n so it was with me when I was young:
If we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
Hel. What is your pleasure, madam?
Count. Nay, a mother;
start at it? I say, I'm your mother,
Yet I express to you a mother's care:
Hel. That I am not.
Hel. Pardon, madam.
brother. Count. Nor I your mother?
Hel. You are my mother, madam; would you were (So that
your son were not my brother)