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SCENE III.-Rousillon. A Room in the COUNTESS'S Palace.

Enter COUNTESS, STEWARD, and Clown. Count. I will now hear : what say you of this gentlewoman? Stew. Madam, the care 1 have had to even your 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, sirrah: The complaints, I have heard of you, I do not at 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, Sir. Clo. No, Madam, 'tis not so well, that I am poor; though many of the rich are damned: But, if I may have your ladyship’s good will to go to the world,+ Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar ?
Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case.
Count. In what case ?

Clo. In Isbel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage : and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, till I have issue of my body; for they say, bearnsk are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy 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 flesh 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 sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. You are shallow, Madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am a-weary of. He that ears g my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the the crop: if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge: He, that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he, that cherishes my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves my flesh 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 papist, howsoe'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together, like any deer i’the herd. Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave? * To act up to your desire.

+ To be married.
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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, Sir; 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 she, [Singing.

Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
Fond done, t done fond,

Was this king Priam's joy ?
With that she sighed as she stood,
With that she sighed as she stood,

And gave this sentence then;
Among nine bad if one be good,
Among nine bad if one be good,

There's yet one good in ten.
Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam ; which is a purifying o'the 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 for 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, sir knave, and do as I command you ?

Clo. That man should be at 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 business is for Helen to come hither.

[Exit CLOWN. Count. Well, now. Stew. I know, Madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely,

Count. Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds: there is more owing her, than is paid; and more shall be paid her, than she'll demand.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wished me: alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved 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, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight; surprised, without rescue, in the first assault, or ransom afterward: This she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in: which I held my duty, speedily to acquaint you withal; sithence,* in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.

* The nearest way.

† Foolishly done.

* (To be.

Count. You have discharged this honestly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods informed 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: I will speak with you further anon.

[Exit STEWARD. Enter HELENA. Count. Even so it was with me, when I was young:

If we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth.
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults For then we thought them none.
Her eye is sick on't; 'I observe her now.

Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam ?
Count. You know, Helen, I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Count. Nay, a mother ;
Why not a mother? When I said a mother,
Methought you saw a serpent: What's in mother,
That you start at it? I say, I am your mother;
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine: 'Tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
You ne'er oppress’d me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care :-
God's mercy, maiden ! does it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother ? What's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye ?
Why? that you are my daughter ?

Hel. That I am not.
Count. I say, I am your mother.
Hel. Pardon, Madam:
The count Rousillon cannot be my brother :
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble:
My master, my dear lord he is; and I
His servant live, and will his vassel die:
He must not be my brother.

Count. Nor I your mother ?
Hel. You are my mother, Madam; 'Would you were
(So that my lord, your son, were not my brother),

* Since.

Indeed, my mother !--or were you both our mothers,
I care no more for,* than I do for heaven,
So I were not his sister: Can't no other,
But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?

Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law;
God shield, you mean it not! daughter and mother,
So strive upon your pulse: What, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness : Now I see
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Your salt tears' head. Now to all sense 'tis gross,
You love my son; invention is ashamed,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis so :-for, look, thy cheeks
Confess it one to the other; and thine eyes
See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours,
That in their kind they speak it: only sin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected: Speak, is't so?
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clúe;
If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee,
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly.
Hel. Good Madam, pardon me!
Count. Do you love my son ?
Hel. Your pardon, noble mistress !
Count. Love you my son ?
Hel. Do not you love him, madam ?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
The state of your affection; for your passions
Have to the full appeach'd.

Hel. Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
That before you, and next unto high heaven,
I love your son :-
My friends were poor,

but honest; so's my love.
Be not offended; for it hurts not him,
That he is loved of me: I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit;
Nor would I have him, till I do deserve him;
Yet never know how that desert should be.
I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
Yet, in this captious and intenible: sieve,
I still pour in the waters of my love,
And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore
The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more. My dearest Madam,

* I.e. I care as much for : I wish it equally.
- The source, the cause of your grief.
# Receiving, but not retaining.

Let not your hate encounter with my love,
For loving where you do: but, if yourself,
Whose aged honour cites* a virtuous youth,
Did ever, in so true a flame of liking,
Wish chastely, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love ;t Ö then, give pity
To her, whose state is such, that cannot choose
But lend and give, where she is sure to lose;
That seeks not to find that her search implies,
But riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies.

Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
To go to Paris ?
Hel. Madam, I had.
Count. Wherefore ? tell true.

Hel. I will tell truth; by grace itself, I swear.
You know, my father left me some prescriptions
Of rare and proved effects, such as his reading,
And manifest experience, had collected
For general sovereignty; and that he willd me
In heedfullest reservation to bestow them,
As notes, whose faculties inclusive were,
More than they were in note: amongst the rest,
There is a remedy, approved, set down,
To cure the desperate languishes, whereof
The king is rendered lost.

Count. This was your motive
For Paris, was it ? speak.

Hel. My lord your son made me to think of this;
Else Paris, and the medicine, and the king,
Had, from the conversation of my thoughts,
Haply, been absent then.

Count. But think you, Helen,
If you should tender your supposed aid,
He would receive it? 'He and his physicians
Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him,
They, that they cannot help: How shall they credit
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowelld of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?

Hel. There's something hints,
More than my father's skill, which was the greatest
Of his profession, that his good receipt
Shall, for my legacy, be sanctified
By the luckiest stars in heaven: and, would your honour
But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure,
By such a day, and hour.
Count. Dost thou believe 't?
Hel. Ay, madam, knowingly.

* I.e. proves.

+ I. e. Venus. # Receipts in which greater virtues were enclosed than appeared,

Exhausted of their skill.

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