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Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and sing; mend the ruff,' and sing ; ask questions, and sing ; pick his teeth, and sing : I know a man that had this trick of melancholy, sold a goodly manor for a song.

Count. Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.

[Opening a letter. Clo. I have no mind to Isbel, since I was at court; our old ling and our Isbels o'the country are nothing like your old ling and your Isbels o’the court: the brains of my Cupid's knocked out; and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.

Count. What have we here:
Clo. E'en that you have there.


Count. [Reads.] I have sent you a daughter-inlaw : she hath recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded her; and sworn to make the not eternal. You shall hear, I am run away ; know it, before the report come. If there be breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you. Your unfortunate son,


This is not well, rash and unbridled boy,
To fly the favours of so good a king;
To pluck his indignation on thy head,
By the misprizing of a maid too virtuous
For the contempt of empire.

- mend the ruff,] The tops of the boots, in our author's time, turned down, and hung loosely over the leg. The folding is what the Clown means by the ruft: Ben Jonson calls it ruffle ; and perhaps it should be so here.

Re-enter Clown.

Clo. O madam, yonder is heavy news within, between two soldiers and my young lady.

Count. What is the matter?

Clo. Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I thought he would.

Count. Why should he be kill'd ?

Clo. So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does : the danger is in standing to't; that's the loss of men, though it be the getting of children. Here they come, will tell you more: for my part, I only hear, your son was run away.

[Exit Clown.


Enter HELENA and two Gentlemen. 1 Gen. Save you, good madam. Hel. Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone. 2 Gen. Do not say so. Count. Think upon patience.—'Pray you, gentle

I have felt so many quirks of joy, and grief,
That the first face of neither, on the start,
Can woman me’ unto't:- Where is my son, I



2 Gent. Madam, he's gone to serve the duke of

Florence : We met him thitherward; from thence we came, And, after some despatch in hand at court, Thither we bend again. Hel. Look on his letter, madam; here's my pass



Can woman mem) i.e. affect me suddenly and deeply, as my, sex are usually affected.

[Reads.] When thou canst get the ring upon my finger, which never shall come off, and show me a child begotten of thy body, that I am father to, then call me husband: but in such a then I write a never.

This is a dreadful sentence.

Count. Brought you this letter, gentlemen ? 1 Gen.

Ay, madam ; And, for the contents' sake, are sorry for our pains.

Count. I proythee, lady, have a better cheer;
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
Thou robb'st me of a moiety: He was my son ;
But I do wash his name out of


blood, And thou art all my child.—Towards Florence is he?

2 Gen. Ay, madam. Count.

And to be a soldier? 2 Gen. Such is his noble purpose : and, believe't, The duke will lay upon him all the honour That good convenience claims. Count.

Return you thither? 1 Gen. Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of

speed. Hel. [Reads.) Till I have no wife, I have no

thing in France. 'Tis bitter.

Count. Find you that there?

Ay, madam. i Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply,

which His heart was not consenting to.

Count. Nothing in France, until he have no wife !

:3 When thou canst get the ring upon my finger,] i.e. When thou canst get the ring, which is on my finger, into thy possession.

* If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine, &c.] l'his sentiment is elliptically expressed. if thou keepest all thy sorrows to thyself, i. e. “ all the griefs that are thine,”' &c.

There's nothing here, that is too good for him,
But only she; and she deserves a lord,
That twenty such rude boys might tend upon,
And call her hourly, mistress. Who was with him?

1 Gen. A servant only, and a gentleman
Which I have some time known.

Parolles, was't not? 1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he. Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wicked


My son corrupts a well-derived nature
With his inducement.
1 Gen.

Indeed, good lady,
The fellow has a deal of that, too much,
Which holds him much to have.5

Count. You are welcome, gentlemen, I will entreat you, when you see my son, To tell him, that his sword can never win 'The honour that he loses : more I'll entreat you Written to bear along. 2 Gen.

We serve you, madam, In that and all your worthiest affairs.

Count. Not so, but as we change our courtesies. Will you draw near


[E.reunt Countess and Gentlemen. Hel. Till I have no wife, I have nothing in

France. Nothing in France, until he has no wife! Thou shalt have none, Rousillon, none in France, Then hast thou all again. Poor lord ! is't I That chase thee from thy country, and expose

a deal of that, too much, Which holds him much to have.] That is, his vices stand him in stead.

* Not so, &c.] The gentlemen declare that they are servants to the Countess ; she replies --No otherwise than as she returns the same offices of civility. Johnson.


Those tender limbs of thine to the event
Of the none-sparing war? and is it I
That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
Of smoky muskets? O you

leaden messengers,
That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
Fly with false aim ; move the still-piecing air,
That sings with piercing, do not touch my

lord !
Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;
Whoever charges on his forward breast,
I am the caitiff that do hold him to it;
And, though I kill him not, I am the cause
His death was so effected : better 'twere,
I met the ravin lions when he roar'd
With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
That all the miseries, which nature owes,
Were mine at once: No, come thou home, Rou-

síllon, Whence honour but of danger wins a scar, As oft it loses all; I will be gone: My being here it is, that holds thee hence : Shall I stay here to do't? no, no, although The air of paradise did fan the house, And angels offic'd all : I will be gone; That pitiful rumour may report my flight, To consolate thine ear. Come, night; end, day ! For, with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away.

[Exit. move the still-piecing air, That sings with piercing,] Warburton says the words are here oddly shuffled into nonsense; but the commentators have not succeeded in making sense of them.

the ravin lion —] i. e. the ravenous or ravening lion. To ravin is to swallow voraciously.

y Whence honour but of danger, &c.] The sense is, from that abode, where all the advantages that honour usually reaps from the danger it rushes upon, is only a scar in testimony of its bravery, as, on the other hand, it often is the cause of losing all, even life itself.




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