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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:
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,
- 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.
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.
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
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.] Ilhen 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 pr’ythee, lady, have a better cheer;
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. 1 Gen. "Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply,
which Ilis 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.] This 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,
1 Gen. A servant only, and a gentleman
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
Indeed, good lady,
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
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.