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KING of France.
Duke of Florence.
BERTRAM, Count of Rousillon.
LAFeu, an old Lord.
PAROLLES, a parasitical follower of Bertram; a coward, but

vain, and a great pretender to valour. Two young French Lords, that serve with Bertram in the

Florentine war.

ARD,} Servants to the Countess of Roufillon.

Countess of Rousillon, Mother to BERTRAM.
Helena, Daughter to Gerard De Narbon, a famous Physician,

some time since dead.
An old Widow of Florence.
DIANA, Daughter to the Widow.

IOLENTA;} Neighbours and friends to the Widow. MARIANA,

Lords attending on the King, Oficers, Soldiers, &c.

SCENE lies partly in France, and partly in Tuscany.

The plot taken from Boccace, Decam. 3. Nov. 9.



I weep

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Rousillon in France. Enter Bertram, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena, and Lafeu,

all in mourning

N delivering up my son from me, I bury a second husband.
Ber. And in going, madam, I


father's death anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.

Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, madam you, fir, a father. He, that so generally is at all times good, must of necessity hold his virtue to you, whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than slack it where there is such abundance.

Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment ?

Laf. He hath abandon’d his physicians, madam; under whose practices he hath prosecuted time with hope, and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.

Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (o, that had ! how fad a preface 'tis !) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretch'd so far, it would have made nature immortal, and death should have had play for lack of work. Would, for the king's fake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the king's disease. Laf. How call’d you the man you speak of, madam?


Count. He was famous, fir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so; Gerard de Narbon.

Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam; the king very lately spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly: he was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.

Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?
Laf. A fistula, my lord.
Ber. I heard not of it before.

Laf. I would, it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?

Count. His sole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises : her disposition she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and traitors too: in her they are the better for her simpleness; she derives her honesty, and atchieves her goodness.

Laf. Your commendations, madam, get tears from her.

Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; left you be rather thought to affect a forrow, than to have.

Hel. I do affect a forrow, indeed, but I have it too.

Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy of the living.

Count. If the living be not enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.

Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Laf. How understand we that

Count. Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father
In manners as in shape! thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,

a By virtuous qualities here are not meant those of a moral kind, but such as are acquired by erudition, and good breeding.


Do wrong to none: be able for thine

Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be check'd for silence,
But never tax'd for speech. What heav'n more will,
That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewel, my lord. 'Tis an
Unseason'd courtier, good my lord, advise him.

Laf. He cannot want the best, that shall attend
His love.
Count. May heaven bless him! Farewel, Bertram.

[Exit Count. Ber. [to Hel.] The best wishes that can be forg’d in your thoughts be servants to you! be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.

Laf. Farewel, pretty lady; you must hold the credit of your father.

[Exeunt Ber. and Laf.

Hel. O, were that all ! — I think not on my father;
And these great tears grace his remembrance more
Than they are shed for him. What was he like?
I have forgot him: my imagination
Carries no favour in it, but my Bertram’s.
I am undone; there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. It were all one
That I should love a bright partic'lar star,
And think to wed it; he is so above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
Th’ambition in my love thus plagues itself;
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour, to fit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls
In our heart's table: heart, too capable


Of every

line and trick of his fweet favour. But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his relicks. Who comes here?

Enter Parolles.
One that goes with him: I love him for his fake,

I know him a notorious liar;
Think him a great way fool, wholly a coward;
Yet these fix'd evils sit fo fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind; full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.

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Par. 'Save fair

Hel. And you, monarch.
Par. No.
Hel. And no.
Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

Hel. Ay: you have fome stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a question : Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him to keep him out? for he assails; and our virginity, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak : unfold to us fome warlike resistance.

Par. There is none: man, setting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up. Hel

. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, and blowers up! Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men ?

Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made you

lose your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is national increase, and there was never virgin got, till virginity was first loft. That you were made of is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by

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