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Ber. I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power To give it from me. Dia.
you not, my lord ?
Mine honour's such a ring :
Here, take my ring:
ber window ;' I'll order take, my mother shall not hear. Now will I charge you in the band of truth, When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed, Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me: My reasons are most strong; and you shall know
them, When back again this ring shall be deliver'd: And on your finger, in the night, I'll put Another ring; that, what in time proceeds, May token to the future our past deeds. Adieu, till then; then, fail not: You have won A wife of me, though there my hope be done. Ber. A heaven on earth I have won, by wooing thee.
Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven
and me! You may so in the end. My mother told me just how he would woo, As if she sat in his heart; she says, all men Have the like oaths : he had sworn to marry me, When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him, When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid : Only, in this disguise, I think't no sin To cozen him, that would unjustly win. [Exit,
The Florentine Camp.
Enter the two French Lords, and two or three
Soldiers. 1 Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter?
2 Lord. I have delivered it an hour since: there is something in't that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he changed almost into another man.
1 Lord. He has much worthy blame laid upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.
2 Lord. Especially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
1 Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
2 Crafty, deceitful.
2 Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour : he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
1 Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion; as we are ourselves, what things are we!
2 Lord. Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends; so he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself. 3
1 Lord. Is it not meant damnable 4 in us, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?
2 Lord. Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
i Lord. That approaches apace: I would gladly have him see his companys anatomized; that he might take a measure of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.
2 Lord. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.
i Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
2 Lord. I hear, there is an overture of peace.
2 Lord. What will count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?
3 i. e. Betrays his own secrets in his own talk. 4 Here, as elsewhere, used adverbially. 5 For companion.
i Lord. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.
2 Lord. Let it be forbid, sir! so should I be a great deal of his act.
1 Lord. Sir, his wife, some two months since, fled from his house; her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le grand; which holy undertaking, with most austere sanctimony, she accomplished: and, there residing, the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now she sings in heaven.
2 Lord. How is this justified ?
1 Lord. The stronger part of it by her own letters; which makes her story true, even to the point of her death: her death itself, which could not be her office to say, is come, was faithfully confirmed by the rector of the place. 2 Lørd. Hath the count all this intelligence ?
Lord. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.
2 Lord. I am heartily sorry, that he'll be glad of this.
1 Lord. How mightily, sometimes, we make us comforts of our losses !
2 Lord. And how mightily, some other times, drown our gain in tears! The great dignity, that his valour hath here acquired for him, shall at home be encountered with a shame as ample.
i Lord. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together : our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherish'd by our virtues.
Enter a Servant.
How now? Where's your master ?
Serv. He met the duke in the street, sir, of whom he hath taken a solemn leave; his lordship will next morning for France. The duke hath offered him letters of commendations to the king.
2 Lord. They shall be no more than needful there, if they were more than they can commend.
Enter BERTRAM. 1 Lord. They cannot be too sweet for the king's tartness. Here's his lordship now. How now, my lord, is't not after midnight?
Ber. I have to-night despatched sixteen businesses, a month's length a-piece, by an abstract of success : I have conged with the duke, done my adieu with his nearest; buried a wife, mourned for her; writ to my lady mother, I am returning ; entertained my convoy; and, between these main parcels of despatch, effected many nicer needs; the last was the greatest, but that I have not ended yet.
2 Lord. If the business be of any difficulty, and this morning your departure hence, it requires haste of your lordship. · Ber. I mean, the business is not ended, as fearing to hear of it-hereafter: But shall we have this dia.' logue between the fool and the soldier ? -Come, bring forth this counterfeit module ;6 he has deceived me, like a double-meaning prophesier.