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Countefs of Roufillon, mother
to Bertram.
Helena, daughter to Gerard

de Narbon, a famous phyfician, fome time ince dead. An old widow of Florence. Diana, daughter to the widow.

KING of France.
Duke of Florence.
Bertram, Count of Roufillon.
Lafeu, an old Lord.
Parolles, a parasitical fol-
lower of Bertram; a cow-
ard, but vain, and a great
pretender to valour.
Several young French Lords,
that ferve with Bertram
in the Florentine war.
Sterward, Countess of Rou
fervants to the




SCENE, lies partly in France, and partly in Tuscany.

Violenta, (neighbours and


friends to the widow.

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



The Countess of Roufillon's houfe in France.

Enter Bertram, the Countess of Roufillon, Helena, and Lafeu, all in mourning.

Countess, N diflevering my fo nfrom me, I bury a fecond husband.


Ber. And I in going, Madam, weep o'er my father's death anew; but I must attend his Majefty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in fubjection.

Laf. You fhall find of the King a husband, Madam; you, Sir, a father. He that fo generally is at all times good, muft of neceffity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would ftir it up where it wanted, rather than flack it where there is fuch abundance.

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

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

A 2


Laf. He hath abandon'd his physicians, Madam, under whofe practices he hath perfecuted time with hope; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the lofing of hope by time.

Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0 that had! how fad a prefage 'tis !), whofe fkill was almost as great as his honesty; had it ftretch'd fo far, it would have made nature immortal, and death fhould have play'd 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, Sir, in his profeffion, and it was his great right to be fo: 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 liv'd ftill, if knowledge could be fet up againft mortality.

Ber. What is it, my good Lord, the King languishes of?

Laf. A fiftula, 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 fole child, my Lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have thofe hopes of her good, that her education promises her: difpofition the 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 fimpleness; fhe derives her honesty, and atehieves her goodness.

Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her


Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can feafon her praife in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her forrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this.

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


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Helena; go to, no more; left it be rather thought you affect a forrow, than to have it.

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

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

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

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


Be thou blefs'd, Bertram, and fucceed thy father

In manners as in fhape! thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright! Love all, truft a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power, than ufe; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be check'd for filence,
But never tax'd for speech. What heav'n more will,
That thee may furnish, and my pray'rs pluck down,
Fall on thy head; farewel, my Lord;
'Tis an unfeafon'd courtier, good my Lord,
Advife him.

Laf. He cannot want the best,

That fhall attend his love.

Count. Heav'n bless him! Farewel, Bertram.
[Exit Countess.

Ber. [To Hel.] The best wishes that can be forge'd in your thoughts, be fervants to you? Be comfortable to my mother your miftrefs, and make much of her.

Laf. Farewell, pretty Lady, you must hold the credit of your father. [Exeunt Bertram and Lafeu. SCENE II.

Hel. Oh, were that all!
And these great tears grace his remembrance more
Than thofe I fhed for him. What was he like?
I have forgot him. My imagination
Carries no favour in it, but iny Bertram's.
I am undone, there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. t were all one,

-I think not on my



That I fhould love a bright partic'lar ftar,
And think to wed it; he is fo above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Muft I be comforted, not in his fphere.
Th' ambition in my love thus plagues itself;
The hind that would be mated by the lion,
Muft die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To fee 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
Muft fanctify his relics. Who comes here?

Enter Parolles,

One that goes with him: I love him for his fake, "And yet I know him a notorious ¡yar; "Think him a great way fool, folely a coward; "Yet thefe fix'd evils fit fo fit in him,


"That they take place, when virtue's fteely bones "Look bleak in the cold wind;" full oft we fee Cold Wifdom waiting on fuperfluous Folly.



Par. Save you, fair Queen.

Hel, And you, Monarch.

Par. No.

Hel. And no,

Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

Hel. Ay; you have fome stain † of foldier in you; let me afk you a queftion. Man is enemy to virginity, how may we barricado it against him?

Par. Keep him out.

Hel. But he affails; and our virginity, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us fome warlike refiftance.

Par. There is none; man, fetting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

Hel. Bleis our poor virginity from underminers, and

*Cold for naked; as fuperfluous for over-cloth` d.
+ Stain for colour.


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