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Count. You are welcome, gentlemen,
We serve you, madam,
Count. Not so, but as we change our courtesies o. Will you draw near ?
[Exeunt 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 Those tender limbs of thine to the event Of the non-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 lion when he roar'd With sharp constraint of hunger ; better 'twere
6 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.
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.
That all the miseries, which nature owes,
Florence. Before the Duke's Palace.
Officers, Soldiers, and others.
Sir, it is
Then go thou forth;
This very day,
9 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. Heath.
Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter Countess and Steward.
Count. Alas! and would you take the letter of her? Might you not know, she would do as she has done, By sending me a letter ? Read it again.
Stew. I am St. Jaques' pilgrim, thither gone :
Ambitious love hath so in me offended, That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon,
With sainted vow my faults to have amended. Write, write, that, from the bloody course of war,
My dearest master, your dear son may hie; Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far,
His name with zealous fervour sanctify:
I, his despiteful Juno', sent him forth
Where death and danger dog the heels of worth :
Count. Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest
Pardon me, madam:
Juno,] Alluding to the story of Hercules.
What angel shall
Without the Walls of Florence.
A tucket afar off. Enter an old Widow of Florence,
DIANA, VIOLENTA, MARIANA, and other Citizens.
Wid. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.
Dia. They say, the French count has done most honourable service.
Wid. It is reported that he has taken their greatest commander; and that with his own hand he slew the duke's brother. We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.
That he does weigh too light :) To weigh here means to value or esteem.
Mar. Come, let's return again, and suffice ourselves with the report of it. Well, Diana, take heed of this French earl: the honour of a maid is her name ; and no legacy is so rich as honesty.
Wid. I have told my neighbour, how you have been solicited by a gentleman his companion.
Mar. I know that knave; hang him ; one Parolles : a filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl.-Beware of them, Diana; their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust, are not the things they go under": many a maid hath been seduced by them ; and the misery is, example, that so terrible shows in the wreck of maidenhood, cannot for all that dissuade succession, but that they are limed with the twigs that threaten them. I hope, I need not to advise you further; but, I hope, your own grace will keep you where you are, though there were no further danger known, but the modesty which is so lost.
Dia. You shall not need to fear me.
Enter HELENA, in the dress of a Pilgrim.
Hel. To Saint Jaques le grand.
Wid. At the Saint Francis here, beside the port.
Ay, marry, is it.--Hark you!
[A march afar off.
those suggestions —] Suggestions are temptations.
are not the things they go under :) They are not the things for which their names would make them pass.
palmers —] Pilgrims that visited holy places ; so called from a staff, or bough of palm they were wont to carry, especially such as had visited the holy places at Jerusalem.