Act III, Scene 1 Florence. The DUKE's palace.

Flourish. Enter the DUKE of Florence attended;
the two Frenchmen, with a troop of soldiers

 

DUKE So that from point to point now have you heard
The fundamental reasons of this war,
Whose great decision hath much blood let forth
And more thirsts after.
First Lord Holy seems the quarrel
Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
On the opposer.
DUKE Therefore we marvel much our cousin France
Would in so just a business shut his bosom
Against our borrowing prayers.
Second Lord Good my lord,
The reasons of our state I cannot yield,
But like a common and an outward man,
That the great figure of a council frames
By self-unable motion: therefore dare not
Say what I think of it, since I have found
Myself in my incertain grounds to fail
As often as I guess'd.
DUKE Be it his pleasure.
First Lord But I am sure the younger of our nature,
That surfeit on their ease, will day by day
Come here for physic.
DUKE Welcome shall they be;
And all the honours that can fly from us
Shall on them settle. You know your places well;
When better fall, for your avails they fell:
To-morrow to the field.
  [Flourish. Exeunt]

 

Act III, Scene 2  Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Enter COUNTESS and Clown

 

COUNTESS It hath happened all as I would have had it, save
that he comes not along with her.
Clown By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very
melancholy man.
COUNTESS By what observance, I pray you?
Clown 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.
COUNTESS Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.
  [Opening a letter]
Clown 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.
COUNTESS What have we here?
Clown E'en that you have there.
  [Exit]
COUNTESS [Reads] I have sent you a daughter-in-law: 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,
BERTRAM.
This is not well, rash and unbridled boy.
To fly the favours of so good a king;
To pluck his indignation on thy head
By the misprising of a maid too virtuous
For the contempt of empire.
  [Re-enter Clown]
Clown O madam, yonder is heavy news within between two
soldiers and my young lady!
COUNTESS What is the matter?
Clown Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some
comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I
thought he would.
COUNTESS Why should he be killed?
Clown 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.
  [Exit]
  [Enter HELENA, and two Gentlemen]
First Gentleman Save you, good madam.
HELENA Madam, my lord is gone, for ever gone.
Second Gentleman Do not say so.
COUNTESS Think upon patience. Pray you, gentlemen,
I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief,
That the first face of neither, on the start,
Can woman me unto't: where is my son, I pray you?
Second Gentleman Madam, he's gone to serve the duke of Florence:
We met him thitherward; for thence we came,
And, after some dispatch in hand at court,
Thither we bend again.
HELENA Look on his letter, madam; here's my passport.
  [Reads]
  When 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.
COUNTESS Brought you this letter, gentlemen?
First Gentleman Ay, madam;
And for the contents' sake are sorry for our pain.
COUNTESS I prithee, lady, have a better cheer;
If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine,
Thou robb'st me of a moiety: he was my son;
But I do wash his name out of my blood,
And thou art all my child. Towards Florence is he?
Second Gentleman Ay, madam.
COUNTESS And to be a soldier?
Second Gentleman Such is his noble purpose; and believe 't,
The duke will lay upon him all the honour
That good convenience claims.
COUNTESS Return you thither?
First Gentleman Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of speed.
HELENA [Reads] Till I have no wife I have nothing in France.
'Tis bitter.
COUNTESS Find you that there?
HELENA Ay, madam.
First Gentleman 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which his
heart was not consenting to.
COUNTESS Nothing in France, until he have no wife!
There's nothing here that is too good for him
But only she; and she deserves a lord
That twenty such rude boys might tend upon
And call her hourly mistress. Who was with him?
First Gentleman A servant only, and a gentleman
Which I have sometime known.
COUNTESS Parolles, was it not?
First Gentleman Ay, my good lady, he.
COUNTESS A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness.
My son corrupts a well-derived nature
With his inducement.
First Gentleman Indeed, good lady,
The fellow has a deal of that too much,
Which holds him much to have.
COUNTESS You're 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.
Second Gentleman We serve you, madam,
In that and all your worthiest affairs.
COUNTESS Not so, but as we change our courtesies.
Will you draw near!
  [Exeunt COUNTESS and Gentlemen]
HELENA '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 none-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-peering 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't;
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
That all the miseries which nature owes
Were mine at once. No, come thou home, Rousillon,
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 officed 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]

 

To view other scenes in the show click below:

Full Text Act III, Scene 3 Before the Duke's Palace/Act III, Scene 4 Count's Palace
Act I, Scene 1 Rousillon, The Count's Palace Act III, Scene 5Without the walls, a tucket far off
Act I, Scene 2 The King's Palace Act III, Scene 6 Camp before Florence/Act III, Scene 7 Florence The Widow's House
Act I, Scene 3 Count's Palace Act IV, Scene 1 Without the Florentine Camp
Act II, Scene 1 King's Palace Act IV, Scene 2 Florence The Widow's House
Act II, Scene 2 Count's Palace Act IV, Scene 3 The Florentine Camp
Act II, Scene 3 King's Palace Act IV, Scene 4 Florence The Widow's House/Act IV, Scene 5 Count's Palace
Act II, Scene 4 King's Palace/Act II, Scene 5 King's Palace Act V, Scene 1 Marseilles, A Street/Act V, Scene 2 Rousillon Before the Count's Palace
Act III, Scene 1 Duke's Palace/Act III, Scene 2 Count's Palace Act V, Scene 3 Rousillon, The Count's Palace

 

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