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    Act 3, Scene V

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    Chapter 13
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    SCENE V. Florence. Without the walls. A tucket afar off.

    Enter an old Widow of Florence, DIANA, VIOLENTA, and MARIANA, with other Citizens
    Widow
    Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we
    shall lose all the sight.

    DIANA
    They say the French count has done most honourable service.

    Widow
    It is reported that he has taken their greatest
    commander; and that with his own hand he slew the
    duke's brother.

    Tucket

    We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary
    way: hark! you may know by their trumpets.

    MARIANA
    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.

    Widow
    I have told my neighbour how you have been solicited
    by a gentleman his companion.

    MARIANA
    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.

    DIANA
    You shall not need to fear me.

    Widow
    I hope so.

    Enter HELENA, disguised like a Pilgrim

    Look, here comes a pilgrim: I know she will lie at
    my house; thither they send one another: I'll
    question her. God save you, pilgrim! whither are you bound?

    HELENA
    To Saint Jaques le Grand.
    Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?

    Widow
    At the Saint Francis here beside the port.

    HELENA
    Is this the way?

    Widow
    Ay, marry, is't.

    A march afar

    Hark you! they come this way.
    If you will tarry, holy pilgrim,
    But till the troops come by,
    I will conduct you where you shall be lodged;
    The rather, for I think I know your hostess
    As ample as myself.

    HELENA
    Is it yourself?

    Widow
    If you shall please so, pilgrim.

    HELENA
    I thank you, and will stay upon your leisure.

    Widow
    You came, I think, from France?

    HELENA
    I did so.

    Widow
    Here you shall see a countryman of yours
    That has done worthy service.

    HELENA
    His name, I pray you.

    DIANA
    The Count Rousillon: know you such a one?

    HELENA
    But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him:
    His face I know not.

    DIANA
    Whatsome'er he is,
    He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
    As 'tis reported, for the king had married him
    Against his liking: think you it is so?

    HELENA
    Ay, surely, mere the truth: I know his lady.

    DIANA
    There is a gentleman that serves the count
    Reports but coarsely of her.

    HELENA
    What's his name?

    DIANA
    Monsieur Parolles.

    HELENA
    O, I believe with him,
    In argument of praise, or to the worth
    Of the great count himself, she is too mean
    To have her name repeated: all her deserving
    Is a reserved honesty, and that
    I have not heard examined.

    DIANA
    Alas, poor lady!
    'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
    Of a detesting lord.

    Widow
    I warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is,
    Her heart weighs sadly: this young maid might do her
    A shrewd turn, if she pleased.

    HELENA
    How do you mean?
    May be the amorous count solicits her
    In the unlawful purpose.

    Widow
    He does indeed;
    And brokes with all that can in such a suit
    Corrupt the tender honour of a maid:
    But she is arm'd for him and keeps her guard
    In honestest defence.

    MARIANA
    The gods forbid else!

    Widow
    So, now they come:

    Drum and Colours

    Enter BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and the whole army

    That is Antonio, the duke's eldest son;
    That, Escalus.

    HELENA
    Which is the Frenchman?

    DIANA
    He;
    That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow.
    I would he loved his wife: if he were honester
    He were much goodlier: is't not a handsome gentleman?

    HELENA
    I like him well.

    DIANA
    'Tis pity he is not honest: yond's that same knave
    That leads him to these places: were I his lady,
    I would Poison that vile rascal.

    HELENA
    Which is he?

    DIANA
    That jack-an-apes with scarfs: why is he melancholy?

    HELENA
    Perchance he's hurt i' the battle.

    PAROLLES
    Lose our drum! well.

    MARIANA
    He's shrewdly vexed at something: look, he has spied us.

    Widow
    Marry, hang you!

    MARIANA
    And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!

    Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and army

    Widow
    The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
    Where you shall host: of enjoin'd penitents
    There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
    Already at my house.

    HELENA
    I humbly thank you:
    Please it this matron and this gentle maid
    To eat with us to-night, the charge and thanking
    Shall be for me; and, to requite you further,
    I will bestow some precepts of this virgin
    Worthy the note.

    BOTH
    We'll take your offer kindly.

    Exeunt
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