A tucket afar off. Enter the old Widow of Florence,
her daughter Diana, and Mariana, with other
Nay, come, for if they do approach the city, we
shall lose all the sight.
They say the French Count has done most
It is reported that he has taken their greatest
commander, and that with his own hand he slew the
We have lost our labour; they are gone a contrary way.
Hark! You may know by their trumpets.
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.
I have told my neighbour how you have been
solicited by a gentleman his companion.
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 wrack of maidenhood, cannot for
all that dissuade succession, but that they are limed with
lime (v.) 1
trap, snare, catch [as if by using birdlime]
the twigs that threatens 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.
You shall not need to fear me.
I hope so. 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
To Saint Jaques le Grand.
Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you?
At the Saint Francis here beside the port.
Is this the way?
A march afar
Ay, marry, is't. 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.
Is it yourself?
If you shall please so, pilgrim.
I thank you and will stay upon your leisure.
You came, I think, from France?
I did so.
Here you shall see a countryman of yours
That has done worthy service.
His name, I pray you?
The Count Rossillion. Know you such a one?
But by the ear, that hears most nobly of him;
His face I know not.
Whatsome'er he is,
He's bravely taken here. He stole from France,
take (v.) 8
win favour, gain acceptance, become popular
As 'tis reported, for the King had married him
Against his liking. Think you it is so?
Ay, surely, mere the truth, I know his lady.
There is a gentleman that serves the Count
Reports but coarsely of her.
What's his name?
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.
Alas, poor lady!
'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
Of a detesting lord.
I warrant, good creature, wheresoe'er she is,
Her heart weighs sadly. This young maid might do her
A shrewd turn, if she pleased.
How do you mean?
Maybe the amorous Count solicits her
In the unlawful purpose?
He does indeed,
And brokes with all that can in such a suit
Corrupt the tender honour of a maid;
But she is armed for him and keeps her guard
In honestest defence.
Drum and colours. Enter Bertram, Parolles, and the
The gods forbid else!
So, now they come.
That is Antonio, the Duke's eldest son;
Which is the Frenchman?
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?
I like him well.
'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.
Which is he?
That jackanapes with scarfs. Why is he
Perchance he's hurt i'th' battle.
Lose our drum! Well!
He's shrewdly vexed at something. Look, he
has spied us.
Marry, hang you!
And your courtesy, for a ring-carrier!
Exeunt Bertram, Parolles, and the army
The troop is past. Come, pilgrim, I will bring you
Where you shall host. Of enjoined penitents
There's four or five, to great Saint Jaques bound,
Already at my house.
I humbly thank you.
Please it this matron and this gentle maid
To eat with us tonight; the charge and thanking
Shall be for me, and, to requite you further,
I will bestow some precepts of this virgin,
Worthy the note.
WIDOW and MARIANA
We'll take your offer kindly.