Ber. Some six moneths since my Lord

Kin. If he were liuing, I would try him yet. Lend me an arme: the rest haue worne me out With seuerall applications: Nature and sicknesse Debate it at their leisure. Welcome Count, My sonne's no deerer

Ber. Thanke your Maiesty.



Enter Countesse, Steward, and Clowne.

Coun. I will now heare, what say you of this gentlewoman

Ste. Maddam the care I haue had to euen your content, I wish might be found in the Kalender of my past endeuours, for then we wound our Modestie, and make foule the clearnesse of our deseruings, when of our selues we publish them

Coun. What doe's this knaue heere? Get you gone sirra: the complaints I haue heard of you I do not all beleeue, 'tis my slownesse that I doe not: For I know you lacke not folly to commit them, & haue abilitie enough to make such knaueries yours

Clo. 'Tis not vnknown to you Madam, I am a poore fellow

Coun. Well sir

Clo. No maddam, 'Tis not so well that I am poore, though manie of the rich are damn'd, but if I may haue your Ladiships good will to goe to the world, Isbell the woman and I will doe as we may

Coun. Wilt thou needes be a begger? Clo. I doe beg your good will in this case

Cou. In what case? Clo. In Isbels case and mine owne: seruice is no heritage, and I thinke I shall neuer haue the blessing of God, till I haue issue a my bodie: for they say barnes are blessings

Cou. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marrie? Clo. My poore bodie Madam requires it, I am driuen on by the flesh, and hee must needes goe that the diuell driues

Cou. Is this all your worships reason? Clo. Faith Madam I haue other holie reasons, such as they are

Cou. May the world know them? Clo. I haue beene Madam a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are, and indeede I doe marrie that I may repent

Cou. Thy marriage sooner then thy wickednesse

Clo. I am out a friends Madam, and I hope to haue friends for my wiues sake

Cou. Such friends are thine enemies knaue

Clo. Y'are shallow Madam in great friends, for the knaues come to doe that for me which I am a wearie of: he that eres my Land, spares my teame, and giues mee leaue to Inne the crop: if I be his cuckold hee's my drudge; he that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; hee that cherishes my flesh and blood, loues my flesh and blood; he that loues my flesh and blood is my friend: ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend: if men could be contented to be what they are, there were no feare in marriage, for yong Charbon the Puritan, and old Poysam the Papist, how somere their hearts are seuer'd in Religion, their heads are both one, they may ioule horns together like any Deare i'th Herd

Cou. Wilt thou euer be a foule mouth'd and calumnious knaue? Clo. A Prophet I Madam, and I speake the truth the next waie, for I the Ballad will repeate, which men full true shall finde, your marriage comes by destinie, your Cuckow sings by kinde

Cou. Get you gone sir, Ile talke with you more anon

Stew. May it please you Madam, that hee bid Hellen come to you, of her I am to speake

Cou. Sirra tell my gentlewoman I would speake with her, Hellen I meane

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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