Ber. Now wil I lead you to the house, and shew you The Lasse I spoke of

Cap.E. But you say she's honest

Ber. That's all the fault: I spoke with hir but once, And found her wondrous cold, but I sent to her By this same Coxcombe that we haue i'th winde Tokens and Letters, which she did resend, And this is all I haue done: She's a faire creature, Will you go see her? Cap.E. With all my heart my Lord.


Enter Hellen, and Widdow.

Hel. If you misdoubt me that I am not shee, I know not how I shall assure you further, But I shall loose the grounds I worke vpon

Wid. Though my estate be falne, I was well borne, Nothing acquainted with these businesses, And would not put my reputation now In any staining act

Hel. Nor would I wish you. First giue me trust, the Count he is my husband, And what to your sworne counsaile I haue spoken, Is so from word to word: and then you cannot By the good ayde that I of you shall borrow, Erre in bestowing it

Wid. I should beleeue you, For you haue shew'd me that which well approues Y'are great in fortune

Hel. Take this purse of Gold, And let me buy your friendly helpe thus farre, Which I will ouer-pay, and pay againe When I haue found it. The Count he woes your daughter, Layes downe his wanton siedge before her beautie, Resolue to carrie her: let her in fine consent As wee'l direct her how 'tis best to beare it: Now his important blood will naught denie, That shee'l demand: a ring the Countie weares, That downward hath succeeded in his house From sonne to sonne, some foure or fiue discents, Since the first father wore it. This Ring he holds In most rich choice: yet in his idle fire, To buy his will, it would not seeme too deere, How ere repented after

Wid. Now I see the bottome of your purpose

Hel. You see it lawfull then, it is no more, But that your daughter ere she seemes as wonne, Desires this Ring; appoints him an encounter; In fine, deliuers me to fill the time, Her selfe most chastly absent: after To marry her, Ile adde three thousand Crownes To what is past already

Wid. I haue yeelded: Instruct my daughter how she shall perseuer, That time and place with this deceite so lawfull May proue coherent. Euery night he comes With Musickes of all sorts, and songs compos'd To her vnworthinesse: It nothing steeds vs To chide him from our eeues, for he persists As if his life lay on't

Hel. Why then to night Let vs assay our plot, which if it speed, Is wicked meaning in a lawfull deede; And lawfull meaning in a lawfull act, Where both not sinne, and yet a sinfull fact. But let's about it.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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