Dian. Mine Honors such a Ring, My chastities the Iewell of our house, Bequeathed downe from many Ancestors, Which were the greatest obloquie i'th world, In mee to loose. Thus your owne proper wisedome Brings in the Champion honor on my part, Against your vaine assault

Ber. Heere, take my Ring, My house, mine honor, yea my life be thine, And Ile be bid by thee

Dia. When midnight comes, knocke at my chamber window: Ile order take, my mother shall not heare. Now will I charge you in the band of truth, When you haue conquer'd my yet maiden-bed, Remaine there but an houre, nor speake to mee: My reasons are most strong, and you shall know them, When backe againe this Ring shall be deliuer'd: And on your finger in the night, Ile put Another Ring, that what in time proceeds, May token to the future, our past deeds. Adieu till then, then faile not: you haue wonne A wife of me, though there my hope be done

Ber. A heauen on earth I haue won by wooing thee

Di. For which, liue long to thank both heauen & me, You may so in the end. My mother told me iust how he would woo, As if she sate in's heart. She sayes, all men Haue the like oathes: He had sworne to marrie me When his wife's dead: therfore Ile lye with him When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braide, Marry that will, I liue and die a Maid: Onely in this disguise, I think't no sinne, To cosen him that would vniustly winne.


Enter the two French Captaines, and some two or three Souldiours.

Cap.G. You haue not giuen him his mothers letter

Cap.E. I haue deliu'red it an houre since, there is som thing in't that stings his nature: for on the reading it, he chang'd almost into another man

Cap.G. He has much worthy blame laid vpon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a Lady

Cap.E. Especially, hee hath incurred the euerlasting displeasure of the King, who had euen tun'd his bounty to sing happinesse to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you

Cap.G. When you haue spoken it 'tis dead, and I am the graue of it

Cap.E. Hee hath peruerted a young Gentlewoman heere in Florence, of a most chaste renown, & this night he fleshes his will in the spoyle of her honour: hee hath giuen her his monumentall Ring, and thinkes himselfe made in the vnchaste composition

Cap.G. Now God delay our rebellion as we are our selues, what things are we

Cap.E. Meerely our owne traitours. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reueale themselues, till they attaine to their abhorr'd ends: so he that in this action contriues against his owne Nobility in his proper streame, ore-flowes himselfe

Cap.G. Is it not meant damnable in vs, to be Trumpeters of our vnlawfull intents? We shall not then haue his company to night? Cap.E. Not till after midnight: for hee is dieted to his houre

Cap.G. That approaches apace: I would gladly haue him see his company anathomiz'd, that hee might take a measure of his owne iudgements, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit

Cap.E. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other

Cap.G. In the meane time, what heare you of these Warres? Cap.E. I heare there is an ouerture of peace

Cap.G. Nay, I assure you a peace concluded

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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