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Par. There is none; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers and blowers up!-Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?
Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up; marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity. Loss. of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was first lost. That you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever lost: 'tis too cold a companion; away with it.
Hel. I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be said in't; 't is against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin: virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not: you cannot choose but lose by't. Out with't: within ten years itwill make itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse. Away with't.
Hel. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking? Par. Let me see. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth. Off with't, while 'tis vendible: answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion; richly suited, but unsuitable; just like the brooch and toothpick, which wear not now. Your date is better in your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek; and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears; it looks ill; it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear. Will you any thing with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
Hel. That I wish well.—'Tis pity——
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Enter a Page.
Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
Par. Little Helen, farewell; if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. I especially think, under Mars.
Par. Why under Mars?
Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
Hel. You go so much backward, when you fight.
Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety; but the composition, that your valor and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely. I will return perfect courtier; in the which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast none, remember thy friends; get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so farewell.
Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to Heaven. The fated sky Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull. What power is it which mounts my love so high; That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye? The mightiest space in fortune nature brings To join like likes, and kiss like native things. Impossible be strange attempts, to those That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose, What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove To show her merit, that did miss her love? The king's disease-my project may deceive me, But my intents are fixed, and will not leave me. [Exit.
SCENE II. Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish of Cornets.
Enter the King of France, with letters; Lords and others attending.
King. The Florentines and Senoys are by the ears; Have fought with equal fortune, and continue A braving war. 1 Lord.
So 'tis reported, sir.
King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it
It may well serve
What's he comes here?
King. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
His good remembrance, sir,
King. 'Would I were with him! He would always say, (Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words He scattered not in ears, but grafted them,
To grow there, and to bear,) Let me not live,—
I, after bim, do after him wish too,
You are loved, sir; They that least lend it you, shall lack you first.
King. I fill a place, I know't. - How long is't, count, Since the physician at your father's died? He was much famed.
Ber. Some six months since, my lord. King. If he were living, I would try him yet.Lend me an arm; - the rest have worn me out With several applications:-nature and sickness Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count; My son's no dearer.
Thank your majesty.
SCENE III. Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.
Count. I will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?
Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavors; for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.
Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah. The complaints I have heard of you, I do not all believe; 'tis my slowness, that I do not; for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.
Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow. Count. Well, sir.
Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well, that I am poor; though many of the rich are damned; but, if I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the world; Isabel the woman and I will do as we may.
Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Clo. I do beg your good will in this case.
Clo. In Isabel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage; and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, till I have issue of my body; for, they say, bearns are blessings.