"Poor But Honest"

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 132

Context: Bertram, young Count of Rousillon, leaves home for service at the Court of France. Behind him remain his mother, the Countess of Rousillon, and her ward, the lovely and talented Helena, daughter of a physician. While living in the countess' home, Helena has fallen in love with Bertram but believes their difference in rank makes her love hopeless. As soon as Bertram departs, Helena's depressed mood arouses the countess' suspicions. She questions the girl, allays her fears, and hears her confess her love for Bertram.

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HELENA
Then I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
That before you, and next unto high heaven,
I love your son.
My friends were poor but honest, so's my love.
Be not offended, for it hurts not him
That he is loved of me.
. . .

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