Page images
PDF
EPUB

Laf.
He cannot want the best,
That shall attend his love.

Count. Heaven bless him!-Farewell, Bertram. [Exit Countess. Ber. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts, [to HELENA] be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make

much of her.

Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the credit of your father. [Exeunt Bertram and Lafeu. Hel. O, were that all!-I think not on my father: And these great tears grace his remembrance more Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination Carries no favour in it, but Bertram's. I am undone; there is no living, none, If Bertram be away. It were all one, That I should love a bright particular star, And think to wed it, he is so above me : In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not his sphere. The ambition in my love thus plagues itself: The hind, that would be mated by the lion, Mast die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague, To see him every hour; to sit and draw His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls, In our heart's table; heart, too capable Of every line and trick of his sweet favour: But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here? Enter PAROLles.

[blocks in formation]

Hel. And no.

Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a question: Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?

Par. Keep him out.

Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.

but lose by't: Out with't: within ten years it will
make itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and
the principle itself not much the worse: Away
with't.
[own liking?
Hel. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her
Pur. 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 re-
quest. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her
cap out of fashion; richly suited, but unsuitable :
just like the brooch and tooth-pick, which wear not
now: Your date is better in your pie and your por-
ridge, than in your cheek: And your virginity,
your old virginity, is like one of our French wi-
thered 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
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
[it?

There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he-
I know not what he shall:-God send him well!—
The court's a learning-place; and he is one
Par. What one, i'faith?

Hel. That I wish well.-'Tis pity-
Par. What's pity?

Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Which might be felt: that we, the poorer born,
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends,
And show what we alone must think; which never
Returns us thanks.

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; 'tis 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

[blocks in formation]

Par. When he was predominant.

Hel. When he was retrogade, I think, rather. Par. Why think you so?

Hel. You go so much backward, when you fight. Par. That's for advantage.

Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety: But the composition, that your valour 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. [Exit.

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,

[ocr errors]

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 fix'd, 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 A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria, With caution, that the Florentine will move us For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend Prejudicates the business, and would seem To have us make denial.

1 Lord. His love and wisdom, Approv'd so to your majesty, may plead For amplest credence. King. He hath arm'd our answer, And Florence is denied before he comes: Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see The Tuscan service, freely they have leave To stand on either part.

2 Lord.

It may well serve
A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
For breathing and exploit.

King.

What's he come here?

Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES. 1 Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord, Young Bertram.

King. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face; Frank nature, rather curious than in haste, Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.

Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
King. I would I had that corporal soundness now,
As when thy father, and myself in friendship
First try'd our soldiership! He did look far
Into the service of the time, and was
Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
But on us both did haggish age steal on,
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
To talk of your good father: In his youth
He had the wit, which I can well observe
To-day in our young lords; but they may jest,
Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour.
So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were,
His equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute, when
Exception bid him speak, and, at this time,
His tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him,
He us'd as creatures of another place;

And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
Making them proud of his humility,
In their poor praise he humbled: Such a man
Might be a copy to these younger times;
Which, follow'd well, would démonstrate them
But goers backward.
[now
His good remembrance, sir,
Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb;
So in approof lives not his epitaph,
As in your royal speech.

Ber.

King. 'Would I were with him! He would always say, (Methinks, I hear him now; his plausive words He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them, To grow there, and to bear,)Let me not live,Thus his good melancholy oft began, On the catastrophe and heel of pastime, When it was out,-let me not live, quoth he, After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses All but new things disdain; whose judgments are Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies

[blocks in formation]

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 endeavours; 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 the folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.

Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a Count. Well, sir. [poor fellow. Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor, though many of the rich are damn'd: But if I may have your ladyship's good-will to go to the world, Isbel 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. Count. In what case?

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry, that I may repent.

[ness.

Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedClo. I am out of friends, madam; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave. Clo. You are shallow, madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am a-weary of. He, that ears my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: If I be his cuckold, he's my drudge: He, that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he, that cherishes my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves 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 fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together, like any deer i' the herd. [calumnious knave?

Count. Wilt thou ever be à foul-mouth'd and

[blocks in formation]

And gave this sentence then; Among nine bad if one be good, Among nine bad if one be good, There's yet one good in ten. Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o'the song: 'Would God would serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythe-woman, if I were the parson: One in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well: a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.

Count. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you?

Helen to come hither.

Clo. That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done!-Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am going, forsooth: the business is for [Exit Clown. [woman entirely. Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentleCount. Faith, I do her father bequeathed her to me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds: there is more owing her, than is paid; and more shall be paid her, than she'll demand.

Count. Well now.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wished me alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son: Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; Love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised, without rescue, in the first assault, or ransom afterward: This she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in which I held my duty, speedily to acquaint you withal; sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.

Count. You have discharged this honestly; keep it to yourself; many likelihoods informed me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: Pray you, leave me : stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care: I will speak with you further anon. [Exit Steward.

Enter HELENA. Count. Even so it was with me, when I was young:

Such were our faults;-or then we thought them

none.

Her eye is sick on't; I observe her now.
Hel. What is your pleasure, madam?
Count.
You know, Helen,

If we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born; It is the show and seal of nature's truth, Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth: By our remembrances of days foregone,

I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Count.

Nay, a mother; Why not a mother? When I said, a mother, Methought you saw a serpent: What's in mother, That you start at it? I say, I am your mother; And put you in the catalogue of those,

That were enwombed mine: "Tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care:-
God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother? What's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
Why?that you are my daughter?

That I am not.

Pardon, madam; The count Rousillon cannot be my brother: I am from humble, he from honour'd name : No note upon my parents, his all noble: My master, my dear lord he is; and I His servant live, and will his vassal die : He must not be my brother. Count. Nor I your mother? Hel. You are my mother, madam; 'Would you

Hel.

Count. I say, I am your mother. Hel.

were

(So that my lord, your son, were not my brother,) Indeed my mother!-or, were you both our mothers,

I care no more for, than I do for heaven,
So I were not his sister: Can't no other,
But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-
in-law;

God shield, you mean it not! daughter, and mother,
So strive upon your pulse: What, pale again?
My fear bath catch'd your fondness: Now I see
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Your salt tear's head. Now to all sense 'tis gross,
You love my son; invention is asham'd,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say, thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis so:-for, look, thy cheeks
Confess it, one to the other; and thine eyes
See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours,
That in their kind they speak it: only sin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected: Speak, is't so?
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clue;
If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee,
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly.

Hel.
Good madam, pardon me!
Count. Do you love my son?
Hel.
Your pardon, noble mistress!
Count. Love you my son'?
Hel.
Do not you love him, madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
The state of your affection; for your passions
Have to the full appeach'd.

Hel.

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 lov'd of me: I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit;
Nor would I have him, till I do deserve him;
Yet never know how that desert should be.
I know I love in vain, strive against hope;

Yet, in this captious and intenable sieve,
I still pour in the waters of my love,
And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore

The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
Let not your hate encounter with my love,
For loving where you do: but, if yourself,
Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever, in so true a flame of liking,
Wish chastely, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love; O then, give pity
To her, whose state is such, that cannot choose
But lend and give, where she is sure to lose ;
That seeks not to find that her search implies,
Bat, riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies.
Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
To go to Paris?
Hel.

Madam, I had.

Count.

Wherefore? tell true.
Hel. I will tell truth; by grace itself, I swear.
You know, my father left me some prescriptions
Of rare and prov'd effects, such as his reading,
And manifest experience, had collected
For general sovereignty; and that he will'd me
In heedfullest reservation to bestow them,
As notes, whose faculties inclusive were,
More than they were in note: amongst the rest,
There is a remedy, approv'd, set down,
To cure the desperate languishes, whereof
The king is render'd lost."

Count.

This was your motive

For Paris, was it? speak.
Hel. My lord your son made me to think of this;
Else Paris, and the medicine, and the king,
Had, from the conversation of my thoughts,
Haply, been absent then.

Count.
But think you, Helen,
If you should tender your supposed aid,
He would receive it? He and his physicians
Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him,
They, that they cannot help: How shall they oredit
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?

But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
The well-lost life of mine on his grace's cure,
By such a day and hour.
Count.
Dost thou believ't?
Hel. Ay, madam, knowingly.
Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave,
and love,

Means, and attendants, and my loving greetings
To those of mine in court; I'll stay at home,
And pray God's blessing into thy attempt:
Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this,
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.
SCENE I.-Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.
Flourish. Enter King, with young Lords, taking
leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, PA-
ROLLES, and Attendants.

King. Farewell, young lord, these warlike prin-
ciples
[well:-
Do not throw from you:-and you, my lord, fare-
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all,
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd,
And is enough for both.

1 Lord.
It is our hope, sir,
After well-enter'd soldiers, to return
And find your grace in health.
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart

Will not confess, he owes the malady
That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the sons
Of worthy Frenchmen: let higher Italy,
(Those 'bated, that inherit but the fall
Of the last monarchy,) see, that you come
Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when
The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek,
That fame may cry you load: I say, farewell.
2 Lord. Health, at your bidding, serve your
majesty!

King, Those girls of Italy, take heed of them;
They say, our French lack language to deny,
If they demand: beware of being captives,
Before you serve.
Both.
Our hearts receive your warnings.
King. Farewell.-Come hither to me.
(The King retires to a couch.)
1 Lord. O my sweet lord, that you will stay be-

hind us!

Par. 'Tis not his fault; the spark-
2 Lord.
O, 'tis brave wars!
Par. Most admirable: I have seen those wars.
Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil with;
Too
young, and the next year, and 'tis too early.
Par. An thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away
bravely.

Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn,
But one to dance with: By heaven I'll steal away.
1 Lord. There's honour in the theft.
Par.
Commit it, count.

Hel.

There's something hints,
More than my father's skill, which was the greatest
Of his profession, that his good receipt
Shall, for my legacy, be sanctified

Ber. Stay; the king-
(Seeing him rise.)
Par. Use a more specious ceremony to the no-

honour

By the luckiest stars in heaven: and, would your ble lords; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu: be more expressive to them; for they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there, do muster true gait, eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most received star; and though the devil lead the measure, such are to be followed after them, and take a more dilated farewell.

Ber. And I will do so.

Par. Worthy fellows, and like to prove most
sinewy sword-men. [Exeunt Bertram and Parolles.
Enter LAFEu.
Laf. Pardon, my lord, (kneeling) for me and
for my tidings.

King. I'll fee thee to stand up.
Laf.
Then here's a man
Stands, that has brought his pardon. I would, you
Had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy; and
That, at my bidding, you could so stand up.

King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
And ask'd thee mercy for't.

2 Lord. I am your accessary; and so farewell.
Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured
1 Lord. Farewell, captain.
[body.

2 Lord. Sweet monsieur Parolles ! Par. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals :You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one captain Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports for me.

2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.

Par. Mars dote on you for his novices! [Exeunt Lords.]-What will you do?

Laf.

Good faith, across :
But, my good lord, 'tis thus: Will you be cur'd
Of your infirmity?
King.

No.

Laf.

O, will you eat
No grapes, my royal fox? yes, but you will,
My noble grapes, an if my royal fox
Could reach them: I have seen a medicine,
That's able to breathe life into a stone;
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary,

With sprightly fire and motion; whose simple touch
Is powerful to araise king Pepin, nay,
To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand,
And write to her a love-line.

King.

What her is this? Laf. Why, doctor she: My lord, there's one arriv'd,

re

If you will see her,-now, by my faith and honour,
If seriously I may convey my thoughts
In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
With one, that, in her sex, her years, profession,
Wisdom, and constancy, bath amaz'd me
Than I dare blame my weakness: Will you see her
(For that is her demand,) and know her business?
That done, laugh well at me.
King.
Now, good Lafeu,
Bring in the admiration; that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine,
By wondering how thou took'st it.

Laf

Nay, I'll fit you, And not be all day neither. [Exit Lafeu. King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues. Re-enter LAFEU with HELENA.

Laf. Nay, come your ways.
King.

This haste hath wings indeed.
Laf. Nay, come your ways;
This is his majesty, say your mind to him:
A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
His majesty seldom fears: I am Cressid's uncle,
That dare leave two together: fare you well. [Exit.
King. Now, fair one, does your business follow

us?

Hel. Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon was My father; in what he did profess, well found. King. I knew him.

[him;

Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards
Knowing him, is enough. On his bed of death
Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one,
Which, as the dearest issue of his practice,
And of his old experience the only darling,
He bade me store up, as triple eye,

Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so :
And, hearing your high majesty is touch'd
With that malignant cause, wherein the honour
Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
I come to tender it and my appliance,
With all bound humbleness.

King.
We thank you, maiden;
But may not be so credulous of cure,-
When our most learned doctors leave us; and
The congregated college have concluded,
That labouring art can never ransom nature
From her unaidable estate,-I say, we must not
So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malady
To empirics; or to dissever so
Our great self and our credit, to esteem

A senseless help, when help past sense we deem.
Hel. My duty then shall pay me for my pains:
I will no more enforce mine office on you;
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
A modest one, to bear me back again.

King. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful: [give, Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I As one near death to those that wish him live: But, what at full I know, thou know'st no part; I knowing all my peril, thou no art.

Hel. What I can do, can do no hurt to try, Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy: He that of greatest works is finisher, Oft does them by the weakest minister: So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown, When judges have been babes. Great floods have flown

King. I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;

Thy pains, not us'd, must by thyself be paid:
Proffers, not took, reap thanks for their reward.
Hel. Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd:
It is not so with him, that all things knows,
As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows:
But most it is presumption in us, when
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent;
Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impostor, that proclaim
Myself against the level of mine aim;
But know I think, and think I know most sure,
My art is not past power, nor you past cure.
King. Art thou so confident? Within what space
Hop'st thou my cure?

Hel.

The greatest grace lending grace, Fre twice the horses of the sun shall bring Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring; Ere twice in murk and occidental damp, Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp; Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass; What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly, Health shall live free, and sickness freely die. King. Upon thy certainty and confidence, What dar'st thou venture?

Hel.

From simple sources; and great seas have dried,
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises; and oft
Where hope is

and de

Tax of impudence,— A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,Traduc'd by odious ballads; my maiden's name Sear'd otherwise; no worse of worst extended, With vilest torture let my life be ended.

King. Methinks, in thee some blessed spirit doth speak;

His powerful sound, within an organ weak:
And what impossibility would slay
In common sense, sense saves another way.
Thy life is dear; for all, that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate;
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
That happiness and prime can happy call:
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try;
That ministers thine own death, if I die.

Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die; And well deserv'd: Not helping, death's my fee; But, if I help, what do you promise me? King. Make thy demand. Hel. But will you make it even? King. Ay, by my sceptre, and my hopes of heaven. [hand, Hel. Then thou shalt give me, with thy kingly What husband in thy power I will command: Exempted be from me the arrogance To choose from forth the royal blood of France; My low and humble name to propagate With any branch or image of thy state: But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.

King. Here is my hand; the premises observ'd, Thy will by my performance shall be serv'd; So make the choice of thy own time; for I, Thy resolv'd patient, on thee still rely. More should I question thee, and more I must; Though, more to know, could not be more to trust; [rest From whence thou cam'st, how tended on,-But Unquestion'd welcome, and undoubted blest.Give me some help here, ho!-If thou proceed As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed. [Flourish. Exeunt

SCENE II.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess and Clown.

Count. Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of your breeding.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »