Page images
PDF
EPUB

,, Corned humble.nced by this and your Shter-in-lay

of a nation in his colour: your daughter-in-law had been alive at this hour; and your son here at home, more advanced by the king, than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.

Count. I would, I had not known him! it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman, that ever nature had praise for creating: if she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.

Laf. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb.

Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet-marjoram of the salad, or, rather the herb of grace.

Laf. They are not salad-herbs, you knave, they are nose-herbs,

Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir, I have not much skill in grass.

Laf. Whether dost thou profess thyself; a knave, or a fool ?

Clo. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.

Laf. Your distinction?

Clo. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service,

Laf. So you were a knave at his service, indeed.

Clo. And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.

Laf. I will subscribe for thee; thou art both knave and fool.

Clo. At your service.
Laf. No, no, no.

Clo. Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.

Laf. Who's that? a Frenchman?

Clo. Faith, sir, he has an English name; but his phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there.

Laf. What prince is that?

Clo. The black prince, sir, alias, the prince of darkness; alias, the devil.

Laf. Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this to suggest? thee from thy master thou talkest of; serve him still.

Clo. I am a woodland fellow, sir,8 that always loved a great fire; and the master I speak of, ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world, let his nobility remain in his court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter: some, that humble themselves, may; but the many will be too chill and tender; and they'll be for the flowery way, that leads to the broad gate, and the great fire.

Laf. Go thy ways, I begin to be a-weary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways; let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.

Clo. 'If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.

' : [Exit. Laf. A shrewd knave, and an unhappy.'

Count. So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.

Laf. I like him well; 'tis not amiss: and I was

? to suggest -] i. e. seduce.

8 I am a woodland fellow, sir, &c.] Shakspeare is but rarely guilty of such impious trash. And it is observable, that then he always puts that into the mouth of his fools, which is now grown the characteristic of the fine gentleman. WARBURTON.

9 unhappy.] i. e. mischievously waggish, unlucky.

about to tell you. Since I heard of the good lady's death, and that my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved the king my master, to speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did first propose: his highness hath promised me to do it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?

Count. With very much content, my lord, and I wish it happily effected.

Laf. His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty; he will be here to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.

Count. It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see hiin ere I die. I have letters, that my son will be here to-night: I shall beseech your lordship, to remain with me till they meet together.

Laf. Madam, I was thinking, with what manners I might safely be admitted.

Count. You need but plead your honourable privilege.

Laf. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but, I thank my God, it holds yet.

Re-enter Clown.

Clo. O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under it, or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare. · Laf. A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour; so, belike, is that.

Clo. But it is your carbonadoed” face.

Laf. Let us go see your son, I pray you; I long to talk with the young noble soldier.

Clo. 'Faith, there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the head, and nod at every man.

[Exeunt.

ACT V.

SCENE 1. Marseilles.

A Street.

Enter Helena, Widow, and DIANA, with two

Attendants.
Hel. But this exceeding posting, day and night,
Must wear your spirits low: we cannot help it;
· But, since you have made the days and nights as one,

To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
Be bold, you do so grow in my requital,
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time;--

Enter a gentle Astringer.?
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power.—God save you, sir.

Gent. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Gent. I have been sometimes there.

Hel. I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness;

i c arbonadoed --] i. e. scorched like a piece of meat for the gridiron.

2 Enter a gentle Astringer.] A gentle astringer is a gentleman falconer. The word is derived from ostercus or austercus, a goshawk; and thus, says Cowell, in his Low Dictionary: We usually call a falconer, who keeps that kind of hawk, an uustringer.

And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.
Gent..

What's your will?
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the king;
And aid me with that store of power you have,
To come into his presence.

Gent. The king's not here.
Hel.

Not here, sir?
Gent.

Not, indeed: He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste Than is his use.

Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains !
Hel. All's well that ends well; yet;
Though time seem so advérse, and means unfit.
I do beseech you, whither is he gone?

Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
Whither I am going.
Hel.

I do beseech you, sir,
Since you are like to see the king before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand;
Which, I presume, shall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it:
I will come after you, with what good speed
Our means will make us means. 3
Gent.

This I'll do for you.
Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well

thank'd, Whate'er falls more.- We must to horse again;-, Go, go, provide.

[Exeunt.

3 Our means will make us means.] Shakspeare delights much in this kind of reduplication, sometimes so as to obscure his meaning. Helena says, they will follow with such speed as the means which they have will give them ability to exert.

« PreviousContinue »