Page images

In differences so mighty. If she be
All that is virtuous, save what thou dislik'st
A poor physician's daughter, thou dislik'st
Of virtue for the name: but do not so.
From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignify'd by th’ doer's deed.
Where great addition swells, and virtue none,
It is a dropfied honour: good alone
Is good without a name, in’tself is so:
The property by what it is should

Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair,
In these to nature she's immediate heir ;
And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour-born,
And is not like the fire. Honours best thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our fore-goers: the mere word's a slave
Debauch'd on every tomb, on every grave;
A lying trophy; and as oft is dumb,
Where duft and damn'd oblivion is the tomb
Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said ?
If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
I can create the rest: virtue and she,
Is her own dow'r; honour and wealth from me.

Ber. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
King. Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou should'st strive to choose.

Hel. That you are well restor’d, my lord, I'm glad :
Let the rest

King. My honour's at the stake, which to defend
I must produce my power : here, take her hand,
Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift,
That doft in vile misprision shackle

My love, and her desert; that canst not dream,
We, poizing us in her defective scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know,
It is in us to plant thine honour, where


[ocr errors]


We please to have it grow. Check thy contempt:
Obey our will, which travels in thy good;
Believe not thy disdain, but presently
Do thine own fortunes that obedient right
Which both thy duty owes, and our power claims :

Or I will throw thee from my care for ever
Into the staggers, and the careless lapse
Of youth and ignorance; my revenge and hate
Let loose upon thee in the name of justice,
Without all terms of pity. Speak thine answer.

Ber. Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
My fancy to your eyes: when I consider
What great creation, and what dole of honour
Flies where you bid; I find, that she, which late

nobler thoughts most base, is now
The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
Is, as 'twere, born so.

King. Take her by the hand,
And tell her, she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoize; if not in thy estate
A balance more replete.

Ber. I take her hand.

King. Good fortune, and the favour of the king,
Smile upon the contract ! whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the now born brief,
And be perform’d to-night; the solemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'ft her,
Thy loves to me religious ; else, does err.


Was in my


Manent Parolles and Lafeu. Laf. Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you. Pär. Your pleasure, sir. Laf. Your lord and inafter did well to make his recantation.

Z z 2


[ocr errors]


Par. Recantation? my lord? my master ?
Laf. Ay, is it not a language I speak ?

Par. A most harsh one, and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master ?

Laf. Are you companion to the count Roufillon ?
Par. To any count; to all counts; to what is man.

Laf. To what is count's man; count's master is of another style.

Par. You are too old, fir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.

Laf. I must tell thee, firrah, I write man; to which title age cannot bring thee.

Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

Laf. I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didft make tolerable vent of thy travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs and the bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not : yet art thou good for nothing but taking up, and that thou’rt scarce worth. Par. Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon

Laf. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, left thou hasten
thy trial; which if — Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! so,
my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy casement I need
not open, I look through thee. Give me thy hand.

Par. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity,
Laf. Ay, with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it.
Par. I have not, my lord, deserv'd it.

Laf. Yes, good faith, ev'ry dram of it; and I will not bate thee a scruple.

Par. Well, I shall be wiser

Laf. Ev'n as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at a smack o'th' contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf, and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say on thy defaults he is a man I know.





Par. My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.

Laf. I would it were hell-pains for thy fake, and my poor doing eternal.


. Par. Well, thou hast a fon shall take this disgrace off me; fcurvy, old, filthy, fcurvy lord: well, I must be patient; there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a lord. I'll have no more pity of his age that I would have of — I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.

Reenter Lafeu. Laf. Sirrah, your lord and master's married, there's news for you : you have a new mistress.

Par. I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make some reservation of your wrongs: he, my good lord, whom I serve above is my master.

Laf. Who? god ?
Par. Ay, fir.

Laf. The devil it is, that's thy master. Why dost thou garter up thy arms o’this fashion ? dost make hose of thy sleeves ? do other servants so? thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'd beat thee : ‘methinks, thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. I think, thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.

Par. This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.

Laf. Go to, fir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernel out of a pomegranate ; you are a vagabond, and no true traveller : you are more faucy with lords, and honourable personages, than the heraldry of your birth and virtue gives you commission. You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.


------ eternal : for doing I am past, as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave.

[Exit. Par. Well, &c.


[blocks in formation]


Enter Bertram.
+ Par. Good, very good; it is so then : good, very good; let
it be conceal’d a while.

Ber. Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
Par. What is the matter, sweet heart?

Ber. Although before the solemn priest I've sworn,
I will not bed her.

Par. What? what, sweet heart?

Ber. O my Parolles, they have married me: I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.

Par. France is a doghole, and it no more merits the tread of a man's foot: to th' wars !

Ber. There's letters from my mother; what the import is, I know not yet.

Par. Ay, that would be known: to th’ wars, my boy, to
th' wars !
He wears his honour in a box unseen,
That hugs his kicksy-wicksy here at home;
Spending his manly marrow in her arms,
Which thould sustain the bound and high curvet
Of Mars's fiery steed: to other regions
France is a stable; we that dwell in't, jades,
Therefore to th' war!

Ber. It shall be so; I'll send her to my house,
Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
And wherefore I am fled; write to the king
That which I durst not speak: his present gift
Shall furnish me to those Italian fields
Where noble fellows strike. War is no ftrife
To the dark house, and the detested wife.

Par. Will this caprichio hold in thee, art sure?
Ber. Go with me to my chamber, and advise me.

« PreviousContinue »