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Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave, and love,
Means, and attendants, and my loving greetings
To those of mine own 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.
SCENE 1.-Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish. Enter KING, with young LORDS taking leave for the
Florentine war; BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and attendants. King. Farewell, young lord, these warlike principles Do not throw from you :-And you, my lord, farewell :Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all, The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis received, 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 loud : 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. () my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us ! Par. 'Tis not his fault: the spark2 Lord. O, 'tis brave wars! Par. Most admirable: I have seen those wars.
Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coilI 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,
+ Be not captives before you are soldiers.
# With a noise, bustle.'
$ To lead ladies out to dance.
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.
2 Lord. I am your accessary; and so farewell.
Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.
1 Lord. Farewell, captain.
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 intrenched 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? Ber. Stay, the king
[Seeing him rise. Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble 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, I 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 swordmen.
[Exeunt BERTRAM and PAROLLES.
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 kneeld, 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.
Laf. Goodfaith, across : ||
But my good lord, 'tis thus; Will you be cured
Of your infirmity ?
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 arrived,
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, hath amazed me more
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 wond'ring 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,t
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. I
King. I knew him.
Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards him ;
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 a 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,-
* A lively dance.
+ Pandarus. * Well esteemed.
SA third eye.
When our most learned doctors leave us; and
The congregated college have concluded
That labouring art can never ransom nature
From her inaidable 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 :
Thou thought'st to help me ; and such thanks I give,
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 floin,
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 it hits,
Where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.
King. I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Thy pains, not used, must by thyself be paid:
Proffers, not took, reap thanks for their reward.
Hel. Inspired merit so by breath is barrd:
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 ;f
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? Vithin wliat space
Hop'st thou my cure ?
_Hel. The greatest grace lending grace,
Ere 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. Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,
Traduced by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Seard 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 savest 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 primes 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 deserved : 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.
Hel. Then shalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand,
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 observed,
Thy will by my performance shall be served;
So make the choice of thy own time; for I,
Thy resolved patient, on thee still rely.
More should I question thee, and more I must:
Though, more to know, could not be more to trust;
From whence thou cam’st, how tended on,-But rest
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.