Page images
PDF
EPUB

men.

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.

Clo. I will show myself highly fed, and lowly taught; I know my business is but to the court.

Count. To the court! why, what place make you special, when you put off that with such contempt? Bu the court!

cło. Truly, Madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make a leg, put off's cap, kiss his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and, indeed, such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court: but for me, I have an answer will serve all

Count. Marry, that's a bountiful answer, that fits all questions,

Clo. It is like a barber's chair, that fits all buttocks; the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn-buttock, or any buttock.

Count. Will your answer serve fit to all questions ?

Clo. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for your taffata punk, as Tib's rush* for Tom's forefinger, as a pan-cake for Shrove-Tuesday, a morris for May. day, as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; nay, as the pudding

to his skin. Count. Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all questions?

Clo. From below your duke, to beneath your constable, it will fit any question.

Count. It must be an answer of most monstrous size that must fit all demands.

Clo. But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that belongs to't: Ask me if I am a courtier; it shall do you no harm to learn.

Count.-to be young again, if we could: I will be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I pray you, Sir, are you a courtier ?

clo. O Lord, Sir! There's a simple putting off;—more, more, a hundred of them.

Count. Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
Clo. O Lord, Sir!--Thick, thick, spare not me.
Count. I think, Sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
Clo. O Lord, Sir!-Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
Count. You were lately whipped, Sir, as I think.
Clo. O Lord, Sir!-Spare not me.

Count. Do you cry, O Lord, Sir, at your whipping, and spare not me? Indeed, your O Lord, Sir, is very sequent to your

* I. e. the rush wedding-ring, used by those who could not buy a better.

whipping; you would answer very well to a whipping, if you were but bound to’t.

Clo. I ne'er had worse luck in my life, in my-0 Lord, Sir : I see, things may serve long, but not serve ever.

Count. I play the noble housewife with the time, to entertain it so merrily with a fool.

Clo, O Lord, Sir,- Why, there't serves well again.

Count. An end, Sir, to your business: Give Helen this,
And urge her to a present answer back :
Commend me to my kinsmen, and my son;
This is not much.

Clo. Not much commendation to them.
Count. Not much employment for you: You understand me?
Clo. Most fruitfully; I am there before my legs.
Count. Haste you again.

[Exeunt severally.

SCENE III.-Paris. A Room in the KING's Palace.

Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES. Laf. They say, miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons to make modern* and familiar things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.

Par. Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath shot out in our latter times.

Ber. And so 'tis.
Laf. To be relinquished of the artists,-
Par. So I say; both of Galen and Paracelsus.
Laf. Of all the learned and authentic fellows,-
Par. Right; so I say.
Laf. That gave him out incurable,
Par. Why, there 'tis; so say I too.
Laf. Not to be helped, -
Par. Right: as 'twere a man assured of an-
Laf. Uncertain life, and sure death.
Par. Just; you say well; so would I have said.
Laf. I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.

Par. It is, indeed; if you will have it in showing, you shall read it in, -What do you call there ?-

Laf. A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.
Par. That's it I would have said ; the very same.

Laf. Why, your dolphint is not lustier; 'fore me, I speak in respect

Par. Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange; that is the brief and the tedious of it; and he is of a most facinoriousI spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the

Laf. Very hand of heaven.
Par. Ay, so I say.
Laf. In a most weak-

* Ordinary.

Wicked.

+ The dauphin.

Par. And debile minister, great power, great transcendance; which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made, than alone the recovery of the king, as to be Laf. Generally thankful.

Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. Par. I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.

Laf. Lustic, * as the Dutchman says : I'll like a maid the better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: Why, he's able to lead her a coranto.

Par. Mort du Vinaigre! Is not this Helen ?
Laf. 'Fore God, I think so.
King. Go, call before me all the lords in court.

[Exit an Attendant,
Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side;
And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense
Thou hast repeald, a second time receive
The confirmation of my promised gift,
Which but attends thy naming.

Enter several LORDS.
Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
O’er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
I have to use: thy frank election make;
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.

Hel. To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
Fall, when love please !-marry! to each, butt one.

Laf. I'd give bay Curtal, and his furniture,
My mouth no more were brokent than these boys,
And writ as little beard.

King. Peruse them well:
Not one of those, but had a noble father.

Hel. Gentlemen,
Heaven hath, through me, restored the king to health.
All. We understand it, and thank heaven for you.

Hel. I am a simple maid; and therein wealthiest,
That, I protest, I simply am a maid :
Please it your majesty, I have done already.
The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
We blush, that thou shouldst choose; but, be refused,
Let the white deaths sit on thy cheek for ever ;
We'll ne'er: come there again.

King. Make choice; and, see,
Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.

Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly;
And to imperial Love, that god most high,
Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?

1 Lord. And grant it.

* Lusty, cheerful.

As to the teeth.

+ Except.

Chlorosis.

my life.

Hel. Thanks, Sir; all the rest is mute.* Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw anes-ace for Hel. The honour, Sir, that flames in your fair eyes, Before I speak, too threateningly replies: Love make your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes, and her humble love!

2 Lord. No better, if you please. Hel. My wish receive, Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.

Laf. Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of.

Hel. Be not afraid [To a LORD] that I your hand should take; I'll never do you wrong for your own sake: Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!

Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her: sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them.

Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too good, To make yourself a son out of my blood.

4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so.

Laf. There's one grape yet, -I am sure thy father drank wine. But if thou þe’st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen: I have known thee already.

Hel. I dare not say, I take you (T. BERTRAM]; but I give
Me, and my service, ever whilst I live,
Into your guiding power. This is the man.
King.
Why then, young Bertram,

take her, she's thy wife.
Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your highness,
In such a business give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.

King. Know'st thou not, Bertram,
What she has done for me?

Ber. Yes, my good lord;
But never hope to know why I should marry her.

King. Thou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.
Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Must answer for your raising? I know her well;
She had her breeding at my father's charge:
A poor physician's daughter my wife !— Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!

King. 'Tis only titlet thou disdain'st in her, the which
I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty : If she be
All that is virtuous (save what thou dislikest,
A poor physician's daughter), thou dislikest
Of virtue for the name: but do not so:

* 1. e. I have no more to say to you. † 1. e. the want of title.

From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by the doer's deed :
Where great additions* swell, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour: good alone
Is good, without a name: vileness is so:ť
The property by what it is should go,
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's born, I
And is not like the sire: 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 dust, 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 dower; honour and wealth, from me.

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

Hel. That you are well restored, my lord, I am glad;
Let the rest go.

King. My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,
I must produce my power: Here, take her hand,
Proud, scornful boy, unworthy this good gift;
That dost in vile misprison shackle up
My love, and her desert; thou canst not dream,
We, poizing us in her defective scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beam :8 that wilt not know,
It is in us to plant thine honour where
We please to have it grow: Check thy contempt:
Obey our will, which travails 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; both my revenge and hate,
Loosing 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 it, I find, that she, which late
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
Is, as 'twere, born so.

[ocr errors]

* Titles.
of Vileness is vileness.

Child. If we put ourselves into her scale, we shall throw your scale up to the beam.

« PreviousContinue »