« PreviousContinue »
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.
SCENE II.-Rousillon. The inner Court of the COUNTESS'S
Enter CLOWN and PAROLLES. Par. Good monsieur Lavatch,* give my lord Lafeu this letter: I have, ere now, Sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, Sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat 'no fish of fortune's buttering. Prythee, allow the wind.
Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, Sir; I spake by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, Sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor. "Pr'ythee, get thee further.
Par. Pray you, Sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh, prythee, stand away: A paper from fortune's closestool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself.
Enter LAFEU. Here is a pur of fortune's, Sir, or of fortune's cat (but not a musk-cat), that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal : Pray you, Sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship. [Exit CLOWN.
Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.
Laf. And what would you have me to do? 'tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her ? There's a quart d'écu for you: let the justices make you and fortune friends; I am for other business.
Par. I beseech your honour, to hear me one single word.
Laf. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't: save
Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
Laf. You beg more than one word then.-Cox' my passion ! give me your hand :-how does your drum ?
Par. O my good lord, you were the first that found me.
Laf. Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.
Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
Laf: Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil ? one brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound.] The king's coming, I know by his trumpets:-Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had talk of you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow. Par. I praise God for you,
[Exeunt. SCENE III.-The same. A Room in the COUNTESS'S Palace. Flourish, Enter KING, COUNTESS, LAFEU, LORDS,
GENTLEMEN, Guards, dc.
King. We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem*
Was made much poorer by it: but your son,
As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Her estimation home.t.
Count. 'Tis past, my liege:
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i' the blaze of youth;
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O'erbears it, and burns on.
King. My honour'd lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all ;
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to shoot.
Laf. This I must say,
But first I beg my pardon, The young lord
Did to his majesty, his mother, and his lady,
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all: he lost a wife,
Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Of richest eyes; I whose words all ears took captive;
Whose dear perfection, hearts that scorn’d to serve,
Humbly call'd mistress.
King. Praising what is lost,
Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him hither :-
We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill
All repetition: S-Let him not ask our pardon;
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion do we bury
The incensing relics of it: let him approach,
A stranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.
Gent. I shall, my liege.
[Exit GENTLEMAX. King. What says he to your daughter? have you spoke ? Laf. All that he is hath reference to your highness.
King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me, That set him high in fame.
Laf. He looks well on't.
King. I am not a day of season,*
For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
In me at once : but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth,
The time is fair again.
Ber. My high-repented blames,t
Dear sovereign pardon to me.
King. All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time.
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals ere we can effect them: You remember
The daughter of this lord ?
Ber. Admiringly, my liege : at first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue:
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it stoln;
Extended or contracted all proportions,
To a most hideous object: Thence it came,
That she, whom all men praised, and whom myself,
Since I have lost, have loved, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
King. Well excused :
That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away
From the great compt: But love, that comes too late,
Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
To the great sender turns a sour offence,
Crying, That's good that's gone: our rash faults
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them until we know their grave.
Oft our displeasures to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust :
Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon.
Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her,
Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin:
The main consents are had ; and here we'll stay
To see our widower's second marriage day.
Count. Which better than the first, o dear heaven, bless! Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse ! I
Laf, Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
Must be digested, give a favour from you,
To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
That she may quickly come.-By my old beard,
* I.e. of uninterrupted rain.
And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead,
Was a sweet creature; such a ring as this,
The last that e'er I took her leave at court,
I saw upon her finger.
Ber. Hers it was not.
King. Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye,
While I was speaking, oft, was fasten'd to't.-
This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen,
I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood
Necessitied to help, that by this token
I would relieve her: Had you that craft, to reave her
Of what should stead her most?
Ber. My gracious sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never hers.
Count. Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it, and she reckon'd it
At her life's rate.
Laf. I am sure, I saw her wear it.
Ber. You are deceived, my lord, she never saw it:
In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain’d the name
Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought
I stood ingaged :* but when I had subscribed
To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully,
I could not answer in that course of honour
As she had made the overture, she ceased,
In heavy satisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.
King. Plutus himself,
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicinef
Hath not in nature's mystery more science,
Than I have in this ring : 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
Whoever gave it you: Then, if you know
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement,
You got it from her: she call’d the saints to surety,
That she would never put it from her finger,
Unless she gave it to yourself in bed
(Where you have never come), or sent it us
Upon her great disaster.
Ber. She never saw it.
King. Thou speak’st it falsely, as I love mine honour;
And mak’st conjectural fears to come into me,
Which I would fain shut out: If it should prove
That thou art so inhuman,-'twill not prove so ;-
And yet I know not:-thou didst hate her deadly,
And she is dead; which nothing, but to close
Her eyes myself, could win me to believe,
More than to see this ring.–Take him away.--
[Guards seize BERTRAM.
) ALL'S WELL TILAT ENDS WELL.
My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Having vainly fear'd too little.-Away with him ;-
We'll sift this matter further.
Ber. If you shall prove
This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Where yet she never was.
[Exit' BERTRAM, guarded.
Enter a GENTLEMAN.
King. I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.
Gent. Gracious sovereign,
Whether I have been to blame, or no, I know not;-
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath, for four or five removes, * come short
To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
Is here attending: her business looks in her
With an importing visage ; and she told me,
In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your highness with herself.
King. [ Reads.] Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now is the count Rousillon a widower; his vows are forfeited to
and my honour's paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow him to his country for justice : Grant it me, O king in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer flourishes, and a poor maid is undone.
DIANA CAPULET. Laf. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll him:t for this, I'll none of him.
King. The heavens have thought well on thee, Lafeu,
To bring forth this discovery.-Seek these suitors :-
Go, speedily, and bring again the count.
[Exeunt GENTLEMAN, and some Attendants.
I am afeard, the life of Helen, lady,
Was foully snatch'd.
Count. Now, justice on the doers !
Enter BERTRAM, guarded.
King. I wonder, Sir, since wives are monsters to you,
And that you fly them as you swear them lordship,
Yet you desire to marry.-What woman's that?
Re-enter GENTLEMAN, with Widow and DIANA.
Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derived from the ancient Capulet;
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
And therefore know how far I may be pitied.
Wid. I am her mother, Sir, whose age and honour