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SCENE I. 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,
It is our hope, sir,
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;
Of worthy Frenchmen. Let higher Italy
1 In this and the following instance the folio reads lords. The correction was suggested by Tyrwhitt.
2 i. e. my spirits, by not sinking under my distemper, do not acknowledge its influence.
3 Johnson's explanation of this obscure passage is preferable to any that has been offered:-"Let Upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valor, see that you come to gain honor, to the abatement, that is, to the overthrow, of those who inherit but the fall of the last monarchy, or the remains of the Roman empire." Bated and abated are used elsewhere by Shakspeare in a kindred sense.
4 Seeker, inquirer.
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. O my sweet lord, that you will stay behind
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 coil, 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, Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry, Till honor be bought up, and no sword worn, But one to dance with! By Heaven, I'll steal away. 1 Lord. There's honor 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.2
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 entrenched it. Say to him, I live; and observe his reports for me.
2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.
1 To be kept a coil is to be vexed or troubled with a stir or noise.
2 "I grow to you, and our parting is, as it were, to dissever or torture
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,1 there do muster true gait;2 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 sword-men. [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 Had kneeled, 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 asked thee mercy for't.
But, my good lord, 'tis thus:
O, will you eat
1 They are the foremost in the fashion.
2 It would seem that this passage has been wrongly pointed and improperly explained, there do muster true gait; if addressed to Bertram, it means there exercise yourself in the gait of fashion; eat, &c. But perhaps we should read they instead of there, or else insert they after gait; either of these slight emendations would render this obscure passage perfectly intelligible.
3 The dance.
4 This word, which is taken from breaking a spear across, in chivalric exercises, is used elsewhere by Shakspeare, where a pass of wit miscarries. See As You Like It, Act iii. Sc. 4.
No grapes, my royal fox? Yes, but you will,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary,'
To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand,
What her is this?
Laf. Why, doctor she. My lord, there's one arrived,
In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
And not be all day neither.
King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
Nay, I'll fit you,
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,3 That dare leave two together; fare you well.
1 It has been before observed that the canary was a kind of lively dance.
2 By profession is meant her declaration of the object of her coming. 3 I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida.
King. Now, fair one, does your business follow
Hel. Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon was My father; in what he did profess, well found.
King. I knew him.
Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards
Knowing him, is enough. On his bed of death
We thank you, maiden; But may not be so credulous of cure,When our most learned doctors leave us; and The congregated college have concluded That laboring 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
King. I cannot give thee less, to be called grateful
1 A third eye.