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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,
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,to
That dare leave two together; fare you well.
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, -
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 flown,
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 barrid:
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 ;t
But know I think, and think I know most sure,
My art is not past power, nor you
King. Art thou so confident? Within what 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 pilots 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;f
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 pro rty
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?
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.
* The worst said of me that can be said of the worst.
† Another sense vindicates,
The spring of life.
| Proper performance, VOL II.
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? But to the court!
clo. 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 à 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 Mayday, 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 ?
člo. O Lord, Sir! There's a simple putting off;--more, more, a hundred of them.
Count. Sir, I am 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
* 1. 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-O 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.
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 trifies 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.
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 facinorious. spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the
Laf. Very hand of heaven.
Par. Ay, so I say.
Laf. In a most weak-