Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 beLaf. 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 repeal'd, 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 brokens 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 death 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 ?

i Lord. And grant it.

* Lusty, cheerful.
# As to the teeth.

+ Except.
Ś Chlorosis.

my life.

Hel. Thanks, Sir; all the rest is mute.* Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw ames-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. tl. 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:
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 :$ 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.

* Titles.
+ Vileness is vileness.

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

King. Take her by the hand,
And tell her, she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoise; if not to thy estate,
A balance more replete.

Ber. I take her hand.

King. Good fortune, and the favour of the king,
Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the new-born brief *
And be perform’d to-night: the solemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'st her,
Thy love 's to me religious; else, does err.

Exeunt KING, BERTRAM, HELENA, LORDS, and Attendants.
Laf. Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.
Par. Your pleasure, Sir ?
Laf. Your ford and master did well to make his recantation.
Par. Recantation ?-My lord ? my master ?
Laf. Ay; is it not a language, I speak ?
Par. A most harsh one; and not to be understood without
bloody succeeding. My master?

Laf. Are you companion to the count Rousillon ?
Par. To any count; to all counts; to what is man.
Laf. To what is count's man; count's master is of another style.
Par. You are too old, Sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.

Laf. I must tell sirrah, I write man; to which title age cannot bring thee.

Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do. Laf. I did think thee, for two ordinaries,t to be a pretty wise fellow;

thou didst maké tolerable vent of thy travel: it might pass : yet the scarfs, and the bannerets, about thee, did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; I and that thou art scarce worth.

Par. Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,

Laf. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou hasten thy trial; which if-Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give me thy hand. Par. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity. Laf. Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it. Par. I have not, my lord, deserved it.

Laf. Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not bate thee a scruple.

Par. Well, I shall be wiser,

Laf. E'en as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pullat a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf, and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my

* 1. e. the contract just made. † I. e. while I sate twice with thee at dinner. # Contradicting.

knowledge; that I may say, in the default,* he is a man I know.

Par. My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.

Laf. I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor doing eternal: for doing I am past; as I willt by thee, in what motion age will give me leave.

[Exit. Par. Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord !-Well, I must be patient;

there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a lord. I'll have no more pity of his age, than I would have of I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.

Re-enter LAFEU. Laf. Sirrah, your lord and master's married, there s news for you; you have a new mistress.

Par. I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make some reservation of your wrongs: He is my good lord: whom I serve above, is my master.

Laf. Who? God ?
Par. Ay, Sir.

Laf. The devil it is, that's thy master. Why dost thou garter up thy arms o' this fashion ? dost make hose of thy sleeves ? do other servants so ? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'd beat thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. I think, thou wast created for men to breathes themselves upon thee.

Par. This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord. Laf. Go to, Sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond, and no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords, and honourable personages, than the heraldry of your birth and virtue gives you commission. You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.

[Exit, Enter BERTRAM. Par. Good, very good; it is so then.-Good, very good; let it be concealed a while.

Ber. Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
Par. What is the matter, sweet heart?

Ber. Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
I will not bed her.
Par. What? what, sweet heart?

Ber. O my Parolles, they have married me:
I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.

Par. France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!

Ber. There's letters from my mother; what the import is, I know not yet.

Par. Ay, that would be known: To the wars, my boy, to the wars! He wears his honour in a box unseen, * At need. † (Pass.)

I Exercise.

« PreviousContinue »