Imagens das páginas

Prejudicates the business, and would seem
To have us make denial.

1 Lord. His love and wisdom Approv'd so to your Majesty, may plead

For amplest credence.

King. He hath arm'd our answer,

And Florence is deni'd before he comes;
Yet, for our gentlemen that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.

2 Lord. It may well serve A nursery to our gentry, who are sick

For breathing and exploit. King. What's he comes here?

Enter Bertram, Laeeti, and Parolles.

1 Lord. It is the Count Rousillon, my good lord, Young Bertram.

King. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;

Frank Nature, rather curious than in haste,
Hath well composed thee. Thy father's moral parts
May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris. Ber. My thanks and duty are your Majesty's.

King. I would I had that corporal soundness now,
As when thy father and myself, in friendship,
First tried our soldiership! He did look far
Into the service of the time, and was
Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
But on us both did haggish age steal on,
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
To talk of your good father. In his youth
He had the wit which I can well observe
To-day in our young lords; but they may jest
Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour

So like a courtier. Contempt nor bitterness
Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were,
His equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exception bid him speak; and, at this time,
His tongue obey'd his hand. Who were below him
He us'd as creatures of another place,
And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
Making them proud of his humility,
In their poor praise he humbled. Such a man
Might be a copy to these younger times;Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now
But goers backward.

Ber. His good remembrance, sir,

Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb:
So in approof lives not his epitaph,
As in your royal speech.

King. 'Would I were with him! He would always
(Methinks I hear him now: his plausive words
He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them,
To grow there, and to bear,) — "Let me not live," —
This his good melancholy oft began,
On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
When it was out, — "Let me not live," quoth he,"After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
Expire before their fashions : " —This he wish'd.
I, after him, do after him wish too,
Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home,
I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
To give some labourers room.

2 Lord. You're loved, sir:

They that least lend it you shall lack you first. King. I fill a place, I know't. — How long is't,
Since the physician at your father's died?
He was much fam'd.

Ber. Some six months since, my lord.

King. If he were living I would try him yet; — Lend me an arm; — the rest have worn me out With several applications: — Nature and sickness Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, Count: My son's no dearer.

Ber. Thank your Majesty.

[Exeunt. Flourish.

Scene III. Eousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.

Count. I will now hear: what say you of this gentlewoman?

Steward. Madam, the care I have had to even your content I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours: for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah! The complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe: 'tis my slowness that I do not; for I know you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.

Clown. 'Tis not unknown to you, Madam, I am a poor fellow.

Count. Well, sir.

Clo. No, Madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor; though many of the rich are damn'd: but, if I may have your ladyship's good-will to go to the world, Isbel your woman and I will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?

Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case.

Count. In what case?

Clo. In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no heritage: and I think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have issue o' my body; for, they say, barns are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, Madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go that the Devil drives.

Count. Is this all your worship's reason?

Clo. Faith, Madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.

Count. May the world know them?

Clo. I have been, Madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.

Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.

Clo. I am out o' friends, Madam; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. You're shallow, Madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am a-weary of. He that ears my land spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop. If I be his cuckold, he's my drudge. He that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend; ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage: for young Charbon the Puritan, and old Poysam the Papist, howsome'er their hearts are sev er'd in religion, their heads are both one, — they may joll horns together like any deer i' th' herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and calumnious knave?

Clo. A prophet I, Madam; and I speak the truth the next way:

For I the ballad will repeat.

Which men full true shall find; Your marriage comes by destiny, Your cuckoo sings by kind. Count. Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.

Stew. May it please you, Madam, that he bid Helen come to you: of her I am to speak.

Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her; Helen I mean.

Clo. [Singing.] Was this fair face, quoth she, the cause

Why the Grecians sacked Troy 1
Fond done, done fond, [good sooth it was,~]

Was this King Priam's joy.
With that she sighed as she stood,
With that she sighed as she stood,

And gave this sentence then:
Among nine bad if one be good,
Among nine bad if one be good,

There's yet one good in ten.

Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam, which is purifying o' th' song: 'Would God would serve the B2

« AnteriorContinuar »