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Par. Worthy fellows, and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.


Enter LAFEU. Laf. Pardon, my lord, for me and for my tidings.

(Kneeling King. I'll see thee to stand up. Laf. Then here' a man stands, that has brought his pardon.

[Rising? I would, you had kneeld, 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 ask'd thee mercy for 't.

Laf. Goodfaith, across. But, my good lord, 't is thus: Will you be cur'd of your infirmity ?

King. No.

Laf, 0! will you eat no grapes, my royal fox ?
Yes, but you will, ay, noble grapes, an if
My royal fox could reach them. I have seen
A medicine that 's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
With spritely fire and motion ; whose simple touch
Is powerful to upraise3 king Pepin, nay,
To give great Charlemaine a pen in 's hand,
To write to her a love-line.

What her is this?
Laf. Why, doctor she. My lord, there's one arriv'd,
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 amaz’d 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.

Now, good Lafeu,
Bring in the admiration, that we with thee
May spend our wonder too, or take off thine
By wond'ring how thou took'st it.

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 wa

1 here's: in f. e. 2 Not in f. e. 3 araise : info


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, That dare leave two together. Fare you well. (Exit.

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. King

I knew him. Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards him; Knowing him, is enough. On's bed of death Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one Which, as the dearest issue of his practice, And of his old experience th' only darling, He bad 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


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 fits.'

King. I must not hear thee: fare thee well, kind maid.
Thy pains, not us'd, must by thyself be paid :
Proffers, not took, reap thanks for their reward.

Hel. Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd.
It is not so with him that all things knows,
As 't is 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;
But know I think, and think I know most sure,
My art is not past power, nor you past cure.

King. Art thou so confident? Within what space
Hop'st thou my cure ?

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 pilot's 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 ?

Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,
Traduc'd by odious ballads ; my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise; ne worse of worst extended,
With vilest torture let my life be ended. [speak,
King. Methinks, in thee some blessed spirit doth

1 Pope reads : sits. VOL. III.-16

His powerful sound within an organ weak;
And what impossibility would slay
In common sense, sense saves another way.
Thy life is dear; for all, that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate;
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, honour, all
That happiness in prime 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 property
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die ;
And well deserv’d. Not helping, death 's my fee;
But, if I help, what do you promise me?

King. Make thy demand.

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 observ’d,
Thy will by my performance shall be serv'd :
So make the choice of thy own time; for I,
Thy resolv'd 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.

(Flourish. Exeunt. 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.

1 Not in f. e. 2 and : in f. e.


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 a 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 pancake for Shrove-Tuesday, a morris for May-day, 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 ?

Clo. O Lord, sir !—there's a simple putting off.More, more, a hundred of them.

Count, Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.

1 Rush rings are often spoken of as interchanged between rustio lovers.

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