Imagens das páginas

They say, our French lack language to deny,
If they demand; beware of being captives,
Before you serve'.

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 spark

2 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


Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn,
But one to dance with! By heaven, I'll steal away.
1 Lord. There's honour in the theft.

Our hearts receive your warnings.


Commit it, count.

2 Lord. I am your accessary; and so farewell. Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.

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.


beware of being captives,

Before you serve.] The word serve is equivocal; the sense is, Be not captives before you serve in the war.


and no sword worn,

[ocr errors]


But one to dance with!] It should be remembered that, in Shakspeare's time, it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords Our author gave to all countries the manners of his own.

2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.

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, there, do muster true gait, 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.

Enter LAFEU.

Laf. Pardon, my lord, [kneeling.] for me and for
my tidings.

King. I'll fee thee to stand up.

Then here's a man
Stands, that has brought his pardon. I would you
Had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy; and
That, at my bidding, you could so stand up.


they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there, do muster true gait, &c.] The obscurity of the passage arises from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without allowing time for his judgment to determine their congruity. The cap of time being the first image that occurs, true gait, manner of eating, speaking, &c. are the several ornaments which they muster, place, or arrange in time's cap. This is done under the influence of the most received star; that is, the person in the highest repute for setting the fashions:-and though the devil were to lead the measure, or dance of fashion, such is their implicit submission, that even he must be followed. HENLEY.


lead the measure,] i. e. the dance.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate, And ask'd thee mercy for't.


Goodfaith, across*: But, my good lord, 'tis thus; Will you be cured Of your infirmity?




O, will you eat
No grapes, my royal fox? yes, but you will,
My 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 araise king Pepin, nay,

To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand,
And write to her a love-line.


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 amaz'd me more
Than I dare blame my weakness: Will you see her


across:] This word is used when any pass of wit miscarries. While chivalry was in vogue, breaking spears against a quintain was a favourite exercise. He who shivered the greatest number was esteemed the most adroit; but then it was to be performed exactly with the point, for if achieved by a side stroke, or across, it showed unskilfulness, and disgraced the practiser.


medicine,] Is here put for a she-physician.

dance canary,] A kind of dance.


her years, profession,] By profession is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her coming.

8 Than I dare blame my weakness:] Lafeu's meaning appears to me to be this :-"That the amazement she excited in him was so great, that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occasioned it.” M. MASON.


[ocr errors]

(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.


And not be all day neither.

King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA.

Nay, I'll fit you,

[ocr errors]

[Exit LAFEU.

Laf. Nay, come your ways.

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.
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
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 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,

This haste hath wings indeed.

9 Cressid's uncle,] I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida.

well found.] i. e. of known, acknowledged, excellence.

I come to tender it, and my appliance,
With all bound humbleness.

We thank you, maiden;
But not be so credulous of cure,
When our most learned doctors leave us; and
The congregated college have concluded

That labouring art can never ransome 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 émpiricks; 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


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.

2 When miracles have by the greatest been denied.] i, e. disbelieved, or contemned.

« AnteriorContinuar »