Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

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 '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';
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?
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 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 ?
Hel.

Tax of impudence,--
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,--
Traduc'd by odious ballads ; my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise ; no worse of worst extended“,
With vilest torture let my life be ended.

3

Myself against the level of mine aim ;] i. e. I am not an impostor that proclaim one thing and design another, that proclaim a cure and aim at a fraud.

no worse of worst extended, i. e. to be so defamed that nothing severer can be said against those who are most publickly reported to be infamous.

VOL. III.

4

Q

[ocr errors]

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 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, virtue, all
That happiness and prime' can happy call:
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physick 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.
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':

6

5 And what impossibility would slay

In common sense, sense saves another way.) i. e. and that which, if I trusted to my reason, I should think impossible, I yet, perceiving thee to be actuated by some blessed spirit, think thee capable of effecting. Malone.

in thee hath estimate ;] May be counted among the gifts enjoyed by thee. Johnson.

prime —] Youth ; the sprightly vigour of life.

in property -] In property seems to be here used with much laxity, for—in the due performance.

9 With any branch or image of thy state :) Branch refers to the collateral descendants of the royal blood, and image to the direct and immediate line. HENLEY.

7

8

[ocr errors]

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.

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 can not 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 men.

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 fore-finger, 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.

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

1 To be young again,] The lady censures her own levity in trifling with her jester, as a ridiculous attempt to return back to youth.

? O Lord, sir,] A ridicule on that foolish expletive of speech then in vogue at court.

sequent to your 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-0 Lord, sir: I see, things may serve long, but not serve

ever.

And urge

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,

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.

[Exeunt severally

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

hings, supernatural and causeless. Hence is it, that we make trifles 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 relinquish’d of the artists,

3

modern -] i. e. common, ordinary.
unknoum fear.] Fear is here an object of fear.

4

« AnteriorContinuar »