Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Than our fore-goers: the mere word's a slave,

Debosh'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 should'st strive to choose.

Hel. That you are well restor'd, my lord, I'm 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 misprision shackle up My love, and her desert; that canst not dream, We, poising 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 Fly 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.

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 lord 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 thee, 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, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didst make 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 burthen. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and that thou 'rt 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, deserv'd it.

Laf. Yes, good faith, ev'ry drachm of it: and I will not bate thee a scruple.

Par. Well, I shall be wiser.

Laf. Ev'n as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at 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 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 will 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.

Enter Lafetj.

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 breathe 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 commission of your birth and virtue gives you heraldry. 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 conceal'd a while. Vol. y. D

Ber. Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!

Par. What's the matter, sweet heart?

Ber. Although before the solemn priest I have sworn, I will not bed her.

Par. What? what, sweet heart?

Ber. 0 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 th' wars!

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

Par. Ay, that would be known. To th' wars, my boy, to th' wars!He wears his honour in a box unseen That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home; Spending his manly marrow in her arms, Which should sustain the bound and high curvet Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions! France is a stable; we, that dwell in't, jades; Therefore, to th' war!

Ber. It shall be so; I'll send her to my house; Acquaint my mother with my hate to her, And wherefore I am fled; write to the King That which I durst not speak. His present gift Shall furnish me to those Italian fields, Where noble fellows strike. War is no strife To the dark house, and the detested wife.

Par. Will this capricio hold in thee, art sure?

Ber. Go with me to my chamber, and advise me. I'll send her straight away. To-morrow I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.

Par. Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard: A young man married is a man that's marr'd:

« AnteriorContinuar »