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well. Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam, which is a purifying o'th' fong: 'would God would serve the world lo all the year ! we'd find no fault with the tithe-woman, if I were the parfon. One in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing ítar, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.
Count. You'll be gone, Sir Knave, and do as I command you?
Clo. That man that should be at a woman's command, and yet no hurt done! tho' honesty be no Puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart. I am going, forsooth, the business is for Helen to come hither.
[Exit. Count. Well, now.
Stew. I know, Madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
Count. 'Faith, I do; her father bequeath'd her to me; and she herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds: there is more owing her than is paid, and more thall be paid her than she'll demand.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than I think she wish'd me ; alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she lov’d your fon : Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; Love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surpris'd without rescue in the first assault, or ransom afterward. This the deliver'd in the most bitter touch of sorrow that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal ; fithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
Gount. You have discharg‘d this honestly, keep it to yourself: many likelihoods inform’d me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I couli nu her believe nor mildoubt. Pray you, leave me;
ftall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your ho-
I will speak
S CE NE VII. Enter Helena. Count. Ev’n so it was with me when I was young ;
If we are nature's, these are ours : this thorn Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
Our blood to us, this to our blood, is born ;
It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
Where love's strong paffion is impress'd in youth;
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults; O! then we thought them none.
eye is fick on't; I observe her now.-
Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam?
Count. Helen, you know I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable Mistress.
Count. Nay, a mother.
Why not a mother ? when I said a mother,
Methought you saw a ferpent; what's in mother,
you start at it? I say, I'm your mother; And put you in the catalogue of those,
That were enwombed mine ; 'tis often-feen,
Adoption ftrives with nature; and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
You ne'er oppress’d me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care,
God's mercy! maiden, do's it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother ? what's the matter,
That this diftemper'd mefienger of wet,
The many-colour’d Iris, round thine eyes ?
Why,--that you are my daughter ?
Hel. That I am not.
Count. I say I ain your mother.
Hel. Pardon, Madam.
The Count Rousillon cannot be my brother ;
I am from humble, he from honour’d name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble.
My master, my dear lord he is; and I
His servant live, and will his vassal die :
He must not be my brother. -
Count. Nor I
Hel. You are my mother, Madam; would you were (So that my
Lord, your son, were not my brother) Indeed my mother !-- or were you both our mothers, (I can no more fear than I do fear heav’n), So I were not his sister : can't no other, But I your daughter, he must be
brother ? Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in
God shield you mean it not, daughter and mother
So strive upon your pulse. What! pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness.- -Now I fee
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Your falt tears' head; now to all sense 'tis gross,
You love my son ; invention is afham’d,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say thou dost not; therefore tell me true;
But tell me then ’tis fo. For, look, thy cheeks
Confess it one to th’other; and thine eyes
See it fo grossly shown in thy behaviour,
That in their kind they speak it : only fin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected; speak, is 't so!
If it be so, you've wound a goodly clew :
If it be not, forswear 't ; howe'er, I charge thee,
As heav'n fhall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly.
Hel. Good Madam, pardon me.
Hel. Your pardon, noble Mistress,
Count. Love you my son ?
Hel. Do not you love him, Madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in 't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
The ftate of your affection ; for your passions
Have to the full appeach'd.
Hel. Then, I confess,
Here on my knec, before high heav'ns and you,
That before you, and next unto high heav'n,
I love your fon.
Ny friends were poor, but honest; so 's my love.
Be not offended; for it hurts not him,
That he is lov’d of me; I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit :
Nor would I have him, till I do deserve him;
Yet never know, how that desert shall be.
I know I love in vain, strive against hope ;
Yet, in this captious and intenible sieve,
I still pour in the waters of my love,
And lack not to lose ftill: thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore
The fun that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more. My dearest Madam,
Let not your hate encounter with my love,
For loving where you do; but if yourself,
Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever in so true a flame of liking
Wish chaftly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love; O then give pity
To her, whose state is such, that cannot chuse
But lend, and give, where she is sure to lose;
That seeks not to find that which search implies;
But, riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies.
Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
To go to Paris ?
Hel. Madam, I had.
Count. Wherefore ? tell true.
Hel. I will tell truth; by grace itself, I swear.
You know, my father left me some prescriptions
Of rare and prov'd effects ; such as his reading
And manifest experience had collected
For general sov’reignty; and that he will’d me,
In heedfull’it reservation to bestow theni,
As notes, whose faculties inclusive were,
More than they were in note : amongit the rest,
There is a remedy, approv'd, set down,
To cure the desperate languishings whereof
The King is render'd loft.
Count. This was your motive for Paris, was it, speak ?
Hel. My Lord your son made me to think of this;
Elfe Paris, and the medicine, and the King,
Had from the conversation of my thoughts
Haply been absent then.
Gount. But think you, Helen,
If you should tender your supposed aid,
He would receive it? He and his physicians
Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him;
They, that they cannot help. How shall they credit
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?
Hel. There's fomething hints
More than my father's skill, (which was the great'st
Of his profession), that his good receipt
Shall for my legacy be fanctified
By th' luckiest stars in heav'n; and, would your
But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
The well-loft life of mine on his Grace's cure,
By such a day and hour.
Count. Dost thou believe 't?
Hel. Ay, Madam, knowingly.
Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and
Means and attendants; and my loving greetings
To those of mine in court. I'll stay at home,
And pray God's blessing into thy attempt : ,
Begone, to-morrow; and be sure of this,
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not niiss.
The court of France. Enter the King, with divers young Lords taking leave for
the Florentine war. Bertram and Parolles. Flourish
cornets. King. Arewel, young Lords : these warlike prin
ciples Do not throw from you : you, my Lords, farewel; Share the advice betwixt you.
If both gain, The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv’d, And is enough for both.
i Lord. "Tis our hope, Sir, After well-enter'd soldiers, to return And find your Grace in health.
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart