Page images

Will not confess it owns the malady
That doth my life befiege: farewel, young Lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the fons
Of worthy Frenchmen; let Higher Italy
(Those 'bated that inherit but the fall
Of the last monarchy + ) see, that you come
Not to woo Honour, but to wed it ; when
The bravest queftant shrinks, find what you seek,
That fame may cry you loud : I say, farewel.

2 Lord. Health at your bidding serve your Majesty!

King. Those girls of Italy,--take heed of them;
They say, our French lack language to deny,
If they demand : beware of being captives,
Before you serve.

Both. Our hearts receive your warnings.
King. Farewel. Come hither to me. To attendants.

[Exit. i Lord. Oh, my sweet Lord, that you will stay be

hind us ! Par. Tis not his fault; the spark 2 Lord. Oh, '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 bravely.

Ber. Shall I stay here the forehorse to a smock,

* The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the Higherand the Lower, the Appennine hills being a kind of natural line of partition. The side next the Adriatic was denominated the bligher Italy, and the other side the Lower. And the two seas followed the fame terms of distinction; the Adriatic being called the Upper fea, and the Tyrrhene or Tuscan the Lower. Now, the Sennones or Senois, with whom the Florentincs are here supposed to be at war, inhabited the Higher Italy, their chief town being Arminum, now called Rimini, upon the Adriatic. + Italy, at the time of this scene, was under three very

different The Emperor, as fucceffor of the Roman Emperors, had one part; the Pope, by a pretended donation from Constantine, another; and the third was composed of free states. Now, by the last monarchy is meant the Roman, the last of the four general monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the scramble, several cities set up for themselves and became free states; now, these might be said properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy.


Creeking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Till Honour be bought up, and no sword worn
But one to dance with ? By heav’n I'll steal away.

i Lord. There's honour in the theft.
Par. Commit it, Count.
2 Lord. I am your accesary, and so farewel.

Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortur'd body.

i Lord. Farewel, Captain.
2 Lord. Sweet Monsieur Parolles !

Par. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin; good sparks and lustrous. A word, good metals. You thall 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 intrench'd it; say to him, I live, and observe his

reports 2 Lord. We shall, noble Captain. Par. Mars doat on you for his novices ? what will

of me.

ye do?

Ber. Stay; the King

[Exeunt Lords. Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the Noble Lords, you have restrain’d 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 to mufter true gate, eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most receiv'd star: and tho' the devil lead the measure, such are to be follow'd : after them, and take ,a more dilated farewel.

Ber. And I will do so.

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

[Exeunt. SCENE II. Enter the King, and Lafeu. Laf. Pardon, my Lord, for me and for my tidings. King.

I'll fee thee to stand up.
Laf. Then here's a man stands that hath bought his

pardon. I would you had kneelid, 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, 'tis Will you be cur'd of your infirmity ?

[thus ; King. No.

Laf. O, will you eat no grapes, my Royal fox? Yes; but


will, an if
My Royal fox could reach them: I have seen a medi.
That's able to breathe life into a stone; [cine *,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
With sprightly fire and motion; whose fimple touch
Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay,
To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand,
And write to her a love-line.

King. What her is this?
Laf. Why, doctor-lhe: my Lord, there's one arrir'd,

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, profesion to
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz’d me more.
Than I dare blame


weakness : will
For that is her demand, and know her businefs ?
That done, laugh well at me.

King. Now, good Lafeu,
Bring in the admiration, that we with thee

spend our wonder too, or take off thine, By wond'ring how thou took’st it.

Laf. Nay, I'll fit you, And not be all day neither.

[Exit Lafer. King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues, Laf. [Returns.] Nay, come your ways.

[Bringing in Helena. King. This hafte hath wings indeed.

Laf. Nay, come your ways, This is his majesty, say your mind to him; Atraitor you do look like; but such traitors His Majesty seldom fears ; I'm Creflid's uncle, That dare leave two together : fare you well. [Exit.


see her,

* Medicine is here put for a she-physician.

+ By profession is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her comiug.

King. Now, fair one, do's 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 praise toward him;
Knowing him, is enough : on’s bed of death
Many receipts he gave me, chiefly one,
Which as the deareft issue of his practice,
And of his old experience th' only darling,
He bade 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 you, maiden ;
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
Fron her unaidable estate : we must not
So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malady
To empirics; or to diffever so

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 inforce mine office on you;
Humbly intreating from your royal thoughts
A modest one to bear me back again.

King. I cannot give thee less, to be callid grateful;
Thou thought'it 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 dry'd,
When mir’cles have by th' greatest been deny’d.
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 Thy pains, not us’d, must by thyself be paid : [maid ; 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 Heav'n we count the act of men.
Dear Sir, to my endeavours give consent,
Of Heav'n, not me, make an expériment.
I am not an impoftor, 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 mark and occidental damp
Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
Hath told the thievilh minutes how they pass;
What is infirm from sound


shall fly, Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.

King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'ft thou venture ?

Hel. Tax of impudence,
A ftrumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,
Traduc'd by odious ballads : my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise, no worse of worst extended;
With vileft torture let iny life be ended.


« PreviousContinue »