Page images
[blocks in formation]

SCENE: Rousillon; Paris; Florence: Marseilles.


SCENE I. Rousillon. The COUNT's palace.

Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS of ROUSILLON, HELENA, and LAFEU, all in black.

Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.

Ber. And I in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.


Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, madam sir, a father: he that so generally is at all times good must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted rather than lack it where there is such abundance.

Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment? Laf. He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope, and finds no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.

Count. This young gentlewoman had a father,-0, that "had"! how sad a passage 'tis whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, would have


nature immortal, and death should have play for lack ork. Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I it would be the death of the king's disease.

f. How called you the man you speak of, madam? int. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was reat right to be so: Gerard de Narbon. 31

f. He was excellent indeed, madam: the king very spoke of him admiringly and mourningly. he was al enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set gainst mortality.

r. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of? f. A fistula, my lord.

r. I heard not of it before.


f. I would it were not notorious. Was this gentlean the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?

unt. His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my ooking. I have those hopes of her good that her edun promises; her dispositions she inherits, which makes gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuualities, there commendations go with pity; they are es and traitors too: in her they are the better for their leness; she derives her honesty and achieves her good

f. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears. unt. "Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise The remembrance of her father never approaches her

but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood her cheek. No more of this, Helena; go to, no more; t be rather thought you affect a sorrow than have it. 7. I do affect a sorrow indeed, but I have it too.

f. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, exve grief the enemy to the living.

unt. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess es it soon mortal.

7. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.

f. How understand we that?


int. Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father anners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue end for empire in thee, and thy goodness ⇒ with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few, rong to none: be able for thine enemy. er in power than use, and keep thy friend er thy own life's key: be check'd for silence, never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will, thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down, on thy head! Farewell, my lord;

an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,



Advise him.

Laf, He cannot want the best That shall attend his love.

Count. Heaven bless him! Farewell, Bertram.


Ber. [To Helena] The best wishes that can be forged in your thoughts be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.


Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of your father. [Exeunt Bertram and Lafeu. Hel. O, were that all! I think not on my father; And these great tears grace his remembrance more. Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination Carries no favour in't but Bertram's. I am undone there is no living, none, If Bertram he away. Twere all one That I should love a bright particular star And think to wed it, he is so above me : In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not in his sphere. The ambition in my love thus plagues itself: The hind that would be mated by the lion Must die for love. "Twas pretty, though a plague, To see him every hour; to sit and draw His arched brows, his hawking eyes, his curls, In our heart's table; heart too capable Of every line and trick of his sweet favour: But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his reliques. Who comes here?



[Aside] One that goes with him: I love him for his sake, And yet I know him a notorious liar, 111

Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,

That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
+Look bleak 'i the cold wind: withal, full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.

Par. Save you, fair queen!

Hel. And you, monarch!

Par. No.

Hel. And no.


Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

Hel Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you: let me ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?

Par. Keep him out.

el. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant, e defence yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike re


r. There is none: man, sitting down before you, will ermine you and blow you up. 130

el. Bless our poor virginities from underminers and vers up! Is there no military policy, how virgins might up men?

ur. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be n up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the ch yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not polin the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity of virginity is rational increase and there was never n got till virginity was first lost. That you were made metal to make virgins. Virginity by being once lost be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever lost : oo cold a companion; away with 't!

l. I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die a


r. There's little can be said in 't; 'tis against the rule ture. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He hangs himself is a virgin : virginity murders itself; should be buried in highways out of all sanctified , as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity is mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. les, virginity is peevishi, proud, idle, made of self-love, h is the most inhibited sin in the canon, Keep it not; cannot choose but lose by 't: out with 't! within ten it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase; he principal itself not much the worse: away with 't! 7. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking? r. Let me see: marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it

"Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the er kept, the less worth off with 't while 'tis vendible; er the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, s her cap out of fashion: richly suited, but unsuitable: ike the brooch and the tooth-pick, which wear not now: date is better in your pie and your porridge than in cheek and your virginity, your old virginity, is like f our French withered pears, it looks ill, it eats drily, , 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, is a withered pear: will you anything with it? . Not my virginity yet.

e shall your master have a thousand loves, ther and a mistress and a friend,



A phoenix, captain and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he-
I know not what he shall. God send him well!
The court's a learning place, and he is one-
Par. What one i' faith?

Hel. That I wish well. 'Tis pity

Par. What's pity?

Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Which might be felt; that we, the poorer born,
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends,
And show what we alone must think, which never
Returns us thanks.



Enter Page.

Page. Mounsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you. [Exit. Par. Little Helen, farewell: if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.

Hel. Mounsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.

Par. Under Mars, I.

Hel. I especially think, under Mars.

Par. Why under Mars?

Hel. The wars have so kept you under that you must needs be born under Mars.


Par. When he was predominant.

Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.

Par. Why think you so?

Hel. You go so much backward when you fight.
Par. That's for advantage.

Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety but the composition that your valour and fear makes in is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.

you 219 Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely. I will return perfect courtier; in the which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast

« PreviousContinue »