Page images

Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull.
What power is it, which mounts my love so high;
That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?
The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
To join like likes, and kifs like native things.
Impossible be strange attempts, to those
That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose,
What hath been cannot be: Whoever strove
To shew her merit, that did mifs her love?
The king's disease— my project may deceive me,
But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me.


Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish of cornets. Enter the king of France, with letters; Lords and others attending.

King. The Florentines and Senoys are by the

{ ears;

Have fought with equal fortune, and continue
A braving war.

1. Lord. So 'tis reported, sir.

King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it A certainty, vouch'd from oúr cousin Austria, With caution, that the Florentine will move us For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend Prejudicates the businefs, and would seem To have us make denial.

1. Lord. His love and wisdom, Approv'd so to your majesty, may plead For amplest credence.

King. He hath arm'd our answer,
And Florence is deny'd before he comes:
Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.

2. Lord. It may well serve

A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
For breathing and exploit.

King. What's he comes here?


1. Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord,

Young Bertram.

King. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face; Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,

Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts

May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.

Ber. My thanks and duty are your 'majesty's. King. I would I had that corporal soundness


As when thy father, and myself, in friendship.
First try'd our soldiership! He did look far
Into the service of the time, and was
Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long;
But on us both did haggish age steal on,
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
To talk of your good father: In his youth
He had the wit, which I can well observe
To-day in our young lords; but they may jest,
Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour..
So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
Were in his pride or sharpnefs; if they were,
His equal had awak'd them, and his honour,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exception bid him speak, and, at that time,
His tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him
He us'd as creatures of another place;

And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
Making them proud of his humility,

In their poor praise he humbled: Such a man

Might be a copy to these younger times; Which, follow'd well, would démonstrate them

But goers backward.


Ber. His good remembrance, sir,

Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb; So in approof lives not his epitaph,

As in your royal speech.

King. 'Would, I were with him! He would always say,

(Methinks, I hear him now; his plausive words
He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them,
To grow there, and to bear,) Let me not live,-
Thus his good melancholy oft began,

On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
When it was out, let me not live, quoth he,
After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
Expire before their fashions: This he wish'd:

I, after him, do after him wish too,

Since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home, I quickly were dissolved from my hive,

To give some labourers room.

2. Lord. You are lov'd, sir;

They, that least lend it you, shall lack you first. King. I fill a place, I know't. How long

is't, count,

[ocr errors]

Since the physician at your father's died?
He was much fam'd.

Ber. Some six months since, my lord.

King. If he were living, I would try him yet; Lend me an arm; the rest have worn me out

With several applications:
Debate it at their leisure.
My son's no dearer.

nature and sickness Welcome, count;

Ber. Thank your majesty.


[ocr errors]



A Room in the Count's Palace.

Enter Countefs, Steward, and Clown. Count. I will now hear: what gentlewoman?

say you of this

Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah: The complaints, I have heard of you, I do not all believe; 'tis my slowness, that I do not: for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.

Clown. "Tis not unknown to you, madam, that I am a poor fellow.

Count. Well, sir.

Clown. No, madam, 'tis not so well, that I am poor; though many of the rich are damn'd: But, if I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?


Clown. I do beg your good will in this case. Count. In what case?

[ocr errors]

Clown. In Ishel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage: and, I think, I shal! never have the blessing of God, till I have issue of my body; for, they say, bearns are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt


Clown. My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go, that the devil drives.

Count. Is this all your worship's reason? Clown. 'Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.

Count. May the world know them?

Clown. I have been, malam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry, that I may repent.

Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickednefs.

Clown. I am out of friends, madam; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave. Clown. You are shallow, madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am a-weary of. He, that ears my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge: He, that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he, that cherishes my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves my flesh and blood, is friend: ergo, my he that kisses my wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are sever'd in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together, like any deer i' the herd. Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and calumnious knave?

[ocr errors]

Clown. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next way:

For I the ballad will repeat,

Which men full true shall find;
Your marriage comes by destiny,
Your cuckoo sings by kind.

Count. Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you

more anon.


« PreviousContinue »