Page images

Count. This was your motive

For Paris, was it? speak.

Hel. My lord your son made me to think of this;

Else Paris, and the medicine, and the king,
Had, from the conversation of my thoughts,
Haply, been absent then.

Count. 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

A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?

Hel. There's something hints,

More than my father's skill, which was the greatest

Of his profession, that his good receipt
Shall, for my legacy, be sanctified

By the luckiest stars in heaven: and, would your


But give me leave to try succefs, I'd venture
The well-lost 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 love,

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:
Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this,
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.


[blocks in formation]

Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.

Flourish. Enter King, with young lords taking leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, PAROLLES,

and Attendants.

King. Farewel, young lords, these warlike principles

Do not throw from you: and you, my lords, farewel:

Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all,
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd,
And is enough for both.

1. 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 Will not confefs, he owes the malady

That does my life besiege. Farewel, young lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the sons
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 questant shrinks, find what you seek,
That fame may cry you loud: I say, farewel.

2. Lord. Health, at your bidding, serve your


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.
[The King retires to a couch.]

1. Lord. O my sweet lord, that


behind us!

[blocks in formation]

'Tis not his fault; the spark

2. Lord. O, 'tis brave wars!


Most admirable: I have seen those wars. Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil


Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early. Par. An thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away bravely.

Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock, Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,

Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn, But one to dance with! By heaven, I'll steal away. 1. Lord. There's honour in the theft.

Par. Commit it, count.

2. Lord. I am your accessary; and so farewel. Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a

tortured body.

1. 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 shall 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 entrench'd it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports for me.

2. Lord. We shall, noble captain. Par. Mars dote on you for his novices! [Exeunt Lords.]

What will you do?

[ocr errors]

Ber. Stay; the king [seeing him rise.] 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 do muster true gait, eat, speak,

and move under the influence of the most receiv'd star; and though 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 BER. and PAR.]

Enter LAFEU.

Laf. Pardon, my lord, [kneeling.] for me and for my tidings.

King. I'll fee thee to stand up.
Laf. Then here's a man

Stands, that has brought his pardon. I would, you
Had kneel'd, 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. Good faith, acrofs:

But, my good lord, 'tis thus; Will you be cur'd Of your infirmity?

King. No.

Laf. O, will you eat

No grapes, my royal fox? yes, but you will,
My noble
grapes, an if my royal fox
Could reach them: I have seen a medicine,
That's able to breathe life into a stone;

Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary With sprightly fire and motion; whose simple touch

Is powerful to araise king Pepin, nay,

To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand, And write to her a love-line.

King. What her is this?

Laf. Why, doctor she: My lord, there's one


If 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, profession,
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz'd me more
Than I dare blame my weaknefs: Will you see

(For that is her demand,) and know her business? That done, laugh well at me.

King. Now, good Lafeu,

Bring in the admiration; that we with thee May 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 Lafeu.]

King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

Re-enter LAFEU with HELENA.

Laf. Nay, come your ways.

King. This haste hath wings indeed.
Laf. Nay, come your ways;

This is his majesty, say your mind to him:
A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
His majesty seldom fears; I am Cressid's uncle,
That dare leave two together; fare you well.

[Exit.] King. Now, fair one, does your business follow us ?


Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon


My father; in what he did profefs, well found. King. I knew him.

Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards him;

Knowing him, is enough. On his bed of death
Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one,
Which, as the dearest issue of his practice,
And of his old experience the only darling,
He bad me store up, as a triple eye,

« PreviousContinue »