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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 humblenefs.

King. We thank you, maiden;

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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
From her inaidable estate,

I say we must not
So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malady

To empiricks; or to dissever so

Our 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 enforce mine office on you;
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
A modest one, to bear me back again.

King. I cannot give thee lefs, to be call'd grate


Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks. I

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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


From simple sources; and great seas have dry'd, When miracles have by the 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 maid;

Thy pains, not us'd, must by thyself be paid:
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 guefs by shows:
But most it is presumption in us, when
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent;
Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impostor, 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

Hop'st thou

my cure?

Hel. The greatest grace lending grace, Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring Their fieri torcher his diurnal ring;

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Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glafs
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass;
What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.
King. Upon thy certainty and coufidence,
What dar'st thou venture?

Hel. Tax of impudence,

A strumpet's boldnefs; a divulged shame, -
Traduc'd by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise; no worse of worst extended,
With vilest torture let my life be ended.
King. Methinks, in thee some blessed spirit
doth speak;

His powerful sound, within an organ weak:
And what impossibility would slay

In common sense, sense saves another way.
Thy life is dear; for all, that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate;
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
That happiness can prime and happy call:
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physick I will try;
That ministers thine own death, if I die.
Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die;

And well deserv'd; Not helping, death's my fee;
But, if I help, what do you promise me?
King. Make thy demand.

Hel. But will you make it even?

King, Ay, by my scepter, and my hopes of heaven.


Then shalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand,

What husband in thy power I will command:
Exempted be from me the arrogance

To choose from forth the royal blood of France;
My low and humble name to propagate
With any branch or image of thy state:
But such a one, thy vassal, whom I know
Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.

King. Here is my hand; the premises observ'd,
Thy will by my performance shall be serv'd:
So make the choice of thy own time; for I,
Thy resolv'd patient, on thee still rely.
More should I question thee, and more I must;
Though, more to know, could not be more to


From whence thou cam'st, how tended on,

But rest

Unquestion'd welcome, and undoubted blest.

Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed. [Exeunt.]


Rousillon. A Room in the Count's Palace.


Enter Countefs and Clown.

Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of your breeding.

Clown. I will shew myself highly fed, and lowly taught: I know my business is but to the


Count. To the court! why, what place make you special, when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!

Clown. Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make a leg, put off's cap, kifs his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and, indeed, such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court: but, for me, I have an answer will serve all men.

Count. Marry, that's a bountiful answer, that fits all questions.

Clown. It is like a barber's chair, that fits all buttocks; the pin - buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn buttock, or any buttock.

Count. Will your answer serve fit to all questions?


Clown. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for your taffaty punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's fore-finger, as a pancake for Shrove-tuesday, a morris for Mayday, as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding quean to a wrangling knave,

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as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; nay, as the pudding to his skin.

Count. Have you, I say, an answer of such fitnefs for all questions?

Clown. From below your duke, to beneath your constable, it will fit any question.

Count. It must be an answer of most monstrous size, that must fit all demands.

Clown. But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that belongs to't: Ask me, if I am a courtier; it shall do you no harm to learn.

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Count. To be young again, if we could: will be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I pray you, sir, are you a courtier ?

Clown. O Lord, sir, There's a simple putting off: more, more, a hundred of them. Count. Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that

loves you.

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Clown. O Lord, sir, - Thick, thick, spare

not me.

Count. I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.

Clown. O Lord, sir,

warrant you.

Nay, put me to't, I

Count. You were lately whip'd, sir, as I think, Clown. O Lord, sir, Spare not me.

Count. Do you cry, O Lord, sir, at your whip. ping, and spare not me? Indeed, your O Lord sir, is very sequent to your whipping; you would answer very well to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.


Clown. I ne'er had worse luck in life, my my O Lord, sir: I see, things may serve long, but not serve ever.


Count. I play the noble housewife with the time, to entertain it so merrily with a fool.

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