Page images




(O, that had! how sad a passage 'tis !) whose skill PERSONS REPRESENTED.

was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched

so far, would bave made nature immortal, and death hixG OF FRANCE.

should have play for lack of work. 'Would, for the DUE OF FLORENCE.

king's sake, he were living! I think it would be BERTRAM, Count of Rousillon.

the death of the king's disease. LAFEU, an old Lord.

Laf. How called you the man you speak of, PAROLLES, a follower of Bertram. Several young French Lords, that serve with Bertram madam ? in the Florentine war.

Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession,

and it was his great right to be so : Gerard de Steward, Clown, servants to the Countess of Rousillon. Narbon.

Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam ; the A Puge. COUNTESS OF Rousillon, mother to Bertram.

king very lately spoke of bim, admiringly, and

mourningly : he was skilful enough to have lived HELENA, a gentlewoman protected by the Countess.

still, if knowledge could be set up against morAn old Widow of Florence.

tality. Diana, daughter to the Widow.

Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king lanl'1OLENTA,

neighbours and friends to the Widow. guishes of ? MARIANA,

Laf. A fistula, my lord. Lords attending on the King; Officers, Soldiers, 8c. Ber. I heard not of it before. French and Florentine

Laf. I would it were not notorious.- Was this SCENE.-Partly in France, and partly in

gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?

Count. His sole child, my lord; and bequeathed TUSCANY.

to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises : her dispositions she inherits, which make fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and

traitors too; in her they are the better for their ACT I.

simpleness; she derives ber bonesty, and achieves her goodness.

Laf. Your commendations madam, get from her SCENE 1.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's

tears. Palace.

Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden car seas: 'n

her praise in. Tbe remembrance of her father Enter BERTRAM, the CountESS OF ROUSILLON, HELENA, and LAFEU, in mourning.

never approaches her h-art, but the tyranny of her

sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury a more of this, Helena, go to, no more ; lest it be second busband.

rather thought you affect a sorrow, than to bave. Ber. And I, in going, madem, weep o'er my fa- Hel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it ther's death anew : but I must attend his majesty's too. command, to whom I am now ic ward, evermore in Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the subjection.

dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living. Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, ma- Count. If the living be epeiny to the grief, tho dam ;--you, sir, a father: He that so generally is excess makes it soon mortal. at all times good, must of necessity bold his virtue Ber. Madam, I desire your boly wishes. to you ; whose worthiness would stir it up. where Laf. How understand we that? it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such Count. Be thou blest, Bertram! and succeed the abundance.

father Count. What hope is there of his majesty's In manners, as in shape! thy blood, and virtue, amendment ?

Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness Laf. He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; Share with thy birth-right! Love all, trust a few. under whose practices he bath persecuted time with Do wrong to none : be able for ihine enemy hope ; and finds no other advantage in the process Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend but only the losing of hope by time.

Under thy own life's key: be check'd for silence, Count. This young gentlewoman bad a father, I But never tax'd for speech. Wbat Heaven more will,

That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down, by being once lost, may ve ten times found; by Fall on thy head! Farewell.-My lord,

being ever kept, it is ever lost: 'tis too culd a com'Tis an unseason'd courtier ; good my lord, panion; away with it. Advise bim.

Hel. I will stand for't a little, though therefore Laf. He cannot want the best

I die a virgin. That shall attend his love.

Par. There's little can be said in't ; 'tis agains: Count. Heaven bless him !-Farewell, Bertram. the rule of nature. To speak on tue part of vir.

[Exit Countess. ginity, is to accuse your motbers; which is most Ber. Tie l'est wishes, that can be forged in your infallible disobedience. He, tbat hangs himsel, thoughts, [to Helena,] be servants to you! Be is a virgin : virginity murders itself; and should comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, much of her.

as a desperate offendress against nature. Virgicity Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the breeds mites, much like cheese ; consumes itself credit of your fatber.

to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his [Exeunt Bertram and Lafeu. own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, Hel. O, were that all !- I think not on my idle, made of self love, which is the most inhibited father;

sin in the canon.

Keep it not; you cannot choose And these great tears grace his remembrance more but lose by't : Out with't: within ten years it will Than those I shed for him. What was he like? make itself ten, which is a goodly increase ; and I have forgot him: my imagination

the principal itself not much the worse : Apay Carries no favour in it but Beriram's.

with't. I am undone ; there is no living, none,

Hel. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her If Bertram be away. It were all one,

own liking? That I sbould love a bright particular star,

Par. Let me see: Marry, ill, to like him that And think to wed it, he is so above me :

ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the In bis bright radiance and collateral light

gloss with lying ; the longer kept, the less worth : Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.

off with't, while 'tis vendible: answer the time of The ambition in my luve thus plagues itself: request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her The hind, that would be mated by the lion, cap out of fashion; richly suited, but unsuitable : Must die for love. "Twas pretty though a plague, just like the brooch and tooth-pick, wliich wear not To see him every hour; to sit and draw

now : Your date is better in your pie and your His arched brows, his bawking eye, bis curls, porridge, than in your cheek : And your virginity, In our heart's table; heart, tuo capable

your old virginity, is like one of our French wiOf every line and trick of bis sweet favour : thered pears; it looks ill, it eats dryly ; marry, But now he's gone, and my idola rous fancy 'tis a witbered pear; it was formerly better; marry, Must sanctify his relies. Who comes bere? yet, 'tis a withered pear: Will you anything

with it? Enter PAROLLES.

Hel. Not my virginity yet.
One that goes with bim : I love him for his sake; There shall your master have a thousand loves,
And yet I know him a notorious liar,

A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward ; A phenix, captain, and an enemy,
Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,

A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
Look bleak in the cold wind : withal, full oft we His bumble ambition, proud humility,

His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet, Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.

His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world Par. Save you, fair queen.

Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms, Hel. And you, monarch.

That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he. Par. No.

I know not what he shall :-God send him well !Hel. And no.

The court's a learning-place ;—and he is one Par. Are you meditating on virginity ?

Par. What one, i'faith? Hel. Ay. You bave some stain of soldier in Hel. That I wish well.— 'Tis pity you ; let me ask you a question : Man is enemy Par. What's pity ? to virginity; how may we barricado it against Hel. That wishing well bad not a body io't, him ?

Which might be felt : that we, the poorer born, Par. Keep him out.

Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes, Hel. But be assails; and our virginity, though Might with effects of them follow our friends, valiant in the defence, yet is weak : untold to us and show what we alone must think; which never sum- warlike resistance.

Returns us thanks. Pur. Tbere is none; man, sitting down before

Enter a Page. you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, Page. Monsieur Parrolles, my lord calls for you. and blowers up!- Is there co military policy, how

[ Exit Page. virgins might blow up men ?

Par. Little Helan, farewell : if I can remember Par. Virginity, being blown down, man will thee, I will think of thee at court. quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing bin Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a down again, with the breach yourselves made, you charitable star. lose your city. It is not politic in the common- Par. Under Mars, I. wealth of nature, to preserve virgivity. Loss of Hel. I especially think, under Mars. virginity is rational increase ; and there was never Par. Why under Marş? virgin got, till virginity was first lost. Tbat. you Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you were made of is metal to make virgirs Virginity must needs be born under Mars.


Par. When he was predominant.

Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's. Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather. King. I would I had that corporal soundness Par. Why think you so ?

now, Hel. You go so much backward, when you fight. As when thy father, and myself, in friendship Par. That's for advantage.

First try'd our soldiersbip! He did look far Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the Soto the service of the time, and was safety : But the composition, that your valour and Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long : fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and But on us both did baggish age steal on, I like the wear well.

And wore us out of act. It much repairs me Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer To talk of your good father: In bis youth thee acutely: I will retum perfect courtier; in the He had the wit, which I can well observe which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize To-day in our young lords; but they may jest, thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's coun. Till their own scorn return to them unnoted, sel, and understand what advice sball thrust upon Ere they can hide their levity in honour. thee; else thou diest in thy unthankfulness, and So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were thou hast leisure, say thy prayers ; when thou His equal had awak'd them; and his honour, bast none, remember thy friends : get thee a good Clock to itself, knew the true minute when husband, and use bim as he uses thee: so farewell. Exceptiou bid him speak, and, at this time,

[Exit. His tongue obey'd his hand : who were below him Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, He us'd as creatures of another place; Which we ascribe to Heaven: the fated sky And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks, Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull Making them proud of his humility, Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull. In their poor praise he humbled : Such a man What power is it, which mounts my love so bigh; Might be a copy to these younger times; (hat makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye ? Which follow'd well, would demonstrate them l'he migbtiest space in fortune nature brings

now, l'o join like likes, and kiss like native things. But goers backward. Impossible be strange attempts, to those


His good remembrance, sir, That weigh their pains in seu se: and do suppose, Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb; What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove So in approof lives not his epitaph, To show her merit, that did miss her love ? As in your royal speech. The king's disease-my project may deceive me. King. 'Would, I were with him? He would But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me.

always say, [Exit. (Methinks. I hear him now: his plausive words

He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them, SCENE II. - Paris. A Room in the King's To grow there, and to bear), -Let me not live,Palace.

Thus his good melancholy oft began, Flourish of Cornets. Enter the King of France, when it was out, - let me not live, quoth he,

On le catastrophe and heel of pastime, with letters; Lords and others attending.

After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff King. The Florentines and Senoys are by the of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses ears;

All but new things disdain ; whose judgments are llave fought with equal fortune, and continue Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies A braving war.

Expire before their fashions - This he wish'd ; 1 Lord. So 'tis reported, sir.

I, after him, do after him wish too,
King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it Since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home,
A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria, I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
With caution, that the Florentine will move us To give some labourers room.
For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend

2 Lord.

You are lov'd, sir : Prejudicates the business ; and would seem They, that least lend it you, shall lack yon first. To have us make denial.

King. I fill a pluce, I know't.- How long is't, 1 Lord. His love and wisdom,

Approv'd so to your majesty, may plead Since the physician at your father's died ?
For amplest credence.

He was much fam'd.
He hath arm'd our answer, Ber.

Some six months since, my lord. And Florence is denied before he comes :

King. If he were living, I would try him yet ;Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see

Lend me an arm ;-the rest have worn me out The Tuscan service, freely have they leave With several applications :-nature and sickness To stand on either part.

Debate it at their leisure. Welcome Count; 2 Lord.

It may well serve My son's no dearer. A nursery to our gentry, who are sick


Thank your majesty. For breathing and exploit.

(Exeunt. Flourish. King.

What's he comes here? Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES.

SCENE III. Rousillon. A Room in the Coun

tess's Palace. 1 Lord. It is the Count Rousillon, my good lord, Young Bertram.

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

Count. I will now bear: what say you of this Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts gentlewoman? May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris. Stev. Madam, the care l haie had to even your



content, I wish might be found in the calendar of Clo. Was this fair face the cause, quoth she, my past endeavours : for then we wound our mo

(Singing desty, and make foul the clearness of our deserv.

Why the Grecians sacked Troy ings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Fond done, done fond, Count. What does this knave here? Get you

Was this king Priam's joy. gone, sirrah : The complaints, I have heard of you, With that she sighed as she stond, I do not all believe ; 'tis iny slowness, that I do With that she sighed as she stood, got : for, I know, you lack not folly commit

And gave this sentence then ; them, and have ability enough to make such kna- Among nine bad if one good, veries yours.

Among nine bad if one good, Cla. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a

There's yet one good in ten. poor fellow. Count. Well, sir.

Count. What, one good in ten ? you corrupt the C, No, madam, 'tis not so well, that I am song, sirrah. poor; though many of the rich are damned : But, Clo. One good woman in ten, madam ? wbicb is if I may have your ladyship's good will to go to a purifying o'the song: 'Would God would serve the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with

the tythe-woman, if I were the parson : One in Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar ?

ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case. born but every blazing star, or at an earthquake Count. In what case ?

'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw Clo. In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is his heart out, ere he pluck one. no beritage : and, I think, I shall never have the Count. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I blessing of God, till I have issue of my body; for, command you? they say, bearns are blessings.

Clo. Tbat man should be at woman's command, Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry. and yet no hurt done!--Though honesty be no pu

Clo. My poor body, madam, 'requires it: I am ritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surdriven on by the flesh; and he must needs go, that plice of buinility over the black gown of a big the devil drives.

heart.-I am going, forsootb; the business is for Count. Is this all your worship’s reason ? Helen to come hither.

[Exit Clown. Clo. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons,

Count. Well, now. such as they are.

Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoCount. May the world know thein ?

man entirely. Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as Count. Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her you and all flesh and blood are ; and, indeed, I do to me: and she herself, without other advantage, marry, that I may repent.

inay lawfully make title to as much love as she Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wicked finds: there is more owing her, than is paid ; and ness.

more shall be paid her, than she'll demand. Clo. I am out of friends, madam ; and I hope to Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her bave friends for my wife's sake.

than, I think, sbe wished me : alone she was, and Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave. did communicate to herself, her own words to her Clo. You are sballow, madam; e'en great own ears; she thougbt, I dare vow for her, they friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, which I am a-weary of. He, that ears my land, she loved your son : Fortune, she said, was no spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their crop : If I be his cuckold, he's my drudge : He, two estates ; Love, no god, that would not extend that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my fiesh his might, only where qualities were level ; Diana, and blood ; be, that cherishes my flesh and blood, no queen of virgins, ihat would suffer her poor loves my flesh and blood ; be, that lores my flesh knight to be surprised, without rescue, in the first and bloid, is my friend ; ergo, he that kisses my assault, or ransom afterward: This she delivered wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard to be what they are, there were no fear in mar. virgin exclaim in : wbich I held my duty, speedily riage : for young Cbarbon the puritan, and old to acquaint you withal ; sithence in the loss that Poysam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are se- may happen, it concerns you something to know it. vered in religion, their heads are both one, they Count. You have discharged this honestly; keep may joll horns together like any deer i' the herd. it to yourself: many likelihoods informed me of

Count. Wilt thou ever be a soul-mouthed and this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, calumnious knave?

that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt : Pray Clo. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth you, leave me : stall this in your bosom, and 1

thank you for your honest care : I will speak with

you further anon. For I the ballad will repeat,

[Erit. Steward.
Which men full true shall find;
Your marriage comes by destiny,

Enter Helena.
Your cuckoo sings by kind.

Count. Even so it was with me, when I was Count. Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you


If we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn Stew. May it please you, madam, that he bid Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong : Helen come to you ; of her I am to speak.

Our blood to us, this to our blocd is born; Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman, I would It is the show and seal of nature's truih, (peak with her, Helen I mean.

Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth

the next way :

more anon.



By our remembrances of days foregone,

Hore on my knee, before high Heaven and you, Such were our faults ;--or then we thought them That before you, and next unto high Heaven,

I love your son :Her eye is sick on't; I observe ber now.

My friends were poor but honest; so's my love : Hel. What is your pleasure, madam ?

Be not offended ; for it burts not him. Count.

You know, Helen, That he is lov'd of me: I follow him not I am a mother to you.

By any token of presumpluous suit; Hel. Mine honourable mistress.

Nor would I have him until I do deserve bim : Count.

Nay, a mother? Yet never know how that desert should be.
Why not a mother? When I said, a mother, I know I love in vain, strive against bope ;
Methought you saw a serpent: What's in mother, Yet, in this captious and intenible sieve,
That you start at it? I say, I am your mother; I still pour in the waters of my love,
And put you in the catalogun of those

And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like,
That were enwombed mine · 'Tis often seen. Religious in mine error, I adore
Adoption strives with nature; a'd choice breeds Tbe sun, tbat looks upon his worshipper,
A native slip to us from foreign seeds:

But knows of him no more. My dearest madum,
You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan, Let not your hare encounter with my love,
Yet I express to you a mother's care

For loving where you do: but, if yourself, God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thv blod, Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth, To say. I am tby mother? What's the

Did ever, in so true a flame of liking, That this distemper'd messenger of wet,

Wisl chastely, and live dearly, that your Diar The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye ? Was both herself and love ; Othew, give pily Wby?- that you are my daughter!

To ber, whose state is such, ibat cannot chose Hel.

That I am not. But lend and give, where she is sure to lose ; Connt. I say, I am your mother.

That seeks not to find that her search implies, Hel.

Pardon, madam; But, riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies. The Count Rousillon cannot be my brother:

Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly I am from humble, he from honour'd name; To go to Paris? No note upon my parents, his all noble :


Madam, I bad. My master, my dear lord he is : and I


Wherefore ? tell true His servant live, and will bis vassal die :

Hel. I will tell truth ; by grace itself, I swear. He must not be my brother.

You know, my father left me some prescriptions Count.

Nor I your mother? Of rare and prov'd effects, such as his reading, Hel. You are my mother, madam; 'Would you And manitesi experience, bad collected

For general sovereignty; and that he will d me (So that my lord, your son, were not my brother), In beedfullest reservation to bestow them, Indeed, my mother!-or were you both our mo- As notes, whose faculties inclusive were, ibers,

More than they were in note : amongst the rest, I care no more for than I do for Heaven,

There is a remedy approv'd, set down,
So I were not his sister : Can't no otber,

To cure the desperate languishes, whereof
But I, your daughter, he must be my brother? The hing is render'd lost.
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter. Count.

This was your molive in-law;

For Paris was it? speak. God shield, you mean it not ! daughter and mother, Hel. My lord your son made me to think of So strive upon your pulse : What, pale again?

this ; My fear hath catcb'd your fondness : Now I see Else Paris, and the medicine, and the king, The mystery of your loneliness, and find

Had, from the conversation of my thoughts, l'our salt tears' head. Now to all sense 'tis gross. Haply, heen absint ther. You love my son; invention is asham'd,


But think you, Helen, Against the proclamation of thy passion,

If you should tender your supposed aid, To say, thou dost not : therefore tell me true ; He would receive it? He and his physicians But tell me then, 'tis so :—for, look, thy cheeks Are of a mind: he, that they cannot help bim, Confess it, one to the other; and ibine eyes They, that they cannot help: How shall they See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours,

creilit That in their kind tbey speak it: only sin

A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,

Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
That truth should be suspected : Speak, is't so? The danger to itself?
Ifit be so, you have wound a goodly clue;


There's something hints, Ilit be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee, More than my father's skill, wbich was the greatest As Heaven shall work in me for thine avail, Of his profession, that his good receipt To tell me truly.

Shall for my legacy be sanctified Hel.

Good madam, pardon me ! By the luckiest stars in heaven : and, would yoʻ13 Count. Do you love my son ?

bonour Hel.

Your pardon, noble mistress ? But give me leave to try success, I'd venture Count. Lore you my son ?

The well-lost life of mire on his grace's cure, Hel.

Do not you love him, madam? By such a day, and hour. Count. Go not about; my love bath in't a bond,


Dost thou believ't? Whereof the world takes 'note : come, come, dis. Hel. Ay, madam, knowingly, close

Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt bave my learo The state of your affection; for your passions

and love, Have to the full appeach'd.

Means, and attendants, and iny luving greeurys Hel

Then I confess To those of mine in court ; I'll stay at home,

« PreviousContinue »