Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors]

(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, 8 That dare leave two together; fare you well. [Exit.

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

Hel. Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon was My father; in what he did profess, well found.9

King. I knew him.
Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards

[ocr errors]

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,'
Safer than mine own two, 'more dear; I have so:

% I am like Pandarus. 9 Of acknowledged excellence.

I A third eye.

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 humbleness.
King.

We thank you, maiden;
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 ransome 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 less, to be call'd grateful:
Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I give,
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 filo have

flown
2 An allusion to Daniel judging the two Elders.

From simple sources ;' and great seas have dried,
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.4
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises; and oft it hits,
Where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.
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 guess 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 ;s
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 space
Hop'st thou my cure ?
Hel.

The greatest grace lending grace, Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring; Ere twice in myrk and occidental damp Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp; 3 i. e. When Moses smote the rock in Horeb.

4 This must refer to the children of Israel passing the Red Sea, when miracles had been denied by Pharaoh.

Si, c. Pretend to greater things than befits the crity of my condition. 6 The evening star.

Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
Hath told the thievish minutes bow they pass;
What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.

King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'st thou venture?
Hel.

Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, 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 ;6
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
That happiness and prime 7 can 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 sceptre, and my hopes of heaven.
61.c. May be counted among the gifts enjoyed by thee.
7 The spring or morning of life.

[ocr errors]

Hel. 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 resoly'd patient, on thee still rely. More should I question thee, and more I must; Though, more to know, could not be more to trust; 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.

(Flourish. Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess and Clown.

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

Clo. I will show myself highly fed, and lowly taught: I know my business is but to the court.

Count. To the court! why, what place make you

« ПредишнаНапред »