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WERE that all !—I think not on my father ;
And these great tears grace his remembrance
Than those I shed for him. What was he
I have forgot him: my imagination
Carries no favour in it, but Bertram !
I am undone; there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away.
It were all one,
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself ;
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls
In our heart's table-heart too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour;
But now he's
idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his relicks. Who comes here?
One that goes with him : I love him for his sake;
And yet I know him a notorious liar,
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward ;
Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind : withal, full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
Helena, Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven : the fated sky
Gives us free scope; only doth backward pull
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 kiss like native things.
Impossible be strange attempts to those
That weigh their pains in sense, and do suppose
What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove
To show her merit, that did miss her love?
The king's disease—my project may deceive me,
But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me.
Countess. Even so it was with me, when I was young ; If we are nature's these are ours; this thorn Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong :
Our blood to us, this to our blood born;
It is the show and seal of nature's truth
Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth :
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults; or then we thought them none.
eye is sick on 't; I observe her now.
Countess. What 's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-coloured Iris, rounds thine eye? 1
Why ?—that you are my daughter?
Countess. Yes, Helena, you might be my daughter-in
God shield, you mean it not, daughter and mother !
So strive upon your pulse : what, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness : now I see
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Your salt tears' head. Now to all sense 't is gross;
You love my son, invention is ashamed,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say, thou dost not : therefore tell me true :
But tell me then, 't is so for, look, thy cheeks
Confess it, one to the other; and thine eyes
See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours,
That in their kind they speak it: only sin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected : speak, is 't so?
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clue;
If it be not, forswear 't : howe'er, I charge thee,
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly.
Helena. Good madam, pardon me !
Countess. Do you love my son ?
Your pardon, noble mistress.
Countess. Love you my son ?
Do you not him, madam ?
Countess. Go not about; my love hath in 't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note; come, come, disclose
The state of your affection; for your passions
Have to the full appeach’d.
Then I confess
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you,
That before you, and next unto high heaven,
I love your son :
My friends were poor, but honest; so 's my love :
Be not offended; for it hurts not him,
That he is loved of me: I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit;
Nor would I have him, till I do deserve him ;
Yet never know how that desert should be.
I know I love in vain, strive against hope ;
Yet, in this captious and intenible sieve,
I still pour in the waters of my love,
And lack not to lose still : thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore
The sun, that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more. My dearest madam,
Let not your hate encounter with my love,
For loving where you do: but, if yourself,
Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever, in so true a flame of liking,
Wish chastly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love; O then give pity
To her, whose state is such, that cannot choose
But lend and give, where she is sure to lose ;
That seeks not to find that her search implies,
But riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies.
Helena. 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.
But will you make it even ? King. Ay, by my sceptre, and my hopes of heaven.
Helena. 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 love 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; &c.
Helena. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly;
And to imperial love, that God most high,
Do my sighs stream.-Sir, will
Helena. I am not worthy of the wealth I owe;
Nor dare I say, 'tis mine ; and yet it is;
But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal