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misdoubt: Pray you leave me: stall this in | That truth should be suspected: Speak, is't so? your bosom, and I thank you for your honest If it be so, you have wound a goodly clue; care: I will speak with you further anon. If it be not, forswear't: howe'er, I charge thee, [Exit STEWARD. As heaven shall work in me for thine avail, To tell me truly.



Count. Even so it was with me, when I was [thorn If we are nature's, these are ours; this Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
It is the show and seal of nature's truth,
Where love's strong passion is impress'd in

By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults;-or then we thought
them none.

Her eye is sick on't; I observe her now.
Hel. What is your pleasure, madam?
Count. You know, Helen,

I am a mother to you.

Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Count. Nay, a mother;

Why not a mother? When I said a mother,
Methought you saw a serpent: What's in

That you start at it? I say, I am your mother;
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine: "Tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice

A native slip to us from foreign seeds:
You ne'er oppress'd me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care:-
God's mercy, maiden! does it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother? What's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eye?
Why?- -that you are my daughter?
Hel. That I am not.

Count. I say, I am your mother.
Hel. Pardon, madam;

The count Rousillon cannot be my brother:
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble:
My master, my dear lord he is; and I
His servant live, and will his vassal die :
He must not be my brother.

Count. Nor I your mother?

Hel. You are my mother, madam; 'Would

you were

(So that my lord, your son, were not my
Indeed, my mother!-or were you both our
I care no more for,* than I do for heaven,
So I were not his sister: Can't no other,
But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daugh-
God shield, you mean it not! daughter, and
So strivet upon your pulse: What, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness: Now I
The mystery of your loneliness, and find [see
Your salt tears' head. Now to all sense 'tis

You love my son; invention is asham'd,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis 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 kinds they speak it: only sin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,

* I. c. I care as much for: I wish it equally.
+ Contend.

The source, the cause of your grief.

According to their nature.

Hel. Good madam, pardon me!
Count. Do you love my son?

Hel. Your pardon, noble mistress!
Count. Love you my son?

Hel. Do not you love him, madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a
Whereof the world takes note: come, come,
The state of your affection; for your passions
Have to the full appeach'd.

Hel. 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 lov'd 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 ma-

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 chastely, 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.
Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak
To go to Paris?

Hel. Madam, I had.

Count. Wherefore? tell true.

Hel. I will tell truth; by grace itself, I swear. You know, my father left me some prescrip


Of rare and prov'd effects, such as his reading,
And manifest experience, had collected
For general sovereignty; and that he will'd me
In heedfullest reservation to bestow them,
As notes, whose faculties inclusive were,
More than they were in note: amongst the
There is a remedy, approv'd, set down, [rest,
To cure the desperate languishes, whereof
The king is render'd lost.

Count. This was your motive
For Paris, was it? speak.

Hel. My lord your son made me to think of


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,

* I. e. Whose respectable conduct in age proves that you were no less virtuous when young. + I. e. Venus, ↑ Receipts in which greater virtues were enclosed than appeared.

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Embowell'd of their doctrine,* have left off
The danger to itself?

Hel. There's something hints, [greatest
More than my father's skill, which was the
Of his profession, that his good receipt
Shall, for my legacy, be sanctified

By the luckiest stars in Heaven: and, would
your honour

But give me leave to try success, 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 greet-
To those of mine own 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.


SCENE I-Paris.-A Room in the King's


Flourish. Enter KING, with young LORDS
ing leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM,
PAROLLES, and attendants.

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


1 Lord. There's honour in the theft.
Par. Commit it, count.

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

1 Lord. Farewell, 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 entrenched 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? Ber. Stay; the king- [Seeing him rise. Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu: be more ex

tak-pressive 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 the measure, such are to be followed: after most received star; and though the devil lead them, and take a more dilated farewell.

King. Farewell, young lord, these warlike principles Do not throw from you:--And you, my lord,


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. It is 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 confess he owes the malady
That doth my life besiege. Farewell, young
Whether I live or die, be you the sons [lords;
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

That fame may cry you loud: I say,
2 Lord. Health, at your bidding, serve your

King. Those girls of Italy, take heed of


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. Farewell.-Come hither to me.
[The KING retires to a couch.
1 Lord. O my sweet lord, that you will stay
behind us!

Par. 'Tis not his fault: the spark-
2 Lord. O, 'tis brave wars!

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


with ;

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

Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a

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Ber. And I will do so.

sinewy swordmen.
Par. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most


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My noble grapes, an if my royal fox
grapes, my royal fox? yes, but you will,
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
Is powerful to araise king Pepin, nay, [touch
And write to her a love-line.
To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand,

King. What her is this?

arriv 'd,

Laf. Why, doctor she: My lord, there's one
If seriously I may convey my thoughts
If you will see her,-now, by my faith and
In this my light deliverance, I have spoke
With one, that, in her sex, her years, profes-
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amazed me more

* In Shakspeare's time it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on.

They are the foremost in the fashion.
Have the true military step.

The dance. Unskilfully; a phrase taken from the exercise at a quantaine.

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++ By profession is meant her declaration of the object of her coming.


Than I dare blame my weakness: Will you | Oft expectation fails, and most oft there see her [ness? Where most it promises; and oft it hits, (For that is her demand,) and know her busi- Where hope is coldest, and despair most sits. That done, laugh well at me. King. I must not hear thee; fare thee well, King. Now, good Lafeu, kind maid;

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.

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:
pro-But most it is presumption in us, when

[Erit LAFEU. King. Thus he his special nothing ever logues.

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: IamCressid's uncle,*
That dare leave two together; fare you well.
King. Now, fair one, does your business fol-

low us?

Hel. Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon


My father; in what he did profess, 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,‡
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 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 ransom nature
From her inaidable estate,-I say we must not
So stain our judgement, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malady
To empirics; 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
Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks ĺ
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 judgement shown,
When judges have been babes. Great floods
From simple sources; and great seas have
When miracles have by the greatest been

have flown

denied. T

* I am like Pandarus.

Of acknowledged excellence.

A third eye.

An allusion to Daniel judging the two elders. I. e. When Moses smote the rock in Horeb. This must refer to the children of Israel passing the Red Sea, when miracles had been denied by Pharaohi.

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.
Hop'st thou my cure?
King. Art thou so confident? Within what

Hel. The greatest grace lending grace,
Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring;
Ere twice in murk and occidental damnp
MoistHesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp;
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.
What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,

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

Hel. Tax of impudence,

A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,Traduc'd by odious ballads; my maiden's name With vilest torture let my life be ended. Sear'd otherwise; no worse of worst extended,

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
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate;
That happiness and primes can happy call:
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try;
That ministers thine own death, if I die.

Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property
And well deserv'd: Not helping, death's my
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die; [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


Hel. Then shalt thou give me, with thy
What husband in thy power I will command:
kingly hand,
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.

Thy will by my performance shall be serv'd;
King. Here is my hand; the premises observ'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

1. e. Pretend to greater things than befits the mediocrity of my condition. + The evening star. II. c. May be counted among the gifts enjoyed by thee. The spring or morning of life.

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the court.

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

Clo. 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, kiss 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.

Clo. 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?

Clo. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for your taffata punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger, 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, 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 fitness for all questions?

Clo. 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."

Clo. 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.

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

Count. I play the noble housewife with the
time, to entertain it so merrily with a fool.
Clo. O Lord, Sir,-Why, there't serves well

Count. An end, Sir, to your business: Give
Helen this,

And urge her to a present answer back :
Commend me to my kinsmen, and my son;

This is not much.

Clo. Not much commendation to them. Count. Not much employment for you: You understand me?

Clo. Most fruitfully; I am there before my


Count. Haste you again. [Exeunt severally. SCENE III.-Paris.-A Room in the King's


Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and Parolles. Laf. They say, miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar things, supernatural and causeless. Hence is it, that we make trifles of terrors; ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.t

Par. Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder, that hath shot out in our latter times.

Ber. And so 'tis.

Laf. To be relinquished of the artists,-
Par. So I say; both of Galen and Paracelsus.
Laf. Of all the learned and authentic fel-

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Pur. Right, so I say.

Laf. That gave him out incurable,—
Pur. Why, there 'tis ; so say I too.
Laf. Not to be helped,-

Par. Right: as 'twere a man assured of an
Laf. Uncertain life, and sure death.

Par. Just, you say well; so would I have said. Laf. I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.

Par. It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you shall read it in,-What do you call there?

Luf. A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.

Par. That's it I would have said; the very same.

Luf. Why, your dolphint is not lustier; 'fore me I speak in respect

Pur. Nay 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the brief and the tedious of it; and he is of a most facinorious spirit, that will not acknowput-ledge it to be the

Clo. O Lord, Sir,- -There's a simple
ting off;-more, more, a hundred of them.
Count. Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that
loves you.

Clo. O Lord, Sir,-Thick, thick, spare not


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

Cio. O Lord, Sir,-Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.

Count. You were lately whipped, Sir, as I

Clo. O Lord, Sir,-Spare not me.
Count. Do you cry, O Lord, Sir, at your
whipping, 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.

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

* Properly follows.

Laf. Very hand of heaven.
Par. Ay, so I say.

Laf. In a most weak

Pur. And debile minister, great power, great
transcendence: which should, indeed, give us
a further use to be made, than alone the re-.
covery of the king, as to be-
Laf. Generally thankful.

Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants.
Par. I would have said it; you say well:
Here comes the king.

Laf. Lustic, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid the better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: Why, he's able to lead her a coranto.

Par. Mort du Vinaigre! Is not this Helen?
Laf. 'Fore God, I think so.
King. Go, call before me all the lords in
[Exit an Attendant.


* Ordinary. +Fear means here the object of fear.
The dauphin.
Lustigh is the Dutch word for lusty, cheerful.

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Hel. I am a simple maid; and therein wealth-
That, I protest, I simply am a maid: [iest,
Please it your majesty, I have done already.
The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
We blush, that thou should'st choose; but, be re-

Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever;
We'll ne'er come there again.

King. Make choice; and, see,

Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.
Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly;
And to imperial Love, that god most high,
Do my sighs stream.-Sir, will you hear my suit?
1 Lord. And grant it.

Hel. Thanks, Sir; all the rest is mute.§
Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw
ames-ace for my life.

Hel. The honour, Sir, that flames in your fair

Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
Love make your fortunes twenty times above
Her that so wishes, and her humble love!
2 Lord. No better, if you please.
Hel. My wish receive,

Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.
Laf. Do all they deny her? An they were sons
of mine, I'd have them whipped; or I would
send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of.

Hel. Be not afraid [To a LORD] that I your
hand should take;

I'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!

Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them.

Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too

To make yourself a son out of my blood.
4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so.
Laf. There's one grape yet,-I am sure, thy
father drank wine. But if thou be'st not an ass,

They were wards as well as subjects.
Except one, meaning Bertram.
1. e. I have no more to say to you.
chance of the dice.

A docked horse.

|| The lowest

I am a youth of fourteen; I have known thee

Hel. I dare not say, I take you; [To BER-
TRAM] but I give

Me, and my service, ever whilst I live,
Into your guiding power.-This is the man.
King. Why then, young Bertram, take her,
she's thy wife.

Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your

In such a business give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.

King. Know'st thou not, Bertram,
What she has done for me?

Ber. Yes, my good lord;


But never hope to know why I should marry
King. Thou know'st, she has rais'd me from

my sickly bed,

Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Must answer for your raising? I know her well;
She had her breeding at my father's charge:
A poor physician's daughter my wife!-Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!

King. "Tis only title* thou disdain'st in her,
the which

I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty: If she be
All that is virtuous, (save what thou dislik'st,
A poor physician's daughter,) thou dislik'st
Of virtue for the name: but do not so: [ceed,
From lowest place when virtuous things pro-
The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
Where great additions+ swell, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour: good alone
Is good, without a name: vileness is so:
The property by what it is should go,
Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
In these to nature she's immediate heir;
And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour's born,
And is not like the sire: Honours best thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our fore-goers; the mere word's a slave,
Debauch'd on every tomb; on every grave,
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb,
Where dust, and damn'd oblivion, is the tomb
Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be

If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
I can create the rest: virtue, and she, [me.
Is her own dower; honour and wealth, from
Ber. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
King. Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou should'st
strive to choose.

Hel. That you are well restor'd, my lord, I
am glad ;

Let the rest go.

King. My honour's at the stake; which to

I must produce my power: Here take her hand,
Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift;
That dost in vile misprison shackle up
My love, and her desert; that canst not dream,
We, poizing us in her defective scale, [know,
Shall weigh thee to the beam: that wilt not
It is in us to plant thine honour, where
We please to have it grow: Check thy contempt:
Obey our will, which travails in thy good:
Believe not thy disdain, but presently
Do thine own fortunes that obedient right,
Which both thy duty owes, and our power

*I. e. The want of title.
+ Titles.
Good is good independent of any worldly distinction,
and so is vileness vile.

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