King. I would, I had; so I had broke thy pate, for't. And ask'd thee mercy

Laf. Goodfaith, across: but, my good Lord, 'tis

thus ;

Will you be cur'd of your infirmity?
King. No.

Laf. O, will you eat no grapes, my royal fox?
Yes, but you will, my noble grapes; an if

My royal fox could reach them: (8) I have feen

That's able to breathe life into a stone;

Quicken a rock, and make you dance Canary
With sprightly fire and motion; whose fimple touch
Is powerful to araife King Pepin, nay,

To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand,
And write to her a love-line.

King. What her is this?

Laf. Why, doctor-fhe: my Lord, there's one ar-

If you will fee her. Now, by my faith and honour,
If feriously I may convey my thoughts

In this my light deliverance, I have spoke

With one, that in her fex, her years, profeffion,
Wisdom and constancy, hath amaz'd me more
Than I dare blame my weakness: will


fee her,

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'ft it.

Laf. Nay, I'll fit you,

And not be all day neither.

[Exit Lafeu.

King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

(8) I have feen a Medecine,] Lafeu does not mean that he has feen a Remedy, but a Person bringing such Remedy. I therefore imagine, our Author used the French Word, Medecin, i. e. a with what he fubjoins immediately in Physician; this agrees

Reply to the King,

Why, Doctor-She;


write to her a Love-line.


Laf. [Returns.] Nay, come your ways.

[Bringing in Helena.

King. This hafte hath wings, indeed.
Laf. Nay, come your ways,

This is his Majefty, fay your mind to him;
A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
His Majesty seldom fears; I'm Creffid's uncle,
That dare leave two together; fare you well.


King. Now, fair One, do's your business follow us? Hel. Ay, my good Lord.

Gerard de Narbon was my father,

In what he did profefs, well found.
King. I knew him.

Hel. The rather will I fpare my praise towards him; Knowing him, is enough: on's bed of death

Many receipts he gave me, chiefly one,
Which as the deareft iffue of his practice,
And of his old experience th'only darling,
He bade me ftore up, as a triple eye,

Safer than mine own two: more dear I have fo;
And hearing your high Majefty is touch'd
With that malignant cause, wherein the honour
Of my dear father's gift ftands chief in
I come to tender it, and my appliance,
With all bound humbleness.


King. We thank you, maiden;
But may not be fo 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 unaidable estate: we must not
So ftain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To proftitute our past-cure malady
To empericks; or to diffever fo

Our great felf and our credit, to esteem

A fenfeless help, when help paft sense we deem.
Hel. My duty then fhall pay me for my pains;
I will no more enforce mine office on you;
Humbly intreating from your royal thoughts
A modeft one to bear me back again.

B 2


King. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful; Thou thought'ft to help me, and fuch thanks I give, As one near death to thofe that wish him live; But what at full I know, thou know'ft 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 reft '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 flown
From fimple fources; and great feas have dry'd,
When mir'cles have by th' greatest been deny'd.
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there

Where most it promises: and oft it hits
Where hope is coldeft, and despair most fits.

King. I muft not hear thee; fare thee well, kind

Thy pains, not us'd, muft by thy felf be paid:
Proffers, not took, reap thanks for their reward.
Hel. Infpired merit so by breath is barr'd:
It is not fo with him that all things knows,
As 'tis with us, that square our guefs by fhows:
But most it is prefumption in us, when

The help of heav'n we count the act of men.
Dear Sir, to my endeavours give consent,
Of heav'n, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impoftor, that proclaim
My felf against the level of mine aim;

But know I think, and think I know moft fure,
My art is not paft power, nor you past cure.

King. Art thou fo confident? within what space
Hop'ft thou my cure?

Hel. The greatest grace lending grace,
Ere twice the horfes of the fun fhall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring;
Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Moift Hesperus hath quench'd his fleepy lamp;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glafs
Hath told the thievifh minutes how they pafs;


What is infirm from your found parts fhall fly,
Health fhall live free, and fickness freely die.
King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'ft thou venture?

Hel. Tax of impudence,

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

King. Methinks, in thee fome bleffed Spirit doth speak

His powerful found, within an organ weak;
And what impoffibility would flay

In common fenfe, fenfe faves another way.
Thy life is dear; for all that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate:
(9) Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
That happiness and prime can happy call;
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monftrous defperate.
Sweet Practifer, thy phyfick I will try ;
That ministers thine own death, if I die.

Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I fpoke, unpitied let me die,

And well deferv'd! Not helping, death's my fee ;
But if I help, what do you promise me?

(9) Touth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all, &c.] This Verfe is too fhort by a Foot; and apparently fome Diffyllable is drop'd out by Mischance. Mr. Warburton concurr'd with me in Conjecture to fupply the Verfe thus:

Touth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all, &c. Helena had laid a particular Strefs on her maiden Reputation; and the King, afterwards, when he comes to speak of her to Bertram, fays;

If fhe be

All that is virtuous, (fave, What thou diflik'st,

A poor Phyfician's Daughter;) thon diflik'st

of Virtue for her name:"

[blocks in formation]

King. (10) Make thy demand.

Hel. But will you make it even?

King. Ay, by my fcepter, and my hopes of heaven. Hel. Then fhalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand, What Husband in thy power I will command. Exempted be from me the arrogance

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

King. Here is my hand, the premises obferv'd,
Thy will by my performance shall be ferv'd:
So, make the choice of thine own time; for I,
Thy refolv'd Patient, on thee ftill rely.

More fhould I question thee, and more I must;
(Tho' more to know, could not be more to truft :)
From whence thou cam't, how tended on,- but reft
Unqueftion'd welcome, and undoubted bleft.

Give me fome help here, hoa! if thou proceed
As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.


SCENE changes to Roufillon.

Enter Countess and Clown.


NOME on, Sir; I fhall now put you to the

Cheight of your breeding.

Clown. I will fhew my felf highly fed, and lowly taught; I know, my business is but to the court.

(10) King. Make thy Demand.

Hel. But will you make it even ?

King. Ay, by my Scepter and my hopes of help.] The King could have but a very flight Hope of Help from her, scarce enough to fwear by: and therefore Helen might fufpect, he meant to equivocate with her. Befides, obferve, the greatest Part of the Scene is ftrictly in Rhyme: and there is no Shadow of Reason why it should be interrupted here. I rather imagine, the Poet wrote;

Ay, by my Scepter, and my Hopes of Heaven.

Dr. Thirlby.


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