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

Laf. Good faith, across :7

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: I have seen a medicine,
That's able to breathe life into a stone;

Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary,

With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch
Is powerful to araise king Pepin, nay

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

King. What her is this?

Laf. Why, doctor she: My lord, there's one arriv'd, If you will see her,-now, by my faith and honour, If seriously I may convey my thoughts

In this my light deliverance, I have spoke

With one, that, in her sex, her years, profession,
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz'd me more

Than I dare blame my weakness: Will you see 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 wondering 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

[7] This word, as has been already observed, is used when any pass of wit miscarries. JOHNSON,

See As you like it, Act III sc. iv. p. 52. STEEVENS

[] Mr Rich. Brome, mentions this among other dances: "As for corantoes, la voltos, jis measures, pavins, brawls, galliards, or canaries: I speak it not swellingly, but I subscribe to no man." DR. GREY.

His majesty seldom fears: I am Cressid's uncle,9
That dare leave two together; fare you well.


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.
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 th' only darling,
He bade me store up, as a triple eye,

Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so:
And, bearing 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 bath judgment shown,

[9] I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida. JOHNSON.

When judges have been babes. Great floods have flown
From simple sources; and great seas have dried,
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.'
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;

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 murk and occidental damp
Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
Hath told the thievish minutes how 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.*

[1] The allusion is to St. Matthew's Gospel, xi. 25: "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth; I thank thee, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prodent, and revealed them unto babes." See also 1 Cor. i. 27:"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty." MALONE." See the Book of Exodus, particularly chap. xvii. 5, 6, &c. HENLEY.

f21 I would bear (says she) the tax of impudence, which is the denotement of a strumpet; would endure a shame resulting from my failure in what I have under

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 bath estimate;
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, al
That happiness and prime can happy call:
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physic 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. 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 1,
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 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.

taken, and thence become the subject of odious ballads; let my maiden reputation be otherwise branded; and, no worse of worst extended, i e provided nothing worse is offered to me (meaning violation) le my life be ended with the worst of tortures. The poet, for the sake of thyme, has obscure the sense of the passage. The worst that can befal a woman being extended to me, seems to be the meaning of the last line. STEEVENS.


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 special, when you put off that with such contempt ? Bu to the court!

Clo. Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any man ners, he may easily put it off at court: he that canno make a leg, put off's cap, kiss his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and, indeed, suci 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 a 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 rush for Tom's fore-finger,3 as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his hole. the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding quean to a wrang ling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; nay, a the pudding to his skin.

Count. Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness fo all questions?

Clo. From below your duke, to beneath your consta ble, 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

[3] The allusion is to an ancient practice of marrying with a rush ring, as well it other countries as in England. Breval, in his Antiquities of Faris, mentions it as a kind of espousal used in France, by such persons as meant to live together in a state of concubinage; but in England it was scarce ever practised except by desiguing men, for the purpose of corrupting those young women to whom they pretended love. Richard Poore, bishop of Salisbury, in his Constitutions, anni, 1217, forbids the putting of rush rings, or any the like matter, on women's fingers, in order to the debauching them more readily and he insinuates, as the reason for the prohibition, that there were some people weak enough to believe, that what was thus done in jest, was a real marriage. Sir J. HAWKINS.

« 上一页继续 »