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municate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your son: Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; Love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised, without rescue, in the first assault, or ransome afterward : This she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in: which I held my duty, speedily to acquaint you withal; sithence,' in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
Count. You have discharged this honestly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that. I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: Pray you, leave me: stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care : I will speak with you further non,
[Exit Steward. Enter HELENA. Count. 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 is 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
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.
Nay, a mother;
Why not a mother? When I said, a mother,
Methought you saw a serpent: What's in mother,
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 breeds
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?
That I am not.
Count. I say, I am your mother.
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.
Nor I your mother? Hel. You are my mother, madam; 'Would you
(So that my lord, your son, were not my brother,)
Indeed, my mother ! or were you both our mothers,
I care no more for,8 than I do for heaven,
So I were not his sister : Çan't no other,
But, I your daughter, he must be my brother?
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-
God shield, you mean it not! daughter, and mother,
So strive 9 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 'tis gross,
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 kind a 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.
Good madam, pardon me!
Your pardon, noble mistress !
8 i.e. I care as much for : I wish it equally.
1 The source, the cause of your grief.
2 According to their nature:
Count. Love you my son ?
Do not you love him, madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Whereof the world takes nøte: 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 lov'd of me: I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous suit;
Nor would I have bim, 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,3
Did ever, in so true a flame of liking,
Wish chastly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love ;4 O then, give pity
3 i.e. Whose respectable conduct in age proves that you were no less virtuous when young.
4 i.e. Venus.
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 truly,
To go to Paris ?
Madam, I had.
Wherefore ? tell true.
Hel. I will tell truth; by grâce itself, I swear.
You know, my father left me some prescriptions,
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 héédfullest rosérvation to bestow them,
As notes, whose faculties inclusive were,
More than they were iá note is amongst the rest,
There is a remedy, approv'd, set down,
To cure the desperate languishes, whereof
The king is tender'd lost.
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.
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,
Receipts in which greater virtues were enclosed than