Imágenes de páginas

Could reach them: I have seen a medecine

That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary

With sprightly fire and motion; whofe fimple touch
Is powerful to raise king Pepin, nay,

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

King. What her is this?

Laf. Why, doctor she: my lord, there's one arriv'd,
If you will fee 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 fex, her years, profeffion,
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz'd me more
Than I dare blame my weakness: will you 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.

[bringing in Helena.

King. Thus he his fpecial nothings ever prologues.
Laf. [returns.] Nay, come your ways.
King. This hafte hath wings indeed.
Laf. Nay, come your ways;'

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

Medecine is here put for a fhe-physician.




King. Now, fair one, does your bufinefs 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 fpare my praises tow'rds him;
Knowing him, is enough. On his 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 store up, as a triple eye,

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

King. We thank you, maiden;
But may not be fo credulous of


When our most learned doctors leave us, and
The congregated college have concluded,
That labouring art can never ransom nature
From her unaidable eftate: we must not
So ftain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our paft-cure malady

To empiricks, or to diffever fo

Our great felf and our credit, to esteem

A fenfeless help, when help past sense we deem.
Hel. My duty then fhall pay me for my pains;
I will no more enforce my office on you,
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts

A modeft one to bear me back again.

King. I cannot give thee lefs, 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:


Y y


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 fet 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 fhown,

When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
From fimple fources; and great ftreams have dry'd,
When miracles have by th' greatest been deny'd.
Oft expectation fails, and moft oft there

Where most it promises: and oft it hits

Where hope is coldeft, and despair most fits.

King. I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Thy pains, not us'd, must by thyself be pay'd:
Proffers, not took, reap thanks for their reward.
Hel. Infpired merit fo 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 fir, to my endeavours give consent,
Of heav'n, not me, make an experiment:
I am not an impoftor that proclaim
Myself against the level of mine aim;

But know I think, and think I know most fure,
My art is not paft power, nor you paft cure.
King. Art thou fo confident? within what space
Hop'ft thou my cure?

Hel. The greatest lending grace,

Ere twice the horses of the fun shall 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 glass
Hath told the thievish 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 shame
Traduc'd by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise, the worst of worft extended,
With vileft torture let my life be ended.

King. Methinks, in thee fome bleffed fpirit doth fpeak,
It powerful founds within an organ weak;
And what impoffibility would flay

In common sense, sense faves another way.
Thy life is dear; for all that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate;
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
That happinefs 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 minifters 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?

King. Make thy demand.

Hel. But will you make it even?

King. Ay, by my fceptre, and my hopes of heaven.

Hel. Then fhalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand, What hufband 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 ftate:
But fuch a one, thy vaffal; whom I know
Is free for me to afk, thee to bestow.

Y y 2


King. Here is my hand; the premises obferv'd,
Thy will by my performance shall be serv'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;
Though more to know could not be more to trust:
From whence thou cam'ft, 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.



[blocks in formation]

Enter Countess, and Clown.

OME on, fir, I fhall now put you to the height of your breeding.


Clo. I will fhow 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 fuch contempt ? but to the court!

Clown. Truly, madam, if god have lent a man any manners, he may eafily put it off at court: he that cannot make a leg, put off's cap, kifs his hand, and fay nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and, indeed, fuch a fellow, to fay precisely, were not for the court: but for me, I have an anfwer will ferve all


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 ferve fit to all questions?

Clo. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as French crown for taffeta punk, as Tib's rufh for Tom's your fore-finger, as a pancake for fhrove-tuesday, a morris for may-day,



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