Page images
PDF
EPUB

Laf. Let us go see your son, I pray you; I long to talk with the young, noble soldier.

Clo. 'Faith, there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate, fine hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the head, and nod at every man.

[Exeunt.

ACT V.

SCENE I. Marseilles. A Street.

Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA, with two Attendants.

Hel. But this exceeding posting, day and night,
Must wear your spirits low. We cannot help it;
But, since you have made the days and nights as one,
To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs,
Be bold, you do so grow in my requital,
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time;-

Enter a gentle Astringer.
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power.— God save you, sir.

Gent. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Gent. I have been sometimes there.

Hel. I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness;
And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
Which lay nice manners by, I put to you
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.
Gent.

What's your will ?
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the king;
And aid me with that store of power you have
To come into his presence.

Gent. The king's not here.
Hel.

Not here, sir ?
Gent.

Not, indeed;
He hence removed last night, and with more haste
Than is his use.
Wid.

Lord, how we lose our pains !
Hel. All's well that ends well, yet;
VOL. I. -45

Though time seems so adverse, and means unfit.-
I do beseech you, whither is he gone?

Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
Whither I am going.
Hel.

I do beseech you, sir,
Since you are like to see the king before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand;
Which, I presume, shall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it.
I will come after you, with what good speed
Our means will make us means.
Gent.

This I'll do for you.
Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well thanked,
Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again ;-
Go, go, provide.

[Ereunt.

SCENE II. Rousillon. The inner Court of the Countess's

Palace.

Enter Clown and PAROLLES. Par. Good monsieur Lavatch, give my lord Lafeu this letter. I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.

Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Pr'ythee, allow the wind.

Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, sir ; I spake but by a metaphor.

Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor. Pr'ythee, get thee further.

Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.

Clo. Foh, pr’ythee, stand away. A paper from fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself.

Enter LAFEU. Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat, (but not a musk-cat,) that has fallen into the unclean fish-pond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal. Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.

[Exit Clown. Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.

Laf. And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her? There's a quart d'ecu for you. Let the justices make you and fortune friends; I am for other business.

Par. I beseech your honor to hear me one single word.

Laf. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't. Save your word.

Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.

Laf. You beg more than one word then.—Cox' my passion! give me your hand. - How does your drum ?

Par. O my good lord, you were the first that found me. Laf. Was I, in sooth ? and I was the first that lost thee.

Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.

Laf. Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil ? One brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound.) The king's coming, I know by his trumpets. —Sirrah, inquire further after me: I had talk of you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow. Par. I praise God for you.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. The same. A Room in the Countess's

Palace. Flourish.

Enter King, Countess, LAFEU, Lords, Gentlemen,

Guards, fc.
King. We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem
Was made much poorer by it: but your son,
As mad in folly, lacked the sense to know
Her estimation home.
Count.

'Tis past, my liege:
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i'the blade of youth ;
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O’erbears it, and burns on.
King.

My honored lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watched the time to shoot.

Laf.

This I must say, —
But first I beg my pardon, — The young lord
Did to his majesty, his mother, and his lady,
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all. He lost a wife
Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Of richest eyes; whose words all ears took captive;
Whose dear perfection, hearts that scorned to serve,
Humbly called mistress.
King.

Praising what is lost,
Makes the remembrance dear.-Well, call him hither:
We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill
All repetition. — Let him not ask our pardon:
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion do we bury
The incensing relics of it. Let him approach,
A stranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.
Gent.

I shall, my liege.

[Erit Gentleman. King. What says he to your daughter? Hare you

spoke? Laf. All that he is hath reference to your highness. King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters

sent me, That set him high in fame.

Enter BERTRAM.
Laf.

He looks well on't.
King. I am not a day of season,
For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
In me at once; but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth,
The time is fair again.
Ber.

My high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
King.

All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time.
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick’st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals ere we can affect them. You remember
The daughter of this lord ?

Ber. Admirably, my liege: at first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue;

Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warped the line of every other favor;
Scorned a fair color, or expressed it stolen;
Extended or contracted all proportions
To a most hideous object. Thence it came,
That she, whom all men praised, and whom myself,

Since I have lost, have loved, was in mine eye
; The dust that did offend it.
King.

Well excused : That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away, From the great compt. But love, that comes too late, Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried To the great sender turns a sour offence, Crying, that's good that's gone. Our rash faults Make trivial price of serious things we have, Not knowing them, until we know their grave. Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust, Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust. Our own love waking cries to see what's done, While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon. Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her. Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin ; The main consents are had; and here we'll stay To see our widower's second marriage-day.

Count. Which better than the first, О dear Heaven, bless ! Or, ere they meet, in me, 0 nature, cease!

Laf. Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
Must be digested, give a favor from you,
To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
That she may quickly come. — By my old beard,
And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead,
Was a sweet creature; such a ring as this,
The last that e'er I took her leave at court,
I saw upon her finger.
Ber.

Hers it was not.
King. Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye,
While I was speaking, oft was fastened to't.-
This ring was mine, and, when I gave it Helen,
I bade her, if her fortune ever stood
Necessitied to help, that by this token
I would relieve her. Had you that craft to reave her
Of what should stead her most?
Ber.

My gracious sovereign, Howe'er it pleases you to take it so, The ring was never hers.

« PreviousContinue »