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Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few, Do wrong to none : be able for thine enemy Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend Under thy own life's key: be checked for silence, But never taxed for speech. What heaven more
will, That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck
down, Fall on thy head! Farewell.—My lord, 'T is an unseasoned courtier; good my lord, Advise him.
Laf. He cannot want the best That shall attend his love. Count. Heaven bless him !- Farewell, Bertrain.
[Exit COUNTESS. Ber. The best wishes that can be forged in your thoughts [to Helena] be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of your father.
[Exeunt Bertram and LaFeu. Hel. 0, were that all!—I think not on my
father : And these great tears grace his remembrance
in the process but only the losing of hope by time.
Count. This young gentlewoman had a father (O, that “ had!” how sad a passage 't is!) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. 'Would, for the King's sake, he were living! I think it would be the death of the King's disease.
Laf. How called you the man you speak of, madam?
Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so:- :-Gerard de Narbon.
Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam : the King very lately spoke of him, admiringly and mourningly. He was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the King languishes of ?
Laf. A fistula, my lord.
Laf. I would it were not notorious.- Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?
Count. His sole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good that her education promises : her dispositions she inherits, which make fair gifts fairer ; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity; they are virtues and traitors too: in her they are the better for their simpleness : she derives her honesty, and achieves her goodness.
Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
Count. "T is the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek.—No more of this, Helena; go to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow than to have.
Hel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too.
Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead; excessive grief the enemy to the living.
Count. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal.
Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
thy father In manners as in shape! thy blood and virtue Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
Enter PAROLLES. One that goes with him. I love him for his sake: And yet I know him a notorious liar, Think him a great way fool, solely a coward; Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him, That they take place when virtue's steely bones Look bleak in the cold wind: withal, full oft
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
queen. Hel. And you, monárch. Par. No.
it looks ill, it eats drily; marry, 't is a withered pear: it was formerly better; marry, yet 't is a withered pear. Will you anything with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.-
Par. What one, i' faith?
”T is pityPar. What's pity ?
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in 't, Which might be felt: that we, the poorer born, Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes, Might with effects of them follow our friends, And shew what we alone must think; which never Returns us thanks.
Hel. And no.
you meditating on virginity ? Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a question :-Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak :-unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Par. There is none : man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers and blowers-up! Is there no military policy how virgins might blow up men?
Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up : marry, in blowing him down again with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got till virginity was first lost. That you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever lost: 't is too cold a companion ; away with it.
Hel. I will stand for 't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be said in 't; 't is against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin : virginity murders itself, and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inbibited sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by 't: out with 't: within ten years it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse: away with 't.
Hel. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking ?
Par. Let me see :--marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. "T is a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth : off with 't, while 't is vendible: answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion ; richly suited, but unsuitable : just like the brooch and the toothpick, which wear not now. Your date is better in your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek. And your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears :
Enter a Page. Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.
[Exit Page. Par. Little Helen, farewell : if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. You go so much backward when you fight. Par. That's for advantage.
Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety. But the composition that your valour and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely. I will return perfect courtier ; in the which, my instruction shall serve to naturalise thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee : else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away. Farewell.
When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast none, remember
thy friends: get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so farewell.
[Exit. Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky Gives us free scope; only doth backward pull Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull. What power is it which mounts my love so high; That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye? The mightiest space in fortune, nature brings To join like likes, and kiss like native things. Impossible be strange attempts, to those That weigh their pains in sense, and do suppose What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove To shew her merit, that did miss her love? The King's disease—my project may deceive me, But my intents are fixed, and will not leave me.
King. I would I had that corporal soundness
now, As when thy father and myself, in friendship, First tried our soldiership! He did look far Into the service of the time, and was Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long; But on us both did haggish age steal on, And wore us out of act. It much repairs me To talk of your good father. In his youth He had the wit which I can well observe To-day in our young lords; but they may jest Till their own scorn return to them unnoted, Ere they can hide their levity in honour. So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness Were in his pride or sharpness: if they were, His equal had awaked them; and his honour, Clock to itself, knew the true minute when Exception bid him speak, and at this time His tongue obeyed his hand. Who were below him, He used as creatures of another place; And bowed his eminent top to their low ranks, Making them proud of his humility : In their poor praise he humbled. Such a man Might be a copy to these younger times ; Which, followed well, would démonstrate them
SCENE II.-Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.
Flourish of cornets. Enter the King of France,
with letters; Lords and others attending. King. The Florentines and Senoys are by the
ears; Have fought with equal fortune, and continue A braving war.
1st Lord. So 't is reported, sir.
King. Nay, 't is most credible: we here receive it
1st Lord. His love and wisdom,
He hath armed our answer,
2nd Lord. It may well serve
Enter Bertram, Lafey, and Parolles. 1st Lord. It is the Count Rousillon, my good
lord; Young Bertram.
King. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face: Frank nature, rather curious than in haste, Hath well composed thee. Thy father's moral
parts Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
But goers backward.
Ber. His good remembrance, sir, Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb: So in approof lives not his epitaph, As in your royal speech. King. 'Would I were with him! He would
always say (Methinks I hear him now: his plausive words He scattered not in ears, but grafted them To grow there and to bear), “Let me not live,"Thus his good melancholy oft began, On the catastrophe and heel of pastime, When it was out,-“Let me not live," quoth he, “After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses All but new things disdain ; whose judgments are Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies Expire before their fashions.”—This he wished: I, after him, do after him wish too, Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home, I quickly were dissolved from my hive, To give some labourers room.
2nd Lord. You are loved, sir : They that least lend it you, shall lack you first. King. I fill a place, I know 't.—How long is 't,
count, Since the physician at your father's died ? He was much famed.
Ber. Some six months since, my lord.
King. If he were living, I would try him yet:Lend me an arm :- the rest have worn me out
With several applications : nature and sickness
spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: if I be his cuckold, he 's my drudge. He that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherishes my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend; ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage: for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one; they may joll horns together, like any deer i' the herd.
Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?
Clo. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next way :
For I the ballad will repeat,
Which men full true shall find :
Your cuckoo sings by kind.
Scene III.-Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's
Palace. Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown. Count. I will now hear: what say you of this gentlewoman?
Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours ; for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.
Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah. The complaints I have heard of you, I do not all believe; 't is my slowness that I do not : for I know you lack not the folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours. Clo. "Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am
a poor fellow. Count. Well, sir.
Clo. No, madam, 't is not so well that I am poor, though many of the rich are damned: but if I may have your ladyship's goodwill to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.
Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Clo. In Isbel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage: and I think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have issue of my body; for they say barnes are blessings.
Count. Tell me thy reason why thou will marry.
Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go, that the devil drives.
Count. Is this all your worship’s reason?
Clo. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.
Count. May the world know them?
Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all Aesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.
Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wicked
Stew. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you : of her I am to speak.
Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her; Helen I mean.
Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
Was this King Priam's joy.
And gave this sentence then :
There's yet one good in ten. Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, sirrah.
Clo. One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o'the song: 'would God would serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythe-woman, if I were the parson. One in ten, quoth a'!-an we might have a good woman born but for every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 't would mend the lottery well: a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.
Count. You 'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you ?
Clo. That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done!—Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart.--I am going, forsooth : the business is for Helen to come hither. [Exit Clown.
Clo. I am out of friends, madam; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.
Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
Clo. You are shallow, madam : e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am a-weary of. He that ears my land
I am your
Count. Well, now.
Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
Count. Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds. There is more owing her than is paid; and more shall be paid her than she 'll demand.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wished me: alone she was, and did communicate 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 ransom afterward. This she delivered in the most bitter touch of sorrow that e'er I heard a 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 anon.
A native slip to us from foreign seeds :
Hel. That I am not.
Count. Nor I your mother?
you were (So that my lord your son were not my brother) Indeed my mother !—or were you both our
mothers, I care no more for than I do for heaven, So I were not his sister. Can't be other But, I your daughter, he must be my brother? Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daugh
ter-in-law :God shield you mean it not! “daughter," and
Hel. Good madam, pardon me!
Count. Go not about: my love hath in't a bond Whereof the world takes note. Come, come,
disclose The state of your affection; for your passions Have to the full appeached.
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 impressed in youth. By our remembrances of days foregone, Such were our faults ;-or then we thought them
eye 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.
Count. 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 enwombéd mine. "T is often seen Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds