Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice*
I have to use: thy frank election make;
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.
Hel. To each of you one fair and virtuous mis-

tress Fall, when love please !--marry, to each, but onet!

Laf. I'd give bay Curtal I, and his furniture, My mouth no more were broken than these boys', And writ as little beard. King.

Peruse them well : Not one of those, but had a noble father.

Hel. Gentlemen, Heaven hath, through me, restor’d the king to

health. All. We understand it, and thank heaven for you.

Hel. I am a simple maid; and therein wealthiest, That, I protest, I simply am a maid :--Please it your majesty, I have done already: The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me, We blush, that thou should'st choose ; but, be refus’d, Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever ; We'll ne'er come there again. King.

Make choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.

Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly; And to Imperial Love, that god most high, Do my sighs stream.--Sir, will you hear my suit ?

i Lord. And grant it. Hel,

Thanks, sir ; all the rest is mute g. Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw ames-ace || for my life. Hel. The honour, sir, that flames in

eyes, Before I speak, too threateningly replies : Love make your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes, and her humble love!

your fair

I A docked horse.

* Tbey were wards as well as subjects.
f Except one, neaning Bertram.
§ į e. I have no more to say to you.
Il The lowest chance of the dice.

2 Lord. No better, if you please. Hel.

My wish receive, Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.

Laf. Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped ; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of. Hel. Be not afraid (To a Lord] that I your hand

should take;
I'll never do you wrong for your own sake :
Blessing upon your vows ! and in your bed
Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed !

Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her; sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them. Hel. You are too young, too happy,

and too good, To make yourself a son out of my

blood. 4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so.

Laf. There's one grape yet, I am sure, thy father drank wine.—But if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen; I have known thee already. Hel. I dare not say I take you ; [To Bertram]

but I give Me, and my service, ever whilst I live, Into your guiding power. This is the man. King. Why then, young Bertram, take her, she's

thy wife. Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your

highness,
In such a business give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.
King

Know'st thou not, Bertram,
What she has done for me?
Ber:

Yes, my good lord ; But never hope to know why I should marry her. King. Thou know'st, she has rais'd me from my

sickly bed. Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down, Must answer for your raising? I know her well;

She had her breeding at my father's charge:
A poor physician's daughter my wife !--Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!
King. "Tis only title* thou disdain'st in her, the

which
I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty : If she be
All that is virtuous, (save what thou dislik'st,
A poor physician's daughter), thou dislik'st
Of virtue for the name : but do not so :
From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
Where great additions swellt, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour : good alone
Is good, without a name; vileness is so I:
The property by what it is should go,
Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair ;
In these to nature she's immediate heir ;
And these breed honour : that is honour's scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour's born,
And is not like the sire: Honours best thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our fore-goers : the mere word's a slave,
Debauch'd on every tomb; on every grave,
A lying' trophy, and as oft is dumb,
Where dust, and damn'd oblivion, is the tomb
Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said ?
If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
I can create the rest : virtue, and she,
Is her own dower; honour, and wealth, from me.

Ber. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do it. King. Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou should's

strive to choose.

* i. e. The want of title.

t Titles. Good is good independent of any worldly distinction, and so is vileness vile.

Hel. That you are well restor'd, my lord, I am

glad; Let the rest go.

King. My honour's at the stake; which to defeat, I must produce my power: Here, take her hand, Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift; That dost in vile misprision shackle up My love, and her desert; that canst not dream, We, poizing us in her defective scale, Shall weigh thee to the beam: that wilt not know, It is in us to plant thine honour, where We please to have it grow: Check thy contempt: Obey our will, which travails in thy good : Believe not thy disdain, but presently Do thine own fortunes that obedient right, Which both thy duty owes, and our power claims; Or I will throw thee from my care for ever, Into the staggers, and the careless lapse Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate, Loosing upon thee in the name of justice, Without all terms of pity: Speak; thine answer.

Ber. Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
My fancy to your eyes : When I consider,
What great creation, and what dole of honour,
Flies where you bid it, I find, that she, which late
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
Is, as 'twere, born so.
King.

Take her by the hand,
And tell her, she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoize; if not to thy estate,
A balance more replete.
Ber.

I take her hand.
King. Good fortune, and the favour of the king,
Smile upon this contráct; whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
And be perform'd to-night: the solemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'st her,

Thy love's to me'religious ; else, does err. [Exeunt King, Bertram, Helena, Lords, and

attendants. Laf. Do you hear, monsieur ? a word with you. Par. Your pleasure, sir ?

Laf. Your lord and master did well to make his recantation. Par. Recantation ?

my
lord ?

my master ? Laf. Ay; Is it not a language, I speak?

Par. A most harsh one; and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master ?

Laf. Are you companion to the count Rousillon? Par. To any count; to all counts ; to what is

man.

Laf. To what is count's man; count's master is of another style.

Par. You are too old, sir ; let it satisfy you, you are too old.

Laf. I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which title age cannot bring thee.

Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

Laf. I did think thee, for two ordinaries *, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy travel; it might pass : yet the scarfs, and the bannerets, about thee, did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not : yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and that thou art scarce worth.

Par. Hądst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,-

Laf. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou hasten thy trial; which if-Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give me thy hand.

Par. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.

i.e. While I sat twice with thee at dinner.

« PředchozíPokračovat »