Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

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.
Ber. I heard not of it before.

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.
Laf. How understand we that ?
Count. Be thou blest, Bertram; and succeed thy

father
In manners, as in shape ! thy blood, and virtue,
Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
Share with thy birth-right! 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 check'd for silence,
But never tax'd 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 unseason'd courtier : good my lord,
Advise him.

Laf. He cannot want the best That shall attend his love.

7

Count. Heaven bless him !Farewell, Bertram.

[Exit COUNTESS. Ber. [To HELENA.] The best wishes that can be forged in your thoughts 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. O, were that all !-I think not on my father; And these great tears grace his remembrance more Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination Carries no favour in 't, but onlyBertram's. I am undone: there is no living, none, If Bertram be away. It were all one, That I should love a bright particular star, And think to wed it, he is so above me: In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not in his sphere. Th’ ambition in my love thus plagues itself: The hind that would be mated by the lion, Must die for love. ’T was pretty, though a plague, To see him every hour; to sit and draw His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls, In my heart's table; heart, too capable Of every line and trick of his sweet favour: But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?

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 fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind: withal, full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.

Par. Save you, fair queen.
Hel. And you, monarch.”
Par. No.
Hel. And no.
Par. Are you meditating on virginity ?
Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you;
1 Not in f. e.

may

a play on the word Monarcho, & braggart.

2

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 't.

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 inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not: you cannot choose but lose by't. Out with 't: within two years it will make itself two, 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 tooth-pick, 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: it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 't is a withered pear: it was formerly better; marry, yet, 't is a withered pear. Will you do? any thing with it ?

1 3 ten : in f. e.

Hel. Not with my virginity yet.
There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he
I know not what he shall :-God send him well!
The court 's a learning-place ;-and he is one-

Par. What one, i' faith ?
Hel. That I wish well.---'T is pity-
Par. 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 show what we alone must think; which never
Returns us thanks.

Enter a Page.
Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.

[Erit 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. I especially think, under Mars.
Par. Why under Mars ?

Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.

1 2 Not in f. e.

Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
Par. Why think you so ?
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 make 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 naturalize 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 ncne, 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 't which mounts my love so high; That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye ? The mightiest space in nature fortune 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 show her merit, that did miss her love ? The king's disease--my project may deceive me; But my intents are fix’d, and will not leave me. (Exit.

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 th’ ears; Have fought with equal fortune, and continue A braving war. 1 Lord.

So 't is reported, sir. King. Nay, 't is most credible: we here receive it A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,

i fortune nature brings : in f. e. ? The people of Sienna.

« AnteriorContinuar »