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Could reach them: I have seen a ‘medecine
That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make
With sprightly fire and motion ; whose simple 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,
you will see 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 sex, her years, profession,
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz’d me more
Than I dare blame my weakness: will you see 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'st it.
Laf. Nay, I'll fit
you, And not be all day neither.
King. Thus he his special nothings ever prologues.
Laf. [returns.] Nay, come your ways. [bringing in Helena.
King. This haste hath wings indeed.
Laf. Nay, come your ways;
This is his majesty, say your mind to him :
A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
His majesty seldom fears : I'm Cresid's uncle
That dare leave two together; fare you well.
• Medecine is here put for a she-physician.
King. Now, fair one, does your business 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 spare my praises tow'rds him;
Knowing him, is enough. On his bed of death
Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one,
Which, as the dearest issue 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 so:
And, hearing your high majesty is touch'd
With that malignant cause, wherein the honour
Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
I come to tender it, and my appliance,
With all bound humbleness.
King. We thank you, maiden ;
But may not be so credulous of cure,
When our most learned doctors leave us, and
The congregated college have concluded,
That labouring art can never ransom nature
From her unaidable estate: we must not
So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malady
To empiricks, or to diffever fo
Our great self and our credit, to esteem
A senseless help, when help past sense we deem.
Hel. My duty then shall pay me for my pains ;
I will no more enforce my office on you,
Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts
A modest one to bear me back again.
King. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful;
Thou thought'st to help me, and such thanks I give,
As one near death to those that wish him live:
But, what at full I know, thou know'st no part,
I knowing all my peril, thou no art.
Hel. What I can do, can do no hurt to try,
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 shown,
When judges have been babes; great foods have Aown
From simple sources; and great streams have dry'd,
When miracles have by th' greatest been deny’d.
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises: and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest, 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. Inspired merit so by breath is barr’d:
It is not so with him that all things knows,
As ʼtis with us that square our guess by shows:
But most it is presumption 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 sure,
My art is not paft power, nor you past cure.
King. Art thou so confident? within what space
Hop'st thou my cure ?
Hel. The greatest lending grace,
Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring;
Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass;
What is infirm from your sound parts fhall fly,
Health shall live free, and sickness freely.die.
King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'ft thou venture ?
Hel. Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame
Traduc'd by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Sear’d: otherwise, the worst of worst extended,
With vilest torture let my life be ended.
King. Methinks, in thee some blessed fpirit doth speak,
It powerful sounds within an organ weak;
And what impossibility would slay
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 monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physick I will try,
That minifters thine own death, if I die.
Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die ;
And well deserv’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 sceptre, and my hopes of heaven.
Hel. Then shalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand,
What husband 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 state:
But such a one, thy vasfál; whom I know
Is free for me to ask, thee to bestow.
Y y 2
King. "Here is my hand; the premises observ'd, Thy will by my performance shall be serv’d: So make the choice of thine own time; for 1, Thy resolv'd patient, on thee still rely. More should I question thee, and more I must; Though more to know could not be more to trust: From whence thou cam’st, how tended on, but reft Unquestion'd welcome, and undoubted blest. Give me some help here, hoa ! if thou proceed As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed. Exeunt.
Enter Countess, and Clown. Count. TOME on, sir, I shall now put you to the height of
your Clo. I will show 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 such contempt? but to the court!
Clown. Truly, madam, if god have lent a man any manners, he may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make a leg, put off's
s cap, kiss his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and, indeed, such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court : but for me, I have an answer will serve 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 your French crown for
your taffeta punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's fore-finger, as a pancake for shrove-tuesday, a morris for may-day, ,