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Will not confefs it owns the malady


That doth my life befiege: farewel, young Lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the fons
Of worthy Frenchmen; let Higher Italy
(Thofe 'bated that inherit but the fall
Of the laft monarchy†) fee, that you come
Not to woo Honour, but to wed it; when
The braveft queftant fhrinks, find what you feek,
That fame may cry you loud: I fay, farewel.

2 Lord. Health at your bidding ferve your Majefty!
King. Thofe girls of Italy,—take heed of them;
They fay, our French lack language to deny,
If they demand: beware of being captives,
Before you serve.

Both. Our hearts receive your warnings.
King. Farewel. Come hither to me.

To attendants.


1 Lord. Oh, my fweet Lord, that you will ftay be

hind us!

Par. 'Tis not his fault; the fpark

2 Lord. Oh, 'tis brave wars.

Par. Moft admirable; I have feen those wars.

Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil with, Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early.— Par. An thy mind ftand to it, boy, fteal away bravely.

Ber. Shall I ftay here the forehorse to a fmock,

* The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the Higher and the Lower, the Appennine hills being a kind of natural line of partition. The fide next the Adriatic was denominated the Higher Italy, and the other fide the Lower. And the two feas followed the fame terms of distinction; the Adriatic being called the Upper fea, and the Tyrrhene or Tuscan the Lower. Now, the Sennones or Senois, with whom the Florentines are here fuppofed to be at war, inhabited the Higher Italy, their chief town being Arminum, now called Kimini, upon the Adriatic.

Italy, at the time of this scene, was under three very different tenures. The Emperor, as fucceffor of the Roman Emperors, had one part; the Pope, by a pretended donation from Conftantine, another; and the third was compofed of free ftates. Now, by the last monarchy is meant the Roman, the laft of the four general monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the scramble, several cities fet up for them felves, and became free ftates; now, thefe might be faid properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy.

Creeking my fhoes on the plain masonry,

Till Honour be bought up, and no fword worn
But one to dance with? By heav'n I'll fteal away.
I Lord. There's honour in the theft.

Par. Commit it, Count.

2 Lord. I am your acceffary, and fo farewel. Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortur'd body.

1 Lord. Farewel, Captain.

2 Lord. Sweet Monfieur Parolles !

Par. Noble heroes, my fword and yours are kin; good fparks and luftrous. A word, good metals. You fhall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one Captain. Spurio with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his finifter cheek; it was this very fword intrench'd it; fay to him, I live, and observe his reports of me.

2 Lord. We fhall, noble Captain.

Par. Mars doat on you for his novices? what will ye do?

Ber. Stay; the King

[Exeunt Lords.

Par. Ufe a more fpacious ceremony to the Noble Lords, you have reftrain'd yourself within the lift of too cold an adieu; be more expreffive to them, for they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there to muster true gate, eat, fpeak, and move under the influence of the most receiv'd ftar: and tho' the devil lead the measure, fuch are to be follow'd: after them, and take a more dilated farewel.

Ber. And I will do fo.

Par. Worthy fellows, and like to prove moft finewy fword-men. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. Enter the King, and Lafeu. Laf. Pardon, my Lord, for me and for my tidings. King. I'll fee thee to ftand up.

Laf. Then here's a man stands that hath bought his pardon.

I would you had kneel'd, my Lord, to ask me mercy; And that at my bidding you could fo ftand up.

King. I would I had; fo I had broke thy pate, And afk'd thee mercy for 't,


Laf. Goodfaith, acrofs but, my good Lord, 'tis Will you be cur'd of your infirmity ?

King. No.


Laf. O, will you eat no grapes, my Royal fox? Yes; but you will, an if

My Royal fox could reach them: I have feen a medi That's able to breathe life into a stone;

Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary


With sprightly fire and motion; whofe fimple touch
Is powerful to araife King Pepin, nay,

To give great Charlemain a pen in's hand,
And write to her a love-line.

King. What her is this?

Laf. Why, doctor-fhe: my Lord, there's one arriv'd, If you will fee 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 fex, her years, profeffion †,
Wisdom, and conftancy, hath amaz'd me more.
Than I dare blame my weaknefs will you fee her,
For that is her demand, and know her bufinefs?
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'ft it.

Laf. Nay, I'll fit you,

And not be all day neither.

[Exit Lafeu.

[Bringing in Helena.

King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
Laf. [Returns.] Nay, come your ways.

King. This hafte hath wings indeed.

Laf. Nay, come your ways,

This is his majefty, fay your mind to him;
A traitor you do look like; but fuch traitors
His Majefty feldom fears; I'm Creffid's uncle,
That dare leave two together: fare you

* Medicine is here put for a she-physician.



+ By profeffion is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her coming.

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King. Now, fair one, do's your business follow us? Hel. Ay, my good Lord.

Gerard de Narbon was my father,

In what he did profefs, well found.
King. I knew him.

Hel. The rather will I fpare my praise toward him; Knowing him, is enough: on's bed of death

Many receipts he gave me, chiefly one,
Which as the deareft iffue of his practice,
And of his old experience th' only darling,
He bade me ftore up, as a triple eye.

Safer than mine own two: more dear I have fo;
And hearing your high Majefty is touch'd
With that malignant caufe, wherein the honour
Of my dear father's gift ftands chief in power,
I come to tender it, and my appliance,
With all bound humblenefs.

King. We thank you, maiden;
But may not be fo 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 eftate: we must not
So ftain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To proftitute our paft-cure malady

To empirics; or to diffever fo

Our great felf and our credit, to esteem

A fenfelefs help, when help past sense we deem.
Hel. My duty then fhall pay me for my pains;
I will no more inforce mine office on you;
Humbly intreating from your royal thoughts
A modeft one to bear me back again.

King. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful;
Thou thought'ft to help me, and fuch thanks I give,
As one near death to thofe that wish him live;
But what at full I know, thou know'ft no part;
I knowing all my peril, thou no art.

Hel. What I can do, can do no hurt to try, Since you fet up your reft 'gainft remedy.

He that of greatest works is finifher,

Oft does them by the weakest minifter:

So holy writ in babes hath judgment fhown,

When judges have been babes; great floods have flown
From fimple fources; and great seas have dry'd,
When mir'cles have by th' greatest been deny'd.
Oft expectation fails, and moft oft there
Where moft it promifes: and oft it hits
Where hope is coideft, and defpair moft fits.


King. I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind
Thy pains, not us'd, must by thyself be paid :
Proffers not took, reap thanks for their reward.
Hel. Infpired merit fo by breath is barr'd.
It is not fo with him that all things knows,
As 'tis with us, that fquare our guess by fhows:
But moft it is prefumption in us, when
The help of Heav'n we count the act of men.
Dear Sir, 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 fo confident? within what space
Hop'ft thou my cure?

Hel. The greateft grace lending grace,
Ere twice the horses of the fun fhall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring;
Ere twice in mürk and occidental damp
Moift Hesperus hath quench'd his fleepy lamp;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glafs
Hath told the thievifh minutes how they pass;
What is infirm from your found parts fhall fly,
Health fhall live free, and fickness freely die.
King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'ft thou venture?

Hel. Tax of impudence,

A ftrumpet's boldnefs, a divulged fhame,
Traduc'd by odious ballads: my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwife, no worfe of worst extended;
With vileft torture let my life be ended.

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