previous next

SCENE III

Paris. The KING'S palace.
Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES.

Laf.
They say miracles are past; and we
have our philosophical persons, to make modern
and familiar, things supernatural and
causeless. Hence it is that we make trifles of
terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming
knowledge, when we should submit ourselves
to an unknown fear.

Par.
Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder
that hath shot out in our latter times.

Ber.
And so 'tis. (10)

Laf.
To be relinquished of the artists,--

Par.
So I say.

Laf.
Both of Galen and Paracelsus.

Par.
So I say.

Laf.
Of all the learned and authentic fellows,--

Par.
Right; so I say.

Laf.
That gave him out incurable,--

Par.
Why, there 'tis; so say I too.

Laf.
Not to be helped,--

Par.
Right: as 'twere, a man assured of a-- (20)

Laf.
Uncertain life, and sure death.

Par.
Just, you say well; so would I have said.

Laf.
I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.

Par.
It is, indeed: if you will have it in
showing, you shall read it in--what do ye
call there?

Laf.
A showing of a heavenly effect in an
earthly actor.

Par.
That's it; I would have said the very (30)
same.

Laf.
Why, your dolphin is not lustier:
'fore me, I speak in respect--

Par.
Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange,
that is the brief and the tedious of it; and
he's of a most facinerious spirit that will not
acknowledge it to be the--

Laf.
Very hand of heaven.

Par.
Ay, so I say.

Laf.
In a most weak--[pausing] and debile
minister, great power, great transcendence:
which should, indeed, give us a further use to
be made than alone the recovery of the king,
as to be--[pausing] generally thankful.

Par.
I would have said it; you say well.
Here comes the king. Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. LAFEU and PAROLLES retire.

Laf.
Lustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll
like a maid the better, whilst I have a tooth in
my head: why, he's able to lead her a coranto.

Par.
Mort du vinaigre! is not this Helen? (51)

Laf.
'Fore God, I think so.

King.
Go, call before me all the lords in court.
Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side;
And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense
Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receive
The confirmation of my promised gift,
Which but attends thy naming. Enter three or four Lords.
Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing, (60)
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 mistress
Fall, when Love please marry, to each, but one!

Laf.
I'ld give bay Curtal 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, (70)
Heaven hath through me restored 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 shouldst choose; but, be refused,
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. (80)

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?

First Lord.
And grant it.

Hel.
Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.

Laf.
I had rather be in this choice than
throw ames-ace for my life.

Hel.
The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
Love make your fortunes twenty times above
Her that so wishes and her humble love!

Sec. Lord.
No better, if you please.

Hel.
My wish receive, (91)
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 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 (101)
English; the French ne'er got 'em.

Hel.
You are too young, too happy, and too good,
To make yourself a son out of my blood.

Fourth Lord.
Fair one, I think not so.

Laf.
There's one grape yet; I am sure thy
father drunk 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; but I give (110)
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 raised me
from my sickly bed. (119)

Ber.
But follows it, my lord, to bring me down (120)
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 dislikest, (130)
A poor physician's daughter, thou dislikest
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 swell's, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
Is good without a name. Vileness is so:
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, (141)
Which challenges itself as honour's born
And is not like the sire: honours thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our foregoers: the mere word's a slave
Debosh'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, (150)
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't.

King.
Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.

Hel.
That you are well restored, my lord, I'm 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;
Thou dost in vile misprision shackle up
My love and her desert; that canst not dream, (161)
We, poising 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 (170)
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 counterpoise, 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 contract; 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 lovest her, (190)
Thy love's to me religious; else, does err. [Exeunt all but Lafeu and Parolles.

Laf.
[Advancing]
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 (200)
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; (209)
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 burthen. 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'rt scarce worth.

Par.
Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity (221)
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.

Laf.
Ay, with all my heart; and thou art (231)
worthy of it.

Par.
I have not, my lord, deserved it.

Laf.
Yes, good faith, every dram of it;
and I will not bate thee a scruple.

Par.
Well, I shall be wiser.

Laf.
Even as soon as thou canst, for thou
hast to pull at a smack o' the contrary. If
ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf and beaten,
thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy
bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance
with thee, or rather my knowledge, that
I may say in the default, he is a man I know.

Par.
My lord, you do me most insupportable
vexation.

Laf.
I would it were hell-pains for thy
sake, and my poor doing eternal: for doing I
am past; as I will by thee, in what motion
age will give me leave. [Exit.

Par.
Well, thou hast a son shall take this
disgrace off me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy
lord! Well, I must be patient; there is no fettering
of authority. I'll beat him, by my life,
if I can meet him with any convenience, an (11)
he were double and double a lord. I'll have
no more pity of his age than I would of--
I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again. Re-enter LAFEU.

Laf.
Sirrah, your lord and master's married;
there's news for you: you have a new
mistress.

Par.
I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship
to make some reservation of your
wrongs: he is my good lord: whom I serve (261)
above is my master.

Laf.
Who? God?

Par.
Ay, sir.

Laf.
The devil it is that's thy master. Why
dost thou garter up thy arms o' this fashion?
dost make hose of thy sleeves? do other servants
so? Thou wert best set thy lower part
where thy nose stands. By mine honor, if I
were but two hours younger, I'ld beat thee:
methinks, thou art a general offence, and every
man should beat thee: I think thou wast
created for men to breathe themselves upon
thee.

Par.
This is hard and undeserved measure,
my lord.

Laf.
Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy
for picking a kernel out of a pomegranate:
you are a vagabond and no true traveller: you
you are more saucy with lords and honourable personages
than the commission of your birth and
virtue gives you heraldry. You are not worth
another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave
you. [Exit.

Par.
Good, very good; it is so then: good,
very good; let it be concealed awhile. Re-enter BERTRAM.

Ber.
Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!

Par.
What's the matter, sweet-heart?

Ber.
Although before the solemn priest I
have sworn,
I will not bed her.

Par.
What, what, sweet-heart?

Ber.
O my Parolles, they have married me! (290)
I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.

Par.
France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!

Ber.
There's letters from my mother:
what the import is, I know not yet.

Par.
Ay, that would be known. To the
wars, my boy, to the wars!
He wears his honour in a box unseen,
That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
Spending his manly marrow in her arms,
Which should sustain the bound and high curvet (300)
Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions
France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades;
Therefore, to the war!

Ber.
It shall be so: I'll send her to my house,
Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
And wherefore I am fled; write to the king
Shall furnish me to those Italian fields,
That which I durst not speak: his present gift
Where noble fellows strike: war is no strife
To the dark house and the detested wife. (310)

Par.
Will this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?

Ber.
Go with me to my chamber and advise me.
I'll send her straight away: to-morrow
I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.

Par.
Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
A young man married is a man that's marr'd:
Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go:
The king has done you wrong: but, hush, 'tis so. [Exeunt.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: