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King. Farewell.-Come hither to me.

[The King retires to a couch. 1 Lord. O my sweet lord, that you will stay be

hind us.

Par. 'Tis not his fault; the spark

2 Lord. Ò, 'tis brave wars! Par. Most admirable: I have seen those wars. Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coill with; Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early. Par. An thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away bravely.

Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock, Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry, Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn, But one to dance with 2 By heaven, I'll steal away. 1 Lord. There's honour in the theft.

Par. Commit it, count. 2 Lord. I am your accessary; and so farewell. Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.

1 Lord. Farewell, captain.

2 Lord. Sweet monsieur Parolles !

Par. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals :You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one captain Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports for me.

2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.

Par. Mars dote on you for his novices! [Exeunt Lords.] What will you do? Rer. Stay; the king

[Seeing him rise. Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu: be more expressive to them;

(1) With a noise, bustle.

(2) In Shakspeare's time it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on.

for they wear themselves in the cap of time,' there, do muster true gait,2 eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most received star; and though the devil lead the measure,3 such are to be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewell. Ber. And I will do so.

Par. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men. [Exe. Bertram and Parolles. Enter Lafeu.

Laf. Pardon, my lord, [Kneeling.] for me and for my tidings.

King. I'll fee thee to stand up.

Then here's a man

Stands, that has brought his pardon. I would, you
Had kneel'd, my lord, to ask me mercy; and
That, at my bidding, you could so stand up.
King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
And ask'd thee mercy for't.

But, my good lord, 'tis thus;
Of your infirmity?




Good faith, across :4
Will you be cur'd

O, will you eat

you will,

No grapes, my royal fox? yes, but

My noble grapes, an if my royal fox

Could reach them: I have seen a medicine,5

That's able to breath life into a stone;

Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary,6

With sprightly fire and motion; whose simple touch
Is powerful to araise king Pepin, nay,

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


What her is this?

(1) They are the foremost in the fashion. (2) Have the true military step. (3) The dance. (4) Unskilfully; a phrase taken from the exercise at a quintaine.

(5) A female physician. (6) A kind of dance.


Laf. Why, doctor she: My lord, there's one


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,1
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz'd me more
Than I dare blarne my weakness: Will you see her
(For that is her demand,) and know her business?
That done, laugh well at me.

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.


And not be all day neither.

Nay, I'll fit you,

[Exit Lafeu.

King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

Re-enter Lafeu, with Helena.

Laf. Nay, come your ways.


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 am Cressid's uncle,2
That dare leave two together; fare you well. [Ex.
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.3
King. I knew him.

Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards 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 the only darling,

(1) By profession is meant her declaration of the object of her coming.

(2) I am like Pandarus.

(3) Of acknowledged excellence.

He bade me store up, as a triple eye,1

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.

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 ransome nature
From her inaidable estate,-I say we must not
So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope,
To prostitute our past-cure malady

To empirics; or to dissever so

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 mine 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,
Since you set up your rest '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.2 Great floods have


From simple sources ;3 and great seas have dried,

(1) A third eye.

(2) An allusion to Daniel judging the two Elders. (3) i. e. When Moses smote the rock in Horeb.

When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises; and oft it hits,
Where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.
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. Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd:
It is not so with him that all things knows,
As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows.
But most it is presumption in us, when
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent;
Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impostor, that proclaim
Myself against the level of mine aim ;2

But know I think, and think I know most surc,
My art is not past power, nor you past cure.
King. Art thou so confident? Within what space
Hop'st thou my cure?


The greatest grace 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 Hesperus3 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 shall fly,
Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.
King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'st thou venture?


Tax of impudence,—

(1) This must refer to the children of Israel passing the Red Sea, when miracles had been denied by Pharaoh.

(2) i. e. Pretend to greater things than befits the mediocrity of my condition.

(3) The evening star.

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