Abbildungen der Seite

Since the physician at your father's died ?
He was much fam’d.

Ber. Some six months since, my lord.

King. If he were living, I would try him yet;
Lend me an arm; the rest have worn me out
With several applications: nature and fickness
Debate it at their leisure ! Welcome, count,
My son's no dearer,
Ber. Thanks to your majesty.

[flourish. Exeunt.



Count. I ,

Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.

Will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman? content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? get you gone, firrah: the complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe; 'tis my slowness that I do not; for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.

Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow, Count. Well, fir.

Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor ; though many of the rich are damn'd: but if I have your ladyship’s good will to go to the world, IJbel the woman and I will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Clo. I do beg your good will in this case.
Count. In what case?
Clo. In Isbel's case and mine own: service is no heritage, and,

I think,

I think, I shall never have the blessing of god, till I have issue o'my body; for, they say, bearns are blessings.

Count. Tell me the reason why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the Aesh: and he must needs go that the devil drives. Count. Is this all your worship’s

. reason? Clo. 'Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they


Count. May the world know them?

Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.

Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.

Clo. I am out of friends, madam, and I hope to have friends for my

wife's fake. Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. Y’are shallow, madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me which I am weary of: he that ears my land fpares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge: he that comforts my wife is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he that cherisheth my flesh and blood loves my flesh and blood; he that loves my flesh and blood is my friend : ergo, he that kisses my wife is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poyfam the papift, howsoe'er their hearts are sever'd in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together like any deer i'th' herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foulmouth'd and calumnious knave?

Clo. A prophet I, madam, and I speak the truth the next way; For I the ballad will repeat, which men full true shall find; Your marriage comes by destiny, your cuckoo sings by kind. Count. Get you gone, fir; I'll talk with you more anon.

; Stew. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you? of her I am to speak.

Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman, I would speak with her ;




Helen, I mean.


[ocr errors]

Clo. Was this fair face the cause, quoth me, [fioging

Why the Grecians sacked Troy?
Fond done, fond done, for Paris he

Was this king Priam's joy.
With that she sighed as she stood,

And gave this sentence then;
Among nine bad if one be good,

There's yet one good in ten.
Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song, firrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o'th' song: would god would serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tithe-woman if I were the parson: one in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.

Count. You'll be gone, fır knave, and do as I command you?

Clo. That man that should be at a woman's command, and yet no hurt done! though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart: I am going, forsooth; the businefs is for Helen to come hither.

[Exit. Count. Well, now. Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.

Count. 'Faith, I do': her father bequeath'd her to me; and the herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds: there is more owing her than is pay'd, and more shall be pay'd her than she'll demand.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wish'd me: alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she lov’d your son : fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level: Diana, nd queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surpriz'd without rescue in the first assault, or ransom afterward. This she deliver'd in the most bitter touch of forrow that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; fithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.


Count. You have discharg'd this honestly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods inform’d me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: pray you, leave me: stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care: honest care: I will speak with you further

[Exit Steward.



Enter Helena.

Count. Ev’n so it was with me when I was young:

If we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn
Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born;
It is the show, and seal, of nature's truth,
Where love’s strong passion is impress’d in youth:
By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults, though then we thought them none.
Her eye is sick on't; I observe her now.

Hel. What is your pleasure, madam?
Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.

Count. Nay, a mother;
Why not a mother? when I said, a mother,
Methought, you saw a serpent: what's in mother,

start at it? I say, I'm your mother,
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine : 'tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
You ne'er oppress’d me with a mother's groan,

Vol. II.

That you


Yet ز

Yet I express to you a mother's care:
God's mercy, maiden / does it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother? what's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour's Iris, rounds thine eyes ?
Why — that you are my daughter?

Hel. That I am not.
Count. I say, I am your mother.

Hel. Pardon, madam.
The count Roufillon cannot be my brother :
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble.
My master, my dear lord he is; and I
His servant live, and will his vassal die :
He must not be


brother. Count. Nor I your mother?

Hel. You are my mother, madam; would you were
(So that


your son were not my brother)
Indeed my mother! or, were you both our mothers,
I cannot ask for more than that of heav'n,
So I were not his fifter: can't be no other
Way I your daughter, but he must be


Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law,
God shield, you mean it not! daughter and mother
So strive upon your pulse: what, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness: now I fee
The myst’ry of your loneliness, and find
Your sált tears' head: now to all sense 'tis gross,
You love my son; invention is alham’d,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say, thou dost nøt: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis fo: for, look, thy cheeks
Confefs it one to th' other; and thine eyes
See it so grolly shown in thy behaviour,
That in their kind they speak it: only fin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,


« ZurückWeiter »