Immagini della pagina

To cure the defperate languishings, whereof
The King is render'd loft.

Count. This was your motive for Paris, was it, fpeak; Hel. My lord your fon made me to think of this; Elfe Paris, and the medicine, and the King,

Had from the converfation of my thoughts,
Haply, been absent then.

Count. But think you, Helen,

If you should tender your fuppofed aid,
He would receive it? he and his phyficians
Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him:
They, that they cannot help. How fhall they credit
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,

Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off

The danger to it felf?

Hel. There's fomething in't

More than my father's skill, (which was the great'ft
Of his Profeffion,) that his good receipt

Shall for my legacy be fanctified

By th' luckieft ftars in heav'n; and, would your honour But give me leave to try fuccefs, I'd venture

The well-loft life of mine on his Grace's Cure,

By fuch a day and hour.

Count. Doft thou believe't?

Hel. Ay, Madam, knowingly.

Count. Why, Helen, thou fhalt have my leave and


Means and attendants; and my loving greetings
To those of mine in Court. I'll stay at home,
And pray God's bleffing into thy attempt:
Begone, to morrow; and be fure of this,
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.





SCENE, the Court of France.

Enter the King, with divers young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war. Bertram and Parolles. Flourish Cornets.


Arewel, young Lords: these warlike principles
Do not throw from you: you, my Lords, fare-


Share the advice betwixt you.

If both gain,

The gift doth stretch it felf as 'tis receiv'd,
And is enough for both.

1 Lord. 'Tis our hope, Sir,

After well-enter'd foldiers, to return

And find your Grace in health.

King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart

Wt 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 French men; (6) let higher Italy

[blocks in formation]

(Thofe bated, that inherit but the Fall


Of the laft Monarchy ;) fee, &s.) This feems to me One of the very obfcure Paffages of Shakespear, and which therefore may very well demand Explanation. Italy, at the time of this Scene, was under three very different Tenures. The Emperor, as Succeffor of the Roman Emperors, had one Part; the Pope, by a pretended Donation from Conftantine, another; and the Third was compos'd of free States. 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 Themselves, and became free States: Now these might be faid properly to inberit the Fall of the Monarchy. This being premised, now to the Senfe. The King says,

(Those 'bated, that inherit but the Fall
Of the laft Monarchy ;) fee, that you come
Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when
The brave Queftant shrinks, 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 lay, 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 stay behind us!

Par. 'Tis not his fault; the spark

e Lord. Oh, 'tis brave wars.

Par. Moft admirable; I have feen thofe wars. Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil with, 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 smock, Creeking my fhoes on the plain masonry,

'Till Honour be bought up, and no sword worn But one to dance with? by heav'n, I'll fteal away. 1 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.

[ocr errors]


Higher Italy; · giving it the Rank of Preference to France ; but he corrects himself and fays, I except Those from that Precedency, who only inherit the Fall of the laft Monarchy; all the little petty States; for inftance, Florence to whom thefe Volunteers were going. As if he had faid, I give the Place of Honour to the Emperor and the Pope, but not to the free States. All here is clear; and 'tis exactly Shakespear's Manner, who loy'd to fhew his Reading on fuch Occafions. Mr. Warburton.

1 Lord.

I 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. (7) 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 entrench'd it; fay to him, I live, and observe his of me.

1 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 restrain'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, do muster true gate, eat, fpeak, and move under the influence of the most receiv'd star; and tho' the devil lead the meafure, 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 most finewy fword-men. [Exeunt.

Enter the King, and Lafeu,

Laf. Pardon, my Lord, for me and for my tidings.
King. I'll fee thee to stand up.

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

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

(7) You fall find in the Regiment of the Spinii one Captain Spurio, bis Cicatrice, with an Emblem of War bere on bis finifter Cheek ;] It is furprizing, none of the Editors could fee that a flight Tranfpofition was abfolutely neceffary here, when there is not common Senfe in the Paffage, as it ftands without fuch Tranfpofition. Parolles only means, "You shall find one Captain "Spurio in the Camp with a Scar on his left Cheek, a Mark "of War that my Sword gave him.” VOL. III.



King. I would,

had; fo I had broke thy pate,

And ask'd thee mercy for't.

Laf. Goodfaith, across: but, my good Lord, 'tis

thus ;

Will you be cur'd of your infirmity?

King. No.

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

My royal fox could reach them: (8) I have feen a Med' cin,

That's able to breathe life into a stone;

Quicken a rock, and make dance Canary


With fprightly fire and motion; whose simple touch
Is powerful to araise 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-she: my Lord, there's one ar


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 sex, her years, profeffion, Wisdom and conftancy, hath amaz'd me more Than I dare blame my weakness: will fee 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.

[Exit Lafeu.

King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

(8) I bave feen a Medecine,] Lafeu does not mean that he has feen a Remedy, but a Perfon bringing such a Remedy. I therefore imagine, our Author used the French Word, Medecin, i. e. a Physician; this agrees with what he subjoins immediately in Reply to the King,

Why, Doctor-She;-and-write to her a Love-line.


« IndietroContinua »