« PreviousContinue »
Laf. He cannot want the best That shall attend his love.
Count. Heaven bless him!-Farewell, Bertram.
Ber. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts [To HELENA], be servants to you!* Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the credit of your father. [Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU. Tel. O, were that all!-I think not on my father; And these great tears grace his remembrance more Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination Carries no favour in it, but Bertram's. I am undone; there is no living, none, If Bertram be away. It were all one, That I should love a bright particular star, And think to wed it, he is so above me: In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not in his sphere. The ambition in my love thus plagues itself: The hind, that would be mated by the lion, Must die for love. "Twas pretty, though a plague, To see him every hour; to sit and draw His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls, In our heart's tablet heart, too capable Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:§ But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?
One that goes with him: I love him for his sake;
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Par. Save you, fair queen.
Hel. And you, monarch.
Hel. And no.||
Par. Are you meditating on virginity?
Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a question: Man is enemy to virginity: how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
*I. e. may you be mistress of your wishes, and have power to bring them to effect.
† Picture-canvass. § Countenance.
Peculiarity of feature.
I. e. no monarch, no queen.
Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Par. There is none; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, and blowers up! Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men ?
Par. Virginity, being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was first lost. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever lost: 'tis too cold a companion; away with it.
Hel. I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin Par. There's little can be said in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin: virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited* sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by't: Out with't: within ten years it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and the principal itself not much the worse: Away with't.
Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lose it to her own liking? Par. Let me see: Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth off with't, while 'tis vendible; answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion; richly suited, but unsuitable: just like the brooch and tooth-pick, which wear not now: Your datet is better in your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek: And your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears; it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet 'tis a withered pear: Will you anything with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
There shall your master have a thousand loves,
† A quibble on date, which means age, and candied fruit.
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
Hel. That I wish well.-'Tis pity
Par. What's pity?
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Enter a PAGE.
Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you. [Exit PAGE. Par. Little Helen, farewell: if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
Par. Why think you so?
Hel. You go so much backward, when you fight.
Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. I especially think, under Mars.
Par. Why under Mars?
Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
*I. e. and show by realities what we now must only think.
Things formed by nature for each other.
Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety: But the composition, that your valour and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.
Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely: I will return perfect courtier; in the which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capablet of a courtier's counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast none, remember thy friends: get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so farewell.
Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Impossible be strange attempts, to those
King. The Florentines and Senoys* are by the ears;
1 Lord. So 'tis reported, Sir,
King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it
SCENE II-Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.
Flourish of Cornets. Enter the KING OF FRANCE, with letters ; LORDS, and others attending.
1 Lord. His love and wisdom, Approved so to your majesty, may plead For amplest credence.
King. He hath arm'd our answer,
2 Lord. It may well serve
King. What's he comes here?
Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES.
1 Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord, Young Bertram.
King. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
To talk of your good father: In his youth
In their poor praise he humbled: Such a man
Which, follow'd well, would demonstrate them now
Ber. His good remembrance, Sir,
Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb;
As in your royal speech.
King. 'Would I were with him! He would always say
I, after him, do after him wish too,
To give some labourers room.
2 Lord. You are loved, Sir;
They, that least lend it you, shall lack you first.
Ber. Some six months since, my lord.
King. If he were living, I would try him yet;-
Ber. Thank your majesty.
* Who are mere inventors of dress.