Page images
PDF
EPUB

in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us fome warlike refistance.

Par. There is none: man, fetting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

Hel. Blefs 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 lofe your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preferve virginity. Lofs of virginity is rational increase ; and there was never virgin got, 'till virginity was first loft. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once loft, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever loft; 'tis too cold a companion away with't.

Hel. I will ftand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.

Par. There's little can be faid in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To fpeak on the part of virginity, is to accufe your mother; which is moft infallible difobedience. He, that hangs himfelf, is a virgin : virginity murthers itself, and fhould be buried in highways out of all fanctified limit, as a defperate offendrefs against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; confumes itself to the very paring, and fo dies with feeding its own ftomach. Befides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of felf-love, which is the moft prohibited fin in the canon. Keep it not, you cannot chufe but lose by't. Out with't; within ten years it will make itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse. with't.

Away

[ocr errors]

Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lofe it to her own liking?

Par. Let me fee. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lofe the glofs with lying. The longer kept, the lefs worth: off with't, while 'tis vendible. Anfwer the time of requeft. Virginity, like

an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion: richly
futed, but unfutable; just like the brooch and the tooth-
pick, which we wear not now: your date is better in
your pye and your porridge, than in your cheek; and
your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our
French wither'd pears; it looks ill, it eats drily; marry,
'tis a wither'd pear: it was formerly better; marry, yet
'tis a wither'd pear. Will you any thing with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.

There fhall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a fovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility;
His jarring concord; and his discord dulcet;
His faith, his fweet difafter; with a world
Of pretty fond adoptious chriftendoms,
That blinking Cupid goffips.
I know not, what he fhall-
The court's a learning place-
Par. What one, i̇'faith?
Hel. That I wish well-'tis pity.
Par. What's pity?

Now fhall he

-God fend him well!-
and he is one

Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Which might be felt; that We the poorer born,
Whose baser stars do fhut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends:
And fhew what we alone must think, which never
Returns us thanks.

Enter Page.

Page. Monfieur Parolles,

My lord calls for you.

[Exit Page.

Par. Little Helen, farewel; if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.

Hel. Monfieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable ftar.

Par. Under Mars, I.

Hel. I especially think, under Mars.

Par.

Par. Why under Mars?

Hel. The wars have kept you fo under, that you must needs be born under Mars.

Par. When he was predominant.

Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
Par. Why think you fo?

Hel. You go fo much backward, when you fight.
Par. That's for advantage.

Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes fafety: but the compofition, that your valour and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.

Par. I am fo full of bufineffes, as I cannot answer thee acutely I will return perfect courtier; in the which, my inftruction fhall ferve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of courtier's counsel, and understand what advice fhall thruft upon thee; elfe thou dieft in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away; farewel. When thou haft leifure, fay thy prayers; when thou haft none, remember thy friends; get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: fo farewel. [Exit.

Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to heav'n. The fated sky
Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull
Our flow defigns, when we ourselves are dull.
What power is it, which mounts my love so high,
That makes me fee, and cannot feed mine eye?
The mightieft fpace in fortune nature brings
To join like likes; and kifs, like native things.
Impoffible be strange attempts, to those
That weigh their pain in fense; and do suppose,
What hath been, cannot be. Who ever ftrove
To fhew her merit, that did mifs her love?
The King's disease-my project may deceive me,
But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me.

[Exit.

SCENE

SCENE changes to the Court of France.

Flourish Cornets. Enter the King of France with letters, and divers Attendants.

King. TH

HE Florentines and Senoys are by th' ears; Have fought with equal fortune, and continue

A braving war.

1 Lord. So 'tis reported, Sir.

King. Nay, 'tis moft credible; we here receive it, A certainty vouch'd from our cousin Austria ; With caution, that the Florentine will move us For fpeedy aid; wherein our dearest friend Prejudicates the bufinefs, and would feem To have us make denial.

I Lord. His love and wisdom,
Approv'd fo to your Majefty, may plead
For ample credence.

King. He hath arm'd our anfwer;
And Florence is deny'd, before he comes:
Yet, for our gentlemen that mean to see
The Tuscan fervice, freely have they leave
To ftand on either part.

2 Lord. It may well ferve
A nursery to our gentry, who are fick
For breathing and exploit.

King. What's he comes here?

Enter Bertram, Lafeu and Parolles.

1 Lord. It is the count Roufillon, my good lord, young Bertram..

King. Youth, thou bear'ft thy father's face.
Frank nature, rather curious than in hafte,
Hath well compos'd thee. Thy father's moral parts
May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.

Ber. My thanks and duty are your Majefty's. King. I would, I had that corporal foundness now, As when thy father and myself in friendship

[ocr errors]

First try'd our foldiership: he did look far
Into the service of the time, and was
Difcipled of the brav'ft. He laited long;
But on us both did haggish age fteal on,
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
To talk of your good father; in his youth
He had the wit, which I can well obferve
To day in our young lords; but they may jest,
Till their own fcorn return to them unnoted,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour :
So like a courtier, no contempt or bitterness (3)
Were in him; pride or fharpnefs, if there were,
His equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exceptions bid him speak; and at that time
His tongue obey'd his hand. Who were below him
He us'd as creatures of another place,
And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks;
Making them proud of his humility,

In their poor praise he humbled: Such a man
Might be a copy to thefe younger times;
Which, follow'd well, would now demonftrate them
But goers backward.

Ber. His good remembrance, Sir,

Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb;
So in approof lives not his epitaph,

As in your royal speech.

King. 'Would, I were with him! he would always

fay,

(3) So like a Courtier, no Contempt or Bitterness

Were in his Pride or Sharpness; if they were,

His Equal had awak'd them.] This Paffage feems fo very incorrectly pointed, that the Author's Meaning is loft in the Carelessnefs. As the Text and Stops are reform'd, these are most beautiful Lines, and the Sense this- -"He had no "Contempt or Bitterness; if he had any thing that look'd like "Pride or Sharpness, (of which Qualities Contempt and Bit"terness are the Exceffes,) his Equal had awak'd them, not "his Inferior; to whom he fcorn'd to discover any thing that "bore the Shadow of Pride or Sharpness." Mr. Warburton.

(Methinks,

« PreviousContinue »