Page images
PDF
EPUB

No

grapes, my royal fox? yes, but you

My noble grapes, an if my royal fox

will,

Could reach them. I have seen a medicine,1
That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary,2

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.

If

King.

What her is this?

La. Why, doctor she. My lord, there's one

arrived,

you will see her :-now, by my faith and honor, If seriously I may convey my thoughts

In this my light deliverance, I have spoke

With one, that, in her sex, her years, profession,3 Wisdom, and constancy, hath amazed me more Than I dare blame my weakness. Will you see 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 wondering how thou took'st it.

La.

And not be all day neither.

Nay, I'll fit you,

[Exit Lafeu.

King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.

A female physician.

2 The name of a dance.

3 Declaration of the purpose of her coming.

Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA.

La. Nay, come your ways.

King.

This haste hath wings indeed.

La. 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,1
That dare leave two together: fare you well. [Exit.
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.o
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,
He bade me store up, as a triple eye,

Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so:
And, hearing your high majesty is touch'd
With that malignant cause wherein the honor
Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,
I come to tender it, and my appliance,
With all bound humbleness.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

When our most learned doctors leave us; and
The congregated college have concluded

That laboring art can never ransom 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 grate

ful:

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. Great floods have
flown

From simple sources; and great seas have dried,
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 maid:

Thy pains, not used, 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 endeavors give consent;
Of Heaven, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impostor, that proclaim
Myself against the level of mine aim;

But know I think, and think I know most sure,
My art is not past power, nor you past cure.

King. Art thou so confident? Within what space Hopest thou my cure?

Hel.

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 Hesperus 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.

Pretend to greater things than befits the mediocrity of my condition.'-Warburton.

King. Upon thy certainty and confidence, What darest thou venture?

Hel.

Tax of impudence ;

A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame ;-
Traduced by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise; no worse of worst extended,
With vilest torture let my life be ended.

King. Methinks, in thee some blessed spirit doth speak;

His powerful sound within an organ weak:
And what impossibility would slay

In common sense, sense saves another way.
Thy life is dear; for all, that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate; 1
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all
That happiness and prime 2 can happy call:
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate.
Sweet practiser, thy physic I will try,
That ministers thine own death if I die.

Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property 3

Of what I spoke, unpitied let me die ;

And well deserved. Not helping, death's my fee; But, if I help, what do you promise me?

King. Make thy demand.

Hel.

But will you make it even ?

1 May be accounted among the gifts enjoyed by thee.

* The spring or morning of life.

3 In the due performance.

« EelmineJätka »