Imatges de pÓgina
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What power is it which mounts my love so high;
That makes me see, and cannot feed mine
The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
To join like likes, and kiss like native things.
Impossible be strange attempts, to those
That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose,
What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove
To show her merit, that did miss her love?
The king's disease-my project may deceive me,
But my intents are fixed, and will not leave me. [Exit.

SCENE II. Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish of Cornets.

Enter the King of France, with letters; Lords and others attending.

King. The Florentines and Senoys 3 are by the ears; Have fought with equal fortune, and continue A braving war. 1 Lord.

So 'tis reported, sir.

King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it A certainty, vouched from our cousin Austria, With caution, that the Florentine will move us For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend Prejudicates the business, and would seem To have us make denial.

1 Lord.
His love and wisdom,
Approved so to your majesty, may plead
For amplest credence.

1 She means, "Why am I made to discern excellence, and left to long after it without the food of hope?"

2 The mightiest space in fortune is a licentious expression for persons the most widely separated by fortune; whom nature (i. e. natural affection) brings to join like likes (i. e. equals), and kiss like native things (i. e. and unite like things formed by nature for each other); or, in other words, "Nature often unites those whom fortune or inequality of rank has separated."

3 The citizens of the small republic of which Sienna is the capital; the Sanesi, as Boccaccio calls them, which Painter translates Senois, after the French method.

King.

And Florence is denied before he comes;
Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.

He hath armed our answer,

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

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; Frank nature, rather curious than in haste, Hath well composed thee. Thy father's moral parts Mayst thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.

Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's. King. I would I had that corporal soundness now, As when thy father, and myself, in friendship First tried our soldiership! He did look far Into the service of the time, and was Discipled of the bravest. He lasted long; But on us both did haggish age steal on, And wore us out of act. It much repairs1 me To talk of your good father. In his youth He had the wit, which I can well observe To-day in our young lords; but they may jest, Till their own scorn return to them unnoted, Ere they can hide their levity in honor.2 So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness Were in his pride or sharpness: if they were, His equal had awaked them; and his honor,

1 To repair, in these plays, generally signifies to renovate.

2 That is, "cover petty faults with great merit:" honor does not stand for dignity of rank or birth, but acquired reputation. "This is an excellent observation (says Johnson); jocose follies, and slight offences, are only allowed by mankind in him that overpowers them by great qualities."

3 Nor was sometimes used without reduplication. "He was so like a courtier, that there was in his dignity of manner nothing contemptuous,

Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exception bid him speak, and, at this time,
His tongue obeyed his hand. Who were below him,
He used as creatures of another place;
And bowed 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 these younger times;
Which, followed well, would démonstrate them now
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 al

ways say,

(Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words
He scattered not in ears, but grafted them,
To grow there, and to bear,) Let me not live,-
Thus his good melancholy oft began,
On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
When it was out,-let me not live, quoth he,
After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain; whose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies
Expire before their fashions.-This he wished:
I, after him, do after him wish too,
Since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home,
I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
To give some laborers room.

3

2 Lord.

You are loved, sir; They that least lend it you, shall lack you first.

and in his keenness of wit nothing bitter. If bitterness or contemptuousness ever appeared, they had been awakened by some injury, not of a man below him, but for his equal."

1 His for its.

2 The approbation of his worth lives not so much in his epitaph as in your royal speech.

3 Who have no other use of their faculties than to invent new modes of dress.

King. I fill a place, I know't.-How long is't,

count,

Since the physician at your father's died?
He was much famed.

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 sickness Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count; My son's no dearer.

Ber.

Thank your majesty.

[Exeunt. Flourish.

SCENE III. Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.1

Count. I will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman?

Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavors; 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, sirrah. 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, sir.

Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well, that I am poor; though many of the rich are damned; but, if I may

1 The clown in this comedy is a domestic fool of the same kind as Touchstone. Such fools were, in the Poet's time, maintained in all great families, to keep up merriment in the house.

2 To act up to your desires.

have your ladyship's good will to go to the world,' Isabel 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 Isabel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage; and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, till I have issue of my body; for, they say, bearns are blessings.

2

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven on by the flesh; 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 are.

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 sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. You are shallow, madam; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am a weary of. He that ears my land, spares 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 cherishes 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 Poysam5

4

1 To be married.

2 Children.

3 Ploughs.

4 Therefore.

5 Malone conjectures that we should read "Poisson the papist," alluding to the custom of eating fish on fast days: as Charbon the puritan alludes to the fiery zeal of that sect. It is much in Shakspeare's manner to use significant names.

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