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Humbly intreating from your royal thoughts
A modeft one to bear me back again.

King. I cannot give thee lefs, to be call'd grateful; Thou thought'ft to help me, and fuch 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 fet up your reft 'gainft 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 fimple fources; and great seas have dry'd,
When mir'cles have by th' greatest been deny'd.
Oft expectation fails, and moft oft there
Where moft it promifes: and oft it hits
Where hope is coldeft, and despair most fits.

King. I muft not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Thy pains, not us'd, muft by thyself be paid:
Proffers, not took, reap thanks for their reward.
Hel. Infpired merit fo by breath is barr'd:
It is not fo with him that all things knows,
As 'tis with us, that fquare our guefs by shows:
But moft it is prefumption in us, when
The help of heav'n we count the act of men.
Dear Sir, to my endeavours give confent,
Of heav'n, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impoftor, that proclaim
Myself against the level of mine aim,

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

King. Art thou fo confident? within what space
Hop'st thou my cure?

Hel. The greatest grace lending grace,
Ere twice the horfes of the fun shall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring;
Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Moift Hesperus hath quench'd his fleepy lamp;
Or four and twenty times the pilot's glafs

B 3


Hath told the thievifh minutes how they pafs;
What is infirm from your found parts fhall fly,
Health fhall live free, and fick nefs freely die.
King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
What dar'ft thou venture?

Hel. Tax of impudence,

A ftrumpet's boldness, a divulged fhame
Traduc'd by odious ballads: my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwife, no worfe of worst extended;
With vileft torture let my life be ended.

King. Methinks, in thee fome bleffed spirit doth speak His powerful found, within an organ weak;

And what impoflibility would flay

In common fenfe, sense saves another way.
Thy life is dear; for all that life can rate
Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate:
(13) Youth, beauty, wifdom, courage, virtue, all
That happiness and prime can happy call;
Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate
Skill infinite, or monftrous defperate.
Sweet practifer, thy phyfick I will try ;
That minifters thine own death, if I die.
Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property
Of what I fpoke, unpitied let me die,

And well deferv'd! not helping, death's my fee
But if I help, what do you promise me?
King. (14) Make thy demand.


(13) Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all &c.] This verfe is too fhort by a foot; and apparently fome diffyllable is drop'd out by mifchance. Mr. Warburton concurr'd with me in conjecture to supply the verfe thus:

Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, virtue, all &c.

Helena had laid a particular ftrefs on her maiden reputation; and the King, afterwards, when he comes to speak of her to Bertram, fays;

If the be

All that is virtuous, (fave, what thou dislik'st,

A poor phyfician's daughter;) thou dislik'

Of virtue for her name:

(14) King. Make thy demand.

Hel. But will you make it even?

King, Ay, by my scepter and my hopes of help.]


Hel. But will you make it even?

King. Ay, by my fcepter, and my hopes of heav'n. Hel. Then fhalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand, What husband in thy power I will command. Exempted be from me the arrogance

To chufe from forth the royal blood of France;
My low and humble name to propagate
With any branch or image of thy ftate:
But fuch a one thy vaffal, whom I know
Is free for me to afk, thee to bestow.

King. Here is my hand, the premises obferv'd,
Thy will by my performance fall be ferv'd:
So, make the choice of thine own time; for 1,
Thy refolv'd patient, on thee ftill rely.

More fhould I queftion thee, and more I muft;
(Tho' more to know, could not be more to truft :)
From whence thou cam't, how tended on, but reft
Unqueftion'd welcome, and undoubted bleft.
Give me fome help here, hoa! if thou proceed
As high as word, my deed fhall match thy deed. [Exeunt.

SCENE changes to Roufillen.

Enter Countefs, and Clown.

Count. height of your breeding

OME on, Sir; I fhall now put you to the

Clo. I will fhew myfelf highly fed, and lowly taught; I know, my bufinefs is but to the court.

Count. But to the court? why, what place make you Special, when you put off that with fuch contempt?

but to the court!

Clo. Truly, Madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he may eafily put it off at court: he that

The King could have but a very flight hope of help from her, fcarce enough to fwear by: and therefore Helen might fufpect, he meant to equivocate with her. Befides, obferve, the greatest part of the scene is ftrictly in rhyme: and there is no fhadow of reason why it should be interrupted here. I rather imagine, the poet wrote;

Ay, by my feepter, and my hopes of heav'n.

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Dr. Thirlby.


cannot make a leg, put off's cap, kifs his hand, and fay nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and, indeed, fuch a fellow, to fay precifely, were not for the court: but for me, I have an anfwer will serve all


Count. Marry, that's a bountiful answer that fits all questions.

Clo. It is like a barber's chair, that fits all buttocks; the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn-buttock, or any buttock,

Count. Will your answer ferve fit to all questions ? Clo. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for your taffaty punk, as Tib's rufh for Tom's fore-finger, as a pancake for ShroveTuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a fcolding quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; nay, as the pudding to his skin.

Count. Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all questions?


Clo. From below your Duke, to beneath your conftable, it will fit any queftion.

Count. It must be an answer of moft monftrous fize, that must fit all demands.

Clo. But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned fhould fpeak truth of it: here it is, and all that belongs to't. Afk me, if I am a courtier;-it shall do you no harm to learn.

Count. To be young again, if we could: I will be a fool in a question, hoping to be the wifer by your anfwer. I pray you, Sir, are you a courtier ?

Clo. O Lord, Sir-there's a fimple putting off: more, more, a hundred of them.

Count. Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.

Clo. O Lord, Sir-thick, thick, fpare not me. Count. I think, Sir, you can eat none of this homely


Clo. O Lord, Sir-nay, put me to't, I warrant you. Count. You were lately whip'd, Sir, as I think.

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Clo. O Lord, Sir-fpare not me.

Count. Do you cry, O Lord, Sir, at your whipping, and spare not me? indeed, your O Lord, Sir, is very fequent to your whipping: you would anfwer very well to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.

Clo. I ne'er had worfe luck in my life, in my-O Lord, Sir; I fee, things may ferve long, but not ferve


Count. I play the noble hufwife with the time, to entertain it fo merrily with a fool.

Clo. O Lord, Sir-why, there't ferves well again. Count. An end, Sir; to your business: give Helen this, And urge her to a present answer back.

Commend me to my kinfmen, and my fon :
This is not much.

Clo. Not much commendation to them?

Count. Not much imployment for you, you under ftand me.

Clo. Moft fruitfully, I am there before my legs.
Count. Hafte you again.


SCENE changes to the Court of France.

Enter Bertram, Lafeu, and Parolles.

Laf. (15) T

HEY fay, miracles are paft; and we have our philofophical perfons to make modern, and familiar, things fupernatural and caufelefs. Hence is it, that we make trifles of terrors; enfconfing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we fhould fubmit ourselves to an unknown fear.

Par. Why, 'tis the rareft argument of wonder that hath fhot out in our later times.

Ber. And fo 'tis.

(15) They fay miracles are paft, and we have our ph fophical perfons to make modern and familiar things supernatural and caufeless.] This, as it has hitherto been pointed, is directly oppofite to our pret's, and his fpeaker's, meaning. As I have flop'd it, the fenfe quadrates with the context: and, furely, it is one unalterable property of philofophy, to make feeming ftrange and preternatural Phænomena familiar, and reducible to cause and reafon.

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