Meet us on:
Welcome to Read Print! Sign in with
or
to get started!
 
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else."
     

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Act 2, Scene III

    • Rate it:
    • Average Rating: 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
    • 9 Favorites on Read Print
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 6
    Previous Chapter
    SCENE III. Paris. The KING's palace.

    Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES
    LAFEU
    They say miracles are past; and we have our
    philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar,
    things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that
    we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves
    into seeming knowledge, when we should submit
    ourselves to an unknown fear.

    PAROLLES
    Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder that hath
    shot out in our latter times.

    BERTRAM
    And so 'tis.

    LAFEU
    To be relinquish'd of the artists,--

    PAROLLES
    So I say.

    LAFEU
    Both of Galen and Paracelsus.

    PAROLLES
    So I say.

    LAFEU
    Of all the learned and authentic fellows,--

    PAROLLES
    Right; so I say.

    LAFEU
    That gave him out incurable,--

    PAROLLES
    Why, there 'tis; so say I too.

    LAFEU
    Not to be helped,--

    PAROLLES
    Right; as 'twere, a man assured of a--

    LAFEU
    Uncertain life, and sure death.

    PAROLLES
    Just, you say well; so would I have said.

    LAFEU
    I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.

    PAROLLES
    It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you
    shall read it in--what do you call there?

    LAFEU
    A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor.

    PAROLLES
    That's it; I would have said the very same.

    LAFEU
    Why, your dolphin is not lustier: 'fore me,
    I speak in respect--

    PAROLLES
    Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the
    brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most
    facinerious spirit that will not acknowledge it to be the--

    LAFEU
    Very hand of heaven.

    PAROLLES
    Ay, so I say.

    LAFEU
    In a most weak--

    pausing

    and debile minister, great power, great
    transcendence: which should, indeed, give us a
    further use to be made than alone the recovery of
    the king, as to be--

    pausing

    generally thankful.

    PAROLLES
    I would have said it; you say well. Here comes the king.

    Enter KING, HELENA, and Attendants. LAFEU and PAROLLES retire

    LAFEU
    Lustig, as the Dutchman says: I'll like a maid the
    better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: why, he's
    able to lead her a coranto.

    PAROLLES
    Mort du vinaigre! is not this Helen?

    LAFEU
    'Fore God, I think so.

    KING
    Go, call before me all the lords in court.
    Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side;
    And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense
    Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receive
    The confirmation of my promised gift,
    Which but attends thy naming.

    Enter three or four Lords

    Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
    Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
    O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
    I have to use: thy frank election make;
    Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.

    HELENA
    To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
    Fall, when Love please! marry, to each, but one!

    LAFEU
    I'ld give bay Curtal and his furniture,
    My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
    And writ as little beard.

    KING
    Peruse them well:
    Not one of those but had a noble father.

    HELENA
    Gentlemen,
    Heaven hath through me restored the king to health.

    All
    We understand it, and thank heaven for you.

    HELENA
    I am a simple maid, and therein wealthiest,
    That I protest I simply am a maid.
    Please it your majesty, I have done already:
    The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
    'We blush that thou shouldst choose; but, be refused,
    Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever;
    We'll ne'er come there again.'

    KING
    Make choice; and, see,
    Who shuns thy love shuns all his love in me.

    HELENA
    Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly,
    And to imperial Love, that god most high,
    Do my sighs stream. Sir, will you hear my suit?

    First Lord
    And grant it.

    HELENA
    Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.

    LAFEU
    I had rather be in this choice than throw ames-ace
    for my life.

    HELENA
    The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes,
    Before I speak, too threateningly replies:
    Love make your fortunes twenty times above
    Her that so wishes and her humble love!

    Second Lord
    No better, if you please.

    HELENA
    My wish receive,
    Which great Love grant! and so, I take my leave.

    LAFEU
    Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine,
    I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the
    Turk, to make eunuchs of.

    HELENA
    Be not afraid that I your hand should take;
    I'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
    Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
    Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!

    LAFEU
    These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her:
    sure, they are bastards to the English; the French
    ne'er got 'em.

    HELENA
    You are too young, too happy, and too good,
    To make yourself a son out of my blood.

    Fourth Lord
    Fair one, I think not so.

    LAFEU
    There's one grape yet; I am sure thy father drunk
    wine: but if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth
    of fourteen; I have known thee already.

    HELENA
    [To BERTRAM] I dare not say I take you; but I give
    Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
    Into your guiding power. This is the man.

    KING
    Why, then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy wife.

    BERTRAM
    My wife, my liege! I shall beseech your highness,
    In such a business give me leave to use
    The help of mine own eyes.

    KING
    Know'st thou not, Bertram,
    What she has done for me?

    BERTRAM
    Yes, my good lord;
    But never hope to know why I should marry her.

    KING
    Thou know'st she has raised me from my sickly bed.

    BERTRAM
    But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
    Must answer for your raising? I know her well:
    She had her breeding at my father's charge.
    A poor physician's daughter my wife! Disdain
    Rather corrupt me ever!

    KING
    'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
    I can build up. Strange is it that our bloods,
    Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
    Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
    In differences so mighty. If she be
    All that is virtuous, save what thou dislikest,
    A poor physician's daughter, thou dislikest
    Of virtue for the name: but do not so:
    From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
    The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
    Where great additions swell's, and virtue none,
    It is a dropsied honour. Good alone
    Is good without a name. Vileness is so:
    The property by what it is should go,
    Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
    In these to nature she's immediate heir,
    And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn,
    Which challenges itself as honour's born
    And is not like the sire: honours thrive,
    When rather from our acts we them derive
    Than our foregoers: the mere word's a slave
    Debosh'd on every tomb, on every grave
    A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
    Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb
    Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said?
    If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
    I can create the rest: virtue and she
    Is her own dower; honour and wealth from me.

    BERTRAM
    I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.

    KING
    Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou shouldst strive to choose.

    HELENA
    That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad:
    Let the rest go.

    KING
    My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,
    I must produce my power. Here, take her hand,
    Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift;
    That dost in vile misprision shackle up
    My love and her desert; that canst not dream,
    We, poising us in her defective scale,
    Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know,
    It is in us to plant thine honour where
    We please to have it grow. Cheque thy contempt:
    Obey our will, which travails in thy good:
    Believe not thy disdain, but presently
    Do thine own fortunes that obedient right
    Which both thy duty owes and our power claims;
    Or I will throw thee from my care for ever
    Into the staggers and the careless lapse
    Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate
    Loosing upon thee, in the name of justice,
    Without all terms of pity. Speak; thine answer.

    BERTRAM
    Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
    My fancy to your eyes: when I consider
    What great creation and what dole of honour
    Flies where you bid it, I find that she, which late
    Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
    The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
    Is as 'twere born so.

    KING
    Take her by the hand,
    And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise
    A counterpoise, if not to thy estate
    A balance more replete.

    BERTRAM
    I take her hand.

    KING
    Good fortune and the favour of the king
    Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
    Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
    And be perform'd to-night: the solemn feast
    Shall more attend upon the coming space,
    Expecting absent friends. As thou lovest her,
    Thy love's to me religious; else, does err.

    Exeunt all but LAFEU and PAROLLES

    LAFEU
    [Advancing] Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.

    PAROLLES
    Your pleasure, sir?

    LAFEU
    Your lord and master did well to make his
    recantation.

    PAROLLES
    Recantation! My lord! my master!

    LAFEU
    Ay; is it not a language I speak?

    PAROLLES
    A most harsh one, and not to be understood without
    bloody succeeding. My master!

    LAFEU
    Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?

    PAROLLES
    To any count, to all counts, to what is man.

    LAFEU
    To what is count's man: count's master is of
    another style.

    PAROLLES
    You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.

    LAFEU
    I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which
    title age cannot bring thee.

    PAROLLES
    What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

    LAFEU
    I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty
    wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy
    travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs and the
    bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from
    believing thee a vessel of too great a burthen. I
    have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care
    not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up; and
    that thou't scarce worth.

    PAROLLES
    Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,--

    LAFEU
    Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou
    hasten thy trial; which if--Lord have mercy on thee
    for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee
    well: thy casement I need not open, for I look
    through thee. Give me thy hand.

    PAROLLES
    My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.

    LAFEU
    Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.

    PAROLLES
    I have not, my lord, deserved it.

    LAFEU
    Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not
    bate thee a scruple.

    PAROLLES
    Well, I shall be wiser.

    LAFEU
    Even as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at
    a smack o' the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound
    in thy scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is
    to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold
    my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge,
    that I may say in the default, he is a man I know.

    PAROLLES
    My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.

    LAFEU
    I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor
    doing eternal: for doing I am past: as I will by
    thee, in what motion age will give me leave.

    Exit

    PAROLLES
    Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off
    me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must
    be patient; there is no fettering of authority.
    I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with
    any convenience, an he were double and double a
    lord. I'll have no more pity of his age than I
    would of--I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.

    Re-enter LAFEU

    LAFEU
    Sirrah, your lord and master's married; there's news
    for you: you have a new mistress.

    PAROLLES
    I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make
    some reservation of your wrongs: he is my good
    lord: whom I serve above is my master.

    LAFEU
    Who? God?

    PAROLLES
    Ay, sir.

    LAFEU
    The devil it is that's thy master. Why dost thou
    garter up thy arms o' this fashion? dost make hose of
    sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set
    thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine
    honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'ld beat
    thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and
    every man should beat thee: I think thou wast
    created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.

    PAROLLES
    This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.

    LAFEU
    Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a
    kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond and
    no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords
    and honourable personages than the commission of your
    birth and virtue gives you heraldry. You are not
    worth another word, else I'ld call you knave. I leave you.

    Exit

    PAROLLES
    Good, very good; it is so then: good, very good;
    let it be concealed awhile.

    Re-enter BERTRAM

    BERTRAM
    Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!

    PAROLLES
    What's the matter, sweet-heart?

    BERTRAM
    Although before the solemn priest I have sworn,
    I will not bed her.

    PAROLLES
    What, what, sweet-heart?

    BERTRAM
    O my Parolles, they have married me!
    I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.

    PAROLLES
    France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
    The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!

    BERTRAM
    There's letters from my mother: what the import is,
    I know not yet.

    PAROLLES
    Ay, that would be known. To the wars, my boy, to the wars!
    He wears his honour in a box unseen,
    That hugs his kicky-wicky here at home,
    Spending his manly marrow in her arms,
    Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
    Of Mars's fiery steed. To other regions
    France is a stable; we that dwell in't jades;
    Therefore, to the war!

    BERTRAM
    It shall be so: I'll send her to my house,
    Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,
    And wherefore I am fled; write to the king
    That which I durst not speak; his present gift
    Shall furnish me to those Italian fields,
    Where noble fellows strike: war is no strife
    To the dark house and the detested wife.

    PAROLLES
    Will this capriccio hold in thee? art sure?

    BERTRAM
    Go with me to my chamber, and advise me.
    I'll send her straight away: to-morrow
    I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow.

    PAROLLES
    Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it. 'Tis hard:
    A young man married is a man that's marr'd:
    Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go:
    The king has done you wrong: but, hush, 'tis so.

    Exeunt
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 6
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a William Shakespeare essay and need some advice, post your William Shakespeare essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Finished
    Want to read
    Abandoned

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?