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Книга Alls Wel that ends Well. Страница 3

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So in approof lives not his epitaph

As in your royal speech.

KING. Would I were with him! He would always say-

Methinks I hear him now; his plausive words

He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them

To grow there, and to bear— 'Let me not live'-

This 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 wish'd.

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 labourers room.

SECOND LORD. You're loved, sir;

They that least lend it you shall lack you first.

KING. I fill a place, I know't. How long is't, Count,

Since the physician at your father's died?

He was much fam'd.

BERTRAM. 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.

BERTRAM. Thank your Majesty. Exeunt [Flourish]


Rousillon. The COUNT'S palace

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

STEWARD. Madam, the care I have had to even your content I wish

might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we

wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings,

when of ourselves we publish them.

COUNTESS. 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.

CLOWN. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.

COUNTESS. Well, sir.

CLOWN. No, madam, 'tis not so well that I am poor, though many of

the rich are damn'd; but if I may have your ladyship's good will

to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.

COUNTESS. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?

CLOWN. I do beg your good will in this case.

COUNTESS. In what case? 

CLOWN. In Isbel's case and mine own. Service is no heritage; and I

think I shall never have the blessing of God till I have issue o'

my body; for they say bames are blessings.

COUNTESS. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

CLOWN. My poor body, madam, requires it. I am driven on by the

flesh; and he must needs go that the devil drives.

COUNTESS. Is this all your worship's reason?

CLOWN. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.

COUNTESS. May the world know them?

CLOWN. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh

and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry that I may repent.

COUNTESS. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.

CLOWN. I am out o' friends, madam, and I hope to have friends for

my wife's sake.

COUNTESS. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

CLOWN. Y'are shallow, madam-in great friends; for the knaves come

to do that for me which I am aweary of. He that ears my land

spares my team, and gives me leave to in 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 Poysam the

papist, howsome'er their hearts are sever'd in religion, their

heads are both one; they may jowl horns together like any deer

i' th' herd.

COUNTESS. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and calumnious knave?

CLOWN. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next way:

For I the ballad will repeat,

Which men full true shall find:

Your marriage comes by destiny,

Your cuckoo sings by kind.

COUNTESS. Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.

STEWARD. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you.

Of her I am to speak.

COUNTESS. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her; Helen

I mean. 

CLOWN. [Sings]

'Was this fair face the cause' quoth she

'Why the Grecians sacked Troy?

Fond done, done fond,

Was this King Priam's joy?'

With that she sighed as she stood,

With that she sighed as she stood,

And gave this sentence then:

'Among nine bad if one be good,

Among nine bad if one be good,

There's yet one good in ten.'

COUNTESS. What, one good in ten? You corrupt the song, sirrah.

CLOWN. One good woman in ten, madam, which is a purifying o' th'

song. Would God would serve the world so all the year! We'd find

no fault with the tithe-woman, if I were the parson. One in ten,

quoth 'a! An we might have a good woman born before every blazing

star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well: a man

may draw his heart out ere 'a pluck one.

COUNTESS. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you. 

CLOWN. That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done!

Though honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will

wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart.

I am going, forsooth. The business is for Helen to come hither.


COUNTESS. Well, now.

STEWARD. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.

COUNTESS. Faith I do. Her father bequeath'd her to me; and she

herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as

much love as she finds. There is more owing her than is paid; and

more shall be paid her than she'll demand.

STEWARD. Madam, I was very late more near her than I think she

wish'd me. Alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own

words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they

touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she loved your

son. Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such

difference betwixt their two estates; Love no god, that would not

extend his might only where qualities were level; Diana no queen

of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight surpris'd without

rescue in the first assault, or ransom afterward. This she 

deliver'd in the most bitter touch of sorrow that e'er I heard

virgin exclaim in; which I held my duty speedily to acquaint you

withal; sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you

something to know it.

COUNTESS. YOU have discharg'd this honestly; keep it to yourself.

Many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung so

tott'ring in the balance that I could neither believe nor

misdoubt. Pray you leave me. Stall this in your bosom; and I

thank you for your honest care. I will speak with you further

anon. Exit STEWARD


Even so it was with me when I was young.

If ever we are nature's, these are ours; this thorn

Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood is born.

It is the show and seal of nature's truth,

Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth.

By our remembrances of days foregone, 

Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.

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