King. I must not heare thee, fare thee wel kind maide, Thy paines not vs'd, must by thy selfe be paid, Proffers not tooke, reape thanks for their reward

Hel. Inspired Merit so by breath is bard, It is not so with him that all things knowes As 'tis with vs, that square our guesse by showes: But most it is presumption in vs, when The help of heauen we count the act of men. Deare sir, to my endeauors giue consent, Of heauen, not me, make an experiment. I am not an Imposture, that proclaime My selfe against the leuill of mine aime, But know I thinke, and thinke I know most sure, My Art is not past power, nor you past cure

King. Art thou so confident? Within what space Hop'st thou my cure? Hel. The greatest grace lending grace, Ere twice the horses of the sunne shall bring Their fiery torcher his diurnall ring, Ere twice in murke and occidentall dampe Moist Hesperus hath quench'd her sleepy Lampe: Or foure and twenty times the Pylots glasse Hath told the theeuish minutes, how they passe: What is infirme, from your sound parts shall flie, Health shall liue free, and sickenesse freely dye

King. Vpon thy certainty and confidence, What dar'st thou venter? Hell. Taxe of impudence, A strumpets boldnesse, a divulged shame Traduc'd by odious ballads: my maidens name Seard otherwise, ne worse of worst extended With vildest torture, let my life be ended

Kin. Methinks in thee some blessed spirit doth speak His powerfull sound, within an organ weake: And what impossibility would slay In common sence, sence saues another way: Thy life is deere, for all that life can rate Worth name of life, in thee hath estimate: Youth, beauty, wisedome, courage, all That happines and prime, can happy call: Thou this to hazard, needs must intimate Skill infinite, or monstrous desperate, Sweet practiser, thy Physicke I will try, That ministers thine owne death if I die

Hel. If I breake time, or flinch in property Of what I spoke, vnpittied let me die, And well deseru'd: not helping, death's my fee, But if I helpe, what doe you promise me

Kin. Make thy demand

Hel. But will you make it euen? Kin. I by my Scepter, and my hopes of helpe

Hel. Then shalt thou giue me with thy kingly hand What husband in thy power I will command: Exempted be from me the arrogance To choose from forth the royall bloud of France, My low and humble name to propagate With any branch or image of thy state: But such a one thy vassall, whom I know Is free for me to aske, thee to bestow

Kin. Heere is my hand, the premises obseru'd, Thy will by my performance shall be seru'd: So make the choice of thy owne time, for I Thy resolv'd Patient, on thee still relye: More should I question thee, and more I must, Though more to know, could not be more to trust: From whence thou cam'st, how tended on, but rest Vnquestion'd welcome, and vndoubted blest. Giue me some helpe heere hoa, if thou proceed, As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed.

Florish. Exit.

Enter Countesse and Clowne.

Lady. Come on sir, I shall now put you to the height of your breeding

Clown. I will shew my selfe highly fed, and lowly taught, I know my businesse is but to the Court

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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