SCENE 1. Paris. A room in the King's palace.
What I can do can do no hurt to try,
Since you set up your rest 'gainst 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 simple sources; and great seas have dried
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises; and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest, and despair most fits.
I must not hear thee: fare thee well, kind maid;
Thy pains, not used, must by thyself be paid:
Proffers, not took, reap thanks for their reward.
Inspired merit so by breath is barred:
It is not so with Him that all things knows,
As 'tis with us that square our guess by shows:
But most it is presumption in us when
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
Dear sir, to my endeavours give consent:
Of heaven, not me, make an experiment.
I am not an impostor, that proclaim
Myself against the level of mine aim;
But know I think, and think I know most sure,
My art is not past power nor you past cure.
Art thou so confident? Within what space
Hop'st thou my cure?
The greatest grace lending grace.
Ere twice the horses of the sun shall bring
Their fiery torcher his diurnal ring;
Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Moist Hesperus hath quench'd his sleepy lamp;
Or four-and-twenty times the pilot's glass
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass;
What is infirm from your sound parts shall fly,
Health shall live free, and sickness freely die.
Upon thy certainty and confidence
What dar'st thou venture?
Tax of impudence,--
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,--
Traduc'd by odious ballads; my maiden's name
Sear'd otherwise; ne worse of worst extended,
With vilest torture let my life be ended.