SCENE 1. Rousillon. A room in the COUNTESS'S palace.
I would it were not notorious.--Was this gentlewoman the
daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have
those hopes of her good that her education promises; her
dispositions she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for
where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there
commendations go with pity,--they are virtues and traitors too:
in her they are the better for their simpleness; she derives her
honesty, and achieves her goodness.
Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The
remembrance of her father never approaches her heart but the
tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No
more of this, Helena,--go to, no more, lest it be rather thought
you affect a sorrow than to have.
I do affect a sorrow indeed; but I have it too.
Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead; excessive grief
the enemy to the living.
If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon
Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
How understand we that?
Be thou blest, Bertram, and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be check'd for silence,
But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
That thee may furnish and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewell.--My lord,
'Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
He cannot want the best
That shall attend his love.
Heaven bless him!--Farewell, Bertram.