108 - deceased father's special cure • And hearing your...

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In Paris, the king wishes his young warriors well as they leave for the Italian wars: " . . . be you the  sons! Of worthy Frenchmen . . . see that you come / Not to woo honor, but to wed it." He adds a sly  note to "beware the Italian women!" Bertram, who is unhappy that he must linger behind — and be  told that he is "too young" and that he must wait until "the next year" — succumbs to Parolles' and  the other lords' urging to steal away on his own, for "there's honour in the theft." Lafeu and the king now exchange formal greetings, and the Rousillon elder statesman politely urges  the king to shake off despair: . . . O, will you eat no grapes, my royal fox?  Yes, but you will my noble grapes . . . if my royal fox  Could reach them. I have seen a medicine  That's able to breathe life into a stone. (72-75) Soon, Lafeu introduces Helena, "Doctor She," who explains her presence and describes her 
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Unformatted text preview: deceased father's special cure: • And, hearing your high majesty is touched With that malignant cause wherein the honor Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power, I come to tender it and my appliance With all bound humbleness. (113-17) After a short debate between himself and Helena, the king decides to give her a chance to cure him. She offers her life as the penalty should she fail; and as the reward for success: Then shalt thou give me with thy kingly hand With husband in thy power I will command. (198-99) The sickly king, amazed by this bold young woman, agrees, and then he asks to be helped from the stage: • Unquestioned, welcome and undoubted blest. Give me some help here, ho! If thou proceed As high as word, my deed shall match thy deed. (211-13)...
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