Tales from Shakespeare

Helena entered, and she said to her: 'Helena, you know I am a mother to you.' Helena replied: 'You are my honourable mistress.' 'You are my daughter,' said the countess again: 'I say I am your mother. Why do you start and look pale at my words?' With looks of alarm and confused thoughts, fearing the countess suspected her love, Helena still replied: 'Pardon me, madam, you are not my mother; the count Rousillon cannot be my brother, nor I your daughter.' 'Yet, Helena,' said the countess, 'you might be my daughter-in-law; and I am afraid that is what you mean to be, the words mother and daughter so disturb you. Helena, do you love my son?' 'Good madam, pardon me,' said the affrighted Helena. Again the countess repeated her question. 'Do you love my son?' 'Do not you love him, madam?' said Helena. The countess replied: 'Give me not this evasive answer, Helena. Come, come, disclose the state of your affections, for your love has to the full appeared.'

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