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Enter BERTRAM, the COUNTESS of ROUSILLON, father's death anew : but I must attend his maHELENA, and LAFEŲ, all in black. jesty's command, to whom I am now in ward (1)
evermore in subjection. Count. In delivering my son from me, I bury LAF, You shall find of the king a husband, 2 second husband.
madam ;—you, sir, a father. He that so geneBER. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my rally is at all times good, must of necessity hold up where
his virtue to you, whose worthiness would stir it her praise in. The remembrance of her father
wanted, rather than lack it where never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her there is such abundance.
sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No Count. What hope is there of his majesty's more of this, Helena, go to,—no more; lest it be amendment ?
rather thought you affect a sorrow, than to have a LAF. He hath abandoned his physicians, HEL. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have madam; under whose practices he hath persecuted it too. time with hope ; and finds no other advantage in LAF. Moderate lamentation is the right of the the process,
but only the losing of hope by time. dead; excessive grief the enemy to the living. Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, HEL. If the living be enemy to the grief, the (O, that had ! how sad a passage 'tis !) whose excess makes it soon mortal. skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it BER. Madam, I desire your holy wishes. stretched so far, would have made nature im- LAF. How understand we that? mortal, and death should have play for lack of COUNT. Be thou blest, Bertram ! and succeed work. Would, for the king's sake, he were
thy father living ! I think it would be the death of the king's In manners, as in shape ; thy blood, and virtue, disease.
Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness, LAF. How called you the man you speak of, Share with thy birth-right. Love all, trust a few, madam ?
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession, Rather in power, than use ; and keep thy friend and it was his great right to be so ; Gerard de Under thy own life's key: be check'd for silence, Narbon.
But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam ; the
will, king very lately spoke of him, admiringly, and That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck mourningly: he was skilful enough to have lived
down, still, if knowledge could be set up against mor- Fall on thy head! Farewell.—My lord, tality.
'Tis an unseason'd courtier ; good my lord, BER. What is it, my good lord, the king Advise him. languishes of ?
LAF. He cannot want the best LAF. A fistula, my lord.
That shall attend his love. BER. I heard not of it before.
Count. Heaven bless him !-Farewell, Bertram. LAF. I would it were not notorious.—Was this
[Exit COUNTESS. gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ? BER. The best wishes, that can be forged in
Count. His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed your thoughts, [T. HELENA.] be servants to you ! to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and good, that her education promises ; her dispositions make much of her. she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer ; for LAF. Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, credit of your
father. there commendations go with pity, they are virtues
[Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU. and traitors too; in her they are the better for HEL. O, were that all !-I think not on my their simpleness; she derives her honesty, and
father, achieves her goodness.
And these great tears grace his remembrance LaF. Your commendations, madam, get from her, tears.
Than those I shed for him. What was he like? COUNT. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season I have forgot him: my imagination
a Whose skill was almost as great as his honesty: had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal, &c.) Mr. Collier's annotator modernizes this passage, and reads, “whose skill, almost as great as his honesty, had it stretched so far, would," &c.; but the original is quite as intelligible, and far more Shakespearian than the proposed reformation.
b A fistula, my lond.] In Painter's version of Boccaccio's story, the king's disorder is said to have been "a swellyng upon his breast, whiche, by reason of ill cure, was growen to a fistula,” &c.
c Her dispositions she inherits, &c.] There is scarcely a passage of importance in the earlier scenes of this comedy the meaning of which is not destroyed or impaired by some scandalous textual error. In the present instance some expression implying chaste or pure, before “dispositions," appears to have been omitted. Perhaps we should read," The honesty of her dispositions she inherits;"-honesty being understood in the sense of chastity, as in the last clause of the passage-" she derives her honesty, and achieves her goodness ;” which we
apprehend to signify, "she is chaste by temperament, and good by the practice of benevolence.
d Lest it be rather thought, &c.] The meaning here is sufficicntly obvious; and, though the construction of the sentence appear to us somewhat strange and harsh, it was by no means peculiar to Shakespeare.
e the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal.] In the old copy this speech is assigned to the Countess. Tieck first suggested that it belongs to Helena; and that he is right is almost proved by Lafeu's rejoinder—“How understand we that?"
And these great tears grace his remembrance more
Than those I shed for him.] This is interpreted to mean, that her great tears," being attributed to grief for the loss of her father, do his memory more grace than those she truly shed for him; but some defect in the text may be suspected; such a meaning is very tame and unsatisfying.
Carries no favour in 't, but Bertram's.
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
Par. Save you, fair queen.
a In our heart's table ;) Table is used here in the sense of panel, or surface, on which a picture was painted. So, in “ King John," Act II. Sc. 2:
“Drawn in the flattering table of her eye !" b And you, monarch.] This is conceived to be an allusion to the fantastic Italian, styled Monarcho; of whom an account will
be found in note (1), p. 103, Vol. 1. It is perhaps only another
“Mess. Where is my lady?
Here ; what would my lord ?"
Par. Are you meditating on virginity? just like the brooch and the toothpick, which wear HEL. Ay. You have some staina of soldier in not now.
Your date is better in your pie and your you; let me ask
rou a question : Man is enemy porridge, than in your cheek: and your virginity, to virginity; how may we barricado it against your old virginity, is like one of our French him ?
withered pears ; it looks ill, it eats drily; marry, Par. Keep him out.
'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better, HEL. But he assails ; and our virginity, though marry, yet, a 'tis a withered pear : will you any valiant in the defence, yet is weak : unfold to us thing with it? some warlike resistance.
HEL. Not my virginity yet. Par. There is none; man, sitting down before There shall your master have a thousand loves, you, will undermine you, and blow you up. A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, A phenix, captain, and an enemy, and blowers up!
Is there no military policy, how A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign, virgins might blow up men ?
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear; PAR. Virginity, being blown down, man will His humble ambition, proud humility, quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet, down again, with the breach yourselves made, you His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world lose your city. It is not politic in the common- Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms, wealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he virginity is rational increase; and there was never I know not what he shall:God send him well !virgin got,* till virginity was first lost. That, you The court's a learning-place ;—and he is one were made of, is metal to make virgins. Vir- Par. What one, i'faith? ginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found; HEL. That I wish well.-—'Tis pityby being ever kept, it is ever lost: 'tis too cold a Par. What’s pity ? companion: away with it.
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't, HEL. I will stand for’t a little, though there- Which might be felt : that we, the poorer born, fore I die a virgin.
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes, Pan. There's little can be said in't; 'tis Might with effects of them follow our friends, against the rule of nature. To speak on the part And show what we alone must think; which of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is
never most infallible disobedience. He, that hangs him- Returns us thanks. self, is a virgin : virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature.
Enter a Page. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese ; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you. feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is
peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is Par. Little Helen, farewell : if I can remember
the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not;
Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth: off with't, while 't is vendible : answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion ; richly suited, but unsuitable :
thee, I will think of thee at court.
HEL. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
Par. Under Mars, I.
HEL. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
Par. When he was predominant.
HEL. You go so much backward, when you fight.
(*) First folio, goe. A Some stain -] Some linct, some mark. b Inhibited sin-) Forbidden, prohibited. . Within ten year it will make itself ten,-) The folio reads,
make it selfe two," &c. The alteration of "two" to
" which was first made by Hanmer, is countenanced by a previous observation of the speaker—"Virginity, by being once lust, may be ten times found.'
d It was formerly better, marry, yet, 'lis a withered pear :) This is a notable instance of “yet" being used in the sense of now. See note (b), p. 346, Vol. J.
There shall your master have a thousand loves,-) Something is evidently wanting here; this rhapsody having no connexion with what precedes it. Hanmer remedies the defect by making Helena say, " You're for the court;" but the deficiency is more probably in Parolles' speech, where the words “We are for the court" may have been omitted by the compositor.
Par. That's for advantage.
To join like likes, and kiss like native things. HEL. So is running away, when fear proposes Impossible be strange attempts, to those the safety : but the composition, that your valour That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose, and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove and I like the wear well.
To show her merit, that did miss her love ? PAR. I am so full of businesses, I cannot an- The king's disease-my project may deceive me, swer thee acutely: I will return perfect courtier ; But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me. in the which, my instruction shall serve to natu
[Exit. ralize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, SCENE II.-Paris. A Room in the King's and thine ignorance makes thee away : farewell.
Palace. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers ; when thou hast none, remember thy friends: get thee Flourish of cornets.
Enter the KING OF FRANCE, a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so with letters ; Lords and others attending. farewell.
[Exit. HEL. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, KING. The Florentines and Senoys are by the Which we ascribe to heaven : the fated sky
ears ; Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull Have fought with equal fortune, and continue Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull. A braving war. What power is it, which mounts my love so high ; 1 LORD. So 'tis reported, sir, That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye? KING. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive The mightiest space* in fortune, nature brings
The mightiest space in fortune, nature brings
To join like likes, and kiss like native things.]
" The wid'st apart in fortune," &c.
b What hath been cannot be.] The very opposite of what the speaker intended to express! Mason, therefore, proposed
•What ha'n't been, cannot be;"
and Hanmer substituted
“What hath not been, can't be." We suspect the error arose from the transcriber mistaking n'ath, the old contraction of ne hath, hath not, for hath; and that we should read,
" What n'ath been cannot be," ci Lord.) The folio distinguishes the two Lords who speak, as "I Lord G., and 2 Lord E."