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COUNT. In delivering my son from me, a second husband. BER. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my

father's death anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, (1) evermore in subjection.

LAF. You shall find of the madam;-you, sir, a father.

king a husband,

He that so gene

rally is at all times good, must of necessity hold

his virtue to you, whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.

COUNT. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?

LAF. He hath abandoned his physicians, madam; under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.

COUNT. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0, that had how sad a passage 'tis !) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I think it would be the death of the king's disease.

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LAF. How called you the man you speak of, madam?

COUNT. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so; Gerard de Narbon.

LAF. He was excellent, indeed, madam; the king very lately spoke of him, admiringly, and mourningly he was skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.

BER. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of?

LAF. A fistula, my lord.

BER. I heard not of it before.

LAF. I would it were not notorious.-Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?

COUNT. 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.

LAF. Your commendations, madam, get from her, tears.

COUNT. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season

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 lord.] 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

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.d HEL. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too.

LAF. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead; excessive grief the enemy to the living.

HEL. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal.

BER. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
LAF. How understand we that?
COUNT. 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 birth-right. 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

That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,

Fall on thy head! Farewell.-My lord,
"Tis an unseason'd courtier; good my lord,
Advise him.

LAF. He cannot want the best
That shall attend his love.

COUNT. Heaven bless him!—Farewell, Bertram. [Exit COUNTESS.

BER. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts, [To HELENA.] be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.

LAF. Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the credit of your father.

[Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU. HEL. O, were that all!-I think not on my father,

And these great tears grace his remembrance


Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination

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 sufficiently obvious; and, though the construction of the sentence appear to us somewhat strange and harsh, it was by no means peculiar to Shakespeare.

e If 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?"

f 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.
I am undone; there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. "Twere all one,
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me :
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table; heart, too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:
But now he's
idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?

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, monárch.] This is conceived to be an allusion to the fantastic Italian, styled Monarcho; of whom an account will

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PAR. Are you meditating on virginity?

HEL. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a question: Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?

PAR. Keep him out.

HEL. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.

PAR. There is none; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

HEL. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, and blowers up!-Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?

PAR. Virginity, being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got,* till virginity was first lost. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. ginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever lost: 'tis too cold a companion: away with it.


HEL. I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.

PAR. There's little can be said in 't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin: virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by 't: out with't: within ten year it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and the principal itself not much the worse. Away with 't.


HEL. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?

PAR, Let me see. 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 :

(*) First folio, goe.

Some stain -] Some tinct, some mark.

b Inhibited sin-] Forbidden, prohibited.

e Within ten year it will make itself ten,-] The folio reads, 1111 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."

just like the brooch and the toothpick, which wear not now. Your date is better in your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek: and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears; it looks ill, it cats drily; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better, marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear: will you any thing with it?

HEL. Not my virginity yet.

There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he
I know not what he shall :-God send him well!-
The court's a learning-place ;-and he is one-
PAR. What one, i'faith?

HEL. That I wish well.-'Tis pity-
PAR. What's pity?


HEL. That wishing well had not a body in't, Which might be felt that we, the poorer born, Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes, Might with effects of them follow our friends, And show what we alone must think; which


Returns us thanks.

Enter a Page.

PAGE. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you. [Exit Page.

PAR. Little Helen, farewell: if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court. HEL. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.

PAR. Under Mars, I.

HEL. I especially think, under Mars.
PAR. Why under Mars?

HEL. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.

PAR. When he was predominant.

HEL. When he was retrograde, I think, rather. PAR. Why think you so?

HEL. You go so much backward, when you fight.

d It was formerly better, marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear:] This is a notable instance of " yet" being used in the sense of now. See note (b), p. 346, Vol. I.

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.


HEL. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety but the composition, that your valour and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.

PAR. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely: I will return perfect courtier; in the which, my instruction shall serve to naturalize 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, and thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast none, remember thy friends: get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so farewell. [Exit.

HEL. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull. What power is it, which mounts my love so high; That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye? The mightiest space in fortune, nature brings

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The mightiest space in fortune, nature brings To join like likes, and kiss like native things.] It would improve both the sense and metre were we to read,"The wid'st apart in fortune," &c.

Mightiest space is clearly one of the swarm of typographical blemishes by which the old text of this comedy is disfigured. 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;"

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