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Par. Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the brief and the tedious of it; and he's of a most facinerious spirit, that will not acknowledge it to be the
Laf. Very hand of Heav'n,
Par. And debile minister, great power, great tran-
Enter King, Helena, and attendants, Par. I would have said it, you said well: here comes the King
Laf. Lustick, as the Dutchman says : I'll like a Maid the better, while I have a tooth in my head : why, he's able to lead her a Corranto.
Par. Mort du Vinaigre, is not this Helen?
King. Go, call before me all the Lords in Court,
Why, your Dauphin is not luftier:
Anto. and Cleop.
Enter three or four Lords. Fair Maid, send forth thine eye; this youthful parcel Of noble batchelors stand at my bestowing, O’er whom both sov'reign power and Father's voice I have to use; thy frank election make; Thou haft power to chuse, and they none co forsake.
Hel. To each of you, one fair and virtuous Mistress Fall, when love please! marry, to each but onc.
Laf. I'd give bay curtal and his furniture,
King. Peruse them well :
[She addresses her self to a Lord. Hel. Gentlemen, Heaven hath, through me, restor'd The King to health.
All. We understand it, and thank Heav'n for you.
Hel. I am a simple Maid, and therein wealthieft, That, I protest, I simply am a Maid. Please it your Majelty, I have done already: The Blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me, 6 We blush that thou fhould'st chule, but be refus'd; « Let the white death fit on thy cheek for ever, “ We'll ne'er come there again.
King. Make Choice, and see,
Hel. Now, Dian, from thy Altar do I fly,
Laf. (17) Thanks, Sir; all the rest are mute.] All the rest are mute? She had spoke to but One yet.
This is a nonsensical Alteration of Mr. Pope's from the old Copies, in which, I doubt not, but he thought him felt very wife and sagacious. The genuine Reading is, as I have restor'd in the Text;
All the rest is mute. (i. e. as in Hamlet, The rest is Silence) and the Meaning, this. Helenza finding a favourable Aniwer from the first Gallant the address'd to,
Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw Hel. The honour, Sir, that flames in your
eyes, Before I speak, too threatningly replies: Love make your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes, and her humble love!
2 Lord. No better, if you please.
Hel. My wish receive,
Laf. Do all they deny her ? if they were Sons of mine, I'd have them whip’d, or I would send them to the Turk to make eunuchs of.
Hel. Be not afraid that I your hand should take,
Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none of her : sure, they are bastards to the English, the French ne'er got 'em.
Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too good, To make your self a Son out of my blood.
4 Lord. (18) Fair one, I think not so.
Laf. But if Thou be'est not an Ass, I am a
Hel. I dare not say, I take you ; but I give Me and my service, ever whilst I live,
but not designing to fix her Choice there, civilly says, I thank you, Sir; That is All I have to advance. I am oblig'd to You for your Comply
my Eye and Heart have another Aim. (18) 4 Lord. Fair
. One, I think not so. Laf. There's one Grape yet, I am sure my Father drunk Wine; but if Thou be'eft not an
Ass, I am a Youth of fourteen : I have known thee already.] Surely, This is most incongruent Stuff. Lafeu is angry with the other Noblemen, for giving Helena the Repulse : and is He angry too, and thinks the fourth Nobleman an Ass, because he's for embracing the Match? The Whole, certainly, can't be the Speech of one Mouth. As I have divided the Speech, I think, Clearness and Humour are restor’d. And if Parolles were not a little pert and impertinent here to Lafeu, why should he say, he had found him out already ? Or, why should he quarrel with him in the very next Scene?
Into your guiding power : this is the Man.
[To Bertram. King. Why then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy
Wife. Ber. My Wife, my Liege? I shall beseech your High
nels, In such a business give me leave to use The help of mine own eyes.
King. Know'st thou not, Bertram, What the bath done for me?
Ber. Yes, my good Lord, But never hope to know why I should marry her. King. Thou know'st, she has rais'd me from my sick
ly bed. Ber. But follows it, my Lord, to bring me down Must answer for your raising? I know her well: She had her Breeding at my Father's Charge : A poor Physician's Daughter my Wife! Disdain Rather corrupt me ever!
King. 'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which I can build up: strange is it, that our bloods, Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together, Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off In differences, so mighty. If the be All that is virtuous, (save what thou diflik'st, A poor Physician's Daughter,) thou dillik'st Of Virtue for the name: but do not so, (19) From lowest Place when virtuous things proceed, The Place is dignify'd by th' doer's deed. Where great Addition swells, and Virtue none, It is a dropsied honour; good alone, Is good without a name. Vileness is so : The property by what it is should go, Not by the Title. She is young, wise, fair, In thesc, to Nature she's immediate Heir;
(19) From lowest Place, whence virtuous Things proceed,
The Place is dignified by th’ Doers Deed] 'Tis strange, that None of the Editors could perceive, that both the Sentiment and Grammar are defective here. The easy Correction, which I have given, was prescribed to me by the ingenious Dr. Thirlby.
And there breed honour : That is honour's scorn,
Ber. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
to chuse. Hel. That you are well restor’d, my Lord, I'm glad: Let the rest go.
King. (22) My honour's at the stake; which to defend, I must produce my Power. Here, take her hand,
Honours beft thrive,
Than our Foregoers.] How nearly does this Sentiment of our Author's resemble the following Passage of Juvenal!
Ergò ut miremur Te, non tua, primùm aliquid da
Sat. VIII. ver. 68. (21)
and as oft is dumb,
Of honour'd Bones, indeed, what should be said ??] This is such pretty Stuff, indeed, as is only worthy of its accurate Editors! The Transposition of an innocent Stop, or two, is a Task above their Diligence : especially, if common Sense is to be the Result of it. The Regulation, I have given, must strike every Reader so at first Glance, that it needs not a Word in Confirmation. (22) My Honour's at the Stake; which to defeat
I must produce my Pow'r.] The poor King of France is again made a Man of Gotham, by our unmerciful Editors : What they make him say, is mere mock-reasoning. The Passage must either be restor'd, as I have conjecturally corrected ; or else the King must be suppos’d to break off abruptly from what he was going to say, and determine that he will interpose his Authority. As thus ; My Honour's at the Stake; which to defeat, I must produce my Pow'r.