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Par. Are you meditating on virginity? just like the brooch and the toothpick, which wear Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in not now.

Your date is better in your pie and your you ; let me ask you 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 hevirginity 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, Par. 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 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

[Exit Page. 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; thee, I will think of thee at court. you cannot choose but lose by't : out with't: HEL. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under within ten year it will make itself ten,' which is a charitable star. a goodly increase ; and the principal itself not PAR. Under Mars, I. much the worse. Away with it.

HEL. I especially think, under Mars. HEL. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her PAR, Why under Mars ? own liking ?

HEL. The wars have so kept you under, that Par. Let me see. Marry, ill, to like him that

you must needs be born under Mars. ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the Par. When he was predominant. gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth : HEL. When he was retrograde, I think, rather. off with't, while 't is vendible : answer the time of Par. Why think you so ? request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her HEL. You go so much backward, when you cap out of fashion ; richly suited, but unsuitable : fight.

never

:

(*) First folio, goe. a Some stain-) Some tinct, some mark. b Inhibited sin-) Forbidden, prohibited. c Within ten year it will make itself ten,- ) The folio reads,

make it selfe two," &c. The alteration of "two" to “ten," which was first made by Hanmer, is countenanced by a previous observation of the speaker-"Virginity, by being once lost, 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.

e There shall your master have a thousand loves,-) Something is evidently wanting here; this rhapsody having no connexion with what prec 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.

[graphic]

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

[Erit. 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

it

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 io read, --

“ The widst 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.

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'alh, 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 1., and 2 Lord E."

serve

A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria, Making them proud of his humility,
With caution, that the Florentine will move us In their poor praise he humbled : ° such a man
For speedy aid ; wherein our dearest friend Might be a copy to these younger

times ; Prejudicates the business, and would seem Which, follow'd well, would démonstrate them now To have us make denial.

But goers backward. 1 LORD. His love and wisdom,

BER.

His good remembrance, sir, Approv'd so to your majesty, may plead

Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb; For amplest credence.

So in approof lives not his epitaph, King.

He bath arm'd our answer, As in your royal speech. And Florence is denied before he comes :

King. Would I were with him! He would Yet, for our gentlemen that mean to see

always say, The Tuscan service, freely have they leave (Methinks, I hear him now: his plausive words To stand on either part.

He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them, 2 LORD.

It
may
well

To grow there, and to bear,)Let me not live, A nursery to our gentry, who are sick

This his good melancholy oft began, For breathing and exploit.

On the catastrophe and heel of pastime, KING. What's he comes here? When it was out, d_let me not live, quoth he,

After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff

Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES.

All but new things disdain ; whose judgments are

Mere fathers of their garments; whose constancies 1 Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord, Expire before their fashions. -This he wish'd : Young Bertram.

I, after him, do after him wish too, KING. Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;

Since I nor wax nor honey can bring home,
Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,

I quickly were dissolved from my hive,
Hath well compos’d thee. Thy father's moral parts To give some labourers room.
May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.

2 LORD.

You are lov’d, sir : BER. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.

They, that least lend it

you,
shall lack

you

first. King. I would I had tħat corporal soundness KING. I fill a place, I know't.-How long is't, now,

count, As when thy father, and myself, in friendship

Since the physician at your father's died ?
First tried our soldiership! He did look far He was much fam’d.
Into the service of the time, and was

BER,

Some six months since, my lord. Discipled of the bravest: he lasted long ;

King. If he were living, I would try him yet;— But on us both did haggish age steal on,

Lend me an arm ;-the rest have worn me out And wore us out of act. It much repairs me With severale applications :-nature and sickness To talk of your good father : in his youth

Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count; He had the wit, which I can well observe

My son's no dearer. To-day in our young lords ; but they may jest, BER.

Thank your majesty. Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,

[Exeunt. Flourish. Ere they can hide their levity in honour. So like a courtier : contempt nor bitterness Were in his pride, or sharpness ;^ if they were, His equal had awak’d them; and his honour,

SCENE III. -Rousillon. A Room in the Clock to itself, knew the true minute when

Countess's Palace. Exception bid him speak, and, at this time,

Enter COUNTESS, Steward, and Clown.(2) His tongue obey'd his b hand. Who were below him He us'd as creatures of another place ;

Count. I will now hear : what say you of this And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks, gentlewoman?

contempt nor bitterness

Were in his pride, or sharpness ;] Capell, with some plausibility, reads,

no contempt nor bitterness

Were in him, pride or sharpness.” b His tongue obey'd his hand :) His hand for its hand. The latter vocable had hardly come into use at the time when this play was writte See note (c), p. 480, Vol. I.

Making them proud of his humility,

In their poor praise he humbled :]

A very slight alteration would lessen the ambiguity of this passage. We should, perhaps, read,

“In their poor praise be-humbled." d When it was out,-) When what was out! The commentators are mute. Does not the whole tenor of the context tend to show that it is a misprint of wit? With this simple change, and supposing the ordinary distribution of the lines to be correct, the purport would be, " Often towards the end of some spirituel disport, when wit mas exhausted, he would say," &c. e With several applications :-) Manifold applications.

C

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STEW. Madam, the care I have had to even" your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours : for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah : the complaints, I have heard of you, I do not all believe ; 'tis my slowness, that I do not: for I know you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.

*Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow. Count. Well, sir.

Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well, that I am poor, though many of the rich are damned: but, if I may have your ladyship's good-will to go to

the world, Isbel the woman and I* will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case.
Count. In what case ?
Clo. In Isbel's case, and mine own.

Service is no heritage: and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, till I have issue o' my body; for, they say, barns are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go, that the devil drives. Count. Is this all your worship's reason

? Clo. 'Faith, madam, I have other, holy reasons, such as they are.

Count. May the world know them ?

To even your content,-) Even is used here, seemingly, as in Act II. Sc. 1:-"But will you make it even ?"---in the sense of keep pace with, strike a balance with, equate, &c.

(*) First folio, w. b To go to the world,-) That is, to be married. See note (C), p. 707, Vol. I.

ness.

Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature,

And

gave this sentence then ; as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, Among nine bad if one be good, I do marry, that I may repent.

Among nine bad if one be good, Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wicked

There's yet one good in ten.

Count. What, one good in ten ? you corrupt Clo. I am out o’ friends, madam ; and I hope

the song, sirrah. to have friends for my wife's sake.

Clo. One good woman in ten, madam ; which Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

is a purifying o' the song.(4) Would God would Clo. You are shallow, madam, in great friends;

serve the world so all the year! we'd find no fault for the knaves come to do that for me, which

with the tithe-woman, if I were the parson : one I am a-weary of. He, that ears my land,

spares

in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: if

born but 'fore * every blazing star, or at an earthI be his cuckold, he's my drudge. He, that

quake, 't would mend the lottery well; a man may comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and draw his heart out, ere 'a pluck one. blood; he, that cherishes my flesh and blood,

Count. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as loves my flesh and blood ; he, that loves

my
flesh

I command you. and blood, is my friend ; ergo, he that kisses my

Clo. That man should be at woman's command, wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to

and yet no hurt done !—Though honesty be no be what they are, there were no fear in marriage :

puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam

surplice of humility over the black gown of a big the papist, howsome'er their hearts are severed in

heart.(5)—I am going, forsooth; the business is religion, their heads are both one, they may jowl for Helen to come hither.

[Exit Clown. horns together, like any deer i’ the herd.

Count. Well, now. Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and

Stew. I know, madam, you love your gentlecalumnious knave ?

woman entirely: Clo. A prophet (3) I, madam; and I speak the

Count. Faith, I do: her father bequeathed truth the next way : o

her to me; and she herself, without other adFor I the ballad will repeat,

vantage, may lawfully make title to as much love Which men full true shall find ; as she finds; there is more owing her than is paid; Your marriage comes by destiny,

and more shall be paid her, than she'll demand. Your cuckoo sings by kind.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her Count. Get you gone, sir, I'll talk with you

than, I think, she wished me : alone she was, and

did communicate to herself, her own words to her STEW. May it please you, madam, that he bid own ears ; she thought, I dare vow for her, they Helen come to you; of her

Her matter was, am to speak.

touched not any stranger sense. Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman, I would

she loved your son: Fortune, she said, was no speak with her; Helen I mean.

goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their

two estates; Love, no god, that would not extend Clo. [Singing.)

his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, Was this fair face the cause, quoth she,

nof queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor Why the Grecians sacked Troy?

knight surprised,s without rescue, in the first Fond done, done fond,

assault, or ransome afterward. This she delivered Was this king Priam's joy.

in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I With that she sighed as she stood,

heard virgin exclaim in : which I held my duty, With that she sighed as she stood.

speedily to acquaint you withal; sithence, in the

d

more anon.

a You are shallow, madam, in great friends ;] This is usually read, “ You are shallow, madam; e'en great friends;" and the instances, both in these plays and in contemporaneous books, of in being misprinted for e'en, suggests the probability of a like error here; but the meaning may be, “ You are shallow in the uses of great friends."

b Young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam the papist,-) Malone suggested that the original word was Puisson; an allusion to the practice of eating fish on fast-days, as Charbon might be to the fiery zeal of the puritans.

c The next way:] The nearest way. d

Your marriage comes by destiny,

Your cuckoo sings by kind.) A new version of an old proverb. So, in “Grange's Garden," quarto, 1577:

“ Content yourselfe as well as I,

Let reason rule your minde;

(*) First folio, ore.
As cuckoldes come by destinie,

So cuckowes sing by kinde."
Was this fair face the cause, quoth she,-) This is, perhaps,
a snatch of some antique ballad, which the fool craftily corrupts,
to intimate, in the enigmatical manner of his calling, that he was
not altogether ignorant of the subject which his mistress and her
steward had met to speak about.

f Diana, no queen oj virgins,-) The old text has only “Queene of Virgins;" the two words prefixed by Theobald, are probably as near to the original as can be supplied.

8. That would suffer her poor knight surprised,-) This is the lection of the old text, and the phraseology of the poet's age. Theobald inserted the words to be, reading, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised," and he has been followed by every subsequent editor.

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