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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, 1 and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away: farewel. 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 fare. wel.
[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 inakes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?? The mightiest space in"fortune nature brings nature, fo tune To join like likes, and kiss like native things.3 Impossible be strange attempts, to those That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose,
The meaning of this passage appears to be this: “ If your va. lour will suffer you to go backward for advantage, and your fear for the same reason will make you run away, the composition that your valour and fear make in you, must be a virtue that will Ay far and swiftly.”—A bird of a good wing, is a bird of swift and strong flight.
Though the latter part of this sentence sense as it stands, I cannot help thinking that there is an error in it, and that we ought to read~" And is like to wear well,” instead of “ I like the wear well.” M. Mason.
1. so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel,] i. e, thou wilt comprehend it. See a note in Hamlet on the words
“ Whose form and cause conjoin’d, preaching to stones,
" Would make them capable." Malone. 2 What power is it, which mounts my love so high;
That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye ?] She means, by what influence is my love directed to a person so much above me? why am I made to discern excellence, and left too long after it, without the food of hope? Fohnson.
kiss like native things.] Things formed by nature for each other. M. Mason.
So, in Chapman's metrical “ Address to the Reader,” prefixed to his translation of Homer's Iliad, 1611:
“Our monosyllables so kindly fall
What hath been* cannot be: Who ever strove
my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me. [Exit.
4 The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
To join like likes, and kiss like native things.
What hath been -] All these four lines are obscure, and I believe, corrupt; I shall propose an emendation, which those who can explain the present reading, are at liberty to reject:
Through mightiest space in fortune nature brings
Likes to join likes, and kiss like native things. That is, nature brings like qualities and dispositions to meet through any distance that fortune may set between them; she joins them and makes them kiss like things born together. The next lines I read with Sir T. Hanmer :
Impossible be strange attempts to those
What ha’n’t been, cannot be. New attempts seem impossible to those who estimate their labour or enterprises by sense, and believe that nothing can be but what they see before them. Johnson.
I understand the meaning to be this—The affections given us by nature often unite persons between whom fortune or accident has placed the greatest distance or disparity; and cause them to join, like likes (instar parium) like persons in the same situation or rank of life. Thus (as Mr. Steevens has observed) in Timon of Athens :
• Thou solderest close impossibilities,
" And mak'st them kiss.” This interpretation is strongly confirmed by a subsequent speech of the countesses steward, who is supposed to have overheard this soliloquy of Helena: “ Fortune, she said, was no god. dess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates."
The mightiest space in fortune, for persons the most widely separated by fortune, is certainly a licentious expression; but it is such a license as Shakspeare often takes. Thus, in Cymbeline, the diminution of space is used for the diminution, of which space or distance, is the cause. If he had written spaces, (as in Troilus and Cressida,
her whom we know well “ The world's large spaces cannot parallel,)” the passage would have been more clear; but he was confined by the metre. We might, however, read
The mightiest space in nature fortune brings
To join, &c. i. e. accident sometimes unites those whom inequality of rank has separated. But I believe the text is right. Malone.
Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish of cornets. Enter the King of France, with leta
ters; Lords and others attending.
1 Lord, So 'tis reported, sir."
His love and wisdom,
He hath arm'd our answer,
It may well serve
What's he comes here?
Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face; Frank nature, rather curious than in haste, Hath well compos’d thee. Thy father's moral parts May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.
Senoys —) The Sanesi, as they are termed by Boccace. Painter, who translates him, calls them Senois. They were the people of a small republick, of which the capital was Sienna. The Florentines were at perpetual variance with them. Steevens.
Rousillon,] The old copy reads Rosignoll. Steevens.
King. I would I had that corporal soundness now,
- It much repairs me To talk of your good father :) To repair, in these plays, gené. rally signifies to renovate. So, in Cymbeline :
O disloyal thing,
To-day in our young lords ; but they may jest,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour.] I believe honour is not dignity of birth or rank, but acquired reputation :-Your father, says the king, had the same airy flights of satirical wit with the young lorils of the present time, but they do not what he did, hide their annoted levity, in honour, cover petty faults with great merit.
This is an excellent observation. Jocose follies, and slight
He had the wit, which I can well observe
So like a courtier. Contempt, &c. Blackstone.
Were in his pride or sharpness; if they were,
His equal had awak'd them:] Nor was used without redupli. cation. So, in Measure for Measure:
“ More nor less to others paying,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
The old text needs to be explained. He was so like a courtier, that there was in his dignity of manner rothing contemptuous, and in his keenness of wit nothing bitter. If bitterness or contemptuousness ever appeared, they had been awakened by some injury, not of a man below him, but of his equal. This is the complete image of a well-bred man, and somewhat like this Voltaire has exhibited his hero, Lewis XIV. Johnson.
1 His tongue obey'd his hand:) We should read-His tongue obe;'d the hand. That is, the hand of his honour's clock, showing the true minute when exceptions bad him speak. Johnson. His is put for its. So, in Othello:
her motion “ Blush'd at herself,”-instead of itself. Steevens. 2 He us'd as creatures of another place;] i. e. he made allowances for their conduct, and bore from them what he would not from one of his own rank. The Oxford editor, not understanding the sense, has altered another place to a brother-race.
Warburton. I doubt whether this was our author's meaning. I rather incline to think that he meant only, that the father of Bertram treated those below him with becoming condescension, as creatures not indeed in so high a place as bimself, but yet holding a certain place; as one of the links, though not the largest, of the great chain of society.
In The Winter's Tale, place is again used for rank or situation in life:
O thou thing, “ Which I 'll not call a creature of thy place.” Malone. 3 Making them proud of his humility,
In their poor praise he humbled:] But why were they proud of his humility? It should be read and pointed thus:
Making them proud; and his humility,
In their poor praise, he humbled i. e. by condescending to stoop to his inferiors, he exalted them and made them proud; and in the gracious receiving their poor praise, he humbled even his humility. The sentiment is fine.
Warburton. Every man has seen the mean too often proud of the humility of the great, and perhaps the great may sometimes be humbled in the praises of the mean, of those who commend them without