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I still pour in the waters of my love,
captious and intenible sieve,] The word captious I never found in this sense ; yet I cannot tell what to substitute, unless carious for rotten, which yet is a word more likely to have been mistaken by the copiers than used by the author. Fohnson.
Dr. Farmer supposes captious to be a contraction of capacious, As violent ones are to be found among our ancient writers, and especially in Churchyard's Poems, with which Shakspeare was not unacquainted. Steevens.
By captious, I believe Shakspeare only meant recipient, capable of receiving what is put into it; and by intenible, incapable of hold. ing or retaining it. How frequently he and the other writers of his age confounded the active and passive adjectives, has been already more than once observed.
The original copy reads-intemible. The correction was made in the second folio. Malone. 6 And lack not to lose still:] Perhaps we should read
And lack not to love still. Tyrwhitt.
whose state is such, that cannot choose “But lend and give, where she is sure to lose." Helena means, I think, to say that, like a person who pours water into a vessel full of holes, and still continues his employment, though he finds the water all lost, and the vessel empty, so, though she finds that the waters of her love are still lost, that her affection is thrown away on an object whom she thinks she never can deserve, she yet is not diseouraged, but perseveres in her hopeless endeavour to accomplish her wishes. The poet evidently alludes to the trite story of the daughters of Danaus.
Malone. 7 Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,] i.e. whose respectable conduct in age shows, or prooes, that you were no less virtuous when young. As a fact is proved by citing witnesses, or ex. amples from books, our author, with his usual license, uses to cite in the same sense of to prove. Malone. 8 Wish chastly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love;] i. e. Venus. Helena means to
To her, whose state is such, that cannot choose
Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
Madam, I had.
Wherefore? tell true.” Hel. I will tell truth; by grace itself, I swear. You know, my father left me some prescriptions Of rare and prov'd effects, such as his reading, And"manifest'experience, had collected manifold For general sovereignty; and that he willd me In heedfullest reservation to bestow them, As notes, whose faculties inclusivel were, More than they were in note: amongst the rest, There is a remedy, approv'd set down, To cure the desperate languishings, whereof The king is render'd lost. Count.
This was your
motive For Paris, was it? speak.
Hel. My lord your son made me to think of this;
But think you, Helen,
should tender your supposed aid,
say—“ If ever you wished that the deity who presides over chas. tity, and the queen of amorous rites, were one and the same person; or, in other words, if ever you wished for the honest and lawful completion of your chaste desires." I believe, however, the words were accidentally transposed at the press, and would read
Love dearly, ani wish chastly, that your Dian &c. Malone.
tell true.) This is an evident interpolation. It is need. less, because it repeats what the Countess had already said: it is injurious, because it spoils the measure. Steevens.
1- notes, whose faculties inclusive –Receipts in which greater virtues were inclosed than appeared to observation.
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
There's something hints,
Dost thou believe 't? Hel. Ay, madam, knowingly. Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave, and
love, Means, and attendants, and my loving greetings To those of mine in court; I 'll stay at home, And pray God's blessing into thy attempt :* Be gone to-morrow; and be sure of this, What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss. [Exeunt.
2 Embowell'd of their doctrine,] i. e. exhausted of their skill. So, in the old spurious play of K. John:
“ Back war-men, back; embowel not the clime.” Steevens. 3 There's something hints More than my father's skill,
that his good receipt, &c.] The old copy reads-something in 't. Steevens.
Here is an inference, [that] without any thing preceding, to which it refers, which makes the sentence vicious, and shows that we should read
There's something hints
that his good receipt i. e. I have a secret premonition, or presage. Warburton. This necessary correction was made by Sir Thomas Hanmer.
Malune. into thy attempt :] So in the old copy. We might more intelligibly read, according to the third folio, -unto thy attempt.
Plourish. Enter King, with young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and Attendants.
King. Farewel,5 young lord, these warlike principles
It is our hope, sir,
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
5 Farewel, &c.] In all the latter copies these lines stood thus:
Farewel, young lords; these warlike principles
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receio'd. The third line in that state was unintelligible. Sir T. Hanmer reads thus :
Farewel, young lord: these warlike principles
And is enough for both. The first edition, from which the passage is restored, was suf. ficiently clear; yet it is plain, that the latter editors preferred a reading which they did not understand. Johnson.
and you, my lord, firewel:) The old copy, both in this and the following instance, reads-lords. Steevens.
It does not any where appear that more than two French lords (besides Bertram) went to serve in Italy; and therefore I think the King's speech should be corrected thus:
Farewel, young lord; these warlike principles
Do not throw from you; and you, my lord, farewel; what follows, shows this correction to be necessary :
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain ali, &c. Tyrwhitt. Tyrwhitt's emendation is clearly right. Advice is the only thing that may be shared between two, and yet both gain all.
That doth my life besiege.? Farewel, young lords;
and yet my heart
That doth my life besiege.) i. e. as the common phrase runs, I am still heart-whole; my spirits, by not sinking under my distemper, do not acknowledge its influence.
Of the last monarchy) see, &c.] The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the higher and the lower, the Apennine hills being a kind of natural line of partition; the side next the Adriatic was denominated the higher Italy, and the other side the lower: and the two seas followed the same terms of distinc. tion, the Adriatic being called the upper Sea, and the Tyrrhene or Tuscan the lower. Now the Sennones or Senois, with whom the Florentines are here supposed to be at war, inhabited the higher Italy, their chief town being Arminium, now called Rimni, upon the Adriatic. Hanmer.
Italy, at the time of this scene, was under three very different tenures. The emperor, as successor of the Roman emperors, had one part; the pope, by a pretended donation from Constantine, another; and the third was composed of free states. Now by the last monarchy is meant the Roman, the last of the four gen. eral monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the scramble, several cities set up for themselves, and became free states: now these might be said properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy. This being premised, let us now consider sense. The King says higher Italv; giving it the rank of preference to France; but he corrects himself, and says, I except those from that precedency, who only inherit the fall of the last monarchy; as all the little petty states; for instance, Florence, to whom these volunteers were going. As if he had said, I give the place of honour to the emperor and the pope, but not to the free states.
Warburton. Sir T. Hanmer reads:
Those bastards that inherit, &c. with this note :
“Reflecting upon the abject and degenerate condition of the cities and states which arose out of the ruins of the Roman empire, the last of the four great monarchies of the world."
Dr. Warburton's observation is learned, but rather too subtle ; Sir T. Hanmer's alteration is merely arbitrary. The passage is confessedly obscure, and therefore I may offer another expla