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SCENE, the Countess of Rousillon's
House in France.
Enter Bertram, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena,
and Lafeu, all in Mourning.
COUNT e ss. N delivering my son from me, I bary 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, evermore in subjection.
Laf. You shall find of the King a husband, Madam you, Sir, a father. He, that fo generally is at all times good, muft of necessity hold his virtue to you ; (1) whose worthiness. would stir it up were it wanted, rather than flack it where there is fuch abundance.
(1) Wbufe worthiness would fir it up wbere it wanted, rarber than lack it wbere there is sucb abundance.) An opposition of terms is visibly.delige'd in this sentence; iho'the opposition is not visible, as the terms now Aand. Wanted and Abundance are the oppoftes to one anoth-r;' but how is lack a contrast to Air up? The addition of a angle letter gires it, and the very sense requires it. Mr. Warburton. A 3
Count. What hope is there of his Majesty's amend iment?
Laf. He hath abandon'd his Physicians, Madam, under whose practices he hath perfecuted time with hope ; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the lofing of hope by time.
Count. This young Gentlewoman bad a Father, (0, that had !" how fad a passage 'tis !), whose fill was almoft as great as his honesty,; had it ftretch'd fo far, it would have made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for the King's fake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the King's disease.
Laf. How call'd you the man you speak of, Madam? Count. He was famous, Sir, in his profeffion, and it
great right to be fo: Gerard de Narbon. Laf. He was excellent, indeed, Madam"; the King very lately spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly : he was kilful enough to have liv'd till, if knowledge could ke set up against mortality: :
Ber. What is it, my good Lord, the King languishes of
Laf. A fftula, my Lord.
Lef. I would, it were not notorious. Was this Gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon.
Count. His fole child, my Lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises her; difpofition, the inberits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean inind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and traitors too; in her they are the better for their simpleness; the derives Her honesty, and atchieves her goodness.
Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her tears.
Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can seafon her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows iakes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this,
Helena; go to, no more;. left it be rather thought you. affect a forrow, than to have
Hel. I do affect a forrow, indeed, but I have it too.
Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, exceffive grief the enemy to the living.
Count. (2) If the living be not enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.
Ber. Madam, I defire your holy wishes.
Count. Be thou bleft, Bertram, and succeed thy father
Laf. He.cannot want the best,
[Exit Countefs Ber. (To Hel.] The best wishes, that can be forgd in your thoughts, be servants to you : be comfortable to my mother, your Mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewel, pretty Lady, you must hold the credit of your father.
(Exeunt Ber. and Laf. Hel
. Oh, were that all think not on my father ; And these great tears grace his remembrance more; Than those I shed for him. What was he like: I have forgot him. My imagination
(a) If the living be enemy zo zbe grief, tbe excess makes it foon'morial.) This seems very obscure, but the addition of a negative perfe&ly, dispels all the mift. If ibe living be not enemy, &c. Excessive grief is an enemy to the living, says Lafeu: Yes, replies the Coontess; and if the living be not enemy to the grief, [i.e. strive to conquer it,) the excefs makes it foon mortal.
Mr. Warburton. A 4
Carries no favour in it, but
Par. Save you, fair Queen.
Hel. Ay: you have some fain 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 affails ; and our virginity, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Par. There is none: man, setting 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. (3) It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity: Loss of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got, 'till virginity was first loft. That, you were made of, is metal co make virgins. Virginity, by being once loft, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever loft ;'tis too cold a companion ; away with’t.
Hel. I will ttand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be said in't; 'tis agaimt the rule of nature.
To speak on the part of virginity, is. to accuse your mother, which is most infallible disobedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin : virginity murders itself, and mould 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 its own ftomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most prohibited fin in the canon. Keep it not, you cannot chuse: but lose by't. Out with'i'; within ten years it will make itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worle.. Away with't..
Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lose it to her own liking ?
Par. Let me fee. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'et it likes. 'Tis a commodity, will lose the glofs with lying. The longer kept, the less worth ; off with’t, while 'ris vendible. Answer the time of requeft. Vire
(3) It is not politick'in tbe commonwealıb of nature to preferve virginitya Lots of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin gót, tilt virginity was forflyt: The contextseems-to me rather to ree quire-national increafe'tho' I have not yentur'd to disturb the texty. asthe other reading will admit of a meaning,