Page images
PDF
EPUB

0000000000000000000000

A c T v. SCE N E, the Court of France, at Marseilles.

Enter Helena, Widow, and Diana, with two Attendant sa

HELENA.

B

Must wear your spirits low ; we cannot help it.
But since you've made the days and nights as one,
To wear your gentle limbs in my

affairs

;
Be bold, you do fo grow in my requital,
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time,

Enter a Gentleman.
This man may help me to his Majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power. God save you, Sir.

Gent. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of Francea
Gent. I have been sometimes there.

Hel. I do presume, Sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness;
And therefore, goaded with most sharp occafions,
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.

Gent. What's your wilt?

Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the King,
And aid me with that store of power you have,
To come into his presence.

Gent. The King's not here.
Hel. Not here, Sir?

Gent. Not, indeed.
He hence remov'd last night, and with more hafte
Than is his usea

Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains !

Hel. all's well, that ends well yet,
Tho' time feems so adverse, and means unfit:
I do beseech you, whither is he gone ?

Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon,
Whither I'm going.

Hel. I beseech you, Sir,
Since you are like to see the King before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand;
Which, I presume, shall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it.
I will come after you with what good speed
Our means will make us means.

Gent. This I'll do for you.

Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well thank'd, What-e'er falls more. We must to horse again. Go, go, provide

(Exeunt. SCENE changes to Roufillon.

Enter Clown, and Parolles. Par. OOD Mr. Levatch, give my Lord Lafeu

G

this letter; I have ere now, Sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher cloaths; (36) but I am now, Sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.

Clo.

(36) But I am now, Sir, muddied in Fortune's mood, and smell fomeo wbat frong of ber frong displeasure.] Fortune’s mood is, without question, good sense, and very proper : and yet I verily believe, the Poet wrote as I have restor’d in the text ; in Fortune's moat: because the clown in the very next speech replies, I will bencefortheat no filh of Fortune's buttering; and again, when he comes to repeat Parolles's petition to Lafer, thar baib fallon into the unclean fi Cipond of ber displeasure, and, as be says, 'is muddied witbal. And again, Pray you, Sir, use the carp as you may, &c. In all which places, 'tis obvious, a moat, or pond, is ihe allofion. Besides, Parolles fmeiling strong, as he says, of Fortune's strong displeasure, carries on the same image : For as the moats round old seats were always replenish'd with fith, so the Clowa’s joke of holding his noseg we may presume, pro

ceeded

Clo. 'Truly, Fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strongly as thou speak'it of: I will henceforth eat no fish of Fortune's butt'ring. Prythee, allow the wind.

Par. Nay, you need not to stop your nose, Sir ; I fpake but by a metaphor.

Clo. Indeed, Sir, if your metaphor fink, I will ftop my nose against any man's metaphor. Pr’ythee, get thee further.

Par. Pray you, Sir, deliver me this paper.

Clo. Foh! pr’ythee, stand away ; a paper from Fore tune's close-stool, to give to a nobleman! look, here he comes himself.

Enter Lafeu, Here is a pur of Fortune's, Sir, or of Fortune's cat, (but not a muk.cat;) that hath fall'n into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and as he says, is muddied withal. Pray you, Sir, use the carp as you may ; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave (37), I do pity his distress in my fic miles of comfort, and leave him to your Lordship.

Par. My Lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratch'a.

Laf And what would you have me to do? 'tis too late to pare her nails now.

Wherein have you play'd the knave with fortune, that she shouid scratch you, who of herself is a good Lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her? there's a Quart-d'ecu for you: let the justices make you and fortune friends

; I am for other business. ceeded from this because la Chambre base was always over the moat : and therefore the Clown humourously says, when Parolles is preffing him to deliver his letter to Lord Lafev.m---Fob! pr’ytbie, fand away : A paper from Fortune's close-ftool, to give to a nobleman

(37) I do piry bis distress in my smiles of comfort, ] This very hue morous passage my friend Mr. Warburton rescued from nonsense moft bappily by the insertion of a fingle letter, in the manner I have reform’d the text. These fimiles of comfort are ironically meant by the Clown; as much as to say, you may perceive, how much I think he deserves comfort, by my salling him Fortune's Cat, Carp, Tafcally Knave, &c

me.

Par. I beseech your honour, to hear me one single word.

Laf. You beg a fingłe penny more : come, you.Nall ha’t, save your word.

Par. My name, my good Lord, is Parolles.

Laf. You beg more than one word then, Cox' my passion! give me your hand: how does your drum ?

Par. O my good Lord; you were the first that found

Laf. Was I, insooth ? and I was the first, that loft thee.

Par. It lies in you, my Lord, to bring me in some grace,

for

you did bring me out. Laf. Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil ? one brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. (Sound trumpets.] The King's coming, I know, by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me, I had talk of you last night; tho' you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow. Par. I praise God for you..

[Exeunt. Flourish. Enter King, Countess, Lafeu, the two French

Lords, with attendants.
King. We lost a jewel of her, (38) our esteem
Was made much poorer by it; but your son,
As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Her eftimation home.

(38)

our esteem Was made much poorer by it: - ] What's the meaning of the. King's esteem being made poorer by the loss of Helen.?, I think, it. can only be un erstood in one sense; and that sense won't carry water, i. e. We suffered in our estimation by her loss. But how for Did the King contribute to her misfortunes ? Nothing like it. Or did he not do ali in his power to prevent them?, Yes ; he married. Bertram to her, We must certainly read therefore ;

We left a Jewel of ber; our estate

Was made mucb poarer by it : That's the certain consequence of any one's losing a jewel, for their efate to be made proportionably poorer according to the value of the loss.

Ms, Warburton,

Counta

Count. 'Tis paft, my Liege ;
And I beseech your Majesty to make it
(39) Natural rebellion, done i'th' blade of youth,
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O’erbears it, and burns on.

King. My honour'd Lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all ;
Tho' my revenges were high hent upon him,
And watch'd the time to shoot.

Laf. This I must say,
But first I beg my pardon; the young Lord
Did to his Majesty, his Mother, and his Lady,
Offence of mighty note ; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all. He loft a wife,
Whofe beauty did aftonish the survey
Of richest eyes; whose words all ears took captive ;
Whose dear perfection, hearts, that scorn'd to ferve,
Humbly callid mistress.

King. Praising what is loft, Makes the remembrance dear. Well-call him hither ; We're reconcil'd, and the first view shall kill All repetition : let him not ask our pardon. The nature of his great offence is dead, And deeper than oblivion we do bury Th'incenfing relicks of it. Let him approach, A ftranger, no offender; and inform him, So'tis our will he should.

Gent. I fhall my Liege.

(39) Natural rebellion, done i’tb’ blade of youtb,] If this reading be genuine, the metaphor must be from any grain, or plant, taking fire; but, I own, it seems more in Sbakespeare's way of thinking to supposc he wrote ;

Natural ribellion done i'tl' blaze of youth, i, e. in the fervour, Aame, &c. So he has express'd himself, upon a like occafion, in Hamlet,

I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul

Leads the tongue vows. These blazes, O my daughter, &c. And so, again, in bis Troilus and Cressida;

For He&or, in his blame of wrath, subscribes
Ta teader objects.

King.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »