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mwen All's Well, that ENDS Well.
A C T I. SCENE I.
The Countess of Rousillon's House in France.
Enter Bertram, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena, and
Lafeu, all in Mourning.
Laf. You shall find of the King a husband, Madam; you, Sir, a father. He, that so generally is at all times good, must of necessity hold his virtue to you; whose worthiness would'stir it up where it wanted, rather than slack it where there is such abundance.
Count. What hope is there of his Majesty's amendment?
Laf. He hath abandon'd his physicians, Madam, under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.
Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (O, that had ! how fad a Presage 'tis !) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretch'd so far, it would have made nature immortal, and death should have play'd 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 profession, and it was his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
Laf. He was excellent, indeed, Madam; the King very lately spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly: he was skilful enough to have liv'd still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the King languishes of ?
Laf. A fistula, my lord.
Laf. 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; disposition she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there, com. mendations go with pity; they are virtues and traitors too : in her they are the better for her fimpleness ; she derives her honesty, and atchieves her goodness.
Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her tears,
Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in.
The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes 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 it. Hel. I do affect a forrow, indeed, but I have it too.
Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.
Count. If the living be not enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.
Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Laf. He cannot want the best,
[Exit Countess. Ber. (To Hel.] The best wishes, that can be forg’d 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 Bertram and Lafeu.
S CE N E II. Hel. H, were that all! I 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 Carries no favour in it, but my
Bertram's. I am undone ; there is no living, none, If Bertranı be
It were all one,
OH, nay three that all! -— I think not on my
In his bright radiance * and collateral light
I know him a notorious liar;
S CE N E III.
Hel. And you, Monarch.
Hel. Ay: you have some stain 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 assails; and our virginity, tho' valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
-and collateral light.] collateral for reflected, i. c. in the Radiance of his refleEled Light; not in his Sphere, or direet Light. Milton uses the Word, in the fame Sense, speaking of the Son. Of high collateral Glory,
Book 10. v. 86.
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 lofe your city. It is not politic 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 to 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 stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be said in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mother; which is most infallible disobedience. As he, that hangs himself, fo is a virgin; virginity murders itself, and should be buried in highways out of all fanctified 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 stomach. Befides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of selflove, which is the most prohibited fin in the canon. Keep it not, you cannot chuse but lose by't. Out with't; within ten years it will make itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse. Away with t.
Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lose it to her own liking?
Par. Let me see. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the glofs with lying. The longer kept, the less worth : off with't, while 'tis vendible. Answer the time of request. I 4