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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.
COU N T E S Ś.
Ber. And I in going, Madam, weep o'er
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 so generally is at all times good, müst of necessity hold his virtue to you; (1) whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, räther 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, üns der whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope;
(1) whose Worthiness would Air it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.) An Opposition of Terms is vifibly design’d in this Sentence ; tho' the Opposition is not so visible, as the Terms now stand. Wanted and abundance are the Oppofites to one another ; but how is lack a Contrast to fiir up? The Addition of a single Letter gives it, and the very Cene requires it. Mr. Warburton.
and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.
Coant. This young Gentlewoman had a Father, (O, that had! how fad a passage 'tis!) whose skill was almost as great as his honefty; had it stretch'd so far, it would have made Nature immortal, and Death should ħave Play for fack of work. Would, for the King's sake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the King's diseale.
Laf. How call'd you the Man you speak of, Madam?
Count. He was famous, Sir, in his profeflion, 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 ftill, if knewledge could be set up against mortality.
Ber. What is it, my good Lord, the King languishes of ?
Laf. A figula, my Lord.
Laf. I would, it were not notorious. Was this Gentlewoman the Daughter of Gerard de Narbone?
Count. His sole Child, my Lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises her s difpofition, the inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer ; for where an unclean mind 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 honefty, and archieves her goodness. Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her
Count. 'Tis the best brine, a maiden can season her: praife in. The remembrance of her Father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her forrows takes all livelihood from her clieek. 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, excessive 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.
Laf. He cannot want the best,
[Exit Countess. Ber. [To Hel.] The beft wishes, that can be forg'd
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
[Exeunt Ber. and Laf. Hel. Oh, were that all! I think not on my Fa
ther; 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.
(2) If the living be Enemy to the Grief, the Excefs makes it soon mom. tal] This seems very obscure ; but the Addition of a Negative perfectly difpels all the Mift. If the Living be not Enemy &c. Excessive Grief is an Enemy to the Living, says Lafeu : Yes, replies the Counteft; and if the Living be not Enemy to the Grief, [i. e. ftrive to conquer it,] the Excess makes it soon mortal.
I am undone ; there is no living, none,
Par. Save you, fair Queen.
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 your selves 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 to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found : by being ever kept, it is ever lost; '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. He, that hangs himself, is a Virgin: virginity murthers it self, and
should be buried in highways out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate Offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites ; much like a cheese; consumes it self to the very paring, and so dies with feeding its own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevith, 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't; within ten years it will make it self two, which is a goodly increase,' and the principal it self not much the worse. Away with’t.
Hél. 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 gloss with lying. The longer kept, the less worth : off with’t, while 'tis vendible. Answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion; richly suted, but unsutable ; just like the
(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. The Context seems to me rather to require
national Increase; tho' I have not ventur'd to difturb the Text, as the other Reading will admit of a Meaning,