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Ber. Madam, I defire your holy wishes.
Laf. How understand we that?

Count. Be thou bleft, Bertram, and fucceed thy fa


In manners as in shape! thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee, and thy goodness
Share with thy birth-right! Love all, truft a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power, than ufe; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be check'd for filence,
But never tax'd for fpeech. What heav'n more will,
(7) That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewel, my Lord;

'Tis an unfeafon'd courtier, good my Lord,
Advife him.

Laf. He cannot want the beft,

That fhall attend his love.

Count. Heav'n blefs him! Farewel, Bertram.

[Exit Courtefs. Ber. [To Helena.] (8) The best wishes, that can be forg'd in your thoughts, be fervan's 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.


Hel. Oh, were that all! I think not on my father (9) And thefe great tears grace his remembrance more, Than thofe I fhed 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

If Bertram be


no living, none,

It were all one,


(7) That they may furnish,] That may help thee with more and better qualifications.

(8) The best wishes, &c.] That is, may you be miftrefs of your wishes, and have power to bring them to effect.

(9) And thefe great tears,] The tears which the King and Coun tefs fhed for him.


That I would love a bright partic❜lar star,
And think to wed it; he is fo above me:
(1) In his bright radiance and collateral light
Muft I be comforted, not in his sphere.
Th' ambition in my love thus plagues itself;
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Muft die for love. 'Twas pretty, tho' a plague,
To fee him every hour; to fit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table: heart, too capable
Of every line and (2) trick of his sweet favour!-
now he's
gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Muft fanctify his relicks. Who comes here?


Enter Parolles.

One that goes with him: I love him for his fake,
And yet I know him a notorious liar


Think him a great way fool, folely a coward;
Yet these fix'd evils fit fo fit in him,

That they take place, when virtue's fteely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind; full oft we fee
(3) Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.


Par. Save you, fair Queen.

Hel. And you, Monarch.

Par. No.

Hel. And, no.

Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

(1) In bis bright radiance, &c.] I cannot be united with him and move in the fame fphere, but must be comforted at a distance by the radiance that shoots on all fides from him.

(2) Trick of bis freet favour!] So in King John; be bath a trick of Cœur de Lion's face. Trick seems to be some peculiarity of look or feature.

(3) Cold wifdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.] Cold for naked as fuperfluous for over-cloath'd. This makes the propriety of the Antithefis.



Hel. Ay you have some (4) ftain of foldier in you; Het me ask you a queftion. Man is enemy to virginity, how may we barricado it against him?

Par. Keep him out.

Hel. But he affails; and our virginity, tho' valiant, in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to to us fome warlike refiftance.

Par. There is none man, fitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

Hel. Blefs 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 yourfelves made, you lofe your city. It is not politick in the common wealth of nature, to preferve virginity. Lofs 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 faid in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accufe your mother; which is most infallible difobedience. (5) He that hangs himfelf, is a virgin: vir


(4) Stain of foldier-] Stain for colour. Parolles was in red, as appears from his being afterwards called red-tail'd bumble bee. WARBURTON.

It does not appear from either of thefe expreffions, that Parolles was entirely dreft in red. Shakespeare writes only fome ftain of foldier, meaning he had only red breeches on, which is fufficiently event, from calling him afterwards red-tailed humble bee. Mr. STEEVENS.

(5) He that bangs himself, is a Virgin: But why is he that hangs himself a Virgin? Surely, not for the reason that follows. Virginity murders itfelf. For tho' every Virgin be a Suicide, yet every Suicide is not a Virgin. A word or two are dropt, which introduced a comparison in this place; and Shakespeare wrote it thus,


ginity murders itself, and fhould be buried in highways out of all fanctified limit, as a defperate offendrefs against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; confumes itself to the very paring, and fo dies with feeding its own ftomach. Befides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of felf-love, which is the most prohibited fin in the canon Keep it not, you cannot chufe but lofe by't. Out with't; within ten years it will make itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itfelf not much the worse. Away


Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lose it to her own liking?

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Par. Let me fee. (6) Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lofe the glofs with lying. The longer kept, the lefs worth: off with't, while 'tis vendible. Answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion richly futed, but unfutable; juft like the brooch and the tooth-pike, which we wear not now: your date is better in your pye and your porridge, than in your cheek; and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French wither'd pears; it locks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a wither'd pear it was formerly better; marry, (7) yes, 'tis a wither'd pear. Will you any thing with it?

As be, that bangs himself, so is a Virgin.

And then it follows naturally, Virginity murders itself. By this emendation, the Oxford Editor was enabled to alter the text thus,

He that bangs bimfelf is like a Virgin.

And this is his ufual way of becoming a Critick at a cheap expence.


I believe most readers will spare both the emendations, which I do not think much worth a claim or a conteft. The old reading is more fpritely and equally juft.

(6) Marry, ill, to like bim that ne'er it likes. &c.] Parolies, in anfwer to the question, bow one fall lofe virginity to her own liking, plays upon the word liking, and fays, he must do ill, for virginity, to be fo loft, muft like bim that Pk's not virginity.

(7) For yet, as it ftood before, Sir T. Hanmer reads yes.


Hel. (8) Not my virginity yet.

There fhall your mafter have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
(9) A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a fovereign,
A counsellor, a † traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility;
His jarring concord; and his difcord dulcet
His faith, his sweet difafter; with a world
Of pretty fond adoptious chriftendoms,
That blinking Cupid goffips.
I know not, what he shall
The court's a learning place
Par. What one, i'faith?
Hel. That I wish well

Now shall he

God fend him well!
and he is one


'tis pity

(8) Not my virginity yet.] This whole fpeech is abrupt, unconnected and obfcure. Dr. Warburton thinks much of it fuppofititious. I too would be glad to think fo of the whole, for a commentator naturally wishes to reject what he cannot understand. Something which should connect Helena's words with thofe of Parolles, feems to be wanting. Hanmer has made a fair attempt by reading.

Not my virginity yet - You're for the court,

There fball your mafter, &c.

Some fuch claufe has, I think, dropped out, but ftill the first words want connection. Perhaps Parolles, going away after his harangue,

reply.eld, will you any thing with me? to which Helena may

I know not what to do with the paffage.

(9) A Phoenix, Captain, &c.] The eight lines following friend, I am perfuaded, are the nonsense of some foolish conceited player. What put it into his head was Helena's faying, as it fhould be read for the future,

There fhall your Mafter bave a thousand loves:
A Mother, and a Mistress, and a Friend.
I know not, what be shall God fend bim well.

Where the Fellow finding a thousand loves fpoken of, and only three reckoned up, namely, a Mother's, a Miftrefs's, and a Friend's (which, by the way, were all a judicious Writer could mention; for there are but these three species of love in Nature) he would help out the number, by the intermediate nonsense; and, because they were yet too few, he pieces out his loves with enmities, and makes of the whole fuch finished nonfenfe as is never heard out of Bedlam. WARBURTON.

a traitress,] It seems that traitress was in that age a term of endearment, for when Lafeu introduces Helena to the King, he fays, You look like a traytor, but fuch traytors bis Majefy does not much fear, restored Au VOL. IV.



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