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ALL's Well that ENDS Well'.


The Countess of Rousillon's house in France.

Enter Bertram, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena, and

Lafeu, all in black.

COUNTESS. N delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.

Ber. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew: but I must attend his majesty's

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The story of All's Well obat Ends Will, or, as I suppose it to have been sometimes called, Love's Labour Wonne, is originally indeed the property of Boccace, but it came immediately to Shake(peare from Painter's Gillesta of Narbon, in the first vol. of the Palace of Pleasure, 4, 1598, p. 282.

FARMER. Shakespeare is indebted to the novel only for a few leading circumstances in the graver parts of the piece. The comic business appears to be entirely of his own formation. STEEVENS.

In DELIVERING my son from me---) To deliver from, in the sense of giving up, is not English. Shakspeare wrote, in disa SÉVERING my fon from me-The following words, too,

I bury a fecond husband demand this reading. For to diffever implies a violent divorce; and therefore might be compared to the burying a husband; which delivering does not.

WARB. of this change I see no need the present reading is clear, and, perhaps, as proper as that which the great commentator would substitute; for the king diflevers her fon from her, she only delivers him,

JOHNSON. command,


command, to whom I am now 3 in ward, evermore in subjection.

Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, madam; you, fir, a father. He, that fo generally is ac all times good, must of neceflity hold his virtue to you; 4 whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than Mack 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 bad! how iad a passage 'tis !) whose skill


sense re

3 in ward.] Under his particular care, as my guardian, till I come to age. It is now almost forgotten in England that the heirs of great fortunes were the king's wards. Whether the same practice prevailed in France, it is of no great use to enquire, for Shakespeare gives to all nations the manners of England.

JOHNSON. 4 muhofe wortliness would fiir it ap where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundanc..) An opposition of terms is visibly designed in this sentence; tho’ the opposition is not so visi. ble, as the terms now ftand. Wanted and abundance are the opposites to one another; but how is lack a contralt to frir up? The addition of a single letter gives it, and the very quires it. Read flack il.

WARBURTON. 5 This young gentlewoman had a father (O, that had ! bow fad a PASSAGE 'ris! ] Lafeu was speaking of the king's desperate condition : which makes the counters recall to mind the deceased Gerard de Narbon, who, she thinks could haye cured him. But in using the word had, which implied his death, the stops in the middle of her sentence, and makes a reflection upon it, which, according to the present reading, is unintelligible. We much therefore believe Shakespeare wrote (O that had! how fad a PRESAGE 'tis) i e. a presage that the king must now expect no cure, since so skilful a person was himself forced to submit to a malignant diftemper.


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 calld 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 have been set up against mortality.

Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of ?

Laf. A fistula, my lord.
Ber. I heard not of it before.

Laf. I would, it were not notorious.--Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?

Count. His sole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises : her disposition she in


This emendation is ingenious, perhaps preferable to the prefent reading, yet since passage may be fairly enough explained, I have left it in the text. Paljage is any thing ibat poles, so we now fay, a pasage of an authour, and we said about a century ago, the poljages of a reign. When the countess mentions Helena's loss of a father, the recollects her own loss of a husband, and tops to observe how heavily that word had passes through her mind.

JOHNSON. Thus Shakespear himself. See Tbe Comedy of Errors, act iii. fc. i.

“ Now in the firring pasage of the day. So in Tbe Gamefter by Shirley, 1637. " I'll not be witness " of your passages myself.i, e. of what passes between you,


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herits, which makes fair gifts fairer : for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and traitors

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6 where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there comú mendations go wiib piry; thiy are virtues and traitors 100; in her they are ibe better for THEIR fimpleness; she derives ber honefey, and achieves ber gandness.] This obscure encomium is made ftili more obscure by a slight corruption of the text. Let us explain the paffage as it lies. By virtuous qualities are meant qualities of good breeding and erudition; in the same sense that the Italians say, qualità virtuosa; and not moral ones. On this account it is, she says, that, in an ill mind, these virtuous qualities are virtues and traitors 100: i. e. the advantages of education enable an ill mind to go further in wickedness than it could have done without them. But, says the countess, in ber thiy are the better for DOMEIR fimpleness. But fimpleness is the same with what is called bonesty, immediately after; which cannot be predicated of the qualities of education. We must certainly read

HER fimpleness, and then the sentence is properly concluded. The countess had said, that virtuous qualities are the worse for an unclean mind, but concludes that Helen's are the better for her fimpleness, i. e. her clean, pure mind. She then sums up the character, he had before given in detail, in these words, the derives her bonefly, and atchieves her goodnesi, i, e. fhe derives her banesty, her fimpleness, her moral character, from her father and her ancestors; but she atchieves or wins her goodness, her virtue, or her qualities of good breeding and erudition, by her own pains and labour.

WARBURTON. This is likewise a plausible but unnecessary alteration. Her virtues are obe better for their fimpliness, that is, her excellencies are the better because they are artless and open, without fraud, without design. The learned commentator has well explained viries, but has not, I think, reached the force of the word iraitors, and therefore has not shewn the full extent of Shakespeare's mafterly observation. Virtnes in an unclean mind are viriues and traitors 200. Eftimable and useful qualities, joined with evil disposition, give that evil disposition power over others, who, by aduiring the virtue, are vetrayed to the malevolence. The Tarler, mentioning the siarpers of his time, observes, that some of them are men of such elegance and knowledge, that a young man who falls into their way is betrayed as much by bis judgment as his pallions.



#00; in her they are the better for their simpleness ; {he 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 ap? proaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes 7 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, excessive grief the enemy to the living.

Count. "If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess inakes it soon mortal.

Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Laf. How understand we that?
Count. Be thou bleft, Bertram, and succeed thy

In manners as in shape! thy blood, and virtue
Contend for empire in thee ; and thy goodness
Share with thy birth-right! Love all, trutt a few,

all livelibood) Means all appearance of life. Steevens.

If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.] This seems very obscure, but the addition of a negative perfectly dispels all the mift. If the living be not enimy, &c. exceffive grief is an enemy to the living, fays Lafeu : Yes, replies the countess; and if the living be not enemy to the grief, (i. e. ftrive to conquer it,) the excess makes it soon mortal.

WARBURTON. This emendation I had once admitted into the text, but reitored the old reading, because I think it capable of an easy explication. Lafeu says, exceffive grief is the enemy of the living : the countess replies, If the living be an enemy to grief, the excess foon makes it morial : that is, if the living do not indulge grief, grief defroys itself by its own excess. By the word mortal I underitand ibat which dies, and Dr. Warburton, that wbich deffroys. I think that my interpretation gives a sentence more acute and more refined. Let the reader judge.


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