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Do wrong to none : be able for thine enemy
Laf. He cannot want the best,
[Exit Countess. Ber, [To Helena.] 'The best wishes that can beforg'd in your thoughts, be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewell, 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; 2 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 Bertram's. I am undone ; there is no living, none, If Bertram be away. It were all one, That I Mould love a bright particular star, And think to wed it, he is so above me : 3 In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not in his sphere. The anibition in my love thus plagues itself :
9 Tbat ibee may furnish.] That may help thee with more and better qualifications.
JOHNSON. • The best wishes, &c.] That is, may you be-mistress of your wishes, and have power to bring them to effect. Johnson.
These great tears.] The tears which the king and countess thed for him.
JOHNSON. 3 In his bright radiancı, &c ] I cannot be united with him and move in the same sphere, but must be comforted at a distance by the radiance that hours on all sides from him. Johnson.
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Par. Save you, fair queen.
let - Trick of bis sweet favour.] So in King John; be bath a trick of Çeur de Lion's face. Trick seems to be some peculiarity of look or feature.
JOHNSON. Trick is an expression taken from drawing, and is fo explained in another place. The present instance explains itself:
to fit and draw
STEEVENS. Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly. ] Cold for naked; as superfluous for over-cloathed. This makes the propriety of the antithesis.
WAR BURTON. • Stain of soldier.) Stain for colour. Parolles was in red, as appears from his being afterwards called red-tail'd humble-bee.
WARBURTON. It does not appear from either of these expressions, that Parolles was entirely drest in red. Shakespeare writes only fome l ain of
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 fome warlike resistance.
Par. There is none: man sitting 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 vir: gins might blow up men ?
Par. Virginicy being blown down, man will quick, lier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to pref:rve virginity. ?Loss of virginity is rational in, crease ; 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 loft : 'tis too cold a companion : away with it.
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 Tule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible dil obedience. % He, that hangs himself, is a virgin : vir.
ginity foldier, meaning only he had red breeches on, which is sufficiently evident from calling him afterwards red-tailed humble-bre.
STEEVENS. Stain rather for what we now say tinaluri, come qualities, at least fuperficial, of a soldier.
JOHNSON. ? Los of virginity is rational increase.) It is conjectured by the the author of the Observations and Conjectures, printed at Ox. ford 1766, that the poet wrote, naticnal increase. Rational increase may however mean the regular increase by which rational beings are propagated.
STEEVENS. 8 He, that bangs himself, is a virgin:] But why is be that hangs himself a virgin? Surely, not for the reason that follows,
ginity murders itself: 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 itlelf to the very paring, and so dies with feeding its own stomach. Belides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited 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 gloss with lying. The longer kept, the less worth : off with’t, while 'tis vendible. Answer the time of request.
Virginity murders itself. 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,
As he, that hangs 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 bimself is like a virgin.
STEEVENS. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes, &c.] Parolles, in answer to the question, how one fcall lose virginity to ber own liking? plays upon the word I king, and says, je musl do ill, for virginity, to be so loft, must like bim thar likes nos yirginity.
Virginity, like an old courtier wears her cap out of fashion: richly suited, but unsuitable; just like the brooch and the tooth-pick, which 'wear not now: your date 3 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 looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a wither'd pear: it was formerly better; marry, * yet, 'tis a wither'd pear. Will you any thing with it?
Hel. s Not my virginity yet.
* which wear not now.) Thus the old copy, and rightly. Shakespeare often uses the active for the passive. The modern editors read, “which we wear not now.'
T. T. 3 your date is better.] Here is a quibble on the word date, which means both age, and a particular kind of fruit much used in our author's time Romeo and Juliet ;
They call for dates and quinces in the pastry. Steevens. * For yet, as it stood before, Sir Thomas Hanmer reads yes.
JOHNSON. s Not my virginity yet.) This whole speech is abrupt, unconnected, and obscure. Dr. Warburton thinks much of it suppofititious. I would be glad to think so of the whole, for a commentator naturally wishes to reject what he cannot understand. Something, which should connect Helena's words with those of Parolles, seems to be wanting. Hanmer has made a fair attempt by reading,
Not my virginity get-You're for the court,
Tbere ball your master, &c. Some such clause has, I think, dropped out, but still the first words want connection. Perhaps Parolles, going away after his harangue, faid, will you any thing with me? to which Helen may reply-- 1 know not what to do with the passag-. JOHNSON
I do not perceive so great a want of connection as my predeces. fors have apprehended, nor is that connection always to be fought for in so careless a writer as ours, from the thought immediately preceding the reply of the speaker. Parolles has been laughing at the unprofitableness of virginity, especially when it grows ancient, and compares it to withered fruit. Helena, properly enough replies, that hers is not yet in that state, but that in