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tues and traitors too; in her they are the better for their fimpleness; the derives her honefty, and atchieves her good


Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.

Count. 'Tis the beft brine a maiden can feafon her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart; but the tyranny of her forrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; left it be rather thought you affect a for.ow, than to have. Hel. I do affect a forrow, indeed, but I have it too. Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, exceffive grief the enemy to the living.

Count. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.9

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5 Her virtues are the better for their fimplenefs, that is, her excellencies are the better because they are artless and open, without fraud, without defign. The learned commentator has well explained virtues, but has not, I think, reached the force of the word traitors, and therefore has not shown the full extent of Shakspeare's masterly observation. Virtues in an unclean mind are virtues and traitors too. Eftimable and useful qualities, joined with an evil difpofition, give that evil difpofition power over others, who, by admiring the virtue, are betrayed to the malevolence. The Tat ler, mentioning the fharpers of his time, obferves, that fome of them are men of such elegance and knowledge, that a young man who falls into their way, is betrayed as much by bis judgement as bis paffions. JOHNSON.

6 To feafon has here a culinary fenfe; to preferve by falting. MALONE. 7 i, e. all appearance of life. STEEVENS.

8 Helena has, I believe, a meaning here, that she does not with should be understood by the countefs. Her affected forrow was for the death of her father; her real grief for the lownefs of her fituation, which she feared would for ever be a bar to her union with her beloved Bertram.

MALONE. The forrow that Helen affected, was for her father; that which the really felt, was for Bertram's departure. This line fhould be particularly attended to, as it tends to explain fome fubfequent paffages which have hitherto been misunderstood. M. MASON.

9 Lafeu fays, excessive grief is the enemy of the living: the countess replies, If the living be an enemy to grief, the excess foon makes it mortal: that is, If the living do not indulge grief, grief deftroys felf by its own excess. By the word mortal I understand that which dies; and Dr. Warburton [who reads-be not enemy-] that which destroys. think that my interpretation gives a fentance more acute and more refined. Let the reader judge. JOHNSON.

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

Count. Be thou bleft, Bertram! and fucceed thy father
In manners, as in fhape! thy blood, and virtue,
Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
Share with thy birth-right! Love all, trust 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 heaven more will,
That thee may furnish,2 and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewell.-My lord,

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


He cannot want the best

That fhall attend his love.

Count. Heaven blefs him!-Farewell Bertram.

[Exit Countefs. Ber. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts, [To HELENA.] be fervants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your miftrefs, and make much of her. Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the credit of your father. [Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU. Hel. O, were that all !-I think not on my father;+


That may help thee with more and better qualifications. JOHNSON. 3 That is, may you be mistress of your wishes, and have power to bring them to effect. JOHNSON.

4 This paffage has been paffed over in filence by all the commentators, yet it is evidently defective. The only meaning that the fpeech of La feu will bear, as it now ftands, is this: That Helena, who was a young girl, ought to keep up the credit which her father had established, who was the best phyfician of the age; and the by her answer, 0, were that all! feems to admit that it would be no difficult matter for her to do fo." The abfurdity of this is evident; and the words will admit of no other interpretation. Some alteration therefore is neceffary, and that which I propofe is, to read uphold, instead of muft bold, and then the mean. ing will be this: "Lafeu, obferving that Helena had fhed a torrent of tears, which he and the Countefs both afcribe to her grief for her father, fays, that the upholds the credit of her father, on this principle, that the fureft proof that can be given of the merit of a perfon deceased, are the lamentations of thofe who furvive him. But Helena, who knows her own heart, wishes that he had no other caufe of grief, except the loss of her father, whom she thinks no more of." M. Mason.


And thefe great tears 5 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 Bertram's.
I am undone; there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. It were all one,
That I should love a bright particular ftar,
And think to wed it, he is fo above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Muft I be comforted, not in his fphere."
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself;
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Muft die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To fee him every hour; to fit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table ;7 heart, too capable

Of every line and trick of his fweet favour:

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5 The tears which the King and Countefs fired for him. JOHNSON. Johnfon fuppofes that by these great tears, Helena means the tears which the King and the Countefs fhed for her father; but it does not appear that either of those great perfons had shed tears for him, though they fpoke of him with regret. By these great tears, Helena does not mean the tears of great people, but the big and copious tears the then fhed herfelf, which were caufed in reality by Bertram's departure, though attributed by Lafeu and the Countefs, to the lofs of her father; and from this mifapprehenfion of theirs, graced his remembrance more than thofe the actually fhed for him. What he calls gracing bis remembrance, is what Lafeu had ftyled before, upholding his credit, the two paffages tending to explain each other. It is fcarcely neceffary to make this grammatical obfervation-That if Helena had alluded to any tears fappofed to have been shed by the King, fhe would have faid thofe tears, not thefs, as the latter pronoun muft neceffarily refer to fomething prefent at the time.

M. MASON. 6 I cannot be united with him and move in the fame Sphere, but must be comforted at a distance by the radiance that shoots on all fides from him.


7 A table was in our author's time a term for a picture, in which fenfe it is ufed here. Tableau, Fr. MALONE.

Table here only fignifies the board on which any picture was painted. Helena would not have talked of drawing Bertram's picture in her heart's picture; but confiders her heart as the tablet or furface on which his refemblance was to be pourtrayed. STEEVENS.

So, in King Jbn:" he hath a trick of Cœur de Lion's face." Trick feems to be fome peculiarity or feature. JOHNSON.


But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Muft fanctify his relicks. Who comes here?


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 steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind: withal, full oft we fee
Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly."

Par Save you, fair queen.

Hel. And you, monarch,2

Par. No.

Hel. And no.3

Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

Hel. Ay. You have fome ftain of foldier 4 in you; let me afk you a queftion: Man is enemy to virginity; how may we barricado it against him?


Trick is an expreffion taken from drawing, and is fo explained in King John, Act I. fc. i. The prefent inftance explains itself:

-to fit and draw

His arched brows, &c.

and trick of bis fweet favour.

Trick, however, on the prefent occation, may mean neither tracing nor outline, but peculiarity. STEEVENS.

Tricking is ufed by heralds for the delineation and colouring of arms, &c. MALONE.

9 Cold for naked; as fuperfluous for over-cloathed. This makes the propriety of the antithefis. WARBURTON.


Perhaps here is fome allufion defigned to Monarcho, a ridiculous fantaftical character of the age of Shakspeare. Concerning this perfon, fee the notes on Love's Labour's Loft, A& IV. fc. i. STEEVENS. 3 I am no more a queen than you are a monarch, or Monarcho.

MALONE. 4 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 the fe expreffions, that Parolles was entirely dreft in red. Shakspeare writes only fome ftain of foldier, meaning in one fenfe, that he had red breeches on, (which is fufficiently evident from calling him afterwards red-tail'd bumble-bee,) and in another, that he was a difgrace to foldiery. Stain is ufed in an adverfe fenfe by Shak



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Par. Keep him out. Hel. But he affails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold 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 be quicklier 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 preferve virginity. Lofs of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was firft 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 it.

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 accuse your mothers; which is most infallible difobedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin virginity murders itfelf;" 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

B 5


fpeare, in Troilus and Creffida: << nor any man an attaint, but he carries fome ftain of it."

Mr. M. Mafon obferves on this occafion that "though a red coat is now the mark of a foldier in the British service, it was not fo in the days of Shakspeare, when we had no ftanding army, and the use of armour still prevailed." To this I reply, that the colour red has always been annexed to foldiership. Chaucer, in his Knight's Tale, v. 1749, has "Mars de rede," and Boccace has given Mars the fame epithet in the opening of his Thefeida: 661 O rubicondo Marte." STEEVENS.

Stain rather for what we now fay tincture, fome qualities, at least super. ficial, of a foldier. JOHNSON.

5 I believe we should read, national. TYRWHITT.

Rational increase may mean the regular increase by which rational beings are propagated. STEEVENS.

i. e. he that hangs himself, and a virgin, are in this circumftance alike; they are both felf-deftroyers. MALONE.

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