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have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the king's disease.
Laf. How called 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 lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality,
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languish-
Laf. I would it were not notorious.—Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
Count. Ilis sole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises. Her dispositions she inherits, which make 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; she derives her honesty, and achieves 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 approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood ? froin her check. No more of this, Helena, go to, no more ; lest it be rather thought you aifect a sorrow, than to have.
Tiel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too.
Luf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.
1 We feel regret even in commending such qualities, joined with an evil disposition, they are truitors, because they give the possessors power over others; who, admiring such'estimable qualities, are often betrayed by the malevolence of the possessors. Helena's virtues are the better because they are artless and open.
2 All appea ance of life.
Count. If the living be enemy to the grief, the ex cess makes it soon mortal.'
Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
, trust a few,
Laf. He cannot want the best
[Exit Countess. Ber. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts (TO HELENA.] 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 Lareu.
Hel. Ó, were that all!—I think not on my father, And these great tears 3 grace his remembrance more Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him: my imagination Carries no favor in it, but Bertram's. I am undone ; there is no living, none, If Bertram be away.
It were all one,
1 That is, “ if the living do not indulge grief, grief destroys itself by its own excess."
2 i, e. that may help thee with more and better qualifications.
3 That is, Ilelen's own tears, which were caused, in reality, hy the departure of Bertrain, though attributed by Lafeu and the countess to the loss of her father, and which, from this misapprehension of theirs, gracea his memory more than those she actually şhed for him.
That I should love a bright particular star,
I know him a notorious liar,
Par. Save you, fair queen.
Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; 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, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak; unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Par. There is none; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up. .
11. e. countenance.
2 i. e. altogether. 3 That is, some tincture, some little of the hue or color of a soldier.
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 yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was first lost. 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 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 rule of 'nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin : virginity 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 itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not: you cannot choose 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, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion ; richly suited, but unsuitable ; just like
1 Hanmer proposes to substitute ten for two
the brooch and toothpick, which wear not now. Your date? is better in your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek; and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears ; it looks ill; it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear. Will you any thing with it?
Hěl. Not my virginity yet.»
Par. What one, i'faith?
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
I l'he old copy reads were ; Rowe corrected it. Shakspeare here, as in other places, uses the active for the passive.
2 A quibble on date, which means age, and a candied fruit then much used in pies.
3 Hanmer and Johnson suggest that some such clause as “ You're for the court,” has been omitted. Something of the kind is necessary to connect Helena's rhapsodical speech.
4 i. e. a number of pretty, fond, adopted appellations or Christian names, to which blind Cupid stands godfather. It is often used for baptism by old writers.
5 i. e. and show by realities what we now must only think