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Laf. Very hand of heaven.
Par. Ay, so I say.
Laf. In a most weak

Par. And debile minister, great power, great transcendence: which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made, than alone the recovery of the king, * as to be Laf. Generally thankful.

Enter King, HELENA, and Attendants. Par. I would have said it; you say well: Here comes the king.

Laf. Lustick, as the Dutchman says:5 I 'll like a


Facinorous is wicked. The old copy spells the word facinerious ; but as Parolles is not designed for a verbal blunderer, I have adhered to the common spelling Steevens.

which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made &c.] I believe Parolles has again usurped words and sense to which he has no right; and I read this passage thus :

Laf. In a most weak and debile minister, great power, great transcendence; which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made than the mere recovery of the king

Par. As to be
Laf. Generally thankful. Fohnson

When the parts are written out for players, the names of the characters which they are to represent are never set down ; but only the last words of the preceding speech which belongs to their partner in the scene. If the plays of Shakspeare were printed (as there is reason to suspect) from these piece-meal transcripts, how easily may the mistake be accounted for, which Dr. Johnson has judiciously strove to remedy? Steevens.

5 Lustick, as the Dutchman says:] Lustigh is the Dutch word for lusty, cheerful, pleasant. It is used in Hans Beer-pot's Invisible Comedy, 1618:

can walk a mile or two As lustique as a boor -" Again, in The Witches of Lancashire, by Heywood and Broome, 1634:

" What all lustick, all frolicksome!” The burden also of one of our ancient Medleys is

Hey Lusticke.Steevens. In the narrative of the cruelties committed by the Dutch at Amboyna, in 1622, it is said, that after a night spent in prayer, &c. by some of the prisoners, “the Dutch that guarded them Yered them wine, bidding them drink lustick, and drive away

sorrow, according to the custom of their own nation.” Reed.


maid the better, whilst I have a tooth in my head: Why, he's able to lead her a coranto.

Par. Mort du Vinaigre: Is not this Helen?
Laf. 'Fore God, I think so.
King, Go, call before me all the lords in court..

[Exit an Attendant. Sit, my preserver, by thy patient's side: And with this healthful hand, whose banish'd sense

Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receive : The confirmation of my promis'd gift, Which but attends thy naming.

Enter several Lords. Fair maid, send forth thine eye; this youthful parcel Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing, O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice I have to use: thy frank election make; Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.

Hel. To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress Fall, when love please!-marry, to each, but one!?

Laf. I'd give bay Curtal, 8 and his furniture,
My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
And writ as little beard.

Peruse them well:
Not one of those, but had a noble father.


o O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice - ] They were his wards as well as his subjects. Henley.

marry, to each, but one!) I cannot understand this passage in any other sense, than as a ludicrous exclamation, in consequence of Helena's wish of one fair and virtuous mistress to each of the lords. If that be so, it cannot belong to Helena ; and might, properly enough, be given to Parolles. Tyrwhitt.

Tyrwhitt's observations on this passage are not conceived with his usual sagacity. He mistakes the import of the words but one, which does not mean one only, but except one.

Helena wishes a fair and virtuous mistress to each of the young lords who were present, one only excepted; and the person excepted is Bertram, whose mistress she hoped she herself should be; and she makes the exception out of modesty: for otherwise the description of a fair and virtuous mistress would have extended to herself. M. Mason.

bay Gurtal,] i. e. a bay, docked horse. Steevens. 9 My mouth no more were broken - ] A broken mouth is a mouth which has lost part of its teeth. Fohnson.


Hel. Gentlemen, Heaven hath, through me, restor'd the king to health.

All. We understand it, and thank heaven for you.

Hel. I am a simple maid; and therein wealthiest,
That, I protest, I simply am a maid:
Please it your majesty, I have done already:
The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
We blush, that thou should'st choose; but be refus'd,
Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever;
We'll ne'er come there again."

Make choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.

Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly;
And to imperial Love, that god most high,
Do my sighs stream.—Sir, will you hear my suit?

I Lord. And grant it.

Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute. Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw amesaces for my life.


1 We blush, that thou should'st choose; but, be refus'd,

Let the white death &c.] In the original copy, these lines are pointed thus:

We blush that thou should'st choose, but be refus’d;

Let the white death sit on thy check for ever, &c. This punctuation has been adopted in all the subsequent editions. The present regulation of the text appears to me to afford a much clearer sense. “My blushes (says Helen) thus whisper me. We blush that thou should'st have the nomination of thy husband. However, choose him at thy peril. But, if thou be refused, let thy cheeks be for ever pale; we will never revisit them again."

The blushes which are here personified could not be supposed to know that Helena would be refused, as, according to the former punctuation, they appear to do; and, even if the poet had meant this, he would surely have written - and be refused, not“ – - but be refused.”

Be refus d,” means the same as-thou being refused, or, be thou refused. Malone.

The white death is the chlorosis. Johnson. The pestilence that ravaged England in the reign of Edward III was called “the black death." Steevens.

- all the rest is mute.] i. e. I have no more to say to you So, Hamlet: “_ - the rest is silence." Steevens.

ames-ace-i. e. the lowest chance of the dice. So, in The Ordinary, by Cartwright: “ may I at my last stake, &c. throw ames-aces thrice together.” Steevens.


Hel. The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes, Before I speak, too threateningly replies: Love make your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes, and her humble love!

2 Lord. No better, if you please. Hel.

My wish receive, Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.

Laf. Do all they deny her?* An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of. Hel. Be not afraid [to a Lord] that I your hand should

I 'll never do you wrong for your own sake:
Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed
Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!

Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they 'll none have her: sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them.

Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too good, To make yourself a son out of my blood.

4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so.

Laf. There's one grape yet, _I am sure, thy father drank wine:-But if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen; I have known thee already.

Hel. I dare not say, I take you; [to BER.] but I give Me, and my service, ever whilst I live, Into your guiding power. This is the man.

4 Laf. Do all they deny her?] None of them have yet denied her, or deny her afterwards, but Bertram. The scene must be so regulated that Lafeu and Parolles talk at a distance, where they may see what passes between Helena and the lords, but not hear it, so that they know not by whom the refusal is made.

Fohnson. 5 There's one grape yet,] This speech the three lasť editors [Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton] have perplexed themselves, by dividing between Lafeu and Parolles, without any au. thority of copies, or any improvement of sense. I have restored the old reading, and should have thought no explanation necessary, but that Mr. Theobald apparently misunderstood it.

Old Lafeu having, upon the supposition that the lady was refused, reproached the young lords as boys of ice, throwing his eyes on Bertram, who remained, cries out, there is one yet into whom his father put good blood-but I have known thee long enough to know thee for an ass. Fohnson.

King. Why then, young Bertram, take her, she's

thy wife. Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your highness, In such a business give me leave to use The help of mine own eyes. King

Know'st thou not, Bertram, What she has done for me? Ber.

Yes, my good lord;
But never hope to know why I should marry her.
King. Thou know'st, she has rais'd me from my sickly

Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Must answer for your raising? I know her well;
She had her breeding at my father's charge:
A poor physician's daughter my wife! -Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!

King. 'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat,7 pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty: If she be
All that is virtuous, (save what thou dislik'st
A poor physician's daughter) thou dislik'st
Of virtue for the name: but do not so:
From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
Where great additions swell,' and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour: good alone
Is good, without a name; vileness is so:1
The property by what it is should go,



6 'Tis only title -] i. e. the want of title. Malone.

Of colour, weight, and heat,] That is, which are of the same colour, weight, &c. Malone.

8 From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,] The old copy has--whence. This easy correction (when) was prescribed by Dr. Thirlby. Theobald.

9 Where great additions swell,] Additions are the titles and descriptions by which men are distinguished from each other.

Malone. - good alone Is good, without a name; wileness is so:] Shakspeare may mean, that external circumstances have no power over the real nature of things. Good alone (i. e. by itself) without a name (i.e.


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