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By our remembrances of days foregone,
Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
is fick on't; I observe her now.
Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam?
Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Count. Nay, a mother;
Why not a mother? when I said a mother,
Methought, you saw a ferpent; what's in mother,
you start at it? I say, I'm your mother ;
And put you in the catalogue of those,
That were enwombed mine ; 'tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds
A native flip to us from foreign seeds.
You ne'er oppreft me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care :
God's mercy! maiden, do's it curd thy blood,
To say, I am thy mother? what's the matter,
That this distemper'd messenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eyes?
Why, that you are my daughter?
Hel. That I am not.
Count. I say, I am your mother.
Hel. Pardon, Madam.
The Count Rousillon cannot be my brother ;
I am from humble, he from honour'd, name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble.
My master, my dear lord he is; and I
His servant live, and will his vassal die:
He must not be
brother. Count. Nor I
mother? Hel. You are my mother, Madam; 'would you were, (So that my lord, your son, were not my brother) Indeed, my mother!-or were you both our mothers I care no more for, than I do for heav'n, So I were not his fifter: can't no other, But I your daughter, he must be my brother?:
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law; God field, you mean it not, daughter and mother So strive upon your pulse! what, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness.--Now I see (6)
"The myft’ry of your loneliness, and find
Your fált tears' head; now to all sense 'tis gross,
You love my son ; invention is alhamd,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say, thou dost not; therefore tell me true ;
But tell me then, 'tis fo. For, look, thy cheeks
Confess it one to th' other; and thine
See it so grofly shown in thy behaviour,
That in their kind they speak it: only fin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected; speak, is't fo?
If it be so, you've wound a goodly clew:
If it be not, forswear't; howe'er, I charge thee,
As heav'n shall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly
Hel. Good Madam, pardon me.
Count. Do you love niy fon?
Hel. Your pardon, noble mistress.
Count. Love you my son ?
Hel. Do not you love him, Madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note : come, come, disclose
The state of your affection ; for your passions
Have to the full appeach'd.
Now I see
The myst’ry of your loveliness, and find
Tour salt tears' head :-
--) The Mystery of her Loveliness is beyond my Comprehension: The old Countess is saying nothing ironical, nothing taunting, or in Reproach, that this Word Mould find a place here; which it could not, unless sarcastically employ'd, and with some Spleen. I dare warrant, the Poet meant, his old Lady mould say no more than this: “ I now find the Mystery of your creeping into Corners, and weeping, and pining in secret.” For this Reason I have amended the Text, Loneliness. The Steward, in the foregoing Scene, where he gives the Countess Intelligence of Helen's Behaviour, says;
Alone She was, and did communicate to herself her own Words to her own Ears,
Hel. Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heav'ns and you,
That before you, and next unto high heav'n,
I love your
My friends were poor, but honest ; so's my love;
Be not offended ; for it hurts not him,
That he is lov'd of me; I follow him not
By any token of presumptuous fuit ;
Nor would I have him, 'till I do deserve him ;
Yet never know, how that desert shall be.
I know, I love in vain; strive against hope ;
Yet, in this captious and intenible lieve,
I still pour in the waters of my love,
And lack not to lose still; thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore
The fun that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more. My dearest Madam,
Let not your hate incounter with my love,
For loving where you do; but if your felf,
Whose aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever in so true a flame of liking
Wish chastly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love; O then, give pity
To her, whose state is such, that cannot chule
But lend, and give, where she is sure to lose ;
That seeks not to find that, which search implies ;
But, riddle-like, lives sweetly, where she dies.
Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
To go to Paris?
Hel. Madam, I had.
Count. Wherefore ? tell true.
Hel. I will tell truth; by Grace it self, I swear.
You know, my father left me some prescriptions
Of rare and prov'd effects ; such as his reading
And manifest experience had collected
For general sov'reignty; and that he willd me,
In heedfull’ft reservation to bestow them,
As notes, whose faculties inclusive were,
More than they were in note: amongst the rest,
There is a remedy, approv'd, fet down,
To cure the desperate languishings, whereof
The King is render'd lost.
Count. This was your motive for Paris, was it, speak?
Hel. My lord your
son made me to think of this;
Else Paris, and the medicine, and the King,
Had from the conversation of my thoughts,
Haply, been absent then.
Count. But think you, Helen,
If you should tender your fupposed aid,
He would receive it? he and his physicians
Are of a mind';, he, that they cannot help him :
They, that they cannot help. How shall they credit
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to it felf?
Hel. There's something in't
More than my father's skill, (which was the great’st
Of his Profession,) that his good receipt
Shall for my legacy be fanctified
By th’luckiest stars in heav'n; and, would your honour
But give me leave to try success, I'd venture
The well-loft life of mine on his Grace's Cure,
By such a day and hour.
Count. Doft thou believ't?
Hel. Ay, Madam, knowingly.
Count. Why, Helen, thou Thalt have my leave and
Means and attendants; and my loving greetings
To those of mine in Court. I'll stay at home,
And pray God's blessing into thy attempt :
Begone, to morrow; and be sure of this,
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.
ACT II. SCENE, the Court of France. Enter the King, with divers young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war. Bertram and Parolles.
Arewel, young Lords: these warlike principles
Do not throw from you : you, my Lords, fare-
Share the advice betwixt you. If both gain,
The gift doth stretch it self as ʼtis receiv'd,
And is enough for both.
i Lord. 'Tis our hope, Sir,
After well-enter'd soldiers, to return
And find your Grace in health.
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart-
Will not confess, it owns the malady
That doth my life besiege; farewel, young Lords ;
Whether I live or die, be you the fons
Of worthy French men ; (6) let higher Italy
let higher Italy
(Those bated, that inherit but the Falt
Of the last Monarchy;) see, &c.] This seems to me One of the
very obscure Passages of Shakespeare, and which therefore may very well demand Explanation. Italy, at the time of this Scene, was under three very different Tenures. The Emperor, as Successor of the Roman Emperors, had one Part; the Pope, by a pretended Donation from Conftantine, another; and the Third was compos’d of free States. Now by the last Monarchy is meant the Roman, the last of the four general Monarchies. Upon the Fall of this Monarchy, in the Scramble, several Cities set up for themselves, and became free States : Now these might be said properly to inherit the Fall of the MoDarchy. This being premised, now tothe Sense. The King says,