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SCENE, the Court of France, at Marseilles.
Enter Helena, Widow, and Diana, with twe Attendants.
UT this exceeding posting day and night Muft wear your fpirits low; we cannot help it. But fince you've made the days and nights as one, To wear your gentle limbs in my affairs; Be bold, you do fo grow in my requital,
As nothing can unroot you. In happy time,
Enter a Gentleman..
This man may help me to his Majesty's ear,
Gent. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have feen' you in the court of France.
Hel. I do prefume, Sir, that you are not fallen
Gent. What's your will?
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the King;
Gent. The King's not here.
Gent. Not, indeed.
He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste
Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains!
Hel. I beseech you, Sir,
Since you are like to see the King before me,
Gent. This I'll do for you.
Hel. And you fhall find your felf to be well thank'd, What-e'er falls more. We must to horse again. Go, go, provide.
SCENE changes to Roufillon.
Enter Clown, and Parolles.
OOD Mr. Levatch, give my Lord Lafeu this letter; I have ere now, Sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher cloaths; (23) but I am now, Sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.
(23) But I am now, Sir, muddied in Fortune's Mood, and smell fomewhat strong of her ftrong Displeasure.] Fortune's Mood is, without Question, good Senfe, and very proper: and yet I verily believe, the Poet wrote as I have reftor'd in the Text;-in Fortune's Moat: because the Clown in the very next Speech replies, I will henceforth eat no Fish of Fortune's buttering, and again, when he comes to repeat Parelles's Petition to Lafeu,—— that hath fall'n into the unclean Fishpond of her Difpleasure, and, as he fays, is muddied withal. And again, Pray you, Sir, use
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but fluttish, if it fmell fo ftrongly as thou fpeak'ft of: I will henceforth cat no fish of fortune's butt'ring. Pr'ythee, allow the wind.
Par. Nay, you need not to stop your nofe, Sir; I fpake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, Sir, if your metaphor ftink, I will stop my nose against any man's metaphor. Pry'thee, get thee further.
Par. Pray you, Sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh! pr'ythee, ftand away; a paper from fortune's close-ftool, to give to a Nobleman! look, here he comes himself.
Here is a pur of fortune's, Sir, or fortune's cat, (but not a musk-cat ;) that hath fall'n into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he fays, is muddied withal. Pray you, Sir, ufe the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rafcally knave. (24) I do pity his diftrefs in my fimilies of comfort, and leave him to your Lordship.
Par. My Lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratch'd.
the Carp as you may, &c. In all which Places, 'tis obvious, a Moat, or Pond, is the Allufion. Befides, Parolles fmelling strong, as he fays, of Fortune's ftrong Displeasure, carries on the fame Image: For as the Moats round old Seats were always replenish'd with Fish, so the Clown's joke of holding his Nose, we may prefume, proceeded from This- -because la Chambre basse was always over the Moat: and therefore the Clown humourously fays, when Parolles is preffing him to deliver his Letter to Lord Lafen. -Foh! pr'ythee, stand away: A Paper from Fortune's Closeftool, to give to a Nobleman!
(24) I do pity his Distress in my Smiles of Comfort,] This very humourous Paffage my Friend Mr. Warburton rescued from Nonfenfe moft happily, by the Infertion of a single Letter, in the Manner I have reform'd the Text. Thefe Similies of Comfort are ironically meant by the Clown; as much as to fay, you may perceive, how much I think he deserves Comfort, by my calling him Fortune's Cats Carp, rafcally Knave, &c.
Laf. And what would you have me to do? 'tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you play'd the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of her felf is a good Lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her? there's a Quart-d'ecu for you: let the juftices make you and fortune friends; I am for other bufinefs.
Par. I beseech your honour, to hear me one fingle word.
Laf. You beg a fingle penny more: come, you fhall ha't, fave your word.
Par. My name, my good Lord, is Parolles.
Laf. Was I, infooth ? and I was the first, that loft thee.
Par. It lyes in you, my Lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
Laf. Out upon thee, knave! doft thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the Devil? one brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. [Sound Trumpets.] The King's coming, I know, by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me, I had talk of you laft night; tho' you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow.
Par. I praife God for you.
Flourish. Enter King, Countefs, Lafeu, the two
King. We loft a jewel of her, (25) our esteem
Was made much poorer by it :] What's the Meaning of the King's Efteem being made poorer by the Loss of Helen? 1 think, it can only be understood in one Sense; and that Sense won't carry Water; i. e. We fuffer'd in our Eftimation by her
As mad in folly, lack'd the fenfe to know.
Count. 'Tis paft, my Liege;
And I beseech your Majefty to make it
King. My honour'd Lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
Laf. This I muft say,
But first I beg my pardon; the young Lord
Of richeft eyes; whofe words all ears took captive;
King. Praifing what is loft,.
Makes the remembrance dear. Well
We're reconcil'd, and the first view fhall kill
Gent. I fhall, my Liege.
Lofs. But how fo. Did the King contribute to her Misfortunes? Nothing like it. Or did he not do all in his Power to prevent them? Yes; he married Bertram to her. We muft . certainly read therefore;
We lost a Jewel of her; our Estate
That's the certain Confequence of any one's lofing a Jewel, for their Eftate to be made proportionably poorer according to the Value of the Lofs.