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It is the fhow and feal of nature's truth,

Where love's ftrong paffion is impreft in youth;
By our remembrances of days foregone,

Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
Her eye is fick on't; 1 obferve her now.-

Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam?
Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Hel Mine honourable mistrefs.

Count. Nay, a mother;

Why not a mother? when I faid a mother,
Methought, you faw a ferpent; what's in mother,
That you ftart at it? I fay, I'm your mother;
And put you in the catalogue of those,
That were enwombed mine; 'tis often feen,
Adoption ftrives with nature; and choice breeds
A native flip to us from foreign feeds.

You ne'er oppreft me with a mother's groan,
Yet I exprefs to you a mother's care:

God's mercy! maiden, do's it curd thy blood,
To fay, I am thy mother? what's the matter,
That this diftemper'd meffenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eyes?
Why,that you are my daughter?

Hel. That I am not.

Count. I fay, I am your mother.
Hel. Pardon, Madam.

The Count Roufillon cannot be my brother ;
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble.
My mafter, my dear Lord he is; and I
His fervant live, and will his vaffal die :
He must not be my brother.-

Count. Nor I your 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 fhield, you mean it not, daughter and mother
So ftrive upon your pulfe! what, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondnefs.-Now I fee (9)
The myft'ry of your loneliness, and find
Your falt tears head; now to all fenfe 'tis grofs,
You love my fon; invention is afham'd,
Against the proclamation of thy paffion,
To fay, thou dost not; therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis fo. For, look, thy cheeks
Confefs it one to th' other; and thine eyes
See it fo grofly fhown in thy behaviour,
That in their kind they speak it: only fin
And hellish obftinacy tie thy tongue,

That truth should be fufpected; (peak, is't fo?
If it be fo, you've wound a goodly clew:

If it be not, forfwear't; howe'er, I charge thee,
As heav'n fhall work in me for thine avail,

To tell me truly.

Hel. Good Madam, pardon me.

Count. Do you love my fon?
Hel. Your pardon, noble miftrefs.

Count. Love you my fon?

Hel. Do not you love him, Madam?

Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,'

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The myfry of your loveliness, and find

Your falt tears bead ; —]

The mystery of her loveliness is beyond my comprehenfion: The old Countefs is faying nothing ironical, nothing taunting, or in reproach, that this word fhould find a place here; which it could not, unless farcaftically employ'd, and with fome fpleen. I dare warrant, the poet meant, his old Lady fhould fay no more than this: "I now find "the mytery of your creeping into corners, and weeping, and "pining in fecret." For this reafon I have amended the text, lonelinefs. The fteward, in the foregoing fcene, where he gives the Countess intelligence of Helen's behaviour fays;

Alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own words to ber

own ears.

The author has used the word loneliness, to fignify a perfon's being alone, again in his Hamlet,

We will beftow ourselves: read on this book;
That fhew of fuch an exercife may colour
Your loneliness.


Whereof the world takes note: come, come, difclofe
The ftate of your affection; for your paffions
Have to the full appeach'd.

Hel. Then, I confefs,

Here on my knee, before high heav'ns and you,
That before you, and next unto high heav'n,
I love your fon :

My friends were poor, but honeft; fo'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 prefumptuous fuit;

Nor would I have him, 'till I do deferve him
Yet never know, how that defert fhall be:
I know, I love in vain; ftrive against hope;
Yet, in this captious and intenible fieve,
I ftill pour in the water 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 yourself,
Whofe aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever in fo true a flame of liking

With chately, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love; O then, give pity
To her, whofe state is fuch, that cannot chufe
But lend, and give, where the is fure to lofe;
That feeks not to find that, which fearch implies;
But, riddle-like, lives fweetly, where the dies.
Count. Had you not lately an intent, fpeak truly,
To go to Paris?


Hel. Madam, I had.

Count. Wherefore? tell true.

Hel I will tell truth; by grace itfelf, I fwear,
You know, my father left me fome prefcriptions
Of rare and prov'd effects; fuch as his reading
And manifeft experience had collected

For general fov'reignty; and that he will'd me
In heedfull'st reservation to bestow them,

As notes, whofe faculties inclufive were,
More than they were in note: amongst the rest,
There is a remedy, approv'd, fet down,
To cure the defperate languifhings, whereof
The King is render'd loft.

Count. This was your motive for Paris, was it, fpeak? Hel. My Lord your fon made me to think of this; Elfe Paris, and the medicine, and the King,

Had from the converfation of my thoughts

Haply been abfent then.

Count. But think you, Helen,

If you should tender your fuppofed aid,

He would receive it? he and his phyficians

Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him:

They, that they cannot help. How hall they credit
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off
The danger to itself?

Hel. There's fomething, in't.

More than my father's kill, (which was the great'
Of his profeffion,) that his good receipt

Shall for my legacy be fanctified

your Honour

By th' luckiest stars in heav'n; and, would
But give me leave to try fuccefs, I'd venture
The well-loft life of mine on his Grace's care,
By fuch a day and hour.

Count. Doft thou believe't?

Hel. Ay, Madam, knowingly.

Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave and love

Means and attendants; and my loving greetings

To thofe of mine in court. I'll stay at home,
And pray God's bleffing into thy attempt:
Begone, to-morrow; and he fure of this,

What I can help thee to, thou fhalt not mifs. [Exeunt.




SCENE, the Court of France.

Enter the King, with divers young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war. Bertram and Parolles. Flourish Cornets.


Arewel, young Lords; thefe warlike principles Do not throw from you: you, my Lords, farewel; Share the advice betwixt you. If both gain,

The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd,

And is enough for both.

1 Lord. 'Tis our hope, Sir,

After well-enter'd foldiers, to return

And find your grace in health.

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King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my

Will not confefs, it owns the malady


That doth my life befiege; farewel, young Lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the fons

Of worthy French men; (10) let higher Italy


-let bigber Italy (Thofe bated, that inherit but the fall

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Of the laft monarchy ;) fee, &c.] This feems to me one of the very obfcure paffages of Shakespeare, and which therefore may very well demand explanation. Italy, at the time of this fcene, was under three very different tenures. The Emperor, as fuccetior of the Roman Emperors, bad one part; the Pope, by a pretended donation from Confantine, another; and the third was compos'd of free ftates. Now by the laft monarchy is meant the Roman, the laft of the four general monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the scramble, several cities fet up for themselves, and became free fiates: Now these might be faid properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy. But the Emperor could not be faid to inherit the fall of the monarchy, any more than a fon, who inherits an impair'd eftate, could be faid to inherit the fall of his father's eftate: Tho' thofe, who had defrauded the father, might be faid to inherit the fall of his eftate, Much less could the


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