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SCENE, the Court of France, at Marseilles.

Enter Helena, Widow, and Diana, with two Attendants.


BUT this exceeding, pofting 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,
If he would fpend his power. God fave you, Sir.
Gent. And you.

Hel. Sir, I have feen you in the court of France.
Gent. I have been fometimes there.

Hel. I do prefume, Sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness;
And therefore, goaded with moft fharp occafions.
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The ufe of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.

Gent. What's your will ?

Hel. That it will please you

To give this poor petition to the King,

And aid me with that ftore of power you have,

To come into his prefence.

Gent. The King's not here.

Hel. Not here, Sir?

Gent. Not, indeed.

He hence remov'd last night, and with more hafte

Than is his ufe.

Wid. Lord, how we lofe our pains!

Hel. All's well, that ends well yet,
Tho' time feems fo adverfe, and means unfit:
I do befeech you, whither is he gone?
Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Roufillon,
Whither I'm going.

Hel. I befeech you, Sir,

Since you are like to fee the King before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand;
Which, I prefume, fhall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it.
I will come after you with what good speed
Our means will make us means.

Gent. This I'll do for you.

Hel. And you fhall find yourself 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 frefher cloaths; (36) but I am now, Sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and fmell fomewhat ftrong of her ftrong displeasure.


(36) But I am now, Sir, muddied in Fortune's mood, and fmell fome what frong of ber ftrong difpleasure.] Fortune's mood is, without queltion, good fenfe, 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 fpeech replies, I will henceforth eat no filh of Fortune's buttering; and again, when he comes to repeat Parolles's petition to Lafeu,- -that bath fall'n into the unclean fipond of ber difpleasure, and, as he fays, is muddied withal. And again, Pray you, Sir, ufe the carp as you may, &c. In all which places, 'tis obvious, a moat, or pond, is the allufion. Befides, Parolles fmelling ftrong, as he says, of Fortune's firong difpleasure, carries on the fame image: For as the moats round old feats were always replenish'd with fish, fo the Clown's joke of holding his nofee we may prefume, pro


Ch. Truly, Fortune's difpleafure is but fluttish, if it fmell fo ftrongly as thou fpeak'ft of: I will henceforth eat no fifh of Fortune's butt'ring. Pr'ythee, allow the wind.

Par. Nay, you need not to ftop your nofe, Sir; I fpake but by a métaphor.

Clo. Indeed, Sir, if your metaphor ftink, I will ftop my nofe against any man's metaphor. Pr'ythee, 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.

Enter Lafeu,

Here is a pur of Fortune's, Sir, or of Fortune's cat, (but not a musk-cat ;) that hath fall'n into the unclean fifhpond 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 (37) I do pity his diftrefs in my fimiles of comfort, and leave him to your Lordship.

Par. My Lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly fcratch'd.

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 the fhould fcratch you, who of herself 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.

ceeded from this because la Chambre basse was always over the moat and therefore the Clown humouroufly fays, when Parolles is preffing him to deliver his letter to Lord Lafeu.Fob! pr'ythee, ftand away: A paper from Fortune's close-ftool, to give to a nobleman! (37) I do pity bis diftrefs in my fmiles of comfort,] This very hu morous paffage my friend Mr. Warburton refcued from nonfenfe moft happily, by the infertion of a fingle letter, in the manner I have reform'd the text. Thefe fimiles of comfort are ironically meant by the Clown; as much as to fay, you may perceive, how much I think he deferves comfort, by my calling him Fortune's Cat, Carp, rafcally Knave, &c,


Par. I beseech your honour, to hear me one fingle word.

Laf. You beg a fingle penny more come, you shall ha't, fave your word.

Par. My name, my good Lord, is Parolles. Laf. You beg more than one word then. Cox' my paffion! give me your hand: how does your drum ? Par. O my good Lord; you were the first that found


Laf. Was I, infooth? and I was the firft, that loft thee.

Par. It lies in you, my Lord, to bring me in fome 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 last night; tho' you are a fool and a knave, you fhall eat; go to, follow.

Par. I praife God for you.


Flourish. Enter King, Countefs, Lafeu, the two French
Lords, with attendants.

King. We loft a jewel of her, (38) our esteem
Was made much poorer by it; but your fon,
As mad in folly, lack'd the fense to know
Her eftimation home.


-our efeem

Was made much poorer by it ::-- -] What's the meaning of the King's efteem being made poorer by the lofs of Helen.? I think, it. can only be underflood in one fenfe; and that fenfe won't carry water, i. e. We fuffered in our eftimation by her lofs. But how fo Did the King contribute to her misfortunes? Nothing like it. Or did he not do ali in his power to prevent them? Yes; he married. Bertram to her. We must certainly read therefore;

We left a Jewel of ber; our estate

Was made much poorer by it:

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


Mr, Warburton.


Count. 'Tis paft, my Liege;

And I beseech your Majesty to make it

(39) Natural rebellion, done i'th' blade of youth, When oil and fire, too ftrong for reason's force, O'erbears it, and burns on.

King. My honour'd Lady,

I have forgiven and forgotten all;

Tho' my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to fhoot.

Laf. This I must say,

But first I beg my pardon; the young Lord
Did to his Majefty, his Mother, and his Lady,
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all. He loft a wife,
Whore beauty did aftonish the furvey

Of richeft eyes; whofe words all ears took captive;
Whose dear perfection, hearts, that fcorn'd to ferve,
Humbly call'd mistress.

King. Praifing what is loft,

Makes the remembrance dear. Well-call him hither; We're reconcil'd, and the firft view fhall kill

All repetition let him not ask our pardon.


The nature of his great offence is dead,

And deeper than oblivion we do bury

Th' incenfing relicks of it. Let him approach,
A ftranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.

Gent. I fhall my Liege,

(39) Natural rebellion, done i'tb' blade of youth,] If this reading be genuine, the metaphor must be from any grain, or plant, taking fire; but, I own, it seems more in Shakespeare's way of thinking to fuppofc he wrote;

Natural rebellion done i'th' blaze of youth,

i. e. in the fervour, flame, &c. So he has exprefs'd himself, upon a like occafion, in Hamlet,

I do know,

When the blood burns, how prodigal the foul

Leads the tongue vows. Thefe blazes, O my daughter, &c.

And fo, again, in his Troilus and Creffida;

For Hedor, in his blage of wrath, fubfcribes

Ta tender objects.

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