« ZurückWeiter »
It is the fhow and feal of nature's truth,
Where love's ftrong paffion is impreft in youth;
Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam ?
Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Count. Nay, a mother;
Why not a mother? when I faid a mother,
God's mercy! maiden, do's it curd thy blood,
Hel. That I am not.
Count. I fay, I am your mother.
The Count Roufillon cannot be my
I am from humble, he from honour'd name;
Count. Nor I your mother?
Hel. You are my mother, Madam; would you were,
So I were not his fifter: can't no other,
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law;
God fhield, you mean it not, daughter and mother
That truth fhould be fufpected; fpeak, is't fo?
If it be not, forfwear't; howe'er, I charge thee,
Hel. Good Madam, pardon me.
Count. Love you my fon?
Hel. Do not you love him, Madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,'
The myfry of your loveliness, and find
Your falt tears bead ;]
The mystery of her loveliness is beyond my comprehenfion: The old Countess is saying 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 spleen. I dare warrant, the poet meant, his old Lady fhould fay no more than this: "I now find "the mystery of your creeping into corners, and weeping, and "pining in fecret." For this reafon I have amended the text, lonelinefs. The feward, in the foregoing fcene, where he gives the Countess intelligence of Helen's behaviour fays;
Alone he was, and did communicate to berfelf her own words to ber
The author has used the word loneliness, to fignify a perfon's being alone, again in his Hamlet,
We will bestow ourselves: read on this book;
Whereof the world takes note: come, come, difclofe
Hel. Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heav'ns and you,
My friends were poor, but honest; fo's my love;
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
The fun that looks upon his worshipper,
With chately, and love dearly, that your Dian
Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly, To go to Paris?
Hel. Madam, I had.
Hel I will tell truth; by grace itself, I fwear
For general fov'reignty; and that he will'd me
As notes, whofe faculties inclufive were,
To cure the defperate languishings, whereof
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'
Shall for my legacy be fanctified
By th' luckieft ftars in heav'n; and, would your Honour
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
leave and love
Means and attendants; and my loving greetings
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.
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.
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
That doth my life befiege; farewel, young Lords;
Of worthy French men; (10) let higher Italy
(10) -let bigber Italy 5. (Thofe bated, that inherit but the fall
"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 fuccellor of the Roman Emperors, had one part; the Pope, by a pretended donation from Conflantine, 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 flates: 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' those, who had defrauded the father, might be faid to inherit the fall of his eftate. Much lefs could the