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Enter several Lords,
Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
fake. Hel. To each of you one fair and virtuous mis
tress Fall, when love please !-marry, to each, but one !3
Laf. I'd give bay Curtal,4 and his furniture, My mouth no more were broken' than these boys', And writ as little beard. King.
Peruse them well : Not one of those, but had a noble father.
2 O'er whom both Sovereign power and father's voice ] They were his wards as well as his subjects. HENLEY.
3 - marry, to each, but one!] I cannot understand this passage in any other sense, than as a ludicrous exclamation, in consequence of Helena’s wilh of one fair and virtuous mistress to each of the lords. If that be so, it cannot belong to Helena; and might properly enough be given to Parolles. TYRWHITT.
Tyrwhitt's observations on this passage are not conceived with his usual sagacity. He mistakes the import of the words but one, which does not mean one only, but except one.
Helena wishes a fair and virtuous mistress to each of the young lords who were present, one only excepted; and the person excepted is Bertram, whose mistress the hoped she herself should be; and the makes the exception out of modesty: for otherwise the description of a fair and virtuous mistress would have extended to herself. M. Mason.
4- bay Curtal,] i. e. a bay, dock'd horse. Steevens.
s My mouth no more were broken- ] A broken mouth is a mouth which has loft part of its teeth. JOHNSON.
Hel. Gentlemen, Heaven hath, through me, restor’d the king to
health. All. We understand it, and thank heaven for
you. Hel. I am a simple maid; and therein wealthiest, That, I protest, I simply am a maid:Please it your majesty, I have done already : The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me, We blush, that thou Jould'st choose; but, be refus'd, Let the white death fit on thy cheek for ever; We'll ne'er come there again." King.
Make choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.
Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly; And to imperial Love, that god most high, Do my sighs stream.—Sir, will you hear my suit?
i Lord. And grant it. Hel. Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.?
6 We blush, that thou should's choose; but, be refus'd,
Let the white death, & c.] In the original copy, these lines are pointed thus :
We blush that ihou should's choose, but be refus’d;
Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever; &c. This punctuation has been adopted in all the subsequent editions. The present regulation of the text appears to me to afford a much clearer sense. My blushes, (says Helen,) thus whisper me. We blush that thou should't have the nomination of thy husband. However, choose him at thy peril. But, if thou be refused, let thy cheeks be for ever pale; we will never revisit them again.”
"The blushes, which are here personified, could not be supposed to know that Helena would be refused, as, according to the former punctuation, they appear to do; and, even if the poet had meant this, he would surely have written “ - and be refused,” not " — but be refused.''
Be refus'd means the same as thou being refused," 0r,“ be. thou refused.” Malone.
The white death is the chlorosis. Johnson.
Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw ames-aces for my life. Hel. The honour, sir, that flames in your fair
2 Lord. No better, if you please.
My wish receive, Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.
LAF. Do all they deny her?? An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipp'd; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of. Hel. Be not afraid [To a Lord.] that I your hand
Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her: sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them.
Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too good, To make yourself a son out of my blood.
4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so.
7 all the rest is mute.] i. e. I have no more to say to you. So, Hamlet : “ - the rest is filence." Steevens. 8 a mes-ace-] i. e. the lowest chance of the dice. So, in The Ordinary, by Cartwright: “ — may I at my last stake, &c. throw ames-aces thrice together." Steevens.
9 Laf. De all they deny her?] None of them have yet denied her, or deny her afterwards but Bertram. The scene must be so regulated that Lafeu and Parolles talk at a distance, where they may see what passes between Helena and the lords, but not hear it, so that they know not by whom the refusal is made.
LAF. There's one grape yet, _I am sure, thy father drank wine.—But if thou be’st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen; I have known thee already. Hel. I dare not say, I take you ; [To Bertram.]
but I give Me, and my service, ever whilft I live, Into your guiding power.—This is the man. King. Why then, young Bertram, take her, she's
thy wife. Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your
Know'st thou not, Bertram,
Yes, my good lord ; But never hope to know why I should marry her. King. Thou know'ft, she has rais'd me from my
fickly bed. Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down Must answer for your raising? I know her well ; She had her breeding at my father's charge: A poor physician's daughter my wife ! -Disdain Rather corrupt me ever!
2 There's one grape yet,] This speech the three last editors (Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton,] have perplexed themselves by dividing between Lafeu and Parolles, without any authority of copies, or any improvement of sense. I have restored the old reading, and should have thought no explanation necessary, but that Mr. Theobald apparently misunderstood it.
Old Lafeu having, upon the supposition that the lady was refused, reproached the young lords as boys of ice, throwing his eyes on Bertram who remained, cries out, There is one yet into whom his father put good blood but I have known thee long enough to know thee for an ofs. JOHNSON,
ought no expel have refly authories
King. 'Tis only title 3 thou disdain'st in her, the
which I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods, Of colour, weight, and heat,4 pour'd all together, Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off In differences so mighty : If she be All that is virtuous, (save what thou dislik’ft, A poor physician's daughter,) thou diflikost Of virtue for the name: but do not so: From lowest place when virtuous things proceed, The place is dignified by the doer's deed : Where great additions swell," and virtue none, It is a dropsied honour: good alone Is good, without a name; vileness is so :? The property by what it is should go,
3 'Tis only title ] i. e. the want of title. Malone.
4 Of colour, weight, and heat,] That is, which are of the same colour, weight, &c. MALONE.
s From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,] The old copy has—whence. This easy correction (when] was prescribed by Dr. Thirlby. THEOBALD,
6 Where great additions fwell,] Additions are the titles and descriptions by which men are distinguished from each other.
MALONE. 7- good alone
Is good, without a name; vileness is fo:] Shakspeare may mean, that external circumstances have no power over the real nature of things. Good alone (i. e. by itself) without a name (i. e, without the addition of titles) is good. Vileness is to (i. e, is itself.) Either of them is what its name implies:
“ The property by what it is should go,
STEEVENS. Steevens's last interpretation of this passage is very near being right; but I think it should be pointed thus:
Is good ;-without a name, vileness is fo. Meaning that good is good without any addition, and vileners