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Enter Helena.

Count. Ev'n fo it was with me, when I was young;
If we are nature's, these are ours: this thorn
Doth to our rofe of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood, is born;
It is the show and feal of nature's truth,
Where love's strong 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; I obferve her now.

Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam?

Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Count. Nay, a mother;

Why not a mother? when I faid a mother,
Methought, you faw a ferpent; what's in mother,
That you start at it? Iay, I'm your mother;
And put you in the catalogue of those,
That were enwombed mine; 'tis often seen,
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?


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Hel. You are my mother, Madam; would you were, (So that my lord, your fon, 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-inlaw;

God fhield, you mean it not, daughter and mother
So ftrive upon your pulfe! what, pale again?
My fear hath catch'd your fondness. Now I fee (2)
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 doft not; therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis fo. For, look, thy cheeks
Confess 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 fhould be fufpected; speak, is't fo?
If it be fo, you've wound a goodly clew:
If it be not, forfwear't; howe'er, I charge thee,

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The mys'try of your lovelinefs, and find
Your falt tears head :

Now I fee

The Mystery of her Loveliness is beyond my Comprehenfion: The old Counters 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 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, Loneliness. The Steward, in the foregoing Scene, where he gives the Countess Intelligence of Helen's Behaviour fays;

Alone She was, and did communicate to herself her own Words to her own Ears.

The Author has ufed the Word Loneliness, to fignify a Perfon's being alone, again in his Hamlet.

We will beftow our felves: read on this book;
That fhew of fuch an Exercife may colour
Your Loneliness.

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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 mistress.
Count. Love you my fon?

Hel. Do not you love him, Madam ?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note: come, comé, difclofe
The state 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 lofe ftill; thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adóre
The Sun that looks upon his Worthipper,
But knows of him no more. My dearest Madam,
Let not your hate incounter with my love,
For loving where you do, but if your self,
Whofe aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever in fo true a flame of liking
With chaftly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both her felf 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 Search implies;
But, riddle-like, lives fweetly, where the dies

Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly,
To go to Paris?


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Hel. Madam, I had.

Count. Wherefore? tell true.

Hel. I will tell truth; by Grace it felf, I fwear;
You know, my father left me fome Prescriptions
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 languishings, 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 absent then.

Count. But think you, Helen,


you fhould 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 fhall they credit
A poor unlearned Virgin, when the Schools,
Embowell'd of their Doctrine, have left off
The danger to it felf?

Hel. There's.fomething in't

More than my father's skill, (which was the great'i
Of his Profeffion,) that his good receipt

Shall for my legacy be fanctified

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 Cure,
By fuch a day and hour.

Count. Doft thou believe't?

Hel. Ay, Madam, knowingly.

Count. Why, Helen, thou fhalt have my leave and


Means and attendants; and my loving greetings
To those of mine in Court. I'll stay at home,


And pray God's Bleffing into thy attempt:
Begone, to morrow; and be fure of this,
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not mifs.



SCENE, the Court of France.

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

Flourish Cornets.

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Arewel, young Lords: these warlike principles Do not throw from you: you, my Lords, farewel;


Share the advice betwixt you. If Both gain,
The gift doth stretch it self as 'tis receiv'd,
And is enough for both.

I 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
Will not confefs, it owns the malady
That doth my life befiege; farewel, young Lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the Sons

Of worthy French men; (10) let higher Italy
(Those bated, that inherit but the Fall
Of the last Monarchy;) fee, that you come


let higher Italy

(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 Scene, was under three very different Tenures. The Emperour, as Succeffor of the Roman Em



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