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KING of France.
but vain, and a great pretender to valour. Several young French Lords, that serve with Bertram in
the Florentine war.
Servants to the Countess of Rousillon.
Countess of Rousillon, mother to Bertram.
physician, fome time since dead.
Lords, attending on the King ; Officers, Soldiers, &c.
SCEN E lies partly in France; and, partly
ALL's Well, that ENDS Well.
ACT I. SCENE I.
The Countess of Rousillon's House in France.
Enter Bertram, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena,
and Lafeu, all in Mourning.
a second husband.
Ber. And I in going, Madam, weep o'er my father's death anew; but I muit
attend his Majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.
Laf. You shall find of the King a husband, Madam; you, Sir, a father. He, that so generally is at all times good, muft of necessity hold his virtue to
i In DELIVERING my fon from me - ] To deliver from, ir the sense of giving up, is not English. Shakespear wrote, in DIS SEVERING my fon from me The following Words, too, - I bury a second husband - demand this reading. For to diffever implies a violent divorce; and therefore might be compared to the burying a busband; which, delivering does not. B 2
you; 2 whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than Nack it where there is such abundance.
Count. What hope is there of his Majesty's amendment?
Laf. He hath abandon’d his physicians, Madam, under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope ; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the losing of hope by time.
Count. 3 This young gentlewoman had a father, O, that had! how fad a Presage 'tis!) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty ; had it stretch'd so far, it would have made nature immortal, and death should have play'd for lack of work. 'Would, for the King's fake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the King's disease.
Laf. How call'd you the man you speak of, Madam?
Count. He was famous, Sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
Laf. He was excellent, indeed, Madam ; the King very lately spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly:
2 whole worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.) An Opposition of Terms is visibly design'd in this sentence; tho' the Opposition is not so visible, as the Terms now stand. Wanted and Abundance are the Opposites to one another; but how is lack a Contrast ta fir up? The Addition of a single Letter gives it, and the very Sense requires it. Read sack it.
This young gentleroman had a father (O, that had! bor fad a PASSAGE'tis! ] Lafeu was speaking of the King's desperate Condition: which makes the Countess recall to mind the deceased Gerard de Narbon, who, she thinks, could have cured him. But in using the word had, which implied his death, she ftops in the middle of her sentence, and makes a reflexion apon it, which, according to the present reading, is unintelligible. We must therefore believe Shakespear wrote to that had ! how sad a PRESAGE 'tis) i.e. a Presage that the King must now expect no cure, lince so skilful a Person was himself forced to submit to a malignant diAcmper.
he was skilful enough to have liv'd still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality,
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the King languishes of?
Laf. A fistula, my lord.
Laf. I would, it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?
Count. His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises her ; difpofition she inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for + where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there, commendations
go with picy ; they are virtues and traitors too: in her they are the better for her simpleness; the derives her honesty, and atchieves her goodness.
4 where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there, commendations go with pity; they are Virtues and Traitors too: ir ber they are the better for their
fimpleness; fe derives her hos nefty, and atchieves ber goodness.] This' obscure encomium is made ftill more obscure by a fight corruption of the text. Let us explain the passage as it lies. By virtuous qualities are meano qualities of good breeding and erudition ; in the same sense that the Italians say, qualità virtuofá; and not moral ones. On this account it is, the lays, that, in an ill mind, these virtuous qualities are virtues and traitors too: i. e. the advantages of education enable an ill mind to go further in wickedness than it could have done without them : But, says, the Countess, in her they are the better for THEIR fimpleness. But fimpleness is the same with what is called bonefty, immediately after; which cannot be predicated of the qualities of education. We must certainly read
HER fimpleness And then the sentence is properly concluded. The Countess ha? faid, chát virtuous qualities are the worse for an unclean mind, but concludes that Helen's are the better for her fimpleness. i.e. her clean,
pure mind. She then sums up the Character, he had before given in detail, in these words, je derives her bonefly, and atcbieves ber goodness, i.e. She derives her bonefly, her fimpleness, her moral Character, from her Father and Ancestors: But the atchieves or wins her goodness, her virtut, or her qualities of goodbreeding and eradition, by her own pains and labour.
Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her tears, Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her
a praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her forrows takes all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena, go to, no more ; left it be rather thought you affect a forrow, than to have it.
Hel. I do affect a forrow, indeed, but I have it too.
Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, exceffive grief the enemy to the living.
Count. If the living be not enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.
Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Laf. He cannot want the best, That shall attend his love.
5. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.] This seems very obscure ; but the addition of a Negarive perfectly dispels all the mist. If the living be not enemy, &c. excessive grief is an enemy to the living, says Lafeu : Yes, replies the Countess; and if the living be not enemy to the grief, (ie, strive to conquer it,] the excess makes it soon inortal.