Abbildungen der Seite

good alone

Of virtue for the name: but do not fo.
From lowest place (a) when virtuous things proceed,
The place is dignify'd by th' doer's deed.
Where great addition swells, and virtue none,
It is a dropsied honour ; & good alone
Is good; and, with a name, vileness is fo:
The property by what it is should go,
Not by the title. 9 She is good, wile, fair ;
In chefe, to nature she's immediate heir ;
And these breed honour: That is honour's scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour's born,


good alone, Is good without a name. Vileness is fo:] The text is here corrupted into nonsense. We should read

Is good; and, with a name, vileness is fo.
i. e. good is good, cho' there be no addition of citle; and vileness
is vileness, tho' there be. The Oxford Editor, understanding no-
thing of this, strikes out vileness and puts in its place, in tself.

She is YOUNG, wise, fair ;
In these, to nature fhe's immediate heir;

And these breed honour;-) The objection was, that Helen
had neither riches nor title: To this the King replies, she's the
immediate heir of nature, from whom she inherits youth, wisdom,
and beauty. The thought is fine. For by the immediate heir to
nature, we must understand one who inherits wisdom and beauty
in a fupreme degree. From hence it appears that young is a faulty
reading, for that does not, like wisdom and beauty, admit of dif-
ferent degrees of excellence; therefore she could not, with regard
to thar, be faid to be the immediate heir of nature; for in that she
was only joint-heir with all the rest of her species. Besides, tho'
wisdom and beauty may breed honour, yet youth cannot be said to
do so. On the contrary, it is age which has this advantage. It
seems probable that some foolish player when he transcribed this
part, not apprehending the thought, and wondring to find youth
Hot reckoned amongst the good qualities of a woman when the
was proposed to a lord, and not considering that it was comprised
in the word fair, foifted in young, to the exclusion of a word much
more to the purpose. For I make no question but Shakespear
She is GOOD, wife, fair..

For [a) -- when, Dr. Thirlby - vulg. whence ]


And is not like the fire. Honours beft thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our fore-goers: the mere word's a slave
Debaucht on every tomb, on ev'ry grave;
A lying trophy; * and as oft is dumb,
Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb
Of honour'd bones, indeed. What should be faid?
If thou can't like this creature as a maid,
I can create the rest: virtue and the,
Is her own dow'r ; honour and wealth from me.

Ber. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
King. Thou wrong'st thyself, if thou should'st strive

to chuse. Hel. That you are well restor'd, my lord, I'm glad: Let the rest go.

King. My honour's at the stake; which to (a) defend, I must produce my power. Here, take her hand, Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift! That doth in vile misprision shackle up My love, and her desert; that canst not dream, We, poizing us in her defective scale, Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know, It is in us to plant thine honour, where We please to have it grow. Check thy contempt: Obey our will, which travels in thy good ; For the greatest part of her encomium turned upon her virtue. To omit this therefore in the recapitulation of her qualities, had been against all the rules of good speaking. Nor let it be objected that this is requiring an exactness in our author which we hould not expect. For he who could reason with the force our author doch here, (and we ought always to distinguish between Shakespear on his guard and in his rambles) and illuitrate that reasoning with such beauty of thought and propriety of expression, could never make use of a word which quite destroyed the exa&ness of his reasoning, the propriety of his thought, and the elegance of his expreftion.

i Commas and points here set exactly right by Mr. Theobald. [(a) defend, Mr. Theobald - vulg. defeat.]


[ocr errors]

Believe nor thy disdain, but presently
Do thine own fortunes that obedient right,
Which both thy duty owes, and our power claims;
Or I will throw thee from my care for ever
Into the staggers, and the careless lapse
Of youth and ignorance; my revenge and hate
Loosing upon thee in the name of justice,
Without all terms of picy. Speak, thine answer.

Ber. Pardon, my gracious Lord; for I submit
My fancy to your eyes. When I consider,
What great creation, and what dole of honour
Flies where you bid ; I find, that she, which latc
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
* The prised of the King; who, so enobled,
Is, as 'twere, born fo.

King. Take her by the hand,
And tell her, she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoize; if not in thy estate,
A balance more repleat.

Ber. I take her hand.

King. Good fortune and the favour of the King
Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
Shall feem expedient on the new-born brief,
And be perform’d to night; the folemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'rt her,
Thy love's to me religious ; else does err. [Excunt.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Manent Parolles and Lafeu.
Laf. Do you hear, Monfieur? a word with you.
Par. Your pleasure, Sir ?

2 The PRAISED of the King;] We should read PRISED, M., valued, held in estimation, and aniwers to mefl base in the preceding line,


Laf. Your Lord and Master did well to make his recantation,

Par. Recantation ?---my Lord? my Master?
Laf. Ay, is it not a language I speak?

Par. A moft harsh one, and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master?

Laf. Are you companion to the Count Rousillon?
Par. To any Count; to all Counts; to what is


[ocr errors]

Laf. To what is Count's man ; Count's master is of another ftile.

Par. You are too old, Sir; let it satisfie you, you are too old

Laf. I must tell thee, Sirrah, I write man; 10 which title age cannot bring thee.

Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

Laf. I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didit make tolerable vent of thy travel; it might pass; yet che scarfs and the bannerets about thee did manifoldly diffuade me from be, lieving thee a vessel of too great a burthen. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up, and that thou'rt scarce worth.

Par. Hadit chou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee

Laf. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, left thou haften thy tryal; which if, -Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! so, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; chy casement I need not open, I look thro' thee. Give me thy hand.

Par. My Lord, you give me most egregious indignity.

Laf. Ay, with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it;

Par. I have not, my Lord, deserv'd it.


[ocr errors]

Laf. Yes, good faith, ev'ry dram of it; and I will not bate thee a scruple.

Par. Well, I shall be wiser

Laf. Ev'n as soon as thou can'ft, for thou hast to pull at a smack o'th' contrary. If ever thou beest bound in thy scarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say in the default, he is a man I know.

Par. My Lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.

Laf. I would, it were hell-pains for thy fake, and my poor doing eternal : 3 for doing, I am paft; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave.

[Exit. Par. 4 Well, thou haft a fon shall take this dis. grace off me; scurvy, old, filthy, fcurvy Lord! well, I must be patient, there is no fettering of authority. Pll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a Lord. I'll have no more pity of his age, chan I would have of I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.

3. for doing I am past; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave.] Here is a line loft after past; so that it should be diftinguished by a break with afterisks. The very words of the lost line it is impossible to recrieve; but the sense is obvious enough. For doing I am past; age has deprived me of much of my force and vigour, yet I have Itill enough to thew the world I can do myself right, as I will by thee, in what mation (or in the best manner] age will give me leave.

4 Well, tbou haft a fon shall take this disgrace of me;] This che poet makes Parolles speak alone; and this is nature. A coward would try to hide his poltroonry even from himself. - An ordipary writer would have been glad of such an opportunity to bring him to confession.

[ocr errors]


« ZurückWeiter »