« ZurückWeiter »
Count. Heav'n bless him! Farewel, Bertram.
[Exit Countess. Ber. [To. Hel.] The best wishes, that can be forgid in
your thoughts, be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewel, pretty lady, you must hold the credit of your father. [Exeant Bertram and Lafeu,
Hel. Oh, were that all! .
I think not on my
6 — and collateral light.] collateral for reflected. i. e, in the radiance of his reflected light; not in his sphere, or direct light. Milton uses the word, in the same sense, speaking of the Son, - Of high collateral Glory.
Book 10. v. 86. B 4
Enter Parolles. One, that goes with him: I love him for his fake, “ And yet I know him a notorious liar ; " Think him a great way fool, solely a coward; " Yet these fix'd evils fit fo fit in him, " That they take place, when virtue's steely bones " Look bleak in the cold wind;" full oft we see 1 Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
Par. Save you, fair Queen.
you; let me ask you a question. Man is enemy to virginity, how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he affails; and our virginity, tho' valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Par. There is none: man, setting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers and blowers up! Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?
Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose
7 Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.) Cold for naked; as fuperfluous for over-cloath'd. This makes the propriety of the Antithefis.
8 Stain of soldier] Main for colour. Parolles was in red, as eppears from his being afterwards called red-tail'd humble bee.
your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got, 'till virginity was first loft. That, you 'were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once loft, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever loft ; 'tis too cold a companion : away with't.
Hel. I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be said in't ; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mother, which is most infallible disobedience. As ' he, that hangs himself, so is a virgin: ' virginity murthers itself, and should be buried in • highways out of all fanctified limit, as a desperate
offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, • much like a cheese ; consumes itself to the very
paring, and so dies with feeding its own stomach. • Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of • self-love, which is the most prohibited fin in the 'canon. Keep it not, you cannot chuse but lose .by't. Out with't; within ten years it will make • itself two, which is a goodly increase, and the ' principal itself not much the worse. Away with't.
Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lose it to her own liking ?
9 He, that bangs himself, is a Virgin:] Bat why is he that hangs himself a Virgin? Surely, not for the reason that follows, Virgi. nity murders itself. For tho' every Virgin be a Suicide, yet every Suicide is not a Virgin. A word or two are dropt, which intro duced a comparison in this place; and Shakespear wrote it thus,
As be, that hangs himself, so is a Virgin. And then it follows naturally, Virginity murders it felf. By this omendation, the Oxford Editor was enabled to alter the Text thus,
He that bangs bimself is like a Virgin. And this is his usual way of becoming a Critick at a cheap expence.
Par. Let me fec. Marry, ill, to like him thatne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lofe the gloss with lying. The longer kept, the less worth: off with't, while 'cis vendible. Answer the time of requeft. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion: richly futed, but unfutable; just like the brooch and the toothpick, which we wear not now: your date is better in your pye and your porridge, than in your cheek ; and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French wither'd pears; it looks ill, it eats drily; marry, 'tis a wither'd pear: it was formerly better ; marry, yet 'tis a wither'd pear. Will you any thing with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
I A Phænix, Captain, &c.] The eight following lines between the hooks, I am persuaded is the nonsense of some foolish conceited Player. What put it into his head was Helen's saying, as it should be read for the future,
There fall your Mafter have a thousand loves;
I know not, what he foall-God send him well. Where the Fellow finding a thoufand loves spoken of, and only three reckoned up, namely a Mother's, a Mistress's, and a Friend's, (which, by the way, were all a judicious Writer could mention ; for there are but these three species of love in Nature) he would help out the number, by the intermediate nonsense: and, because they were yet too few, he pieces out his loves with enmities, and makes of the whole such finished nonsense as is never heard out of Bedlam.
I know not, what he shall God send him well!
Par. What one, i'faith?
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
[Exit Page. Par. Little Helen, farewel; if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable ftar.
Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. The wars have kept you fo under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes safety: but the composition, that your valour and fear makes in you, 2 is a virtue of a good ming, and I like the wear well.
2 is a virtue of a good WING, and I like the wear well.] The integrity of the metaphor directs us to Shakespear's true read ing; which, doubtless, was a good MING, i. e. mixture, composition, a word common to Shakespear and the writers of this age; and taken from the texture of cloth. The M was turn'd the wrong way at the press, and from thence came the blunder.