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Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
I have forgot him: my imagination
Carries no favour in't but Bertram's.
I am undone : there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. It were all one,
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
Th' ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind that would be mated by the lion
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table®; heart, too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?


One that goes with him: I love him for his sake,
And yet I know him a notorious liar,
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward ;
Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind : withal, full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
Par. Save you,

5 And these great tears grace his remembrance more

Than those I shed for him.] Her meaning seems to be, that the great tears she lets fall grace the remembrance of Bertram more than those she sheds for her father, her grief being for the departure of the former.

6 In our heart's TABLE ;] A “ table” was the old word for a picture: here it is used for the canvass on which a picture was to be painted. As Malone has observed, Shakespeare uses the expression “ table of my heart” in his 24th Sonnet. The word “trick,” in the next line, was technical with reference to painting ; and it here means tracing, rather than peculiarity. Compare “King John," A. i. sc. 1, “He hath a trick of Caur-de-lion's face.” Ben Jonson, in his “ Every Man out of his Humour,” A. iii. sc. I, uses tricking as an heraldic term, in reference to the tracing of coats of arms. In his “ Poetaster," A. i. sc. 1, speaking of actors, he says, “they are blazoned there : there they are tricked."


Hel. And you, monarch?.
Par. No.
Hel. And no.
Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldiers in 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 assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak. Unfold to us some warlike resistance.

Par. There is none: man, sitting 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


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 your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was first lost. That you were made of is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever lost. '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


? And you, MONARCH.] The word “ ” had a double application, perhaps not in the mind of Parolles : when Helena says, “ And you, monarch,” she may have intended a reference to a character called “a Monarcho" in the time of Shakespeare. See note to “Love's Labour's Lost,” A. iv. sc. 1. A “Monarcho” seems to have been a blustering braggart, not unlike Parolles.

- some stain of soldier -] i.e. Some tincture or colour of a soldier.


accuse your mothers, which is most infallible disobedience. Ile that hangs himself is a virgin : virginity murders itself, and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified 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 his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin' in the canon. Keep it not: you cannot choose but lose by't. Out with’t: within ten years it will make itself ten'', which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse. Away with’t.

Hel. Ilow might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking ?

Par. Let me see: marry, ill; to like him that ne'er it likes'. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying ; the longer kept, the less worth: off with’t, while 'tis vendible: answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion; richly suited, but unsuitable: just like the brooch and the tooth-pick, which wear not now. Your date is better in your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek: and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears: it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear. Will you any thing with it?

Hel. Not my virginity yet?.


the most inhibited sin--] i.e. prohibited : “ inhibit” and “inhibited” are elsewhere employed by Shakespeare in the same sense.

10 — within ten years it will make itself ten,] The old copy reads, “within ten years it will make itself two." The emendation was made by Sir T. Hanner; and it is supported by what Parolles previously says, “ Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found.” Two children in ten years would hardly be a “goodly increase.” This reading is confirmed by a MS. note in Lord Francis Egerton's first folio, where “ 10” is written in the margin.

marry, ill ; to like him that ne'er it likes.] Meaning, that Helena must do ill, by liking a man who does not like virginity.

2 Not my virginity yet.) We do not see the difficulty of this passage, on which, and on the question of Parolles, “ Will you any thing with it?” various Par. Under Mars, I. notes have been written. Parolles has been describing an “old virginity,” and has called it “a withered pear;" on which Helena observes, “ Not my virginity yet ;” i. e. my virginity is not a withered pear yet.


There shall your master have a thousand loves?,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,
A phenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
HIis humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
Ilis faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall he—
I know not what he shall :God send him well !
The court's a learning-place ;—and he is one-

Par. What one, i'faith?
Hel. That I wish well.—'Tis pity-
Par. What's pity ?

Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Which might be felt; that we, the poorer born, ,
Whose baser stars do shut us up in wishes,
Might with effects of them follow our friends,
And show what we alone must think; which never
Returns us thanks.

Enter a Page.
Page. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.

[Exit Page. Par. Little Helen, farewell : if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.

Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.

* There shall your master have a thousand loves,] It is not easy to decide to what the adverb “there ” applies : whether to Helena’s virginity, as Steevens conjectured, or to the French court, whither Bertram had gone. The last seems the more probable ; but the whole speech is abrupt and obscure, and possibly, as Sir Thomas Hanmer contended, something has been lost, such as the words, “ You're for the court,” which would have rendered it more intelligible. Warburton thought that great part of the speech was “the nonsense of some foolish conceited player.” There is no pretence for this notion.

Hd. I especially think, under Mars.
Par. Why under Mars?

Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.

Par. When he was predominant.
Hel. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
Par. Why think you so ?
Hel. You go so much backward, when you fight.
Par. That's for advantage.

Hel. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety: but the composition that your valour and fear makes in you is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well.

Par. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely. I will return perfect courtier; in the which my instruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel, and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers ; when thou hast none, remember thy friends. Get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so farewell.

Hel. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky
Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull
Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull.
What power is it which mounts my love so high;
That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?
The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
To join like likes, and kiss like native things.
Impossible be strange attempts to those
That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose,
What hath been cannot be. Who ever strove
To show her merit, that did miss her love?
The king's disease—my project may deceive me.
But my intents are fix’d, and will not leave me. [Exit.


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