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The confirmation of my promis'd gift,
Which but attends thy naming.

Enter several Lords.
Fair maid, send forth thine eye: this youthful parcel
Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing,
O’er whom both sovereign power and father's voice
I have to use: thy frank election make.
Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.

Hel. To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress Fall, when love please !—marry, to each, but one'.

Laf. I'd give bay curtal', and his furniture,
My mouth no more were broken than these boys',
And writ as little beard.

Peruse them well:
Not one of those but had a noble father.

Hel. Gentlemen, Heaven hath through me restor’d the king to health.

All. We understand it, and thank heaven for you.

Hel. I am a simple maid; and therein wealthiest, That, I protest, I simply am a maid.Please it your majesty, I have done already: The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me, “ We blush, that thou should'st choose; but, be refus'd, Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever: We'll ne'er come there again.” King.

Make choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.

Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly, And to imperial Love', that god most high, 3 — marry, to each, but one.) i.e. I wish a mistress to each of


with one exception. This is Monck Mason's judicious explanation of the passage.

- bay curtal,] i.e. a bay, docked horse. 5 My mouth no more were BROKEN-) A broken mouth is a mouth which has lost some of its teeth.

6 And to imperial Love,] So the first folio, “ Love” being printed without a capital. These words illustrate curiously the progress of error. The second folio has “imperial love,” the l in love having been mistaken for a capital I. The third folio alters “imperial” to impartial ; so that “imperial Love" of the first folio becomes “impartial Jove" in the third.


Do my sighs stream.-Sir, will


1 Lord. And grant it.

Thanks, sir: all the rest is mute?. Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw amesace for my life .

Hel. The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes, Before I speak, too threateningly replies : Love make your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes, and her humble love!

2 Lord. No better, if you please. Hel.

My wish receive, Which great Love grant! and so I take my leave.

Laf. Do all they deny her? An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped, or I would send them to the Turk to make eunuchs of. Hel. [To 3 Lord.] Be not afraid that I your hand

should take ; I'll never do you wrong


your own sake: Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!

Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll ñone have her: sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them.

Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too good, To make yourself a son out of my blood.

4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so. Laf. There's one grape yet”,—I am sure, thy father


7 Thanks, sir : all the rest is mute.] In other words, “ I have no more to say to you ;” and she therefore proceeds to the second lord.

than throw AMES-ACE for my life.] “ Ames-ace," or both aces, was the lowest throw upon two dice: to throw ames-ace is an expression often met with, indicating ill luck. Lafeu is contrasting it with the happy chance of being the choice of Helena.

9 LAF. There's one grape yet,] In the folios, the whole of this speech is given to Ol. Lord, meaning probably “Old Lafeu," as he is sometimes called in the prefixes. Theobald assigned “ There's one grape yet” to Lafeu, and “ I am sure thy father drank wine” to Parolles, making Lafeu conclude with “ If thou be’st not an ass,” &c. addressed to Parolles. Hanmer and Warburton adopted this distribution, which does not however seem necessary. Lafeu must anticipate Bertram's refusal of Helena, in order to make the latter part of what he says apply to him. VOL. III.


drank wine.—But if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen: I have known thee already. Hel. [To BERTRAM.) I dare not say, I take you; but

I give Me, and my service, ever whilst I live, Into your guiding power.—This is the man. King. Why then, young Bertram, take her; she's thy

wife. Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your high

In such a business give me leave to use
The help of mine own eyes.

Know'st thou not, Bertram,
What she has done for me?

Yes, my good lord;
But never hope to know why I should marry her.
King. Thou know'st, she has rais'd me from my

sickly bed.
Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down
Must answer for your raising ? I know her well :
She had her breeding at my father's charge.
A poor physician's daughter my wife ?— Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!

King. "Tis only title thou disdain'st in her, the which
I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods,
Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
In differences so mighty. If she be
All that is virtuous, (save what thou dislik'st,
A poor physician's daughter) thou dislik'st
Of virtue for the name; but do not so:
From lowest place when virtuous things proceed',
The place is dignified by the doer's deed:
Where great additions swell's, and virtue none?,

1 From lowest place when virtuous things proceed,] The old reading is wh-nce for “when,” a necessary correction, made by Theobald at the suggestion of Thirlby.

2 Where great additions SWELL’s, and virtue none,] So the old copy, which

It is a dropsied honour: good alone
Is good, without a name; vileness is soo:
The property by what it is should go,
Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
In these to nature she's immediate heir,
And these breed honour: that is honour's scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour's born,
And is not like the sire: honours thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive,
Than our foregoers. The mere word's a slave,
Debauch'd on every tomb'; on every grave,
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb,
Where dust, and damnd oblivion, is the tomb
Of honour'd bones indeed. What should be said ?
If thou canst like this creature as a maid,
I can create the rest : virtue, and she
Is her own dower; 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 choose. Hel. That you are well restor'd, my lord, I am glad. Let the rest go.

King. My honour's at the stake, which to defeat®, I must produce my power. Here, take her hand, Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift, That dost in vile misprision shackle up My love, and her desert; that canst not dream,

abbreviates suell us into “swell's," to show that the line requires it to be pronounced as a monosyllable. Malone and other modern editors read siell, taking no notice of us.

good alone Is good, without a name; vileness is so :] Malone gives the correct interpretation of this passage :-“Good is good, independent on [of] any worldly distinction or title ; so vileness is vile, in whatever state it may appear.”

* And is not like the sire : honours tlirive,] The editor of the second folio thought this line defective, and therefore read “honours best thrive ;" but the rhythm requires no such addition.

5 Debauch'd on every tomb ;] Old copies debosh'd; but it is only the old form of " debauch’d,” though some lexicographers make it a different word.

which to DEFEAT,] Tyrwhitt suggests that Shakespeare uses the word " defeat” in its etymological sense, from defaire, Fr., to free or disembarrass.


We, poising 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 travails in thy good:
Believe not 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; both my revenge and hate,
Loosing upon thee in the name of justice,
Without all terms of pity. 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 it, I find that she, which late
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
Is, as 'twere, born so.

Take her by the hand,
And tell her, she is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoise, if not to thy estate,
A balance more replete.

I take her hand.
King. Good fortune, and the favour of the king,
Smile upon this contract; whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the now borne brief?,
And be perform’d to-night: the solemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,



whose ceremony Shall seem expedient on the NOW BORNE brief,] Malone mistook in stating that any old copy has it nou-born: it is printed in the old folios of 1623 and 1632 now borne,” without a hyphen, and with a final e to“ borne.” The clear meaning is obscurely expressed : if we take now (to which Shakespeare prefixes the definite article) to be used substantively, and if we derive borne from the verb to bear, the king says that the marriage shall not be deferred, “whose ceremony shall seem expedient on the nou, (or on the instant,) to be borne briefly," or concluded without delay.

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