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Think him a great way fool, folely 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: withal, full oft we fee
Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.

Par. Save you, fair queen.

Hel. And you, monarch9.

Par. No.

Hel. And no.

Par. Are you meditating on virginity?

Hel. Ay. You have fome' ftain of foldier in you; let me afk you a queftion: Man is enemy to virgi nity; how may we barricado it against him? Par. Keep him out.

Hel. But he affails; and our virginity, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us fome warlike refiftance.

Par. There is none; man, fitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.

Hel. Blefs our poor virginity from underminers, and

* Cold wifdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.] Cold for naked; as fuperfluous for over-cloathed. This makes the propriety of the antithefis. WARBURTON.

9 And you monarch.] Perhaps here is fome allufion defigned to Monarcho, a ridiculous fantastical character of the age of Shakefpeare. Concerning this perfon, fee the notes on Love's Labour Loft, act IV. fc. i. STEEVENS.

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ftain of foldier] Stain for colour. Parolles was in red, as appears from his being afterwards called red-tail'd humble-bee. WARBURTON.

It does not appear from either of thefe expreffions, that Parolles was entirely dreft in red. Shakespeare writes only fome ftain of fol dier, meaning in one fenfe, that he had red breeches on, (which is fufficiently evident from calling him afterwards red-tailed humblebee,) and in another, that he was a difgrace to foldiery. Stain is used in an adverse fenfe by Shakespeare, in Troilus and Creffida: nor any man an attaint, but he carries fome ftain of it."


Stain rather for what we now fay tincture, fome qualities, at least fuperficial, of a foldier. JOHNSON.


blowers up!-Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?

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Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lofe your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Lofs 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, is ever loft: 'tis too cold a companion; away with it.

Hel. I will ftand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.



Par. There's little can be faid in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To fpeak on the part of virginity, is to accufe your mothers; which is moft infallible difobedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin: virginity murders itself; and fhould be buried in highways, out of all fanctified limit, as a defperate offendrefs against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; confumes itself to the very paring, and


Lofs of virginity is rational increafe;-] I believe we should read, national, TYRWHITT.

Rational increafe may mean the regular increase by which rational beings are propagated. STEEVENS.

3 He, that hangs himself, is a virgin :] But why is he that hangs himself a virgin? Surely, not for the reason that follows; Virginity murders itself. For though every virgin be a fuicide, yet every fuicide is not a virgin. A word or two are dropt, which introduced a comparison in this place; and Shakespeare wrote it thus: as he, that hangs himself, fo is a virgin.

And then it follows naturally, virginity murders itself. By this emendation, the Oxford editor was enabled to alter the text thus: He that bangs himself is like a virgin.

And this is his ufual way of becoming a critick at a cheap expence. WARBURTON.

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I believe most readers will spare both the emendations, which I do not think much worth a claim or a conteft. The old reading is more fpritely and equally juft. JOHNSON.


fo dies with feeding its own ftomach. Befides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of felf-love, which is the moft inhibited fin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot chufe 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 worfe ; Away with't.

Hel. How might one do, fir, to lose it to her own liking?


Par. Let me fee: Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lofe the glofs with lying; the longer kept, the lefs worth off with't, while 'tis vendible: answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion; richly fuited, but unfuitable: just like the brooch and the tooth-pick, which wear not now: Your date is better in your pye and your porridge, than in your cheek: And your virginity, your old virginity,


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inhibited fini. e. forbidden. So, in Othello:
a practifer

"Of arts inhibited and out of warrant."

So the first folio. Theobald reads prohibited. STEEvens.


-within ten years it will make itself two, which is goodly increafe; I think we should either read: within ten years it will make itself ten; or, within two years it will make itself two, Inftead of tvo, Mr. Tollet would read twelve. STEEVENS.

6-Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes.] Parolles, in anfwer to the question, how one shall lofe virginity to her own liking? plays upon the word liking, and fays, he must do ill, for virginity, to be fo loft, muft like him that likes not virginity. JOHNSON.

7 which wear not now:-] Thus the old copy, and rightly. Shakespeare often uses the active for the paffive. The modern editors read, "which we wear not now."


8 Your date is better- -] Here is a quibble on the word date, which means both age, and a kind of candied fruit much used in our author's time. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

"They call for dates and quinces in the paftry."


The fame quibble occurs in Troilus and Creffida: and then to be bak'd with no date in the pye, for then the man's date is out.'

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is like one of our French wither'd pears: it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a wither'd pear: it was formerly better; marry, 9 yet, 'tis a wither'd pear: Will you any thing with it?

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Hel. Not my virginity yet.

There fhall your mafter have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,

For yet, as it stood before, fir Thomas Hanmer reads yes.

JOHNSON. Not my virginity yet.] This whole fpeech is abrupt, unconnected, and obfcure. Dr. Warburton thinks much of it fuppofititious. I would be glad to think fo of the whole, for a commentator naturally wishes to reject what he cannot understand. Something, which should connect Helena's words with those of Parolles, feems to be wanting. Hanmer has made a fair attempt by reading: Not my virginity yet-You're for the court,

There hall your master, &c.

Some fuch claufe has, I think, dropped out, but still the first words want connection. Perhaps Parolles, going away after his harangue, faid, will you any thing with me? to which Helen may reply. I know not what to do with the paffage. JOHNSON.

I do not perceive fo great a want of connection as my predeceffors have apprehended; nor is that connection always to be fought for, in fo careless a writer as ours, from the thought immediately preceding the reply of the fpeaker. Parolles has been laughing at the unprofitablenefs of virginity, especially when it grows ancient, and compares it to withered fruit. Helena, properly enough replies, that hers is not yet in that state; but that in the enjoyment of her, his mafter fhould find the gratification of all his most romantic wishes. What Dr. Warburton fays afterwards, is faid at random, as all pofitive declarations of the fame kind muft of neceffity be. Were I to propofe any change, I would read should instead of hall. It does not however appear that this rapturous effufion of Helena was defigned to be intelligible to Parolles. Its obfcurity, therefore, may be its merit. It fufficiently explains what is paffing in the mind of the speaker, to every one but him to whom she does not mean to explain it. STEEVENS.


Perhaps we fhould read: "Will you any thing with us?" i.c. you fend any thing with us to court? to which Helena's anfwer would be proper enough.

"Not my virginity yet."

A fimilar phrase occurs in Twelfth Night, act III. fci:

"You'll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?"


A pho

* A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a 3 traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his difcord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet difafter; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious chriftendoms 4,
That blinking Cupid goffips. Now fhall he-
I know not what he fhall :-God fend him well!-
The court's a learning place ;-and he is one-

2 A phenix, captain, &c.] The eight lines following friend, I am perfuaded is the nonfenfe of fome foolish conceited player. What put it into his head was Helen's saying, as it fhould be read for the future:

There fhall your mafter have a thousand loves;

A mother, and a mistress, and a friend.

I know not what he fhall- God fend him well.

Where the fellow, finding a thousand loves fpoken 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 fpecies of love in nature) he would help out the number, by the intermediate nonfense: and, because they were yet too few, he pieces out his loves with enmities, and makes of the whole fuch finished nonsense as is never heard out of Bedlam. WARBURTON.

3 -a traitrefs,] It seems that traitress was in that age a term of endearment, for when Lafeu introduces Helena to the king, he fays, You are like a traytor, but fuch traytors his majefty does not much fear. JOHNSON.

I cannot conceive that traitress (spoken feriously) was in any age a term of endearment. From the prefent paffage, we might as well fuppofe enemy (in the last line but one) to be a term of endearment. In the other paffage quoted, Lafeu is plainly speaking ironically. TYRWHITT.

Traditora, a traitress, in the Italian language, is generally used as a term of endearment. The meaning of Helen is, that the fhall prove every thing to Bertram. Our ancient writers: delighted in catalogues, and always characterize love by contrarieties.


4 --chriftendoms,] This word, which fignifies the collective body of christianity, every place where the chriftian religion is embraced, is furely ufed with much licence on this occafion.



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