Page images
PDF
EPUB

Was both herself and love; O then, give pity
To her, whofe ftate is fuch, that cannot chufe
But lend and give, where the is fure to lofe;
That feeks not to find that, her fearch implies,
But, riddle-like, lives fweetly where the dies.
Count. Had you not lately an intent, fpeak truly,
To go to Paris?

Hel. Madam, I had.

Count. Wherefore? tell true.

Hel. I will tell truth; by grace itself, I swear.
You know, my father left me fome prescriptions
Of rare and prov'd effects, fuch as his reading,
And manifeft experience, had collected

For general fovereignty; and that he will'd me
In heedfulleft refervation to beftow them,
As notes, whofe faculties inclufive were,
More than they were in note: amongst the reft,
There is a remedy, approv'd, fet down,
To cure the defperate languishings, whereof
The king is render'd loft.

Count. This was your motive

For Paris, was it? fpeak.

Hel. My lord your fon made me to think of this;

Elfe Paris, and the medicine, and the king,

Had, from the converfation of my thoughts,

Haply, been abfent then.

Count. But think you, Helen,

If you should tender your fuppofed aid,

He would receive it? He and his phyficians

Are of a mind; he, that they cannot help him, They, that they cannot help: How fhall they credit poor unlearned virgin, when the fchools,

A

notes, whofe faculties inclufive] Receipts in which greater virtues were inclofed than appeared to obfervation.

JOHNSON.

[blocks in formation]

Embowell'd of their doctrine 7, have left off
The danger to itself?

8

Hel. There's fomething hints,

More than my father's fkill, which was the greatest Of his profeffion, that his good receipt

Shall, for my legacy, be fanctified

By the luckieft ftars in heaven: and, would your

honour

But give me leave to try fuccefs, I'd venture
The well-loft life of mine on his grace's cure,
By fuch a day, and hour.

Count. Doft thou believe't?

Hel. Ay, madam, knowingly.

Count. Why, Helen, thou shalt have my leave, and love,

Means, and attendants, and my loving greetings
To thofe of mine in court; I'll ftay at home,
And pray God's bleffing into thy attempt9:

Be

gone to-morrow; and be fure of this, What I can help thee to, thou shalt not mifs.

[Exeunt.

"Embowell'd of their doctrine,-] i.e. exhausted of their skill.

So, in the old fpurious play of K. John:

"Back warmen, back; embowel not the clime."

8 There's fomething in't

More than my father's skill

that his good receipt &c.]

STEEVENS.

Here is an inference, [that] without any thing preceding, to which it refers, which makes the fentence vicious, and fhews that we should read:

There's fomething hints

More than my father's skill,

—that his good receipt

i. e. I have a fecret premonition or prefage.

[ocr errors][merged small]

WARBURTON.

into thy attempt:] So the old copy. We might better unto thy attempt. STEEVENS.

ACT

АСТ
A C T II.

SCENE I.

The Court of France.

Enter the King, with young lords taking leave for the Florentine war. Bertram and Parolles.

Flourish cornets.

King. Farewel, young lords, thefe warlike prin

ciples

[ocr errors]

Do not throw from you and you, my lords, fare

wel:

Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all,
The gift doth stretch itself as 'tis receiv'd,
And is enough for both.

In all the latter copies thefe lines stood thus:
Farewel, young lords; thefe warlike principles
Do not throw from you. You, my lords, farewel;
Share the advice betwixt you; if both again,
The gift doth fretch itself as 'tis receiv'd.

The third line in that state was unintelligible. Sir Thomas Han mer reads thus:

Farewel young lord, these warlike principles

Do not throw from you; you, my lord, farewel;
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all,
The gift doth ftretch itself as 'tis receiv'd,

And is enough for both.

The first edition, from which the paffage is restored, was fuffi ciently clear; yet it is plain, that the latter editors preferred a reading which they did not understand. JOHNSON.

2

and you, my lords, farewel :- -]

It does not any where appear that more than two French lords (befides Bertram) went to ferve in Italy; and therefore I think the king's fpeech fhould be corrected thus:

.

Farewel, young lord; these warlike principles

"Do not throw from you; and you my lord, farewel;"

what follows, fhews this correction to be neceffary:

"Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain all, &c."

D 3

TYRWHITT,

I Lord,

1 Lord. "Tis our hope, fir,

After well-enter'd foldiers, to return
And find your grace in health.

King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
Will not confefs, he owes the malady

That does my life befiege. Farewel, young lords; Whether I live or die, be you the fons

Of worthy Frenchmen: 3 let higher Italy

[blocks in formation]

(Thofe 'bated, that inherit but the fall

Of the laft monarchy) fee, &c.]

(Those

This is obfcure. Italy, at the time of this scene, was under three very different tenures. The emperor, as fucceffor of the Roman emperors, had one part; the pope, by a pretended donation from Conftantine, another; and the third was compofed of free states. Now by the last monarchy is meant the Roman, the last of the four general monarchies. Upon the fall of this monarchy, in the fcramble, feveral cities fet up for themselves, and became free states: now these might be faid properly to inherit the fall of the monarchy. This being premifed, let us now confider fenfe. The King fays, higher Italy;giving it the rank of preference to France; but he corrects himself and fays, I except those from that precedency, who only inherit the fall of the last monarchy; as all the little petty states; for inftance, Florence, to whom these voluntiers were going. As if he had said, I give the place of honour to the emperor and the pope, but not to the free states. WARBURTON.

par

The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the higher and the lower, the Apennine hills being a kind of natural line of tition; the fide next the Adriatick was denominated the higher Italy, and the other fide the lower: and the two feas followed the fame terms of diftinction, the Adriatick being called the upper fea, and the Tyrrhene or Tufcan the lower. Now the Sennones or Senois with whom the Florentines are here fuppofed to be at war, inhabited the higher Italy, their chief town being Arminium, pow called Rimini, upon the Adriatick. HANMER. Sir T. Hanmer reads:

Thofe baftards that inherit, &c.

with this note:

Reflecting upon the abject and degenerate condition of the cities and states which arofe out of the ruins of the Roman empire, the laft of the four great monarchies of the world. Hanmer.

Dr. Warburton's obfervation is learned, but rather too fubtle; Sir Tho, Hanmer's alteration is merely arbitrary. The paffage is confeffedly

(Those 'bated, that inherit but the fall
Of the last monarchy) fee, that you come
Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when.
The braveft queftant fhrinks, find what you feek,
That fame may cry you loud: I fay, farewel.

2 Lord. Health, at your bidding, ferve your majefty!

King. Thofe girls of Italy, take heed of them;
They fay, our French lack language to deny,
If they demand: beware of being captives,
Before you ferve.

Both. Our hearts receive your warnings.
King. Farewel.-Come hither to me.

[The King retires to a couch.

1 Lord. Oh my fweet lord, that you will stay behind us!

Par. 'Tis not his fault; the fpark

2 Lord. Oh, 'tis brave wars!

Par. Moft admirable: I have feen those wars.

confeffedly obfcure, and therefore I may offer another explanation. I am of opinion that the epithet higher is to be understood of fituation rather than of dignity. The fenfe may then be this, Let upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement, that is, to the difgrace and depreffion of thofe that have now loft their ancient military fame, and inberit but the fall of the laft monarchy. To abate is ufed by Shakefpeare in the original fenfe of abatre, to deprefs, to fink, to deject, to fubdue. So, in Coriolanus:

[ocr errors]

'till ignorance deliver you,

"As most abated captives to fome nation
"That won you without blows."

And bated is used in a kindred fenfe in the Merchant of Venice: in a bondman's key,

66

"With bated breath and whifp'ring humbleness. The word has still the fame meaning in the language of the law.

4- Beware of being captives,
Before you ferve.]

JOHNSON.

The word ferve is equivocal; the fenfe is, Be not captives before ferve in the war. Be not captives before you are foldiers.

you

D 4

JOHNSON.

Ber.

« PreviousContinue »