(Methinks, I hear him now; his plaufive words
He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them
To grow there, and to bear ;) Let me not live,-
(Thus his good melancholy oft began,
On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
When it was out,) let me not live, (quoth he,)
After my flame lacks oil; to be the fnuff
Of younger fpirits, whofe apprehenfive fenfes
All but new things difdain; whose judgments are
Meer fathers of their garments; whofe conftancies
Expire before their fashions: this he wish'd.
I, after him, do after him wish too,

(Since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home) I quickly were diffolved from my hive,

To give fome labourers room.

2 Lord. You're loved, Sir;

They, that least lend it you, fhall lack you first.

King. I fill a place, I know't. How long is't, count, Since the phyfician at your father's died?

He was much fam'd.

Ber. Some fix months fince, my lord.

King. If he were living, I would try him yet; Lend me an arm; — the reft have worn me out With feveral applications; nature and fickness Debate it at their leifure. Welcome, count,

My fon's no dearer.

Ber. Thank your Majesty.

[Flourish, [Exeunt.

SCENE changes to the Countess's at Roufillon.



Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown.

Will now hear; what say you of this gentlewoman ?

Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound ou: modefty, and make foul the clearness of our defervings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? get you gone,


Sirrah the complaints I have heard of you, I do not all believe; 'tis my flowness that I do not, for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make fuch knaveries yours.

Clo. "Tis not unknown to you, Madam, I am a poor fellow.

Count. Well, Sir.

Clo. No, Madam; 'tis not fo well that I am poor, tho' many of the rich are damn'd; but, if I have your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar ?

Clo. I do beg your good will in this case.
Count. In what cafe?

Clo. In Isbel's cafe, and mine own; fervice is no heritage, and, I think, I fhall never have the bleffing of God, 'till I have iffue of my body; for they fay, bearns are bleffings.

Count. Tell me thy reafon why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, Madam, requires it. I am driven on by the flesh; and he muft needs go, that the devil drives.

Count. Is this all your worship's reafon ?

Clo. Faith, Madam, I have other holy reasons, fuch as they are.

Count. May the world know them?

Clo. I have been, Madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry, that I may repent.

Count. Thy marriage, fooner than thy wickedness. Clo. I am out of friends, Madam, and I hope to have friends for my wife's fake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. Y'are fhallow, Madam, in great friends ; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am weary of; he that eares my land, fpares my team, and gives me leave to inne the crop; if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge; he, that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he, that cherisheth my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, 'that loves my

flesh and blood, is my friend: ergo, he, that kiffes my wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poyfam the papist, howfoe'er their hearts are fever'd in religion, their heads are both one; they may joul horns together, like any deer i' th' herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and calumnious knave?

Clo. A prophet, I, Madam; and I speak the truth the next way;

"For I the ballad will repeat, which men full-true "fhall find;

"Your marriage comes by destiny, your cuckow fings by kind,

[ocr errors]

Count. Get you gone, Sir, I'll talk with you more anon. Stew. May it pleafe you, Madam, that he bid Helen come to you; of her I am to speak.

Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her; Helen I mean.

Clo. Was this fair face the cause, quoth she, (4)


for Paris, he,

"Why the Grecians facked Troy?

"Fond done, fond done


(4) Was this fair Face the Caufe, quoth She,

Why the Grecians facked Troy?

Was this King Priam's Joy?] As the Stanza, that follows, is in alternate Rhyme, and as a Rhyme is here wanting to She in the firft Verfe; 'tis evident, the third Line is wanting. The old Folio's give Us a Part of it; but how to fupply the loft Part, was the Queftion, Mr. Rowe has given us the Fragment honeftly, as he found it: but Mr. Pope, rather than to feem founder'd, has funk it upon Us.- I communicated to my ingenious Friend Mr. Warburton, how I found the Paffage in the old Books;

[Fond done, done, fond,

[ocr errors]

Was this King Priam's Joy?]

And from Him I received that Supplement, which I have given to the Text. And the Hiftorians tell us, it was Paris who was Priam's favourite Son.


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

"And gave this fentence then; Among nine bad if one be good, "There's yet one good in ten.

Count. What, one good in ten? You corrupt the fong, Sirrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam, which is a purifying o'th' fong: 'would, God would ferve the world fo all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythe-woman, if I were the Parfon; one in ten, quoth-a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.

Count. You'll be gone, Sir knave, and do as I command you?

Clo. That man that fhould be at a woman's command, and yet no hurt done! tho' honefty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the furplis of humility over the black gown of a big heart: I am going, forfooth, the business is for Helen to come hither.

Count. Well, now.


Stew. I know, Madam, you love your gentlewoman intirely.

Count. Faith, I do; her father bequeath'd her to me; and she herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as fhe finds; there is more owing her, than is paid; and more fhall be paid her, than she'll demand.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her, than, I think, the wifh'd me; alone fhe was, and did communicate to herfelf her own words to her own ears; fhe thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any ftranger fenfe. Her matter was, the lov'd your fon; Fortune, the faid, was no Goddefs, (5) that had put fuch

(5) Fortune, fhe faid, was no Goddess, &c. Love, no God, &c. complain'd against the Queen of Vir gins, &c.] This Paffage ftands thus in the old Copies :

fuch difference betwixt their two eftates; Love, no God, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no Queen of Virgins, that would fuffer her poor Knight to be furpriz'd without refcue in the firft affault, or ranfom afterward. This fhe deliver'd in the most bitter touch of forrow, that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; fithence, in the lofs that may happen, it concerns you fomething to know it.

Count. You have difcharg'd this honeftly, keep it to yourself; many likelihoods inform me of this before, which hung fo tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe nor mifdoubt; pray you, leave me ; ftall this in your bofom, and I thank you for your honeft care; I will speak with you further anon.

Enter Helena.

[Exit Steward.

Count. Ev'n fo it was with me, when I was young; If we are nature's, these are ours: this thorn

Doth to our rofe of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood, is born;

It is the fhow and feal of nature's truth,
Where love's ftrong paffion is impreft in youth;

Love, no God, that would not extend his Might only where Qualities were level, Queen of Virgins, that would fuffer ber poor Knight, &c.

'Tis evident to every fenfible Reader that fomething must have flipt out here, by which the Meaning of the Context is render'd defective. The Steward is speaking in the very Words he overheard of the Young Lady; Fortune was no Goddess, fhe faid, for one Reafon; Love, no God, for another;what could She then more naturally subjoin, than as I have amended in the Text?

Diana, no Queen of Virgins, that would suffer ber poor Knight to be furpriz'd without Rescue, &c.

For in Poetical History Diana was as well known to prefide over Chastity, as Cupid over Love, or Fortune over the Change or Regulation of our Circumftances.


« 上一页继续 »