her: fure, they are baftards to the Englife, the French

ne'er got 'em.

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

4 Lord. (18) Fair one, I think not fo.
Laf. There's one grape yet..

Par. I am fure, thy father drunk wine,
Laf. But if thou be'eft not an afs, I am a
Youth of fourteen. I have known thee already.
Hel. I dare not fay, I take you; but I give
Me and my fervice, ever whilst I live,

Into your guiding power; this is the man. [To Bertram.
King, Why then, young Bertram, take her; the's thy wife.
Ber. My wife, my Liege? I fhall befeech your Highnefs,
In fuch a bufinefs give me leave to use

The help of mine own eyes.

King. Know'st thou not, Bertram, What the hath done for me?

Ber. Yes, my good Lord,

But never hope to know why I fhould marry her. King, Thou know'ft, fhe has rais'd me from my fickly bed.

Ber. But follows it, my Lord, to bring me down
Muft answer for your raifing? I know her well:
She had her breeding at my father's charge:

A poor phyfician's daughter my wife!-Disdain
Rather corrupt me ever!

King. 'Tis only title thou difdain'ft in her, the which I can build up: ftrange is it, that our bloods,

(18) 4 Lord. Fair one, I think not fo.

Laf. There's one grape yet, I am sure my father drunk wine; but if thou be eft not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen: I have known thee already. Surely, this is moft incongruent stuff. Lafeu is angry with the other moblemen, for giving Helena the repulfe: and is he angry too, and thinks the, fourth nobleman an afs, because he's for embracing the match? The whole, certainly, can't be the fpeech of one mouth. As I have divided the fpeech, I think, clearness and humour are reflor'd. And if Parolles were not a little pert and impertinent here to Lafeu, why fhould he fay, he had found him out already? Or, why should he quarrel with him in the very next fcene?


Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
Would quite confound diftinction, yet ftand off
In differences, fo mighty. If she be

All that is virtuous, (fave what thou dislik'ft,
A poor phyfician's daughter,) thou diflik't
Of virtue for the name: but do not fo.

(19) From loweft place when virtuous things proceed, The place is dignify'd by th' doer's deed.

Where great addition fwells, and virtue none,
It is a dropfied honour; good alone,
Is good without a name. Vileness is fo:
The property by what it is fhould go,
Not by the title. She is young, wife, fair,
In thefe, to nature he's immediate heir;
And these breed honour: That is honour's fcorn,
Which challenges itfelf as honour's born,.
And is not like the fire. (20) Honours beft thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our fore-goers: the mere word's a flave
Debaucht on every tomb, on every grave;
A lying trophy; (21) and as oft is dumb,
Where dust and damn'd oblivion is the tomb

(19) From lowest place, whence virtuous things proceed,

The place is dignified by th' doers deed.] "Tis ftrange, that none of the editors could perceive, that both the fentiment and grammar are defective here. The eafy correction, which I have given, was prefcribed to me by the ingenious Dr. Thirlby.


-Honours beft thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive

Than our foregoers.] How nearly does this fentiment of our author's refemble the following paffage of Juvenal!

Ergo ut miremur te, non tua, primum aliquid da
Quod poffim titulis incidere, præter honores
Quos illis damus, & dedimus, quibus omnia debes.

[blocks in formation]

Where duft and damn'd oblivion is the tomb,

Sat. VIII. ver. 68.

Of bonour'd bones, indeed, what should be faid?] This is furch pretty ftuff, indeed, as is only worthy of its accurate editors! the tranfpofition of an innocent ftop, or two, is a talk above their diligence; especially, if common fenfe is to be the refult of it. The regulation, I have given, muft ftrike every reader fo at first glance, that it needs not a word in confirmation,


Of honour'd bones, indeed. What should be faid?
If thou can't like this creature as a maid,

I can create the reft: virtue and the,

Is her own dow'r; honour and wealth from me.
Ber. I cannot love her, nor will ftrive to do't.
King. Thou wrong'ft thyfelf, if thou should'st strive
to chufe.

Hel. That you are well reftor'd, my Lord, I'm glad: Let the rest go..

King. (22) My honour's at the ftake; which to defend,
I must produce my pow'r. Here, take her hand,
Proud fcornful boy, unworthy this good gift!
That doft in vile mifprifion fhackle up

My love, and her defert; that canft not dream,
We poizing 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 travels in thy good;
Believe not thy difdain, but prefently

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 ftaggers, and the careless lapse

Of youth and ignorance; my revenge and hate
Loofing upon thee in the name of justice,
Without all terms of pity. Speak thine answer.
Ber. Pardon, my gracious Lord; for I fubmit
My fancy to your eyes. When I confider,
What great creation, and what dole of honour,
Flies where you bid; I find, that fhe, which late
Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now

(22) My bonour's at the fake; which to defeat

I must produce my pow'r.] The poor King of France is again made a man of Gotham, by our unmerciful editors: What they make him fay, is mere mook-reafoning. The paffage muft either be reftor'd, as I have conjecturally corrected; or else the King muft be fuppos'd to break off abruptly from what he was going to fay, and determine that he will interpofe his authority. As thus;

My bonour's at the flake; which to defeat,
I muft produce my pow'r.


The praised of the King; who, fo enobled,
Is, as 'twere, born fo.

King. Take her by the hand,

And tell her, fhe is thine: to whom I promise
A counterpoize; if not in thy eftate,
A ballance more repleat.

Ber. I take her hand.

[ocr errors]

King. Good fortune, and the favour of the King
Smile upon this contract; whofe ceremony
Shall feem expedient on the now-born brief,
And be perform'd to-night; the folemn feast
Shall more attend upon the coming space,
Expecting abfent friends. As thou lov'ft her,
Thy love's to me religious; elfe does err.

Manent Parolles and Lafeu.


Laf. Do you hear, Monfieur ? a word with you.
Par. Your pleasure, Sir?

Laf. Your Lord and mafter did well to make his recantation.

Par. Recantation ?-my Lord? my master?

Laf. Ay, is it not a language I fpeak?

Par. A moft harfh one, and not to be understood. without bloody fucceeding. My master?

Laf. Are you companion to the Count Roufillon? Par. To any Count; to all Counts; to what is man... Laf. To what is Count's man; Count's mafter is of another ftile.

Par. You are too old, Sir; let it fatisfy you, you are too old.

Laf. I must tell thee, firrah, I write man; to which title age cannot bring thee.

Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.

Laf. I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wife fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy travel, it might pafs; yet the fcarfs and the bannerets about thee did manifoldly diffuade me from believing thee a veffel of too great a burden. I have now found thee; when I lofe thee again, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up, and that thou'rt fcarce worth. Par.

[ocr errors]

Par. Hadft thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee

Laf. (23) Do not plunge thyfelf too far in anger, left thou haften thy tryal; which if,-Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! fo, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy cafement I need not open, I look through thee. Give me thy hand.

Par. My Lord, you give me moft egregious indignity. Laf. Ay, with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it.

Par. I have not, my Lord, deferv'd it.

Laf. Yes, good faith, ev'ry dram of it; and I will not bate thee a fcruple.

Par. Well, I fhall be wifer

Laf. Ev'n as foon as thou can'ft, for thou haft to pull at a fmack o' th' contrary. If ever thou beeft bound in thy fcarf and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a defire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may fay in the default, he is a man I know.

Par. My Lord, you do me moft infupportable vexation.

Laf. I would, it were hell-pains for thy fake, and my poor doing eternal: for doing, I am paft; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave. [Exit.

(23) Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, left thou haften thy tryal; which is, Lord have mercy on thee for a ben;] Mr Rowe and Mr. Pope, either by inadvertence, or fome other fatality, have blunder'd this paffage into stark nonfenfe. I have reftor'd the reading of the old folio, and by fubjoining the mark to fhew a break is neceffary, have retriev'd the poet's genuine fense:


-which if-Lord have mercy on thee for a ben!

The fequel of the fentence is imply'd, not exprefs'd: This figure the Thetoricians have call'd Αποσιώπησις. A remarkable inftance we have of it in the first book of Virgil's Æneis.

Quos Ego-fed motos præflat componere Fluctus.

So likewife in Terence;

Mala mens, malus animus; quem quidem Ego fi fenfero,
Sed quid opus eft verbis?

Andr. Aa I. Sc. I.

But I fhall have occafion to remark again upon it, when I come to King Lear.


« 上一页继续 »