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By our remembrances of days foregone,

Such were our faults, or then we thought them none.
Her eye is fick on't; I obferve her now.

Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam?

Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.

Count. Nay, a mother;

Why not a mother? when I faid a mother,
Methought, you faw a ferpent; what's in mother,
That you start at it? I fay, I'm your mother;
And put you in the catalogue of those,
That were enwombed mine; 'tis often seen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds
A native flip to us from foreign feeds.
You ne'er oppreft me with a mother's groan,
Yet I express to you a mother's care:

God's mercy! maiden, do's it curd thy blood,
To fay, I am thy mother? what's the matter,
That this diftemper'd meffenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eyes?
Why, that you are my daughter?
Hel. That I am not.

Count. I fay, I am your mother.
Hel. Pardon, Madam.

The Count Roufillon cannot be my brother;
I am from humble, he from honour'd, name;
No note upon my parents, his all noble.
My mafter, my dear lord he is; and I
His fervant live, and will his vaffal die:
He must not be my brother.

Count. Nor I your mother?

Hel. You are my mother, Madam; 'would you were, (So that my lord, your fon, were not my brother) Indeed, my mother!-or were you both our mothers I care no more for, than I do for heav'n,

So I were not his fifter: can't no other,

But I your daughter, he must be my brother?

Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law; God fhield, you mean it not, daughter and mother So ftrive upon your pulfe! what, pale again?

My

My fear hath catch'd your fondness. Now I fee (6)
The myft'ry of your loneliness, and find
Your falt tears' head; now to all fenfe 'tis grofs,
You love my fon; invention is asham'd,
Against the proclamation of thy paffion,
To fay, thou doft not; therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, 'tis fo. For, look, thy cheeks
Confefs it one to th' other; and thine eyes
See it fo grofly fhown in thy behaviour,
That in their kind they fpeak it: only fin
And hellish obftinacy tie thy tongue,

That truth fhould be fufpected; speak, is't fo?
If it be fo, you've wound a goodly clew:
If it be not, forfwear't; howe'er, I charge thee,
As heav'n fhall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly.

Hel. Good Madam, pardon me.
Count. Do you love my fon?

Hel. Your pardon, noble mistress.

Count. Love you my fon?

Hel. Do not you love him, Madam ?

Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
The state of your affection; for your paffions
Have to the full appeach'd.

(6)

Now I fee

The mystery of your loveliness, and find
Tour falt tears' head:

-] The Mystery of her Loveliness is beyond my Comprehenfion: The old Countess is faying nothing ironical, nothing taunting, or in Reproach, that this Word fhould find a place here; which it could not, unless farcastically employ'd, and with fome Spleen. I dare warrant, the Poet meant, his old Lady fhould fay no more than this: "I now find the Mystery of your creeping into Corners, and weeping, and pining in fecret." For this Reafon I have amended the Text, Loneliness. The Steward, in the foregoing Scene, where he gives the Countess Intelligence of Helen's Behaviour, fays;

Alone She was, and did communicate to herself her own Words to her own Ears.

Hel.

Hel. Then, I confefs,

Here on my knee, before high heav'ns and you,
That before you, and next unto high heav'n,

I love

your

fon:

My friends were poor, but honest; fo's my love;
Be not offended; for it hurts not him,

That he is lov'd of me; I follow him not
By any token of prefumptuous fuit;

Nor would I have him, 'till I do deserve him;
Yet never know, how that defert fhall be.
I know, I love in vain; ftrive against hope;
Yet, in this captious and intenible fieve,
I ftill pour in the waters of my love,
And lack not to lofe ftill; thus, Indian-like,
Religious in mine error, I adore

My dearest Madam,

The fun that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more.
Let not your hate incounter with my love,
For loving where you do; but if your self,
Whofe aged honour cites a virtuous youth,
Did ever in fo true a flame of liking
Wish chaftly, and love dearly, that your Dian
Was both herself and love; O then, give pity
To her, whose state is such, that cannot chufe
But lend, and give, where the is fure to lofe;
That feeks not to find that, which 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 it felf, I fwear.
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 fov'reignty; and that he will'd me,
In heedfull'ft refervation to bestow them,
As notes, whofe faculties inclufive were,
More than they were in note: amongst the rest,
There is a remedy, approv'd, fet down,

To

To cure the defperate languifhings, whereof
The King is render'd lost.

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 conversation of my thoughts,
Haply, been absent 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.
A poor unlearned virgin, when the schools,
Embowell'd of their doctrine, have left off

The danger to it felf?

Hel. There's fomething in't

More than my father's skill, (which was the great'st
Of his Profeffion,) that his good receipt

Shall for my legacy be fanctified

By th' luckieft ftars in heav'n; 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 believ'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 attempt:
Begone, to morrow; and be fure of this,
What I can help thee to, thou shalt not miss.

[Exeunt

3

ACT

ACT II.

SCENE, the Court of France.

Enter the King, with divers young Lords taking leave for the Florentine war. Bertram and Parolles. Flourish Cornets.

KING.

Arewel, young Lords: thefe warlike principles
Do not throw from you: you, my Lords, fare-
wel;

Share the advice betwixt you. If both gain,
The gift doth ftretch it self as 'tis receiv❜d,
And is enough for both.

1 Lord. 'Tis our hope, Sir,

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, it owns the malady

That doth my life befiege; farewel, young Lords;
Whether I live or die, be you the fons

Of worthy French men; (6) let higher Italy

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(Thofe bated, that inherit but the Fall

(Thofe

Of the last Monarchy;) fee, &c.] This feems to me One of the very obfcure Paffages of Shakespeare, and which therefore may very well demand Explanation. Italy, at the time of this Scene, was under three very different Tenures. The Emperor, as Succeffor of the Roman Emperors, had one Part; the Pope, by a pretended Donation from Conftantine, another; and the Third was compos'd of free States. Now by the last Monarchy is meant the Roman, the laft of the four general Monarchies. Upon the Fall of this Monarchy, in the Scramble, 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, now to the Sense, The King fays,

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