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iş it, which mounts my love so high:
That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye ?x
The mightiest space in fortune nature brings
To join like likes, and kiss like native things."
Impossible be strange attempts to those
That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose,
What hath been cannot be:Who ever strove
To show her merit, that did miss her love?
The king's disease--my project may deceive me,

my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me.



Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish of cornets. Enter the King of France, with

letters ; Lords and others attending.
King. The Florentines and Senoysa are by the ears ;
Have fought with equal fortune, and continue
A braving war.
1 Lord.

So 'tis reported, sir.
King. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive it
A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria,
With caution, that the Florentine will move us
For speedy aid; wherein our dearest friend
Prejudicates the business, and would seem
To have us make denial.
1 Lord.

His love and wisdom, and cannot feed mine eye?] i e. Cannot the power which makes her also feed her sight by giving her the object. y The mightiest space in fortune, &c.] The affections given us by Nature ofton unite persons between whom fortune or accident has placed the greatest distance or disparity: and cause them to join like likes, i. e. instar parium, like persons in the same rank of life, and kiss like native things, i. e. like things formed by nature for each other.-STEEVENS and M. Mason. 2 That weigh their pains in sense ; and do suppose,

What huth been cannot be :] Johnson proposes to read han't for hath; but there is surely no need of any alteration ; Helena is encouraging herself to a hazardous undertaking, by reflecting, that the achievement of great designs are only impossible to those who calculate the difficulties with a cold and overcautious consideration, and suppose that the success which has once rewarded an adventurous act, may not happen again.

Senoys-] The Sanesi, as they are termed by Boccace. Painter, who translates bim, calls them Senois. They were the people of a small republick, of which the capital was Sienna. The Florentines were at perpetual variance with them.--STBEVENS.




Approv'd so to your majesty, may plead
For amplest credence.

He hath arm’d our answer,
And Florence is denied before he comes :
Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.
2 Lord.


well serve
A nursery to our gentry, who are sick
For breathing and exploit.

What's he comes here?


1 Lord. It is the count Rousillon, my good lord,
Young Bertram.

Youth, thou bear'st thy father's face;
Frank nature, rather curious than in haste,
Hath well compos’d thee. Thy father's moral parts
May'st thou inherit too! Welcome to Paris.
Ber. My thanks and duty are your majesty's.

ing. I would I had that corporal soundness now,
As when thy father, and myself, in friendship
First try'd our soldiership! He did look far
Into the service of the time, and was
Discipled of the bravest : he lasted long;
But on us both did haggish age steal on,
And wore us out of act. It much repairs me
To talk of your good father: In his youth
He had the wit, which I can well observe
To-day in our young lords; but they may jest,
Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour.'
So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
Were in his pride or sharpness ;c if they were,

b He had the wit, &c.] Your father, says the king, had the same airy flights of satirical wit with the young lords of the present time, but they do not what he did, hide their unnoted levity, in honour, cover petty faults with great merit.

This is an excellent observation. Jocose follies, and slight offences, are only allowed by mankind in him that over-powers them by great qualities.Johnson

pride or sharpness,] --are in this place used in a good sense for dignity of manners and readiness of wit.


His equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exception bid him speak, and, at this time,
His tongue obey'd his hand :d who were below him
He us'd as creatures of another place;
And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
Making them proud of his humility,
In their poor praise he humbled: Such a man
Might be a copy to these younger times;
Which, follow'd well, would démonstrate them now
But goers backward.

His good remembrance, sir,
Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb;
So in approofe lives not his epitaph,
As in your royal speech.

King. 'Would, I were with him !-He would always say,
(Methinks, I hear him now : his plausive 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 snufff
Of younger spirits, whose apprehensive senses
All but new things disdain ; whose judgments are
Mere fathers of their garments ;whose constancies
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 dissolved from my hive,
To give some labourers room.
2 Lord.

You are lov'd, sir: They, that least lend it you shall lack you first. .


d His tongue obey'd his hand :] We should read-His tongue obey'd the hand. That is, the hand of his honour's clock, shewing the true minute when exceptions bade him speak.-JOHNSON.

approof-] i. e. Approbation, the praises of his epitaph are faint in comparison with the commendations of the king.

the snuff-] i. e. The contempt.

whose judgments are Mere fathers of their garments ;] Who have no other use of their faculties, than to invent new modes of dress. -Johnson.



King. I fill a place, I know't.—How long is't, count, Since the physician at your father's died ? He was much fam’d. Ber.

Some six months since, my lord. King. If he were living, I would try him yet ;Lend me an arm;—the rest have worn me out With several applications :-nature and sickness Debate it at their leisure. Welcome, count; My son's no dearer. Ber.

Thank your majesty.

[Exeunt. Flourish.


Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown." Count. I 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 them we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, 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 slowness, that I do not: for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours."

Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.

Steward and Clown.] A clown in Shakspeare is commonly taken for a licensed jester, or domestick fool. We are not to wonder that we find this character often in his plays, since fools were at that time maintained in all great families, to keep up merriment in the house. In the picture of Sir Thomas More's family, by Hans Holbein, the only servant represented is Patison the fool. This is a proof of the familiarity to which they were admitted, not by the great only, but the wise.—Johnson.

to even your content,] To act up to your desires.—Johnson.

you lack not fol to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.] The natural sense of the passage seems to be this: “You have folly enough to desire to commit these knaveries, and ability enough to accomplish them."

"-M. Mason.


Count. Well, sir.

Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well, that I am poor; though many of the rich are damned: But, if I may 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 case ?

Clo. In Isbel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage: and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, till I have issue of my body; for they say, bearns are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

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

Count. Is this all your worship’s reason?

Clo. Faith, madam, I have other holy reasons, such 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, sooner than thy wickedness.

Clo. I am out of friends, madam ; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. You are shallow, madam ; e'en great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am a-weary of. He, that earsm my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inn 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 cherishes my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves my flesh and blood, is my friend ; ergo, he that kisses my wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage : for young Charbon

to the world,] This phrase has occurred in Much Ado about Nothing, and in As you like it, and signifies to be married.-STEEVENS.

ears~] i. e. Ploughs.

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