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King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA.
Laf. Nay, come your ways.
This haste hath wings indeed.
Laf. Nay, come your ways;
This is his majesty, say your mind to him :
King. Now, fair one, does your business follow us? Hel. Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon was My father; in what he did profess, well found.' King. I knew him.
Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards him; Knowing him, is enough. On his bed of death
Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one,
Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so:
With all bound humbleness.
We thank you, maiden;
But may not be so credulous of cure,—
To empiricks; or to dissever so,
Our great self and our credit, to esteem
A senseless help, when help past sense we deem.
Cressid's uncle,] i. e. Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida.
Hel. My duty then shall pay me for my pains:
King. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful:
Hel. What I can do, can do no hurt to try,
So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
When judges have been babes. Great floods have flown From simple sources; and great seas have dried,
When miracles have by the greatest been denied.a
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises; and oft it hits,
Where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.
King. I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Hel. Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd:
The help of heaven we count the act of men.
I am not an impostor, that proclaim
set up your rest-] i. e. Make up your mind. It is a metaphor taken from the once fashionable game of Primero, and in its original signification means, to stand upon the cards you have in your hand.
a When miracles have by the greatest been denied.] Dr. Johnson did not see the import or connexion of this line. It certainly refers to the children of Israel passing the Red Sea, when miracles had been denied, or not harkened to by Pharaoh.-HOLT WHITE. Dr. Johnson supposed that a line had been omitted, from the subsequent time's standing without a correspondent rhyme. I believe on the contrary, that words have been inserted, and that we should read,
Oft expectation fails: and oft it hits,
Where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.
Myself against the level of mine aim ;
But know I think, and think I know most sure,
King. Art thou so confident? Within what space
Ere twice in murk and occidental damp
Tax of impudence,
A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,—
King. Methinks, in thee some blessed spirit doth speak ;
In common sense, sense saves another way."
b Myself against the level of mine aim;] i. e. I am not an impostor that proclaim one thing and design another, that proclaim a cure and aim at a fraud. I think what I speak.-JOHNSON.
nay, worst of worst extended, &c.] I have adopted the emendation of Malone the old copy reads ne worse of worst," which words evidently require some correction, and that which I have chosen has the merit of being intelligible, without the aid of further comment.
d In common sense, sense saves another way.] i. e. And that which, if I trusted to my reason, I should think impossible, I yet, perceiving thee to be actuated by some blessed spirit, think thee capable of effecting.-MALONE.
in thee hath estimate ;] May be counted among the gifts enjoyed by thee. JOHNSON.
— prime-] i. e. Vigour of life.
Sweet practiser, thy physick I will try ;
Hel. If I break time, or flinch in property
King. Make thy demand.
But will you make it even?
King. Ay, by my sceptre, and my hopes of heaven.
Hel. Then shalt thou give me, with thy kingly hand, What husband in thy power I will command:
Exempted be from me the arrogance
To choose from forth the royal blood of France;
King. Here is my hand; the premises observ'd,
More should I question thee, and more I must;
Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter Countess and Clown.
Count. Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of your breeding.
in property-] Here used, with much laxity, for—in the due perform-MALONE.
branch or image-] Branch refers to the collateral descendants of the royal blood, and image to the direct and immediate line.-HENLEY.
Clo. I will show myself highly fed, and lowly taught : I know my business is but to the court.
Count. To the court! why what place make you special, when you put off that with such contempt? But to the court!
Clo. Truly, madam, if God hath lent a man any manners, he may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make a leg,' put off's cap, kiss his hand, and say nothing, has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and indeed, such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the court: but, for me, I have an answer will serve all men.
Count. Marry, that's a bountiful answer, that fits all questions.
Clo. It is like a barber's chair, that fits all buttocks; the pin-buttock, the quatch-buttock, the brawn buttock, or any buttock.
Count. Will your answer serve fit to all questions?
Clo. As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for your taffata punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's fore-finger, as a pancake for Shrove-Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his hole, the cuckold to his horn, as a scolding queen to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; nay, as the pudding to his skin.
Count. Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all questions?
Clo. From below your duke, to beneath your constable, it will fit any question.
Count. It must be an answer of most monstrous size, that must fit all demands.
Clo. But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned
make a leg,] i. e. Make a bow.
Tib's rush for Tom's fore-finger,] Tib and Tom were usually joined, like Jack and Jill, as the common names for a low or ordinary man and woman. The rush alludes to the rush-ring, which was an ancient practice not only in England but in other countries, with such persons who meant to live together in a state of concubinage. This custom is mentioned by Breval, in his antiquities of Paris, and forbidden by Richard Moore, bishop of Salisbury, in his Constitutions, anno 1217. The practice seems to have continued to the time of Sir W. D'Avenant, who alludes to it in one of his songs. In the present passage, Tib the woman is represented as giving the ring. This is in agreement with the old custom of exchanging rings in the marriage ceremony.SIR J. HAWKINS and M. MASON.