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Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
'Tis an unfeafon'd courtier, good my lord,
Laf. He cannot want the best,
That fhall attend his love.
Count. Heaven blefs him! Farewell, Bertram. [Exit Countess. Ber, [To Helena.] 'The best wishes that can beforg'd in your thoughts, be fervants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: you must hold the
Carries no favour in it, but Bertram's.
9 That thee may furnish.] That may help thee with more and better qualifications.
JOHNSON. The best wishes, &c.] That is, may you be-mistress of your wishes, and have power to bring them to effect. JOHNSON. These great tears.] The tears which the king fhed for him.
3 In his bright radiance, &c] I cannot be united move in the fame Sphere, but must be comforted at the radiance that fhoots on all fides from him.
and countess JOHNSON. with him and a distance by JOHNSON. The
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
One that goes with him: I love him for his fake
Think him a great way fool, folely a coward;
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Hel. And you, monarch.
Hel. And, no.——
Par. Are you meditating on virginity?
Hel. Ay you have some stain of foldier in you;
4 Trick of his feet favour.] So in King John; be bath a trick of Coeur de Lion's face. Trick seems to be fome peculiarity of look or feature. JOHNSON. Trick is an expreffion taken from drawing, and is fo explained in another place. The present inftance explains itself:
to fit and draw
His arched brows, &c.
-and trick of his feet favour.
5 Cold wifdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.] Cold for naked; as fuperfluous for over-cloathed. This makes the propriety of the antithefis. WARBURTON.
6 Stain of foldier.] Stain for colour. Parolles was in red, as appears from his being afterwards called red-tail'd humble-bee.
WARBURTON. It does not appear from either of these expressions, that Parolles was entirely dreft in red. Shakespeare writes only fome tain of
let me ask you a question. Man is enemy to virgi nity; how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he affails, and our virginity, tho' valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us fome warlike refiftance.
Par. There is none: man fitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Blefs our poor virginity from underminers and blowers up!-Is there no military policy, how vir gins might blow up men?
Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourfelves made, you lofe your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preferve virginity. Lofs of virginity is rational increafe; and there was never virgin got, 'till virginity was first loft. That you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once loft, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever loft: 'tis too cold a companion: away with it.
Hel. I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be faid in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is moft infallible dif obedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin: vir
foldier, meaning only he had red breeches on, which is fufficiently evident from calling him afterwards red-tailed bumble-bre.
STEEVENS. Stain rather for what we now fay tindure, fome qualities, at leaft fuperficial, of a foldier.
7 Lofs of virginity is rational increafe.] It is conjectured by the the author of the Obfervations and Conjectures, printed at Ox ford 1766, that the poet wrote, national increase. Rational increafe may however mean the regular increafe by which rational beings are propagated.
He, that bangs himself, is a virgin:] But why is he that hangs himself a virgin? Surely, not for the reafon that follows,
ginity murders itself: and fhould be buried in highways, out of all fanctified limit, as a defperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; confumes itfelf to the very paring, and fo dies with feeding its own ftomach. Befides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of felf-love, which is the most inhibited fin9 in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot chuse but lose by't. Out with't; within ten years it will make itself two, which is a goodly increafe; and the principal itself not much the worse. Away with't.
Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lofe it to her own liking?
Par. Let me fee. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lofe the glofs with lying. The longer kept, the lefs worth: off with't, while 'tis vendible. Anfwer the time of request.
Virginity murders itfelf. For tho' every virgin be a fuicide, yet every fuicide is not a virgin. A word or two are dropt, which introduced a comparison in this place; and Shakespeare wrote it thus,
As he, that hangs himself, so is a virgin.
And then it follows naturally, virginity murders itself. By this emendation, the Oxford editor was enabled to alter the text thus, He that bangs himself is like a virgin.
And this is his ufual way of becoming a critick at a cheap ex. WARBURTON. pence.
I believe most readers will spare both the emendations, which I do not think much worth a claim or a conteft. The old reading is more fpritely and equally juft.
-inhibited fin.-] i. e. forbidden. So in Othello
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.
So the first folio. Theobald and Johnfon read prohibited.
1 Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes, &c.] Parolles, in anfwer to the question, how one frall lofe virginity to her own liking? plays upon the word Iking, and fays, he must do ill, for virginity, to be fo lost, muft like him that likes not yirginity.
Virginity, like an old courtier wears her cap out of fashion richly fuited, but unfuitable; juft like the brooch and the tooth-pick, which wear not now: your date is better in your pye and your porridge, than in your cheek: and your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French wither'd pears; it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a wither'd pear: it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a wither'd pear. Will you any thing with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
There shall your mafter have a thousand loves,
which wear not now.] Thus the old copy, Shakespeare often uses the active for the paffive. editors read, "which we wear not now.'
3 your date is better.] Here is a quibble on the word date, which means both age, and a particular kind of fruit much used in our author's time- -Romeo and Juliet ;
They call for dates and quinces in the pastry.
4 For yet, as it stood before, Sir Thomas Hanmer reads yes.
5 Not my virginity yet.] This whole fpeech is abrupt, unconnected, and obfcure. Dr. Warburton thinks much of it fuppofititious. I would be glad to think fo of the whole, for a commentator naturally wishes to reject what he cannot understand. Something, which fhould connect Helena's words with those of Parolles, feems to be wanting. Hanmer has made a fair attempt by reading,
Not my virginity yet-You're for the court,
Some fuch claufe has, I think, dropped out, but ftill the first words want connection. Perhaps Parolles, going away after his harangue, faid, will you any thing with me? to which Helen may reply. I know not what to do with the paffage. JOHNSON.
I do not perceive fo great a want of connection as my predeceffors have apprehended, nor is that connection always to be fought for in fo careless a writer as ours, from the thought immediately preceding the reply of the fpeaker. Parolles has been laughing at the unprofitableness of virginity, especially when it grows ancient, and compares it to withered fruit. Helena, properly enough replies, that hers is not yet in that ftate, but that in