Hel. (reads] Till I have no wife, I have nothing in


'Tis bitter:

Count. Find you that there?

Ay, madam. 1 Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, which His heart was not consenting to.

Count. Nothing in France, until he have no wife! There's nothing here, that is too good for him, But only she; and she deserves a lord, That twenty such rude boys might tend upon, And call her hourly, mistress. Who was with him?

1 Gen. A servant only, and a gentleman Which I have some time known. Count.

Parolles, was 't not? 1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he.

Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wickedness: My son corrupts a well-derived nature With his inducement. 1 Gen.

Indeed, good lady,
The fellow has a deal of that, too much,
Which holds him much to have. 5

Count. You are welcome, gentlemen.
I will entreat you, when you see my son,
To tell him, that his sword can never win
The honour that he loses: more I'll entreat you
Written to bear along.
2 Gen.

We serve you, madam,
In that and all your worthiest affairs.

Count. Not so, but as we change our courtesies.


om a deal of that, too much,

Which holds him much to have.] That is, his vices stand him in stead. Helen had before delivered this thought in all the beauty of expression:

I know him a notorious liar;
“Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
“ Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
“ That they take place, when virtue's steely bones

" Look bleak in the cold wind" Warburton. Mr. Heath thinks that the meaning is, this fellow hath a deal too much of that which alone can hold or judge that he has much in him; i.e. folly and ignorance. Malone.

6 Not so, &c.] The gentlemen declare that they are servants to the Countess; she replies,-No otherwise than as she returns the same offices of civility. Fohnson.

Will you draw near? [Exeunt Count. and Gentlemen.

Hel. Till I have no wife, I have nothing in France.
Nothing in France, until he has no wife!
Thou shalt have none, Rousillon, none in France,
Then hast thou all again. Poor lord! is 't I
That chase thee from thy country, and

Those tender limbs of thine to the event
Of the none-sparing war? and is it I
That drive thee from the sportive court, where thou
Wast shot at with fair eyes, to be the mark
Of smoky muskets? O you leaden messengers,
That ride upon the violent speed of fire,
Fly with false aim; move the still-piecing air,
That sings with piercing," do not touch my lord!
Whoever shoots at him, I set him there;
Whoever charges on his forward breast,
I am the caitiff, that do hold him to it;
And, though I kill him not, I am the cause
His death was so effected: better 'twere,
I met the ravin lion: when he roar'd


move the still-piecing air, That sings with piercing,] The words are here oddly shuffled into nonsense. We should read:

- pierce the still-moving air,

That sings with piercing. i. e. pierce the air, which is in perpetual motion, and suffers no injury by piercing. Wurburton.

The old copy readsthe still-peering air. Perhaps we might better read:

the still-piecing air, i.e. the air that closes immediately. This has been proposed already, but I forget by whom. Steevens.

Piece was formerly spelt--peece : so that there is but the change of one letter. See Twelfth Night, first folio, p. 262:

“ Now, good Cesario, but that peece of song —.” Malone. I have no doubt that still-piecing was Shakspeare's word. But the passage is not yet quite sound. We should read, I believe,

rove the still-piecing air. i.e. fly at rando through. The allusion is to shooting at rovers in archery, which was shooting without any particular aim.

Tyrrhitt. Mr. Tyrwhitt's reading destroys the designed antithesis between move and still; nor is he correct in his definition of roving, which is not shooting without a particular aim, but at marks of uncertain lengths. Douce.

With sharp constraint of hunger; better 'twere
That all the miseries, which nature owes,
Were mine at once: No, come thou home, Rousillon,
Whence honour but of danger wins a scar, 9
As oft it loses all. I will be gone:
My being here it is, that holds thee hence:
Shall I stay here to do 't? no, no, although
The air of paradise did fan the house,
And angels offic'd all: I will be gone;
That pitiful rumour may report my flight,
To consolate thine ear. Come, night! end, day!
For, with the dark, poor thief, I'll steal away. [Exit.


Florence. Before the Duke's Palace. Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, BERTRAM,

Lords, Officers, Soldiers, and Others.
Duke. The general of our horse thou art; and we,
Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
Upon thy promising fortune.

Sir, it is
A charge too heavy for my strength; but yet
We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake,
To the extreme edge of hazard. 1

Then go thou forth; And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,


the ravin lion - ] i.e. the ravenous or ravening lion. To Yavin is to swallow voraciously. Malone.

See Macbeth, Act IV, sc. i. Steevens.

9 Whence honour but of danger &c.] The sense is, from that abode, where all the advantages that honour usually reaps from the danger it rushes upon, is only a scar in testimony of its brave. ry, as, on the other hand, it often is the cause of losing all, even life itself. Heath. 1 We'll strive to bear it for your worthy sake,

To the extreme edge of hazard.] So, in our author's 116th Sonnet:

“But bears it out even to the edge of doom.”_ Malone. Milton has borrowed this expression; Par. Reg. B. I:

“ You see our danger on the utmost edge

66 Of hazard.” Steevens. 2 And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm,] So, in King Rickard III:

As thy auspicious mistress!

This very day,
Great Mars, I put myself into thy file:
Make me but like my thoughts; and I shall prove
A lover of thy drum, hater of love.



Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess and Steward. Count. Alas! and would you take the letter of her? Might you not know, she would do as she has done, By sending me a letter? Read it again.

Stew. I am Saint Jaques' pilgrim, 3 thither gone;

Ambitious love hath so in me offended, That bare-foot plod I the cold ground upon,

With sainted vow my faults to have amended. Write, write, that, from the bloody course of war,

My dearest master, your dear son may hie ; Bless him at home in peace, whilst I from far,

His name with zealous fervour sanctify:
His taken labours bid him me forgive;

I, his despiteful Juno, * sent him forth
From courtly friends, with camping foes to live,

Where death and danger dog the heels of worth:
He is too good and fair for death and me;
Whom I myself embrace, to set him free.
Count. Ah, what sharp stings are in her mildest



Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!Again, in King John:

“ And victory with little loss doth play
“Upon the dancing banners of the French." Steevens.

Saint Jaques' pilgrim,] I do not remember any place famous for pilgrimages consecrated in Italy to St. James, but it is common to visit St. James of Compostella, in Spain. Another saint might easily have been found, Florence being somewhat out of the road from Rousillon to Compostella. Johnson.

From Dr. Heylin's France painted to the Life, 8vo. 1656, p. 270, 276, we learn that at Orleans was a church dedicated to St. Faques, to which Pilgrims formerly used to resort, to adore a part of the cross pretended to be found there. Reed.

Funo,] Alluding to the story of Hercules. Johnson.

[ocr errors]

Rinaldo, you did never lack advice so much,5
As letting her pass so; had I spoke with her,
I could have well diverted her intents,
Which thus she hath prevented.

Pardon me, madam:
If I had given you this at over-night,
She might have been o'erta'en; and yet she writes,
Pursuit would be but vain.

What angel shall
Bless this unworthy husband? he cannot thrive,
Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear,
And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath
Of greatest justice.-Write, write, Rinaldo,
To this unworthy husband of his wife;
Let every word weigh heavy of her worth,
That he does weigh too light:6 my greatest grief,
Though little he do feel it, set down sharply.
Despatch the most convenient messenger:-
When, haply, he shall hear that she is gone,
He will return; and hope I may, that she,
Hearing so much, will speed her foot again,
Led hither by pure love: which of them both
Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense
To make distinction:-Provide this messenger:-
My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak;
Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.


Without the Walls of Florence. A tucket afar off. Enter an old Widow of Florence,

Diana, VIOLENTA, MARIANA, and other Citizens.

Wid. Nay, come; for if they do approach the city, we shall lose all the sight.


lack advice so much,] Advice, is discretion or thought.

Fohnson. So, in King Henry V:

“ And, on his more advice we pardon bim.” Steevens.
6 That he does weigh too light:] To weigh here means to value,

So, in Love's Labour's Lost :
“ You weigh me not, 0, that 's you care not for me.”


or esteem.

« 前へ次へ »