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PERSONS REPRESENTED.*

King of France.
Duke of Florence,
BERTRAM, count of Rousillon.
LaFev, an old lord.
PAROLLES, a follower of Bertram.
Several

young French Lords, that serve with Bertram in the
Florentine war.
Steward,
Clown,

servants to the countess of Rousillon A Page.

}

Countess of Rousillon, mother to Bertram.
HELENA, a gentlewoman, protected by the countess.
An old Widow of Florence.
Diana, daughter to the widow.
VIOLENTA,
MARIANA,

}neighbours and friends to the widow.

Lords, attending on the king ; Officers, Soldiers, 8c. French

and Florentine.

SCENE-Partly in France, and partly in Tuscany.

• The persons were first enumerated by Rowe.

+ I suppose we should write this pame-Paroles; i. e. a creature made up of empty words. STEEVENS.

.

ACT 1.
SCENE I.--Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter BERTRAM, the Countess of Rousillon, HELENA, and
LAFEU, in mourning.

Countess.
In delivering my son from me, I bury a second husband.

Ber. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew : but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward,' evermore in subjection.

Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, madam ;you, sir, a father : He that so generally is at all times good, must of necessity bold his virtue to you ; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.

Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment?

Laf. He hath abandoned bis physicians, madam ; under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope : and finds no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.

Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0, that had! how sad a passage 'tis !) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty; had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal, and death should bave play for lack of work. 'Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the king's disease.

Laf. How called you the man you speak of, madam ?

Count. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was bis great right to be so : Gerard de Narbon.

Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam ; the king very lately spoke of him, admiringly, and mourningly: he was

(1) Under his particular care, as my guardian, till I come to age. It is now al. most forgotten in England, that the heirs of great fortunes were the king's wards. Whether the same practice prevailed in France, it is of so great use to inquire, for Shakespeare gives to all nations the manners of England. JOHNSON

VOL. IV,

A 2

Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Laf. How understand we that ?

Count. Be thou blest, Bertram ! and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape ! thy blood, and virtue,
Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
Share with thy birth-right! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none : be able for thine enemy
Rather in power, than use ; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be checkd for silence,
But never tax'd for speech. What heaven more will,
That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewell.-My lord,
'Tis an unseason'd courtier ; good my lord,
Advise him.

Laf. He cannot want the best That shall attend his love.

Count. Heaven bless him!-Farewell, Bertram. (Exit.

Ber. (To Hel.] The best wishes that can be forged in your thoughts, be servants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her. Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the credit father.

(Exeunt Ber. and LaF. Hel. 0, were that all !- I think not on my

father ;
And these great tears grace his remembrance more,
Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
I have forgot him : my imagination
Carries no favour in it, but Bertram's.
I am undone ; there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. It were all one,
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me :
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
Th’ ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table ; heart, too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:

[4] Trick is an expression taken from drawing, and is so explained in King John, Act I. sc. I. The present instance explaius itself :

His arched brows, &c. STEEVEXS.

of your

-to sit and dran

skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.

Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of ?
Laf. A fistula, my lord.
Ber. I heard not of it before.

Laf. I would, it were not notorious.-Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?

Count. His sole child, my lord; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises : her dispositions she inherits, which make fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and traitors too ; in her they are the better for their simpleness ; she derives her honesty, and achieves her goodness."

Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.

Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek.—No more of this, Helena, go to, no more ; lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, than to have.

Hel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too."

Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living.

Count. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal. [2] By virtuous qualities are meant qualities of good breeding and erudition; on this accouat it is, she says, that, in an ill mind, these · virtuous qualities are virtues and traitors too:' i e. the advantages of education enable an ill mind to go further in wickedness than it could have done without them. WARBURTON.

Her virtues are the better for their simpleness,--that is, her excellencies are the better because they are artless and open, without fraud, without design. The learned commentator has well explained virtues, but has not, I think, reached the force of the word traitors, and therefore has not shows the full extent of Shakespeare's masterly observation. Virtues in an unclean mind are virtues and traitors

Estimable and useful qualities, joined with an evil disposition, give that evil disposition power over others, wbo, by admiring the virtue, are betrayed to the Joalevolence. The Talller, mentioning the sharpers of his time, observes, that some of them are mea of such elegance and knowledge, that a young man who falls into their way is betrayed as much by his judgment as his passions.

JOHNSON. [3] Helena has, I believe, a meaning here, that she does not wish should be understood by the countes3. Her affected sorrow was for the death of her father; ber real grier for the lowness of her situation, which she feared would for ever be a bar to her union with her beloved Bertram. Her own words afterwards fully support this interpretation :

I think not on my father ;

-What was he like!
"' I have forgot him; my imagination
" Carries no favour in it but Bertram's :

“I am undone." MALONE. The line should be particularly attended to, as it tends to explain some subst. *** pages which have bitberto been misunderstood. M. MÁSON.

100.

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