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Laf. How understand we that?
Laf. He cannot want the best
[Exit Countess. i Ber. The best wishes, that can be forged in your thoughts, [to HELENA] 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 of your father.
[Exeunt BERTRAM and LAFEU. Hel. O, were that all ! - I think not on my
father 8 ; 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.
1 That thee may furnish] That may help thee with more and better qualifications.
8. Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the credit of your father.
Hel. 0, were that all!. I think not on my father;] Would that the attention to maintain the credit of my father, (or, not to act unbecoming the daughter of such a father, - for such, perhaps, is the meaning,) were my only solicitude! I think not of him. My cares are all for Bertram. MALONE.
I am undone; there is no living, none,
hour; to sit and draw
our heart's table !; heart, too capable Of every
line and trick of his sweet favour 2 : But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy Must sanctify his relicks. Who comes here?
One that goes with him: I love him for his sake;
Par. Save you, fair queen.
9 In his bright radiance and collateral light, &c.] I cannot be united with him and move in the same sphere, but must be comforted at a distance by the radiance that shoots on all sides from him.
Johnson. i In our heart's table ;) A table was, in our author's time, a term for a picture, in which sense it is used here.
trick of his sweet favour:) Trick is an expression taken from drawing ; but on the present occasion may mean neither tracing nor outline, but peculiarity.
3 Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.] Cold for naked: as superfluous for over-clothed This makes the propriety of the antithesis. WARBURTON.
Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you; let me ask you a question: Man is enemy to virginity ; how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
1 Par. There is none; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Bless our poor virginity from underminers, and blowers up ! - Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?
Par. Virginity, being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase ; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was first lost. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever lost : '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 said in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To speak on the part of virginity, is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin : virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish,
4 And no.) I am no more a queen than you are a monarch.
proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin 5 in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by't: Out with't: within ten years it will make itself ten, which is a goodly increase; and the principal itself not much the worse: Away with't.
Hel. How might one do, sir, to lose it to her own liking?
Par. Let me see: Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying; the longer kept, the less worth : off with’t, while 'tis vendible: answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out of fashion; richly suited, but unsuitable : just like the brooch and toothpick, which wear not now: Your date is better 6 in
your pie and your porridge, than in your cheek: And your virginity, your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears; it looks ill, it eats dryly; marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a withered pear: Will you any thing with it?
Hel. Not my virginity yet.
inhibited sin - ] i.e. forbidden.
Your date is better -] Here is a quibble on the word date, which means both age, and a candied fruit much used in our author's time.
7 A phænix, &c.] The eight lines following friend, I am persuaded is the nonsense of some foolish conceited player. WARBURTON.
a traitress,] It seems that traitress was in that age a term of endearment.
Of petty, fond, adoptious christendoms?,
Par. What one, i'faith?
Hel. That wishing well had not a body in't,
Enter a Page.
[Exit Page. Par. Little Helen, farewell: if I can remember thee, I will think of thee at court.
Hel. Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
Par. Under Mars, I.
Hel. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.
Par. When he was predominant.
christendoms,] This word, which signifies the collective body of christianity, every place where the christian religion is embraced, is surely used with much license on the present occasion.
| And show what we alone must think ;] And show by realities what we now must only think.