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The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me,
Make choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.
Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly;
i Lord. And grant it.
Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute.' Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw ames-ace for
life. Hel. The honour, sir, that flames in your fair eyes, Before I speak, too threateningly replies: Love make your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes, and her humble love!
2 Lord. No better, if you please. Hel.
My wish receive, Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.
Laf. Do all they deny her?" An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of. Hel. Be not afraid [To a Lord] that I your
should take; I'll never do you wrong
your own sake: Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed !
4 Let the white death, &c.] The white death is the chlorosis. The pestilence that ravaged England in the reign of Edward III. was called “ the black death."
the rest is mute.] i. e. I have no more to say to you.
ames-ace-) i. e. the lowest chance of the dice. ? Laf. Do all they deny her?] None of them have yet denied her, or deny her afterwards, but Bertram. The scene must be so regulated that Lafeu and Parolles talk at a distance, where they may see what passes between Helena and the lords, but not hear it, so that they know not by whom the refusal is made.
Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her: sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them.
Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too good, To make yourself a son out of my
blood. 4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so.
Laf. There's one grape yet,—I am sure, thy father drank wine. But if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen; I have known thee already Hei. I dare not say, I take you; [To BeRTRAM]
but I give Me, and my service, ever whilst I live, Into your guiding power.—This is the man. King. Why then, young Bertram, take her, she's
thy wife. Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your
Know'st thou not, Bertram,
Yes, my good lord; But never
hope to know why I should marry her. King. Thou know'st, she has rais'd me from my
sickly bed. Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down Must answer for your raising? I know her well; She had her breeding at my father's charge: A poor physician's daughter my wife !—Disdain Rather corrupt me ever! King. 'Tis only title® thou disdain'st in her, the
which I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods, Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together,
* 'Tis only title-] i. e. the want of title.
Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off
Ber. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
strive to choose. Hel. That you are well restor’d, my lord, I am glad; Let the rest go.
• Where great additions swell,] Additions are the titles and descriptions by which men are distinguished from each other.
good alone 18 good, without a name ; vileness is so:] The meaning is,Good is good, independent on any worldly distinction or title ; so vileness is vile, in whatever state it may appear. MALONE.
- honour's born,] is the child of honour. Born is here used, as bairn still is in the North. HENLEY.
King. My honour's at the stake; which to defeat, I must produce my power: Here, take her hand, Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift; That dost in vile misprision shackle up My love, and her desert; that canst not dream, We, poizing us in her defective scale, Shall weigh thee to the beam: that wilt not know, It is in us to plant thine honour, where We please to have it grow: Check thy contempt: Obey our will
, which travails in thy good: Believe not thy disdain, but presently Do thine own fortunes that obedient right, Which both thy duty owes, and our power claims; Or I will throw thee from my care for ever, Into the staggers, and the careless lapse Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and
hate, Loosing upon thee in the name of justice, Without all terms of pity: Speak; thine answer.
Ber. Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit My fancy to your eyes: When I consider, What great creation, and what dole of honour, Flies where you bid it, I find, that she, which late Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now The praised of the king; who, so ennobled, Is, as 'twere, born so. King
Take her by the hand,
that canst not dream, We, poizing us in her defective scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beam :) That canst not understand, that if you and this maiden should be weighed together, and our royal favours should be thrown into her scale, (which you esteem so light,) we should make that in which you should be placed, to strike the beam. MALONE.
* Into the staggers,] One species of the staggers, or the horse's apoplexy, is a raging impatience, which makes the animal dash himself with a destructive violence against posts or walls. To this the allusion, I suppose, is made. Johnson.
And tell her, she is thine: to whom I promise
I take her hand.
king, Smile upon this contráct; whose ceremony Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief, And be perform’d to-night:' the solemn feast Shall more attend upon the coming space, Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'st her, Thy love's to me religious; else, does err. [Exeunt King, Bertram, Helena, Lords,
and Attendants. Laf. Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you. Par. Your pleasure, sir?
Laf. Your lord and master did well to make his recantation.
Par. Recantation ?-My lord? my master?
Par. A most harsh one; and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master?
Laf. Are you companion to the count Rousillon? Par. To any count; to all counts; to what is
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
And be perform'd to night:) A brief, in ancient language, means any short and summary writing or proceeding. The nowborn brief is another phrase for the contract recently and suddenly made. Î'he ceremony of it (says the king) shall seem to hasten after its short preliminary, and be performed to-night, &c.
STEEVENS. The meaning of the present passage, I believe, is: Good fortune, and the king's favour, smile on this short contract; the ceremonial part of which shall immediately pass,—shall follow close on the troth now plighted between the parties, and be performed this night; the solemn feast shall be delayed to a future time.