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Enter a Page.

PAGE. Monsieur Parolles, my lord calls for you.

[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. I especially think, under Mars.
PAR. Why under Mars?

HEL. The wars have so kept you under, that you must needs be born under Mars.

PAR. When he was predominant.
HEL. When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
PAR. Why think you so?

HEL. You go so much backward, when you fight.

PAR. That's for advantage.

HEL. So is running away, when fear proposes the safety: But the composition, that your

valour and fear makes in you, is a virtue of a good wing, and I like the wear well,

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is a virtue of a good wing,] Mr. Edwards is of opinion, that a virtue of a good wing refers to his nimbleness or fleetness in running away. The phrase, however, is taken from falconry, as may appear from the following passage in Marston's Fawne, 1606: " I love my horse after a journeying easiness, as he is easy in journeying; my hawk, for the goodness of his wing," &c. Or it may be taken from dress. So, in Every Man out of his Humour : “I would have mine such a suit without a difference; such stuff, such a wing, such a sleeve,” &c. Mr. Tollet observes, that a good wing signifies a strong wing in Lord Bacon's Natural History, experiment 866 :

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PAR. I am so full of businesses, I cannot answer thee acutely: I will return perfect courtier; in the which, myinstruction shall serve to naturalize thee, so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel,' and understand what advice shall thrust upon thee; else thou diest in thine unthankfulness, and thine ignorance makes thee away: farewell. When thou hast leisure, say thy prayers; when thou hast none, remember thy friends: get thee a good husband, and use him as he uses thee: so farewell. [Exit.

“ Certainly many birds of a good wing (as kites and the like) would bear up a good weight as they fly.” The same phrase, however, anciently belonged to archery. So Ascham, in his Toxophilus, edit. 1589, p. 57: “ --another shaft-because it is lower feathered, or else because it is of a better wing,” &c.

STEEVENS. The reading of the old copy (which Dr. Warburton changed to ming) is supported by a passage in King Henry V. in which we meet with a similar expression : “ Though his affections are higher mounted than ours, yet when they stoop, they stoop with the like wing." Again, in King Henry IV. P. I:

“ Yet let me wonder Harry,
“ At thy affections, which do hold a wing,

“ Quite from the flight of all thy ancestors.” MALONE. The meaning of this passage appears to be this: “ if your valour will suffer you to go backward for advantage, and your fear for the same reason will make you run away, the composition that your valour and fear make in you, must be a virtue that will fly far and swiftly."- A bird of a good wing, is a bird of swift and strong flight.

Though the latter part of this sentence is sense as it stands, I cannot help thinking that there is an error in it, and that we ought to read—“And is like to wear well," instead of “ I like the wear well.” M. Mason.

so thou wilt be capable of a courtier's counsel,] i. e. thou wilt comprehend it. See a note in Hamlet on the words

• Whose form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones, “ Would make them capable." MALONE.

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1

HEL. Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven : the fated sky Gives us free scope; only, doth backward pull Our slow designs, when we ourselves are dull. What power is it, which mounts my love so high; That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye?? The mightiest space in fortune nature brings To join

like likes, and kiss like native things.3 Impossible be strange attempts, to those That weigh their pains in sense; and do suppose, What hath been4 cannot be: Who ever strove To show her merit, that did miss her love ?

3

? What power

is it, which mounts my love so high ; That makes me see, and cannot feed mine eye? ] She means, by what influence is my love directed to a person so much above me? why am I made to discern excellence, and left to long after it, without the food of hope Johnson.

kiss like native things.] Things formed by nature for each other. M. Mason.

So, in Chapman's metrical “ Address to the Reader," prefixed to his translation of Homer's Iliad, 1611:

“ Our monosyllables so kindly fall
And meete, opposde in rime, as they did kisse.

STEEVENS. * The mightiest space in fortune nature brings

To join like likes, and kiss like native things.
Impossible be strange attempts, to those
That weigh their pains in sense ; and do suppose,

What hath been —] All these four lines are obscure, and, I believe, corrupt; I shall propose an emendation, which those who can explain the present reading, are at liberty to reject:

Through mightiest space in fortune nature brings

Likes to join likes, and kiss like native things. That is, nature brings like qualities and dispositions to meet through any distance that fortune may set between them; she joins them and makes them kiss like things born together. The next lines I read with Sir T. Hanmer :

Impossible be strange attempts to those
That weigh their pains in sense, and do suppose
What ha'n't been, cannot be.

The king's disease-my project may deceive me. But my intents are fix'd, and will not leave me.

[Exit.

New attempts seem impossible to those who éstimate their labour or enterprises by sense, and believe that nothing can be but what they see before them. Johnson.

I understand the meaning to be this— The affections given us by nature often unite persons between whom fortune or accident has placed the greatest distance or disparity; and cause them to join, like likes (instar parium) like persons in the same situation or rank of life. Thus (as Mr. Steevens has observed) in Timon of Athens :

“ Thou solderest close impossibilities,

66 And mak'st them kiss." This interpretation is strongly confirmed- by a subsequent speech of the Countesses steward, who is supposed to have overheard this soliloquy of Helena : Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt 'their two estates.”

The mightiest space in fortune, for persons the most widely separated by fortune, is certainly a licentious expression; but it is such a licence as Shakspeare often takes. Thus, in Cymbeline, the diminution of space is used for the diminution, of which space, or distance, is the cause. If he had written spaces; (as in Troilus and Cressida,

her whom we know well "The world's large spaces cannot parallel,)” the passage would have been more clear; but he was confined by the metre. We might, however, read

The mightiest space in nature fortune brings

To join, &c. i. e. accident sometimes unites those whom inequality of rank has separated. But I believe the text is right. MALONE.

VOL. VIII.

Q

SCENE II.

Paris. A Room in the King's Palace.

Flourish of cornets. Enter the King of France,

with letters; Lords and others attending.

King. The Florentines and Senoys are by the

ears ; Have fought with equal fortune, and continue A braving war.

1 LORD. So 'tis reported, sir. KING. Nay, 'tis most credible; we here receive

it A certainty, vouch'd from our cousin Austria, With caution, that the Florentine will move us For speedy aid ; wherein our dearest friend Prejudicates the business, and would seem To have us make denial. 1 LORD.

His love and wisdom, Approv'd so to your majesty, may plead For amplest credence. KING.

He hath arm’d our answer,
And Florence is denied before he comes :
Yet, for our gentlemen, that mean to see
The Tuscan service, freely have they leave
To stand on either part.
2 LORD.

It
may

well serve

cace.

Senoys -] The Sanesi, as they are termed by Boc

Painter, who translates him, calls them Senois. They were the people of a small republick, of which the capital was Sienna. The Florentines were at perpetual variance with them. STEEVENS.

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