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COUNT. Well, now.
STEW. I know, madam, you love your gentlewoman entirely.
COUNT. Faith, I do: her father bequeathed her to me; and she herself, without other advantage, may lawfully make title to as much love as she
The aversion of the puritans to a surplice is alluded to in many of the old comedies. So, in Cupid's Whirligig, 1607:
She loves to act in as clean linen as any gentlewoman of her function about the town; and truly that's the reason that your sincere puritans cannot abide a surplice, because they say 'tis made of the same thing that your villainous sin is committed in, of your prophane holland.”
Again, in The Match at Midnight, 1633 :
“ He has turn'd my stomach for all the world like a puritan's at the sight of a surplice.” Again, in The Hollander, 1640:
A puritan, who, because he saw a surplice in the church, would needs hang himself in the bell-ropes.
STEEVENS. I cannot help thinking we should read-Though honesty be a puritan-, TYRWHITT.
Surely Mr. Tyrwhitt’s correction is right. If our author had meant to say--though honesty be no puritan,-why should he add--that it would wear the surplice, &c. or, in other words, that it would be content to assume a covering that puritans in general reprobated? What would there be extraordinary in this? Is it matter of wonder, that he who is no puritan, should be free from the scruples and prejudices of one?
The Clown, I think, means to say, “ Though honesty be rigid and conscientious as a puritan, yet it will not be obstinate, but humbly comply with the lawful commands of its superiors, while, at the same time, its proud spirit inwardly revolts against them.' I suspect, however, a still farther corruption; and that the com positor caught the words “ no hurt" from the preceding line. Our author, perhaps, wrote—“ Though honesty be a puritan, yet it will do what is enjoined ; it will wear the surplice af humility, over the black gown of a big heart.” I will, therefore, obey my mistress, however reluctantly, and go for Helena.
finds: there is more owing her, than is paid; and more shall be paid her, than she'll demand.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her than, I think, she wished me: alone she was, and did communicate to herself, her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dare vow for her, they touched not any stranger sense.
Her matter was, she loved your son: Fortune, she said, was no goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; Love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level;' Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised, without rescue, in the first assault, or ransome afterward :: This she deliver'd in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in: which I held my duty, speedily to ac
only where qualities were level ;] The meaning may be, where qualities only, and not fortunes or conditions, were level. Or, perhaps, only is used for except : “ -- that would not extend his might, except where two persons were of equal rank.” MALONE.
Love, no god, &c. Diana, no queen of virgins, &c.] This passage
stands thus in the old copies : Love, no god, that would not extend his might only where qualities were
level ; queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight, &c.
'Tis evident to every sensible reader that something must have slipt out. here, by which the meaning of the context is rendered defective. The steward is speaking in the very words he overheard of the young lady; fortune was no goddess, she said, for one reason ; love, no god, for another ;-what could she then more naturally subjoin, than as I have amended in the
Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised without rescue, &c.
For, in poetical history, Diana was as well known to preside over chastity, as Cupid over love, or Fortune over the change or regulation of our circumstances. THEOBALD.
quaint you withal; sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
Count. You have discharged this honestly; keep it to yourself: many likelihoods informed me of this before, which hung so tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe, nor misdoubt: Pray you, leave me : stall this in your bosom, and I thank
your honest care: I will speak with you further anon.
COUNT. Even so it was with me, when I was
young : If we are nature's," these are ours; this thorn Doth to our rose of youth rightly belong;
Our blood to us, this to our blood is born; It is the show and seal of nature's truth, Where love's strong passion is impress'd in youth: By our remembrances of days foregone, Such were our faults;-or then we thought them
eye is sick on't; I observe her now.
-sithence,] i. e. since. So, in Spenser's State of Ireland: “ —the beginning of all other evils which sithence have afflicted that land.” Chaucer frequently uses sith, and sithen, in the same sense. STEEVENS.
* If we are nature's,] The old copy reads-If ever we are nature's. STEEVENS.
The emendation was made by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
* By our remembrances - ] That is, according to our recollection. So we say, he is old by my reckoning. Johnson.
* Such were our faults ;-or then we thought them none.) We should read : 0! then we thought them none.
A motive for pity and pardon, agreeable to fact, and the in
HEL. What is your pleasure, madam?
You know, Helen, I am a mother to you.
HEL. Mine honourable mistress.
Nay, a mother;
say, I am thy mother? What's the matter,
you are my daughter?
dulgent character of the speaker. This was sent to the Oxford editor, and he altered 0, to though: WARBURTON.
Such were the faulty weaknesses of which I was guilty in my youth, or such at least were then my feelings, though, perhaps, at that period of my life, I did not think they deserved the name of faults. Dr. Warburton, without necessity, as it seems to me, reads" 0! then we thought them none;"_and the subsequent editors adopted the alteration. MALONE.
and choice breeds A native slip to us from foreign seeds :) And our choice furnishes us with a slip propagated to us from foreign seeds, which we educate and treat, as if it were native to us, and sprung from ourselves. HEATH.
What's the matter,
The many-colourd Iris, rounds thine eye?] There is something exquisitely beautiful in this representation of that suffusion
That I am not. COUNT. I
I am your mother. HEL.
Pardon, madam; The count Rousillon cannot be my brother : I am from humble, he from honour'd name; No note upon my parents, his all noble : My master, my dear lord he is; and I His servant live, and will his vassal die: He must not be
Nor I your mother? HEL. You are my mother, madam ; 'Would you
were (So that
my lord, your son, were not my brother,) Indeed, my mother !—or were you both our mo
thers, I care no more for, than I do for heaven, So I were not his sister :' Can't no other, But, I your daughter, he must be my brother ? '
of colours which glimmers around the sight when the eye-lashes are wet with tears. The poet hath described the same appear. ance in his Rape of Lucrece :
“ And round about her tear-distained eye
So I were not his sister :] There is a designed ambiguity: I care no more for, is, I care as much for. I wish it equally.
FARMER. In Troilus and Cressida we find I care not to be the louse of a lazar, so I were not Menelaus.” There the words certainly mean, I should not be sorry or unwilling to be, &c. According to this, then, the meaning of the passage before us should be, “ If you were mother to us both, it would not give me more solicitude than heaven gives me,--so'I were not his sister.” But Helena certainly would not confess an indifference about her future state. However, she may mean, as Dr. Farmer has suggested, “ I should not care more than, but equally as, I care