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[Sound trumpets.] The King's coming, I know, by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had talk of you last night; tho' you are a fool and a knave, you fhall eat; 3 go to, follow.


Par. I praife God for you.



Flourish. Enter King, Countefs, Lafeu, the two French Lords, with Attendants.


King. We loft a jewel of her; and our ✦ esteem Was made much poorer by it: but your fon,

As mad in folly, lack'd the fense to know
Her estimation homes.

Count. 'Tis paft, my liege:

And I beseech your majefty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i'the blade of youth,
When oil and fire, too ftrong for reafon's force,
O'erbears it, and burns on.

King. My honour'd lady,

I have forgiven and forgotten all :

Tho' my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to fhoot.

3-you fhall cat;] Parolles has many of the lineaments of Falstaff, aud feems to be the character which Shakespeare delighted to draw, a fellow that had more wit than virtue. Though juftice required that he should be detected and expofed, yet his vices fit fo fit in him that he is not at last fuffered to starve.


efteem] Dr. Warburton, in Theobald's edition, altered this word to eftate, in his own he lets it stand and explains it by worth or eftate. But efteem is here reckoning or efiimate. Since the lofs of Helen with her virtues and qualifications, our account is Junk; what we have to reckon ourselves king of, is much poorer than before. JOHNSON.

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bome.] That is, completely, in its full extent. JOHNSON. blade of youth,] In the spring of early life, when the man is yet green, oil and fire fuit but ill with blade, and therefore Dr. Warburton reads, blaze of youth. JOHNSON.


Laf. This I muft say,

But first I beg my pardon,―The young lord
Did to his majesty, his mother, and his lady,
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all. He loft a wife,
Whose beauty did aftonish the furvey

Of richeft eyes; whofe words all ears took captive;
Whose dear perfection, hearts, that fcorn'd to ferve,
Humbly call'd mistress.

King. Praifing what is loft,

Makes the remembrance dear. Well-call him


We are reconcil'd, and the first view shall kill'
All repetition: Let him not afk our pardon.
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury.
The incenfing relicks of it. Let him approach,
A ftranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.

Gent. I fhall, my liege.

King. What fays he to your daughter? Have you fpoke?

Laf. All, that he is, hath reference to your high



the first view fhall kiil

All repetition :

The first interview feal put an end to all recollection of the past. Shakespeare is now haftening to the end of the play, finds his matter fufficient to fill up his remaining fcenes, and therefore, as on other fuch occafions, contracts his dialogue and precipitates his action. Decency required that Bertram's double crime of cruelty and difobedience, joined likewife with fome hypocrify, fhould raise more refentment; and that though his mother might easily forgive him, his king fhould more pertinaciously vindicate his own authority and Helen's merit: of all this Shakespeare could not be ignorant, but Shakespeare wanted to conclude his play. JOHNSON.

King. Then fhall we have a match. I have letters

fent me,

That fet him high in fame.

Enter Bertram.

Laf. He looks well on't.

King. I am not a day of season,
For thou may'st fee a fun-fhine and a hail
In me at once: But to the brightest beams.
Distracted clouds give way; fo stand thou forth,
The time is fair again

Ber. My high repented blames ',
Dear fovereign, pardon to me.

King. All is whole;

Not one word more of the confumed time.
Let's take the inftant by the forward top;

For we are old, and on our quick'ft decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of time

Steals, ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this lord?

Ber. Admiringly, my liege. At first
I ftuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durft make too bold a herald of my tongue :
Where the impreffion of mine eye enfixing,
Contempt his fcornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
Scorn'd a fair colour, or exprefs'd it stol'n';

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High-repented blames, are faults repented of to the height, to the utmoft. STEEVENS.

SCORN'D a fair colour, or express'd it foll'n ;] Firft, it is to be obferved, that this young man's cafe was not indifference to the fex in general, but a very strong attachment to one; therefore he could not corn a fair colour, for it was that which had captivated him. But he might very naturally be faid to do what men, ftrongly attach'd to one, commonly do, not al


Extended, or contracted, all proportions

To a most hideous object: Thence it came,
That fhe, whom all men prais'd, and whom myfelf,
Since I have loft, have lov'd, was in mine eye
The duft that did offend it.

King. Well excus'd:

That thou doft love her, ftrikes fome scores away
From the great 'compt: But love, that comes too late,
Like a remorseful pardon flowly carried,

To the great fender turns a four offence,
Crying, That is good that is gone: our rafh faults

low beauty in any face but his miftrefs's. And that this was the
thought here, is evident,

1. From the latter part of the verse,

or exprefs'd it floll'n:

2. From the preceding verse,

Which warp'd the line of every other favour 3

3. From the following verses,

Extended or contracted all proportions

To a moft hideous object :

Secondly, It is to be observed, that he defcribes his indifference for others in highly figurative expreffions. Contempt is brought in lending him her perfpective-glafs, which does its office properly by warping the lines of all other faces; by extending or contracting into a bideous object; or by expreffing or fhewing native red and white as paint. But with what propriety of fpeeth can this glafs be faid to fcorn, which is an affection of the mind? Here then the metaphor becomes miferably mangled; but the forego ing obfervation will lead us to the genuine reading, which is,

SCORCH'D a fair colour, or express'd it floll'n; i. e. this glafs represented the owner as brown or tanned; or, if not fo, caufed the native colour to appear artificial. Thus he fpeaks in character, and confiftently with the rest of his fpeech. The emendation reftores integrity to the figure, and, by a beautiful thought, makes the fcornful perspective of contempt do the office of a burning-glass. WARBURTON.

It was but just to infert this note, long as it is, because the commentator feems to think it of importance. Let the reader judge. JOHNSON.


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Make trivial price of ferious things we have,
Not knowing them, until we know their grave.
Oft our difpleafures, to ourfelves unjust,

Deftroy our friends, and, after, weep their duft:
'Our own love, waking, cries to fee what's done,
While fhameful hate fleeps out the afternoon.
Be this fweet Helen's knell, and now, forget her.
Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin :
The main confents are had; and here we'll stay
To see our widower's fecond marriage-day.


Count. Which better than the firft, O dear heaven blefs.

Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cease!

Laf. Come on, my fon, in whom my houfe's name Must be digefted: give a favour. from you

To fparkle in the fpirits of my daughter,

That the may quickly come. By my old beard,
And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead,
Was a fweet creature: fuch a ring as this

1 Our own love waking, &c.]

Thefe two lines I fhould be glad to call an interpolation of a player. They are ill connected with the former, and not very clear or proper in themselves. I believe the author made two couplets to the fame purpose, wrote them both down that he might take his choice, and fo they happened to be both preferved.

For fleep I think we thould read flept. Love cries to fee what was done while hatred flept, and fuffered mifchief to be done. Or the meaning may be, that hatred fill continues to fleep at eafe, while love is weeping; and fo the prefent reading may ftand.

JOHNSON. 2 Which better than the firft, O dear heav'n, blefs, Or, e'er they meet, in m, O nature, ceaje!]

I have ventured, against the authorities of the printed copies, to prefix the Countefs's name to thefe two lines. The King appears, indeed, to be a favourer of Bertram: but if Bertram fhould make a bad husband the fecond time, why should it give the King fuch mortal pangs? A fond and difappointed mother might reafonably not defire to live to fee fuch a day and from her the wish of dying, rather than to behold it, comes with propriety. THEOBALD.


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