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KING of France.
Bertram, Count of Roufillon.
Lafeu, an old Lord.
Parolles, a parafitical follower of Bertram; a coward, but vain, and a great pretender to valour.
Several young French Lords, that serve with Bertram in
the Florentine war.
Servants to the Countess of Roufillon.
Countess of Roufillon, mother to Bertram..
Helena, daughter to Gerard de Narbon, a famous phyfician, fome time fince dead.
An old widow of Florence.
Diana, daughter to the widow.
Lords, attending on the King; Officers, Soldiers, &c.
} Neighbours, and friends to the widow.
SCENE lies partly in France; and, partly in
ALL'S Well, that ENDS Well.
SCENE, The Countess of Roufillon's House in France.
Enter Bertram, the Countess of Roufillon, Helena, and Lafeu, all in Mourning.
N delivering my fon from me, I bury a fecond husband.
Ber. And I in going, Madam, weep o'er my father's death anew; but I must attend his Majefty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in fubjection.
Laf. You fhall find of the King a husband, Madam; you, Sir, a father. He, that fo generally is at all times good, muft of neceffity hold his virtue to you; (1) whole worthinefs would ftir it up where it wanted, rather than flack it where there is such abundance.
(1) whofe Worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is fuch Abundance.] An Oppofition of Terms is vifibly defign'd in this Sentence; tho' the Oppofition is not fo vifible, as the Terms now ftand. Wanted and Abundance are the Opposites to one another; but how is lack a Contraft to stir up? The Addition of a single Letter gives it, and the very Senfe requires it. Mr. Warburton.
Count. What hope is there of his Majesty's amend
Laf. He hath abandon'd his phyficians, Madam, under whofe practices he hath perfecuted time with hope; and finds no other advantage in the process, but only the lofing of hope by time.
Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0, that bad! how fad a paffage 'tis !) whofe fkill was almoft as great as his honefty; had it stretch'd fo far, it would have made nature immortal, and death should have play'd for lack of work. 'Would, for the King's fake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the King's disease.
Laf. How call'd you the man you speak of, Madam?
Count. He was famous, Sir, in his profeffion, and it was his great right to be fo: Gerard de Narbon.
Laf. He was excellent, indeed, Madam; the King very lately spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly : he was fkilful enough to have liv'd ftill, if knowledge could be fet up against mortality.
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the King languishes
Laf. A fiftula, my lord.
Ber. I heard not of it before.
Laf. I would, it were not notorious. Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?
Count. His fole child, my lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have thofe hopes of her good, that her education promises her; difpofition fhe inherits, which makes fair gifts fairer; for where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there commendations go with pity, they are virtues and traitors too: in her they are the better for their fimplenefs; fhe derives her honefty, and atchieves her goodness.
Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her
Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praife in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her forrows takes
all livelihood from her cheek. No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; left it be rather thought you affect a forrow, than to have it.
Hel. I do affect a forrow, indeed, but I have it too. Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, exceffive grief the enemy to the living.
Count. (2) If the living be not enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal.
Ber. Madam, I defire your holy wishes.
Count. Be thou bleft, Bertram, and fucceed thy fa
In manners as in shape! thy blood and virtue
Laf. He cannot want the best,
That fhall attend his love.
Count. Heav'n blefs him! Farewel, Bertram.
Ber. [to Hel.] The best wishes, that can be forg'd in your thoughts, be fervants to you! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewel, pretty lady, you must hold the credit of your father. [Excunt Bertram and Lafeu.
(2) If the living be Enemy to the Grief, the Excess makes it soon mortal.] This feems very obfcure; but the Addition of a Negative perfe&ly dispels all the Mift. If the Living be not Enemy, &c. Exceffive Grief is an Enemy to the Living, fays Lafen: Yes, replies the Countefs; and if the Living be not Enemy to the Grief, [i. e. ftrive to conquer it,] the Excels makes it foon mortal. Mr. Warburton.
Hel. Oh, were that all! father;
I think not on my
And thefe great tears grace his remembrance more,
One, that goes with him I love him for his fake,
Think him a great way fool, folely a coward;
That they take place, when virtue's fteely bones
Par. Save you, fair Queen.
Hel. And, no.
Par. Are you meditating on virginity?
Hel. Ay you have fome ftain of foldier in you; let me ask you a queftion. Man is enemy to virginity, how may we barricado it against him ?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he affails; and our virginity, tho' valiant,