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ALL's well, that ENDS well.
A C T I.
SCENE, the Countess of Roufillon's Houfe in France.
Enter Bertram, the Countess of Roufillon, Helena, and Lafeu, all in Mourning.
N delivering my fon from me, I bury a fecond
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) whofe worthiness would ftir it up were it wanted, rather than flack it where there is fuch abundance.
(1) Whofe worthiness would ftir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.] An oppofition of terms is vifibly defign'd in this fentence; tho' the oppofition is not visible, as the terms now ftand. Wanted and Abundance are the oppofites to one another; but how is lack a contraft to fir up? The addition of a fingle letter gives it, and the very fenfe requires it. Mr. Warburton.
Count. What hope is there of his Majefty'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, (O, that bad! how fad a paffage 'tis !) whofe fkill was almost as great as his honefty; had it ftretch'd fo far, it would have made nature immortal, and death fhould have play 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 great right to be fo: Gerard de Narbon.
Laf. He was excellent, indeed, Madam'; the King very lately fpoke 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 of ?
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 Narben.
Count. His fole child, my Lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have thofe hopes of her good, that her education promifes her; difpofition the 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 fimpleness; the derives her honesty, and atchieves her good nefs.
Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her
Count. 'Tis the beft brine a maiden can feafon 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
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.
Laf. How understand we that?
Count. Be thou blest, Bertram, and fucceed thy father
'Tis an unfeafon'd courtier, good my Lord,
Laf. He cannot want the best,
Count. Heav'n blefs him! Farewel, Bertram.
Ber. [To Hel.] The best wishes, that can be forg'd
Hel. Oh, were that all!-I think not on my father;
(a) If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mortal]
Carries no favour in it, but my Bertram.
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 you, Monarch.
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, though valiant, in the defence yet is weak: unfold to us fome warlike refiftance.
Par. There is none: man, fetting down before you, will undermine you and blow you up.
Hel. Blefs our poor virginity from underminers and
blowers up! Is there no military policy, how virgins might blow up men?
Par. Virginity being blown down, man will quicklier be blown up: marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourfelves made, you lofe your city. (3) It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature, to preferve virginity. Lofs of virginity is rational increafe; and there was never virgin got, 'till virginity was first loft. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once loft, may be ten times found: by being ever kept, it is ever loft;. 'tis too cold a companion; away with't.
Hel. I will ftand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be faid in't; 'tis against the rule of nature. To fpeak on the part of virginity, is to accufe your mother; which is most infallible dif obedience. He, that hangs himself, is a virgin: virginity murders itfelf, and fhould be buried in highways out of all fanctified limit, as a defperate offendrefs against nature. Virginity breeds mites; much like a cheese; confumes itfelf to the very paring, and fo dies with feeding its own ftomach. Befides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of felf-love, which is the moft prohibited fin in the canon. Keep it not, you cannot chufe but lofe by't. Out with't; within ten years it will make itself two, which is a goodly increase,, and the principal itfelf not much. the worse.. Away
Hel. How might one do, Sir, to lose it to her own liking
Par. Let me fee. Marry, ill, to like him that ne'er it likes. 'Tis a commodity will lofe the glofs with ying. The longer kept, the lefs worth; off with't, while 'tis vendible.. Anfwer the time of requeft. Vir
[3) It is not politick in the commonwealth of nature to preferve virginity Lofs of virginity is rational increafe; and there was never virgin got, till virginity was firft left: The context feems to me rather to re quire-national increafe tho' I have not ventur'd to disturb the text. as the other reading will admit of a meaning,.