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King of France.
servants to the countess of Rousillon
Countess of Rousillon, mother to Bertran.
neighbours and friends to the widow.
Lords, attending on the king ; Officers, Soldiers, Loc. French
SCENE–Partly in France, and partly in Tuscany.
* The persons were first enumerated by Rowe.
+ I suppose we should write this game-Paroles ; i. e, a creature made up of mpy words. STEEVENS.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
ACT I. SCENE I.--Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter BERTRAM, the Countess of Rousillon, Helena, and
Ber. And I, in going, madam, weep o'er my father's death anew: but I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward,' evermore in subjection.
Laf. You shall find of the king a husband, madam ;-you, sir, a father : He that so generally is at all times good, must of necessity hold his virtue to you ; whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is such abundance.
Count. What hope is there of his majesty's amendment ?
Laf. He hath abandoned his physicians, madam ; under whose practices he hath persecuted time with hope : and finds no other advantage in the process but only the losing of hope by time.
Count. This young gentlewoman had a father, (0, that had ! how sad a passage 'tis !) whose skill was almost as great as his honesty ; had it stretched so far, would have made nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I think, it would be the death of the king's disease.
Laf. How called you the man you speak of, madam ?
Count. He was fame'is, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so : Gerard de Narbon.
Laf. He was excellent, indeed, madam ; the king very lately spoke of him, admiringly, and mourningly: he was
(1) Under his particular care, as my guardian, till I come to age. It is now almost forgotten in England, that the heirs of great fortunes were the king's wards. Whether the same practice prevailed in France, it is of no great use to inquire, for Shakespeare gives to all nations the manners of England. JOHNSON. Vol. IV.
skilful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.'
Ber. What is it, my good lord, the king languishes of ?
Laf. I would, it were not notorious.-Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon ?
Count. His sole child, my lord ; and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have those hopes of her good, that her education promises : her dispositions she inherits, which make 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 simpleness; she derives her honesty, and achieves her goodness.
Laf. Your commendations, madam, get from her tears.
Count. 'Tis the best brine a maiden can season her praise in. The remembrance of her father never approaches her heart, but the tyranny of her sorrows takes all livelihood from her cheek.-No more of this, Helena, go to, no more ; lest it be rather thought you affect a Jorrow, than to have.
Hel. I do affect a sorrow, indeed, but I have it too.'
Laf. Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead, excessive grief the enemy to the living
Count. If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal.
(2) By virtuous qualities are meant qualities of good breeding and erudition; on this account it is, she says, that, in an ill mind, thes - virtuous qualities are vir. tues and traitors too :' i. e. the advantages of education enable an ill mind to go further ip wickedness tbab it could have done without them. WARBURTON.
Her virtues are the better for their simpleness, that is, her excellencies are the better because they are artless and open, without fraud, without design. The learned commentator has well explained virtues, but has got, I think, reached the force of the word traitors, and therefore has not shown the full extent of Shakespeare's masterly observation. Virtues in an unclean mind are virtues and trailors 100. Estimable and useful qualities, joined with an evil disposition, give that evil disposition power over others, wbo, by admiring the virtue, are betrayed to the malevolence. The Tattler, mentioning the sharpers of his time, observes, that some of them are men of such elegance and knowledge, that a young man who falls into their way is betrayed as much by his judgment as his passions,
JOHNSON (3) Helena bas, I believe, a meaning here, that she does not wish should be understood by the countess. Her affected sorrow was for the death of her father; her real grief for the lowness of her situation, which she feared would for ever be a bar lo her union with her beloved Bertram. Her own words afterwards fully support this interpretation :
-I think not on my father ;
-What was he like?
« I am undone." MALONE. The line should be particularly attended to, as it tends to explain some subsequent passages which have hitherto been Disunderstood. I. MÁSOX.
Ber. Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
Count. Be thou blest, Bertram! and succeed thy father
Laf. He cannot want the best That shall attend his love.
Count. Heaven bless him !--Farewell, Bertram. [Exit.
Ber. [To Hel.] The best wishes tha can be forged in your thoughts, be servants to you ! Be comfortable to my mother, your mistress, and make much of her.
Laf. Farewell, pretty lady: You must hold the credit of your father.
[Exeunt Ber. and LaF. Hel. O, were that all !--I think not on my father ; And these great tears grace his remembrance more, Than those I shed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him : my imagination Carries no favour in it, but Bertram's. I am undone ; there is no living, none, If Bertram be away. It were all one, That I should love a bright particular star, And think to wed it, he is so above me : In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not in his sphere. Th’ ambition in my love thus plagues itself: The hind, that would be mated by the lion, Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague, To see him every hour; to sit and draw His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls, In our heart's table ; heart, too capable Of every line and trick of his sweet favour :
(4] Trick is an expression taken from draning, and is so explamed in King John, Act I. sc. i. The present instance explains itself:
Hi arched broms, &c. STEEVENS.
to sit and dratu
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Hel. Ay. You have some stain of soldier in you ;o let me ask you a question : Man is enemy to virginity ; how may we barricado it against him?
Par. Keep him out.
Hel. But he assails; and our virginity, though valiant in the defence, yet is weak: unfold to us some warlike resistance.
Par. There is none ; man, sitting down before you, will undermine you, and blow you up.
Hel. Bless 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 yourselves made, you lose your city. It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature, to preserve virginity. Loss of virginity is rational increase ; and there was nev-er virgin got, till virginity was first lost.. That, you were made of, is metal to make virgins. Virginity, by being once lost, may be ten times found : by being ever kept, it is ever lost: 'tis too cold a companion; away with it.
Hel. I will stand for't a little, though therefore I die a virgin.
Par. There's little can be said in't ; 'tis against the  Cold for paked; as superfluous for over-clotbed. This makes the propriets of the antithesis, WARBURTON.
(6) Stain for colour. Parolles was in red, as appears from his being afterwards Stain rather for what we now bay tincture, some qualities, at least superficial,
called red-tail'd humble-bee.
of a snldier.