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Parolles, a parafitical follower of Bertram; a coward, but vain, and a great pretender to valour. Several young French Lords, that ferve 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 avidow of Florence.
Dianna, daughter to the widow.
} Neighbours, and friends to the widow.
Lords attending on the King; Officers, Soldiers, &c.
SCENE lies partly in France; and, partly in Tuscany.
ALL's well, that ENDS well.
SCENE, the Countess of Roufillon's
Enter Bertram, the Countess of Roufillon, Helena, and Lafeu, all in Mourning.
N delivering my fon from me, I bury a fecond hufband.
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 worthinefs would ftir it up were it wanted, rather than flack it where there is fuch abundance.
(1) whofe worthiness would fir it up where it wanted, rather than lack it where there is fuch abundance.] An oppofition of terms is vifibly defign'd in this fentence; tho' the oppofition is not vifible, 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. A 3
Count. What hope is there of his Majefty's amendment?
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 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 skilful 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 Narbon.
Count. His fole child, my Lord, and bequeathed to my overlooking. I have thofe hopes of her good, that her education promifes 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; the derives her honefty, and atchieves her goodness.
Laf. Your commendations, Madam, get from her
Count. 'Tis the best 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 excefs makes it foon mortal.
Ber. Madam, I defire your holy wishes,
Count. Be thou bleft, Bertram, and fucceed thy father
'Tis an unfeafon'd courtier, good my Lord, Advise him.
Laf. He cannot want the best,
That fhall attend his love.
Count. Heav'n bless him! Farewel, Bertram.
[Exit Countefi. Ber. [To Hel.] The beft wishes, that can be forg'd in your thoughts, be fervants to you: be comfortable to my mother, your Miftrefs, and make much of her. Laf. Farewel, pretty Lady, you must hold the credit of your father. [Exeunt Ber. and Laf. Hel. Oh, were that all!-I think not on my father; And these great tears grace his remembrance more, Than those I fhed for him. What was he like? I have forgot him. My imagination
(2) If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it foon mertal.] This feems very obfcure; but the addition of a negative perfectly difpels all the mift. If the living be not enemy, &c. Exceffive grief is an enemy to the living, fays Lofeu: Yes, replies the Countess; and if the living be not enemy to the grief, [i, e, Atrive to conquer it,] the excess makes it foon mortal. Mr. Warburton.
Carries no favour in it, but my Bertram's.
Who comes here?
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
Cold wisdom waiting on fuperfluous folly.
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