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"Why the Grecians facked Troy?
Was this King Priam's joy. "With that the fighed as the ftood, (7)
And from him I received that fupplement, which I have given to the text, and the following juftification of it. "I will firft proceed
to justify my sense and emendation, and then account for the cor"ruption. In the first place, 'tis plain, the last line should not "have been read with an interrogation: For was Helen King "Priam's joy? No, furely, fhe was not. Who then? why, the "hiftorians tell us it was Paris, who was his favourite fon. And "how natural was it, when this he (whoever fhe was,) had said, "was this the face that ruin'd Troy? to fall into a moral reflection, " and say, what a fond deed was this! Priam's misery proceeded "from him, that was his only joy. This is exactly agreeable to "the fimplicity of thofe ancient fongs: as the phrafe, For Paris "be is to their mode of locution. So far we have the genius of "the Ballad, hiftory, and the context, to make it probable. An "obfervation upon the ensuing ftansa may make it clear to demon "ftration."
I will only fubjoin, in confirmation of my friend's ingenious conjecture, that, in The Maid in the Mill by Beaumont and Fletcher, I find a fcrap of another old ballad upon the fame subject, most nearly correfponding with ours.
And here fair Paris comes,
(7) With that fhe fighed, as he flood,
And gave this fentence then;
There's yet one good in ten.]
This 2d ftanza is a joke turn'd upon the women: a confeffion that there was one good in ten. Upon which the Countefs fays, "What! "one good in ten! you corrupt the fong, firrah".-This fhews, that the fense of the fong was, one bad only in ten; or, nine good in ten: and this clears up the myftery. The 2d ftanza was certainly thus in the old ballad.
With that fhe fighed as she stood,
There's but one bad in ten.
A vifible continuation of the thought, as amended, in the latter part of the firft ftanza: and it relates to the ten fons of Priam, who all behaved themfelves well except this Paris. But why Priam's ten sons, may it not be ask'd, when universal tradition has given him
"And gave this fentence then;
Among nine bad if one be good, "There's yet one good in ten.
Count. What, one good in ten? You corrupt the fong, firrah.
Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam, which is a purifying o' th' fong: would, God would ferve the world fo all the year! we'd find no fault with the tithe-woman, if I were the parfon; one in ten, qouth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing ftar, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.
Count. You'll be gone, Sir knave, and do as I com. mand you.
Clo. That man that fhould be at a woman's com❤ mand, and yet no hurt done! tho' honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the furplis of humility over the black gown of a big heart: I am going, forfooth, the business is for Helen to come hither.
Count. Well, now.
Stew. I know, Madam, you love your gentlewoman intirely.
Count. Faith, I do; her father bequeath'd her to me; and the herfelf, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as fhe finds; there is more owing her, than is paid; and more fhall be paid her, than fhe'll demand.
Staw Madam, I was very late more near her, than, I think, the wifh'd me; alone the was, and did communicate to herself her own words to her own ears ; fhe thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any
fifty? To this I reply, that, at the time of this unfortunate part of
ftranger fenfe. Her matter was, the lov'd your fon; Fortune, fhe faid, was no goddefs, (8) that had put fuch difference betwixt their two eftates; Love, no god, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana no Queen of virgins, that would fuffer her poor Knight to be furpriz'd without rescue in the first affault, or ranfom afterward. This fhe deliver'd in the most bitter touch of forrow, that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; fithence, in the lofs that may happen, it concerns you fomething to know it.
Count. You have discharg'd this honestly, keep it to yourfelf; many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hang fo tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe nor mildoubt; pray you, leave me; ftall this in your bofom, and I thank you for your honeft care; I will speak with you further anon.
Count. Ev'n fo it was with me, when I was young; If we are nature's, these are ours: this thorn
Doth to our rofe of youth rightly belong;
Our blood to us, this to our blood, is born;
(8) Fortune, fhe faid, was no goddefs, &c. Love, no god, &c. complain'd against the Queen of virgins, &c.] This paffage ftands thus in the old copies.
Love, no god, that would not extend his might only where qualities" were level, Queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor Knight, &c. 'Tis evident to every fenfible reader that fomething must have slip'd out here, by which the meaning of the context is render'd defective. There are no traces for the words, [complain'd against the] which Itake to have been first conjecturally fupply'd by Mr. Rowe. But the form of the fentence is intirely alter'd by their infertion; and they, at best, make but a botch. The steward is speaking in the very words he overheard of the young Lady; fortune was no goddefs, the faid, for one reafon; love no god, for another;---what could the then more naturally fubjoin, than as I have amended in the text?
Diana no Queen of virgins, that would fuffer ber foor Knight to be furpriz'd without rescue, &c.
For in poetical history Diana was as well known to prefide over chaftity, as Cupid over love, or Fortune over the change or regulation of our circumftances.
It is the fhow and feal of nature's truth,
Such were our faults, or then we thought them none. Her eye is fick on't; I obferve her her, now.
Hel. What is your pleafure, Madam?
Count. Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Count. Nay, a mother;
Why not a mother? when I said a mother,
Hel. That I am not.
Count. I fay, I am your mother.
The Count Roufillon cannot be my brother;
Count. Nor I mother?
Hel. You are my mother, Madam; would you were, (So that my Lord, your fon, were not my brother) Indeed, my mother!-or were you both our mothers I care no more for, than I do for heav'n,
So I were not his fifter: can't no other,
But I your daughter, he must be my brother?
Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law;
God fhield, you mean it not, daughter and mother
That truth should be fufpected; fpeak, is't fo?
To tell me truly.
Hel. Good Madam, pardon me.
Hel. Your pardon, noble miftrefs.
Count. Love you my fon?
Hel. Do not you love him, Madam ?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond,
The myft'ry of your loveliness, and find
Your falt tears bead:]
The mystery of her lovelinef is beyond my comprehenfion: The old Countess is faying nothing ironical, nothing taunting, or in reproach, that this word fhould find a place here; which it could not, unless farcaftically employ'd, and with fome spleen. I dare warrant, the poet meant, his old Lady should fay no more than this: "I now find
the mystery of your creeping into corners, and weeping, and "pining in fecret". For this reafon I have amended the text, lonelinefs. The fteward, in the foregoing fcene, where he gives the Countess intelligence of Helen's behaviour fays
Alone he was, and did communicate to herself her own words to her
The author has ufed the word loneliness, to Lgnify a perfon's being alone, again in his Hamletal
We will beftow ourselves: read on this book ;opraw i od