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Hel. Mine honourable mistress.
Nay, a mother;
I am thy mother? What's the matter,
—that you are my daughter? Hel.
That I am not. Count. I
am your mother. Hel.
Pardon, madam; The count Rousillon cannot be
your mother? Hel. You are my mother,madam; 'Would, you were (So that my lord, your son, were not my brother,) Indeed, my mother!—or were you both our mothers,
18 There is something exquisitely beautiful in this representation of that suffusion of colours which glimmers around the sight when eyelashes are wet with tears. The poet has described the same appearance in his Rape of Lucrece :-
. And round about her tear-distained eye
I care no more for 19, than I do for heaven,
in-law; God shield, you mean it not! daughter, and mother, So strive 21
upon your pulse: What, pale again?
thou dost not: therefore tell me true :
Good madam, pardon me!
Your pardon, noble mistress! Count. Love you my son ?
19 There is a designed ambiguity, i.e. I care as much for: I wish it equally.
can it be no other way, but if I be your daughter, he must be my brother?'
22 The old copy reads loveliness. The emendation is Theobald's. It has been proposed to read lowliness.
23 The source, the cause of your grief.
you love him, madam ?
Then, I confess,
love: Be not offended; for it hurts not him, That he is lov'd of me: I follow him not By any token of presumptuous suit; Nor would I have him, till I do deserve him; Yet never know how that desert should be. I know I love in vain, strive against hope; Yet, in this captious and intenible sieve, I still pour in the waters of my love, And lack not to lose still: thus, Indian-like, Religious in mine error, I adore The sun, that looks upon his worshipper, But knows of him no more. My dearest madam, Let not your hate encounter with my
25 Johnson is perplexed about this word captious, ' which (says he) I never found in this sense, yet I cannot tell what to substitute, unless carious for rotten.' Farmer supposes captious to be a contraction of capacious! Steevens believes that captious meant recipient! capable of receiving! and intenible incapable of holding or retaining :-he rightly explains the latter word, which is printed in the old copy intemible by mistake.
The attempts of these learned commentators to guess at the meaning of the word are not so much a matter of surprise, as that none of them ever stumbled by accident upon its obvious sense, or discovered that the old common acceptation of it was the same as the Latin Captiosus, viz. captious, DECEITFUL. Any old Dictionary would have taught them this. See Cooper's Latin Dictionary, 1584; or Cotgrave in voce Captieux; or Florio in the word Captioso. It has also escaped Dr. Nares, and the diligent editor of Johnson's Dictionary.
For loving where you do: but, if yourself,
Count. Had you not lately an intent, speak truly, To to Paris ?
Hel. Madam, I had.
Wherefore? tell true.
This was your motive For Paris, was it? speak.
Hel. My lord your son made me to think of this;
26 i.e. whose respectable conduct in age proves that you were no less virtuous when young.
27 Helena means to say—If ever you wished that the deity who presides over chastity, and the queen of amorous rites, were one and the same person, or, in other words, if ever you wished for the honest and lawful completion of your chaste desires.' Malone thinks the line should be thus read :
• Love dearly, and wish chastly, that your Dian,' &c. 28 Receipts in which greater virtues were enclosed than appeared to observation.
Else Paris, and the medicine, and the king,
But think you, Helen,
There's something hints 30, More than
father's skill, which was the greatest
Dost thou believe't?
[Exeunt. 29 Exhausted of their skill. 30 The old copy reads---in't. The emendation is Hanmer's.
31 Into for unto. A common form of expression with old writers. See Troilus and Cressida, Act iii. Sc. 3, note 2. The third folio reads unto.