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Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever ;
Make choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.
Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly;
suit? 1 Lord. And grant it. Hel.
Thanks, sir, all the rest is mute 13. Laf. I had rather be in this choice, than throw ames-ace my
life. Hel. The honour, sir, that flames in your
eyes, Before I speak, too threateningly replies : Love make
your fortunes twenty times above Her that so wishes, and her humble love!
2 Lord. No better, if you please. Hel.
My wish receive, Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.
Laf. Do all, they deny her 15? An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of. Hel. Be not afraid [To a Lord] that I your hand
should take; I'll never do
for Blessing upon your vows! and in your bed Find fairer fortune, if you ever wed!
your own sake:
12 • My blushes (says Helen) thus whisper me-We blush that thou shouldst have the nomination of thy husband. How. ever, choose him at thy peril; but if thou be refused, let thy cheeks be for ever pale; we will never revisit them again.' Be refused means the same as thou being refused ;' or, ‘be thou refused. The white death is the paleness of death.
13 i. e. 'I have no more to say to you.' So Hamlet,' the rest is silence.'
14 The lowest chance of the dice. 15 The scene must be so regulated that Lafeu and Parolles talk at a distance, where they may see what passes between Helena and the Lords, but not hear it, so that they know not by whom the refusal is made.
Laf. These boys are boys of ice, they'll none have her: sure, they are bastards to the English; the French ne'er got them.
Hel. You are too young, too happy, and too good, To make yourself a son out of my blood.
4 Lord. Fair one, I think not so.
Laf. There's one grape yet, - I am sure, thy father drank wine.—But if thou be'st not an ass, I am a youth of fourteen; I have known thee already. Hel. I dare not say, I take you; [To BERTRAM]
but I give Me, and
my service, ever whilst I live, Into your guiding power.—This is the man. King. Why then, young Bertram, take her, she's
thy wife. Ber. My wife, my liege? I shall beseech your
Know'st thou not, Bertram,
Yes, my good lord; But never hope to know why I should marry her. King. Thou know’st she has rais’d me from my
sickly bed. Ber. But follows it, my lord, to bring me down Must answer for your raising? I know her well; She had her breeding at my father's charge: A poor physician's daughter my wife!— Disdain Rather corrupt me ever! King. 'Tis only title 16 thou disdain'st in her, the
which I can build up. Strange is it, that our bloods, Of colour, weight, and heat, pour'd all together, Would quite confound distinction, yet stand off In differences so mighty: If she be
16 i, e. the want of title.
All that is virtuous (save what thou dislik'st,
vileness is so
Ber. I cannot love her, nor will strive to do't.
strive to choose.
glad; Let the rest go.
18 Good is good, independent of any worldly distinction; and so vileness would be ever vile, did not rank, power, and fortune screen it from opprobrium.
19 i. e. the child of honour.
King. My honour's at the stake; which to defeat, I must produce my power: Here, take her hand, Proud scornful boy, unworthy this good gift; That dost in vile misprision shackle up My love, and her desert; that canst not dream, We, poizing us in her defective scale, Shall weigh thee to the beam: that wilt not know, It is in us to plant thine honour, where We please to have it grow: Check thy contempt: Obey our will, which travails in thy good : Believe not thy disdain, but presently Do thine own fortunes that obedient right. Which both thy duty owes, and our power claims; Or I will throw thee from
ever, Into the staggers 22 and the careless lapse Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate, Loosing upon thee in the name of justice, Without all terms of pity: Speak; thine answer.
Ber. Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit My fancy to your eyes: When I consider, What great creation, and what dole 23 of honour, Flies where
you bid it, I find, that she, which late Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
my care for
21 The implication or clause of the sentence (as the grammarians say) here serves for the antecedent, which danger to defeat.' So in Othello:
- She dying gave it me,
To give it her.' i. e. to my wife, though not mentioned before bat by implication.
22 The commentators here kindly inform us that the staggers is a violent disease in horses; but the word in the text has no relation, even metaphorically, to it. The reeling and unsteady course of a drunken or sick man is meant. Shakspeare has the same expression in Cymbeline, where Posthumus says :
• Whence come these staggers on me?' 23 i. e. portion.
The praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
Take her by the hand,
I take her hand.
this contráct: whose ceremony Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief, And be perform'd to-night24: the solemn feast Shall more attend upon the coming space, Expecting absent friends. As thou lov'st her, Thy love's to me religious; else, does err. [Exeunt King, BERTRAM, HELENA, Lords,
and Attendants. Laf. Do you hear, monsieur? a word with
you. Par. Your pleasure, sir ?
Laf. Your lord and master did well to make his recantation. Par. Recantation? My lord ? my
master? Laf. Ay; Is it not a language, I speak?
Par. A most harsh one; and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master?
Laf. Are you companion to the count Rousillon ? Par. To any count; to all counts; to what is man.
Laf. To what is court's man: count's master is of another style.
24 Shakspeare uses expedient and expediently in the sense of expeditiously: and brief in the sense of a short note or intimation concerning any business, and sometimes without the idea of writing. So in the last act of this play, “She told me in a sweet verbal brief,' &c. The meaning therefore appears to be. "The ceremonial part of this contract shall immediately pass,-shall follow close upon the troth now briefly plighted between the parties, and be performed this night; the solemn feast shall be delayed to a future time.