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(For that is her demand,) and know her business? That done, laugh well at me. King.
Now, good Lafeu, Bring in the admiration; that we with thee May spend our wonder too, or take off thine, By wondring how thou took’st it. LAF.
Nay, I'll fit you, And not be all day neither.
[Exit LAFEU. King. Thus he his special nothing ever pro
Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA.
This haste hath wings indeed.
[Erit. King. Now, fair one, does your business follow
it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occasioned it.” M. Mason.
8 Thus he his special nothing EVER PROLOGUES.] So, in Othello :
“ 'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep.” Steevens.
come your ways ;] This vulgarism is also put into the mouth of Polonius. See Hamlet, Act I. Sc. III. STEEVENS.
Why is this idiomatick phrase to be considered as a vulgarism? Lord Southampton would have used it with as little scruple as Shakspeare. It is twice used by Lafeu, a courtier, in one speech (see Act IV. Sc. V.); and by Henry the VIIIth : “Go thy ways, Kate!” The translation of the Bible has always been considered as a perfect specimen of the language of our poet's time, and there it is perpetually to be met with. For instance, Luke, x. 10. “ But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out,” &c. MALONE.
Cressid's uncle,] I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida. · Johnson.
Hel. Ay, my good lord.
Gerard de Narbon was My father; in what he did profess, well found ?.
King. I knew him.
We thank you, maiden ; But may not be so credulous of cure, When our most learned doctors leave us ; and The congregated college have concluded That labouring art can never ransome nature From her inaidable estate, I say we must not So stain our judgment, or corrupt our hope, To prostitute our past-cure malady To empiricks; or to dissever so Our great self and our credit, to esteem A senseless help, when help past sense we deem. 2 - well found.] i. e. of known, acknowledged excellence.
Steevens. - a TRIPLE eye,] i. e. a third eye. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“The triple pillar of the world, transform'd
- wherein the honour Of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,] Perhaps we may better read :
wherein the power “Of my dear father's gift stands chief in honour." Johnson.
Hel. My duty then shall pay me for my pains : I will no more enforce mine office on you; Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts A modest one, to bear me back again. King. I cannot give thee less, to be call’d grate
ful : Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I
HEL. What I can do, can do no hurt to try,
flown From simple sources; and great seas have dried, When miracles have by the greatest been denied .
5 So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
When judges have been babes.] The allusion is to St. Matthew's Gospel, xi. 25 : “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." See also 1 Cor. i. 27 : “ But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." MALONE.
6 When miracles have by the greatest been denied.) I do not see the import or connection of ihis line. As the next line stands without a correspondent rhymne, I suspect that something has been lost. Johnson.
I point the passage thus; and then I see no reason to complain of want of connection :
“When judges have been babes. Great floods, &c.
“When miracles have by the greatest been denied.”. Shakspeare, after alluding to the production of water from a rock, and the drying up of the Red Sea, says, that miracles had been denied by the GREATEST; or, in other words, that the ELDERS
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Hel. Inspired merit so by breath is barr'd:
of Israel (who just before, in reference to another text, were styled judges) had, notwithstanding these miracles, wrought for their own preservation, refused that compliance they ought to have yielded. See the book of Exodus, particularly xvii. 5, 6, &c. HENLEY.
“ So holy writ,” &c. alludes to Daniel's judging, when, young youth," the two Elders in the story of Susannah. Great foods, i. e. when Moses smote the rock in Horeb, Exod. xvii.
- great seas have dried “ When miracles have by the greatest been denied." Dr. Johnson did not see the import or connection of this line. It certainly refers to the children of Israel passing the Red Sea, when miracles had been denied, or not hearkened to, by Pharaoh.
Holt White. 7- and despair most sits.] The old copy reads-shifts. The correction was made by Mr. Pope. Malone.
8 --- myself against the level of mine aim ;] i. e. pretend to greater things than befits the mediocrity of my condition.
WARBURTON. I rather think that she means to say,—“ I am not an impostor that proclaim one thing and design another, that proclaim a cure and aim at a fraud ; I think what I speak.” Johnson.
King. Art thou so confident ? Within what
space Hop'st thou my cure ?
HEL. The greatest grace lending grace,
King. Upon thy certainty and confidence,
Tax of impudence,A strumpet's boldness, a divulged shame,Traduc'd by odious ballads ; my maiden's name Sear'd otherwise ; no worse of worst extended, With vilest torture let my life be ended ?.
9 The greatest GRACE lending Grace,] I should have thought the repetition of grace to have been superfluous, if the grace of grace had not occurred in the speech with which the tragedy of Macbeth concludes. Steevens.
The former grace in this passage, and the latter in Macbeth, evidently signify divine grace. Henley.
The repetition of words, such as we find in this passage, seems to have been reckoned a beauty in our author's time. So Spenser, in his Pastorals :
• I love thilke lasse, alas ! why do I love ?” Januarie, l. 61. Again: “ And joyes enjoyes that mortal men do misse.”
November, 1. 196. Malone. 1 - his sleepy lamp;] Old copy-her sleepy lamp. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
- a divulged shame,-
With vilest torture let my life be ended.] “I would bear (says she) the tax of impudence, which is the denotement of a strumpet; would endure a shame resulting from my failure in