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LAF. I may truly say, it is a novelty to the world.
Par. It is, indeed: if you will have it in showing, you shall read it in,-_What do you call there'?—
LAF. A showing of a heavenly effect in an earthly actor'.
Par. That's it I would have said ; the very same.
LAF. Why, your dolphin is not lustier? : 'fore me I speak in respect
Par. Nay, 'tis strange, 'tis very strange, that is the brief and the tedious of it; and he is of a most
9 Par. It is, indeed : if you will have it in showing, &c.] We should read, I think : “ It is, indeed, if you will have it a showing -you shall read it in what do you call there—," TYRWHITT.
Does not, if you will have it in showing, signify in a demonstration or statement of the case? Henley.
*A showing of a heavenly effect, &c.] The title of some pamphlet here ridiculed. WARBURTON.
2 Why, your DOLPHIN is not lustier :] By dolphin is meant the dauphin, the heir apparent, and the hope of the crown of France. His title is so translated in all the old books.
STEEVENS. What Mr. Steevens observes is certainly true ; and yet the additional word your induces me to think that by dolphin in the passage before us the fish so called was meant. Thus, in Antony and Cleopatra :
" The element he liv'd in.” Lafeu, who is an old courtier, if he had meant the king's son, would surely have said —" the dolphin.” I use the old spelling.
MALONE. In the colloquial language of Shakspeare's time, your was frequently employed as it is in this passage. “ So, in Hamlet, the Grave-digger observes, that “ your water is a sore decayer of your whorson dead body.” Again, in As You Like It: " Your if is the only peace-maker.” STEEVENS.
I did not require to be told that your was thus employed in familiar language ; but my doubt was, if an old courtier would use such familiarity when speaking of a king's son. Be that as it may, my other reason for my explanation that Shakspeare has. alluded to the gambols of the dolphin remains untouched.
facinorous spirit, that will not acknowledge it to be the
LAF. Very hand of heaven.
Par. And debile minister, great power, great transcendence : which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made, than alone the recovery of the king 4, as to be-
LAF. Generally thankful.
Enter King, HELENA, and Attendants. Par. I would have said it ; you say well: Here comes the king.
Laf. Lustick, as the Dutchman says 5 : I'll like a
3 — FACINOROUS spirit,] This word is used in Heywood's English Traveller, 1653 :
“And magnified for high facinorous deeds." Facinorous is wicked. The old copy spells the word facinerious ; but as Parolles is not designed for a verbal blunderer, I have adhered to the common spelling. STEEVENS.
1 - which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made, &c.] I believe Parolles has again usurped words and sense to which he has no right: and I read this passage thus :
“ Laf. In a most weak and debile minister, great power, great transcendence; which should, indeed, give us a further use to be made than the 'mere recovery of the king.
“ Par. As to be
When the parts are written out for players, the names of the characters which they are to represent are never set down ; but only the last words of the preceding speech which belongs to their partner in the scene. If the plays of Shakspeare were printed (as there is reason to suspect) from these piece-meal transcripts, how easily may the mistake be accounted for, which Dr. Johnson has judiciously strove to remedy? STEEVENS.
s Lustick, as the Dutchman says :) Lustigh is the Dutch word for lusty, chearful, pleasant. It is used in Hans Beer-pot's invisible Comedy, 1618 :
- - can walk a mile or two “ As lustique as a boor—,"
maid the better, whilst I have a tooth in my head : Why, he's able to lead her a coranto.
PAR. Mort du Vinaigre! Is not this Helen ?
[Exit an Attendant.
Enter several Lords. Fair maid, send forth thine eye : this youthful parcel Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing, O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice I have to use : thy frank election make; Thou hast power to choose, and they none to for
sake. Hel. To each of you one fair and virtuous mis
tress Fall, when love please !-marry, to each, but one?!
Again, in The Witches of Lancashire, by Heywood and Broome, 1634 :
“What all lustick, all frolicksome!”. The burden also of one of our ancient medleys is
“Hey Lusticke.” STEEVENS. In the narrative of the cruelties committed by the Dutch at Amboyna, in 1622, it is said, that after a night spent in prayer, &c. by some of the prisoners, “ the Dutch that guarded them offered them wine, bidding them drink lustick, and drive away the sorrow, according to the custom of their own nation.” Reed.
o O'er whom both sovereign power and FATHER's voice ] They were his wards as well as his subjects. HENLEY.
9 - marry, to each, BUT ONE !] I cannot understand this passage in any other sense, than as a ludicrous exclamation, in consequence of Helena's wish of one fair and virtuous mistress to each of the lords. If that be so, it cannot belong to Helena; and might, properly enough, be given to Parolles. TYRWHITT.
Tyrwhitt's observations on this passage are not conceived with
LAF. I'd give bay Curtal, and his furniture, My mouth no more were broken than these boys', And writ as little beard. King.
Peruse them well : Not one of those, but had a noble father.
Hel. Gentlemen, Heaven hath, through me, restor'd the king to
health. All. We understand it, and thank heaven for
you. HEL. I am a simple maid; and therein wealthiest, That, I protest, I simply am a maid :Please it your majesty, I have done already : The blushes in my cheeks thus whisper me, We blush, that thou should'st choose ; but, be refus'd, Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever; We'll ne'er come there again'.
his usual sagacity. He mistakes the import of the words but one, which does not mean only one, but except one.
Helena wishes a fair and virtuous mistress to each of the young lords who were present, one only excepted; and the person excepted is Bertram, whose mistress she hoped she herself should be ; and she makes the exception out of modesty : for otherwise the description of a fair and virtuous mistress would have extended to herself. M. Mason.
8 — bay Curtal,] i. e. a bay, docked horse. STEEVENS.
9 My mouth no more were BROKEN-] A broken mouth is a mouth which has lost part of its teeth. JOHNSON. * We blush, that thou should'st choose; but, be refus’d,
Let the WHITE DEATH, &c.] In the original copy, these lines are pointed thus :
“ We blush that thou should'st choose, but be refus'd ;
“Let the white death sit on thy cheek for ever,” &c. This punctuation has been adopted in all the subsequent editions. The present regulation of the text appears to me to afford a much clearer sense.“ My blushes (says Helen), thus whisper me. We blush that thou should'st have the nomination of thy husband. However, choose him at thy peril. But, if thou be refused, let thy cheeks be for ever pale ; we will never revisit them
The blushes, which are here personified, could not be supposed to know that Helena would be refused, as, according to the forKing.
Make choice; and, see, Who shuns thy love, shuns all his love in me.
Hel. Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly;
1 LORD. And grant it.
Thanks, sir; all the rest is mute?.
2 LORD. No better, if you please.
.. My wish receive, Which great love grant! and so I take my leave.
LAF. Do all they deny hero ? An they were sons of mine, I'd have them whipped ; or I would send them to the Turk, to make eunuchs of.
mer punctuation, they appear to do ; and, even if the poet had meant this, he would surely have written“ and be refused,” not “ — but be refused.”
Be refus'd means the same as—"thou being refused,”-ôr, “be thou refused.” MALONE.
The white death is the chlorosis. Johnson.
The pestilence that ravaged England in the reign of Edward III. was called “the black death." STEEVENS.
2 - all the REST IS MUTE.] i. e. I have no more to say to you. So, Hamlet : “ — the rest is silence." STEEVENS.
3 – ames-ace-1 i. e. the lowest chance of the dice. So, in The Ordinary, by Cartwright : “ — may I at my last stake, &c. throw ames-aces thrice together.” Steevens.
4 Laf. Do all they deny her?] None of them have yet denied her, or deny her afterwards, but Bertram. 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. JOHNSON.