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Welcome shall they be; And all the honours, that can fly from us, Shall on them settle. You know your places well; When better fall, for your avails they fell : To-morrow to the field. [Flourish. Exeunt.
Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter Countess and Clown. Count. It hath happened all as I would have had it, save, that he comes not along with her.
Clo. By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very melancholy man.
Count. By what observance, I pray you ?
Czo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and sing; mend the ruff, and sing ®; ask questions, and sing; pick his teeth, and sing: I know a man that had this trick of melancholy, sold a goodly manor for a
Count. Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.
[Opening a letter.
& Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and sing; mend the RUFF, and sing ;] The tops of the boots, in our author's time, turned down, and hung loosely over the leg. The folding is what the Clown means by the ruff Ben Jonson calls it ruffle; and perhaps it should be so here. “ Not having leisure to put off
my silver spurs, one of the rowels catch'd hold of the ruffle of my boot.” 'Every Man out of his Humour, Act IV. Sc. Ví.
WHALLEY. To this fashion Bishop Earle alludes in his Characters, 1638, sign. E 10: “ He has learnt to ruffle his face from his boote ; and takes great delight in his walk to heare his spurs gingle.”
MALONE. Sold a goodly manor for a song.) The old copy reads"hold a goodly." The emendation was made in the third folio.
MALONE. VOL. X.
Clo. I have no mind to Isbel, since I was at court : our old ling and our Isbels o' the country are nothing like your old ling and your Isbels o' the court: the brains of my Cupid's knocked out; and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.
Count. What have we here ?
Count. [Reads.] I have sent you a daughter-inlaw : she hath recovered the king, and undone me. I have wedded her, not bedded her; and sworn to make the not eternal. You shall hear, I am run away; know it, before the report come. If there be breadth enough in the world, I will hold a long distance. My duty to you.
Your unfortunate son,
BERTRAN This is not well, rash and unbridled boy, To fly the favours of so good a king; To pluck his indignation on thy head, By the misprizing of a maid too virtuous For the contempt of empire.
Re-enter Clown. Clo. O madam, yonder is heavy news within, between two soldiers and my young lady.
Count. What is the matter?
Clo. Nay, there is some comfort in the news, some comfort; your son will not be killed so soon as I thought he would.
Count. Why should he be kill'd ?
Clo. So say I, madam, if he run away, as I hear he does: the danger is in standing to't; that's the loss of men, though it be the getting of children.
i Clo. E'en that ---] Old copy-In that. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. MALONE,
Here they come, will tell you more: for my part, I only hear, your son was run away. [Exit Clown.
Enter HELENA and two Gentlemen.
2 Gen. Madam, he's gone to serve the duke of
Florence: We met him thitherward; from thence we came, And, after some despatch in hand at court, Thither we bend again. HEL. Look on his letter, madam; here's my
passport. [Reads.] When thou canst get the ring upon my fingers, which never shall come off, and show
2 Can WOMAN me -] i. e. affect me suddenly and deeply, as my sex are usually affected. STEEVENS. So, in Henry V.:
“ And all the woman came into my eyes.” MALONE. 3 When thou canst get the ring upon my
finger.} i. e. When thou canst get the ring, which is on my finger, into thy possession. The Oxford editor, who took it the other way, to signify, when thou canst get it on upon my finger, very sagaciously alters it to -"When thou canst get the ring from my finger.”
WARBURTON, I think Dr. Warburton's explanation sufficient; but I once read it thus : “When thou canst get the ring upon thy finger, which never shall come off mine.' Johnson.
Dr. Warburton's explanation is confirmed incontestably by these lines in the fifth Act, in which Helena again repeats the substance of this letter :
me a child begotten of thy body, that I am father to, then call me husband: but in such a then I write a never.
This is a dreadful sentence.
Count. Brought you this letter, gentlemen ? 1 Gen.
Ay, madam; And, for the contents' sake, are sorry for our pains.
Count. I pr’ythee, lady, have a better cheer; If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine, Thou robb'st me of a moiety *: He was my son ; But I do wash his name out of my blood, And thou art all my child.—Towards Florence is
he ? 2 Gen. Ay, madam. Count.
And to be a soldier ? 2 Gen. Such is his noble purpose : and, believe't, The duke will lay upon him all the honour That good convenience claims. COUNT.
Return you thither? 1 Gen. Ay, madam, with the swiftest wing of
speed. Hel. [Reads.] Till I have no wife, I have
nothing in France. 'Tis bitter.
Count. Find you that there?
letter; this it says:
MALONE. 4 If thou engrossest all the griefs are thine, Thou robb’st me of a moiety :) We should certainly read :
all the griefs as thine," instead of—" are thine.” M. Mason.
This sentiment is elliptically expressed, but, I believe, means no more than—“ If thou keepest all thy sorrows to thyself;" i. e. “ all the griefs that are thine,” &c. STEEVENS.
Ay, madam. I Gen. 'Tis but the boldness of his hand, haply, Which his heart was not consenting to. Count. Nothing in France, until he have no
wife! There's nothing here, that is too good for him, But only she; and she deserves a lord, That twenty such rude boys might tend upon, And call her hourly, mistress. Who was with him ?
1 Gen. A servant only, and a gentleman Which I have some time known. Count.
Parolles, was't not ? 1 Gen. Ay, my good lady, he. Count. A very tainted fellow, and full of wick
edness. My son corrupts a well-derived nature With his inducement. 1 Gen.
Indeed, good lady,
Count. You are welcome, gentlemen.
We serve you, madam,
a deal of that, too much,
Which holds him much to have.] That is, his vices stand him in stead. Helen had before delivered this thought in all the beauty of expression:
- I know him a notorious liar ;
“ Look bleak in the cold wind-," WARBURTON. Mr. Heath thinks that the meaning is, this fellow hath a deal too much of that which alone can hold or judge that he has much in him ; i. e. folly and ignorance. Malone.