Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Critical Reference Edition, Vol. 2

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2.3Sc. 6

Enter Count, Lafew, and Parolles.

Ol.Laf. They say miracles are past, and we haue our Philosophicall persons, 2to make moderne and familiar things supernaturall and causelesse. Hence 3is it, that we make trifles of terrours, ensconcing our selues into seeming 4knowledge, when we should submit our selues to an vnknowne feare.


Par. Why 'tis the rarest argument of wonder, that hath shot out in 6our latter times.


Ros. And so 'tis.


Ol.Laf. To be relinquisht of the Artists.


Par. So I say both of Galen and Paracelsus.


Ol.Laf. Of all the learned and authenticke fellowes.


Par. Right so I say.


Ol.Laf. That gaue him out incureable.


Par. Why there 'tis, so say I too.


Ol.Laf. Not to be help'd.


Par. Right, as 'twere a man assur'd of a———


Ol.Laf. Vncertaine life, and sure death.


Par. Iust, you say well: so would I haue said.


Ol.Laf. I may truly say, it is a noueltie to the world.

pg 209519

Par. It is indeede if you will haue it in shewing, you shall reade it in 20what do ye call there.


Ol.Laf. A shewing of a heauenly effect in an earthly Actor.


Par. That's it, I would haue said, the verie same.

Critical Apparatus23

Ol.Laf. Why your Dolphin is not lustier: fore mee I speake in respect———


Par. Nay 'tis strange, 'tis very straunge, that is the breefe and the Critical Apparatus25tedious of it, and he's of a most facinerious spirit, that will not 26acknowledge it to be the———


Ol.Laf. Very hand of heauen.


Par. I, so I say.


Ol.Laf. In a most weake———

Critical Apparatus30

Par. And debile minister great power, [great] trancendence, which Critical Apparatus31should indeede giue vs a further vse to be made, then alone the recou'ry 32of the king, as to bee


Old Laf. Generally thankfull.

Enter King, Hellen, and attendants.

Par. I would haue said it, you say well: heere comes the King.

Critical Apparatus35

Ol.Laf. Lustique, as the Dutchman saies: Ile like a maide the Better whil'st 36I haue a tooth in my head: why he's able to leade her a Carranto.


Par. Mor du vinager, is not this Helen?

Critical Apparatus38

Ol.Laf. Fore God I thinke so.


King. Goe call before mee all the Lords in Court,

40Sit my preseruer by thy patients side,

41And with this healthfull hand whose banisht sence

42Thou hast repeal'd, a second time receyue

43The confirmation of my promis'd guift,

44Which but attends thy naming.

Critical ApparatusEnter 3 or 4 Lords.

45Faire Maide send forth thine eye, this youthfull parcell

46Of Noble Batchellors, stand at my bestowing,

47Ore whom both Soueraigne power, and fathers voice

48I haue to vse; thy franke election make,

49Thou hast power to choose, and they none to forsake.


Hel. To each of you, one faire and vertuous Mistris;

51Fall when loue please, marry to each but one.

pg 209652

Old Laf. I'de giue bay curtall, and his furniture

53My mouth no more were broken then these boyes,

54And writ as little beard.

King. Peruse them well:

55Not one of [these], but had a Noble father.

Critical Apparatus56

Hel. Gentlemen,

Critical Apparatus57Heauen hath through me, restor'd the king to health.


All. We vnderstand it, and thanke heauen for you.

Critical Apparatus59

Hel. I am a simple Maide, and therein wealthiest

60That I protest, I simply am a Maide:

61Please it your Maiestie, I haue done already:

62The blushes in my cheekes thus whisper mee,

63We blush that thou shouldst choose, but be refused;

64Let the white death sit on thy cheeke for euer,

65Wee'l nere come there againe.

King. Make choise and see,

66Who shuns thy loue, shuns all his loue in mee.


Hel. Now Dian from thy Altar do I fly,

68And to imperiall loue, that God most high

Critical Apparatus69Do my sighes streame:

Critical Apparatus[She addresses her to a Lord.]

Sir, wil you heare my suite?


1.Lo. And grant it.

Hel. Thankes sir, all the rest is mute.


Ol.Laf. I had rather be in this choise, then throw ames-ace for Critical Apparatus72my life.

Critical Apparatus73

Hel. The honor sir that flames in your faire eyes,

74Before I speake too threatningly replies:

75Loue make your fortunes twentie times aboue

76Her that so wishes, and her humble loue.


2.Lo. No better if you please.

Hel. My wish receiue,

78Which great loue grant, and so I take my leaue.


Ol.Laf. Do all they denie her? And they were sons of mine, I'de haue Critical Apparatus80them whip'd, or I would send them to'th Turke to make Eunuches of.


Hel. Be not afraid that I your hand should take,

82Ile neuer do you wrong for your owne sake:

83Blessing vpon your vowes, and in your bed

84Finde fairer fortune, if you euer wed.

V5v Link 85

Old Laf. These boyes are boyes of Ice, they'le none

haue [her]: sure they

Critical Apparatus86 are bastards to the English, the French nere got em.

pg 209787

La. You are too young, too happie, and too good

Critical Apparatus88To make your selfe a sonne out of my blood.


4.Lord. Faire one, I thinke not so.


Ol.Lord There's one grape yet, I am sure thy father drunke wine. 91But if thou be'st not an asse, I am a youth of fourteene: I haue knowne 92thee already.


Hel. I dare not say I take you, but I giue

94Me and my seruice, euer whilst I liue

95Into your guiding power: This is the man.


King. Why then young Bertram take her shee's thy wife.

Critical Apparatus97

Ber. My wife my Leige? I shal beseech your highnes

98In such a busines, giue me leaue to vse

99The helpe of mine owne eies.

King. Know'st thou not Bertram

Critical Apparatus100What shee ha's done for mee?

Ber. Yes my good Lord,

101But neuer hope to know why I should marrie her.


King. Thou know'st shee ha's rais'd me from my sickly bed.


Ber. But followes it my Lord, to bring me downe

104Must answer for your raising? I knowe her well:

105Shee had her breeding at my fathers charge:

106A poore Physitians daughter my wife? Disdaine

107Rather corrupt me euer.


King. Tis onely title thou disdainst in her, the which

109I can build vp: strange is it that our bloods

110Of colour, waight, and heat, pour'd all together,

111Would quite confound distinction: yet stands off

112In differences so mightie. If she bee

113All that is vertuous (saue what thou dislik'st)

114A poore Phisitians daughter, thou dislik'st

115Of vertue for the name: but doe not so:

116From lowest place, [when] vertuous things proceed,

Critical Apparatus117The place is dignified by th' doers deede.

118Where great additions swell's, and vertue none,

119It is a dropsied honour. Good a lone,

120Is good without a name? Vilenesse is so:

121The propertie by what [it] is, should go,

Critical Apparatus122Not by the title. Shee is young, wise, faire,

123In these, to Nature shee's immediate heire:

124And these breed honour: that is honours scorne,

125Which challenges it selfe as honours borne,

126And is not like the sire: Honours thriue,

127When rather from our acts we them deriue

128Then our fore-goers: the meere words, a slaue

129Debosh'd on euerie tombe, on euerie graue:

130A lying Trophee, and as oft is dumbe,

pg 2098131Where dust, and damn'd obliuion is the Tombe.

Critical Apparatus132Of honour'd bones indeed, what should be saide?

133If thou canst like this creature, as a maide,

134I can create the rest: Vertue, and shee

135Is her owne dower: Honour and wealth, from mee.


Ber. I cannot loue her, nor will striue to doo't.


King. Thou wrong'st thy selfe, if thou shold'st striue

138to choose.


Hel. That you are well restor'd my Lord, I'me glad:

140Let the rest go.


King. My Honor's at the stake, which to defeate

142I must produce my power. Heere, take her hand,

143Proud scornfull boy, vnworthie this good gift,

144That dost in vile misprision shackle vp

145My loue, and her desert: that canst not dreame,

146We poizing vs in her defectiue scale,

147Shall weigh thee to the beame: That wilt not know,

148It is in Vs to plant thine Honour, where

149We please to haue it grow. Checke thy contempt:

150Obey Our will, which trauailes in thy good:

151Beleeue not thy disdaine, but presentlie

152Do thine owne fortunes that obedient right

153Which both thy dutie owes, and Our power claimes,

154Or I will throw thee from my care for euer

155Into the staggers, and the carelesse lapse

156Of youth and ignorance: both my reuenge and hate

157Loosing vpon thee, in the name of iustice,

158Without all termes of pittie. Speake, thine answer.


Ber. Pardon my gracious Lord: for I submit

160My fancie to your eies, when I consider

161What great creation, and what dole of honour

162Flies where you bid it: I finde that she which late

163Was in my Nobler thoughts, most base: is now

164The praised of the King, who so ennobled,

165Is as 'twere borne so.

King. Take her by the hand,

166And tell her she is thine: to whom I promise

167A counterpoize: If not to thy estate,

168A ballance more repleat.

Ber. I take her hand.


Kin. Good fortune, and the fauour of the King

170Smile vpon this Contract: whose Ceremonie

Critical Apparatus171Shall seeme expedient on the now borne briefe,

172And be perform'd tonight: the solemne Feast

173Shall more attend vpon the coming space,

174Expecting absent friends. As thou lou'st her,

175Thy loue's to me Religious: else, do's erre.

Exeuntpg 2099Parolles and Lafew stay behind, commenting of this wedding.

Laf. Do you heare 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. I: Is it not a Language I speake?


Par. A most harsh one, and not to bee vnderstoode without bloudie 182succeeding. My Master?


Laf. Are you Companion to the Count Rosillion?


Par. To any Count, to all Counts: to what is man.


Laf. To what is Counts man: Counts maister is of another stile.


Par. You are too old sir: Let it satisfie you, you are too old.


Laf. I must tell thee sirrah, I write Man: to which title age cannot 188bring thee.


Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.


Laf. I did thinke thee for two ordinaries: to bee a prettie wise fellow, 191thou didst make tollerable vent of thy trauell, it might passe: yet the 192scarffes and the bannerets about thee, did manifold lie disswade me 193from beleeuing thee a vessell of too great a burthen. I haue now found 194thee, when I loose thee againe, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing 195but taking vp, and that th'ourt scarce worth.


Par. Hadst thou not the priuiledge of Antiquity vpon thee.


Laf. Do not plundge thy selfe to farre in anger, least thou hasten thy triall: 198which if, Lord haue mercie on thee for a hen, so my good window of 199Lettice fare thee well, thy casement I neede not open, for I look through 200thee. Giue me thy hand.


Par. My Lord, you giue me most egregious indignity.

V6r Link 202

Laf. I with all my heart, and thou art worthy of it.


Par. I haue not my Lord deseru'd it.


Laf. Yes good faith, eu'ry dramme of it, and I will not bate thee a scruple.


Par. Well, I shall be wiser.


Laf. Eu'n as soone as thou can'st, for thou hast to pull at a smacke a'th 207contrarie. If euer thou bee'st boundin thy skarfe and beaten, thou shall 208finde what it is to be proud of thy bondage, I haue a desire to holde my 209acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say in the 210default, he is a man I know.


Par. My Lord you do me most insupportable vexation.


Laf. I would it were hell paines for thy sake, and my poore doing 213eternall: for doing I am past, as I will by thee, in what motion age will 214giue me leaue.


Par. Well, thou hast a sonne shall take this disgrace off me; scuruy, Critical Apparatus216old, filthy, scuruy Lord: Well, I must be patient, there is no fettering of 217authority. Ile beate him (by my life) if I can meete him with any 218conuenience, and he were double and double a Lord. Ile haue no more Critical Apparatus219pittie of his age then I would haue of———Ile beate him, and if I could 220but meet him agen.

Enter Lafew.

Laf. Sirra, your Lord and masters married, there's newes for you: you 222haue a new Mistris.

pg 2100223

Par. I most vnfainedly beseech your Lordshippe to make some 224reseruation of your wrongs. He is my good Lord, whom I serue aboue is 225my master.


Laf. Who? God.


Par. I sir.


Laf. The deuill it is, that's thy master. Why dooest thou garter vp thy 229armes a this fashion? Dost make hose of thy sleeues? Do other seruants 230so? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine Critical Apparatus231Honor, if I were but two houres yonger, I'de beate thee: meethink'st 232thou art a generall offence, and euery man shold beate thee: I thinke 233thou wast created for men to breath themselues vpon thee.


Par. This is hard and vndeserued measure my Lord.


Laf. Go too sir, you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernell out of a 236Pomgranat, you are a vagabond, and no true traueller: you are more 237sawcie with Lordes and honourable personages, then the Commission of 238your birth and vertue giues you Heraldry. You are not worth another 239word, else I'de call you knaue. I leaue you.

ExitEnter Count Rossillion.

Par. Good, very good, it is so then: good, very good, let it be conceal'd 241awhile.


Ros. Vndone, and forfeited to cares for euer.


Par. What's the matter sweet-heart?

Critical Apparatus244

Rossill. Although before the solemne Priest I haue sworne, I will not

245bed her.


Par. What? what sweet heart?


Ros. O my Parrolles, they haue married me:

248Ile to the Tuscan warres, and neuer bed her.


Par. France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits,

250The tread of a mans foot: too'th warres.

Critical Apparatus251

Ros. There's letters from my mother: What th' import is,

252I know not yet.

Critical Apparatus253

Par. I that would be knowne: too'th warrs my boy, too'th warres:

254He weares his honor in a boxe vnseene,

255That hugges his kickie wickie heare at home,

256Spending his manlie marrow in her armes

257Which should sustaine the bound and high curuet

258Of Marses fierie steed: to other Regions,

259France is a stable, wee that dwell in't Iades,

260Therefore too'th warre.


Ros. It shall be so, Ile send her to my house,

262Acquaint my mother with my hate to her,

263And wherefore I am fled: Write to the King

264That which I durst not speake. His present gift

265Shall furnish me to those Italian fields

Critical Apparatus266Where noble fellowes strike: Warres is no strife

Critical Apparatus267To the darke house, and the [detested] wife.

pg 2101Critical Apparatus268

Par. Will this Caprichio hold in thee, art sure?


Ros. Go with me to my chamber, and aduice me.

270Ile send her straight away: To morrow,

271Ile to the warres, she to her single sorrow.


Par. Why these bals bound, ther's noise in it. Tis hard

273A yong man maried, is a man that's mard:

274Therefore away, and leaue her brauely: go,

275The King ha's done you wrong: but hush 'tis so.


Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
2.3.23 Dolphin jaggard. While this seems an intentional pun on 'Dauphin', the primary sense is that of the lively mammal: compare 'His delights| Were Dolphin-like' in Antony and Cleopatra (43.87–8).
Critical Apparatus
2.3.25 facinerious jaggard = facinorous (steevens). Rather than an intended mispronunciation (of an extremely rare word), we think this is a variant spelling. Note two comparable variant spellings in the works of Thomas Heywood: 'And magnified for high Facinerous deeds' in The English traueller (1633; STC 13315), sig. G3r, and 'For where before great Patriots, Dukes and Kings | Presented for some hie facinorious things' (which also carries a fourth syllable) in the prologue to A challenge for beautie (1636; STC 13311), sig. A3r.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.30 great trancendence allot; grear trancendence jaggard. Foul case error.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.31 made jaggard. As taylor notes, 'made' must be used elliptically here (i.e. made of it), although Shakespeare never elsewhere omits 'the required prepositional phrase'. taylor concludes that 'it thus seems possible that "of't" or "of it" has been omitted' by the compositor.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.35 Lustique jaggard; Lustick chetwinde; Lustigh capell. Following capell, we modernize as 'Lustig' (German: 'frolicsome'). There is no reason to believe Lafeu is intentionally mispronouncing the German word.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.38 Mor du vinager jaggard = Mort du vinaigre (French: 'death to vinegar'). Paroles, who is French, should deliver this phrase fluently, however nonsensical it may be. It is possibly a reference to the use of vinegar in the Crucifixion, or to the use of vinegar to cure venereal disease in the period. It is also possible that this nonsense replaces an expurgated oath, but this seems less likely because of the specificity of the nonsense.
Critical Apparatus 3 or 4 Lords jaggard = four lords (sisson). Four lords are required for the ensuing dialogue. Such a permissive stage direction likely originates in the authorial manuscript. See Textual Introduction.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.56 these taylor; those jaggard. The emendation improves the sense and supposes an easy error. taylor compares 'this youthfull parcell' 2.3.46 and 'these boyes' 2.3.54.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.57–8 Gentlemen … health capell; prose in jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.59 All. jaggard = the four lords. Alternatively Bertram, Lafeu, and Paroles could also give this response along with the four lords; the speech prefix does not specify. But it is easier to suppose that Bertram, Lafeu, and Paroles are off to one side (with Lafeu making asides) and not included in the collective reply.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.69 imperiall loue jaggard; imperiall Iove allot; impartiall Jove chetwinde
Critical Apparatus She … Lord. wilson; after 2.3.56 jaggard. There are two possible reasons for this error: either the compositor inserted marginal text incorrectly, as assumed here, or the stage direction was erroneously placed in the manuscript (a currente calamo error).
Critical Apparatus
2.3.72–3 I … life. pope; verse(?) in jaggard: throw|
Critical Apparatus
2.3.73 ames-ace jaggard = ambs-ace (the lowest score in throwing dice, two aces)
Critical Apparatus
2.3.80 And jaggard = An
Critical Apparatus
2.3.86 her allot; heere jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.88 La. jaggard = helen (chetwinde: Hel.). 'La.' could be an abbreviated form of 'Lady' (meaning Helen) or 'Lafeu', but the latter has been consistently distinguished as 'Ol[d] Laf[eu]' (or slight variations from that) up to this point in the scene. See the Textual Introduction for the principles by which this edition makes sense of the speech-prefix variation across jaggard.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.97 Why … wife. taylor; prose in jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.100–3 Know'st … bed. pope; prose in jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.117 when theobald; whence jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.122 it is allot; is is jaggard. A typesetting error.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.132 damn'd jaggard = dammed (taylor). Both readings are plausible and it may be that both are implied: 'damn'd oblivion', meaning eternal damnation in the afterlife (as represented by the tomb), and 'dammed oblivion', meaning shut up or confined within the tomb. Shakespeare uses 'damm'd' once (Cymbeline, 5.5.11), but the King's speech is a passage we attribute to Middleton in this edition—see Companion, 321–36. Middleton uses 'dammed' once elsewhere: compare the application to an enclosed space in 'the belly of a she-wolf| Is never satisfied till it be dammed up' in The Bloody Banquet (2.1.18; a scene of mixed authorship, but primarily Middleton).
Critical Apparatus
2.3.171 now borne jaggard = now-born; new-born warburton. Either 'now' or 'new' carries the meaning of 'recently [concluded]', so there is no need to emend.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.216 scuruy Lord jaggard; scabby lord collier conj. The repetition of 'scurvy' is suspicious, but it may be intended for rhetorical effect. A misreading of 'scurvy' for 'scabby' is possible, but 'urv' and 'abb' are graphically dissimilar.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.219 and jaggard = an (meaning 'if', which it can also precede, as here)
Critical Apparatus
2.3.231 meethink'st jaggard. The copy reads 'mee-think'st', but it seems likely that the word has been hyphenated only because it is broken across two lines: in two other uses of 'methinks' in jaggard there is no hyphen (1.2.53, 2.1.171).
Critical Apparatus
2.3.244–5 Although … her. rowe3; prose in jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.251–2 There's … yet. capell; prose in jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.253 I … warres: capell; prose in jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.266 Warres jaggard; war clark–wright. The plural 'warres' is used with the third person singular at 1.1.168, and compare also 'This present warres' in Othello 1.3.230.
Critical Apparatus
2.3.267 detested rowe; detected jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.3.268 Caprichio jaggard = capriccio (Italian for 'caprice' or 'whim')
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