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Fortune', the faid, was no Goddefs, that had put fuch difference betwixt their two eftates; Love, no God, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no Queen of Virgins, that would fuffer her poor Knight to be furpriz'd without rescue in the first affault, or ransom afterward. This fhe deliver'd in the most bitter touch of forrow, that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; fithence, in the lofs that may happen, it concerns you fomething to know it.
Count. You have difcharg'd this honeftly, keep it to yourself; many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung fo tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe nor mifdoubt; pray you, leave me; ftall this in your bofom, and I thank you for your honeft care; I will fpeak with you further anon.
1 Fortune, he said, was na Goddefs, &c. Love, no God, &c. complained against the Queen of Virgins, &c.] This paffage ftands thus in the old Copies :
Love, no God, that would not extend his Might only where Qualities were level, Queen of Virgins, that would fuffer her poor Knight, &c.
'Tis evident to every fenfible Reader that fomething must have flipt out here, by which the Meaning of the Context is rendered defective. The Steward is fpeaking in the very words he overheard of the young Lady;
Count. Ev'n fo it was with me, when I was young;
If we are nature's, these are ours: this thorn Doth to our rofe of youth rightly belong;
Our blood to us, this to our blood, is born
It is the fhow and feal of nature's truth,
Where love's ftrong paffion is imprest in youth;
? By our remembrances of days foregone,
3 Such were our faults, O! then we thought them none. Her eye is fick on't; I obferve her now.
Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam?
Count. Nay, a mother;
Why not a mother? when I faid a mother,
2 By our remembrances.] That is, according to our recollection. So we say, he is old by my reckoning.
3 Such were our faults, or then we thought them none. We should read,
—Of then we thought them none. A motive for pity and pardon; agreeable to fact, and in the indulgent character of the speaker. This was fent to the Oxford Editor, and he altered O, to tho". WARBURTON.
Hel. That I am not.
Count. I fay, I am you mother.
Hel. Pardon, Madam.
The count Roufillon cannot be my brother;
Count. Nor I your mother?
Hel. You are my mother, Madam, would you were. (So that my lord, your fon, were not my brother) Indeed, my mother! or were you both our mothers I care no more for, than I do for heav'n.'
So I were not his fifter 5: can't no other,
But I your daughter, he must be my brother? Count. Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-inlaw;
or were you both our mothers
I CARE no do FOR heav'n, So I were not his fifter:] The fecond line has not the leaft glimmering of fenfe. Helen, by the indulgence and invitation of her miftrefs, is encouraged to difcover the hidden cause of her grief; which is the love of her miftrefs's fon; and taking hold of her miftrefs's words, where fhe bids her call her mother, fhe unfolds the mystery and as fhe is difcovering it, emboldens herfelf by this reflexion, in the line in question, as it ought to be read in a parenthesis.,
more FOR, than I
(ICAN no mere FEAR, than I
do FEAR heav'n,) i.e. I can no more fear to truft fo indulgent a miftrefs with the fecret, than I can fearheav'n who has my vows for its happy issue.
This break, in her discovery, is exceeding pertinent and fine, Here again the Oxford Editor does his part. WARBURTON.
I do not much yield to this emendation; yet I have not been able to please myself with any thing to which even my own partiality can give the preference.
Sir Thomas Hanmer reads,
So I were not his fifter; can be
Way I your daughter, but he
But, I your daughter, he muft
be my brother.] The meaning is obfcur'd by the elliptical Idiction. Can it be no other way, but if I be your daughter he must be my brother?
God fhield, you mean it not, daughter and mother
7 Your falt tears' head; now to all fenfe 'tis grofs,
That truth fhould be fufpected; fpeak, is't fo?
Hel. Good Madam, pardon me.
Count. Love you my fon?
Hel. Do not you love him, Madam?
Count. Go not about; my love hath in't a bond, Whereof the world takes note: come, come, disclose
The state of your affection; for your paffions
Hel. Then, I confefs,
Here on my knee, before high heav'ns and you,
My friends were poor, but honeft; fo's my love
That he is lov'd of me; I follow him not
Nor would I have him, 'till I do deserve him;
I know, I love in vain: ftrive against hope;
I ftill pour in the waters of my love,
And lack not to lofe ftill; thus, Indian like;
The fun that looks upon his worshipper,
But knows of him no more. My deareft Madam;
Hel. Madam, I had.
Count. Wherefore? tell true.
8 Captious and intenible fieve.] The word captious I never found in this fenfe; yet I cannot tell what to substitute, unless carious
for rotten, which yet is a word more likely to have been mistaken by the copyers than used by the authour.