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You got it from her: she call'd the saints to surety,
That she would never put it from her finger,
Unless she gave it to yourself in bed,
(Where you have never come,) or sent it us
Upon her great disaster.

She never saw it.
King. Thou speak’st it falsely, as I love mine

honour; And mak’st conjectural fears to come into me, Which I would fain shut out: If it should

prove That thou art so inhuman,—'twill not prove so;And yet I know not :—thou didst hate her deadly, And she is dead ; which nothing, but to close Her eyes myself, could win me to believe, More than to see this ring.–Take him away.

[Guards seize BERTRAM.
My forc-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Having vainly fear’d too little.? --Away with him ;-
We'll sift this matter further.


This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Where yet she never was. [Exit Bertram, guarded.

Enter a Gentleman.
King. I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.

Gracious sovereign,
Whether I have been to blame, or no, I know not ;
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath, for four or five removes, come short

9 My fore-past proofs, &c.] The proofs which I have already had are sufficient to show that my fears were not vain and irrational. I have rather been hitherto more easy than I ought, and have unreasonably had too little fear. Johnson. Who hath, for four or five removes

, come short, &c.] Who hath missed the opportunity of presenting it in person to your majesty, either at Marseilles, or on the road from thence to Rou


To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
Is here attending: her business looks in her
With an importing visage; and she told me,
In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your highness with herself.

King. [Reads.] Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now is the count Rousillon a widower; his vows are forfeited to me, and my honour's paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow himn to his country for justice : Grant it me, O king ; in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer flourishes, and a poor maid is undone.


Laf. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll him :for this, I'll none of him. King. The heavens have thought well on thee,

Lafeu, To bring forth this discovery.-Seek these suitors :Go, speedily, and bring again the count.

[Eveunt Gentleman, and some Attendants. I am afeard, the life of Helen, lady, Was foully snatch'd. Count.

Now, justice on the doers ! Enter Bertram, guarded. King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters to And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet you desire to marry.- What woman's that?

you, sillon, in consequence of having been four or five removes behind you. MALONE.

* I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll him :) i. e. I'll buy me a son-in-law as they buy a horse in a fair ; toul him, i. him on the toul or toll-book, to prove I came honestly by him, and ascertain my title to him.

e. enter

Re-enter Gentleman, with Widow, and Diana.

Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derived from the ancient Capulet;
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
And therefore know how far I may be pitied.

Wid. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease, without your remedy.
King. Come hither, count; Do you know these

women ? Ber. My lord, I neither can, nor will deny But that I know thein : Do they charge me further

Diu. Why do you look so strange upon your wife ?
Ber. She's none of mine, my lord.


You give away this hand, and that is mine;
You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
You give away myself, which is known mine;
For I by vow am so embodied

yours, That she, which marries you, must marry me, Either both or none.

Laf. Your reputation [To BERTRAM.] comes too short for my daughter, you are no husband for her. Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate crea

ture, Whom sometime I have laugh'd with: let your

highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour, Than for to think that I would sink it here. King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to


- shall cease, ) i. e, decease, die.

Till your deeds gain them : Fairer prove your ho

Than in my thought it lies !

Good my lord,
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
He had not my virginity.

King. What say’st thou to her?

She's impudent, my lord ; And was a common gamester to the camp:

Dia. He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so,
He might have bought me at a common price :
Do not believe him : 0, behold this ring,
Whose high respect, and i ich validity,
Did lack a parallel ; yet, for all that,
He gave it to a commoner o' the camp,
If I be one.

Count. He blushes, and 'tis it:
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been ow'd and worn. This is his wife ;
That ring's a thousand proofs.

Methought, you said, You saw one here in court could witness it.

Dia. I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
So bad an instrument; his name's Parolles.

Laf. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
King. Find him, and bring him hither.

What of him?
He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
With all the spots o'the world tax'd and deboshid;
Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth :

and rich validity,] Validity means value. s Methought, you said,] The poet has here forgot himself, Diana has said no such thing. BlackstoNE.

6 He's quoted -] i. e. noted, or observed.

? Whose nature sickens, but' to speak a truth :) i. e. only to speak a truth.

Am I or that, or this, for what he'll utter,
That will speak any thing?

She hath that ring of yours.
Ber. I think, she has : certain it is, I lik’d her,
And boarded her i’the wanton way of youth:
She knew her distance, and did angle for me,
Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
As all impediments in fancy's courses
Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine,
Her insuit coming with her modern grace,
Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring ;
And I had that, which any inferior might
At market-price have bought.

I must be patient; You, that turn’d off a first so noble wife, May justly diet me. I pray you yet, (Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband,) Send for your ring, I will return it home, And give me mine again. Ber.

I have it not. King. What ring was yours, I pray you? Dia.

Sir, much like The same upon your finger. King. Know you this ring? this ring was his of

late. Dia. And this was it I gave him, being a-bed.

King. The story then goes false, you threw it him Out of a casement.

Dia. I have spoke the truth.

8 — all impediments in fancy's course, &c.] Every thing that obstructs love is an occasion by which love is heightened. And, to conclude, her solicitation concurring with her fashionable appearance,

she got the ring. I am not certain that I have attained the true meaning of the word modern, which, perhaps, signifies rather meanly pretty. JOHNSON.

9 May justly diet me.] May justly make me fast, by depriving me (as Desdemona says) of the rites for which I love you.

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