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I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
At her life's rate.

Laf. · I am sure, I saw her wear it.

Ber. You are deceiv’d, my lord, she never saw it: In Florence was it from a casement thrown me, Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought I stood ingag’d:“ but when I had subscrib'd To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully, I could not answer in that course of honour As she had made the overture, she ceas'd, In heavy satisfaction, and would never Receive the ring again. King.

Plutus himself, That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine, Hath not in nature's mystery more science, Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's, Whoever gave it you: Then, if you know That you are well acquainted with yourself, Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement

5. In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,] Bertram still continues to have too little virtue to deserve Helen. He did not know indeed that it was Helen's ring, but he knew that he had it not from a window. JOHNSON.

6 — noble she was, and thought

I stood ingag'd:] Ingaged, in the sense of unengaged, is a word of exactly the same formation as inhabitable, which is used by Shakspeare and the contemporary writers for uninhabitable.

Malone. 7 Plutus himself,

That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,] Plutus, the grand alchemist, who knows the tincture which confers the properties of gold upon base metals, and the matter by which gold is multiplied, by which a small quantity of gold is made to communicate its qualities to a large mass of base metal. 8 Then, if you know

That you are well acquainted with yourself,

Confess 'twas hers,] The true meaning of this expression is, If you know that your faculties are so sound, as that you have the proper consciousness of your own actions, and are able to recollect and relate what you have done, tell me, &c. Johnson.

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.
Ber.

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 fore-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. Ber.

If you shall prove
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.
Gent.

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.

it, he wonnis vows are 'He stole fi

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 him 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.

DIANA CAPULET. 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.

[Exeunt 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

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. e. enter him on the toul or toll-book, to prove I came honestly by him, and ascertain my title to him.

And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet you desire to marry.—What woman's that?

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 them: Do they charge me further?

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

If you shall marry,
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 friend,

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Ask huld not my virgin nou to her? dent, my lord;

Till your deeds gain them: Fairer prove your ho

nour,
Than in my thought it lies!
Dia.

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

King. What say'st thou to her?
Ber.

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 rich validity,4
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.
· King.

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. Ber.

What of him? He's quoted for a most perfidious slave, With all the spots o’the world tax'd and debosh'd; Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth:7

*— and rich validity,] Validity means oalue.

Methought, you said, ] The poet has here forgot himself, Diana has said no such thing. BLACKSTONE. . He's quoted -] i. e. noted, or observed.

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

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