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Praising what is lost,
Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him
We are reconcil'd, and the first view shall kill
And deeper than oblivion do we bury
I shall, my liege.
[Exit Gentleman King. What says he to your daughter? have you spoke?
Laf. All that he is hath reference to your highness. King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters sent me,
That set him high in fame.
He looks well on't.
the first view shall kill
All repetition:] The first interview shall put an end to all recollection of the past. Shakspeare is now hastening to the end of the play, finds his matter sufficient to fill up his remaining scenes, and therefore, as on such other occasions, contracts his dialogue and precipitates his action. Decency required that Bertram's double crime of cruelty and disobedience, joined likewise with some hypocrisy, should raise more resentment; and that though his mother might easily forgive him, his king should more pertinaciously vindicate his own authority and Helen's merit. Of all this Shakspeare could not be ignorant, but Shakspeare wanted to conclude his play. JOHNSON.
3 I am not a day of season,] That is, of uninterrupted rain; one of those wet days that usually happen about the vernal equinox.
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth,
The time is fair again.
All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time.
My high-repented blames *,
Ber. Admiringly, my liege: at first
That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away From the great compt: But love that comes too late, Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,
To the great sender turns a sour offence,
My high-repented blames,] High-repented blames, are faults repented of to the height, to the utmost.
Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her.
Count. Which better than the first, O dear heaven,
Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature cease!
Laf. Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
Necessitied to help, that by this token
I would relieve her: Had you that craft, to reave her
Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon' it
At her life's rate.
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
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.
Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought
Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement
She never saw it.
King. Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine ho
And mak'st conjectural fears to come into me,
noble she was, and thought
I stood ingag'd:] Ingaged, in the sense of uningaged, is a word of exactly the same formation as inhabitable, which is used by Shakspeare and the contemporary writers for uninhabitable.
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.
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.
Which I would fain shut out: If it should prove
Having vainly fear'd too little '.-Away with him ;—
[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.
1 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 Rousillon, in consequence of having been four or five removes behind you. MALONE.