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King.

Praising what is lost,
Makes the remembrance dear.— Well, call him

hither; -
We are reconcild, and the first view shall kill
All repetition':-Let him not ask our pardon;
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion do we bury
The incensing relicks of it: let him approach,
A stranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.
Gent.

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.

Enter BERTRAM.
Laf.

He looks well on't.
King. I am not a day of season",
For thou may'st see a sun-shine and a hail
In me at once : But to the brightest beams

9 — the first view shall kill

Au 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.

Ber.

Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth,
The time is fair again.

My high-repented blames“,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
King.

All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time.
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals ere we can effect them: You remember
The daughter of this lord ?

Ber. Admiringly, my liege: at first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue:
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour ;
Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it stol'n ;
Extended or contracted all proportions,
To a most hideous object: Thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais'd, and whom myself,
Since I have lost, have lov’d, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
King.

Well excus'd:
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,
Crying, That's good that's gone : our rash faults
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them, until we know their grave:
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust:
Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon.

* 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.
Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin :
The main consents are had; and here we'll stay
To see our widower's second marriage day.
Count. Which better than the first, О dear heaven,

bless!
Or, ere they meet, in me, 0 nature cease!

Laf. Come on, my son, in whom my house's name Must be digested, give a favour from you, To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter, That she may quickly come.—By my old beard, And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead, Was a sweet creature; such a ring as this, The last that e'er I took her leave at court, I saw upon her finger. Ber.

Hers it was not. King. Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye, While I was speaking, oft was fasten’d to't.This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen, I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood Necessitied to help, that by this token I would relieve her: Had you that craft, to reave her Of what should stead her most ? Ber.

My gracious sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never hers.
Count.

Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'a 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

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
I stood ingag'do: 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
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 ho-

nour: And mak’st conjectural fears to come into me,

6 — 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.

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 wbich 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.

TRAM.

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'
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.

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.

i 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.

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