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Lar. 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 creature,
King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend,
Good my lord,
KING. What say'st thou to her ?
She's impudent, my lord,
Dia. He does me wrong, my lord ; if I were so,
COUNT. He blushes, and 't is it:
Methought, you said,
DIA. I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
LAF. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
What of him?
She hath that ring of yours.
Her infinite cunning with her modern grace,–] The old copy reads, “Her insuite comming,” &c. The extremely happy emendation in the text was first suggested by the late Mr. Sidney Walker, and has since been found among the annotations of Mr. Collier's “ Old Corrector."
Subdued me to her rate; she got the ring,
I must be patient;
I have it not.
Sir, much like
KING. The story then goes false, you threw it him
I have spoke the truth.
KING. You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts you.
Ay, my lord.
PAR. So please your majesty, my master hath been an honourable gentleman; tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.
KING. Come, come, to the purpose: did he love this woman?
KING. As thou art a knave, and no knave:-what an equivocal companion is this?
PAR. I am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.
PAR. Yes, so please your majesty; I did go between them, as I said; but more than that, he loved her-for, indeed, he was mad for her, and talked of Satan, and of limbo, and of furies, and I know not what: yet I was in that credit with them at that time, that I knew of their going to bed, and of other motions, as, promising her marriage, and things that would derive me ill-will to speak of, therefore I will not speak what I know.
KING. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they
are married. But thou art too finea in thy evidence; therefore stand
Ay, my good lord.
It was not lent me neither.
I found it not.
I never gave it him. LAF. This woman's an easy glove, my lord; she goes off and on at pleasure.
KING. This ring was mine, I gave it his first wife.
KING. Take her away, I do not like her now;
I'll never tell you.
I'll put in bail, my liege.
Dia. Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty;
King. She does abuse our ears; to prison with her.
Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.–Stay, royal sir; [Exit Widow. The jeweller, that owes the ring, is sent for, And he shall surety me. But for this lord, Who hath abus'd me, as he knows hintself, Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him : He knows himself my bed he hath defild; And at that time he got his wife with child: Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick; So there's my riddle, One that's dead is quick, And now behold the meaning..
Re-enter Widow, with HELENA.
Is there no exorcist
. Too fine in thy evidence ;] Trop fine, too full of finesse.
b Customer.] Customer was a term applied to a loose woman. Thus, in " Othello," Act IV. Sc. 1:
“I marry her! what? a customer.”
No, my good lord ;
Both, both; 0, pardon !
BER. If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly,
HEL. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue,
LAF. Mine eves smell onions, I shall weep anon: Good Tom Drum, [To PAROLLES.] lend me a handkerchief: so, I thank thee; wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee. Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy ones.
KING. Let us from point to point this story know,
[Flourish. (Advancing.) The king's a beggar, now the play is done : All is well ended, if this suit be won, That you express content; which we will pay, With strife to please you, day exceeding day: Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts, Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.
(*) First folio, is.
(1) SCENE I.- To whom I am now in ward.] The heirs of great fortunes, from the feudal ages down to as late as the middle of the seventeenth century, were, both in this country and in parts of France, under the wardship of the sovereign.
(2) SCENE III.-Clown.] “The practice of retaining fools,” Douce observes, “can be traced in very remote times throughout almost all civilized and even among some barbarous nations. With respect to the antiquity of this custom in our own country, there is reason to suppose that it existed even during the period of our Saxon history; but we are quite certain of the fact in the reign of William the Conqueror. * * * The accounts of the household expenses of our sovereigns contain many payments and rewards to fools both foreign and domestic, the motives for which do not appear, but might perhaps have been some witty speech or comic action that had pleased the donors. Some of these payments are annual gifts at Christmas. Dr.
the court jester, whom, he says, some count a necessary evil, remarks, in his usual quaint manner, that it is an office which none but he that hath wit can perform, and none but he that wants it will perform. * * *
" The sort of entertainment that fools were expected to afford, may be collected, in great variety, from our old plays, and particularly from those of Shakespeare ; but perhaps no better idea can be formed of their general mode of conduct than from the following passage in a singular tract by Lodge, entitled Wit's Miserie, 1599, 4to :'Immoderate and disordinate joy became incorporate in the bodie of a jeaster; this fellow in person is comely, in apparell courtly, but in behaviour a very ape, and no man; his studie is to coine bitter jeasts, or to shew antique motions, or to sing baudie sonnets and ballads : give him a little wine in his head, he is continually flearing and making of mouthes : he laughs intemperately at every little occasion, and dances about the house, leaps over tables, out-skips mens heads, trips up his companions heeles, burns sack with a candle, and hath all the feats of a lord of misrule in the countrie feed him in his humor, you shall have his heart, in meere kindness he will hug you in his armes, kisse you on the cheeke, and rapping out an horrible oth, crie Gods soule Tum, I love you, you know my poore heart, come to my chamber for a pipe of tabacco, there lives not a man in this world that I more honor. In these ceremonies you shall know his courting, and it is a speciall mark of him at the table, he sits and makes faces: keep not this fellow company, for in jugling with him, your wardropes shall be wasted, your credits crackt, your crownes consumed, and time (the most precious riches of the world) utterly lost. This is the picture of a real hireling or artificial fool.'” The reader desirous of further information on the duties of the domestic jester will find them pleasantly illustrated in a curious and valuable tract, called Armin's “Nest of Ninnies," 1608; of which a reprint has been made, from the only known copy, for the Shakespeare Society.
(3) SCENE III.-A prophet I, madam.] “It is a supposition, which has run through all ages and people, that natural fools have something in them of divinity; on which account they were esteemed sacred. Travellers tell us in what esteem the Turks now hold them; nor had they less honour paid them heretofore in France, as appears from the old word benet, for a natural fool." - WARBURTON.
(4) SCENE III.- One good woiman in ten, madam; which is a purifying o' the song.]