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 rich 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:7

and rich validity,] Validity means value. 5 Methought, you said,] The poet has here forgot himself Diana has said no such thing. BLACKSTON E.

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

7 Whosc 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 inust 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,


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.


- 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.

Enter PAROLLES, Ber. My lord, I do confess, the ring was hers. King. You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts

you. Is this the man you speak of? Dia.

Ay, my lord. King. Tell me, sirrah, but, tell me true, I charge

you, Not fearing the displeasure of

your master, (Which, on your just proceeding, I'll keep off,) By him, and by this woman here, what know you?

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?

Par. 'Faith, sir, he did love her; But how?
King. How, I pray you?
Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a
King. How is that?
Par. He loved her, sir, and loved her not.

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.

Laf. He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.

Dia. Do you know, he promised me marriage?
Par. 'Faith, I know more than I'll speak.
King. But wilt thou not speak all thou know'st?

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


companion -] i. e, fellow.

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 fine? in thy evidence; therefore stand aside.This ring, you say, was yours? Dia.

Ay, my good lord. King. Where did you buy it? or who gave it

you? Dia. It was not given me, nor I did not buy it. King. Who lent it you? Dia.

It was not lent me neither. King. Where did you find it then? Dia.

I found it not. King. If it were yours by none of all these ways,

, How could you give it him? Dia.

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.
Dia. It might be yours, or hers, for aught I


King. Take her


I do not like her now;
To prison with her: and away with him.-
Unless thou tell’st me where thou hadst this ring,
Thou diest within this hour.

I'll never tell you.
King. Take her away.


in bail, my liege. King. I think thee now some common customer.


But thou art too fine -] Too fine, too full of finesse; too artful. A French expression--trop fine.

customer. -] i. e. a common woman.


Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you. King. Wherefore hast thou accus'd him all this

while? Dia. Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty; He knows, I am no maid, and he'll swear to't: I'll swear, I am a maid, and he knows not. Great king, I am no strumpet, by my life; I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.

[Pointing to LAPEU. 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 himself, Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him: He knows himself, my bed he hath defil'd;4 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 exorcists
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
Is't real, that I see?

No, my good lord; 'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,

He knows himself, &c.] The dialogue is too long, since the audience already knew the whole transaction; nor is there any reason for puzzling the King and playing with his passions; but it was much easier than to make a pathetical interview between Helen and her husband, her mother, and the King. Johnson.

exorcist -] Shakspeare invariably uses the word érorcist, to imply a person who can raise spirits, not in the usual sense of one that can lay them.


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