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In me at once: But to the brightest beams
My high-repented blames7
All is whole;
Ber. Admiringly, my liege: at first
upon her, ere my heart
Well excus'd :
? Faults repented of to the utmost.
Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
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 courto, 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 fortune ever stood Necessitied to help, that by this token 10 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,
8 This obscure couplet seems to mean that. Our love awaking to the worth of the lost object too late laments : our shameful hate or dislike having slept out the period when our fault was remediable.'
9 • The last time that ever I took leave of her at court.'
-I bade her, &c.—that by this token,' &c. but Shakspeare uses I bade her for I told her.
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
I am sure, I saw her wear it.
Plutus himself, That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine 14, Hath not in nature's mystery more science, Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's, Whoever gave it
you know That you are well acquainted with yourself 15, 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,
you: Then if
11 Johnson remarks that Bertram still continues to have too little virtue to deserve Helen. He did not know it was Helen's ring, but he knew that he had it not from a window.
Ingag'd, i. e. pledged to her, having received her pledge. Johnson reads engaged, and explains it— When she saw me receive the ring, she thought me engaged to her. I cannot think that unengaged is intended, we have no instance of the use of ingaged in that sense.
13 Subscrib'd, i. e. submitted. See Troilus and Cressida, Act ii. Sc. 3, note 14.
14 The philosopher's stone. Plutus, the great alchymist, who knows the secrets of the elixir and philosopher's stone, by which the alchymists pretended that base metals might be transmuted into gold.
15 Then if you have the proper consciousness of your own actions, confess, &c.
(Where you have never come), or sent it us
She never saw it.
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 16.-Away with him ;We'll sift this matter further. Ber.
prove This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence, Where yet she never was.
[Erit BERTRAM, guarded.
Enter a Gentleman.
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 17, come short To tender it herself. I undertook it, Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
16 The proofs which I have already had are sufficient to show that my fears were not vain and irrational. I have unreasonably feared too little.
17 Removes are journeys or post-stages; she had not been able to overtake the king on the road.
Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
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 18 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 !
18 The second folio reads :
:-'I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for him : for this, I'll none of him.' I prefer the reading of the first folio, as in the text. The allusion is to the custom of paying toll for the liberty of selling in a fair, and means, ‘I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and sell this one; pay toll for the liberty of selling him.' So in Hudibras :
a roan gelding,
And in the public market tolld for.' There were two statutes to regulate the tolling of horses in fairs. Tolling out is a mistaken conception of Malone's. The passage from Camden's Remaines, tolling him out of the faire by a traine, means, “inticing him out of the fair by a device or stratagem.'