Enter BERTRAM, guarded. King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters to

you 19, And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet you desire to


:- What woman's that? Re-enter Gentleman, with Widow, and DIANA.

Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Deriy'd from the ancient Capulet:
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
And therefore know how far I may be pitied.

Wid. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease 20, without your remedy.
King. Come hither, count; Do you know these

women? Ber. My lord, I neither can, nor will deny But that I know them: Do they charge me further ?

Dia. Why do you look so strange upon your wife?
Ber. She's none of mine, my lord.


marry, You give away this hand, and that is mine; You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine; You give away myself, which is known mine; For I by vow am so embodied yours, That she, which marries you, must marry me, Either both, or none.

Laf. 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,

If you

19 The first folio reads :

* I wonder, sir, sir; wives, &c.' The emendation is Mr. Tyrwhitt's. As in the succeeding line means as soon as.

20 Decease, die. VOL. III.



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Whom sometime I have laugh'd with : let your

highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour, Than for to think that I would sink it here. King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to

friend, Till your

deeds gain them: Fairer prove your ho

Than in my thought it lies !

Good 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 campo1

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 22, 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 23 : 21 The following passage from The False One of Beaumont and Fletcher will sufficiently elucidate this term when applied to a female :

'Tis a catalogue
Of all the gamesters in the court and city,
Which lord lies with that lady, and what gallant

Sports with that merchant's wife.' 22 i. e. value.

23 Malone remarks that the old copy reads, 'tis hit, and that in many of our old chronicles he had found hit printed instead of it. It is not in our old chronicles alone, but in all our old writers that the word may be found in this form. The acute author of the Diversions of Purley has shown the reason at p. 53 of his second volume. Pope had changed hit to his, and Henley proposed to read fit. Tooke treats poor Malone with sarcastic commiseration for taking the old orthography for a mistake of the printer.

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 24 for a most perfidious slave,
With all the spots o’the world tax'd and debosh'd 25.
Whose nature sickens, but 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 course Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine, Her insult coming with her modern grace 26, Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring; And I had that, which any inferior might At market-price have bought. Dia.

I must be patient;


24 Noted.

25 Debauch'd. Every tning that obstructs love is an occasion by which love is heightened, and to conclude her solicitation concurring with her common or ordinary grace she got the ring. It may be remarked that Shakspeare and some of his contemporaries use the word modern for trivial, common, ordinary; the reason of this has not yet been satisfactorily explained. Modernaglie,' says Florio, moderne things; also taken for young wenches.' Modern may therefore mean youthful in this instance.


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.

I have it not.
King. What ring was yours, I pray you

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.

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 woman.

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 27 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 promis'd 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 talk'd 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 28 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?

27 i. e. fellow.

28 In the French sense trop fine. So in Bacon's Apophthegms, 1625, p. 252:

-Your majesty was too fine for my Lord Burleigh.

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