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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 know.
King. Take her away, 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. Dia.
I'll never tell
you. King. Take her away. Dia.
I'll put in bail, my liege. King. I think thee now some common customer29. Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas
you. King. Wherefore hast thou accused 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 LAFEU. King. She does abuse our ears; to prison with her. Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.–Stay, royal
[Exit Widow. The jeweller that owes 30 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 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.
29 i. e. common woman, with whom any one may be familiar.
Re-enter Widow, with HELENA. King.
Is there no exorcist 31
No, my good lord;
Both, both: 0, pardon! Hel. O, my good lord, when I was like this maid, I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring, And, look
you, here's your letter: This it says, When from my finger you can get this ring, And are by me with child, &c.—This is done: Will you be mine, now you are doubly won ? Ber. If she, my liege, can make me know this
clearly, I'll love her dearly; ever, ever dearly.
Hel. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue, Deadly divorce step between me and you! 0, my dear mother, do I see you living ?
Laf. Mine eyes 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, 31 Thus, in Julius Cæsar, Ligarius says:
• Thou like an exorcist hast conjur'd up
My mortified spirit.' Exorcist and conjurer were synonymous in Shakspeare's time. The great poet has been accused of using this word erroneously in a sense peculiar to himself, but the dictionaries of his time show that it was the universal acceptation of the word. Thus Florio in his Italian Dictionary, ed. 1598. • Essorcista, a conjurer, an exorcist:' — Essorcismi, exorcismes, conjurations, incantations, spels ;' and so throughout: this definition is not peculiar to Florio, all the dictionaries have it.
336 ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. ACT V. To make the even truth in pleasure flow :If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower,
[To DIANA. Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower; For I can guess, that, by thy honest aid, Thou kept'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.Of that, and all the progress, more and less, Resolvedly more leisure shall express; All yet seems well; and, if it end so meet, The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.
[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 32; Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.
[Exeunt. 32 i. e. hear us without interruption, and take our parts, i. e. support and defend us.
This play has many delightful scenes, though not sufficiently probable, and some happy characters, though not new, nor produced by any deep knowledge of human nature. Parolles is a boaster and a coward, such as has always been the sport of the stage, but perhaps never raised more laughter or contempt than in the hands of Shakspeare.
I cannot reconcile my heart to Bertram ; a man noble without generosity, and young without truth; who marries Helen as a coward, and leaves her as a profligate : when she is dead by his unkindness, sneaks home to a second marriage, is accused by a woman whom he has wronged, defends himself by falsehood, and is dismissed to happiness.
The story of Bertram and Diana had been told before of Mariana and Angelo, and, to confess the truth, scarcely merited to be heard a second time.