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Enter a Gentleman.

King. I am wrap'd in dismal thinkings.

Gent, Gracious sovereign,
Whether I have been to blame, or no, I know not;
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who had, for four or five 5 removes, come short
To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
Is here attending : her business looks in her
With an importing visage; and she told me,
b In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your highness with herself.


The King reads. Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, be won me. Now is the count Roufillon a widower; bis vows are forfeited to me, and my bonour's paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow him to his country for justice: Grant it me, O


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 ; 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.--

Enter Bertram, guarded. I am afeard, the life of Helen, lady,

& removes, ]-stages, come short of the time.

In a sweet verbal brief,]-In few, but well chosen terms. i and roll ;]-enter him in the toll-book, to shew my title to him. toll for this ring his knell, consider him as a dead man.


Was foully snatch'd.

Count. Now, justice on the doers !

King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters to you; And that you fly them as you swear them. " lordship, Yet you desire to marry..What woman's that?

Enter Widow, and Diana.
Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derived 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, 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.
Dia. If

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 embody'd yours,
That she, which marries you, must marry me,
Either both, or none.

Laf. Your reputation comes too short for my daughter, you are no husband for her.

[To Bertram. Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature, Whom sometimes 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, k lordship, ]-protection.

ceafe,)-decease, die. mill to friend, ]-ill-disposed to favour you.

shall marry,


'Till your

deeds gain them: Fairer prove your honour, Than in my thought it lies !

Dia. Good my lord,
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
He had not my virginity.

King. What say'st thou to her?

Ber. 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,

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.

King. Methought you said,
You saw one here in court could witness it.

Dia. I did, my lord, but loth 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.

Ber. What of him?
He's ° quoted for a most perfidious Nave,
With all the spots o’the world tax'd and 'debolh’d;

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* rich validity.]-great value.
quoted]_noted, branded.

"A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
Quoted, and fign'd, to do a deed of shame."
KING JOHN, A& IV, Sc. 2. K. John.

H h



Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth:
Am I or that, or this, for what he'll utter,
That will speak any thing?
King. She hath that ring of

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 insuit coming with her modern grace,
Subdu'd 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;
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, I 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.

Lia. I have spoke the truth.

9 all impediments in fancy's course, are motives of more fancy;]-every obstruction which love meets with, ferves but to encrease the flame.

"Her infuit coming with her modern grace,]-Her solicitation being feconded with a tolerable share of beauty. s diet me.] loath me like a prescribed regimen.


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. It is, 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.
King. But how ! how, I pray you?
Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
King. How is that?
Par. He lov'd her, sir, and lov'd 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 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 lov'd 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 promifing her marriage, and things that would derive me ill will to speak of, therefore I will not speak what I know. Hh 2


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