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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


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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


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

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

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

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

I'll put 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 know's 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 Lafey. King. She does abuse our ears; to prison with

her. Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.–Stay, royal

[Erit 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 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 quiek ; And now behold the meaning.


Re-enter Widow, with HELENA. King.

Is there no exorcists Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes ? Is't real, that I see? Hel.

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

4 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.

sexorcist - ] Shakspeare invariably uses the word erora cist, to imply a person who can raise spirits, not in the usual genste of one that can lay them.

The name, and not the thing.

Both, both ; 0, pardon ! Hel. O, my good lord, when I was like this maid, I found you wond'rous kind. There is your ring, And, look


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

I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.

Hel. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue,
Deadly divorce step between me and you !
O, my dear mother, do I see you living ?

Laf. Mine eyes smellonions, 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, To make the even truth in pleasure flow :If thou best yet a fresh uncropped flower,

[To Diana. Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower ; For I can guess, that, by the 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.


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 ; Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.


Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts ;] The meaning is : Grant us then your patience : hear us without interruption. And take our parts ; that is, support and defend us.

7 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. Johnson.

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