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Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried,

Our rash faults

To the great sender turns a sour offence,
Crying, That's good that's gone.
Make trivial price of serious things we have,
Not knowing them until we know their grave:
Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust,
Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust:
Our own love, waking, cries to see what's done,
While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon, 32
Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her.
Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin:
The main consents are had; and here we'll stay
To see our widower's second marriage-day.

Count. Which better than the first, O dear
Heaven, bless!

Or, ere they meet, in me, O Nature, cesse !33
Laf. Come on, my son, in whom my house's


Must be digested, give a favour from you,
To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter,
That she may quickly come.-

[BERTRAM gives a ring to LAFEU.

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32. Our own love, waking, cries, &c. This has been called an "obscure couplet," and some editors have changed own to 'old;' which, though giving a sense, does not give the sense demanded by the context. Taking our own " here to signify 'juster,' 'more consistent with our spiritual perception,' we interpret the passage thus :-'Our juster (or more conscientious) love, waking too late to a perception of the worth of the lost object, deplores the mischief done, while unjust hate is laid asleep (or extinguished) for ever after.' "Shameful hate " we take here to express that which depreciates the lost object and disgraces ourselves.

33. Cesse! An old form of 'cease,' used here for the sake of rhyme. The two lines ending with this word, in the Folio, form the conclusion of the King's speech; but Theobald rightly assigned them to the Countess, from whom they come most characteristically.

34. The last that e'er I took her leave at court. 'The last time that ever I took leave of her at court.'

35. Stood necessitied to help. 'Stood in need of help.' There is, to our minds, a peculiarly Shakespearian style in the sentences of this speech; which, though it offends some of the sticklers for strict (that is, conventional) construction, yet has just the effect that the dramatist often produces by this kind of style in the closing scenes of some of his plays. For instance, by the expression necessitied to help,' he conveys the idea of 'necessitied to ask for help;' and thus the effect of appeal having been made is given to the sentence, naturally introducing the succeeding words, "that by this token," &c. In this brief, condensed, yet effectual way does Shakespeare work; while his commen

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I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it At her life's rate.


I am sure I saw her wear it. Ber. You are deceiv'd, my lord; she never saw it:

In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name
Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought
I stood ingag'd:" but when I had subscrib'd"
To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully
I could not answer in that course of honour
As she had made the overture, she ceas'd,
In heavy satisfaction," and would never
Receive the ring again.

tators, failing to appreciate the scope of his construction, accuse him of inefficiency. Witness Mr. Malone, who on this passage observes - "Our author here, as in many other places, seems to have forgotten in the close of the sentence how he began to construct it." How fond they are of accusing him of nodding over his productions-him whose vigilance is ever wakeful-while they perpetually record their own sleepy percep


36. From a casement thrown me, wrapf'd, &c. Here is one of Count Bertram's ready falsehoods, which he, with the fluency of an expert liar, pours forth with self-condemnatory ease. Though he did not know that the ring belonged to Helena, he knew that it was not given to him under the circumstances he describes with so much affected precision of detail; and that very throwing from a window, wrapping in paper, and nobleness of the thrower, by which he seeks to give an appearance of verisimilitude to his tale, serves to prove its untruth, and to convict himself of being altogether untrue.

37. Ingag'd. This has been explained to mean 'disengaged,' 'unengaged;' "in" having the force of 'un' here, and Shakespeare using "gaged" sometimes for 'engaged.' Nevertheless, we take "ingaged" here to mean 'pledged;' the ring being the 'gage' by which the supposed lady held Bertram to be 'pledged' to her.

38. Subscrib'd. Here used for 'submitted.'

39. In heavy satisfaction. In grieved conviction.' "Satisfaction" is here used in the sense of 'the state of being convinced;' as we say, 'Her mind was satisfied of the truth of what I said.'

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That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,40 Hath not in nature's mystery more science

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

Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas With an importing visage; and she told me,

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King. Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine 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.2. Away with


We'll sift this matter farther.

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40. The tinct and multiplying medicine. That with which the alchymists professed to transmute the baser metals into gold, and to increase the amount of the more precious ones.

41. If you know that you are well acquainted with your self. The King has been affirming his own accurate knowledge that the ring belonged to himself and then to Helena; he therefore bids Bertram, if he know himself truly, and what is due to his own dignity, confess that the ring was hers.

42. My fore-past proofs, &c. The proofs I have heretofore had-however the issue may befall-suffice to evince that my present fears are not groundless, I having groundlessly feared too little when I had cause for fear.'

43. Who hath, for four or five removes, come short to tender it herself. 'Who has, by being four or five stages in the rear of the royal progress, missed presenting it in person.' Removes are the 'stages' into which a journey is divided.

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44. In a sweet verbal brief. "Brief" is here used for 'short speech.' See Note 109, Act ii. The phraseology here is very expressive; his description of the speaking face with sparing

In a sweet verbal brief," it did concern
Your highness with herself.

King. [Reads.] Upon his many protestations to marry

me when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me.


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 for this:45 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.

Now, justice on the doers!
Re-enter BERTRAM, guarded.

King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters

to you,16

And that you fly them as you swear them lord


Yet you desire to marry.

Re-enter the gentle Astringer, with Widow and

What woman's that?
Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derived from the ancient Capulet : 48

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


Both suffer under this complaint we bring ; And both shall cease," without your remedy.

words of "the poor suppliant," shows "the gentle Astringer" to have been judiciously chosen as intercessor.

45. And toll for this. Cowell explains the legal meaning of "toll" to be 'a liberty to buy and sell within the precincts of a manor, which seems to import as much as a fair or market;' and we take the passage in the text to signify-'I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and try to find a customer for this' or 'to sell this one.'

46. I wonder, sir, since wives, &c. The first Folio repeats 'sir' instead of "since" here; and Mr. Tyrwhitt made the correction.

47. As you swear them lordship. "As" here is used for 'as soon as,' "Lordship" is used elsewhere to express marital authority,' 'conjugal dominion' (see Note 12, Act i., "Midsummer Night's Dream"); and here it signifies the protection of a husband,' guardianship as 'lord and master.' 48. Derived from the ancient Capulet. the ancient house or family of Capulet.'

'Descended from

49. Both shall cease. Both age and honour will be destroyed.'

King. Come hither, count: do you know these

Ber. My lord, I neither can nor will deny
But that I know them: do they charge me farther?
Dia. Why do you look so strange upon your
wife ?

Ber. She's none of mine, my lord.

If you shall 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. [To BERTRAM.] Your reputation comes too short for my daughter; you are no husband for her.

Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature,

Whom sometime I have laugh'd with: let your


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,

He gave it to a cominoner o' the camp,
If I be one.


He blushes, and 'tis it :52

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. 55
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.
[Exit an Attendant.
What of him?


He's quoted 56 for a most perfidious slave,
With all the spots o' the world tax'd and de-

Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth.
Am I or that or this for what he'll utter,
That will speak anything?

She hath that ring of yours.
Ber.. I think she has certain it is I lik'd her
And courted her i' the wanton way of youth:
She knew her distance, and did angle for me,

Till your deeds gain them: fairer prove your Madding my eagerness with her restraint,

Than in my thought it lies!

Good my lord,
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
He had not my consent to him.
King. What say'st thou to her?

As all impediments in fancy's course 58
Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine,
Her infinite cunning, with her modern grace,
Subdu'd me to her rate: she got the ring.

I must be patient :
You, that have turn'd off a first so noble wife,

She's impudent, my lord; May justly diet me. I pray you yet

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51. Validity. Here, and elsewhere, used by Shakespeare for value.'

52. And 'tis it. The Folio misprints 'hit' for "it" here (Steevens's correction). Pope altered it to 'his;' which alteration has been adopted by other editors. But we think that the Countess rather bears witness to its being the ring in question, than to its being her son's; since, naturally, her mind less assigns it to him who has so disgraced himself, than verifies its belonging to the house of Rousillon.

53. Of six preceding, &c. "Of" here used for 'by.' 54. Ow'd. Owned.

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55. Methought you said you saw, &c. The commentators here again accuse Shakespeare of forgetfulness: alleging that "Diana has said' no such thing." But we think it very probable that, in curtailing the play for representation, some words to that effect may have been omitted from one of her speeches, while the allusion in the present one was left; and thus the author becomes reproached for what is really the negligence of others. Moreover, in his winding-up scenes, Shakespeare sometimes has these kind of compromises with actual statement,

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allowing certain points to be understood or taken for granted, for
the sake of conciseness and brevity in explanation.
56. Quoted. Here used for noted,' 'observed,' 'remarked.'
See Note 22, Act ii., "Two Gentlemen of Verona."
57. Debosh'd. An old form of debauch'd.'
See Note 97,
Act ii. Here used for 'degraded,' 'polluted.'
58. Fancy's course. 'The course of enamoured liking :'
"fancy" being often used for 'love,' 'affection,' 'captivated

59. Her infinite cunning. The Folio misprints 'msuite
comming' for "infinite cunning." Mr. Sydney Walker made
the correction: the excellence of which is proved, not only by
its perfect consistence with the context, but by a similar Folio
error of comming' for " cunning" in "Troilus and Cressida,"
Act iii., sc. 2.
Modern" is here, and elsewhere, used by
Shakespeare for 'ordinary,' 'trivial,' 'slight.' Bertram is dis-
paraging Diana, even while he is attempting to account for her
having allured him.

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The same upon your finger.

Sir, much like thou canst say they are married; but thou art too
fine in thy evidence; therefore stand aside.—

King. Know you this ring? this ring was his This ring, you say, was yours?
of late.

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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 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 63 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 knowest? 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 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 motions, as promising her marriage, and things which would derive me ill-will to speak of; therefore I will not speak what I know. King.


Thou hast spoken all already, unless

61. By him and by this woman. "By" here used for 'of.' 62. Companion. Here used disparagingly: as 'fellow' is sometimes used in our own day. See Note 7, Act iii., "Merry Wives of Windsor."

63. Naughty. 'Good for naught,' 'worthless,' 'bad.' 64. Too fine. "Fine" is here used in the sense of 'evasive,'

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?


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?

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 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.
I'll put in bail, my liege.
King. I think thee now some common customer.
Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you,
King. Wherefore hast thou accus'd him all this

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 wanton, 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

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