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Th’incensing relics of it. Let him approach,
A stranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.
Gent. I fhall, my Licge.
[Exit. King. What says he to your daughter ? Have you
spoke? Laf. All that he is, hath reference to your Highness. King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters
That set him high in fame.
SCENE IV. Enter Bertram.
Laf. He looks well on't.
King. I'm not a day of season,
For thou may'st see a sun shine and a hail
In me at once; but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth,
The time is fair again.
Ber. My high-repented blames,
Dear Sovereign, pardon to me.
King. All is whole,
Not one word more of the consumed time,
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick it decrees
Th’inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals, ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this Lord ?
Ber. Admiringly, my Liege. At first
her, ere my
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue :
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
Scorch'd a fair colour, or express’d it ftol’n ;
Extended or contracted all proportions
To a most hideous object : thence it came,
That she whom all men prais'd, and whom myself,
Since I have lost, have lov’d, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
King. Well excus’d:
That thou do'st love her, strikes some scores away
From the great 'compt; but love that comes too late,
Like a remorseful pardon flowly carried,
To the great sender turns a four offence,
Crying, that's good that's gone : our rash faults
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.
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, О dear Heav'n Or, ere they meet, in me, O Nature, cease ! [bless, Laf. Come on, my son, in whom
house's name Must be digested : give a favour from you To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter, That she may quickly come. By my old beard,
[Bertram gives a ring. And every hair that's on’t, Helen, that's dead, Was a sweet creature : such a ring as this, The last time e'er she took her leave at court, I saw upon her finger.
Ber. Her's it was not. King. Now, pray you, let me see it: for mine eye, While I was speaking, oft was fasten’d to’t. This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen, I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood Necessitied to help, that by this token I would relieve her. Had you that craft to reave her Of what should stead her most?
Ber. My gracious Sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never her’s.
Count. Son, on my life,
I've seen her wear it, and she reckonid it
At her life's rate.
Laf. I'm sure I faw 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 engag'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, the ceas'd
In heavy satisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.
King. Plutus himself,
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
Hath not in nature's mystery more fcience,
Than I have in this ring. 'Twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
Whoever gave it you : then if you
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
Confess 'twas her's, and by what rough inforcement
You got it from her. She call’d the saints to surety,
That she would never put it from her finger,
Unless she gave it to yourself in bed,
(Where you have never come), or fent it us
Upon her great disaster.
Ber. She never saw it.
King. Thou speak’st it falfely, as I love mine ho-
And mak'st conject'ral fears to come into me,
Which I would fain shut out.
If it should prove
That thou art so inhuman—'twill not prove fo-
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 feize Bertran.
My forepast proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Having vainly fear'd too little. Away with him,
We'll lift this matter further.
This ring was ever her's, you shall as easy
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Where yet she never was. [Exit Bertram guarded.
SCENE V. Enter a Gentleman.
King. I'm wrapp'd in difmal thinkings.
Gent, Gracious Sovereign,
Whether I've been to blame or no, I know not :
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath fome four or five 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,
In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your Highness with herself.
The King reads a letter. Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now is the Count Roufillon 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 this country for justice: grant it me, o King, 'in you it bejt lies; otherwise a seducer flourishes, and a poor maid is una done.
DIANA CAPULET. Laf. I will buy me a fon-in-law in a fair, and toll for him : for this, I'll none of him. King. The heavens have thought well on thee, La
To bring forth this discov'ry. Seek these suitors :
Go speedily, and bring again the Count,
I am afraid the life of Helen (Lady)
Was foully snatch'd.
Count. Now justice on the doers !
King. I wonder, Sir, wives are so monstrous to
And that you fly them as you swear to them;
desire to wed. 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 shall marry,
You give away this hand, and that is mine;
You give away heav'n's vows, and those are mine;
You give away myself, which is known mine;
For I by vow am so embodied your's,
That she which marries you, muit 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 desp’rate creature, Whom fometime I have laugh'd with : let your High
ness Lay á more noble thought upon mine honour, Than for to think that I would fink it here. King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to
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 fay'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 fo,
He might have bought me at a common price.
Do not believe him. O, behold this ring,
Whose high respect and rich validity
Did lack a parallel : yet for all that,
He gave it to a commoner o'th' camp,
If I be one.
Count. He blushes, and 'tis his ; Of fix preceding ancestors, that gem