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Son, on my life,

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


I am sure I saw her wear it.

Ber. You are deceived, my lord; she never saw it. In Florence was it from a casement thrown me Wrapped in a paper, which contained the name Of her that threw it; noble she was, and thought I stood ingaged; but when I had subscribed To mine own fortune, and informed her fully, I could not answer in that course of honor As she had made the overture, she ceased, In heavy satisfaction, and would never Receive the ring again.


Plutus himself,

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

Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
Whoever gave it you. Then if you know

That you are well acquainted with yourself,

Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement

You got it from her. She called 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 sent it us Upon her great disaster.


She never saw it.

King. Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine honor, 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

[Guards seize BERTRAM.

My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,

Having vainly feared too little.-Away with him ;—
We'll sift this matter further.

Ber. If you shall prove

This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy

Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,

Where yet she never was.

[Exit BERTRAM, guarded.

Enter a Gentleman.

King. I am wrapped in dismal thinkings.

Gracious sovereign,
Whether I have been to blame, or no, I know not;
Here's a petition from a Florentine,

Who hath, for four or five removes, come short
To tender it herself. I undertook it,

Vanquished 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.

King. [Reads.] Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now is the count Rousillon a widower; his vows are forfeited to me, and my honor'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; 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 snatched.


Now, justice on the doers!

Enter BERTRAM, guarded.

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?

Re-enter Gentleman, with 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 honor
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.

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 imbodied yours,

That she, which marries you, must marry me,
Either both or none.

Laf. Your reputation [To BERTRAM.] comes too short for my daughter: you are no husband for her.

Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature, Whom sometimes I have laughed with: let your highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honor, Than for to think that I would sink it here.

King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend, Till your deeds gain them.

Than in my thought it lies!


Ask him upon his oath, if he

He had not my virginity.

Fairer prove your honor,

Good my lord,

does think

King. What say'st thou to her?

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: 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' the camp,
If I be one.

This is his wife:

Methought you said

Count. He blushes, and 'tis it:
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
Conferred by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been owned and worn.
That ring's a thousand proofs.
You saw one here in court could witness it.
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.

What of him?

He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,

With all the spots o' the world taxed and deboshed;
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 yours. Ber. I think she has: certain it is, I liked her, And boarded her i'the wanton way of youth. She knew her distance, and did angle for me, Maddening 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, Subdued me to her rate. She got the ring; And I had that, which any inferior might At market-price have bought.


I must be patient;
You that turned 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.


I have it not.

King. What ring was yours, I pray you?


The same upon your finger.

Sir, much like

King. Know you this ring? This ring was his of late. Dia. And this was it I gave him, being abed.

King. The story then goes false, you threw it him Out of a casement.


I have spoke the truth.

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?


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 honorable 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. equivocal companion is this!

What an

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 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?


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?

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.


King. Take her away.


I'll never tell you.

I'll put in bail, my liege.

King. I think thee now some common customer.

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