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Son, on my life,
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.
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
Than I have in this ring: 'twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
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 away.[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
[Exit BERTRAM, guarded.
Enter a Gentleman
King. I am wrapped in dismal thinkings.
Who hath, for four or five removes, come short
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,
[Exeunt Gentleman, and some Attendants.
Now, justice on the doers!
Enter BERTRAM, guarded.
King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters to you,
Re-enter Gentleman, with Widow and DIANA.
Wid. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honor
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. shall marry,
That she, which marries you, must marry me,
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. Fairer prove your honor, Than in my thought it lies!
Good my lord,
King. What say'st thou to her?
Dia. He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so,
Count. He blushes, and 'tis it:
Methought you said
You saw one here in court could witness it.
Laf. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
What of him?
He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
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;
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 abed.
King. The story then goes false, you threw it him Out of a casement.
I have spoke the truth.
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 gen tlemen have.
King. Come, come, to the purpose. Did he love this woman?
Par. 'Faith, sir, he did love her; but how?
Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.
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
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? Dia. 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?
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.
I'll never tell you.
I'll put in bail, my liege. King. I think thee now some common customer.
King. Take her away.