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Though time seem so advérse, and means unfit.I do beseech you, whither has he gone?

Astr. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon; Whither I am going.

Hel. I do beseech you, sir, Since you are like to see the King before me, Commend the paper to his gracious hand; Which, I presume, shall render you no blame, But rather make you thank your pains for it. I will come after you, with what good speed Our means will make us means. Astr.

This I 'll do for you. Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well

thanked, Whate'er falls more.- We must to horse again : Go, go, provide.

[Exeunt.

Scene 11.-Rousillon. The inner Court of the

Countess's Palace.

Enter a Gentle Astringer.
This man may help me to his majesty's ear,
If he would spend his power.-God save you, sir.

Astr. And you.
Hel. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Astr. I have been sometimes there.

IIel. I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness :
And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.
Astr. What's

your

will?
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the King;
And aid me with that store of power you have,
To come into his presence.

Astr. The King 's not here.
Hel.

Not here, sir?
Astr.

Not, indeed :
He hence removed last night, and with more haste
Than is his use.

Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains !
Hel. All's well that ends well, yet;

Enter Clown and PAROLLES. Par. Good Monsieur Lavatch, give my lord Lafeu this letter. I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.

Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Pr'y thee, allow the wind.

Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, sir : I spake but by a metaphor.

Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will

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Enter Lafeu. Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat (but not a musk-cat), that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal. Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort, and leave him to your lordship.

[Exit Clown. Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.

Laf. And what would you have me to do? 't is too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her? There's a quart d' écu for you: let the justices make you and fortune friends; I am for other business.

Par. I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.

Laf. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't; save your word.

Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.

Laf. You beg more than one word, then.-Cox' my passion! give me your hand : how does

Was made much poorer by it: but your son,
As mad in folly, lacked the sense to know
Her estimation home.

Count. ”T is past, my liege :
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i’ the blaze of youth ;
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O'erbears it, and burns on.

King. My honoured lady, I have forgiven and forgotten all; Though my revenges were higlı bent upon him, And watched the time to shoot. Laf

This I must say, But first I beg my pardon,- the young lord Did to his majesty, his mother, and his lady, Offence of mighty note; but to himself The greatest wrong of all: he lost a wife Whose beauty did astonish the survey Of richest eyes; whose words all ears took captive; Whose dear perfection hearts that scorned to serve Humbly called mistress.

K'ing. Praising what is lost Makes the remembrance dear.- Well, call him

hither : We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill All repetition.--Let him not ask our pardon : The nature of his great offence is dead, And deeper than oblivion do we bury The incensing relics of it: let him approachi, A stranger, no offender; and inform him So 't is our will he should. Gent. I shall, my liege.

[Exit Gentleman. 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 sent me That set him high in fame.

your drum?

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Laf. Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.

Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.

Laf. Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil ? one brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound.] The King's coming, I know by his trumpets.Sirralı, inquire further after me: I had talk of you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat: go to, follow.

Par. I praise God for you. [Exeunt.

Enter BERTRAM. Laf. He looks well on 't.

King. I am not a day of season, For thou mayst see a sunshine 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'st decrees The inaudible and noiseless foot of time Steals, ere we can effect them. You remember The daughter of this lord ?

SCENE III.-The same. A Room in the Countess's

Palace.

Flourish. Enter King, Countess, Lafev, Lords,

Gentlemen, Guards, fc. King. We lost a jewel of her, and our esteem

Ber. Admiringly, my liege: at first
I stuck

my
choice

upon her, ere my heart
Durst make too bold a herald of my tongue:
Where the impression of mine eye infixing,
Contempt his scornful perspective did lend me,
Which warped the line of every other favour;
Scorned a fair colour, or expressed it stol'n ;
Extended or contracted all proportions,
To a most hideous object. Thence it came,
That she wliom all men praised, and whom myself
Since I have lost have loved, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.

King. Well excused : That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away From the great compt. But love that comes too late, Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried, To the great sender turns a sour 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 liate 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

heaven, bless! Or ere they meet, in me, O nature, cease !

Laf. Come on, my son, in whom my house's

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 engaged: but when I had subscribed
To mine own fortune, and informed her fully
I could not answer in that course of honour
As she had made the overture, she ceased,
In heavy satisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.

King. Plutus limself,
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
Hath not in nature's mystery more science
Than I have in this ring : ’t was mine, 't was

Helen's, Whoever gave it you. Then, if you know That you are well acquainted with yourself, Confess 't was hers, and by what rough enforce

ment 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.

Ber. She never saw it.
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,-- 't will 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 forepast 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 the Astringer.
King. I am wrapped in dismal thinkings.

Astr. 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.

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,
And every hair that's on 't, Helen that's dead
Was a sweet creature ! such a ring as this,
The last that e'er I took her leave at court,
I saw upon her finger.

Ber. Ilers it was not.

King. Now, pray you let me see it; for mine eye, While I was speaking, oft was fastened to it.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 hers.

Count. Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and she reckoned it
At her life's rate.

Laf. I am sure I saw her wear it.
Ber. You are deceived, my lord, she never saw it:

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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 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 : 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 the Astringer and some Attendants. I am afeard the life of Helen, lady, Was foully snatched. Count. Now, justice on the doers !

Enter Bertram, guarded. King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters

to

yoll, And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet you desire to marry.—What woman 's that?

Re-enter the Astringer, 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 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.

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. 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, Whoin sometime I have laughed with : let your

King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill

to friend, Till 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 sayst 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 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.

Count. He blushes, and 't is it :
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
Conferred by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been owed and worn. This is his wife :
That ring 's a thousand proofs.

King. Methought you said
You saw one liere 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.

Ber. 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 anything?
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,
Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
As all impediments in fancy's course

re motives 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.

Dia. 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.

Ber. 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

highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour Than for to think that I would sink it here.

of late.

If you

Dia. And this was it I gave him, being abed. King. If it were yours by none of all these King. The story then goes false, you tlırew it him

ways, Out of a casement.

How could you give it him? Dia. I have spoke the truth.

Dia. I never gave it him.
Ber. My lord, I do confess the ring was hers. Laf. This woman's an easy glove, my lord ;

she
goes

off and on at pleasure.
Enter Parolles.

King. This ring was mine; I gave it his first wife. King. You boggle shrewdly; every feather Dia. It might be yours or hers, for aught I starts you.—

know. Is this the man you speak of?

King. Take her away, I do not like her now; Dia. Ay, my lord.

To prison with her: and away with him.King. Tell me, sirrah, but tell me true, I Unless thou tell'st me where thou hadst this ring, charge you,

Thou diest within this hour. Not fearing the displeasure of your master

Dia. I'll never tell you. (Which on your just proceeding I 'll keep off), King. Take her away. By him and by this woman here what know you? Dia. I'll put in bail, my liege.

Par. So please your majesty, my master hath King. I think thee now some common customer. been an honourable gentleman : tricks he hath Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 't was you. had in him, which gentlemen have.

King. Wherefore hast thou accused him all King. Come, come, to the purpose : did he

this while ? love this woman?

Dia. Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty: Par. 'Faith, sir, he did love her: but how? He knows I am no maid, and he 'll swear to't: King. How, I pray you?

I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not. Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman Great King, I am no strumpet, by my life; loves a woman.

I am either maid, or else this old man's wife. King. How is that?

[Pointing to Lareu. Par. He loved her, sir, and loved her not. King. She does abuse our ears; to prison with King. As thou art a knave and no knave.

her. What an equivocal companion is this !

Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.–Stay, royal Par. I am a poor man, and at your majesty's

(Exit Widow. command.

The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for, Laf. He's a good drum, my lord, but a And he shall surety me. But for this lord, naughty orator.

Who hath abused me, as he knows himself, Dia. Do you know he promised me marriage? Though yet he never harmed me, here I quit him: Par. 'Faith, I know more than I 'll speak. He knows himself my bed he hath defiled; King. But wilt thou not speak all thou knowest? And at that time he got his wife with child:

Pur. Yes, so please your majesty: I did go Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick; between them, as I said ; but more than that, So there's my riddle,–

,-one that's dead is quick: he loved her,- for indeed he was mad for her, And now behold the meaning. and talked of Satan, and of limbo, and of furies,

Re-enter Widow, with Helena. and I know not what: yet I was in that credit with them at that time that I knew of their King. Is there no exorcist going to bed; and of other motions, as promising Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes ? her marriage, and things that would derive me Is't real that I see? ill-will to speak of; therefore I will not speak

Hel. No, my good lord : what I know.

"Tis but the shadow of a wife you see ; King. Thou hast spoken all already, unless The name, and not the thing. thou canst say they are married. But thou art Ber. Both, both, O pardon! too fine in thy evidence; therefore stand aside.- Hel. O, my good lord, when I was like this maid, This ring, you say, was yours?

I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring, Dia. Ay, my good lord.

And look you, here's your letter: this it says: King. Where did you buy it, or who gave it you? “ When from my finger you can get this ring, Dia. It was not given me, nor I did not buy it. And are by me with child," &c.—This is done : King. Who lent it you?

Will you be mine, now you are doubly won? Dia, It was not lent me, neither.

Ber. If she, my liege, can make me know this King. Where did you find it, then ?

clearly, Dia. I found it not.

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

sir;

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