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canst say they are married : But thou art too fine in thy evidence;' therefore stand aside.-

9 This ring, you say, was yours? Dia.

Ay, my good lord. King. Where did you buy it? or who gave



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;



But thou art too fine in thy evidence;) Too fine, toe full of finesse ; too artful. A French expression>trop fine.

So, in Sir Henry Wotton's celebrated Parallel: “We may rate this one secret, as it was finely carried, at 40001. in present money.” Malone.

So, in a very scarce book, entitled A Courtlie Controversie of Cupid's Cautels : conteyning fiue Tragicall Histories, 8c. Translated out of French, 8c. by H. W. (Henry Wotton, j 4to. 1578: “ Woulde God, (sayd he,) I were to deale with a man, that I might recover my losse by fine force: but sith my controversie is agaynst a woman, it muste be wonne by loue and favoure.” p. 51. Again, p. 277: "—as a butterflie flickering from floure to floure, if it be caught by a childe that finely followeth it,” &c.


To prison with her: and away with him.-
Unless thou tellst me where thou had'st this ring,
Thou diest within this hour.

I'll never tell

you. King. Take her away. DIA.

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

while ? 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 strumpet, 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

her. Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.--Stay, royal

[Exit Widow. The jeweller, that owes the ring, is sent for, And he shall surety me.

But for this lord, Who hath abus'd me, as he knows himself, Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him : He knows himself, my bed he hath defild; And at that time he got his wife with child :




customer-] i.e. a common woman. So, in Othello :

“ I marry her !-what?- -a customer!STEEVENS, He knows himself, &c.] The dialogue is too long, since the audience already knew the whole transaction; nor is there any reason for puzzling the King and playing with his passions ; but it was much easier than to make a pathetical interview between Helen and her husband, her mother, and the King.


Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick; So there's my riddle, One, that's dead, is quick: And now behold the meaning.

Re-enter Widow, with HELENA.



Is there no exorcist 3
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes;
Is't real, that I see?

No, my good lord ;
'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
The name, and not the thing.

Both, both ; 0, pardon !

3-exorcist- ] This word is used, not very properly, for enchanter. Johnson.

Shakspeare invariably uses the word exorcist, to imply a person who can raise spirits, not in the usual sense of one that can lay them. So, Ligarius, in Julius Cæsar, says

6. Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur'd up

“ My mortified spirit." And in The Second Part of Henry VI. where Bolingbroke is about to raise a spirit, he asks Eleanor“ Will your ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?

M. Mason. Such was the common acceptation of the word in our author's time. So, Minsheu, in his Dict. 1617: " An Exorcist, or Conjurer.”—So also,“ To conjure or exorcise a spirit.”

The difference between a Conjurer, a Witch, and an Inchanter, according to that writer, is as follows:

“ The Conjurer seemeth by praiers and invocations of God's powerfull names, to compell the Devill to say or doe what he commandeth him. The Witch dealeth rather by a friendly and voluntarie conference or agreement between him or her and the Divell or Familiar, to have his or her turne served, in lieu or stead of blood or other gift offered unto him, especially of his or her soule:-And both these differ from Inchanters or Sorcerers, because the former two have personal conference with the Divell, and the other meddles but with medicines and ceremonial formes of words called charmes, without apparition." MALONE.

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HEL. O, my good lord, when I was like this maid, I found you wond'rous kind. There is your ring, And, look you, here's your letter; This it says, When from my finger you can get this ring, And are* by me with child, &c.—This is done: Will

you be mine, now you are doubly won? BER. If she, my liege, can make me know this

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

HEL. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue, Deadly divorce step between me and you ! O, my dear mother, do I see you living ?

LAF. Mine eyes smell onions, I shall weep anon: -Good Tom Drum, [To PAROLLES.] lend me a handkerchief: So, I thank thee; wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee: Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy, ones.

King. Let us from point to point this story know, To make the even truth in pleasure flow:If thou beʼst yet a fresh uncropped flower,

[To DIANA. Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower; For I can guess, that, by the honest aid, Thou kept'st a wife herself, thyself a maid. Of that, and all the progress, more and less, Resolvedly more leisure shall express : All yet seems well; and, if it end so meet, The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.


* And are -] The old copy reads-And is. Mr. Rowe made the emendation, MALONE.

Advancing. The king's a beggar, now the play is done:* All is well ended, if this suit be won, That you express content; which we will pay, With strife to please you, day exceeding day: Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts; Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.


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* The king's a beggar, now the play is done:] Though these lines are sufficiently intelligible in their obvious sense, yet perhaps there is some allusion to the old tale of The King and the Beggar, which was the subject of a ballad, and, as it should seem from the following lines in King Richard II. of some popular interlude also:

“ Our scene is altered from a serious thing,
“ And now chang'd to the beggar and the king."

MALONE. * Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts ;] The meaning is : Grant us then your patience ; hear us without interruption. And take our parts; that is, support and defend

JOHNSON. * This play has many delightful scenes, though not sufficiently probable, and some happy characters, though not new, nor produced by any deep knowledge of human nature. Parolles is a boaster and a coward, such as has always been the sport of the stage, but perhaps never raised more laughter or contempt than in the hands of Shakspeare.

I cannot reconcile my heart to Bertram ; a man noble without generosity, and young without truth ; who marries Helen as a coward, and leaves her as a profligate : when she is dead by his unkindness, sneaks home to a second marriage, is accused by a woman whom he has wronged, defends himself by falsehood, and is dismissed to happiness.

The story of Bertram and Diana had been told before of Mariana and Angelo, and, to confess the truth, scarcely merited to be heard a second time. JOHNSON.


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