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King. Wberefore 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
[Erit Widow. The jeweller, that owes* the ring, is sent for, And he shall surety me. But for this lord, Who bath abus'd me, as he knows himself, Thougb yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him: He knows himself, my bed he hath defil'd; And at that time he got his wife with child: 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 exorcistt
No, my good lord;
Both, both; 0, pardon!
Ber. If she, my liege, can make me kuow this
Hel. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue,
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 poiut to point this story know, To make the even truth in pleasure How :If thou best yet a fresh uncropped flower,
[To Diana. Choose thou thy busband, 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.
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 erceeding day: Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts; Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.
• i. e. Hear us without interruption, and take our parts, that is, support and defend us.
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 be. fore of Mariana and Angelo, and, to confess the truth, scarcely merited to be heard a second time.