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Flourish. Enter King, Countess, Lafeu, Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, &c.

King. We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem Was made much poorer by it: but your son,

As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Her estimation home.


"Tis 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.


My honour'd lady,

I have forgiven and forgotten all;

Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to shoot.

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 scorn'd to serve,
Humbly call'd mistress.


Praising what is lost,

Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him


We are reconcil'd, 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 we do bury
The incensing relicks of it: let him approach,
A stranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.


I shall, my liege.

[Exit Gentleman.

King. What says he to your daughter? have you


Laf. All that he is hath reference to your high


King. Then shall we have a match. I have letters

sent me,

That set him high in fame.


Enter Bertram.

He looks well on't.

King. I am not a day of season,

For thou may'st see a sun-shine 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.


My high-repented blames,

Dear sovereign pardon to me.


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?


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 warp'd the line of every other favour;
Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it stol'n;
Extended or contracted all proportions,
To a most hideous object: Thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais'd, and whom my-

Since I have lost, have lov'd, was in mine eye

The dust that did offend it.


Well excus'd:

That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away From the great compt: But love, that comes too


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 hate 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, O dear heaven, bless!

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

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


Hers it was not.

King. Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye, While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd to't.— 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?


Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,

The ring was never her's.


My gracious sovereign,

Son, on my life,

I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it

At her life's rate.


I am sure, I saw her wear it. Ber. You are deceiv'd, my lord, she never saw it: In Florence was it from a casement thrown me, Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain'd the name Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought I stood ingag'd; but when I had subscrib'd To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully,

I could not answer in that course of honour
As she had made the overture, she ceas'd,
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 call'd 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 ho


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 fear'd too little.-Away with him;—
We'll sift this matter further.


If you shall prove

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