« ZurückWeiter »
his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me, I had
talk of you last night; tho’ you are a fool and a
knave, you shall eat; go to, follow.
Par. I praise God for you.
Flourish. Enter King, Countess, La feu, the two French
Lords, with Attendants.
TE lost a jewel of her, our esteem
Was made much poorer by it; but your
As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know
Her estimation home.
Count. 'Tis past, my Liege;
And I beseech your Majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i'th' blade of youth,
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O’erbears it, and burns on.
King. My honour'd Lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd 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 loft 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.
King: Praising what is lost,
Makes the remembrance dear. Well call him
We're 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
Th' incensing relics of it. Let him approach,
A ftranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should,
Gent. I shall, my Liege.
King. What says he to your daughter? Have you
Laf. All, that heis, hath reference to your Highness.
King. Then shall we have a match.' I have letters
fent me, That fet him high in fame.
Laf. L E looks well on't.
11 King. I'm not a day of season,
For thou may'st see a fun-fhine and a hail
In me at once; but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; fo ftand 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
Th' inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals, ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this Lord ?
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 enfixing,
Contempt his fcornful perspective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour;
Scorch'd a fair colour, or express'd it stoll'n;
Extended or contracted all proportions
To a most hideous obje&: thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais'd, and whom myself,
Since I have lost, have lov’d, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.
King. Well excus'd:
That thou dost love her, strikes some scores away
From the great 'compt; but love, that comes too late
Like a remorseful pardon flowly carried,
To the great sender turns a sore offence,
Crying, that's good that is 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 duft:
Our own love, waking, cries to see what's done,
While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon.
Be this sweet Helen's kneil; 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 heav'n,
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 iny daughter, That she may quickly come. By my old beard, And every hair that's on't, Heleń, that's dead, Was a sweet creature: such a ring as this, The last that e'er she took her leave at court, I saw upon her finger.
Ber. Her's it was not,
King. Now, pray you, let me see it: For mine eye, , While I was speaking, oft was faften'd to't. This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen, I bad 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 her's.
Count. Son, on my life,
I've seen her wear it, and she reckon'd it
At her life's rate.
Laf. I'm 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,
Wrap'd in a paper, which contain'd the name
Of her that threw it: Noble she was, and thought
I ftood engag'd; but when I had fubfcrib'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 ceaft
In heavy fatisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.
King. Plutus himself,
That knows the tine 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 furety,
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’ft it falsely, as I love mine ho-
And mak'st conject'ral fears to come into me,
Which I would fain shut out; if it should prove
That thou art so inhuman—'twill not prove fo—
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 lift 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,
yet she never was. [Exit Bertram guarded.
S CE N E V.
Enter a Gentleman.
"M wrap'd in dismal thinkings.
Gent. Gracious Sovereign,
Whether I've been to blame or no, I know not:
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
* Who hath some four or five removes come short
To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Vanquish'd 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.
The King reads a letter.
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
* Who hath for four or five removes come short] We should read, Who hath some four or five removes come short. So in King Lear,
For that I am fome twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother,