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Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour,

Than for to think that I would fink it here.

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 fay'st thou to her?

Ber. She's impudent, my Lord;

And was a common gamefter to the camp.

Dia. He does me wrong, my Lord; if I were fo He might have bought me at a common price. Do not believe him. O, behold this ring, Whofe high refpect and rich validity Did lack a parallel: yet for all that, He gave it to a commoner o'th' camp, If I be one.

Count. He blushes, and 'tis his:

Of fix preceding ancestors, that gemm
Conferr'd by Teftament to th' fequent iffue,
Hath it been ow'd and worn. This is his wife,
That ring's a thousand proofs.

King. Methought, you faid,

You faw one here in Court could witness it.
Dia. I did, my Lord, but loth am to produce
So bad an inftrument; his name's Parolles.
Laf. I faw the man to day, if man he be.
King. Find him, and bring him hither.
Ber. What of him?

He's quoted for a moft perfidious flave,

With all the spots o'th' world tax'd and deboth'd,
Which nature fickens with: but to fpeak truth,
Am I or that or this, for what he'll utter,
That will speak any thing?

King. She hath that ring of yours.

Ber. I think, fhe has; certain it is, I lik'd her, And boarded her i'th' 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
Are motives of more fancy and in fine,
Her infuit coming with her modern grace,
Subdu'd me to her rate: fhe got the ring;
`And I had That, which any inferior might
At market-price have bought.

Dia. I must be patient:

You, that turn'd off a first so noble wife,

May juftly diet me.

I pray you yet,

(Since you lack virtue, I will lofe 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 fame upon your finger. King. Know you this ring? this ring was his of late. Dia. And this was it I gave him, being a-bed. King. The ftory then goes falfe, you threw it him Out of a cafement.

Dia. I have spoke the truth.

Enter Parolles.

Ber. My Lord, I do confefs, the ring was hers. King. You boggle fhrewdly, every feather starts you!

Is this the man you speak of?

Dia. It is, my Lord.

King. Tell me, Sirrah, but tell me true, I charge you,

Not fearing the displeasure of your mafter, Which on your juft proceeding I'll keep off; By him and by this woman here, what know you? Par. So please your Majefty, my mafter hath been honourable Gentleman. Tricks he hath had in him, which Gentlemen have.


King. Come, come, to the purpofe; did he love this Woman?

Par. 'Faith, Sir, he did love her; but how?
King. How, I pray you?


Par. He did love her, Sir, as a Gentleman loves a Woman.

King. How is that?

Par. He lov'd her, Sir, and lov'd her not.

King. As thou art a knave, and no knave; what an equivocal companion is this?

Par. I am a poor man, and at your Majesty's Com


Laf. He's a good drum, my Lord, but a naughty Orator.

Dia. Do you know, he promis'd me marriage? Par. 'Faith, I know more than I'll speak. King. But wilt thou not speak all thou know'st? Par. Yes, fo please your Majesty. I did go between them, as I faid; but more than that, he lov'd her: for, indeed, he was mad for her, and talk'd of Satan, and of limbo, and of furies, and I know not what; yet I was in that credit with them at that time, that I knew of their going to bed, and of other motions, as promifing her marriage, and things that would derive me ill will to speak of; therefore I will not speak what I know.

King. Thou haft spoken all already, unless thou canft fay they are married; but thou art too fine in thy evidence; therefore ftand afide. This ring, you fay, was yours?

Dia. Ay, my good Lord.

King. Where did you buy it? or who gave it you? Dia. It was not given me, nor did I buy it.

King. Who lent it you?

Dia. It was not lent me neither.

King. Where did you find it then?

Dia. 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 eafie glove, my Lord, fhe goes off and on at pleasure.

King. This ring was mine, I gave it his firft wife. Dia. It might be yours, or hers, for aught I know.

King. Take her away, I do not like her now;
To prison with her and away with him.
Unless thou tell'ft me where thou hadst this ring,
Thou dieft within this hour.

Dia. I'll never tell
King. Take her away.

Dia. I'll put in bail, my Liege.

King. I think thee now fome common customer. Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you. King. Wherefore haft 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 fwear to't; I'll fwear, I am a maid, and he knows not. Great King, I am no ftrumpet, by my life; I'm either maid, or else this old man's wife.

[Pointing to Lafeu. King. She does abuse our ears; to prifon with her. Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal Sir, [Ex. Widow. The jeweller, that owes the ring, is fent for,

And he fhall furety me. But for this Lord, [To Bert.
Who hath abus'd me, as he knows himself,
Tho' 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 tho' fhe be, fhe feels her young one kick:
So there's my riddle; one, that's dead, is quick.
And now behold the meaning.

Enter Helena, and Widow.

King. Is there no Exorcift

Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
Is't real, that I fee?

Hel. No, my good Lord,

"Tis but a fhadow of a wife you see,

The name, and not the thing.

Ber. Both, both; oh, pardon!

Hel. Oh, 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 fhe, 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 ftep between me and you! O, my dear mother, do I see you living? To the Countess.

Laf. Mine eyes fmell onions, I fhall weep anon: Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkerchief, [To Parolles. So, I thank thee, wait on me home. I'll make sport with thee: let thy courtefies alone, they are scurvy


King, Let us from point to point this story know, To make the even truth in pleasure flow: If thou beeft yet a fresh uncropped flower, [To Diana. Chufe thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower; For I can guess, that, by thy honeft aid, Thou kept'ft a wife her felf, thy felf a maid. Of that and all the progrefs more and less, Refolvedly more leifure fhall express:

All yet feems well; and if it end fo meet,

The bitter paft, more welcome is the fweet. [Exeunt.

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