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That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
She never saw it.
King. Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine honour : 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,
Having vainly fear'd too little.—Away with him ;-
This ring was ever hers, you
If you shall prove
shall as easy
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
[Exit BERTRAM, guarded.
the tinct and multiplying medicine,] Plutus, the grand alchemist, who knows the tincture which confers the properties of gold upon base metals, and the matter by which gold is multiplied, by which a small quantity of gold is made to communicate its qualities to a large mass of base metal.-JOHNSON. e Then, if you know
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
Confess 'twas hers,] The true meaning of this expression is, If you know that your faculties are so sound, as that you have the proper consciousness of your own actions, and are able to recollect and relate what you have done, tell me, &c. -JOHNSON.
My fore-past proofs, &c.] The proofs which I have already had are sufficient to show that my fears were not vain and irrational. I have rather been hitherto more easy than I ought, and have unreasonably had too little fear.—
Enter a Gentleman.
King. I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath, for four or five removes, come shorts
King. [reads.] Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. is the count Rousillon a widower; his vows are forfeited to me, and my honour's paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow him to his country for justice ; Grant it me, O king, in you it best lies; otherwise a seducer flourishes, and a poor maid is undone.
Laf. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll him :h for this, I'll none of him.
King. The heavens have thought well on thee, Lafeu, To bring forth this discovery.-Seek these suitors :— Go, speedily, and bring again the count.
[Exeunt Gentleman, and some Attendants.
I am afeard, the life of Helen, lady,
Was foully snatch'd.
Now, justice on the doers!
Enter BERTRAM, guarded.
King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters to you, And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet you desire to marry.-What woman's that?
· for four or five removes, come short-] Helena had come short, or missed the king at four or five different removes or post-stages.
toll him:] i. e. Enter him on the toll-book, to prove I came honestly by him.-STEEVENS.
Re-enter Gentleman, with Widow, and DIANA.
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
Wid. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
King. Come hither, count; Do you know these women?
But that I know them: Do they charge me further?
You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
That she, which marries you, must marry me,
Laf. Your reputation [to BERTRAM.] comes too short for my daughter, you are no husband for her.
Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature, Whom sometime I have laugh'd with: let your highness Lay a more noble thought upon mine honour,
Than for to think that I would sink 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!
Good my lord,
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
He had not my virginity.
King. What say'st thou to her?
She's impudent, my lord;
And was a common gamester to the camp.
Dia. He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so,
i cease,] i. e. Die.
Whose high respect, and rich validity, Did lack a parallel; yet, for all that, it to a commoner o'the camp,
If I be one.
Count. He blushes, and 'tis it:
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
That ring's a thousand proofs.
This is his wife;
Methought, you said,
You saw one here in court could witness it.
He's quoted' for a most perfidious slave,
What of him?
With all the spots o'the world tax'd and debosh'd ;TM
Am I or that, or this, for what he'll utter,
She hath that ring of
I must be patient; You, that turn'd off a first so noble wife,
May justly diet me. I pray you yet,
fancy's course-] i. e. Course of love.
insuit coming with her modern grace,] Insuit is request,—modern is
P May justly diet me.] May justly make me fast, by depriving me (as Desdemona says) of the rites for which I love you.-MALONE.
(Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband,)
I have it not.
King. What ring was yours, I pray you?
The same upon your finger.
Sir, much like
King. Know you this ring? this ring was his of late. Dia. And this was it I gave him, being a-bed.
King. The story then goes false, you threw it him
Out of a casement.
I have spoke the truth.
Ber. My lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
Is this the man you speak of?
Ay, my lord.
King. Tell me, sirrah, but, tell me true, I charge you, Not fearing the displeasure of your master,
(Which, on your just proceeding, I'll keep off,)
By him, and by this woman here, what know you? Par. So please your majesty, my master hath been an honourable gentleman; tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.
King. Come, come to the purpose: 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
King. How is that?
Par. He loved her, sir, and loved 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 command. Laf. He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.
equivocal companion] i. e. Equivocating fellow.