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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 woman.
King. How is that?
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.
Dia. Do you know he promised me marriage ?
Par. Yes, so please your majesty. I did go between them, as I said ; but more than that, he loved her,—for, indeed, he was mad for her, and talked 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 promising her marriage, and things that would derive me ill will to speak of; therefore I will not speak what I know.
King. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are married. But thou art too fine ? in thy evidence: therefore stand aside.This ring, you say, 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 I did not 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.
1 i. e. fellow
2 In the French sense, trop fine.
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 easy glove, my lord; she goes off and on at pleasure.
King. This ring was mine; I gave it his first wife.
King. Take her away; I do not like her now;
I'll never tell you.
I'll put in bail, my liege.
[Pointing to LAFEU. King. She does abuse our ears; to prison with her. Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.–Stay, royal sir;
[Exit Widow. The jeweller that owes ? the ring is sent for, And he shall surety me. But for this lord, Who hath abused me, as he knows himself, Though yet he never harmed me, here I quit him. He knows himself my bed he hath defiled; 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.
1 i. e. common woman, with whom any one may be familiar. 2 Owns.
Re-enter Widow, with HELENA.
Is there no exorcist
No, my good lord ;
Both, both. O, pardon!
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 point to point this story know, To make the even truth in pleasure flow.If thou be'st yet a fresh, uncropped flower,
[To DIANA. Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower : For I can guess, that, by thy 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.
The King's a beggar, now the play is done :
T i. e. hear us without interruption, and take our parts, 1. e. 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 he has wronged, defends himself by faisenood, and is dismissed to happiness.
The story of Bertram and Diana had been told before of Mariana and Angelo, and, to confess the truth, scarcely merited to be heard a sec. ond time.