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Ber. My lord, I neither can nor will deny But that I know them: do they charge me further?
Dia. Why do you look so strange upon your wife?
Ber. She's none of mine, my lord.
If you shall marry,
You give away this hand, and that is mine;
Dia. I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
With all the spots o' the world taxed and deboshed;
You give away Heaven's vows, and those are Am I or that or this for what he'll utter,
You give away myself, which is known mine:
For I by vow am so embodied yours,
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.
That will speak anything?
She hath that ring of yours.
Ber. I think she has
certain it is I liked her,
Ber. My lord, this is a fond and desperate Her insuit coming with her modern grace,
Subdued me to her rate. She got the ring;
Whom sometime I have laughed with: let your And I had that which any inferior might
King. Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill May justly diet me. I pray you yet
(Since you lack virtue I will lose a husband),
Till your deeds gain them. Fairer prove your Send for your ring; I will return it home;
And give me mine again.
(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 honorable 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?
Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves
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 He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to 't:
Dia. Do you know he promised me marriage? Par. 'Faith, I know more than I'll speak. King. But wilt thou not speak all thou knowest? 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?
I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not.
King. She does abuse our ears; to prison with her.
Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.-Stay, royal sir; [Exit Widow. The jeweler 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.
Dia. It was not given me, nor I did not buy Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
"O, that had !' how sad a passage 't is !"- Act I., Scene 1. Passage is anything that passes; as we now say, a passage in an author; and, as was said formerly, the passage of a reign. When the Countess mentions Helena's loss of a father, she recollects her own loss of a husband, and stops to observe how heavily that word "had" passes through her mind.
"Where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, their commendations go with pity; they are virtues and traitors too." Act I., Scene 1.
The meaning probably is, that estimable and useful qualities, joined with an evil disposition, give that evil disposition power over others; who, by their virtue, are betrayed to the malevolence. The "TATLER," mentioning the sharpers of his time, observes, that some of them are men of such elegance and knowledge, that a young man who falls into their way is betrayed as much by his judgment as his passions.
"If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess makes it soon mortal.” Act I., Scene 1. That is, if the living do not indulge grief, grief destroys itself by its own excess. As in the " WINTER'S TALE:"—
"Scarce any joy
Did ever live so long; no sorrow
But killed itself much sooner."
"I think not on my father:
And these great tears grace his remembrance more
Helena's meaning appears to be, that the great tears which were then falling from her eyes, appear to do more honor to her father's memory, than those less copious ones which she actually shed for him on his death.
"In his bright radiance and collateral light Must I be comforted, not in his sphere."
Act I., Scene 1.
That is, I cannot be united with him, and move in the same sphere, but must be comforted at a distance by the radiance that shoots on all sides from him.
"He that hangs himself is a virgin: virginity murders itself.” Act I., Scene 1.
A virgin, and he that hangs himself, are in this circumstance alike -they are both self-destroyers.
"PAR. Will you anything with it?
HEL. Not my virginity yet.
There shall your master have a thousand loves;
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend," dc.
Act I., Scene 1. Something is plainly wanting here, to connect Helena's reply with the question of Parolles. Mr. Tyrwhitt plausibly proposes to read: "Will you anything with us?" that is, "Will you send anything with us to court?" to which Helena's answer would be proper enough:
"Not my virginity yet." A similar phrase occurs in "TWELFTH NIGHT: ""You 'll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?"
With reference to the "thousand loves" that Bertram is to find at court, Mr. Heath remarks, "I believe it would not be difficult to find in the love-poetry of those times, an authority for most, if not for every one, of these whimsical titles. At least, I can affirm it from knowledge, that far the greater part of them are to be found in the Italian lyric poetry, which was the model from which our poets chiefly copied."
"What power is it which mounts my love so high ;
That is, by what influence is my love directed to a person so much above me? Why am I made to discern excellence, and left to long after it, without the food of hope?
(Those 'bated, that inherit but the fall Of the last momarchy) see that you come
Not to woo honor, but to wed it."- Act II., Scene 1.
This passage is confessedly obscure, and probably corrupt. The meaning, according to Dr. Johnson, is this:-"Let Upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valor, see that you come to gain honor, to the abatement (that is, to the disgrace and depression) of those that have now lost their ancient military fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy." Hanmer proposed to read "bastards" for "bated;" and the whole tenor of the passage makes the suggestion highly probable.
"I have spoke
With one that, in her sex, her years, profession,
Than I dare blame my weakness."— Act II., Scene 1.
Lafeu, perhaps, means that the amazement Helena excited in him, was so great, that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occasioned it.
"I am not an imposter, that proclaim
Myself against the level of mine aim."- Act II., Scene 1. That is, I am not an imposter that proclaim one thing and design another; that proclaim a cure, and aim at a fraud: I think what I speak.
Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all
That happiness and prime can happy call."— Act II., Scene 1. Prime is here used as a substantive, and means that sprightly vigor which usually accompanies the prime of life. So in Montaigne's "ESSAYS," translated by Florio:-"Many things seem greater by imagination than by effect. I have passed over a good part of my age in sound and perfect health: I say, not only sound, but blithe and wantonly lustful. That state, full of lust, of prime, and mirth, made me deem the consideration of sickness so irksome, that, when I came to the experience of them, I have found their fits but weak."
Perhaps this is the same thought, though more solemnly expressed, that we meet with in "KING HENRY IV.," Part I.:
"He's as tedious
As a tired horse, a railing wife; Worse than a smoky house."
"You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs and all, like him that leaped into the custard."— Act II., Scene 5.
Our old dramatists abound with pleasant allusions to the enormous size of their "quaking custards," which were served up at the city feasts, and with which such gross fooleries were played. Thus Glapthorne:
"I'll write the city annals,
In meter which shall far surpass Sir Guy
Of Warwick's History, or John Stow's, upon The custard with the four-and-twenty nooks, At my lord-mayor's feast."-WIT IN A CONSTABLE. Indeed, no common supply was required; for, besides what the corporation (great devourers of custards) consumed on the spot, it appears that it was thought no breach of city manners to send or take some of it home with them, for the use of their ladies.- GIFFORD.
"Why, he will look upon his boot, and sing; mend the ruff, and sing."- Act III., Scene 2.
The tops of the boots, in Shakspeare's time, turned down, and hung loosely over the leg. The folding part, or top, was the ruff; it was of softer leather than the boot, and often fringed. Ben Jonson calls it the ruffle:- Not having leisure to put off my silver spurs, one of the rowels catched hold of the ruffle of my boot."-EVERY MAN OUT OF HIS HUMOR. To this fashion, also, Bishop Earle alludes in his "CHARACTERS" (1638):-" He has learned to ruffle his face from his boot, and takes great delight in his walk to hear his spurs jingle."
"Come thou home, Rousillon, Whence honor but of danger wins a scar;
As oft it loses all." Act III., Scene 2.
The sense is-Come from that place where all the advantage that honor usually reaps from the danger it rushes upon, is only a scar in testimony of its bravery; as, on the other hand, it often is the cause of losing all, even life itself.
"Where do the palmers lodge, I do beseech you."
Act III., Scene 5.
Palmers were so called from a staff or bough of palm they were wont to carry, especially such as had visited the holy places at Jerusa lem. A pilgrim and a palmer are said to have differed thus: a pilgrim had some dwelling-place, a palmer had none; the pilgrim trav eled to some certain place, the palmer to all, and not to any one in particular; the pilgrim must go at his own charge, the palmer must profess willful poverty; the pilgrim might give over his profession, the palmer must be constant.
"If you give him not John Drum's entertainment, your inclining cannot be removed."- Act III., Scene 6.
"John Drum's entertainment" (the Christian name varying) appears to have been a common phrase to signify ill-treatment. There is an old motley interlude (printed in 1601), called "JACK DRUM'S ENTERTAINMENT," ," in which Jack Drum is a servant of intrigue, who is ever aiming at projects, and always foiled. Holinshead, in his des cription of Ireland, speaking of the hospitality of Patrick Sarsfield (mayor of Dublin in 1551), says,-"No porter, or any other officer, durst not, for both his ears, give the simplest man that resorted to his house, Tom Drum his entertainment; which is, to hale a man in by the head, and thrust him out by both the shoulders."