« PreviousContinue »
Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you. King. Wherefore hast 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 swear to't: I'll swear, I am a maid, and he knows not. Great king, I am no strumpet, by my life; I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.
[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 abus'd 'me, as he knows himself, Though yet he never harm’d me, here I quit him: He knows himself, my bed he hath defild;* 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.
Re-enter Widow, with HELENA. King.
Is there no exorcist' Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes? Is't real, that I see? Hel.
No, my good lord; 'Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
* He knows himself, &c.] The dialogue is too long, since the audience already knew the whole transaction; nor is there any reason for puzzling the King and playing with his passions; but it was much easier than to make a pathetical interview between Helen and her husband, her mother, and the King. Johnson.
- exorcist - ] Shakspeare invariably uses the word erorcist, to imply a person who can raise spirits, not in the usual sense of one that can lay them.
The name, and not the thing.
Both, both; O, pardon! Hel. O, 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 she, my liege, can make me know this
Hel. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue,
Laf. Mine eyes smell onions, I shall weep anon:Good Tom Drum, [T. 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 the 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.
you express content; which we will pay,
Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts;] The meaning is: Grant us then your patience; hear us without interruption. And take our parts; that is, 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 whom he has wronged, defends himself by falsehood, 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 second time. JOHNSON.