« PreviousContinue »
Offence of mighty note; but to himself
greatest wrong of all: he lost a wife, Whose beauty did astonish the survey Of richest eyes *; whose words all ears took captive; Whose dear perfection, hearts that scorn’d to serve, Humbly call?d mistress. King.
Praising what is lost, Makes the remembrance dear.Well, call him
I shall, my liege,
[Eicit Gentleman. King. What says he to your daughter? have you
spoke?Laf. All that he is hath reference to your highness. King. Then shall we have a match. I have let
ters sent me, That set him high in fame.
Enter BERTRAM. Laf.
He looks well on't. King. I am not a day of seasono, For thou mayst see a sun-shine and a hail
4 So in As You Like It:- to have seen much and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands. Those who having seen the greatest number of fair women might be said to be the richest in ideas of beauty.
5 i. e. the first interview shall put an end to all recollection of
6 i. e. a seasonable day, a mixture of sunshine and hail, of winter and summer, is unseasonable.
In me at once: But to the brightest beams
My high-repented blames?
All is whole;
Ber. Admiringly, my liege: at first
Well excus'd: That thou didst love her, strikes some scores away From the great compt: But love, that comes too late, Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried, To the great sender turns a sour offence, Crying, that's good that's gone: our rash faults Make trivial price of serious things we have, Not knowing them, until we know their grave: Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust, Destroy our friends, and after weep their dust:
? Faults repented of to the utmost.
Our own love waking cries to see what's done,
house's name Must be digested, give a favour from you, To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter, That she may quickly come.—By my old beard, And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead, Was a sweet creature; such a ring as this, The last that e'er I took her leave at courto, I saw upon her finger. Ber.
Hers it was not. King. Now, pray you, let me see it; for mine eye, While I was speaking, oft was fasten’d to’t. This ring was mine: and, when I gave it Helen, I bade her, if her fortune ever stood Necessitied to help, that by this token 10 I would relieve her: Had you that craft to reave her Of what should stead her most? Ber.
My gracious sovereign, Howe'er it pleases you to take it so, The ring was never hers. Count.
Son, on my life,
8 This obscure couplet seems to mean that. Our love awaking to the worth of the lost object too late laments : our shameful hate or dislike having slept out the period when our fault was remediable.'
9 • The last time that ever I took leave of her at court.'
10 Malone quarrels with the construction of this passage : bade her, &c.—that by this token,' &c. but Shakspeare uses I bade her for I told her.
I have seen her wear it; and she reckon'd it
I am sure,
I saw her wear it. Ber. You are deceiv'd, my lord, she never saw it: In Florence was it from a casement thrown me 11 Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain’d the name, Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought I stood ingag’d 12: but when I had subscrib'd 13 To mine own fortune, and inform’d her fully, I could not answer in that course of honour As she had made the overture, she ceas'd, In heavy satisfaction, and would never Receive the ring again. King.
know That you are well acquainted with yourself 15, Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement You got it from her: she call’d the saints to surety, That she would never put it from her finger, Unless she gave it to yourself in bed,
11 Johnson remarks that Bertram still continues to have too little virtue to deserve Helen. He did not know it was Helen's ring, but he knew that he had it not from a window.
12 Ingag'd, i. e. pledged to her, having received her pledge. Johnson reads engaged, and explains it— When she saw me receive the ring, she thought me engaged to her. I cannot think that unengaged is intended, we have no instance of the use of ingaged in that sense.
13 Subscrib’d, i. e. submitted. See Troilus and Cressida, Act ii. Sc. 3, note 14.
14 The philosopher's stone. Plutus, the great alchymist, who knows the secrets of the elixir and philosopher's stone, by which the alchymists pretended that base metals might be transmuted into gold.
15 Then if you have the proper consciousness of your own actions, confess, &c.
(Where you have never come), or sent it us
She never saw it.
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, Shall tax my fears of little vanity, Having vainly fear'd too little 16.- Away with him; We'll sift this matter further. Ber.
If you shall prove This ring was ever hers, you shall as easy Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence, Where yet she never was.
[Exit BERTRAM, guarded.
Enter a Gentleman.
16 The proofs which I have already had are sufficient to show that my fears were not vain and irrational. I have unreasonably feared too little.
17 Removes are journeys or post-stages; she had not been able to overtake the king on the road.