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Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
King. [Reads.] Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Now 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.
DIANA CAPULET. Laf. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll 18 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. Count.
Now, justice on the doers ! 18 The second folio reads :-'I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for him: for this, I'll none of him. I prefer the reading of the first folio, as in the text. The allusion is to the custom of paying toll for the liberty of selling in a fair, and means, ‘I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and sell this one; pay toll for the liberty of selling him.' So in Hudibras :
a roan gelding,
And in the public market tolld for.' There were two statutes to regulate the tolling of horses in fairs. Tolling out is a mistaken conception of Malone's. The passage from Čamden’s Remaines, tolling him out of the faire by a traine, means, “inticing him out of the fair by a device or stratagem.'
desire to marry:
Enter BERTRAM, guarded. King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters to
you 19, And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet you
-What woman's that? Re-enter Gentleman, with Widow, and DIANA.
Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Wid. I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
your remedy. King. Come hither, count; Do you know these
women ? 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. Dia.
or 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,
19 The first folio reads :
'I wonder, sir, sir; wives, &c.' The emendation is Mr. Tyrwhitt's. As in the succeeding line means as soon as.
20 Decease, die. VOL. III.
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 ho
nour, Than in my thought it lies ! Dia.
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 21.
Dia. He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so, He might have bought me at a common price : Do not believe him: 0, behold this ring, Whose high respect, and rich validity, Did lack a parallel; yet, for all that, He gave
it to a commoner o' the camp, If I be one.
Count. He blushes, and 'tis it 23 : 21 The following passage from The False One of Beaumont and Fletcher will sufficiently elucidate this term when applied to a female :
'Tis a catalogue
Sports with that merchant's wife.' 22 i. e. value.
23 Malone remarks that the old copy reads, 'tis hit, and that in many of our old chronicles he had found hit printed instead of it. It is not in our old chronicles alone, but in all our old writers that the word may be found in this form. The acute author of the Diversions of Purley has shown the reason at p. 53 of his second volume. Pope had changed hit to his, and Henley proposed to read fit. Tooke treats poor Malone with sarcastic commiseration for taking the old orthography for a mistake of the printer.
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem
Methought, you said, You saw one here in court could witness it.
Dia. I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
Laf. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
What of him?
She hath that ring of yours. Ber. I think she has : certain it is, I lik’d her, And boarded her i’ the wanton way of youth: She knew her distance, and did angle for me, Madding my eagerness with her restraint, As all impediments in fancy's course Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine, Her insult coming with her modern grace 26, Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring; And I had that, which any inferior might At market-price have bought. Dia.
I must be patient;
25 Debauch'd. 26 • Every tning that obstructs love is an occasion by which love is heightened, and to conclude her solicitation concurring with her common or ordinary grace she got the ring. It may be remarked that Shakspeare and some of his contemporaries use the word modern for trivial, common, ordinary; the reason of this has not yet been satisfactorily explained. Modernaglie,' says Florio, moderne things; also taken for young wenches. Modern may therefore mean youthful in this instance.
You that turn’d off a first so noble wife,
I have it not.
Sir, much like The same upon your finger.
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. Dia.
I have spoke the truth.
Enter PAROLLES. Ber. My lord, I do confess the ring was hers. King. You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts
you. Is this the man you speak of? Dia.
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 is that?