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And I had that, which any inferior might'
I must be patient:
I have it not.
King. What ring was yours, I pray you?
Sir, much like
The same upon your finger.
Is this the man you speak of?
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.
I have spoke the truth.
Ber. My lord, I do confess, the ring was hers.
King. You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts
Ay, my lord.
2 And I had that, which ANY inferior might] This line illustrates the worse than needlessness of the change made by Pope in a line in "Love's Labour's Lost," Vol. ii. p. 287 :—
Why should I joy in any abortive birth ?" Pope substituted an for any, because only one syllable was required for the tensyllable measure. The fact is, that in both these instances "any" being pronounced in the time of one syllable, the metre is perfect, and such as Shakespeare intended.
3 May justly DIET me.] The meaning, according to the explanation of Collins, seems to be, "You may justly make me fast, by depriving me (as Desdemona says) of the rites for which I love you." Steevens quotes "to fast like one that takes diet," from "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," A. ii. sc. 1, to show that to fast and to diet were used in some sort synonymously.
Enter Parolles.] In the old folios the entrance of Parolles is twice marked, here, and with the Widow and Diana. This is evidently the proper place for him to make his appearance.
King. Tell me, sirrah, but tell me true, I charge
Not fearing the displeasure of your master,
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, I pray you?
Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a
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
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
Say they are married. But thou art too fine
In thy evidence"; therefore, stand aside.—
It was not lent me neither.
I found it not.
King. If it were yours by none of all these ways, How could you give it him?
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. Dia. It might be yours, or hers, for aught I know. King. Take her away: I do not like her now. To prison with her; and away with him.Unless thou tell'st me where thou had'st this ring, Thou diest within this hour.
I'll never tell you.
I'll put in bail, my liege. King. I think thee now some common customer. Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you. King. Wherefore hast thou accus'd him all this
King. Take her away.
Dia. Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty.
[Pointing to LAFEU.
5 But thou art TOO FINE in thy evidence ;] i. e. Too full of finesse; too artful. Malone needlessly cites several instances.
6 This ring, you say, was yours?] This speech is clearly metrical, though printed as prose in all the editions, ancient and modern. The King invariably uses blank-verse.
King. She does abuse our ears. To prison with
Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.-[Exit Widow.]
The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for,
Re-enter Widow, with HELENA.
Is't real, that I see?
Is there no exorcist
Ber. If she, my liege, can make me know this
I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.
Hel. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue3,
7" And ARE by me with child,"] Is for "are," a grammatical error running through all the old copies. Helena only gives the import of the words of the letter, and not the exact words. Her repetition of them shows clearly the sense of the passage. See p. 258.
8 If it appear not plain, and prove untrue,] In Painter, and in his original, Boccaccio, Helen comes before Count Bertram at Rousillon with twins in her
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
Deadly divorce step between me and you!—
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.
[TO DIANA.] If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower,
Thou kept'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.—
The king's a beggar, now the play is done.
arms, "Io ti richieggio per Dio, che le conditioni postemi per li due cavalieri, che io ti mandai, tu le mi osservi: ed ecco nelle mie braccia non un solo figliuolo di te ma due; ed ecco qui il tuo anello:" which Painter thus renders :-"Therefore I now beseche thee, for the honoure of God, that thou wilt observe the conditions which the twoo Knightes that I sent unto thee did commannde me to doe for beholde here, in my armes, not onely one sonne begotten by thee, but twayne, and likewyse thy ryng." Palace of Pleasure, i. fo. 92. Edit. Marsh. It is to be remarked, that in the original story the King is not present at Rousillon at the reconcilement of Bertram and Helena.