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Count. "Tis paft, my Liege ;
And I beseech your Majetty to make it
(39) Natural rebellion, done i'th' blade of youth,
When oil and fire, too strong for reason's force,
O'erbears it, and burns on.

King. My honour'd Lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all ;
Tho' my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch'd the time to Thoot.

Laf. This I must say,
But first I beg my pardon; the young Lord
Did to his Majesty, his Mother, and his Lady,
Offence of mighty note ; but to himself
The greatest wrong of all. He loft a wife,
Whose beauty did astonish the survey
Of richest eyes ; whose words all ears took captive ;
Whose dear perfection, hearts, that fcorn'd to serve,
Humbly calld mistress,

King. Praising what is loft,
Makes the remembrance dear. Well — call him hither 3
We're reconcil'd, and the first view mall kill
All repetition : let him not ask our pardon.
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
Th' incensing relicks of it. Let him approach,
A ftranger, no offender; and inform him,
So 'tis our will he should.

Gent. I fall, my Liege.

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(39) Natural rebellion, done i'eb' blade of yourb,] If this reading be genuine, the metaphor muft be from any grain, or plant, taking tire : but, I own, it seems more in Shakespeare's way of thinking to suppose he wrote ;

Natural rebellion done i'rb' blaze of youth,
i. e. in the fervour, flame, &c. So he has express'd himself, upon
a like occasion, in Ham.let,

I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul

Lends the tongue vows. These blazés, O my daughter, &C.
And so, again, in his Troilus and Cressida ;

For Hestur, in his blaze of wrath, subscribes
Te tender objects.-.....

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 letters sent That let him high in fame.

[me, Enter Bertram. Laf. He looks well on't.

King. I'm not a day of feason,
For thou may’lt see a fun-fhine and a hail
In me at once; but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; lo ftand thou forth,
The time is fair again.

Ber. My high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.

King. All is whole,
Not one word more of the consumed time,
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick'st decrees
Th’inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals, ere we can effect thein. You remember
The daughter of this Lord ?

Ber. Admiringly, my Liege. At first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durft make too bold a herald of my tongue :
Where the impression of mine eye en fixing,
Contempt his fcornful perspective did lend me,
Which warpd the line of every other favour ;
Scorn'd a fair colour, or express'd it foll'n,
Extended or contracted all proportion's
To a most hideous object : thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais'd, and whom myself,
Since I have lost, have lov'd, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.

King. Well excus'd : That thou did it love her, strikes fome 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 is 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
Deltroy our friends, and, after, weep their duft :
Our own love, waking, cries to see what's done,
While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon.
Be this sweet Helen's knell; and now, forget her.
Send forth your amorous token for fair Nlaudlin,
The main consents are had, and here we'll llay
To see our widower's second marriage-day :

Count. (40) Which better than the first, Ó dear heav'n, Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cease! [bless,

Laf: Come on, my son, in whom my house's name
Muit be digested : give a favour from you
To sparkle

in the spirits of my daughter,
That the may quickly come. By my old beard,'
And ev'ry hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead,
Was a sweet creature: such a ring as this,
The last that e'er the took her leave at court,
I saw upon her finger.

Ber. Her's it was not.
King. Now, pray you, let me see it. For mine eye,
While I was fpeaking, oft was fasten'd to't :
This ring was mine; and, when I gave it Helen,
I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood
Necesitied to help, that by this token
I would relieve her. Had you that craft to reave her
Of what should stead her mot?

Ber. My gracious Sovereign, Howe'er it pleases you to take it so, The ring was never her’s.

(40) Which better than obe first, o dear beav'n bless,

Or, c'er they meer, in me, O nature, cease!) I have venturid, against the authority of the printed copies, to prefix the Countefs's name to these two lines. The King appears, indeed, to be a favourer of Bertram: but if Bertram Mould make a bad husband the fecond time, why should it give the King such mortal pangs ? A fond and disappointed mother might reasonably not defire to live to see fuch a day: and from her the wish of dying, rather than 10 behold it, comes with propriety.


Count. Son, on my life,
I've seen her wear it, and she reckon'd it
At her life's rate.

kaf. I'm sure, I saw her wear ite

Ber. You are deceiv'd, my Lord, she never saw it ; In Florence was it from a casement thrown me, Wrap'd in a paper, which contain'd the name Of her that threw it: (41) Noble she was, and though I food ungag'd; but when I had subscrib'd To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully, I could not answer in that course of honour As she had made the overture, the ceaft In heavy fatisfaction, and would never Receive the ring again.

King. Plutus himself, That knows the cinct and multiplying medicine, Hath not in Nature's mystery more science, Than I have in this ring. 'Twas mine, 'twas Helen's, Whoever gave it you: thon if you know, That you are well acquainted with yourself, Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement You got it from her. She call'd the saints to surely, That she would never put it from her finger, Unless she gave it to yourself in bed, (Where

you have never come), or sent it us Upon her great disaster, Ber. She never saw it.

King. Thou speak'st it falsely, as I love mine honour; And mak'st conject'ral fears to come into me, Which I would fain shut out; if it should prove That thou art so inhuman-'twill not prove foAnd yet I know not--thou didft hate her deadly,


noble she was,

and though! I food engag'd ;---] ! don't understand this reading; if we are to understand, that the thought Bertram engag'd to her in affeca tion, insnar'd by her charms, this meaning is too obscurely express'd.. The context rather makes me believe, that the Poet wrote,

- noble she was, and thought I food ungag'd; i, e. vnengaged: neither my heart, nor person, dispos d of.


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. Away with him,
We'll lift this matter further.

Ber. If you shall prove, This ring was ever hers, you shall as eary Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence, Where yet she never was. [Exit Bertram guarded.

Enter a Gentleman.
King. I'm wrap'd in dismal thinkings.

Gent. Gracious Sovereign,
Whether I've been to blame or no, I know not :
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath for four or five removes come short
To tender it herself. I undertook it,
Vanquish'd thereto by the fair grace and speech
Of the poor suppliant, who by this, I know,
Is here attending : her business looks in her
With an importing visage, and Me cold me,
in a sweet verbal brief, it did concern
Your Highness with herself.

The King reads a letter. Upon his many protestations to marry me, when his wife was dead, I blush to say it, he won me. Nor is the Count Roufillon a widower, his vows are forfeited to me, and muy honours paid to him. He stole from Florence, taking no leave, and I follow him to this country for justice : grant i me, O King, in you it bejt lies; otherwise a feducer flora rijhes, and a poor maid is undone.

Diana Capulet. Laf. I will buy me a fon-in-law in a fair, and toll for him.

For this, I'll none of him. King. The heavens have thought well on thee, Lafiu,


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