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You got it from her : she calld the saints to

surety 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 ho

nour ; 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 ?:-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.


Confess 'twas hers,] i. e. confess the ring was hers, for you know it as well as you know that you are yourself. EDWARDS.

The true meaning of this expression is, • If you know that your faculties are so sound, as that you have the proper consciousness of your own actions, and are able to recollect and relate what

you have done, tell me, &c. Johnson. 2 My forepast proofs, howe'er the matter fall,

Shall tax my fears of little vanity,

Having vainly fear'd too little.] The proofs which I have already had are sufficient to show that my fears were not vain and irrational. I have rather been hitherto more easy than I ought, and have unreasonably had too little fear.' Johnson.

Enter a Gentleman.
King. I am wrapp'd in dismal thinkings.


sovereign, Whether I have 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 important visage; and she told me, In a sweet verbal brief, it did concern Your highness with herself.

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 for this: I'll none of him 4.

3 Who hath, for four or five removes, come short, &c.] Who hath missed the opportunity of presenting it in person to your Majesty, either at Marseilles, or on the road from thence to Rousillon, in consequence of having been four or five removes behind you. Malone.

Removes are journeys or post-stages. JOHNSON. 4 I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll him: for this, I'll none of him.] Thus the second folio. The first omits-him. Either reading is capable of explanation.

The meaning of the earliest copy seems to be this : I'll buy me a new son-in-law, &c. and toll the bell for this ; i. e. look upon him as a dead man. The second reading, as Dr. Percy sug

King. The heavens have thought well on thee,


gests, may imply : • I'll buy me a son-in-law as they buy a horse in a fair; toul him, i. e. enter him on the toul or toll-book, to prove I came honestly by him, and ascertain my title to him. In a play called The Famous History of Tho. Stukely, 1605, is an allusion to this custom :

Gov. I will be answerable to thee for thy horses.

Stuk. Dost thou keep a tole-booth ? zounds, dost thou make a horse-courser of me?" Again, in Hudibras, part ii. c. i.:

a roan gelding
Where, when, by whom, and what y'were sold for

“ And in the open market toll'd for." Alluding (as Dr. Grey observes) to the two statutes relating to the sale of horses, 2 and 3 Phil. and Mary, and 31 Eliz. c. 12. and publickly tolling them in fairs, to prevent the sale of such as were stolen, and to preserve the property to the right owner.

The previous mention of a fair seems to justify the reading I have adopted from the second folio. Steevens. The passage should be pointed thus ;

“ I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll;

For this I'll none of him."
That is, “ I'll buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and pay

toll for this, I will have none of him." M. Mason.

The meaning, I think, is, “ I will purchase a son in law at a fair, and get rid of this worthless fellow, by tolling him out of it." To toll a person out of a fair was a phrase of the time. So, in Camden's Remaines, 1605: “ At a Bartholomew Faire at London there was an escheater of the same city, that had arrested a clothier that was outlawed, and had seized his goods, which he had brought into the faire, tolling him out of the faire, by a traine.”

And toll for this, may, however, mean- and I will sell this fellow in a fair, as I would a horse, publickly entering in the tollbook the particulars of the sale.” For the hint of this latter interpretation I am indebted to Dr. Percy. I incline, however, to the former exposition.

The following passage in King Henry IV. Part II. may be adduced in support of Mr. Steevens's interpretation of this passage: “ Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown,—and I will take such order that thy friends shall ring for thee."

Here Falstaff certainly means to speak equivocally; and one of his senses is, “ I will take care to have thee knocked in the head, and thy friends shall ring thy funeral knell.” Malone. VOL. X.

2 1

; as

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 ! Enter Bertram, guarded. King. I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters to


And that you fly them as you swear them lordship, Yet

you desire to marry.-What woman's that? Re-enter Gentleman, with Widow, and DIANA.

Dia. I am, my lord, a wretched Florentine,
Derived from the ancient Capulet;
My suit, as I do understand, you know,
And therefore know how far I may be pitied.

WID. I am her mother, sir, whose age and ho


desire to marry.

s I wonder, sir, since wives, &c.] This passage is thus read in the first folio:

“I wonder, sir, sir, wives are monsters to you,
“ And that you fly them, as you swear them lordship,

Which may be corrected thus :

“ I wonder, sir, since wives are monsters," &c. The editors have made it—" wives are so monstrous to you," and in the next line--"swear to them," instead of "swear them lordship." Though the latter phrase be a little obscure, it should not have been turned out of the text without notice. I suppose lordship is put for that protection which the husband, in the mar riage ceremony, promises to the wife. TYRWHITT.

As, I believe, here signifies as soon as. MALONE.

I read with Mr. Tyrwhitt, whose emendation I have placed in the text. It may be observed, however, that the second folio reads : “ I wonder, sir, wives are such monsters to you"


Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease, without 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.


shall marry,
You give away this hand, and that is mine;
You give away heaven's vows, and those are mine;
You give away myself, which is known mine;
For I by vow am so embodied yours,
That she, which marries you, must marry me,
Either both, or none.

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 crea

ture, 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.


- shall cease,] i. e. decease, die. So, in King Lear : “Fall and cease." The word is used in the same sense in p. 476 of the present comedy. Steevens.

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