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Par. He loved her, sir, and loved her not. King. As thou art a knave, and no knave. 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 orator. Dia. Do you know he promised me marriage? Par. Faith, I know more than I'll speak. King. But wilt thou not speak all thou knowest ?

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 which would derive me ill will to speak of; therefore I will not speak what I know.

King. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are married: but thou art too fine in thy evidence; therefore stand aside.


This ring, you say, was yours?


Ay, my good lord.

King. Where did you buy it? or who gave it you?
Dia. It was not given me, nor I did not buy it.
King. Who lent it you?
It was not lent me neither.
King. Where did you find it, then?

What an


I found it not. King. If it were yours by none of all these ways, How could you give it him?

Dia. Because he's guilty, aud he is not guilty :

He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to't;
I'll swear I am a maid, and he knows not.

Dia. 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. 280 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 hadst this ring,
Thou diest within this hour.


I'll never tell you.

King. Take her away.
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 accused him all this while?


Great king, I am no strumpet. by my life;
I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.

King. She does abuse our ears to prison with her. Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal sir: [Exit Widow.

The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for,
And he shall surety me. But for this lord,
Who hath abused me, as he knows himself,
Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him :
He knows himself my bed he hath defiled;
And at that time he got his wife with child:
Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick:
So there's my riddle: one that's dead is quick :
And now behold the meaning.

Re-enter Widow, with HELENA.
Is there no exorcist
Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?
Is't real that I see?

No, my good lord;
"Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
The name and not the thing.


Both, both. O, rardon !
Hel. O my good lord, when I was like this maid,
I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring;
And, look you, here's your letter; this it says:
"When from my finger you can get this ring
And are by me with child," &c. This is done :
Will you be mine, now you are doubly won ?

Ber. If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly, I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.

Hel. If it appear not plain and prove untrue,
Deadly divorce step between me and you!
O my dear mother, do I see you living?


Laf. Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anen: [To Parolles] Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher: 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,
Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower;
For I can guess that by thy honest aid
Thou kept'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.
Of that and all the progress, more or less,
Resolvedly more leisure shall express:
All yet seems well; and if it end so meet,
The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.





King. The king's a beggar, now the play is done:
All is well ended, if this suit be won,
That you express content; which we will pay,
With strife to please you, day exceeding day:
Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts;
Your gentle hands lead us, and take our hearts.

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