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Be this sweet Helen's knell, and now forget her.
Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin:
The main consents are had; and here we'll stay
To see our widower's second marriage-day.
Count. Which better than the first, О dear hea-

ven, bless! Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cease! 3 LAF. Come on, my son, in whom my house's

name Must be digested, give a favour from you, To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter, That she may quickly come.—By my old beard, And every hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead, Was a sweet creature; such a ring as this,

I cannot comprehend this passage as it stands, and have no doubt but we should read

Our old love waking, &c.

Extinétus amabitur idem. Our own love, can mean nothing but our felf-love, which would not be sense in this place; but our old love waking, means our former affection being revived. M. Mason.

This conjecture appears to me extremely probable; but waking will not, I think, here admit of Mr. M. Mason's interpretation, being revived; nor indeed is it necessary to his emendation. It is clear from the subsequent line that waking is here used in its ordinary sense. Hate sleeps at ease, unmolested by any remembrance of the dead, while old love, reproaching itself for not having been fufficiently kind to a departed friend,“ wakes and weeps;" crying, “ that's good that's gone.” MALONE. 3 Which better than the firft, О dear heaven, bless!

Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cease! ] I have ventured against the authorities of the printed copies, to prefix the Countess's name to these two lines. The king appears, indeed, to be a favourer of Bertram: but if Bertram should make a bad husband the second time, why should ít give the king such mortal pangs? A fond and disappointed mother might reasonably not desire to live to see such a day: and from her the wish of dying, rather than to behold it, comes with propriety. THEOBALD.

The last that e'er I took her leave 4 at court,
I saw upon her finger.
Ber.

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

My gracious sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never her's.
COUNT.

Son, on my life,
I have seen her wear it; and the reckon'd it
At her life's rate.
LAF.

I am sure, I saw her wear it.
Ber. You are deceiv’d, my lord, she never saw it:
In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,
Wrapp'd in a paper, which contain’d the name
Of her that threw it: noble she was, and thought
I stood ingag'd:' but when I had subscrib'd

4 The last that e'er I took her leave -] The last time that I saw her, when she was leaving the court. Mr. Rowe and the fub. sequent editors readthat i'er she took, &c. MALONE. s I bade her, if her fortunes ever food

Necessitied to help, that-] Our author here, as in many other places, seems to have forgotten in the close of the sentence how he began to construct it. See p. 189, n. 9. The meaning however is clear, and I do not suspect any corruption. MalonE.

6 In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,] Bertram still continues to have too little virtue to deserve Helen. He did not know indeed that it was Helen's ring, but he knew that he had it not from a window. JOHNSON, 7_ noble fhe cvas, and thought

I food ingag'd:] Thus the old copy. Dr. Johnson reads engaged. STEEVENS,

To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully,
I could not answer in that course of honour
As she had made the overture, she ceas’d,
In heavy satisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.
King.

Plutus himself,
That knows the tinct 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: Then, if you know
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
Confess 'twas hers,' and by what rough enforcement

The plain meaning is, when she saw me receive the ring, she thought me engaged to her. Johnson.

Ingagd, may be intended in the same sense with the reading proposed by Mr. Theobald, [ungag'd] i. e: not engaged; as Shakspeare in another place uses gag'd for engaged. Merchant of Venice, Act I. sc. i. TYRWHITT.

I have no doubt that ingaged (the reading of the folio) is right. Gaged is used by other writers, as well as by Shakspeare, for engaged. So, in a Pastoral, by Daniel, 1605:

« Not that the earth did gage
“ Unto the husbandman

“ Her voluntary fruits, free without fees.” Ingaged, in the sense of unengaged, is a word of exactly the fame formation as inhabitable, which is used by Shakspeare and the contemporary writers for uninhabitable. MALONE. 8 Plutus himself,

That knows the tinet and multiplying medicine,] Plutus, the grand alchemist, who knows the tincture which confers the properties of gold upon base metals, and the matter by which gold is multiplied, by which a small quantity of gold is made to communicate its qualities to a large mass of base metal.

In the reign of Henry the Fourth a law was made to forbid all min thenceforth to multiply gold, or use any craft of multiplication. Of which law, Mr. Boyle, when he was warm with the hope of transmutation, procured a repeal. JOHNSON. 9- Then, if you know

That you are well acquainted with yourself,

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

You got it from her: she callid 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,2—Away with him ;--
We'll lift 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.

The true meaning of this expression is, If you know that your faculties are so found, as that you have the proper consciousness of your own aftions, and are able to recollect and relate what you have done, tell me, &c. JOHNSON.. 2 My fore-paft 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.
GENT.

Gracious 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 importing 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 bluh to say it, he won me. Now is the count Roufillon a widovecr; bis 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. Lar. I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll him: for this, I'll none of him. 4

3 Who hath, for four or five removes, come fort, &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 journies or post-fiages. Johnson.

4 I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll him: for this, r'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

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