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.
I am her mother, sir, whose age and honour
Both suffer under this complaint we bring,
And both shall cease, without your remedy.
Come hither, count; do you know these women?
My lord, I neither can nor will deny
But that I know them: do they charge me further?
Why do you look so strange upon your wife?
She's none of mine, my lord.
If you 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.
[To BERTRAM] Your reputation comes too short for
my daughter; you are no husband for her.
My lord, this is a fond and desperate creature
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.
Sir, for my thoughts, you have them ill to friend
Till your deeds gain them: fairer prove your honour
Than in my thought it lies!
Good my lord,
Ask him upon his oath, if he does think
He had not my virginity.
What say'st thou to her?
She's impudent, my lord;
And was a common gamester to the camp.
He does me wrong, my lord; if I were so
He might have bought me at a common price:
Do not believe him. O, behold this ring,
Whose high respect and rich validity
Did lack a parallel; yet, for all that,
He gave it to a commoner o' the camp,
If I be one.
He blushes, and 'tis it:
Of six preceding ancestors, that gem,
Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been ow'd and worn. This is his wife;
That ring's a thousand proofs.
Methought you said
You saw one here in court could witness it.
I did, my lord, but loath am to produce
So bad an instrument; his name's Parolles.
I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
Find him, and bring him hither.
[Exit an Attendant.]
What of him?
He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,
With all the spots o' the world tax'd and debauch'd:
Whose nature sickens but to speak a truth:
Am I or that or this for what he'll utter,
That will speak anything?
She hath that ring of yours.
I think she has: certain it is I lik'd her,
And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth:
She knew her distance, and did angle for me,
Madding my eagerness with her restraint,
As all impediments in fancy's course
Are motives of more fancy; and, in fine,
Her infinite cunning with her modern grace,
Subdu'd me to her rate: she got the ring;
And I had that which any inferior might
At market-price have bought.
I must be patient:
You that have turn'd off a first so noble wife
May justly diet me. I pray you yet, —
Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband, —
Send for your ring, I will return it home,
And give me mine again.
I have it not.
What ring was yours, I pray you?
Sir, much like
The same upon your finger.
Know you this ring? this ring was his of late.
And this was it I gave him, being a-bed.
The story, then, goes false you threw it him
Out of a casement.
I have spoke the truth.
My lord, I do confess the ring was hers.
You boggle shrewdly; every feather starts you. —
[Re-enter Attendant, with PAROLLES.]
Is this the man you speak of?